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lightbulb Learning to drive OTTO

  • allan
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10 years 2 weeks ago #4155 by allan
Replied by allan on topic Learning to drive OTTO
Quick update. Tried the "espresso" basket with the new medium roast beans I am trying, and no dice. Steam pressure minimal. Extraction not great tasting either. :P

So back to the "supermarket" basket, and everything is OK again. :)

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  • Eamonn
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10 years 2 weeks ago #4156 by Eamonn
Replied by Eamonn on topic Learning to drive OTTO
allan wrote:

Hi Eamonn, thanks for a really interesting post.

The steam pressure thing is quite a challenge at first I think. There are a couple of factors that you have to work out for yourself - and I think that the perfect combination will probably be different for each person too. I think the factors are (in no particular order): dosage grams, tamp strength, grind, basket choice and (of course) beans.

These guys have found their own combination too.
londiniumespresso.com/blogs/londinium-espresso-blog




Allan
Thanks for your observations. Interesting that others are finding similar experiences. The Otto is making me think a lot more about how I make my coffee and all the nuances that go with it, compared to my old espresso machine! And for that reason I'm finding it enjoyable despite the fact i get it wrong sometimes.

Londinium certainly found big difference with electric, which I did not know. Thanks for your suggestions on the flame tamer, I will try that. I'm using what I thought was a relatively low heat on the smallest gas hob but I didn't have it at the lowest setting, so will also try lower. I guess this might make cycle longer?
I'm using quite a fine grind and strong tamper and as a result always use the espresso basket. I think I only tried the supermarket basket once or twice and found I was choking the Otto so felt it was only needed when grind was coarse.

Who would have thought beans could make a difference! I am getting much better steam pressure when I started using new beans and that's been consistent over that last few days.

By the way, as you said, I use the silicon mat and I have to get coffee off quick when I think I have enough coffee. I usually gauge it by listening for a bubbling sound. That tells me it's starting to get too hot and I might burn the coffee or at least lose the crema so I take the mug out quick smart. How do others judge when the you've got enough coffee?

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  • mikelomb
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10 years 4 days ago - 9 years 11 months ago #4160 by mikelomb
Replied by mikelomb on topic Learning to drive OTTO
I have been using the Otto for several weeks now, and there is an experimental learning curve in getting the best cappuccino from it. For what it is worth, here is my experience. The Otto has two baskets. The espresso basket with many holes for espresso ground coffee, and the supermarket basket with about 30 holes for courser grinds.

Pre ground coffee, even the espresso grind while using supermarket basket, extracts over 60 mls of coffee, tastes terrible, and has limited steam pressure.

Freshly ground coffee beans, with a burr grinder on fine setting using the espresso basket produced more drinkable coffee; 60 mls in 90 seconds, no crema, limited frothing of milk due to low steam pressure that took up to 7 minutes.

Using burr ground beans with the supermarket basket produced 30 mls of espresso in 90s seconds with some crema, great steam pressure, milk frothed in a few minutes and produced a very fine cappuccino. Proper extraction and good steam pressure are closely related. With my beans, I was unable to “choke,” the Otto. In the DVD that comes with the Otto, the recommendation was to have about 15 mls of espresso in each glass.

So in summary to get the Otto to work to its full potential, the espresso should be dripping a drop at a time, not pouring out, to get 30 mls total in 90 seconds before the extraction starts to cut out. If you get too much, you are under extracting and will have limited steam pressure, and just end up with coffee, not espresso.
Last edit: 9 years 11 months ago by mikelomb. Reason: correction on the crema amount

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  • allan
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10 years 4 days ago - 10 years 4 days ago #4161 by allan
Replied by allan on topic Learning to drive OTTO
Hi mikelomb, thanks for posting (and welcome to the forums)!

I think I agree with you on your summary observations. I haven't been the most diligent about timing the heating and extractions and finding the optimum times though. That is something I want to start taking note of.

May I ask what sort of dosing (weight and tamp pressure) you have found to be the best?
Last edit: 10 years 4 days ago by allan.

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  • mikelomb
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10 years 4 days ago #4162 by mikelomb
Replied by mikelomb on topic Learning to drive OTTO
I don’t weigh the grind at all. I just put the porta filter under the coffee grinder, in my case it is the Enzo Mini Macho, set to about 2 (not a lot of difference really in the settings) wait till it is loose and level with the top, and then tamp firmly (like leaning into a wall) and the level comes down to 5 mm from the top edge.

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  • allan
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10 years 4 days ago #4163 by allan
Replied by allan on topic Learning to drive OTTO
Thanks (again).

That is similar to me then. I tend to dose a little less (14-16g) which compresses to 8mm or so below the edge when tamped.

I reduced my dosage a little because I often only require one shot. Do you think this could result in over-extraction (ie. more heated water going through less ground beans)? I tend to pour pretty quickly after I get my 30mL of espresso just in case.

Liked your "leaning into a wall" quote :)

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