I spent several hours yesterday trying my skills at pulling a good shot to no avail. At least to no crema.
I started by using the beans that came with the machine which was a Guatamalan but I'm not sure they are any good for espresso. The next coffee I used was a bag of Juan Valdez Espresso that I had in my freezer for about a year(unopened).
Convinced my lack of crema was due to the coffee, I bought a can of Illy Espresso(already ground)and still no crema.
The shots start pouring around 6-8 seconds but the espresso is dark and no crema.
I'm using 14g of coffee in a double filter.
I have a decent tamper but I have no idea I'm hitting the 30lb mark.
My grind is okay as it is just the same as the Illy.
I'm using a Lelit PL51.
Any suggestions as I'm not impressed and hugely disappointed.
10 years 9 months ago - 10 years 9 months ago#4306by Troll
Do you have a grinder? If so, which one are you using?
If you don't have one this would be one of your problems. I would suggest a Rancilio Rocky in the very LEAST, but I would really suggest the Baratza Vario. It's alittle more, but this little machine is being compared to commercial grinders that are 2-3 times more expensive.
The other MAIN problem is that you're using stale coffee. All those pre-packaged beans you pick up from the grocery store (even cans of Illy) are stale. They were roasted who-knows-when. Try to find a local roaster and procure some fresh beans. That will help a lot. Quality, fresh-roasted beans are an important part of the process. You should be buying freshly roasted beans, and these beans are 'fresh' for 2-3 weeks. If you have old stale beans, no matter what you do you are not going to get a nice pour with lots of crema. Fresh beans are just as important as a quality grinder. Fresh beans are a key ingredient, just give it a try and hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised. Even if you have to burn through a couple lbs of fresh beans. Good luck!
With regards to tamping, alot of people mention 30 lbs of pressure, but the main thing to focus on is being consistent with whatever pressure you use. One way to practice is simply tamping on a bath scale.
Here is an excellent write-up for you to read if you havn't already;
Well I was going to ask that but wasn't sure it was an economical option with the shipping costs. However, I'd appreciate any recommendations you can give me both for sites and popular brands of coffee.
I live close to Toronto and get there fairly regularly and there is a good spot there called the Greenbeanery but I'm not sure now what to buy for starters.