So I bought my machine a few weeks ago from Starbucks and after reading coffeegeek, I've took out the spring mechanism for the \"crema enhancer\".
My goal is to get the thick syrupy crema filled shot to do some super latte art. But after a week or two after, I still couldn't get it with pre ground coffee, so I got the Starbucks Grinder (Solis 166 apparently), and did the tweak, set it 4 stops back.
And I still can't quite get the golden syrupy shot that I'm looking for. I think I got my grind and tamp okay now, but I *think* the problem *may* be the portafilter. I've read somewhere that the little hole and the extra plastic may prevent that crema shot, so I was thinking about getting the official NPP from Saeco.
But before I do that, I figured I should post and ask for some opinions. Can somebody help me out here?
*********Will there be a difference with the official non-pressurized portafilter?********
Thank you very much. The espresso blend that I'm using right now to experiment with is Intelligisia's Black Cat.
..... on another note, for the people who did the grinder tweak, has anybody had it clog up a lot? Mine seems to be doing that, maybe I'm doing it *way* too fine.
I removed the pressurization components from my identical Saeco Aroma (aka Classico) portafilter, and while the modification in itself doesn't improve the espresso, it does at least make it obvious when I'm doing something wrong.
If you didn't also remove the grey plastic disk and rubber ring at the same time as you removed the spring-loaded pin, I'd recommend doing so, as it's just more material that has to be brought up to temperature.
These machine like a very fine grind, so I recommend that you grind finer and finer until the machine starts to choke, then set your grinder just a hair coarser.
I my opinion, you won't get great crema until you roast your own beans or start buying from a supplier that can guarantee that the beans were roasted in the last couple of days.
Thanks for the advice, I didn't realize you can take away the plastic and rubber, I will try later... =)
But I also wanted to know if there is truly is a difference between a fully \"de-pressurized\" portafilter... (ex. no valve, no spring, no rubber ring, no extra plastic...), which I modded, and an official non pressurized portafilter.