Top positive review
Important steps to consistent brew
July 25, 2018
Great Espresso machine and with some VERRRRY important steps, you will not go wrong. When I first got the machine, I was struggling with a consistent cup of espresso. One would be over extracted, the next would be under. After a night of research and a pound of wasted coffee beans, I have developed a process that will make a novice be able to use this machine without error.
Step 1- WEIGH YOUR COFFEE! To get a perfect double shot of grounds into the hopper, you MUST have between 16-17 grams of ground coffee. If you don't have, you will not get a consistent cup of espresso. That means you set your courseness to what you prefer, then set the amount untill you get 16-17g. I use a small weigh scale, weigh the hopper then add the grounds. Once you get the desired weight of coffee, pack it down with 30 lbs of pressure.
Step 2- The manual says it comes pre programmed for 2oz or 1/4 cup of dispensed water but it doesn't . you are going have to program the output. What I did was after I packed down the 16g of ground coffee and placed the dispenser in the group head, I placed a larger cup with a 1/4 measuring cup resting on the top. Hit the program button once, which will make the cup size selection lights blink. The I hit the two cup option. Once the machine started to drip into the measuring cup, I immediately started the timer. As soon as the measuring cup was full, I pressed the 2 cup selection again (which then programmed the amount of fluid) then hit the timer. This is where you need to waste a bit of coffee beans.
According to MOST information out there, in order to get a good double shot of espresso, you need to get a 23-30 second brew for 2oz of espresso. While doing step 2, you need to time your shot. If you are getting less then 23 seconds, your coffee is ground too course and it needs to be adjusted down. If you are getting a longer brew time or the guage reads above the espresso range, you coffee is too finely ground. I adjusted 1 stop either way until it was 16.5 g, 2oz double shot in 26 seconds.
this seems difficult but all in all, it took me 7 shots to get it down to a science.