The key to making great coffee is to control all the variables. The variable that often has the most variation is tamping. Traditionally tamping was the process of compressing the grounds in the filterbasket which consisted of a few steps. First you press the coffee down, then knock the side of the portafilter to knock stray grounds loose which were then pressed into the coffee puck by tamping again. And for good measure spin the tamper like a spinning top to polish the surface. All of those steps contribute to tamping being one of the least controllable variables.
When I bought my first Mazzer it was incomplete and missed a few parts. One of those parts was the hopper, the plastic container on top of the grinder that stores the beans until they reach the grinding chamber where they will be ground. A key part don’t you think? I thought so too…
Almost two weeks ago I posted an article on my most recently bought Espresso machine, the Saeco Aroma with a couple of hidden defects. Once things were sorted out with the seller and the necessary parts were ordered I could finally get to work.
As you might have guessed i snagged up another espresso machine. I was told the machine started leaking water after being descaled and that somehow it wouldn’t switch off anymore. Having seen some of the pictures of the machine before committing to the sale it seemed like an easy fix. When i picked up the package it came in this afternoon it all went south though.
A little over 2 weeks ago i got my hands on another little project. I’ve been interested in the inner workings of espressomachines for a while now and i was looking for an easy machine to start tinkering with, preferably with as little electronics as possible. I found one on eBay that fit the bill and needed some work.
Every now and then your espresso gear will need cleaning. You wash the portafilter and baskets after every use, clean the driptray at least once every few days (i hope) and wipe down the rest of the machine every so often. But what about the inside of the boiler? You can’t just reach in with a brush and start scrubbing around. Well you could but it’d be a lot more trouble than i would want to go through. Especially on a Tuesday morning before (!) i had my first espresso.
As some of you might have seen already i’ve changed the design of my blog from the classic “Twenty-Eleven” theme to the recently released “Confit“. While Confit was originally intended for (small) restaurants etc. it does still lend itself quite good for a regular blog like mine too. The theme comes standard with a background picture displaying a beautiful glass with a beverage of some sort (sorry people i have no knowledge of alcoholic drinks whatsoever) that i changed out with a picture i took myself:
Like i said before new pictures are to be taken with an actual camera, instead of my iPhone. As it turns out the overall tone of the picture compliments the colorscheme of the theme quite well.
This might be a shorter post than the ones i post usually but rest assured i have a couple of long drafts still waiting to be buttoned up and posted.
I’ve been looking for ways to get more consistant shots of espresso from my La Pavoni Professional and one of the few things that kept holding me back was the quality of the grounds. Knowing full well that my Nemox Lux was already producing the best grounds it could, I started looking for a new grinder. I found my grail in Italy, read on for the full story.