So seeing that info on the moka pots leads me to believe if the chamber capacity is about 6.5 ounces for the 3 tasse unit, actual output is 6.5 ounce minus what is left in the bottom chamber, and minus what is soaked and left in the grind....my guess is actual output would probably be 4.5 - 5 ounces. I will try to remember to make a measurement of my final output tomorrow when I brew with my 3-tasse moka pot so I can use it as a tasse reference for the bellman.
I made another 3 tasse in the Elebak the other day...I measured and got about 3.5 ounces of nice heavy almost espresso-like brew directly into a cup...after that it started to thin out as I released the next portion in another cup....I saw another moka website that lists all their moka pots as producing 1.5 ounces per tasse:
So since the Bellman is similar in principle, It makes sense to get maybe 1 to 1.5 ounces per tasse. The main difference between the Bellman types and traditional moka pots is that the Bellman can build pressure, but not near that of a true espresso machine.
I don't know if you are very handy with modifying things, but on my Bellman I added an o-ring over the shaft of the basket tube so that the reducer could sit on top of it and seal a little better there...this would help prevent a stream of water rising without going through the grounds, and may be the reason you get the watered down brew...and that is why I suggest trying without a reducer because then no tunnel exists for water to stream through.....and it is one of the small differences between the Elebak and the Bellman...the Elebak has an unremoveable reducer that fits pretty snug to the tubular shaft and it slides up or down to three different levels for the 3, 6 and 9 tasse settings.
One other thing I do, and not sure if it is making a much difference or not, but I fill the machine to the 9-tasse level with water even when I make 3 or 6 tasse....it doesn't seem to matter since I am controlling the volume with the valve anyway. The only difference I can see is that you would want to deplete the extra water if you plan on using the steaming valve because I believe it steams better without spurting water once the level gets below the spout intake for the steamer.
If you have success with your grinder and coffee when you use a regular moka pot, then the problem lies somewhere in the seals or the reducer of your bellman...I know you don't want to waste coffee making a large portion but I can tell you when I would make 9-tasse, it would be so good I would refrigerate any extra and heat and drink it later or the next day and it would still be better than many coffees you get at average restaurants. So if you don't want to try making the 9-tasse, then maybe try an o-ring or some other way of sealing the space between the reducer tube ad the basket tube to eliminate that path of water.
One other point, I use either 100% decaffe or a 50/50 mix and the taste still runs circles around everything except true non-decaffe espresso. I get whole bean Espresso roast decaffe from a place called ChocoBean in Mission Viejo, CA where they roast themselves....and I get French Roast regular whole bean coffee from Green Earth Coffee in Foothill Ranch, CA where they also roast themselves..and I have the maestro burr grinder here at home....
good luck...i wish you a great cup... and let me know how it goes!
I am enjoying a nice cup from my Bellman this fine morning. I filled to the 6-cup setting and lightly tamped my coffee with a spoon into the basket. I ran it with all the valves closed until I could get a good sputter from the steaming wand when I opened it. After that, I let it sit for about a minute.
In the interests of answering your questions and my curiosity, I ran coffee into a measuring cup. I was able to run 6 ounces before I saw it looking thin. That's roughly in line with your estimates, wouldn't you say? Maybe a bit lower. The coffee is good and quite drinkable, if not knocking me out of my socks...but maybe I'm just spoiled!
After I finished making breakfast and steamed a bit of milk, I ran more coffee just for the fun of it. It filled another 6 ounces with a dark liquid. In the name of good science, I tried a bit with some cream and sugar. It's very bitter, thin, burnt-tasting stuff. Don't try that at home!
I found as I made coffee, I had to slightly open and close the valve as I went along to keep a good flow. Next, I'll have to try either the 9-cup or the added O-ring that you suggest.
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