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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > Bellman CX25  
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canuk_guy
Senior Member
canuk_guy
Joined: 3 Aug 2009
Posts: 20
Location: Calgary
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Barista
Vac Pot: Moka Pot, Bellman, Coffee...
Posted Mon Feb 13, 2012, 12:49pm
Subject: Re: Bellman CX25
 

Back at it again.

It's been quite a while since I have had my Bellman out.  Mostly due to the difficulty in getting good results.  Some days yes.  Most days, not so much.  Anyone having any luck with their Bellman they would like to share?  I have an electric stove, a grinder and fresh coffee.  Those bases are covered for equipment.   A walk through of what you are doing and how good the results are would be great.

Cheers, Guy
aka canuk_guy

 
It's no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.
~Mark Twain
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moldyholstein
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Apr 2012
Posts: 1
Location: Central BC, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Mon Apr 2, 2012, 5:36pm
Subject: Re: Bellman CX25
 

Hi Canuk guy - brand new to this site, so feel free to redirect me if I'm asking this in the wrong place. I was wondering where you bought your Bellman? I've been trying to track one down, but haven't had any luck locally and very little within Canada. With $30 S & H plus duty at the border, I'd rather not shop US for one. Any tips out there would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Moldyholstein
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TrabucoDom
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Apr 2012
Posts: 20
Location: Trabuco Canyon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: CXE-25 , moka pots
Grinder: Baratza Maestro
Vac Pot: aeropress / french presses
Posted Thu Apr 5, 2012, 7:40pm
Subject: Re: Bellman CX25
 

I am new to the site also. I purchased a used Signor Cappuccino II CXE-25 from ebay and just received it today. It appears to be the same as the Bellman CX25 except it is an electric plug-in model.

I just started testing it today. So far the brew has been rather borderline.  I am testing using the 3-cup setting.

My first test was using the same grind I use in the moka pots  ( on a 0 - 40 scale of the grinder, I used 28), yuk! the results were weak bitter coffee. I did not pack the coffee and I left valves closed for a couple minutes after I heard a boil start in the chamber. Then opened the coffee valve.

Test 2 was using the finest grind (setting 0) my grinder could do, a pretty good powder. No tamping. Built some pressure again before opening the valve. The coffee was mediocre overall yet much better than test 1.  Still it is weaker and less flavorful than the same coffee in the moka pot.

Test 3, still used a  powdery grind but slightly coarser ( grinder setting 18), no tamping,  and followed the suggested directions by leaving the coffee valve open, the results were maybe slightly weaker than test 2.

Does anybody have hints on getting a strength and flavor equal to or stronger than the moka pots?

Canuk, I see you have been at it for a few years....what is your technique?
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,841
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Thu Apr 5, 2012, 8:03pm
Subject: Re: Bellman CX25
 

rmongiovi Said:

I can't say I've got one, but I can google.  Have you looked at this picture?

http://www.fantes.com/bellman-parts.html
Roy

Posted August 14, 2009 link

Excellent, thanks Roy.
So, Guy, the question is, are ALL the gaskets in the right place?
For SURELY, like my Cremina, the gaskets keep the pressure at a proper point, so the extraction is at higher pressure, which will produce a more "espresso like" brew.
As I remember, like your moka device, no tamping is required, or wanted.

It's the soft pliable gaskets that help the Bellman do it's thing.
Same with the Bacchi, which I bet you'd really like. VERY close to espresso , most of the time, and when you nail it, REAL espresso, crema and all.

Hope you get it sorted out.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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TrabucoDom
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Apr 2012
Posts: 20
Location: Trabuco Canyon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: CXE-25 , moka pots
Grinder: Baratza Maestro
Vac Pot: aeropress / french presses
Posted Mon Apr 9, 2012, 3:09pm
Subject: Re: Bellman CX25
 

I've still been doing some testing with the CXE-25 I recently purchased. It looks like the biggest problem I am having is caused by the 3/6 cup reducer. I have been using it on the 3 and 6 cup settings. There is an initial release of some very weak coffee with some grinds before the stronger coffee is expelled.  I think the center hole gap is too big and there is some play on the outside perimeter too. I tried putting an o-ring on the inside tube but it does not fit snug. Maybe with the right o-ring I can get it to function for 3/6 cup coffees.

So now I have eliminated the reducer and brewed a full 9-cup pot of coffee. I used the "20" setting which is half way on my Maestro Baratza grinder. On some of my previous attempts I let pressure build up before opening the coffee release valve. This time I left the valve open as the manual says. I actually got a very nice pot of coffee this time, even considering that I was using a decaf sumatra. I am looking forward to loading it up with a fresh regular french or espresso roast.

I don't know whether it is worth buying a new reducer, insert my own seal, or just using my other moka pots for smaller amounts of coffee.

If anyone has any hints for fine tuning the brew on these machines, I'd like to hear your ideas.
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TrabucoDom
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Apr 2012
Posts: 20
Location: Trabuco Canyon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: CXE-25 , moka pots
Grinder: Baratza Maestro
Vac Pot: aeropress / french presses
Posted Sat Jun 2, 2012, 8:35am
Subject: Re: Bellman CX25
 

Some updates for using the CXE-25 from my experiences so far....

It looks like the cone-shaped seal that is fixed on the shaft in the center of the machine gets brittle when old and does not seal well...it is hard to find...I have been successful with just getting a snug fitting o-ring and sliding on top of this seal.

It works better now but I decided to buy a different machine just due to cosmetic reason with this one...the person on ebay didn't disclose about cracks and chips in the base and I wanted something a little nicer looking.

So I also recently bought a Elebak which is very similar to the CXE-25...I guess the stove-top Elebak is virtually identical with some cosmetic changes but I got the electric version, and it is redesigned..it does not have the cone-shaped seal...it just uses a small o-ring on the shaft....and parts such as the coffee basket are redesigned so they are not interchangeable with the Bellman parts...for instance, the large seal o-seal that fits in the top is not a standard size and it does not use an o-ring on the rim of the coffee basket.

It makes very good coffee....even using the reducer for 3 or 6 cups....the only draw back on this one seems to be that the stem of the coffee basket is even with the top of the basket, similar to moka espresso makers....so it is difficult to take it out later after the coffee is brewed...I had to make a basket removal tool by getting a large 2-pronged serving fork and bending the prongs... then I remove the basket with it....

another slight design flaw is that the reducer is permanently installed in the basket, you simple raise or lower it to notches in the basket that size it for 3, 6 or 9 cups...the problem is that you cannot remove it for cleaning any coffee grinds that fall below it...not  a big problem, but it just take more rinsing and shaking.

For me coffee quality has been best by using a slightly finer grind than what I was using in the CXE-25. I have just the steamer valve open initially and when it starts to steam then I close it and wait about 20 seconds. Then I open the coffee valve.

What I found was most important for me to get good coffee was to not let it get watered down. The pots are not marked with levels. So, I needed to measure tass and put 3, 6 and 9 tass level marks on the pot. That is 6, 12, and 18 ounces...depending on your reducer, you want to turn off the valve when you reach one of those levels, or mark it in your coffee cup if you are brewing directly to your cup.  I like mine a little stronger so I am closing the valve slightly below those levels. If you just let it run until it is spurting steam then the coffee is more bitter or burntish and watered down but you will get more volume of coffee.

I hope my observations and experience will help others...and I look forward to any comments or other hints from bellman users!
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dukof
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Aug 2012
Posts: 2
Location: Norway
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Aug 29, 2012, 11:08am
Subject: Re: Bellman CX25
 

Hi coffee lovers!  :)

I'm thinking of buying the Bellman CX25, or other brand of the same model. But I'm wondering what is the volume of coffee that fits in the brew basket when using the reducer for 3-cup, hence the minimum?  Would be really helpful if someone could measure the inside diameter of this basket (width, and edge height with and without reducer).  

That is for the 9-cup model. I presume this is the smallest version..?

Also any views on it's performance (for making espresso) at minimum (3-cup) setting, or even attempts to make less, would be appreciated.  

Cheers!
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TrabucoDom
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Apr 2012
Posts: 20
Location: Trabuco Canyon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: CXE-25 , moka pots
Grinder: Baratza Maestro
Vac Pot: aeropress / french presses
Posted Wed Aug 29, 2012, 12:17pm
Subject: Re: Bellman CX25
 

I have the electric model which is Bellman CX25E and I have an Elebak with a very similar design.

I had my Elebak model nearby so I made the measurements from it:

Inside diameter =  2 7/8"
Center tube diameter = 1/2"

3-cup depth = 9/16"
6-cup depth = 15/16"
9-cup depth = 1 3/8"

Although the machine can make a decent brew at the 3-cup level, it is very finicky and everything must seal just right, timing must be quite good, and your coffee must be of good quality and grind properly. At the 9-cup setting it is more consistent. The 9-cup setting produces about 9 to 12 ounces of strong near-espresso brew.

My opinion after using the Bellman, Elebak and numerous moka pots is that if I want to make small portions, then the 2-3 tass moka pots make a more consistent brew. About the only advantage I see with the Bellman at the 3 -tass level is the ability to steam milk for capuccino.

Since I am the only coffee drinker at my home, my 9-tass bellman and elebak get very little use. And my 3-tass bialetti moka pot gets the most use.
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dukof
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Aug 2012
Posts: 2
Location: Norway
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri Aug 31, 2012, 3:01am
Subject: Re: Bellman CX25
 

Thanks!
Think I will look for something else, or maybe get this one just for the steamer.
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