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2 weeks into new Gaggia Classic
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Discussions > Espresso > General > 2 weeks into new...  
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eyetechie
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Nov 2012
Posts: 16
Location: Pennsylvania
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sat Dec 1, 2012, 6:14pm
Subject: 2 weeks into new Gaggia Classic
 

I'm not new to enjoying a great expresso, but new to learning the skill of brewing myself. Great progress in the past 2 weeks with new Gaggia Classic.  Bought 2 types of freshly roasted, freshly ground blends (Kiva Han House and Homer's Bland Expresso) from local supplier.  Shots were done at about 15 sec., watery, poor crema, taste not great.   Surely, the local supplier, who seems to know his expresso, would have ground the coffee fine enough.  Thought it must be my machine.  So, with great frustration, I finished the coffee that I had purchased.  In an emergency, to get me through until the next trip to supplier, I purchased Illy Medium Roast, Fine Grind Expresso.  What a difference!  25+ sec, beautiful crema and wonderful taste.  So, should I be happy with the Illy coffee, or am I missing something better? Is there another brand better than Illy, or is  it that much better and worth the effort to grind at home?    Great to have a place to go for discussion.  I find myself boring people with expresso talk.  I'm so excited about it, and I can tell by their blank stare that they don't get it,  so I have decided quit the expresso chatter, or I will have no friends. What's wrong with them anyway!
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,005
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sat Dec 1, 2012, 7:08pm
Subject: Re: 2 weeks into new Gaggia Classic
 

eyetechie Said:

or is  it that much better and worth the effort to grind at home?

Posted December 1, 2012 link

Yes, having also tried getting it ground while waiting to decide on and purchase a grinder.  Fresh is ground and used within 15 minutes.  Look around the forum, many have tried preground.

Good to hear all is working well.  You may want to consider a Baratza Preciso refurb from Baratza.com, or the Vario, depends on your budget.  The Preciso is about the minimum price for a finely adjustable grinder for espresso.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sat Dec 1, 2012, 9:33pm
Subject: Re: 2 weeks into new Gaggia Classic
 

Need a grinder and fresh roasted beans, Illy is already stale and not cheap either, so if you like that imagine fresh beans. In the other instance the place you were buying before wasn't pry grinding fine enough and ground coffee goes stale fast. I have the Preciso grinder as well, excellent for the money and acts almost step less for espresso there are so many adjustments.

Fresh beans and good grinder and you'll see a huge difference.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,734
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Dec 3, 2012, 9:52am
Subject: Re: 2 weeks into new Gaggia Classic
 

I'm glad you are excited! It is a fun and rewarding hobby.
A few things to nit pick though.

Fresh coffee is mandatory but you need a good grinder to grind the coffee with. You do not mention what grinder you have so it is a bit hard to say more than general comments but if the shots are too fast, grind finer.

Illy is stale a long, long time ago before you bought it. If you live next to the Illy roastery then I suppose you have a very good chance of getting it fresh but not so much when it has been through several wherehouses and has had a slow boat ride across an ocean. Fresh is two weeks from the day it was roasted, Illy spends that much time in a ship crossing the ocean and on the docks on each side.

Oh, and if you really want to blend into coffee circles, ....... there is no X in eSpresso ;D

Welcome to the board, read a lot and ask questions there is a lot to learn!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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dorkroast
Senior Member
dorkroast
Joined: 3 Oct 2012
Posts: 88
Location: CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Cheapo Melitta pourover
Roaster: Behmor, Popcorn Pumper
Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012, 9:10pm
Subject: Re: 2 weeks into new Gaggia Classic
 

I'll jump on the bandwagon and say that you really should get a good grinder for a fine machine.

I have a gaggia and adjust my grind settings almost every day to make the machine run the way it should. There is no way other than pure luck to buy preground coffee and have it pull great shots from your machine. Each machine requires a different grind. Each bean also requires a different grind. I switched from Brazilian to Malabar in my Gaggia and had to make a huge adjustment in the fineness of my grind to get the shots to pull correctly.

You may be able to still get some use from your pre-ground coffee by using the pressurized baskets that came with your machine. But you'll be pulling much better shots when you grind your own and hand tamp it into the normal double basket that Gaggia supplies.

I used to drink a lot of Illy myself. I realized after a lot of experimentation that it's not nearly as good as fresh, freshly ground beans. I do like the Illy cans though....

Hope it works out well for you- You can make some great drinks with your machine.
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eyetechie
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Nov 2012
Posts: 16
Location: Pennsylvania
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sat Dec 29, 2012, 6:27pm
Subject: Re: 2 weeks into new Gaggia Classic
 

6 weeks with my Gaggia Classic.  Learning a lot. e.g. how to spell Espresso (not Expresso).  Funny I never noticed that.
Thank you for not letting me embarrass myself forever.   Have tried 2 local suppliers and don't like the roast, grind is either too coarse or too fine and taste not that good.  I'm still using Illy. I think it tastes good.  Nice crema.  But, I think I'm missing out and a bit expensive.
 So, I am taking everyones advice and ordering a grinder. (Precisio???)  Advice on a good bean to start with?   Big difference if I roast myself?
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,005
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sat Dec 29, 2012, 6:44pm
Subject: Re: 2 weeks into new Gaggia Classic
 

You can finds lists of favorites on CG.  I like Redbird Espresso and Redbird Blue Jaguar.  Both are fairly easy to brew and the prices are good.  Delivery is usually 2 days after roast, USPS.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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dorkroast
Senior Member
dorkroast
Joined: 3 Oct 2012
Posts: 88
Location: CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Cheapo Melitta pourover
Roaster: Behmor, Popcorn Pumper
Posted Sat Dec 29, 2012, 8:46pm
Subject: Re: 2 weeks into new Gaggia Classic
 

You should definitely at least TRY to roast yourself. It's super simple and even starting out you can turn out some pretty great beans. A $5 second hand thrift store popper and a $6 bag of green beans is enough to get you started...and if you hate it you're really only out the price of the popper which you can probably sell easily to someone on the forum. Home roasting saves you about 50% of the price of roasted beans, plus you can roast whenever you want so you know you always have fresh beans (although about 5 days old is the best IMHO).

Buy a bag of roasted beans from a reputable roaster listed on this site- I'd recommend Redbird (or my local Vaneli's). Then you can roast your own and see how close you come to what they produced.
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erichK
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Oct 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Saskatoon, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sat Dec 29, 2012, 11:04pm
Subject: Re: 2 weeks into new Gaggia Classic
 

It would seem that going from buying pre-ground coffee to roasting as well as grinding your own is quite a leap.  We"ve been extracting our own shots and steaming milk for our own capuccinos fro a quarter century - the first fifth of that with a Gaggia, end never felt the need to roast our own beans.  However a decent *burr* grinder that lets you grind fresh beans fine enough for good expresso is essential.
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CoffeeRon
Senior Member
CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 748
Location: Tacoma Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Sun Dec 30, 2012, 8:04am
Subject: Re: 2 weeks into new Gaggia Classic
 

Here is a thread for some online coffee roasters
http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/blends/205809
Do a search and you'll find more. This ones a couple years old but still good sources.
 I was pretty new to this...hobby...obsession..?...  when I started roasting. I had green beans on the way and was still looking for a popper when I decided to drop by Espresso parts NW after work and just pick up a freshroast +8. I felt it took a lot of the variables out of something that was so new to me and I'm glad I did.
 You asked if there would be a big difference. Money wise yes there is a big difference as was said. As for whats in the cup, it takes most newbies no time to go way beyond what your getting with the Illy. A bit more practice to rival the online roasters. You have to ask yourself if that's something you want to make a part of your coffee regime. I knew right off I wanted to go there so I bought the roaster, if you're not so sure then you may want to start with one of the less expensive routes until you know. It can be as easy as a whirly pop on the stove - Sweet Marias sells those to, you might want to check out thier website for a wealth of information on the roasting subject.
 Well I've rattled on enough for now I believe, welcome and remember- enjoy the journey!
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