eyetechie Senior Member Joined: 17 Nov 2012 Posts: 16 Location: Pennsylvania Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Mon Dec 31, 2012, 9:33am Subject: Re: 2 weeks into new Gaggia Classic
Appreciate all input. Waiting for Precisio grinder to arrive and will order Redbird preroasted. Need to at least try roasting myself, or I will be exhausted from the constant debate in my head, but more importantly to experience the result. Will start with popper first.
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 7,947 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 Wed Jan 2, 2013, 9:49am Subject: Re: 2 weeks into new Gaggia Classic
Fresh is much more important than who roasted it....... provided they did it properly ! I tried and did OK with roasting in a cast iron pan and a wooden spoon, came out great. The batches are too small for me though and if I were to get into roasting, I need to do about 5 pounds at a time and a roaster that size is expensive. I could build one but for the same reason I need to roast in larger batches, I have not done it, that reason is time.
It is fun to roast your own and very many here enjoy the process. To me, it is just more work, one more thing that needs to be done so I would rather just buy from a quality vendor.
The point is, to be a coffee geek, you do not need to roast your own, you can if you like but it isn't a requirement so if you don't like it or don't want to devote time and even more money to a whole new aspect of coffee, it is perfectly fine to not roast your own.\
Just saying LOL!
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!
Posted Wed Jan 2, 2013, 10:01am Subject: Re: 2 weeks into new Gaggia Classic
Classic, Preciso, and Redbird, a great place to start. Why roast until you are consistent with that combo and then add the variable of roast if you still want. Redbird 5lbs and freezing is too easy. I am on my last jar of frozen at about 10 weeks and it is still very good. Just reordered Redbird Blue Jaguar.
Posted Fri Jan 4, 2013, 2:13pm Subject: Re: 2 weeks into new Gaggia Classic
Like dorkroast mentioned, the pull is determined by lots of factors. One important factor I've noticed is the basket also takes part in the pull quality. I've since overused the double basket that came with my Classic, and gone through 2 other ones I got off Amazon and now I'm using these new baskets from espressoparts (http://www.espressoparts.com/EPMZ_107A) which to my surprise, do make a difference (not huge, but noticeable) in the shot. However, it does require you to adjust the grind.
So having a local roaster who will grind the beans for you is great, but the grind may be too fine or too coarse for your filter as well.
I'm about 6 months in and my espresso has gone from awful (I thought it was the bomb back then) and ever gets better by the week. Now that I've just gotten a scale, I've been tweaking my grind volume and seems I've been way off the standard 14g double shots. Barista school taught me to dose so you get a little mount at the top, distribute, level and tamp. Well, a little mount at the top gets me into the 20-21g range... which is SWEET! but I go through A LOT of coffee, thinking they are double shots.
Now that I'm weighing (until I really get the hang of it), I seem to have taken a few steps backwards. With 14g in a double basket, my puck seems... tiny and I get "mud" in the basket after my pull. Is this normal? I had to grind A LOT finer with 14g to get a 25 second, 1.5oz pull. So I suspect the mud is water that can't penetrate the puck once pressure is released. Is this normal?
It took 3 types of beans and 2-3 hours in the kitchen last night to really see that different beans will also require VERY different grind settings to achieve the 25 second, 1.5oz pull. Now with some beans, my Breville smart grinder can't grind fine enough and on some others, I have to turn it a lot coarser.
Iluvdabean Senior Member Joined: 7 Mar 2005 Posts: 1,279 Location: Kentucky Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia... Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro... Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Jan 4, 2013, 6:24pm Subject: Re: 2 weeks into new Gaggia Classic
There are three that Ive found to be great. Here they are and out of them all my favorite is Vivace, followed by Klatch and Intelligentsia . Order the beans whole and grind them with your new grinder to get maximum out of them. Plus read the new grinder instructions. My Gaggia classic has been a faithful warrior used every day for five years and going strong.
Posted Thu Jan 17, 2013, 7:34pm Subject: Re: 2 weeks into new Gaggia Classic
Overuse? That's when they get all bent out of shape, scratched up from scrubbing, holes are enlarged, and of course, too much coffee oil between the layers.
If you take a really close look at the baskets, look into the basket. What you think of as "the bottom" is not really a bottom. On some baskets, it's obvious, especially the pod baskets or the pressurized baskets. Notice the top isn't really like the bottom? That's because there's actually 2 layers of sheet metal there, and no amount of scrubbing with stainless steel or brass brush will get what's caught between there out. This will be old coffee oils, which when fresh, adds to the flavor of your coffee... but 3-4 month old coffee oil might not be so much.
You'll also start seeing coffee grounds caught in the tiny holes, and eventually they will enlarge the holes and some of them will get caught between the layers of the basket. It does happen. The pump is pressing those grounds towards the basket at around 120-130psi!
I had cut the bottom on my pod filter (since I don't use it) but I had thrown away the pieces. I had cut it out, thinking it would help me fabricate my pressure gauge, but I ended up not using it. The "bottom" did come out as 2 separate pieces, not including the basket.
Posted Thu Jan 17, 2013, 8:03pm Subject: Re: 2 weeks into new Gaggia Classic
My non-pressurized baskets only have a single layer, sides and bottom. The pressurized are double bottom wall. I found some nice inexpensive baskets for the Gaggia at espressoparts.com and partsshipfree.
Posted Fri Jan 18, 2013, 7:49am Subject: Re: 2 weeks into new Gaggia Classic
14g for a double is only a starting point that's fairly uniform across all machines. The Gaggia seems to prefer a larger dose - I wouldn't go below 16g in the standard double basket that comes with the machine, and I've been as high as 18g in that basket. With a bottomless PF and the usual supplied larger basket, the dose needs to be closer to 20g.
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