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My first espresso outing De Longhi EC155.
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rpavich
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Jan 2014
Posts: 13
Location: WV
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014, 5:22am
Subject: My first espresso outing De Longhi EC155.
 

Hi all,
New to the forum, just thought I'd summarize my first two days with my new Espresso Machine.

I've been surfing this; and other forums, and Youtube for a week and a half while waiting to get started.  I got a De Longhi EC155 machine, a Baratza Encore grinder, a 50mm tamper that was recommended here, and bought some fresh roasted beans from one of the resources listed here.

So this morning I started my experiment:

Step 1:
Pre-ground coffee (Lavazza)
Tamped using bathroom scale at 30lbs
Basket pressurized.

I tried several of these and this never resulted in what I see people getting from videos of my machine. No real crema to speak of..and the coffee tasted sort of bitter or sour..not sure. It flowed pretty fast and was less than 25 seconds...about 15 or so.

I tried the same thing but unpressurized the basket temporarily...the results were much worse.

So...I went to step two:

Kept the same variables as before but I changed to beans roasted by a local coffee shop here. The person behind the counter said they'd been roasted about two week prior. (and as a point of reference, I had a shot while I was there and it wasn't that great comparatively speaking...it was a bit bitter or sour like mine was)

I tried both ways...pressurized and unpressurized while keeping the other variables the same. Also, since these were beans and not preground this is where I started grinding. I started 6 clicks from the finest and dialed finer and finer and brewing until I plugged the machine up...and just got drips. It seemed that between 4 and 6 clicks from the end was the spot.

But...the outcome (while better) wasn't ever great...like I see in videos.


So the last thing I went to was fresh roasted coffee from a vendor here on this site. I kept all the other variables the same, and just used this coffee.

Pressurized:
The first shot was much better but still...not fantastic...I was disappointed. I tried a few more times and the shot didn't vary that much.

So I unpressurized the basket and tried again.

Same result...much better than the other coffees..but not a home run. I tried a few times more.


So, I put the portrafilter back together, and started from scratch. I made sure that I had all of the variables where they needed to be, ground the coffee...took care in tamping....took my time and made sure I didn't forget anything.

And lo and behold...I couldn't believe it!

An amazing looking shot with lots of crema! ...and the taste was MUCH better....not bitter...nor sour....very nice! I couldn't believe I did it!

I was starting to think that I wouldn't be able to ever get a good shot but this made me very happy....so at least now I know it's possible!


All this took about 2.5 hours before work this morning...and I'm excited to try again tomorrow morning.
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014, 6:27am
Subject: Re: My first espresso outing De Longhi EC155.
 

Good to hear!  I got a bit scared reading the start of your post I must say but it looks like you took the crash course steps to good espresso just like I did.  Your not quite there yet tho. :p  The EC155 was my started machine too.. The Encore is a good pair starting with pressurized baskets.  Once you get comfortable I recommend you mod the machine and get yourself a Delonghi unpressurized basket.  I found that depressurizing the stock basket made it bend to easily while tamping.  The rubber gasket disrupts the flow too.  

Keep buying the fresh roasted coffee and forget the pre ground and 2 week old stuff.

So down the road I'd consider cutting off the bottom of the portafilter and buying a Bar12 basket.  This will greatly improve your shot! Both the grinder and machine are very entry level but once you switch to unpressurized and dial in you will notice another big difference.  

Also if your going to experiment with frothing to toss the stock steam tip and get either a 6mm La Pavoni tip or swap out the entire wand for a Silvia V1/2 wand.  Both mods aren't hard.  I've posted it all on this thread.

Lastly with the Encore you can recalibrate the grinder to grind finer or courser with the calibration screw inside the grinder.  This video explains it.
Cheers!
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rpavich
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Jan 2014
Posts: 13
Location: WV
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014, 6:32am
Subject: Re: My first espresso outing De Longhi EC155.
 

Burner0000 Said:

Good to hear!  I got a bit scared reading the start of your post I must say but it looks like you took the crash course steps to good espresso just like I did.  Your not quite there yet tho. :p  The EC155 was my started machine too.. The Encore is a good pair starting with pressurized baskets.  Once you get comfortable I recommend you mod the machine and get yourself a Delonghi unpressurized basket.  I found that depressurizing the stock basket made it bend to easily while tamping.  The rubber gasket disrupts the flow too.  

Keep buying the fresh roasted coffee and forget the pre ground and 2 week old stuff.

So down the road I'd consider cutting off the bottom of the portafilter and buying a Bar12 basket.  This will greatly improve your shot! Both the grinder and machine are very entry level but once you switch to unpressurized and dial in you will notice another big difference.  

Also if your going to experiment with frothing to toss the stock steam tip and get either a 6mm La Pavoni tip or swap out the entire wand for a Silvia V1/2 wand.  Both mods aren't hard.  I've posted it all on this thread.

Lastly with the Encore you can recalibrate the grinder to grind finer or courser with the calibration screw inside the grinder.  This video explains it.
Cheers!

Posted January 16, 2014 link

Thanks very much for the encouragement and ideas!

Just a question; when you say "cutting the bottom off of the portafilter"....do you mean the plastic part or metal?
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014, 7:44am
Subject: Re: My first espresso outing De Longhi EC155.
 

rpavich Said:

Thanks very much for the encouragement and ideas!

Just a question; when you say "cutting the bottom off of the portafilter"....do you mean the plastic part or metal?

Posted January 16, 2014 link

Plastic.  With the Bar 12 portafilter you end up with a nice looking flush bottomless portafilter.  Here's what mine looked like.  A dremel made the cut easy. Took maybe 1 min.

Burner0000: IMAG0003.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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rpavich
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Jan 2014
Posts: 13
Location: WV
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014, 7:56am
Subject: Re: My first espresso outing De Longhi EC155.
 

Burner0000 Said:

Plastic.  With the Bar 12 portafilter you end up with a nice looking flush bottomless portafilter.  Here's what mine looked like.  A dremel made the cut easy. Took maybe 1 min.

Posted January 16, 2014 link

Ahhh...very good!

Thanks for explaining.

I ordered the basket...they are on about a 3 month back order :(
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014, 8:26am
Subject: Re: My first espresso outing De Longhi EC155.
 

rpavich Said:

Ahhh...very good!

Thanks for explaining.

I ordered the basket...they are on about a 3 month back order :(

Posted January 16, 2014 link

There are other options.  Contact Seattle Coffee Gear. The pre 2002 Breville baskets are the same but are friction fit.  There are also Canada Declonghi accessories dealers that you can buy from too.
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rpavich
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Jan 2014
Posts: 13
Location: WV
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014, 8:38am
Subject: Re: My first espresso outing De Longhi EC155.
 

Burner0000 Said:

There are other options.  Contact Seattle Coffee Gear. The pre 2002 Breville baskets are the same but are friction fit.  There are also Canada Declonghi accessories dealers that you can buy from too.

Posted January 16, 2014 link

thanks!

I emailed SCG to see if their stock would be in or if they had a suitable drop-in replacement there on hand.

Appreciate the help.
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014, 9:11am
Subject: Re: My first espresso outing De Longhi EC155.
 

If your willing to do a little hammering you can buy a La Pavoni pre millennium 51mm basket and flatten the rim for it to fit with the EC155.  They are in stock at least.  I have looked all over the place and it looks like Delonghi will ship stuff out in April or they are about to discontinue.

Click
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rpavich
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Jan 2014
Posts: 13
Location: WV
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014, 9:27am
Subject: Re: My first espresso outing De Longhi EC155.
 

Burner0000 Said:

If your willing to do a little hammering you can buy a La Pavoni pre millennium 51mm basket and flatten the rim for it to fit with the EC155.  They are in stock at least.  I have looked all over the place and it looks like Delonghi will ship stuff out in April or they are about to discontinue.

Click

Posted January 16, 2014 link

I hate to be a pain but the link went to a "millennium" not "pre-millennium" 51mm.
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rpavich
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Jan 2014
Posts: 13
Location: WV
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Jan 16, 2014, 9:34am
Subject: Re: My first espresso outing De Longhi EC155.
 

I see that on another post a person says that the one you linked to does work....so no issues..


It was a bit expensive but I ordered one...thanks for the tip!
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