I ordered the non-plumbed-in version on March 1 and haven't gotten the delivery yet. I did get an email without detailed information that UPS is delivering something today, so maybe that is it (1st line did say they would call before shipping though). I am looking forward to contributing to this thread and was pleased to read the initial impressions. Thanks to Mark (in advance) for the 2006 awards and making this a possibility.
Congrats on your new machine.... I read your review and am glad you are happy with the Bezzera, information has been somwhat sparse on this machine but growing. As you likely already know, it is the Livia 90 guts in a different shell.
Regarding the steam, yes it is funny how the steam from a big commercial machine can look weak (compared to small home machine), when in actuality you have huge volumes of good dry steam. I would recommend you plug a hole or two in the steam tip with a broken off toothpick while you learn... you want to try to give yourself 15secs or more so that you can develop soem sweetness in the milk.
I know it's a new machine and I know you are getting your feet wet, but some comments on your video:
Espresso quality for the home barista is a ever moving target.... you will find that what you may like today, may be destined for the sink in a few weeks/months.
Now that you are a "coffeegeek", time for some critique.
Your crema was very pale and thin, and indication of overextraction or channeling. The streams also looked quite watery.
First, not knowing if you had fresh coffee or not, if not, you need to get some.
Second, I think you need to grind a lot finer, and potentialy use a bit less coffee to control the shot time... you were getting a stream almost instantly after turning on the pump. While this varies form machine to machine... it should at least take a few seconds before the first drops appear. It should start slow and then build up flow rate and when you see it go pale or thin/watery, you stop the shot.
I highly recommend that you invest in a bottomless portafilter for you machine if you do not have one yet... it is an indispensible tool for troubleshooting and learning when you first get started. Optionally, you may also wish to try some different portafilter baskets if you like to play around.... different baskets work well for different volumes of coffee. An inexpensive 0.1g digital scale is also most helpful when learning. Personally, I recommend weighing the ground beans in the basket.
If you have not read about the WDT method, you should. IMHO, the Rocky really benefits from it. http://www.home-barista.com/weiss-distribution-technique.html
Thanks jesawdy. I agree with your comments that the shot was not as good as it could be and appreciate some of your tips. I get a really good shot that fits your ideal description every 10 or so shots. Clearly, I need to hone in my skills to get better consistency. A naked portafilter is my next step.
BTW...is the awful whiney noise / screech normal on this machine when pulling a shot? Sounds terrible when pulling a shot but sounds “normal” when pulling a blank shot.
I am going to take another video when I get better results for more critique.
Mmm, no. Mine certainly doesn't make any noise like that. I'd expect cups to make the same noise whether you're pulling a real shot or pulling a blank. But it certainly wouldn't hurt to take down the cups and the perforated tray they sit on the see if the sound goes away.
Does your video have audio (I can't get the video from work)?
Jeff makes some excellent points. Allow me to reinforce his suggestions of freshly roasted coffee, a bottomless portafilter, and experimentation with dose and grind settings. It should take several seconds for the first drops of espresso to appear, and you should see a lot more crema (see below).
I'd also suggest you recheck how long it takes to froth milk.
The BZ02 is a power house when it comes to steam production and frothing power. The first time I turned on the steam wand I was very disappointed…it just did not produce a lot of steam. I poured about 12 oz of milk in my pitcher which usually takes about 60 to 90 seconds to get up to 155 degrees on the Estro. Well, that same amount on milk on the BZ02 takes LESS THAN 10 SECONDS. Yes, you read that right…less than 10 seconds to get 12oz of milk to 155 degrees.
No offense, but the claim of under 10 seconds for 12 ounces is kinda hard to believe. Mark Prince says about the steaming ability of the VBM Domobar Super:
This is one area where the machine absolutely shines. It's one of the fastest steaming machines I've ever tested, and that includes the La Marzocco Linea 110V machine I had, and the current La Marzocco GS3 I'm testing. The three hole tip packs enough punch to get 6oz of milk from 40F to 155F in 12 seconds... Even doing 10, 12oz in a 20oz pitcher is fast - about 20 seconds or less.
That is fast. A variety of machines with much larger boilers than the BZ02 have been reviewed on Home-Barista, and steaming times for 12 ounces are much longer. The Elektra A3, with a 6L boiler and 2000W heating element, leads the pack at 34 seconds.
If your stated frothing times are accurate, then you might want to check your boiler pressure. It's probably a bit on the high side. :-) ____ John
I have heard that the Bezzera has a lot of steam power, and the stock tip makes it hard to steam milk in a controlled manner. I think most people switch to a tip with smaller holes like the Gold Pro 2 from 1st Line. Still, 12 ounces in ten seconds is very hard to believe. That's comparable to a full-size commercial machine isn't it? I doubt you're going to get that much steam from a 1.5 liter boiler.
In any event, you may want to consider getting a smaller tip to give you better control over steaming and slow the process down a bit. I got the two-hole tip from espressoparts.com and it works great for microfoam.
Congrats on the new machine, by the way. I nearly got one of those myself, but my wife preferred the classic chrome looks of the Quickmill Anita, so that's what we got. Let us know how things go with your new machine.
My bezzera was delivered with the boiler setting @ 1.2 bar & the OPV basically locked (it would not pop with the blind filter in place)
I have had over a year to mess with mine, I currently have the boiler @ .95 bar & the OPV at about 11 bar
I use a LM triple basket w/ 21.5 gr, I grind a little finer & tamp rather lightly, this combo puts the tamped coffee right on the spring line. my little tamping method is weird but extremely consistent.
I have never run low on steam nor have I been able to get ahead of the machine, even with pre filled & tamped baskets ( but I only have six)
I have not timed 12 oz of milk but 30 seconds is a ball park guess, I have never even wished for more steam, I am still using the 4 hole tip.
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