I think of the stock basket as a one-and-a-half rather than a double and use it to make milk drinks for my non-espresso drinking friends. I aim for 45 ml in the usual 25 to 30 second pour rate. Why waste18 gm of coffee when my friends think 11 gm is already too strong for an eight ounce glass of milk, YUCK, Iím surprised they donít ask for baby food to go with it. The triple that came with the naked filter works pretty well but I will order the 18 gm and give it a try.
When tamping, I have found that if I press down while gripping the handle I am much more likely to get an uneven, channel prone puck. The handle provides too much leverage if I don't have it perfectly vertical when I start tamping or if my wrist wiggles even slightly during the process. A typical handle press: ďOops it slipped too much to the N so I better push to the S, or was the error just east of true N? Iíll try SE to compensate. Dang, now the level looks (feels) low on the E so I better tilt the handle to the W, etc., etc., etc.Ē Each compensatory move just makes matters worse.
Now I put my thumb on one side of the base and my index finger on the directly opposite side with bulb of the handle barely touching my palm between them. I press down on both sides of the base then let go of the tamper and turn the whole portafilter (with tamper in place) 90 degrees and repeat. So I'm pressing N, S, E and W without changing the position of my tamping wrist. I wish I remembered where the tamper came from as it works very well. The base is just thick enough that light pressure applied around the rim brings the top of it level with the lip of the basket before I start the tamp. That way, Iím starting with a level puck and almost always end up with a level puck and an even pour.
pacella Senior Member Joined: 27 Jul 2010 Posts: 2 Location: Munich, Germany Expertise: Just starting
Espresso: Bezzera BZ10 Grinder: Compak K3
Posted Tue Jul 27, 2010, 4:21pm Subject: new member and new owner of a BZ10
This is really a great forum! I just signed up, to discuss my new Bezzera with you. It's a BZ10 - or rather will be, as I only ordered yesterday and the machine will probably not arrive before the weekend.
Reading all your comments, I fear that I won't ever be able to handle the real art of espresso making, but still hope to be proven wrong.
My dealer here in Germany recommended a few changes regarding accessories and from your comments I can see that this was sensible. He will add a 2 hole steam wand tip and a slightly larger basket and different tamper and things like that.
He will also reduce the pressure of the machine to 9.5 bar for me. He claims that the machine will be slightly more "forgiving" if one does that. Any thoughts on this? I can change it back myself, if I don't like it, so don't hesitate to tell me the truth.
tedegreene Senior Member Joined: 4 Oct 2005 Posts: 164 Location: JACKSONVILLE
Espresso: Bezzera BZ40 Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Wed Jul 28, 2010, 8:52am Subject: WELCOME new member and new owner of a BZ10
Glad to have you with us Pacella, the BZ10 looks like another great machine from Bezzera. Unfortunately, I havenít seen the exact same model offered for sale in the USA. I wonder if BZ has some kind of agreement with Pasquini? Pure speculation, but the Livia is built by BZ, and comparable BZ models are available, just not in the States. Whyís that, I wonder?
Donít worry too much about the ďreal artĒ of espresso. Itís actually not as difficult as it sounds from the comments. The machine you have ordered will make it almost fool proof to get good quality coffee right out of the gate. As long as you start with good beans, freshly roasted and prepped with a good grinder you will do fine. I will probably be banned from the forum for saying this but; ďIt ainít Rocket ScienceĒ. Itís much more important than that, just not as exacting.
I think the problem people have learning the ďreal artĒ has more to do with lack of patience than with any technical difficulty. They want to run before they have mastered crawling. Most canít learn to operate a manual transmission auto smoothly in a single lesson but Iíve never met a non-handicapped person who couldnít manage to do it without giving it a single thought in a relatively short time. Making a really good espresso consistently is probably a little bit tougher than operating a manual transmission, but not much.
Your short term goal should be consistency. Whether the coffee you make is spectacular or mediocre isnít as important as being able to reasonably reproduce the same taste, temperature and texture time after time. Then the fun can begin.
For example temperature surfing sounds difficult, but couldnít be easier with the BZ machines after you have a base point to judge just what differences a few degrees hotter or cooler makes. Then itís just a matter of extending or shortening your flush time and/or recovery time and seeing what it does to the cup. Likewise with dosing, grinding, distributing, tamping, changing the basket size, etc. etc. Until you can get the same cup time after time, you canít accurately judge what changing one thing or another does to the cup.
You already have a great machine on the way so my advice is to pick a dependable quality bean or blend that has a flavor you can live with for a while. Pick one particular basket to use then come up with a method to dose, distribute and tamp the same each time. Adjust the grind to deliver a certain fluid amount in a certain time frame. Then DONíT change anything until the procedure and results become second nature. You will avoid a lot of frustration if you donít try to go too fast on your journey to excellence.
P.S. 9.5 Bars should be fine and is definitely one of the things to NOT change until you are very familiar with the cup your machine produces at that set point.
Fellow Bezzera owners, I asked this question on another thread, but this looks like a better place to post. (Mods, feel free to delete that thread with no comments!)
I've had my Bezzera BZ02 for a couple months now, and have run into a strange issue. The machine was a demo unit from 1st Line, so they sent me a standard PF as well as a bottomless PF, single, double and triple baskets.
I've always pulled doubles, but I found with both portafilters using the double basket, it always gets grind around the sides of the group. I'm not overdosing or anything. I used the same technique to evenly does and spread the grind with my finger. Nice firm, even tamp. Shots are good, but it always gets an obscene amount of grind around the grouphead (like, an annoying amount that is just a mess).
Since, I've switch to the triple basket and have been going light on the dosing. The problem here is that it's hard to evenly dose and spread with a smaller amount of grind that doesn't healthily top over the PF. And the pucks are breaking apart after knocking because of the uneven distribution. Plus the shot will be more prone to those nasty jets that spray everywhere. But this is the only way the get a cleaner group without grind everywhere.
Seems that way. I am really struggling to find a good middle ground. The best tasting shots seem to be close to updosed than underdosed. But the updosed shots are messy, with the grind on and around the screen/group issue. Underdosed shots leave the screen and group clean and produce nice solid pucks, but it's so hard to properly distribute when there is less grind in the basket. And that produces uneven extraction and those nasty jets.
Thought an update on my experience with the Bezzera Domus Galatea may be of interest, as I would imagine other Bezzera machines would exhibit similar characteristics. Bought the machine around December 2009 as a replacement for my much loved and well used Silvia, decided to stick with the Rocky doser grinder as I had just replaced the burrs and was convinced it was up to the task, I was wrong. Persevered with Rocky until around mid May, the results I was achieving from the Bezzera were inconsistent and less than satisfactory, to achieve anything approaching a decent shot I was having to wind Rocky down until the burrs were almost touching and updose the double basket (19 grams) until the puck was contacting the shower screen, not a satisfactory situation. So after much research and contemplation I decided that Rocky was the weak link, I bit the bullet and ordered a Mazzer Mini, what a revelation, within minutes of setting the Mazzer I knew my decision to upgrade from Rocky had been correct, I now dose the double basket with 16 grams of freshly ground beans and and tamp lightly (approx 5 pounds) for an almost perfect shot every time. So, Rocky set to grind as fine as was possible was simply not fine enough for the Bezzera, the Mazzer Mini grinds spot on, with plenty of adjustment left to take it even finer if needed. The Bezzera Domus Galatea and Mazzer Mini are in my opinion a great combination, cant see an upgrade happening from this setup for many years.
godofgwar, If you are referring to the stock basket as a double see my earlier message regarding it being a single and a half. Does the triple basket you mentioned have a ridge to fit the spring in the portafilter? The triple that came with my naked filter holder does and it has helped me judge how much coffee a basket ďlikesĒ. Instead of up dosing or down dosing try a dose that is level with that ridge or about ľ inch below the basket lip after you apply a firm tamp. If it's still messy try a dose that is 3/8 inch below the lip after tamping. Donít expect a double shot, meaning 60ml of fluid, from the standard double that BZ supplies. Instead stop the shot when the stream of coffee turns thin looking and give it a try. Size may matter, but with espresso small is OK, even desirable depending on what drink you are making. Want it straight? Isnít it better to drink 40ml of great espresso rather than of 60 ml of swill? I think itís better to do another great tasting shot and a half rather than straining to make 14 gm work in a 12 gm basket. For an Americano, mix the short shot with 3 oz of hot water instead of 4, use less milk for your Cappas or Lattes. Better yet, get a basket that ďlikesĒ 14 gm, and another that is suitable for 18 or 21. I know you donít want to spend more for baskets you wonít use but what good can come from using one that doesnít work for the beverage you want? Itís a minor expense compared to what you have already invested. I promise, there is a basket out there that will work to make the coffee you like without the mess, all you have to do is find it. Hint: search Synesso, or just look a few messages earlier in this same thread for suggestions.
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