SeaNile Senior Member Joined: 11 Apr 2012 Posts: 13 Location: Chadds Ford, PA Expertise: Just starting
Posted Sun May 13, 2012, 12:17pm Subject: Re: Suggestions for newbie espresso maker to make great latte drinks
Just opened the B7O7 and the Vario W this am. Love the combo so far. Through about a pound of beans so far and am making a decent latte. Doing 9.5 on the weight and 20 seconds. Had to work through some really wet pucks but the drinks are OK. Can't wait to get better at this. Finding out i like a slightly weaker taste with lots of foamy milk. Wimpy I know but I'm just a beginner.
JamesPN007 Senior Member Joined: 2 May 2012 Posts: 21 Location: Southeast Florida Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: LaSpaziale S1 Vivaldi II Grinder: Mahlkonig K30 Vario
Posted Mon May 14, 2012, 12:38pm Subject: Re: Suggestions for newbie espresso maker to make great latte drinks
It is most certainly a humbling experience to be sure. The BZ07 is also a HX machine, which comes along with its own set of complexities to make the art of espresso even more challenging. Making espresso on it will become second nature once you learn the in's and out's of the HX machine. I went directly from a single boiler to a dual boiler machine, and so I skipped the HX step in the process.
If I understand correctly, you have the Vario-W set for 9.5g on the weight? Is that using the single shot basket or the double shot basket? If you are pulling doubles, you should be in the 14g range on weight, and pulling about 1.5-2oz of liquid (including crema) in 22-27 seconds. If you are getting that volume in 20 seconds from 9.5g of ground coffee, grind fineness may be OK if you just up the dose. If you are getting a lot more than 1.5-2oz in that time, grind finer.
As for beans, think about what flavor profile you prefer from your beans (mainly chocolate, mainly fruit, etc.) and check out the links below to reviews of a number of different beans. Some blends have more chocolate notes and some have more fruit notes - everyone's palate is different and only you can decide what you like best. Not a complete list by any means, but some of my personal favorites are Redbird Espresso, Intelligentsia Black Cat, Counter Culture Toscano, and Metropolis Redline, but again, what I value in an espresso may be different from you. Many of these blends are super-easy to order online, are of the highest quality available, are roasted fresh to order and shipped to your home, and are about the same price as "gourmet" coffee you would pick up from Whole Foods, Fresh Market, etc. I have found some of the above named blends available at my local supermarket, but the bags they have on the shelves are usually already stale (some as much as 6 months old), so buy with caution.
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