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Moving up the ladder
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jsantaniello
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Jan 2012
Posts: 14
Location: Norway
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Jun 3, 2012, 3:29am
Subject: Moving up the ladder
 

Hi All,

A while ago I discovered the joys of espresso and started out with a super cheap DeLonghi that taught me the elementary basics. I then moved on (I won't say up...) to a Saeco Aroma which proved to be more difficult to draw good shots from. This was I believe due to the higher pressure. I depressurized the portafilter which helped (sometimes), and removed the funnel-thingy which got rid of the soap-foam, and finally fitted a dimmer to the pump to be able to modulate the pressure a bit.

I also got the cheapest Gaggia MM burr grinder.

I am to the point of being able to make very consistent shots 27 second shots, and can adjust my grind or tamp to adjust this as needed for different beans.

But it just never tastes good!

Anyway, I'm thinking about moving up a few notches. For some reason the Isomac machines appeal to me.

I like the convenience and look of the built in grinder in the Maverick Plus, but in general I'm wary of combining functionality in things in case some part works well and the other doesn't, or breaks. Is the built in grinder better than the Gaggia I have? Or the same, and I'd be fine with the regular Maverick?

Or should I forget the Maverick and move up to the Venus? In which case would the Gaggia MM really be holding me back?

I brew about 10 double shots per day, and some cappuccinos every once in a while.

Thanks for suggestions!
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AndyPanda
Senior Member
AndyPanda
Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 769
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Olympia Cremina, Various...
Grinder: Mazzer Major, Fiorenzato,...
Vac Pot: vintage Corey
Drip: AeroPress
Roaster: BreadMachine/HeatGun
Posted Sun Jun 3, 2012, 7:36am
Subject: Re: Moving up the ladder
 

I don't have experience with the Gaggia MM ... so it is possible that it is a grinder capable of producing tasty espresso ... but from looking at the specs (and price) of the MM I would not think it is up to the task.

It has been said many times here "the grinder makes the espresso, the espresso machine simply heats the water" - the point being buy a very good grinder first.  With a good grinder (and some practice) you can make decent espresso even with a very inexpensive espresso machine. But with a grinder that is lacking, you cannot make decent espresso even with the high end espresso machines.

If you have the straight walled, non-pressurized basket for your Saeco with a non-pressurized PF.  The next challenge you may be having (besides the grinder) is getting the temperature right.  It helps with these small boiler machines if you have a thermometer mounted to the boiler so you can temp surf watching a readout of the boiler temp. Without the thermometer you can be scalding the coffee with water that is way too hot or getting sour brew with water that is way too cool.

Sorry I can't give you advice on which machine to step up to - but I would advise that you include a better grinder in your upgrade plans.
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jsantaniello
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Jan 2012
Posts: 14
Location: Norway
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Jun 3, 2012, 8:26am
Subject: Re: Moving up the ladder
 

Thanks for the response. Yes, I was kind of concerned the MM was a bit too cheap to do a proper job.

What sort of price-point is required to get a grinder that is up to the task?

It's always sour, virtually no matter what I do. Perhaps too cold as a result of scale build-up reducing the efficiency?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,781
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 Sun Jun 3, 2012, 10:30am
Subject: Re: Moving up the ladder
 

Spend as much as you can possibly afford plus. A little bit more on your grinder.

 
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!
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