jsantaniello Senior Member Joined: 7 Jan 2012 Posts: 14 Location: Norway Expertise: Just starting
Posted Sun Jun 3, 2012, 2:29am Subject: Moving up the ladder
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.
Posted Sun Jun 3, 2012, 6:36am 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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