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Is it possible to get good results from a crappy machine?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Is it possible...  
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red4167
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 18
Location: Scotland
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jul 25, 2012, 10:09am
Subject: Is it possible to get good results from a crappy machine?
 

Long time reader. First time poster.

There is a Delonghi Caffe Treviso lying around in my house. I have attempted to use it a few times but the result has always been terrible.

My latest attempt to get it to produce something that resembled espresso went like this:
 -Nespresso pods must have decent ground coffee that can be used in an espresso machine right? Nespresso coffee ain't that bad after all (I own a Nespresso machine and it produces okay espresso)...
 -Carefully cut foil from top of two capsules, empty into heated portafilter, break up lumps with pin, tamp with plastic tamper, temperature surf, whack the portafilter in and activate pump.
 -horribly bitter coffee appears with no crema (the shot took less than 10 secs too)
Disaster.

Maybe the Nespresso machine can do something with these pods (possibly pressurised system in there) that the delonghi cannot. Maybe it has something to do with the tamper...

Anyway, the point is that I have used it a handful of times and every time, without fail, I have preduced something unspeakably disgusting and promptly put the whole thing back in the box and away into the cupboard (after cleaning of course). But! And it's a big but! I have never used proper coffee (fresh ground beans) or fiddled around with the grind (I do not own a grinder). So the question is as follows...

If I had the use of a decent grinder (say an Iberital MC2), a proper tamper, and I had some nice freshly roasted beans would I be able to produce an acceptable espresso with this little machine?
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red4167
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 18
Location: Scotland
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jul 25, 2012, 10:13am
Subject: Re: Is it possible to get good results from a crappy machine?
 

I guess what I am really asking is. Has anyone had a good espresso from a (very) entry level machine?
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,022
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Wed Jul 25, 2012, 10:32am
Subject: Re: Is it possible to get good results from a crappy machine?
 

Welcome to the forum.

I used a Delonghi machine for years, before it died and I started reading here on CG.  They are mostly very similar, though I had an EC701.  They have pressurized portafilters.  You can help your self a lot by searching Delonghi here on CG, as well as pressurized portafilters.  You can learn to get a decent espresso from Delonghi, with a good grinder.  Since you have the Deonghi already, it is a place to start.  

After reading about pressurized portafilters, you will want to depressurize it.

Get a good grinder and you can continue with it past the Delonghi.

Fresh beans of course.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,040
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Jul 25, 2012, 10:34am
Subject: Re: Is it possible to get good results from a crappy machine?
 

The wise here say they can make espresso with a cheap machine and a good grinder but not with a great machine and a crappy grinder.  The cheap machine has to be a pump type rather than a steam type.  I have never see anyone say they call pull real espresso with a steam toy. I don't know your machine. The info on the box should tell you if it is a pump driven machine.

If your machine is a pump type then get a good grinder and try.  That way you can use that grinder when you upgrade.  If it is a steam toy I would just give up or bite the bullet.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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CMIN
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,398
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Wed Jul 25, 2012, 10:38am
Subject: Re: Is it possible to get good results from a crappy machine?
 

Long as you have fresh beans and a decent grinder (doesn't have to be top notch as the pressurizer for the basket helps) than you can get decent/pretty good coffee out of a cheap unit like these. I have a Delonghi Bar32 and got good coffee out of it, won't be as good as a setup like my Crossland CC1 and Preciso, but with a cheap burr grinder it was still way better than Starbucks etc. I depressurized mine but felt it was better with the pressure attachment in as these pumps aren't powerful enough for grinding fine like you would with a good machine. So a grinder that doesn't work as well with an uplevel machine, like a $100 and under burr grinder, will be fine with a pressurized unit since that part negates the need for tweaking the grind etc. Tamping isn't as important either with the pressurized units, you should be fine with the included one (think all Delonghi's have that attachment?) or you can just pick up a cheap tamper to use.

Actually here's a vid from SCG explaining just that http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77uxyX5nwYs

You
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red4167
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Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 18
Location: Scotland
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jul 25, 2012, 10:44am
Subject: Re: Is it possible to get good results from a crappy machine?
 

Thanks for the reply!

I have read and searched all over about this machine. It is pump driven. 32mm non pressurised portafilter with single and double baskets that pop in and out. This is the model click here.

My thoughts over the last day or so have been along these lines (I have upgraditis)

-Second hand Gaggia Classic with Iberital MC2 and a nice 58mm tamper

but that's spending a lot of money which is why this question has arisen along with a cheaper option

-Iberital MC2, a nice 52mm tamper and the Delonghi that is sitting in my cupboard

The question is will that be a combo that will produce nicer espresso than my Nespresso or would I be better waiting and saving up for a nicer set up like the Gaggia Classic mentioned above or even something else entirely?
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,022
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Wed Jul 25, 2012, 10:49am
Subject: Re: Is it possible to get good results from a crappy machine?
 

The Delonghi system if pretty much standard to their home machines with the same pump and steam wands.  I thought that they all came pressurized PF, and pod option PF.  You sure that you are depressurized?  You depressurized or it came that way?

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,398
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Wed Jul 25, 2012, 10:59am
Subject: Re: Is it possible to get good results from a crappy machine?
 

]

red4167 Said:

Thanks for the reply!

I have read and searched all over about this machine. It is pump driven. 32mm non pressurised portafilter with single and double baskets that pop in and out.

Posted July 25, 2012 link

You sure? I searched and looks like that machine has just under a 53mm basket and it's pressurized, so either you depressurized it or somehow have a non pressurized basket. Here's what my filter from the bar32 looks like Click Here (i146.photobucket.com) , the little black plate up top and bottom piece on lower right is what screws together to "pressurize" the basket.
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red4167
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 18
Location: Scotland
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jul 25, 2012, 11:16am
Subject: Re: Is it possible to get good results from a crappy machine?
 

Sorry, that was a typo. It is a "53mm" basket but it measures in at 52.75 so an off the shelf tamper would have to be a 52mm.

Mine doesn't look anything like that. It looks more like this portafilter. The basket clips in and there's nothing between it and the two holes for the coffee to pour out.
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red4167
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 18
Location: Scotland
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jul 25, 2012, 11:18am
Subject: Re: Is it possible to get good results from a crappy machine?
 

I haven't modified the portafilter in any way. It seems to have come like this.
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