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Craigo5000
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Manchester UK
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Mar 12, 2013, 4:46am
Subject: Dualit Espressivo and a noob to coffee
 

Hi all,

As a complete noob, I'm just getting into my coffee. Coming from filter and straight milk from the fridge but preferring the creamy crema and smoothness of espresso and sometimes with frothed milk. I thought it was a wise investment to buy the Dualit Espressivo, 120 on offer - practically the same machine as a Gaggia Cubika Plus but with free stainless jug for the milk, tamper and 3 PF baskets. (1 for ESE pods, 1 x 1 shot and 1 x 2 shot)

I've gotten great results with the limited time I've had with this machine. I've used a pro machine (worth a few grand) which we had in our old workplace so I know the theory of good coffee but I'm here to learn more!

  1. The instructions state that if using ground coffee, I must use a "use once" paper filter in the basket before levelling with coffee. The PF metal baskets have lots of holes on the inside but only one on the outside which actually lets light through? How can this be and if it's the case, why should I use a paper filter? If the basket get's blocked, I can use the supplied basket pins to pierce the one hole on the outside again!?

  2. The crema. This seems okay, but is a little yellow. It's thick though and doesn't seem to under or over extract. Though I am using pre-packed Italian coffee which is only 85% Aribica. Tastes good!

  3. Can anyone recommend a good supplier of ESE capsules? I've found what looks like a decent place and they do a selection pack of capsules which work out at 20 pence a shot. Some of those are 100% Aribica.

  4. Any recommendations to further improve my experience from the Dualit?

Thanks
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,368
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Tue Mar 12, 2013, 8:21am
Subject: Re: Dualit Espressivo and a noob to coffee
 

Craig, welcome to CG, and I'm sorry you're having problems, but . . .

OK, first:  cold reality.  Then, we'll go from there . . .

Craigo5000 Said:

I've used a pro machine (worth a few grand) which we had in our old workplace so I know the theory of good coffee but I'm here to learn more!

Posted March 12, 2013 link

Not enough, apparently.

Craigo5000 Said:

I thought it was a wise investment to buy the Dualit Espressivo, 120 on offer

Posted March 12, 2013 link

You're beginning to realize, I hope, this wasn't as "wise" as it seemed . . .

Craigo5000 Said:

The instructions state that if using ground coffee, I must use a "use once" paper filter in the basket before levelling with coffee.

Posted March 12, 2013 link

You have to use paper when using ground coffee???  No "real" espresso machine does that.  (By the way, what grinder are you using?)

Craigo5000 Said:

The PF metal baskets have lots of holes on the inside but only one on the outside which actually lets light through? How can this be and if it's the case, why should I use a paper filter?

Posted March 12, 2013 link

You have a pressurized portafilter (ppf) basket -- guaranteed to create a "false" crema, and virtually guaranteed to make lousy espresso.

Craigo5000 Said:

If the basket get's blocked, I can use the supplied basket pins to pierce the one hole on the outside again!?

Posted March 12, 2013 link

WHAT "basket pins"???

Craigo5000 Said:

The crema. This seems okay, but is a little yellow. It's thick though and doesn't seem to under or over extract. Though I am using pre-packed Italian coffee which is only 85% Aribica. Tastes good!

Posted March 12, 2013 link

Well, if you think it tastes good, wait until you try fresh coffee.

Are you familiar with Babbie's Rule of Fifteens?  Read that FIRST, and then ask:

Craigo5000 Said:

Can anyone recommend a good supplier of ESE capsules? I've found what looks like a decent place and they do a selection pack of capsules which work out at 20 pence a shot. Some of those are 100% Aribica.

Posted March 12, 2013 link

ESE pods are, by their very nature, stale.  ANY pre-ground coffee is.  Honest.  And -- pretty much -- ESE pods NEED a ppf, or the coffee won't even look good . . .

The good news in all of this is that your machine is capable of using "real" coffee -- freshly roasted, freshly ground.  See if you can't get a NON-pressurized basket for it . . . and get a grinder!

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 656
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Mar 12, 2013, 11:14am
Subject: Re: Dualit Espressivo and a noob to coffee
 

Craig,

What Jason has eloquently pointed out is essentially true. You paid 120 quid for a toy espresso machine. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, professional, nor is it capable of making real espresso unless you were to use a non-pressurized portafilter basket, which I don't think exist for Dualit. It is NOT the same as a Gaggia Cubika. The Cubika is re-badged Saeco Aroma/Classico, which is an extremely capable starter machine, provided you depressurize the portafilter and have a decent grinder. I know this is probably not the news you wanted to hear, but espresso is an expensive freaking hobby. Really, really expensive, if you want to accurately replicate the cafe experience at home. That means minimum 200 quid on a grinder, and another 300 on a machine, not to mention making sure you have beans that have been roasted within the month, preferably no more than two weeks ago. Most of the people on this forum have spent well over 1000-2000 pounds on their setups. This amount is not necessarily for good espresso, but as I stated above, unless you buy used or fall into the deal of the lifetime, be prepared to spend 500 pounds or you're likely to be disappointed.

Don't let us scare you off. We're obsessed to the point of insanity with espresso, but we're eager to help new people out because we don't want to see them spend money on equipment they ultimately may not enjoy.
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Craigo5000
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Mar 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Manchester UK
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Mar 19, 2013, 3:50pm
Subject: Re: Dualit Espressivo and a noob to coffee
 

That's for the replies guys.

I simply don't have enough money to spend the best part of 5-700 on a machine/grinder combo. The problem for me is that I also need a machine capable of steaming milk to make hot chocolate, latte and cappuccino.

I've since taken the Dualit back as I noticed it dripped far too much and I was forever emptying the tray. I was also worried about the shot baskets getting blocked by not using filter paper (tiresome effort to make a shot)

I don't have a grinder but have daily access to an industrial one at work. A few local shops do some nice beans too so I plan on trying them out.

Because of my budget, what machine would you recommend? I could go second-hand or for a little more than I paid for the Dualit, I can get the Cubika Plus or even a Gaggia Classic which is on offer at the moment for 140. I thought these Gaggia both used a pressurized PF though so won't I just get a similar shot as per the Dualit?

How much would it cost to upgrade to a non-pressurized PF for a Classic?

Thanks
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RoyceRuiz
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Mar 2012
Posts: 116
Location: San Francisco, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Tue Mar 19, 2013, 4:13pm
Subject: Re: Dualit Espressivo and a noob to coffee
 

I hate to discourage you but without a grinder it is not worth even trying to make espresso (at least not something that is any good.  You would be better off getting a ok grinder (maybe one that is capable of espresso like a Baratza Virtuoso or Preciso in case you can afford a machine later) and brewing a manual brew method (press, pourover, aeropress, etc.)  While these do not produce espresso they will certainly make a better tasting (great tasting) drink than using pods or preground coffee.  If you really need espresso get a hario hand grinder, try to find a mypressi twist, and get a stovetop steamer.
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CharityV
Senior Member
CharityV
Joined: 8 Jul 2005
Posts: 176
Location: Oregon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Le'lit PL041
Grinder: Rocky DL
Roaster: SC/TO
Posted Tue Mar 19, 2013, 5:24pm
Subject: Re: Dualit Espressivo and a noob to coffee
 

+1 to what Royce said.

I know it can be discouraging, but I promise it really is worth the time and investment to get the best equipment you can afford. On your budget, you are pretty much going to have to choose between investing in a starter grinder (like the aforementioned Baratza options) and something like a mocha pot, or a Hario hand grinder and...a mocha pot or Mypressi Twist, unless you can find something like a used Starbucks Barista or Saeco Aroma on ebay for >$100 (sorry, I'm unsure as to the conversion for what your budget translates to in US dollars).

I started with a Starbucks Barista and Rocky doserless I picked up used, spent a total of $350, and that was pretty much the cheapest setup I could get for real espresso. It is worth mentioning that I had to replace the pressurized portafilter with a non-pressurized version in order to really get decent shots.

The truth is, the most important piece of equipment you can own for good tasting coffee or espresso is a quality grinder. By the time you grinder at work or anywhere else grinds your pound of coffee and you get it home, you have already lost most of the rich flavor profile available in those freshly roasted beans. I would invest in a good grinder first, then save up for a good starter espresso machine.
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