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Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Need Help With...  
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jonbik
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Apr 2013
Posts: 28
Location: McLean
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Apr 21, 2013, 7:01am
Subject: Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
 

Hello,
    Yesterday, i got a Breville Barista Express. I am not particularly new to brewing coffee but i am new to the Breville series. I am trying to become familiar with the integrated grinder. I have been mostly using the Pressurized Double walled Baskets. There is a setting on the grinder all the way to the left just for the double walled baskets. There is also a setting all the way to the left for the amount of coffee that it will grind just for the double walled baskets. With these baskets, i get a consistent shot, but it is only average quality. Sometimes it flows a little bit fast and seems to be under extracted and bitter.  I would like to try to use the single walled baskets. The coarseness on the grinder goes from 1 (coarse) to 16 (fine). I would like to ask anyone that is familiar with this machine, what settings should i put it on for the single walled baskets? I feel like i apply a consistent 25-30 pound tamp. I think i have the right amount of coffee in it, but my shot usually comes out bitter when i use the single walled baskets. Should i just use the pressurized baskets and change the grind?
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OttoMatic
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 78
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Brewtus IV-R
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario,...
Drip: Capresso MT500+
Roaster: Cast iron dutch oven
Posted Sun Apr 21, 2013, 7:07am
Subject: Re: Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
 

How old are your beans?
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jonbik
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Apr 2013
Posts: 28
Location: McLean
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Apr 21, 2013, 7:20am
Subject: Re: Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
 

About two days old. They are Starbucks Dark Espresso Roast (oily). I don't think i will be using them again unless i have to. Starbucks coffee is usually bitter and acidic. I think i will try Lavazza Super Crema next which i have heard good things about. Do you know if tamping on a double walled filter really matters? Because its pressurized...
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Apr 21, 2013, 7:58am
Subject: Re: Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
 

Fresh beans are needed for good espresso.  The canned stuff is usable for a few hours after opening but it fades fast exposed to air.
Nothing you get at the grocery store is really fresh unless you see a roasted on date.  Not a use by date.  The only store I have found those kinda beans is Whole foods. If you know when they get their bin beans and can get the new stock they day they put it out, you can get by, I hear.

The built in grinder is not the best. You will want to leave that behind as you get better and stop using the pressurized baskets.  Until you get a better grinder I would not change to the unpressurized baskets.  The baskets help to make up for the weakness of the grinder.

 
Coffeenoobie

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

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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: 1,501
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sun Apr 21, 2013, 8:07am
Subject: Re: Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
 

jonbik Said:

About two days old. They are Starbucks Dark Espresso Roast (oily). I don't think i will be using them again unless i have to. Starbucks coffee is usually bitter and acidic. I think i will try Lavazza Super Crema next which i have heard good things about. Do you know if tamping on a double walled filter really matters? Because its pressurized...

Posted April 21, 2013 link

Lavazza is just "ok" for like a day b/c its nitro packed, but after that completely stale. Starbucks is even worse, you may have bought them 2 days ago but they were most likely roasted 30-60+ days ago.

The built in grinders are so so, not really suitable for espresso.  But if you get fresh beans you can still play with it, pressurized baskets make fake espresso but I had a Delonghi Bar32 and it was still better than anything you'd get at Starbucks etc.
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OttoMatic
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 78
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Brewtus IV-R
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario,...
Drip: Capresso MT500+
Roaster: Cast iron dutch oven
Posted Sun Apr 21, 2013, 8:18am
Subject: Re: Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
 

Well, I wouldn't think those Starbucks beans are necessarily fresh, even if you purchased them two days ago.  I've never used the Lavazza stuff, so I'm not sure about that -- it comes in a can, though, right?  I'd suggest finding a local roaster, one who indicates the roast date on the bag.  Then you'll know you're getting fresh stuff.

You can play with the PPFs, but if you have regular PFs, why not just jump right to those?  I think all the requirements of the whole process are greatly varied when using a PPF, including tamping that you asked about.  I'm not particularly strict on tamping, I'm more worried about a consistent distribution within the PF.  I probably don't tamp at 30lbs at all, and I get great shots with a normal basket (i.e., not PPF) using a bottomless PF.  

I'd guess your less than savory shots are being driven primarily by the beans.
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jonbik
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Joined: 21 Apr 2013
Posts: 28
Location: McLean
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Apr 21, 2013, 12:21pm
Subject: Re: Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
 

I disagree that pressurized baskets make "fake espresso". In some cases, a pressurized basket will make a better shot of espresso than a nonpressurized basket. Thank you for the advice about beans. I will find a good local roaster and buy beans there although it is more expensive. Do you know about the beans at Costco? The closest Costco to me has a roaster in the store so everything is freshly roasted.
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jonbik
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Joined: 21 Apr 2013
Posts: 28
Location: McLean
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Apr 21, 2013, 12:23pm
Subject: Re: Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
 

Additionally, many cafes that i have been to use Lavazza and Illy coffee and they get great shots out of them.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,501
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sun Apr 21, 2013, 1:07pm
Subject: Re: Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
 

Pressurized baskets are fake espresso by their very nature (I had a pressurized basket machine previously), reason why you can use coarse grinds and still get a "shot", although it's more like a shot of drip...they use a pressure clip to force coffee through a tiny hole, you don't even have to tamp a pressurized basket. Reason why mouthfeel, taste, aroma, are no where near a real espresso basket with real espresso quality grinds. Why their called "crema enhancers", the crema you see isn't crema more like a light film discolored b/c of the pressure through the hole (like using a water hose open and then using a handle on it causing a pin point stream). If you use preground though or have a cheap grinder (or like the machines built in) you'll pull poorer shots with a real basket vs pressurized b/c you need a capable grinder and fresh coffee, the pressure clip in the other baskets helps negate that. Real crema is the emulsion of the oils in the grounds, look at a pressurized vs normal basket in separate see through shot glasses and you'd see a night and day difference.

Friend in Chicago used to brag how good Illy and Lavazza were at a shop he goes too, wasn't a big coffee drink, but to him that was good. Till he came down and I made him some coffee, using fresh roasted Guatemalan and fresh Espresso blend from another roaster here. He was blown away at teh difference, thought Lavazza was tops, taste like crap to him now lol. Lavazza (can't remember with Illy?) nitro pacs their stuff so in whole bean form can pull just an ok shot for like a day, then the rest of the days people wonder why the taste sucks and shots are gushers... b/c it goes stale fast.

Had Costco roast too, not that good, usually burnt. You need to find a roaster local, or a place online, like Redbird, Fair Mountain Coffee Roasters, Stumptown etc. Places like that roast and ship usually same day, and dozens and dozens of other roasters like that. Anything store bought w/o a roasted on date, walk away from, it's stale, if you see a "best if used by date" like Starbucks does run away lol. But you can always try the Costco roast, too you, you may like it, never know....not sure where your located at but you can google your area to see if there are local coffee roasters around you.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Apr 21, 2013, 3:20pm
Subject: Re: Need Help With Breville Barista Express Settings Please!
 

You will get better shots with your pressurized basket until you get a better grinder.  I promise.  I also promise if you keep going with espresso and get a good grinder, you will develop your palate and the pressurized basket will no longer give you acceptable espresso.  And then you will no longer agree with this post.

jonbik Said:

I disagree that pressurized baskets make "fake espresso". In some cases, a pressurized basket will make a better shot of espresso than a nonpressurized basket.

Posted April 21, 2013 link


 
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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