superdudeo Senior Member Joined: 13 Apr 2007 Posts: 9 Location: uk Expertise: Just starting
Posted Tue Sep 3, 2013, 10:49am Subject: Can a bean to cup machine ever compare to a manual?
I have been trying to get a good shot from my Gaggia Deluxe for ages and I've just about given up on it. I'm looking at a new machine because I believe the small boilers on these machines can make getting a consistent shot much more difficult.
So I wondered whether a bean to cup machine can ever compare to a manual machine? Thanks
jonr Senior Member Joined: 25 Jun 2013 Posts: 222 Location: USA Expertise: I like coffee
Posted Tue Sep 3, 2013, 1:14pm Subject: Re: Can a bean to cup machine ever compare to a manual?
I had a similar machine to what I think you have but upgraded to a Classic (3 way valve and OPV) and added a computer to it. A PID controller, possibly with some temperature surfing also works. Then you just need good beans, a good grinder and consistency (I would weight both the coffee and the shot).
Very small boilers (like these Gaggias) benefit from added heat during brew. Very large boilers are too flat in their temperature profile.
SStones Senior Member Joined: 24 Nov 2012 Posts: 364 Location: Canada Expertise: Professional
Espresso: Giga 5, ECM Giotto, Rocket... Grinder: Anfim Milano-Best Vac Pot: No :( Drip: Some $30 thing from Walmart Roaster: I buy pre-roasted.
Posted Tue Sep 3, 2013, 2:26pm Subject: Re: Can a bean to cup machine ever compare to a manual?
A bean to cup machine can compare, but will pretty well never be as good as a well trained human barista on an equally priced, good semi-automatic or automatic machine... Just the same as programmers could spend 20 million dollars making a robot brain that could automate a million dollar racing car... But you could tell Mario Andretti that you'll pay him 20 million to beat the robot in the same million dollar car, and he will. He has more sensors, ears, eyes, inner ear, touch on the steeringwheel, floorboard, etc. all more finely tuned than the robotic engineer can copy (At least in one lifetime for the 20 million price).
If you try a coffee from a $12000 superautomatic (Like a Faema X2) on the day that the technicians have been setting it up, you'll be impressed by how good it is (For a superautomatic)... But it will lose consistancy and won't even know it (It's just a machine). A human notices and accounts for needed changes.
I drink cappuccinos from a Giga 5, all the time when in a specific shop. They're very good, because the milk hides the less than perfect espresso extraction. I can certainly do better on a semi-auto that costs half the Giga's price (Including grinder).
A flush will generally make it too cool. Pump flow without a puck or resistance is about 10 ml/second and the boiler holds about 105 ml. You are rapidly cooling. Most Gaggia users do not flush, but hit the steam switch before brew for 3 - 4 seconds and then rest 3 - 4 seconds and then brew. I do that and then add heat with PID alarm function. You do not have the 3 way and can hit steam switch during brew and add heat.
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