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New Expobar Pulser
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > New Expobar...  
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MOSFET
Senior Member
MOSFET
Joined: 31 Dec 2003
Posts: 376
Location: Long Island, NY
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Linea
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Vac Pot: Hoover
Drip: Post-nasal
Roaster: Perdue Oven-Stuffer
Posted Fri Jul 30, 2004, 4:07am
Subject: Re: New Expobar Pulser
 

My first thought was what Murray said. Wait for the Rocky. I had a Braun with the Expobar to start, and it was miserable. It's not just how fine the grind is, it's how uniform. If there's ultra-fine dust it will be bitter. Also, a key element to getting rid of bitterness is allowing a few seconds of the pour to fall uncollected, as this can be very bitter. Make sure you have a backwash disc and use it regularly. The heat on the Expobar is not a problem. Just become familiar with it, and manage it, like on any machine. Preflush until the steaming noise stops, and maybe a couple additional seconds, especially if the blend is dark. I personally suggest preflushing with the portafilter in place. I don't agree with the 2 hour suggestion as I've done lot's of temperature monitoring. If steam comes out when you preflush then it's been on long enough. 20 minutes is plenty, in my experience.

Keith
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ljguitar
Senior Member
ljguitar
Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 2,805
Location: Cheyenne
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Pulsar
Grinder: Mazzer SuperJolly • Baratza
Drip: Bunn • AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor•Variacs
Posted Fri Jul 30, 2004, 5:23am
Subject: Re: New Expobar Pulser
 

myonevice Said:

--- I hope I did not waste my money buying a Rocky. But certainly everything I have read suggests you need a top notch grinder for these machines. I will get the Rocky on Saturday or Monday, so I have plenty of testing to do.  How do you like your Expobar? Alan

Posted July 29, 2004 link

Hi Alan...
I am another happy Expobar user.

You did not waste money by upgrading your grinder to a Rocky. Grinding fine enough is not the issue, it is grinding even enough. I have no doubt you can maximize the Braun and balance the grind, the amount of grounds and tamp to produce shots in 20-35 seconds. You will likely need to readjust the grind and amount when the Rocky arrives.

I use 16gm in my double baskets which  is nowhere near overfilling the basket (I can stuff 19-20gm in one). I used to use 18gm, but this spring began backing down on the amount by 2gm and the shots are tasting better.

It may well be your beans which are at least affecting the flavor your shots if not producing the bitter edge. What are you using for beans at present? How fresh are they?

You certainly don't need to warm the machine for longer than an hour. When ours is on a timer it kicks on one hour before we wake in the morning, and we still need to pull the obligatory flush shot to lower the head temp a bit. This is not an Expobar procedure but standard operating procedure for all HX machines.

Learning curve...
There have been a learning curve with each better quality machine and grinder we have acquired. Moving up in quality is not simply a matter of just plugging in the new machine and pulling shots. The learning curve was quicker with the Expobar and Rocky - then Mazzer.

Please keep us posted as you dial it in...

L  a  r  r  Y

<°)))><

 
L  a  r  r  Y          J

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JonR10
Senior Member
JonR10
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 10,376
Location: Houston, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: E61 Legend, Livietta,...
Grinder: Robur, B-Vario-W
Vac Pot: Hario Tabletop, Yama...
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: 1-lb US Roaster, Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Jul 30, 2004, 6:23am
Subject: Re: New Expobar Pulser
 

On machines with

MOSFET Said:

I don't agree with the 2 hour suggestion as I've done lot's of temperature monitoring. If steam comes out when you preflush then it's been on long enough. 20 minutes is plenty, in my experience.

Keith

Posted July 30, 2004 link

On a machine with an E61 group such as the Expobar it is adviseable to allow at least 30-45 minutes for preheating to make sure all of that metal is warmed up together and of uniform temperature.  I have my machine on a timer so it's been on for an hour before I walk up to it.  HX type machines can be left on for extended periods, so why not?  Again - be sure to clear the water in the brew path before pulling shots.  

I agree that extreme bitterness is often caused mainly by overtemp and/or overextraction .  This often comes from a lack of cooling flush and/or fines in the grind.  

Boiler temperature can also be adjusted using the pressurestat in the machine.  This would be a global adjustment you would make according to your taste.  Those who enjoy darker roasts usually choose to have slightly lower brew temperatures while those who love lighter roasts usually choose higher brweing temps.  

And of course you will find that the beans are a critical factor.  Once you have the temp/grind/tamp thing going then you will REALLY appreciate beans that have been roasted less than 8 days.  You may want to experiemnt with home roasting or at least find a local roaster who dates the beans.

And as always - best of luck!  I am very interested in how you get along with the Expobar.  That machine was in my final 2 or 3 when I was upgrading and I am sort of a fan.  Let us know how it goes - and we will be here to provide advice (good or not)...

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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myonevice
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Jul 2004
Posts: 13
Location: Maryland
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Pulser
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Posted Fri Jul 30, 2004, 9:18am
Subject: Re: New Expobar Pulser
 

Wow! Thanks for the excellent suggestions and all of the replies.  I warmed the machine up this morning for about a half hour and ran a blank shot through the portafilter to warm it up. But the grinder is probably not up to snuff - I got better crema, a nice puck, but still bitter taste.  I cannot wait to get the Rocky. I will probably be bouncing off the ceiling by the time I get through experimenting and tasting.  I currently use Peet's Espresso Forte and I go through about a lb of beans every 3 wks (they are delivered that often).  I keep the unused beans in the foil bag in a freezer bag in my pantry.  I bought a couple of vacuum canisters from WLL, though this method of storing beans has been questioned on the web.  There is a company close by called Mayorga coffee roasters that is open to the public and I will probably go over there and check them out.  As mentioned earlier in this thread, I also bought a lb of Java Joe's Kona espresso roast from WLL.  I would prefer not to experiment w/$26 per lb coffee.  I will post my results. Thanks again for the great input. Alan
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JonR10
Senior Member
JonR10
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 10,376
Location: Houston, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: E61 Legend, Livietta,...
Grinder: Robur, B-Vario-W
Vac Pot: Hario Tabletop, Yama...
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: 1-lb US Roaster, Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Jul 30, 2004, 10:19am
Subject: Re: New Expobar Pulser
 

myonevice Said:

I would prefer not to experiment w/$26 per lb coffee.  I will post my results. Thanks again for the great input. Alan

Posted July 30, 2004 link

LOL - no kidding.  :o)

My coffee costs $4 - $7 per pound green, or $8 - $12 per pound fresh-roasted here in town.  When I finally got my roaster it came with a few pounds of green coffee with unkown origin and age and THAT stuff made much (MUCH) better espresso than anything I had tried before.  I decided the roasting makes a big difference.  

Now I never use anything more than a week old for espresso.  After a week it becomes hand-me-down for my frends.  They make drip coffee with it and always RAVE about how awesome my coffee is....

SO - have you measured your approximate brweing temp yet?  
That may have something to do with the bitterness of your shots....

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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expobar
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Mar 2004
Posts: 3,003
Location: .
Posted Fri Jul 30, 2004, 10:50am
Subject: Re: New Expobar Pulser
 

JonR10 Said:

My coffee costs $4 - $7 per pound green, or $8 - $12 per pound fresh-roasted here in town.  When I finally got my roaster it came with a few pounds of green coffee with unkown origin and age and THAT stuff made much (MUCH) better espresso than anything I had tried before.  I decided the roasting makes a big difference.  

Posted July 30, 2004 link

First, let me affirm his statement, fresh roasted makes better espresso, and it makes it so you can make the type of coffee YOU want, not the type peets, hines, starbucks, whoever wants.  For instance, I really like a Citrus-like kick in my espresso, so I'm trying to make a shot with kenyan where it has enough body (so i use indonesian) but not too much acidity (so i need to get some brazilian)  but still that citrus-like kick, where the kenyan comes in.  Also, Ethiopian Harar makes a good citrus-like shot.  Now, you'd say why does that matter?  I live in the midwest, the best coffee shop is a 4 hour drive away in Chicago

Jon, are you a member of the co-op?  I got some coffee from a member of the co-op that lives in Lincoln for $2.50 a pound, got 5 pounds of columbian and 2 pounds of sulawesi for 17.50, and he was so nice as to give me a free half pound of fresh-roasted Yemen Ismaili.  Great stuff, the Yemen.  I also made an order from the west coast, it ended up to cost 2.86 per pound, and my next order will be cheaper probably because I'm doing a group buy with the other co-op member.  

Thats the great thing about no profits...

In Lincoln, if I want to buy some green, I have to pay $7.25/lb. but online, I can get better coffee for 5 dollars less per pound!
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myonevice
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Jul 2004
Posts: 13
Location: Maryland
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Pulser
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Posted Fri Jul 30, 2004, 11:07am
Subject: Re: New Expobar Pulser
 

Jon: It was recommended that I measure temperature in a styrofoam cup.  I do not have any in the house, but stuck my frothing thermometer in my heated espresso glass and it got to 165 degrees.  I think it was WLL's website that said around 160 in the cup is a good temperature.  I thought about roasting my own beans, but I think my coffee ritual has gone far enough for me.  When my wife saw the size of the Pulser (as compared to my Starbucks Barista) she had a few choice comments. Wait till she sees the Rocky.  Between my Home Theater compulsion and my espresso/caffiene addiction, I think I will leave the roasting to someone else. Though I do not doubt that it makes for a superior cup of espresso.
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JonR10
Senior Member
JonR10
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 10,376
Location: Houston, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: E61 Legend, Livietta,...
Grinder: Robur, B-Vario-W
Vac Pot: Hario Tabletop, Yama...
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: 1-lb US Roaster, Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Jul 30, 2004, 11:25am
Subject: Re: New Expobar Pulser
 

myonevice Said:

I think I will leave the roasting to someone else. Though I do not doubt that it makes for a superior cup of espresso.

Posted July 30, 2004 link

OK - at least find a source for fresh roasted nearby if possible.  Shipping takes time.  I got some very nice beans in the mail, but they went "flat" 2 days after opening (and at $18 per pound that suks).  BTW - you can get a popcorn popper and start roasting your own for a total investment less than $20.  

expobar Said:

First, let me affirm his statement, fresh roasted makes better espresso

Posted July 30, 2004 link

My pours THIS morning were from my latest blend 4-2-1 (Donkey Blend-Java Estate-Sumatra).  I made 3 god-shots in a row!  The pulls were amost completely crema and settled at 1/2 crema by volume.  Yummy!

expobar Said:

Jon, are you a member of the co-op?  I got some coffee from a member of the co-op that lives in Lincoln for $2.50 a pound, got 5 pounds of columbian and 2 pounds of sulawesi for 17.50, and he was so nice as to give me a free half pound of fresh-roasted Yemen Ismaili.  

Posted July 30, 2004 link

I have only heard of this in the last few days.  It sounds like a REAL good idea.  I have a few pounds on order already from SM's and after that I will look into it.  (I bookmarked some info about a coffee co-op).

Thanks LZ!!

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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myonevice
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Jul 2004
Posts: 13
Location: Maryland
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Pulser
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Posted Sun Aug 1, 2004, 7:12pm
Subject: Re: New Expobar Pulser
 

My Rocky arrived on Saturday, along w/a pound of very oily Java Joes Kona Beans.  They stick together and I have to force them into the hopper to get them ground up.  I played w/the grind from setting of 8 to 11 and tried to keep my tamp consistent.  I still felt I was getting bitter/sour shots.  Some were just awful.  But I kept experimenting w/the grind and then the tamp, though I stuck to one variable at a time.  I was still not thrilled w/the taste by the end of the day.  I started over and today I backflushed the machine and set the Rocky at 10.  It tasted better but I  felt the shots came out too quickly and worked down to 9.  This setting got much better tasting shots w/almost a 1/2 inch of crema on the top.   I will stick w/this setting and change my tamp a bit and add a little more grind to the portafilter and try to maintain some consistency.  Unlike so many of the other coffee geeks out there, I am not an espresso purist.  I am mostly a cappuccino person who pulls two doubles on my usual morning drink.  This means that my experience tasting straight shots lacks the depth of some of my fellow "geeks".  Because I do like it strong, I also add a couple of sweet n lows or Splendas to get it sweet.  This certainly jades my taste buds. The Kona beans are very oily and after I finish these I will go to my local roaster in Rockville, MD and pick up a lb of their recently roasted espresso beans.  All of your input has been great and I must say that the Expobar and the Rocky are great machines and easy to operate.  One of the previous posters stated that stepping up in quality is going to to require more trial and error on my part to find the right combination of beans, grind, tamp to obtain the maximum taste.  That is very true, but I  think I will find that formula in the coming weeks.  WLL has been generally very good. But they forgot to put the steam tip on the end of the wand and shipped it w/my beans and the Rocky. This was ok, but I could not get it on tight enough (by hand and it bled steam) and had to use a wrench and wrap the wand and tip in a towel and still managed to make a couple of teethmarks on wand and tip. It still bleeds a little steam, but nothing significant.  Still, I am not thrilled about a chip on the tip and teeth marks on the wand. Oh well, I will take it up w/WLL.
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ljguitar
Senior Member
ljguitar
Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 2,805
Location: Cheyenne
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Pulsar
Grinder: Mazzer SuperJolly • Baratza
Drip: Bunn • AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor•Variacs
Posted Sun Aug 1, 2004, 7:57pm
Subject: Re: New Expobar Pulser
 

Hi Alan...
Congrads on the new equipment.

You can prevent most of the beans sticking in the hopper with the Rocky by removing the finger guard from the hopper (three screws out, lift out the guard, put the screws back in.

It will keep them sliding better. Also, find a pastry brush or something to help the lonely ones which stick to the edge down in (as opposed to digits formerly known as fingers).

L  a  r  r  Y

<°)))><

 
L  a  r  r  Y          J

<°)))><
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