Posted Wed Jul 28, 2004, 6:49pm Subject: New Expobar Pulser
I just received my Office Pulser from WWL. Got it out of the box, primed it and noticed the steam wand had screw threads on the end and no tip. I find that rather frustrating. Six hundred dollars and the box was not properly inspected - probably in Spain. Not a good start. It was too late to call WLL and I'll deal w/that tomorrow. I expect them to Fedex me a new tip. I have ordered a Rancilio Rocky ($250 on a price match from Illyusa by WLL) as I have read everywhere that my store bought Braun cannot grind fine enough for a Prosumer machine. I ran blank shot through the empty portafilter and then loaded a double shot and tamped it w/my new Berber Aluminum tamper and it oozed out in about 50 seconds. Poured that one into the sink and reloaded, lightening my tamp a bit and that one came out in about 25 seconds but was too bitter to drink. By then it was 9:45 and too late to start grinding and experimenting. I almost expect that my Braun can grind fine enough, but everything I have read is contrary to that. I will be up early before work tomorrow and grind up some more beans to see if I can get a couple of good straight shots. I am a cappucino person, but w/no steam tip, that is not happening. The bitterness may just be the beans and/or the grind. I feel like buying a 1/2 pound of starbucks beans just to waste in experimentation. Any suggestions on the cause of the bitterness?
I may be wrong about this, but it may be that your grind is too fine.
I just bought an Expobar Lever machine, which arrived yesterday, and am finding that the normal grind that I used for my La Pavoni lever machine is much too fine for the Expobar. With a normal tamp, the machine stalled. I use a Solis Maestro Plus conical burr grinder, and normally grind a few clicks south of the Espresso mark. Now, I'm experimenting about halfway between "Espresso" and "Drip" and getting better results.
Of course, with a pump machine, the tamp and the grind are intimately related. Less of one and more of the other will yield comparable results, at least that's the theory.
If your Braun is a blade grinder, then the problem is not just the grind, but the unevenness of the grind, with a lot of dust, as well as increased heat, which will adversely affect the taste as well.
I'm not convinced that you need a Rocky to grind for the Expobar. Maybe I just have a good Maestro Plus, but so far I can grind plenty fine (and with adjustment room to spare), and it's only $149. However, check with me in a week or two, as I get more experience with this puppy.
Michael: I have a Braun Burr grinder and I adjusted my grind this morning and the brew poured out in 10-15 seconds. It was rather bitter. I will adjust it again and try tomorrow morning. It may also be my beans. Besides the tamp and the grind, I have read that the beans make a difference as well. I was not impressed by the crema this morning or lack thereof. 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
I just received my Office Pulser from WWL... my store bought Braun cannot grind fine enough for a Prosumer machine. I ran blank shot through the empty portafilter and then loaded a double shot and tamped it w/my new Berber Aluminum tamper and it oozed out in about 50 seconds. Poured that one into the sink and reloaded, lightening my tamp a bit and that one came out in about 25 seconds but was too bitter to drink...?
Time to thoroughly research your new machine. Bitterness and sourness are two tastes you need to get familiar with and differentiate. Each taste means something different. You probably can't come to any conclusions using a Braun grinder, though... but chances are you're brewing too hot. Setting the pressurestat in your machine is well-documented, so get a good grinder (critical, sorry), then evaluate.
Gourmetguy: I pulled another shot this evening after adjusting the grind (again) and it came out in 24 seconds, but was still bitter - or sour, now that you mention it. I did not stick a thermometer in it but will do so for my morning shot. What temperature is optimum? I have also seen a couple of threads about the Expobars running too hot. I will get my Rocky (hopefully this weekend) and I ordered a lb of Kona Espresso Roast by Java Joe from WLL. I'll see if that also makes a difference.
Try Vivace beans and check the temperature. 203 F or 95 C is ideal in my experience. I had and returned an Expobar because it was too hot and after I adjusted brew temp the steam was too low. Probaly just me or my limited experience. I now have an S-1 and I don't have that problem anymore. Plenty of steam and temp is spot on. By the way, I have never been able to detect much if any difference from tamp pressure. You will see a much greater difference based on the amount of coffee in the PF. Others with more experience seem to confirm that.
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