Lemoncrema Senior Member Joined: 22 Feb 2014 Posts: 2 Location: Vancouver Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Sat Feb 22, 2014, 5:17pm Subject: Normal or fubr?
I own an Oster Primalatte machine. Click Here (www.amazon.ca) First I realize it's not a brand known for espresso machine, but hopefully it's somewhat decent...
My main problem is that the machine never leave a clean and damp puck of grounds behind, no matter how hard I tamp it. It's usually a mud-like pile left in the filter cup, and if the ground was too fine, would actually have liquid remaining.
To see what's wrong, I ran the machine without putting in filter cup+handle. I expected strong steam rush out or water shooting out, but actually only saw several strings of water dripping quickly down from the brewing head. Doesn't feel right as far as I know about espresso machine.
Tried deliming by running vinegar through it, not much effects. I'm curious whether this is normal, or how serious the problem is. Is my machine beyond salvation? Any help is much appreciated!
Posted Sat Feb 22, 2014, 6:04pm Subject: Re: Normal or fubr?
Welcome to the CoffeeGeek forums, Felix.
Actually, you do not want to see steam coming from the group head - that would indicate the water is too hot for brewing. You do want a consistent stream of water though.
This machine is certainly not one of the higher-end machines, but may be capable of making espresso good enough for Americanos or Lattes.
I wouldn't worry about how "muddy" the puck is. You will not get a "clean and damp puck" from this machine since it does not have a 3-way valve to drain the excess pressure and water from the brew chamber.
How does the espresso taste? That's what's important!
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
SStones Senior Member Joined: 24 Nov 2012 Posts: 506 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 Sat Feb 22, 2014, 6:32pm Subject: Re: Normal or fubr?
I don't know anything about your machine except for what Dana just pointed out... It's a "Valvolina" or little-valve type machine, rather than one with a three-way brew valve. This means you can't back flush the shower screen (The screen above your grounds when the portafilter is in). You will have to clean it some other way. Again, I don't know your machine at all, but it should be possible to clean that screen, and if you're getting two or three jets of water squirting through it, instead of evenly distributed gently flowing water, then you want to clean that shower filter. You can leave it in place and scrub at it with a dish-brush or old toothbrush... You can remove it if the screw in the middle (This is an assumption) seems comfortable with coming out. Cleaning that won't solve all the problems in the world, but it may improve your espresso shots enough that you notice.
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