hotdoc212 Senior Member Joined: 31 May 2014 Posts: 6 Location: Scottsdale, AZ Expertise: Just starting
Posted Sat May 31, 2014, 5:07pm Subject: College student on a budget..NEED HELP
First post! Hi, I have a DeLonghi EC155 and a recently purchased Capresso infinity (can still return) and am having a little trouble pulling good shots. I'm using freshly roasted local beans from Cartel Coffee and am getting crema every time. However, its rather light. The crema isn't that dark (the coffee is a med. roast). However, my problem is that the espresso shot nearly clogs the machine every time. It takes a good 35 seconds to pull a double shot. Any ideas? I want to grind coarser but I loose crema then. As far as the grinder goes...people online say it doesn't grind fine enough, but I'm 4 clicks form the finest setting and its taking 35 seconds, so this should suffice correct? Thanks
Posted Sat May 31, 2014, 5:47pm Subject: Re: College student on a budget..NEED HELP
So, a number of issues. The Delonghi is a solid machine for a beginner on a budget but you will need to address the presurized portafilter basket. essentially the machine creates fake crema by forcing the espresso through a single hole on the bottom of the basket. You can use old crap coffee ground under your foot and still get "crema." The fix is to find a non-pressurized basket that fits your machine. This is also why its taking so long when you grind finely. It will also alter the taste of your coffee.
The grinder is not an espresso capable grinder, no matter what it says. Return it, look into other options. The low budget range for espresso is at least $200 new. You have the lelit pl-53, the Ascaso i-mini, the gaggia mdf, the rancillio rocky, and a few other contenders. The grinder is the single most important determinant in coffee flavor outside of the beans. the machine is just a hot water pump.
When I started out, (also while an undergrad) I had a shitty steam toy that I eventually swapped out for a krups xp4030 (very similar to your delonghi). I put off getting a grinder for a year, but man when I did (an Ascaso I-1D) it totally changed everything. Finally I was getting cafe quality shots. I've since moved on to bigger things, but I cannot tell you in words how significant an upgrade that grinder was.
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