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Stop mess around grinder and coffee machine
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Stop mess around...  
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katit
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Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 64
Location: St Louis
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri Nov 23, 2012, 11:44am
Subject: Stop mess around grinder and coffee machine
 

I have my machine (Alex 2) and Grinder (Vario) since March. I finally plumbed my machine, we love coffee it makes all is well.

Problem.. We have white countertops. Vario when I grind into portafilter likes to spray some coffee around making nice mess around.
I also have to "knock" portafilter in other part of kitchen where butcher block is (to not scratch countertop). Also, after tamping there is coffee around on portafilter that I like to blow off.

Is there special mat or tips/tricks I can use to make whole process more organized and less messy?
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__________
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Joined: 12 Sep 2006
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Espresso: Machine now fixed ;o)
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Drip: None
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Posted Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:43pm
Subject: Re: Stop mess around grinder and coffee machine
 

Espresso is a rather messy business, but yes there are a few of things you could try.  

Get a tamping mat (either wooden or rubber) to save the butcher's block and the mess and perhaps a knock box to empty the used grounds.  

Try wiping the coffee off the edge of the portafilter with your finger rather than blowing it.  

You might put your grinder on a tray (not white !) that at least won't show it up so much, and it's probably easier to clean than the countertop.
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
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Location: PNW
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Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri Nov 23, 2012, 12:57pm
Subject: Re: Stop mess around grinder and coffee machine
 

1.Take a yogurt cup and make you a funnel from it to help contain your grinds.  Nail polish remover will clean off the letters. See photo of my set up on a vario w.

2.Get a tamping mat.

Coffeenoobie: basket.jpg
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johnboddie
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Joined: 28 Nov 2008
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Location: Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: MCAL, Brasilia Mini Classic,...
Grinder: Rossi RR45a,Rocky,...
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Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Nov 23, 2012, 3:03pm
Subject: Re: Stop mess around grinder and coffee machine
 

A mouse pad works well as a tamping mat, but you'll still get stray grounds on the counter and occasional drips when disengaging the portafilter. Note that these stray wits will be on the machines as well as the countertop (and maybe the floor).

The best thing to address this is a roll of paper towels and a bottle of Simple Green spray. Although bar towels may appear to be a more attractive option, The coffee stains will be a b**ch to get out, even with bleach.

Discipline yourself to stay on top of the mess. I typically do a quick clean after four or five shots, and definitely before I power off.

Don't forget to rinse the mouse pad on a daily basis.

JB
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
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Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
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Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
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Posted Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:32am
Subject: Re: Stop mess around grinder and coffee machine
 

Grounds will get out but with the use of a tray or a towel under the grinder, they will stay kind of under control.
DO NOT KNOCK THE PF. All you are going to do is crack the puck and cause channeling. Also, don't worry about a few grounds on top of the puck, they will not hurt anything. I use a 1 inch paint brush to clean the PF into the knock box before locking.

Some crumbs of coffee are going to get away from you anyway so do your best then clean the counter after making your coffee,

 
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katit
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Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 64
Location: St Louis
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:55am
Subject: Re: Stop mess around grinder and coffee machine
 

calblacksmith Said:

DO NOT KNOCK THE PF. All you are going to do is crack the puck and cause channeling. Also, don't worry about a few grounds on top of the puck, they will not hurt anything. I use a 1 inch paint brush to clean the PF into the knock box before locking.

Posted November 24, 2012 link

I learned this trick from some video I watched. After tamping there is some grounds left inside basket on a walls (they get on machine). So, one knock after tamping get this stuff off. Then I tamp second time. I didn't notice any adverse effect on shot I get if I do tamping twice.

Already ordered mat from amazon. It is 13x10, should be about right to put grinder on and it has rubber area for tamping. Will see.

I stay on top and keep counter clean. It's when I have party at home and people line up for coffee it starts to look like a real mess :)
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katit
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Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 64
Location: St Louis
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:57am
Subject: Re: Stop mess around grinder and coffee machine
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

Take a yogurt cup and make you a funnel from it to help contain your grinds.  Nail polish remover will clean off the letters. See photo of my set up on a vario w.

Posted November 23, 2012 link

Looking at your picture I can say that I'm in a better situation. I adjusted portafilter holder so it sits even closer to the top than plastic on your picture. I guess I get some grinds falling off from a portafilter itself.
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,224
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
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Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sat Nov 24, 2012, 11:08am
Subject: Re: Stop mess around grinder and coffee machine
 

katit Said:

I learned this trick from some video I watched. After tamping there is some grounds left inside basket on a walls (they get on machine). So, one knock after tamping get this stuff off. Then I tamp second time. I didn't notice any adverse effect on shot I get if I do tamping twice.

Posted November 24, 2012 link

Well, if it works for you...but as Wayne pointed out, the risk is fracturing your puck and subsequent channeling.  If the grounds are really "stuck" as you say, to the inside walls of the pf basket (this would be from static electricity), they'll possibly get on the group gasket during the shot, but it's hard to imagine them getting anywhere else "on the machine".  The gasket is easily cleaned by either doing a loose fitting backflush for a couple of seconds or brushing it off.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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katit
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Joined: 29 Jan 2012
Posts: 64
Location: St Louis
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:26pm
Subject: Re: Stop mess around grinder and coffee machine
 

emradguy Said:

If the grounds are really "stuck" as you say, to the inside walls of the pf basket (this would be from static electricity), they'll possibly get on the group gasket during the shot, but it's hard to imagine them getting anywhere else "on the machine".  The gasket is easily cleaned by either doing a loose fitting backflush for a couple of seconds or brushing it off.

Posted November 24, 2012 link

Yes, this is what I mean, stuck to the group head. I'm too lazy to brush, but thanks a lot for other way to do it. I did just a flush and it didn't help with coffee stuck to the sides. Loose fit flush should do it, I didn't figure this out :)

Another question what do you do with portafilter? I use coffee that kind of greesy (I like it a lot) but I have to wipe portafilter after each shot since there is residue. Is that a step I can eliminate somehow?
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,224
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sat Nov 24, 2012, 12:32pm
Subject: Re: Stop mess around grinder and coffee machine
 

Ideally, you should be wiping out the portafilter basket between shots anyways, if not merely to dry it.  I rinse mine first by holding it under the group while I do a flush of the screen, then wipe it out with a bar towel before filling it for the next shot.

You should be doing a water backflush after each session (using the blind disc that came with your machine - that's the shallow basket that doesn't have any perforations).  If you bring that up to the group, and only minimally engage it, then do your backflush, the water will spill over the sides and wash the gasket.  - just wanted to clarify that to make sure we're on the same page.  After that I do 2 or 3 water only backflushes (until the water in the blank looks clean).  About once a week or so, I do a thorough detergent backflush.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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