Re: Things we know about espresso:  Most of what you read (from individuals) on the internet is WRONG.  Keep the steam wand spotlessly clean, inside and out, or risk food poisoning.

On May 2, 8:17 am, "'...@...&#39" <goodnews8...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Things we know about espresso:

     Most of what you read (from individuals) on the internet is WRONG.
     Keep the steam wand spotlessly clean, inside and out, or risk food
     Single shot coffee baskets do not work.
     The crappy plastic tamper that came with it does not work either.
It seems to be an Italian tradition to include one. Get a nice metal
one;  $25.00 & up.
     Excessive mineral scale from water, and coffee gunk KILLS espresso
machines, regardless of make, model or price.
     The GRINDER is more important than the espresso machine, spend your
money on a great grinder.
     Preground espresso coffee is a very bad choice.  Zero chance it will
be right for your machine, and it will all be fully stale the next
     Cheap grinders, generally costing under about $250.00 new,  are NOT
suited to making espresso coffee.
     Coffee,  roasted more than about two weeks ago is STALE.
     Burnt black, oily espresso roasts like that from Starbucks, Peets,
or bean and tea leaf really only have burnt flavors, little else.
     Choose from locally roasted coffees.
     Buy only the coffee  you will use in a week, or at most two, and do
NOT store beans in the fridge or freezer.
     The PUMP in the machine is seldom the problem.  It just gets the
blame since it makes the most noise.
     The “golden” RULE: TWO total ounces of liquid espresso in 20 to 25
     If no coffee comes out after 45 seconds, STOP, as the machine is
probably choked from an overly fine grind.  Do not run it longer, it
will be undrinkable anyway.
     Distilled or straight reverse osmosis water is TERRIBLE for making
coffee, and it DAMAGES the machine, regardless of make, model or
     “Filtered” water is not OK for the machine.  It must also be low in
minerals, but not NO minerals.
     If your machine has any electronics in it, use a good quality surge/
spike protector, i.e. the Panamax M2A20 20A Surge Protector.  A cheesy
seven dollar unit is a toy, of little value.  New electronics, to
replace fried ones in your machine, will run from $200 to $500,
     Unless your machine is rated for commercial use,  please don’t
pretend that it is. Turn it OFF when not in use.  Save the machine and
save energy.

Things we know about espresso:

     We do not care what you may have read on the internet, never use
vinegar in any espresso machine.  It is too strong and smells bad. Use
     If your machine starts to “pop” the GFI (‘fuse’) in your kitchen,
unplug and  stop using it.  You may have a water leak, or possibly
hazardous internal electrical  ‘leakage’.
     If you see a water leak on your countertop from the machine, empty
the drip tray(s).  If this continues, stop using it, and make the
     Gaggia (and certain other) machines have aluminum boilers that
corrode and rot out.
     READING the manual for your machine is always a good idea, even if
it has been poorly translated into five or more languages.

Some great places to get coffee:

Zoka, Seattle
Counter Culture, Durham, NC
Four Barrel, S.F
Verve, Santa Cruz, CA
Sightglass, S.F.
Ritual, S.F.

AND many, many others.

Sadly, many, many roasters are incompetent, and produce un-drinkable

Consider HOME roasting.  Take it from us, it is WAY easier than you
may think,     is fun, and terrific green beans are one HALF or less
the price of pre-roasted.


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