The boss decided recently that she’d like an espresso maker for the house. I decided that given what I spend on double (triple, quad, etc.) espressos and what she spends on lattes and cappuccinos, the payback time on our own machine might be pretty damn quick (kinda sad but damn true!).
After spending a few weeks researching espresso machines and getting to know and love the good folks at the CoffeeGeek forums, our Rancilio Silvia arrived this past week via Whole Latte Love. So now all that’s left is learning how the hell perfect espresso pulling!
My first task was to hack my burr grinder so it would grind finer.
This turned out to be relatively non-trivial, even with a guide from the Internet. Maybe I’m a bozo. In the end, I did get it sorted out. The beastie now grinds to a proper espresso fineness, although I’m not entirely sure the motor is up to the task, as it makes some impressive noises in the process! We’ll see how it fares over time. During the process of hacking the grinder, I ground a lot of coffee:
Once I had a proper grind to pull with, it was time to figure out the proper dosing (14g – 15g for a doppio) in a repeatable manner, which I think I’ve sussed.
Finally, I had to learn how to do the final tamp, utilizing the proscribed 30 lbs of force. My torque wrenches in the garage are mostly demarcated in Newton-meters, so I figured I’d use the bathroom scale to get a decent approximation of what creating 30 lbs of force with the tamper feels like. You can also see a digital stopwatch in this picture – to time the 20-25 seconds for the ~2.5 oz of pull.
At precisely 16:06 ET today, I got my best pull so far:
Yum! I was already a coffee addict. Now I’m just toast!