I finally got around to borrowing a digital thermometer with probe the other day. By drilling a small hole in a standard rancilio double filter, I am now able to do some measurements on my Euro2000 (E-61). The first realization was that I need to flush even longer than I believed. With a completely warmed up machine I need to flush 25-30 secs to get the temperature down to 90-91 celsius (boiler set to 0.95-1.15 bar). That's where I find the Ottolina Classica coffee to taste best. By increasing the temperature I get more contrasty flavor notes, but I don't think that improves it in the straight espresso - no sugar added - role. I am pretty happy to have found the correct flush amount, and to be enjoying classica espresso that is up to par with what I get when I visit the Temperato (norwegian rancilio distributor) shop here in Oslo. Alexander von der Lippe, one of the owners, is a really good barista. I've always loved the stuff he has served me.
Another realization has been that I have been a bit sloppy with the cleaning of machine and grinder lately. This was pointed out by Alexander when we drank a mediocre shot in his shop, and he told me that it was due to a pf that needed cleaning. The flavor was similar to what I had been getting at home, a sort of medicinal aftertaste that can be a result of specific beans, but in this case cleaning. After he cleaned the pf, the subsequent shots tasted great. A thorough cleaning of my own gear, and increased flushing, has made me a happy barista. Just got be careful not to drink too many doubles too fast !
It is also cool to see that the standard rancilio 14g double filter is capable of producing great shots. 9/01/2005 09:44:00 AM