Category Archives: Tips – Tech

Ask Gail: Adjusting Grinder Burrs

Today’s Ask Gail is a special one folks. This is a direct question from our YouTube comments! Do you have a burning question for Gail? You can ask her in the comments of our videos and you might get featured on her segment! Cool, huh?

adjusting grinder burrsSo the question comes from YouTube user dan110024: In regards to adjusting to a finer grind, is the same to be said when dealing with conical burrs? We know that when going finer on a flat burr grinder we need to be running the machine so any beans that might be in between the burrs will be ground out while the burrs get closer together. If that doesn’t happen, the burrs can’t adjust properly leading to a headache when pulling inconsistent shots (and not to mention it isn’t good for the machine!)

So is the same to be said when adjusting grinder burrs of the conical nature? And the answer is yes! It is the same principal, flat or conical or whatever shape you might have ;)

And remember, after you make an adjustment you should be grinding out about a double portafilter worth (or about 18 grams) of coffee to make sure the old grind is out of the shoot! If that doesn’t happen crazy things will happen! Well, actually you won’t properly know if your adjustment is correct, but that can certainly be frustrating!

Watch the video above and chat us up in the comment section on YouTube! We always love hearing your feedback and questions! Oh, and be sure to subscribe to our channel! :) Thanks for watching!

 

Ask Gail: Which Jura Water Filter Do You Need?

Gail got an office! If you haven’t had a chance to congratulate her, now would be a good time! Don’t have any idea what I am talking about? You should check out the old episodes of Ask Gail in order to really understand the upgrade Gail got :)

Water filterWhew, now that we have that out of the way we can jump to the question. Today on Ask Gail we asked Gail (funny how that works) to explain which water filter we need to buy for our Jura espresso machines. As you know, you should be changing the water filter every 2 months in order to keep the machine happy and the espresso flowing.

But don’t worry! Finding the right filter for your machine is a whole lot easier than replacing the ink on your printer (as most things are). All you need to do is check the color cap your Jura water filter has, and match it to the new one! The best part is, there are only 2 colors to choose from! Easy peasy!

Watch the brand new episode of Ask Gail above and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel! Every time we get a new subscriber Gail gets an extra day in her office! Ok, just kidding, but please do subscribe and we will keep the videos flowing!

 

Ask Gail: Troubleshooting Water Detection Sensors

Water Detection SensorsIt is early in the morning and you just filled up the water tank in your Nuovo Simonelli or Rocket machine in preparation for that first shot of espresso of the day. And then it happens. The lights start to blink and the machine won’t run. Even though you are 100% sure you put water into the machine, the water detection sensors say otherwise. Why is this happening! And before I can even get my daily caffeine fix.

Well it turns out that the water detection sensors on all the Rocket and Nuovo Simonelli machines use an electrical current to detect if any water is present. And it turns out pure water is actually a very weak conductor. So why then do they always say not to use the hair dryer in the bathtub? Well, the ions that are dissolved in the water (think salt) act as charge carriers and allows an electrical current to flow through the water. So if you are using distilled water or water that has gone through a reverse osmosis process you have water that is pretty close to pure. So the water detection sensors won’t recognize the water that is actually in the tank.

Gail has a pretty easy solution to this issue, watch the video below to find out what it is!

 

Ask Gail: How to Adjust The Water Hardness Level

Adjust The Water HardnessThe DeLonghi Magnifica ESAM3300 might be small, but it’s packed with plenty of power and productivity-enhancing functions to deliver cup after cup of delicious roast. Magnifica ESAM3300’s digital control panel with programmable settings, built-in burr grinder and one-touch foam system help save you time, while its 7 1/2 cup (60 ounce) water reservoir means you’ll need to refill less often. Did we mention Magnifica’s self-cleaning powers? ‘Tis true, this sublime Super-Automatic includes a decalcification indicator and an easy-to-clean, removable coffee bin and drip tray.

With everything it can do, it is best to keep it running at tip top shape. Descaling when you need to and general maintenance that all espresso machines require. Knowing your how hard your water is will allow the machine to perform properly. How hard your water is depends on how much mineral content is dissolved in it. The more minerals the harder your water. You can test this level with the test strip that comes with the machine.

Once you know how hard your water is you need to do is adjust the water hardness level on the machine! (It’s a lot easier than it may sound). Watch the video below to find out how to set your water hardness level, Gail will be glad you did.

 

Ask Gail: Espresso Shot Quality

espresso shot qualityAs with everything in life, when you choose one thing you will always have give up a little something elsewhere. And that’s not always a bad thing! But in order to make an informed decision you should know what it is exactly that you will be gaining and losing. When it comes to espresso machines, a lot of what you will be gaining and losing is espresso shot quality.

Let us preface by saying that there are a lot of factors that need to come together in unison in order to create the perfect shot of espresso. Everything from the grind, to the tamp, to the humidity in your environment need to be just right for that espresso to make the ultimate list of all things delicious. So one machine simply can’t make all things come true. But it certainly can get you close.

When it comes to espresso machines you have essentially three families: manual, semi-automatic and super-automatic. We are going to focus on the semi- and super-automatics since they tend to be the most popular. The super-automatics are the one stop shop machines. Espresso at the push of a button. Super convenient for those who want it. The semi-automatics give you a little more control over your espresso shot. You have the ability to fine tune your grind and tamp pressure to just how you like it. That is not to say that super-automatics don’t give you options, but there will inherently be less.

As a result, your shots will vary from machine to machine. We think that you can pull better shots on a semi-automatic but that comes at a cost. You will be required to hone your craft in order to get that sweet nectar just right. While a super-automatic will get you close enough with little to no effort. It all comes down to what you want! That’s really the best part of it all.

Watch the video below to hear Gail’s full explanation of espresso shot quality from machine to machine. And be sure to check out our YouTube channel as well for more information and Crew Reviews!

 

Ask Gail: Troubleshooting a Panarello

Troubleshooting PanarelloOne morning you are frothing up perfect milk with your panarello and the next all you get is warm milk. What is going on?! Troubleshooting panarello issues can be difficult if you don’t know what to look for.

A panarello is designed to simultaneously infuse a small amount of air with the steam so you don’t have to do a thing in order to get that foam we all crave. Some of them do it better than others, and you end up with everything from super spongy meringue-like foam to nearly microfoam quality, depending on how the manufacturer designed the adapter. But what to do when things stop working?

Well, we Asked Gail to walk us through the potential issues that the panarello adapters could encounter. Watch the video below to find out what you might be able to do to get everything up and running again. Hint: you may need to grab a safety pin!

After you watch the video be sure to head over to our Youtube Channel and see what else Gail is chatting about.

Ask Gail: Superautomatic Espresso Machine Care

Superautomatic espresso machine careWe all love our superautomatic espresso machines. And why wouldn’t we? They make us our espresso drinks with just a push of a button and for that we are grateful. Superautomatics are so good at what they do that we sometimes forget that they too need a little love and attention every so often.

So we asked Gail to give us a run down on what we should be doing to keep the espresso flowing morning after morning.

Watch this new installment of Ask Gail to find out the steps to proper superautomatic espresso machine care.

 

 

 

Ask Gail: Can I Use Oily Beans in a Superautomatic Espresso Machine?

If we had a nickel for every time we heard this question, or a dime for every time a superautomatic was decommissioned due to this, we’d be rich (okay, maybe not rich, but we’d easily have a couple of dollars). However, we’d much rather save some machines then have the extra change jingling around!

The short answer is, unfortunately, that you cannot use oily beans in a superautomatic. Very dark and oily roasts clog up grinders and brew units over time, eventually leading to one very unhappy coffee robot. In superautomatic espresso machines, this is quite problematic, as you cannot take apart the grinders to give them a good, old fashioned cleaning. Eeeks!

If you’re looking for more info, and we know you are, Gail and Miranda have the lowdown for you. Take it away, ladies!

Tech Tips: Temperature Surfing on the Rancilio Silvia

Oh, Miss Silvia! A beloved home espresso machine among many a household, she can pull an Rancilio Silviaespresso shot like nobody’s business. However, like other single boiler espresso machines, you need to do a bit of temperature surfing after steaming your milk in order to get a quality shot of espresso. Unlike regular surfing, though, you don’t need to wear a bathing suit, so that’s pretty sweet.

Why do you need to temperature surf? Well, steam temperature is right around 212 degrees F, whereas brewing temperature is between 195-205 degrees F. If you steam your milk and jump immediately into the brewing process, you’re at far too hot a temperature for a tasty shot of espresso. Yes, it will still pull the shot, but there will be plenty of burned taste to be had!

Luckily, Gail and Brendan are here to walk us through the simple process in the video below. And let’s try to keep daydreaming about the beach to a minimum, shall we?

Tech Tips: Plumbing in a Rocket Home Espresso Machine

We hear from customers quite frequently that directions for pluming in a Rocket Espresso machine are needed…desperately! We’re not going to lie, we’ve even heard from plumbers calling in on behalf of their customers, as they are in their homes trying to complete the installation. And, on more than one occasion, we’ve had stories recounted of multiple hardware store trips and a fair amount of frustration.

So we’re here to set the story straight: You don’t need a plumber to install your plumbed in machine. You don’t need to spend hours, or really more than 10-20 minutes, on the installation. Last, but not least, you certainly don’t need to suffer through sixteen trips to [insert name of your favorite hardware store]. What you do need is to watch the video below, which is a step-by-step walkthrough (with SCG’s very own repair technicians!) of how to plumb in your Rocket home espresso machine!

They’ll even explain how to disconnect the hoses, in case you need to remove the machine for a repair or relocation, and show you the steps for programming the PID to accept a direct connection the R58. Espresso lovers, unite!