Thank you very much, James. I have been drinking your Espresso beans, and am very satisfied with the result. My machine is a Sunbeam Mini Barista and the grinder is a Sunbeam conical-burr. I realise the limitations of this setup. For example, when I fitted a non-pressurised filter basket, the coffee has no crema and the taste is nowhere near as good as when using the original pressurised basket, even when I lower the grind all the way to setting 1.
Thanks for your email.
You’re on the right track I think - the grinder is grinding a little too coarse for your machine and flavour preference.
There are things you can do without spending money just yet.
One thing you can do is upside your coffee by a gram or two, another is to tamp more firmly. Check that your tamp fits the portafilter fairly tightly - if not, tamping on the edges can be the weak point. To get around that, try rolling the ramp around the edges softly before doing a tamp. It will put pressure on the sides and help with your overall tamp.
The last thing you can do is a modification to the grinder. Sunbeam grinders are all built to a tolerance, so one setting on one grinder can be different to the same setting on another grinder. The end result is your not able to grind to the maximum fineness that the machine is capable of.
Imagine that when you adjust the grinder settings, You are bringing the two groaning burrs closer together. At the maximum setting, the green burrs are still not close enough. The modification comes in to play by doing the following. By removing the grinder Beccaria you will have access to the grinding the main grinding burr. That burr is held on with a hex nut. By removing the nut and also the Berger you can add a thin shim/washer, which one reassembled will force the birds to come closer together at the same setting as previous. Of course make sure your machine is disconnected from the power before attempting to do any maintenance, also be aware that the bird will now be closer, and potentially so close that it will meet the face of the carrier burr, So keep an ear open for when you first adjust the grinder settings from maximum to minimum and back off if you hear any metal to metal contact on the finer settings. There was a Sunbeam technical bulletin about this a number of years ago-if you search Google, I’m sure you’ll find it.
I hope that helps
James Axisa - 0428 555 535. Chief Espresso Officer - baybeans.com.au