It's not every day you come across a vintage machine in active duty! This Faema e61 from 1961 has been meticulously restored and currently capable of extracting espresso from the gods. Paired with a grinder they both appear to sparkle, like the pearly gates from heaven!
The very retro, very stylish and very capable Atomic Espresso Maker was created in the UK in the 1940's, made in Italy and imported into Australia from the Sydney suburb of Woollahra.
These machines had no electrical components, opting for a stove-top as the power source to create the steam required for espresso with later models adding a steam wand for milk texturing.
While they wont be suitable for regular duty and almost any espresso machine today will put these to shame with regards to consistency and quality of espresso, I think they are romantic and nostalgic. If I owned one I can guarantee it would take pride of place in my home.
Checking under the hood of the Keys Van Der Westen Slim Jim espresso machine gets your heart racing!
Checking under the hood of this beast is both a privilege and an experience! The new addition to the Keys Van Der Westen family is this highly customisable machine named Slim Jim. The options are longer than the accessories list at your BMW dealer and talking about cars, this machine costs about as much as an entry level family car at $30,000 - the fam-bam can catch the bus!
I am in love, its more than a coffee machine, its art!
Have you ever wondered what is the secret to fabulous Crema on your coffee?
You’re not alone, it’s a clear indication of the quality and freshness of your coffee, compounded by your preparation technique- and your technique goes beyond your ability to tamp consistently and grind accurately. Have you chosen fresh roasted coffee beans? Have you chosen the fresh roasted coffee beans that exploit crema such as the aptly named “Super Crema”?
The image above is of Super Crema from a Domobar domestic espresso coffee machine. Impressive huh?
When you order your coffee from Bay Beans there are a few things you should be prepared for;
1. Your coffee will be fresh roasted to order.
2. Your will receive tracking information so you can track your parcel every step of the way.
3. Your parcel will arrive faster than you think.
4. Your coffee will come packed in a box, packaged with love and with a personalised message.
5. Your beans will make the most delicious coffee you've ever tasted!
6. Your friends and family will be at your doorstep weekly to enjoy your fantastic coffee.
Let me start by saying coffee is a science, but that science is also open to creative licence. It’s an important thing to remember because what works well for me and my taste preference will be different to you and your taste preference, and what you make for your friends and family will be different again. That's why cafe barista's can have such a tough time - they cannot appeal to everyone all of the time. They will appeal largely to the people that appreciate their take on what coffee should taste like.
So, what of this science? Science says that a single shot of coffee is 7 grams and that 7 grams should yield 30 mls of espresso base from your espresso machine. Equally true, a double shot is 14 grams producing 60 mls of espresso base and a triple shot is 21 grams producing 90 mls of espresso base. that gives a coffee grind to espresso base yield ratio of 1:4 (IE 7 grams of coffee grinds producing 30 mls of espresso, that is 4.2x the dry weight, or close enough to 1:4)
That said, the modern interpretation of this has changed somewhat. I prefer to both push the single basket capacities up from 7 grams per dose to 9 grams AND reduce the yield to a ratio of 1:2. That means that a single shot of 9 grams of dry weight coffee grinds in a single basket will now produce 18 mls of espresso base, while a double shot of 18 grams in a double shot basket will now produce 36 mls of espresso base and a triple shot of ground coffee equalling 27 grams in a triple shot basket will now produce 54 mls of espresso base.
It’s important to note here that single, double and triple shot baskets are designed to both hold more coffee grounds as well as dispense more coffee liquid. The volume of the basket increases and so does the surface area of the basket base. When you compare a single shot basket to a triple shot basket, the triple shot basket has three times as many holes in the base for the coffee to extract. That allows for the same overall extraction time of a single shot from a single shot basket as a triple shot would extract from a triple basket.
All things being equal in extraction time, grind size, and liquid volume, you cannot upgrade the basket size from a single to a double (or a double to a triple) without also increasing the amount of coffee you put in the basket. Failing to increase the amount of coffee will result in a diluted version of your espresso base since more water is able to base through a larger capacity basket due to there being more holes in the basket base - it needs the extra coffee to create more resistance.
While increasing the ratio will decrease the yield, you are achieving a more concentrated coffee for the same amount of liquid, but the best part of this is you are getting the sweetest part of your extraction and leaving the more bitter half of your extraction in the coffee puck.
When you mix your espresso base with milk if you enjoy flat whites, lattes or cappuccino - you will end up with a coffee to milk ratio of around 1:5. So a double shot of coffee base equalling 36 grams, will mix with 108 mls of milk - when you add those two together, you will have a drink of 144 mls, perfect for a 150 ml cup.
The same ratio will remain for the different cup sizes, only the espresso and milk quantities will increase.
Another interpretation of the triple basket is to produce a more ristretto (held back) form of coffee base. A triple shot extraction of 27 grams of coffee will usually produce 54mls of espresso base. Holding back the last say 14 mls of that extraction will leave you with an incredibly sweet 30 ml shot of espresso base.
Lastly, if your a black drinker and want to make a great Lungo, stretch you ratio to 1:3 or 1:4 so your 27 grams of espresso base will produce 81 ml or 108 ml of espresso base respectively.
A triple size coffee basket wont fit into standard sized coffee portafilters which is where naked, or bottomless portafilters come in. They will allow you to house any size basket you like without the restriction of the base interfering with the fit. The bonus with a naked portafilter is the benefit of being able to see your extraction in progress - a fantastic training aid that is hidden in a traditional filter. You are able to receive instant feedback on your coffee distribution technique, your tamping technique and discover if any of your coffee puck is separating, or channeling to create pathways for your pressurised water to sneak through, resulting in a weaker coffee than if your water was evenly distributed over the entire coffee puck surface and pushed through the puck, taking an equal amount of goodness through to your cup. I'll write some more about naked portafilters soon.
The most important thing to appreciate after all this is to come back to what I said earlier - this science is open to creative licence. So, if you prefer 60ml from a single shot of coffee, that is perfectly fine. its a personal choice - all this information is so you have a basis upon which to experiment.
I remember fondly in my early days of business, walking the streets of Nelson Bay, door knocking to sell my coffee beans (Yes, the passion was real), one homeowner asked me about Decaf coffee and I really hadn't given it the consideration it deserved. He described the problem he had in finding a quality Decaf coffee and so my search to answer this need began.
This decaf is a full flavour mountain water processed coffee bean that rejects the use of chemicals, which is part of the problem of other decafs, combined with a commitment to use the highest quality Arabica beans sourced from some of the best coffee growing regions in the world, producing one of the best tasting coffees you ever enjoy - decaf or not.
Here are some recent reviews that confirm we made the right decision all those years ago.
"Wow. Better than caffeinated beans. Full bodied, aromatic, velvety and complex flavours. Forget other well known brands like Campos. Baybeans outshines all of them. My wife and I no longer drink other beans. Baybeans are masters of coffee bean. Thank you"
Albert, Cherrybrook NSW (May 2019)
"OMG I am so happy with the decaf coffee from Bay Beans. It is so delicious, I had to check the pack a couple of times to check it was decaf because i really couldnt tell... and I am a fussy coffee drinker. Great coffee and great service from James. I'm hooked!"
Dee Hughes, Wynnum Brisbane (April 2019)
"I've ordered from Bay Beans about 5 times and their coffee + free postage + fast delivery is amazing. Their Decaf is the best I've ever tasted. :) Keep it up! I am a very happy customer."
Fiona H, Canberra ACT (August 2018)
“Dr, every time I drink coffee, I get this stabbing pain in my eye”... 😂😂😂
I received this email from a customer who goes into great detail in describing their coffee issue with my reply below. Its a fascinating journey in the pursuit of great coffee!
On Thu, Feb 7, 2019 at 6:21 Dave wrote:
Hi James, I need some help here. I'm using a delonghi retro manual machine. I use a Bodum burr grinder. I set size to max fine for espresso. Each grind for a cup is about 8 grams. I use a stainless steel tamper diameter 3mm smaller than the basket. I usually press down hard to get a good solid tamp. Coffee beans are kept in wine bottles with air extracted out using vino wine pump and stoppers.
I take mostly espresso. Each cup of extraction is around 40mls. The crema is sufficient & very beautiful. Once started, in 7sec liquid starts to flow, by 14 sec I already have 40ml extracted. I stop, avoiding going into 3rd stage, as that will be bitter.
I think the extraction is too rapid, flow is too strong. I watched your video showing start to finish of extraction taking over 30sec. If I do that I'll get a cup 240ml of diluted bitter brew!
My espresso is not bad, but I think if I could slow down the rate of flow get longer duration of 1st and 2nd stage extractions, I may get a more flavourful cup.
I couldn't grind any finer, tamp any harder, couldn't change the basket. What could be wrong? How can I improve?
Any advice from you will be greatly appreciated. I'm trying out my first order from you. Look forward to tasting a great coffee with Bay Beans. Thanks James.
On Thu, Feb 7, 2019 at 6:42 James wrote:
Thanks for taking the time to email.
I really enjoy your detail - its a pleasure to read!
I'd say you've figured the grinder is most likely your issue here, it would be good to see a photo of the grinds in your hand and also spread on a white piece of paper.
There are also faults that can show up - a cracked basket base will look fine to the eye, but under pressure can open up a little, increasing flow. Id also like to see a photo of the used coffee puck right after it is extracted and knocked out onto white paper.
Don't worry too much about the tamp pressure, so long as you are consistent with the pressure, that is all that is required. The Italians generally grind finer and tap lightly.
One last thing I can think of is channelling, however that is difficult to determine without a bottomless portafilter. Channelling will result in a faster flow of water through only some of the puck. One way to check for that and attempt to defeat it is in your grinds settlement and tamping technique. Try grinding into a cup, then give it a good shake to loosen and separate all the grinds so there is no clumping, then pour those grinds into the basket. When you tamp, try rolling the tamp around the outside perimeter of the basket in such a way that you will end up with a slightly convex mound of coffee in the basket, then tamp (in the middle, and flat (as you normally would).
Let me know how you get on!
Chief Espresso Officer
Mobile: 0428 555 535
Voicemail callback: 02 8208 3477
[I reply to all emails personally]
Help me! How long will it take into the new year before I stop writing 2018 and start writing 2019? I’m guessing somewhere around March!! Yes, old habits die hard.
Talking about habits, it’s a great time to think about how you’re going to treat yourself this year. We get into the daily grind pretty fast, commute to work, put in a full day, commute home, fulfil our home duties and responsibilities, pay the bills, rinse and repeat!
Sure, a holiday is a great way to escape every now and then, but I am thinking about something a little more personal that treats you every month, without thinking about it - just like receiving a gift in the post from the mailman without ever having to lift a finger!
A coffee subscription will do exactly that. Fresh roasted coffee delivered every month, or week, or fortnight if you prefer. Settle on deiveries of just your favorite blend, or choose the Random Variety to receive a different blend of fresh coffee every delivery. It’s a great way to spoil yourself just a little. Go ahead, you deserve it!