Temperature surfing the Gaggia Classic & the Hario Mini Mill Slim
Bought some Gimme! Leftist Espresso blend recently when we were visiting friends in NYC dropping off a nuptial related coffee making apparatus type gift. & Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been enjoying the Chestnut Hill Coffee Company’s espresso offerings of late & we actually rode bicyclettes all the way up that gosh darn Chestnut Hill to Germantown Ave. It’s actually quite steep coming up from Forbidden Drive (i.e. sea level) in the Wissahickon Valley to 500 feet, averages about 10% grade or more in the beginning.
At any rate, some coffee related stuff:
1) The nuptial gift was a Capresso MT500 with reusable gold cone filter. This is a pretty nice coffee making machine. The advantages over the MT600 glass model, from my research include: 1) a stainless thermal carafe, 2) fully stainless heating element system, & 3) a Portuguese temperament
I’m not actually sure if the MT500 model vs the Chinese constructed MG600 makes much of a difference, but according to Amazon reviews it does, and there’s over 300 reviews between them so I figure better to go with the older Portuguese made model.
I finally ordered my Hario Mini Mill Slim hand grinder. The nice old Pe De C’ bought me for nuptials has worked well but basically the burrs are not tight enough except for certain blends of espresso, I needed more leeway and precision on the finer burr settings. I usually don’t make more than a couple of double shots a day so I figure the Mini Mill and its ceramic burr set should be perfect and as a bonus I can travel with it.
I’ve been measuring the shots on the Gaggia Classic with an instant read thermometer. About 30 seconds after the right hand brew temp light comes back on gives the highest brew temperatures, usually in the 180’s °F. I need to either PID the machine or buy a new higher temp thermostat if I want 192 °F in my demitasse. Though the PID may get my starting brew temperature more consistent, supposedly the problem with these small single boiler machines is that they don’t have enough volume @n temperature to maintain a full 30″ shot at 201 °F (or @whatever you’re dialing in your espresso). A Swedish fellow from Stockholm managed to build his own heat exchanger / pre-heating coil using aluminum billet, to help the Gaggia maintain the temperature throughout the shot, you can read about it on Home-Barista.com. I am not sure to what lengths I’ll go for that perfect shot.