Just ordered a new Mini

Post general questions about operation of your new Mini here. Due to many similarities with the original VII you should also check the VII forum.
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sdreefers

Just ordered a new Mini

Post by sdreefers » Sun Mar 30, 2008 5:01 pm

Well, I just purchased a new Mini from hitechespresso.com and am super excited to get it! I talked with Dave for quite a while trying to decide what machine was best for me. In the end it was the Mini with mazzer mini combo that was what I decided to go with! I can't wait to get it open and start using it! I read a ton of information on here and just wanted to say thanks to everyone for helping make my decision easier! This is a great forum for Spaz owners!

Niko

Post by Niko » Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:06 pm

Nice to have you aboard!
Enjoy your new goodies :wink:

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Post by zoey » Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:33 pm

Forgive my stupidity but, I thought Chris was the only vendor for the Mini?
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Niko

Post by Niko » Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:38 pm

Chris is the master importer, he welcomes others dealers to go through him.

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Post by zoey » Mon Mar 31, 2008 2:05 pm

Thanks! I had no idea!
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sdreefers

Wow, this thing is cool!

Post by sdreefers » Mon Mar 31, 2008 5:10 pm

Ok, so I unpacked the Mini and started messing around with it! This is quite a difference from my $50 krups machine that I got at Target!

So, I have a question. When I pull a shot I push the button that has two cups on it and the pump runs constantly when there is coffee in the PF. Now, if I pull a blank shot it shuts off after about 2-3 ounces of water. Why does it run constantly when there is pressure, is it because it only stops once a certain amount of water runs through it?

Oh, and by the way, this thing rocks! I made my first capp and it was great! I used Kido's by Inteligentsia and it is pretty darn good! I just wish there was somebody local who could give my drink the old taste test, but, this machine is amazing! You should see it steam milk, it's crazy! I steamed while it was pulling a shot and even tried about 8 ounces of milk which was way better than I could have imagined! Now I know what you are all talking about here on the forum, this machine really is great!

Niko

Re: Wow, this thing is cool!

Post by Niko » Mon Mar 31, 2008 5:51 pm

sdreefers wrote: So, I have a question. When I pull a shot I push the button that has two cups on it and the pump runs constantly when there is coffee in the PF. Now, if I pull a blank shot it shuts off after about 2-3 ounces of water. Why does it run constantly when there is pressure, is it because it only stops once a certain amount of water runs through it?
It's called Volumetric Dosing. In theory, it's supposed to dose the proper amount of coffee (not water) since it was programmed with coffee in the PF. You can program it with just water but it won't be as accurate.

sdreefers

Re: Wow, this thing is cool!

Post by sdreefers » Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:43 pm

Niko wrote:
sdreefers wrote: So, I have a question. When I pull a shot I push the button that has two cups on it and the pump runs constantly when there is coffee in the PF. Now, if I pull a blank shot it shuts off after about 2-3 ounces of water. Why does it run constantly when there is pressure, is it because it only stops once a certain amount of water runs through it?
It's called Volumetric Dosing. In theory, it's supposed to dose the proper amount of coffee (not water) since it was programmed with coffee in the PF. You can program it with just water but it won't be as accurate.
So, it's not gonna stop running until it delivers the proper amount of water regardless of whether it takes 25 seconds or 60 seconds, right? Also, when I push the double cup button how much water should I expect? Right now I am guessing at least 3 ounces is coming out with filled PF. My coffee tastes fairly bitter and temp is set to 93 so maybe upping that a bit will help. Thanks in advance for your suggestions! This machine is wicked!

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Post by JohnB » Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:57 pm

Unless you have set the Volumetric doses yourself you should be cutting off the shot manually after the proper time (25 sec?) and not just let the preprogrammed dose run its course. If you are letting the shot run too long you will be getting bitterness from the blonding.
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Post by zoey » Mon Mar 31, 2008 7:36 pm

Glad you are so excited about your machine. I recently got mine and I'm still giddy over the thing. Unfortunately, I have yet to meet anyone (face-to-face) who is as excited about espresso & machines as I am.

Too long of a pull can = bitterness.

Changing the volume of your pulls is easy. It should be clearly explained in the manual. ( I would explain it but I can't remember off the top of my head). :wink:
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Post by bbqnut » Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:06 pm

I don't think I ever used the volumetric feature as intended... 8)

sdreefers

Post by sdreefers » Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:11 pm

Being this is my first time with a real espresso machine I am just having difficulties doing everything correctly. I will research grinding and pulling shots more and spend the next few weeks learning what to do in order to pull great shots. I would like to use the volumetric dosing for consistency.

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Post by PBL » Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:58 pm

Adjust the volume, practice your grinds, adjust the temp and keep practicing.

I set the water with no pressure at about 2 and a bit ounces for the double and 1 and about a half for singles. The coffee seems to take up about one ounce of the water on the double leaving me with a bit more than oneounce for a double shot. When I hit 25 secs it is usually bang on.

Temp at 93 seems a bit low but would not necessarily make it bitter. I usually keep mine at 95 and it is pretty good temp except for certain coffees, usually those that are more acidic.

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Post by JohnB » Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:49 pm

PBL wrote:
Temp at 93 seems a bit low but would not necessarily make it bitter. I usually keep mine at 95 and it is pretty good temp except for certain coffees, usually those that are more acidic.
It really depends on the blend or bean. I change the temp several times a day as I changed coffee. The Black Cat tasted best at 91-92, PT's @ 94 & the recommended temp for the single origin Terrior Espressos I have is 91 or lower. I seldom use temps higher the 94.
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sdreefers

Post by sdreefers » Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:51 pm

Ok, so I went back and pulled a great looking shot which was about 2 ounces in 25 seconds. It looked very nice and didn't have quite as much bitterness. The only thing I can't figure out is that when I put the filled PF in and push any of the brew buttons (either 1 or 2 cup) it still never stops. I ran about 4 ounces through it with the double and it kept on going. Now, when I don't put the PF in it only runs about 2-3 ounces through it. Is there something I am doing wrong here?

Niko

Post by Niko » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:32 pm

It sounds like the Volumetric Dosing is set to the stratosphere.
You're not doing anything wrong, just cut the shot off manually just before it starts to blonde - just remember that the shot is over when it starts blonding no matter what. It doesn't matter if you only have an once or 1.5 oz, the shot can be over at 18 seconds or even 30 - there are no rules, just guidelines to help you dial in your espresso for good taste.
Like others have said in the past, the volumetric dosing is good for two things: 1. If you run only one type of coffee through the machine 24/7
2. You run to answer the door and you forget the machine running so the dosing cuts off automatically :wink:

sdreefers

Post by sdreefers » Mon Mar 31, 2008 11:56 pm

Sounds good! This machine is at my office and I am at home but I am excited to give it a "shot" tomorrow! I will probably just keep practicing until it works well for me. Thanks for the help with the blonding. That's why my first shot tasted so bad, it was almost all blonding right from the start. Anyway, I am excited to try again tomorrow!

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Post by zoey » Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:44 pm

Just FYI, I went through 2# of coffee in the first day (just practicing and trying to dial things in). I'm still working on it to this very day!
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Post by JohnB » Tue Apr 01, 2008 3:10 pm

Niko - I see your latest Avatar was short lived. I definitely prefer the Espresso version.
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sdreefers

Post by sdreefers » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:18 pm

Well, today went way better. I left the temperature the same and just practiced adjusting grind and tamp pressure. I also broke out my bottomless PF and tried that once. I had a little splatter at first but then it went to the center and worked well. I am getting the hang of it and am really excited about things to come. I pulled about 10 shots today and also made 2 milk drinks which both tasted pretty good. The coffee still tastes a little bitter so I may try upping the temperature. I am getting the hang of when to stop the shot but I find that I am usually only getting 1.5 ounces per double before blonding starts. I got a scale and used that for pressure and found I was about right on. After that I adjusted my grind but haven't had much luck setting it to the "sweet" spot yet. I have never used a grinder like this before so it's completely new to me. It seems as though when I set it to the setting that it came set to it's just way to fine. I have the mini mazzer and it was set to 0 and so I moved it to the left for less fine but then it was way to coarse so I will just keep on messing with it until I get it down. Other than the bitterness it is sure going well!

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Post by JohnB » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:29 pm

Bitterness can be a sign of too high a temp for a particular coffee. Try 92 or 93 & see how it tastes. If you go too cool it will be sour instead of bitter. I have yet to find an Espresso that I prefer at 95-96C. They seem much sweeter at lower temps.

Did you drink all those shots today or did some go down the sink?
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Post by sdreefers » Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:59 pm

JohnB wrote:Bitterness can be a sign of too high a temp for a particular coffee. Try 92 or 93 & see how it tastes. If you go too cool it will be sour instead of bitter. I have yet to find an Espresso that I prefer at 95-96C. They seem much sweeter at lower temps.

Did you drink all those shots today or did some go down the sink?
It's set at 93 but maybe that's a bit high. I am using Inteligentsia Kid o's and just haven't gotten used to it. I then switched over to a Guatemalan dark roast and it's better. Is there any correlation to degree of roast and brewing temperature? I drank about 5 shots and both milk drinks today!!! Veins were slightly raised and heart rate was about 190 BPS!!! :lol: :shock:

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Post by JohnB » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:16 pm

sdreefers wrote:
It's set at 93 but maybe that's a bit high. I am using Inteligentsia Kid o's and just haven't gotten used to it. I then switched over to a Guatemalan dark roast and it's better. Is there any correlation to degree of roast and brewing temperature? I drank about 5 shots and both milk drinks today!!! Veins were slightly raised and heart rate was about 190 BPS!!! :lol: :shock:
I haven't tried that one but Intelly's Black Cat likes it cooler & is a favorite of mine. Seems I read that light roasts like lower temps & dark roasts hotter but that could be 91 vs 93. As I said before I haven't tried any Espressos that tasted better at 95-96c as of yet but that could just be my tastes.

Experiment with the temp settings. Start at 91 & work your way up keeping everything else the same. Have you found true zero on your grinder yet?
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Post by sdreefers » Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:19 pm

I will lower my temp tomorrow and see what happens! Thanks for the tips. How do I know when I zero out the grinder? I am assuming it's finest grind, is this correct? Anyway, I am getting better with each day and hopefully it will just keep getting better and better. I will have to say that I have had some good espresso shots in my day and so far I am nowhere close to those, but, my milk drinks are far better than anything I have had locally! Espresso only is proving difficult for me, but, I will keep on trying and I also have a pound of Black Cat that I haven't opened so I will give that a shot next! Thanks for all the tips, this is great and I am really having fun with this, it's just awesome!

michael

black cat

Post by michael » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:12 am

what is the recommended temperature for black cat. i have been using 94 and seem to have finally found the correct grind and amount of beans for me - three clicks finer from the zero point on the mini mazzer e and 15gs of coffee - but would like to know what results people have had with other temperatures.

i thought 94 was very good, but just maybe a little bitterness at the end. 8)

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Re: black cat

Post by JohnB » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:34 am

michael wrote:what is the recommended temperature for black cat. i have been using 94 and seem to have finally found the correct grind and amount of beans for me - three clicks finer from the zero point on the mini mazzer e and 15gs of coffee - but would like to know what results people have had with other temperatures.

i thought 94 was very good, but just maybe a little bitterness at the end. 8)
Try it at 92 or even 91 & I think you will like the flavor even more. This should take care of the bitterness & is in the temp range that Intelly recommends. I regularly used 18g doses with the Black Cat but seldom use less then 16g with any blend. Try it at the lower temp with the 15g dose & then see what you think of it with 18g.
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michael

black cat

Post by michael » Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:37 am

at 18gs you must be grinding pretty fine or at least finer than me to fit all that coffee; any idea where your grinder setting would translate on the mazzer mini e? how long does your shot take?

i have made some great redline lately with 16.5gs ground a bit finer that i have done for the black cat, but for most blends, i find i am using 15gs per double

where did you find the temperature recommendation? 8)

Niko

Post by Niko » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:17 pm

I rarely go over 15g's for any coffee in the Mini Maz. More than that begs for a nice channel or two down the sides.

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Post by JohnB » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:20 pm

18g fills the pf right to the top but there is no waste. When tamped its over the groove & I grind coarser for 18g then 16g. No idea how the Macap adjustment relates to the Mini. As for the length of the shot it depends how I grind & what I'm looking for. I just pulled a Ristretto that went on for about 35 sec using Bella Vita but it was ground only slightly looser then my 16g setting. For a normal length shot using 18g I would be a couple teeth coarser then normal on the adjustment ring.

As for the Black Cat temp range it was in one of the threads on H-B or CG where someone from Intelly weighed in with some info. I tried higher temps but preferred it as I posted.
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black cat

Post by michael » Wed Apr 02, 2008 3:39 pm

the recommended temp setting i received today from intelligencia for the black cat is 199.5 (93) which i havent had a chance to try yet

i generally go with 15gs for doubles based on the advice from niko which works well for me

what suprises me is that i would think to get 18gs of coffee to fit you would need to grind finer 8)

Niko

Post by Niko » Wed Apr 02, 2008 4:14 pm

If you grind finer, the machine will choke with more coffee in it.

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Re: black cat

Post by JohnB » Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:39 pm

michael wrote:the recommended temp setting i received today from intelligencia for the black cat is 199.5 (93) which i havent had a chance to try yet

i generally go with 15gs for doubles based on the advice from niko which works well for me

what suprises me is that i would think to get 18gs of coffee to fit you would need to grind finer 8)
I 've seen 2-3 different temps recommended for B/C & each poster said it was the best. I don't use the same temp day in day out for any blend as I like to find different flavors. Anywhere in the 91-93 range should give you a tasty shot, just depends which one you like best. I seem to recall using 92C most but I've been out of B/C for a while. Guess I'll have to start one of those notebooks!!

Niko is spot on. If you want the water to get through 18g of packed coffee you will have to grind coarser then for 16g. Same goes for 14g vs 16g; The smaller the dose the finer the grind.
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michael

black cat

Post by michael » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:22 pm

i dont think i can get 18gs of coarsley ground black cat in the portafilter, but i will defintely try this weekend when i get back to the machine 8)

sdreefers

Post by sdreefers » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:29 pm

Ok, got in today and tried some more stuff with much better results! I decided that I am not a fan of Kid O's at all. I tried a nice Guatemalan which much better results! I made about 4 shots and then 2 milk based drinks. I happily enjoyed all of them today and have a slight twitch going on, but hey, they sure tasted good! :shock: :shock: :shock:

Anyway, I am also gonna try some stuff from a huge local roaster that supplies a bunch of coffee shops and it's about 1/2 the price of some of the big name stuff out there. I have a business so I am buying it wholesale but I have to get it in larger bulk. I will probably end up freezing some and testing it out. Anyway, I will report back but so far I am getting the hang of this baby!!!

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Post by JohnB » Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:33 am

sdreefers wrote:I will lower my temp tomorrow and see what happens! Thanks for the tips. How do I know when I zero out the grinder? I am assuming it's finest grind, is this correct?
Your zero point is the point at which you hear the burrs touching. As soon as you hear the light metallic clicking stop turning the adjuster, turn it back slightly so the noise stops & mark that as zero.
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Re: black cat

Post by JohnB » Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:34 pm

michael wrote:the recommended temp setting i received today from intelligencia for the black cat is 199.5 (93) which i havent had a chance to try yet
Jay Cunningham of Intelligentsia posted this today on CG:

"The roast levels for Black Cat haven't changed much in the last few months, although we have been roasting that coffee lighter than we did in the past. Each component of the blend is roasted to specific specs, every roast is tested to ensure we've hit our desired profile. We are still loving the profile at lower temps, 198-199 F."
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