Learn what to do when your Gaggia Cadorna Barista Plus is producing shots with limited or no crema, or if your shots are too bitter, too sour, or taste weak.
No Crema or Bad Tasting Shots
Typically, issues with crema or the flavor of the shot do not indicate a malfunction of the machine. Instead, this indicates that an adjustment needs to be made in the brewing process or that different beans need to be used.
The type of bean that is being used is particularly important for super-automatic machines, because the built in burr grinders only accept certain types of beans. Another consideration is the roast of the bean, which greatly influences how much crema can be produced, as well as the flavor of the shot. Super-automatic machines are not compatible with oily, caramelized, or flavored beans. Properly stored and recently roasted beans are best. You can find more information on why bean selection and storage is important for super-automatic machines by watching the video below.
5 Things New Super Automatic Espresso Machine Owners Should Know
Appropriately adjusting the grinder is also important. Poor shots can also be the result of incorrect grind settings.
- If the shot is too bitter:
- The grind is set too fine. Try adjusting the grind to a coarser setting.
- If applicable, the aroma setting is set too high. Lower the aroma setting so that less coffee is ground per shot.
- The beans being used are over-roasted, and a lighter roast is needed.
- If the shot is too sour or weak tasting:
- The grind is set too coarse. Try adjusting the grind to a finer setting. Whenever moving the grind to a finer setting it is important to make minor adjustments, and to only adjust the grinder while in operation.
- If there is little crema:
- The beans are probably stale and fresher beans need to be used.
- The grind setting does not match the drink that is being made. Smaller drinks such as an espresso require finer grind size; larger drinks such as a lungo require a coarser grind.
- Oily or dark roasted beans are being used. These beans are not compatible with the unit, and are not suitable for espresso brewing. The oils and chemicals that are needed to produce a rich crema have been roasted out of the bean. Switch to a drier/lighter roast.
- Keep the machine properly cleaned and maintained for good tasting shots.
- Your grinder may need to be cleaned or calibrated, or you may need to descale your machine to remove any unwanted residues or flavors.