How to Taste Coffee



Ok … some more buzz from my head.

From what I know about it … it has to do with a change that happened when you started using Sette. So (I hope) if you grind into the basket now and did not do that with manual grinder (I know with Rosco you actually could so … just asking) that would be possibly another variable to remove from the system … Also if I recall it well its been said that some grinders with conical burrs and straight path from the burrs (like HG1) tend to distribute different size of particles in the centre and on the outside when grinding into the basket so they need redistribution to make the puck even.

The same pressure for 22 and 30 g makes me think the coffee does not go through the puck as it should (or it would have to be at higher pressure with 30g) but through channels that may be simillar in quantity … so the dose almost does not matter. It looks like a simillar patterns of dark high flow and pale low flow areas in the videos so … it may be something about the fast flow paths and why they form … no ideas about that now in my head though. It has to be specific to this one grinder though since Rosco worked great before …

I do recall you said you use both shims now? (I hope I am wrong … but it comes to my head again and again) - if you do then I would say use only one (they say everywhere only one should be used) … if it makes the burr less stable it may cause less even grind.

I have to say - if it was my grinder, at this point I would just send it for repair and calibration and sell it - too many strange things about how it behaves :slight_smile: But the curious side of me wants to know what is the problem … I am pretty sure if you took Hario hand grinder and used it for espresso you would not have this sort of problems … so … I just find it important to find out if the problem is really in the Sette in general, in your specific one, or somewhere else …


I agree the pours/shots in all the videos are really bad!!! Very uneven!!!

When I did videos before they looked much better with Rosco.


I grind into a container (that came with the grinder), then mix the grinds, then put in the basket, then distribute, then tamp.

This is basically how I did with Rosco also. If anything with the Rosco I was less careful as it was pretty forgiving.


It is probably more accurate to say “similar” pressure. It could easily vary by 10% or more - which is significant…

My current hypothesis (that I am trying to test) is that the grind is MUCH coarser than it needs to be - so adding more coffee (22 to 30) did not make as much difference as you would expect (and remember the wet pucks = too coarse also).

I have seen similar behaviour on pump machines when the grinder was a long way out of adjustment (too coarse). Changing the dose size did not make much difference. Once I got the grinder dialled in then changing the dose made much more difference.


So to test my “too coarse” hypothesis I put the grinder on the finest setting - then I sifted at 600 and kept the fines. I did two shots one with 25g and a second with 30g.

The first ran too fast. The second needed 8 bar to start and was too slow (close to choking). Both shots still has the “starfish” pattern indicating uneven extraction of the puck.

This seems to me to indicate that the grinder needs to go finer. However there is still other problem of uneven extraction.

25g starfish

30 g starfish


You are correct I installed both shims (and I did not want to…)

Basically the grounds were very coarse even with one shim - but better (finer) with two. But of course at that point I was very concerned about the (potential) affect on the alignment.

When I first saw two shims I assumed/expected that they would be different thicknesses to allow for more flexibility when calibrating the grinder (however they appear to be identical).


At the moment I feel more like putting it on the road and running it over with steamroller or a tank. And I would feel terrible selling to someone (unless it is fixed - but then I would keep it) as I would not wish these problems on my worst enemy…

The next step is to get a grinder that works - like Aergrind or Hiku. Or just wait for the Niche Zero to arrive (August?). Then if that works then the Sette is wrong. If that fails then there is something wrong with the Rossa (or how I am using it).

And also I can try a different coffee as a baseline. But this is half-way covered as I have had similar problems with the Sette with the Semiramis coffee.


This makes sense, I will try…

So this is a 25g shot sifted at 600, with 0.5 bar infusion, and a fast ramp.

It went up to 8 before it started to pour so definitely got higher pressure - but the shot still “did the starfish” and the taste is not really improved…


It is just so frustrating as everyone raves about this grinder.

Including David Schomer in his review here:

Quote: “I have never in my life has such perfect control over flow rate as the Sette gives me, and it makes wicked good espresso. By far it is the best home grinder I have ever used.”

In fact it was this review and his positive opinion was the final thing that made me decide to get this grinder. In my opinion he seems to be something of a “grinder expert”…


Good. So far I would not care too much about how it tastes, not sure about the ratio you did 25g of coffee but what is the weight of espresso out? An you switched the glassed after the shot was maybe a minute long. From what I see there is still less flow than I think is needed, and also the shot starting at 8bar (and going up to 10bar) means too much resistance and too slow a shot. So with the latest process I would say try to get the first drip around 4 and top pressure above 8, and do 1:2 in 20 - 25s maybe? I think this should mean a different flow and maybe merging the starfish finally … only then I would care about the taste.
Sure there is still somethin (star)fishy about the puck …

What you can do now is also tryng t tamp with decreesing force … you need tamp that makes a nice puck, that allows you to turn it over, and preinfuse without coffee coming out, and allowing you to compress it when you ramp up, but not much more than that … it may get rid of the starfishiness if it is too fragile when tamping more … but I think most important now is to get normal shot in normal ratio and time and flowrate.

What I think would be good to do gradual changes - i mean you do fast ramp up but you can make it gradually slow down to reach final pressure and continue to push to stay at that pressure and the slowly lowering at the end … but it should not be toping at 10 and ending at 6 I think - maybe more like toping at 9 and going down to 8-7 slowly to the end .

But flow is important so when you have established a nice flow drive it watching the flow and less the pressure … also you should reach the target time and weight before it blonds in an ideal world (I usually go a bitpastbthat pount mist of the time)


I totally understand, I wouod not sell it unrepaired either, but I would sell it probably even if repaired and calibrated because I think the designed is flawed, … a lot. I think Niche will be a different level from many perspectives … I have talked a bit with Martin and I really believe this one is done right from what I have seen and read about it.

But I think you are doing great work, I know how much effort and time it takes to do all the testing and all… and the videos help a lot really. So just dont get frustrated, if nothing more comes out of it its opportunity to get better understanding of the process … so if you can enjoy this kind of exploration (well I know I do enjoy these things a lot :smiley: … if you were closer to where I live I would come to do the tests with you many steps ago :)))) just have fun all the way through it. Because I believe even when you switch to Niche or that 98mm flatburr giant, you can still use a lot of what will be neede to get a good shots with Sette …


This describes pretty much exactly what I do! Or rather did before it “stopped working” with the Sette.

In the experiment above I intentionally went faster as an experiment…


Basically the Rossa was (pre-Sette) very forgiving.

Fast ramp = good shot. Slow ramp = good shot. Extract at 10 bar peak = good shot. Extract at 8 bar peak = good shot. Extract at 6 bar peak = good shot. With or without pre-infusion = good shot. Preinfuse until it drips = good shot.

Basically if you had the grind right you could control the shot by feel and get a good shot… So wind until extraction starts then just monitor the flow by feel and get a great shot…


Faster ramp up sure … but (i dont see your hands I énly guess from sound and mvement of Rossa ) I think you stop adding pressure at some point (too early I think as there is still not enough flow) and I am not sure if you add any more pressure after that … I would try to start fast … after getting a drip at about 4bar sstart slowing down to some steady rate that meets the top pressure, keep that rate rof a moment and then slowly slow down at the end … it may be happening but invisible from the video …

All in all, it looks to me it will work, though its not ideal at all. After reaching the right flow and time, then if the starfish is still there its the next thing to focus on I guess … but it may go with reduced tamping force, and this use pf co,pression of the puck from the ramp up instead


The Rossa has different characteristics than the Air (obviously :slight_smile: )

It takes a while to get up to about 4 bar so you wind really quickly to that point. After that the pressure builds more quickly (with less winding) so you wind slower (sometimes a lot slower).

So basically the pressure build up accelerates - so you have to slow down your winding speed. As you get up to peak (8 or whatever) you wind gently to keep it near there.

In my case I usually watch flow rate rather than the gauge - but the gauge is a good reference.

So watching hand speed would probably give the wrong impression - unless you were used to using the Rossa.


Ah … sounds like you do exactly what I ment allready. Yes its obviously different in how you work with pressure, the the outcome looks to be the same which is great.

I am doing the aergrind mahlgut comparison right now.will write in a moment.


Yes the ramp is necessarily a bit slower - but otherwise the approach is the same.


Need to do another set … seems like this coffee was past its best point, got two fast shots :wink: will do some more


Finally got a (half) decent shot with my roast. Some friends that own a cafe are on summer holiday and left me the key so I can experiment…

Using a Mazzer super jolly grinder (flat burr). Set the grinder 3 marks finer than the setting they normally use in the cafe. Ran a bit too slow — so maybe needs to be backed off 1/2 a mark. Using the cafe espresso machine a very new single boiler two group Visacrem Ottima (basic commercial HX machine).

Did my famously (in)accurate rub the grinds between my fingers test — and the Mazzer was definitely a lot finer than the finest I can get from the Sette (at present). And the Mazzer can go MUCH finer — so it pretty much proves that the Sette is not setup (or maybe not even capable) of grinding fine enough for espresso.

Didn’t try on the Rossa as I ran out of roasted beans…

But finally started to actually taste decent — actually had some concentration, and showing some better flavour… can’t really describe the flavour (nothing special) but it tasted like (half decent) coffee :sunglasses: :coffee:

Don’t understand the box after coffee = broken emoji???


I like to taste coffee, when I have time, as it goes from warm to room temperature(cool). Also I don’t recommend pulling espresso to close to roasting. There was coffee that I thought failed and so it waited in my cabinet and when I tried it a couple weeks later in an “espresso” machine (cheap krups), because I was curious and because of the SCA panel and you guys talking about espresso. It actually came out ok, the berry was very prominent, the mouth viscosity was simply thick and silky.