So I’ve had my Rancilio Silvia and Mazzer Mini machines for over a month now and finally brewed the best espresso I’ve ever made. I just started a new bag of Peet’s, the Espresso Forte, and used a slightly new technique for pulling the shot. I took the advice given on CoffeeGeek and flushed the system briefly before brewing. It made a big difference. Prior to that, the water was coming out too fast and the brew was under-extracted, with weak flavor. With flushing, the shot came out thick and had a good amount of crema. The flavor was amazing, the best I think I’ve ever had. And I have to give a big thanks to Mark Prince for the advice he gave to Jon Bauer on, that made all the difference for me. And thanks to Jon, too, for recording his trials and successes and putting them on YouTube. It was really fun to watch how someone uses the Silvia, and to see what a good shot looks like on a naked portafilter. I used a naked portafilter myself for about a week, and was pretty happy with what I saw. But now I have a new benchmark for quality, and it’s due in large part to Jon’s post on CG.

Thanks Jon and Mark.