I have been using the Musica for a while; while I noticed that it is an excellent steamer and a very good looker (i.e mirror stainless steel body) it was not impressing me very much with in the espresso department when compare to the results that I can get out of the excellent Ponte Vecchio Lusso 2 groups that I have.
However, recently, I did a simple change in the shot making procedure that result in astonishing improvement in the shots quality. The simple thing that I did was taking the double basket out from the portafilter, remove the spring clip and also screw off the double spout on the portafilter and toss it away!!
Even though I do very thorough cleaning at the end of the week which includes soaking the portafiler in espresso-machine-specific detergent, the portafilter still get very mucky and coated with oil even after one day of making three to five shots. So I'm using that same approach that I do with my levers and that is to not use the spring clip in the portafilter.
The function of the spring in the portafilter is to hold the basket tightly in place using friction; this set up has its advantage in that when you knock out the puck, the whole basket does not fly out. However, with the basket in place, I tend to have the false illusion that the portafilter is clean because I do not see the muck that is hidden away. I also screw off the spout because it is extremely hard to clean off the oil that is coated inside it.
Once the machine is up to temperature, I always leave the portafilter inside the group head while taking my time to dose the right amount of coffee and do the distribution and tamping at my own leasure because I do not worry about the portafilter cooling off. Then I take off the portafilter, do a quick cooling flush, put the basket into the portafilter, lock and brew! What I been noticing is the shots are more distict, has thicker creama and sweeter! Cleaning up is very easy, I use my thumb to hold the lip of the portafilter so the basket do not fly out when I knock it out. Then I rinse the basket and wash the portafilter. This way, I can wash the bottom of the portafilter at the end of every day to prevent any build up of coffee oil.
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