I have a Gaggia Classic and am generally happy with my pulls. 18g of grinds pulls in 20ish seconds give or take. I have a tamper with a spring and feel I'm fairly consistent overall. Baratza Encore burr grinder.

One thing I've noticed recently is that the puck is pretty damp after and occasionally sticks to the group screen instead of coming off in the portafilter.

Does this indicate any particular issue I should be aware of?

  • Are you updosing beyond your basket's rated capacity, or are you using a third party basket that's too big for your portafilter?
    – R Mac
    Jan 23 at 13:41
  • Note also that the Encore isn't really meant to grind for espresso. While it may grind just fine enough, it lacks the settings to play with grind size at that finer level. I'm not saying the grinder is the problem here, but it could be something to look at.
    – JJJ
    Jan 26 at 21:29

Reduce your dose. Having your puck stick to the brew head means the grounds are in contact with the brew head. If you reduce your dose by 1-2g the surface should be low enough as to avoid direct contact with the brew head. Depending on your brew head you might even get channeling if the surface is too high - immediately below the holes where water comes out it might dig a channel into your puck. If you can see dots on your puck after taking it out, it's probably channeling.

A wet puck in general also suggest too much coffee or too fine of a grind, check out this life hack from James Hoffmann, where he suggests letting the espresso run for a little longer so you can knock it out of the portafilter more easily.

  • Wet puck can also be caused by a faulty group head gasket. A three way solenoid requires a fully closed system to work well. A gasket that's just a wee bit loose can let air get sucked into the tube instead of water and reduce the effectiveness of that system.
    – R Mac
    Jan 25 at 17:28
  • This worked. I reduced by 1g (to 17g) and also reduced the grind size one click on the Bartaza Encore. Jan 26 at 22:29

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