I am not sure if this is the appropriate board to post my request in regards to making a perfect espresso with crema. My husband and I bought a Gaggia Carella. As I have read, it was quite normal, the first day to panic as we could not get the crema. We called a friend and he told us that probably the store sold us a coffee that was not ground fine enough. He told us to go to Starbucks, get another 1/2 kilo of coffee, have them grind it for an Italian machine, and then mix it with the original stuff (mind you we had no idea what type of grind the original purchase was.
We followed his directions and for a week, following all sorts of espresso googled info, we were making excellent espresso. So this week we go to Starbucks, and buy Arabica beans, had them grind them just as they did the week before, and now we have espresso with no crema, furthermore it takes well over twenty seconds to make a single, more like dripping tiny bits at a time. We have gone from tamping at 20 pounds to applying light pressure, but no change.