Espresso Maker 2019

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TN_Boy
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Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:51 pm

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by TN_Boy » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:31 am

Starfish wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:17 am
dustinst22 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:04 pm
Starfish wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:56 pm
I see people talking about Italian coffee. Italian coffee is not considered good by any self respecting coffee snob

Ah, the coffee snobs. Are they like the wine snobs that can't tell the difference between a $10 bottle and a $100 bottle when blind tasting?
I think that is BS.
A GOOD 100$ bottle is VERY different from any 10$ bottle and I am willing to take that test any time.
But the difference in coffee is much greater. There is absolutely no comparison between an espresso well done from expensive coffee and Folgers or gas station or even Starbucks. I don't think there is anybody on this planet to not recognize that they are just completely different drinks.

Where the snobs are wrong is when they despise anybody drinking just a normal espresso not made in at least 2000$ worth of gear. But I do think that everybody should try what coffee snobs drink at least once. It's an eye opening experience.
I'm not a wine snob, but there is a large body of evidence that people are not as good as identifying wines as they think they are: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_wine_tasting

Read the section on professional tasting judges .... it's pretty funny. Darn that science thing.

But on to coffees. I'm an espresso drinker, adding a bit of sugar and cream. I prefer dark roasts. You could convince me that some people find more ... "complexity" in different coffees than I do. But that doesn't mean the preferred "coffee snob" coffee is "better." Tastes differ. I have had many a barista in a local coffee shop extol the virtues of their medium roast espresso. And I try it and .... don't like it very well. I even like Starbucks espresso from their shops. It's not my favorite; I've had better espresso in other shops, and I don't use Starbucks beans that much at home. But their espresso is decent (to me) and far better than many cups I've had from local shops, where the baristas didn't know how to make espresso.

TN_Boy
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by TN_Boy » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:34 am

Tralvo wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:28 pm
Italian living in the US. My two cents on the espresso discussion.
Unless you are making hundreds of coffee a day a reliable semi automatic machines 15 bar will do a good job.

Even more than the machine to make a good espresso you simply need good water and good coffee. I find most of the espresso coffe sold in the US not strong enough and comparable in roasting to the Italian one. For me it is really mostly about the coffe than the machine.

Most Italian houses run on a moka pot or small semiautomatic espresso machine.
I"m very surprised that a moka pot could provide decent *espresso* I don't see how there is enough pressure to get anything like a true espresso. I'll believe that when I drink it :happy

I'm also curious about what magic coffee type Italian coffee houses use. We can certainly get a very wide variety of bean here in the states, of all roast types.

ThankYouJack
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:27 pm

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by ThankYouJack » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:50 am

Starfish wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:56 pm
I see people talking about Italian coffee. Italian coffee is not considered good by any self respecting coffee snob (in Europe at least). All the rage now is the nordic type of coffee.
And I disagree that NO american establishment offering good coffee. After 12 years in SF and Bay Area I recently found one.
Other than traveling across the pond, how can I try some Nordic coffee? I prefer lighter roasts, especially with cold brew, and enjoy Central American coffee so I have a feeling I would enjoy Nordic coffee as well.

caffeperfavore
Posts: 260
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:45 am

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by caffeperfavore » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:02 am

TN_Boy wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:34 am
I'm also curious about what magic coffee type Italian coffee houses use. We can certainly get a very wide variety of bean here in the states, of all roast types.
Depends on where you are in Italy, but brands include: Kimbo, Segafredo, Motta, Passlacqua, Danesi, Bistrot, Mauro, Sant Eustachio, Essse. And you likely know Illy and Lavazza already. If I'm not mistaken, roasts get darker as you move further south in Italy.

I like Danesi Gold. I've heard good things about Passlacqua though. You should be able to get any of these in the US online.
Last edited by caffeperfavore on Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

caffeperfavore
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by caffeperfavore » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:05 am

ThankYouJack wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:50 am
Starfish wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:56 pm
I see people talking about Italian coffee. Italian coffee is not considered good by any self respecting coffee snob (in Europe at least). All the rage now is the nordic type of coffee.
And I disagree that NO american establishment offering good coffee. After 12 years in SF and Bay Area I recently found one.
Other than traveling across the pond, how can I try some Nordic coffee? I prefer lighter roasts, especially with cold brew, and enjoy Central American coffee so I have a feeling I would enjoy Nordic coffee as well.
Look for really, really lightly roasted beans. People rave about Dragonfly Leam Hammer (look online for it). Some people love it, some people hate it.

Note that I have no idea how these would work for cold brew or anything other than espresso as that's where my head is at, but I believe the Scandinavians like their filter coffee too, so it might work for that.
Last edited by caffeperfavore on Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

caffeperfavore
Posts: 260
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by caffeperfavore » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:12 am

dustinst22 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:04 pm
Starfish wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:56 pm
I see people talking about Italian coffee. Italian coffee is not considered good by any self respecting coffee snob

Ah, the coffee snobs. Are they like the wine snobs that can't tell the difference between a $10 bottle and a $100 bottle when blind tasting?
I think it's easier to tell the difference between a good and bad espresso. For espresso, does it taste burnt or sour? Or, does it have some sweetness and actual flavor(s) to it (aside from a charred taste), be it chocolate, berries, fruit, etc. That burnt taste that most associate with espresso is from either: stale beans, too high a temperature, too high a brew pressure, too long of an extraction, or some combination of these. Think Starbucks.

Put another way, you don't need or want to put sugar in a good espresso. The first time you taste a truly good shot, you know it (and spend way too much time and money chasing it ever after).

TN_Boy
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by TN_Boy » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:37 am

caffeperfavore wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:02 am
TN_Boy wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:34 am
I'm also curious about what magic coffee type Italian coffee houses use. We can certainly get a very wide variety of bean here in the states, of all roast types.
Depends on where you are in Italy, but brands include: Kimbo, Segafredo, Motta, Passlacqua, Danesi, Bistrot, Mauro, Sant Eustachio, Essse. And you likely know Illy and Lavazza already. If I'm not mistaken, roasts get darker as you move further south in Italy.

I like Danesi Gold. I've heard good things about Passlacqua though. You should be able to get any of these in the US online.
If I can find a medium dark to dark roast from the brands listed in your first sentence I might try them. Though, I've thus far personally not found any magic beans despite trying a lot of coffee roasters. Illy and Lavazza are no better, in my opinion, than many other beans I've tried.

TN_Boy
Posts: 1274
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:51 pm

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by TN_Boy » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:46 am

caffeperfavore wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:12 am
dustinst22 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:04 pm
Starfish wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:56 pm
I see people talking about Italian coffee. Italian coffee is not considered good by any self respecting coffee snob

Ah, the coffee snobs. Are they like the wine snobs that can't tell the difference between a $10 bottle and a $100 bottle when blind tasting?
I think it's easier to tell the difference between a good and bad espresso. For espresso, does it taste burnt or sour? Or, does it have some sweetness and actual flavor(s) to it (aside from a charred taste), be it chocolate, berries, fruit, etc. That burnt taste that most associate with espresso is from either: stale beans, too high a temperature, too high a brew pressure, too long of an extraction, or some combination of these. Think Starbucks.

Put another way, you don't need or want to put sugar in a good espresso. The first time you taste a truly good shot, you know it (and spend way too much time and money chasing it ever after).
Chuckling. Seriously folks, lots of this is personal preference. Maybe most of it.

I put sugar in my espresso, and I've had plenty of good shots (and I tend to run toward a ristretto length shot at home). A lot of people put at least some sugar in their espresso.

I don't *like* a berry flavor in my coffee. It's cool for those who do, but ..... and I'm fine with Starbucks. Not my favorite, but okay. Much better than many local shops that clearly don't know how to make espresso.

I do find it easy to tell the difference between a good and bad espresso. I horrified my wife once after I was handed a cup of espresso from an airport coffee shop, took one look and discretely tossed it in the trash without trying it. Most cups are not so obviously terrible (5 or 6 ozs of brew for a double shot with no crema .....) but yeah, it's easy to make an undrinkable cup of espresso.

ThankYouJack
Posts: 3032
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:27 pm

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by ThankYouJack » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:50 am

caffeperfavore wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:05 am
ThankYouJack wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:50 am
Starfish wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:56 pm
I see people talking about Italian coffee. Italian coffee is not considered good by any self respecting coffee snob (in Europe at least). All the rage now is the nordic type of coffee.
And I disagree that NO american establishment offering good coffee. After 12 years in SF and Bay Area I recently found one.
Other than traveling across the pond, how can I try some Nordic coffee? I prefer lighter roasts, especially with cold brew, and enjoy Central American coffee so I have a feeling I would enjoy Nordic coffee as well.
Look for really, really lightly roasted beans. People rave about Dragonfly Leam Hammer (look online for it). Some people love it, some people hate it.

Note that I have no idea how these would work for cold brew or anything other than espresso as that's where my head is at, but I believe the Scandinavians like their filter coffee too, so it might work for that.
Thanks for the info. Excited to give it a try. I've had some Geisha coffee from Panama and that is almost too light for my taste, but I definitely prefer light over dark.

quantAndHold
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:53 am

We tried a moka pot in the motorhome. Either it was terrible, or we were terrible at using it. Currently in the motorhome, we use an aeropress, and our Rocky grinder. Not in the same league as our Pavoni, but good enough, and better than we can usually find in local coffee shops.

As far as coffee, we prefer particular types of coffee from the local artisanal roasters, but honestly, what we’ve learned is that pretty much any coffee will work, as long as it’s fresh. This is where the Nespresso and k-cups, and even Starbucks break down. They’re never fresh. On the road, if we’re not near a good roaster, we go to Walmart and get Peet’s. There are date stamps on the bags, and we can usually find a bag that was roasted within the month. It’s not going to measure up to artisanal coffee snob tastes, but fresh Peet’s in an aeropress with a little steamed milk is a perfectly acceptable drink.

Topic Author
Alf 101
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by Alf 101 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:13 am

The OP has returned to chime back in. Thank you for all the responses, and detailed insight on espresso. I find it a most enjoyable beverage, but reading the range of opinions, I'm left wondering what kind of investment is required for the "espresso curious".

Admittedly, part of the appeal is the craft involved. I'm less motivated by just pushing a button, and like to study the variables in things. At some point I may discover that a millisecond or fraction of a gram represents a critical difference, but you inevitably pass a price for that precision. It might be, down the road, I do continue to upgrade, but I am decidedly more entry level at present.

So what would I need to buy?

1. First off is the espresso machine. I would be looking to spend around the price of the Gaggia Classic. I have seen the Breville Barista, factory reconditioned, in that ballpark. DeLonghi has some manual models I'll also look into. I'm not considering anything fully automatic.

2. I then need a grinder. I currently own the Capresso Infinity, which was the Cooks Illustrated best buy, for general coffee consumption. I could perhaps upgrade to the Baratza Encore, which is about $140. Spending $500+ on a burr grinder is not currently in the cards.

3. I have decent digital kitchen scale with gram accuracy. My hope is this would be accurate enough.

4. Water quality is no doubt a factor, but do you need to go beyond a simple Britta pitcher filter for this?

5. The quality of beans makes a difference, as with filter coffee. I most often find myself buying Peet's medium and dark roasts, which are easy to find and work well for me. How much higher end of beans are needed for a good cup?

I wonder if anyone can weigh on this, understanding that I'm looking just to enter these waters.

My last question regards descaling. Typically, for a drip coffee makers, this has running through a vinegar solution (and flushing it many times afterwards). I suspect, given the additional components, a different approach will be required.

Strummer
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by Strummer » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:28 am

Alf 101 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:13 am
The OP has returned to chime back in. Thank you for all the responses, and detailed insight on espresso. I find it a most enjoyable beverage, but reading the range of opinions, I'm left wondering what kind of investment is required for the "espresso curious".
If you're at the "espresso curious" stage, you might want to start with a smaller investment than a machine that costs thousands or even hundreds of dollars. I don't drink coffee every day but thanks to a local roaster who offers beans from all over the world, I have developed a palate for the stuff. My home solution is the Aeropress and a similarly-sized grinder, which can be had for a total of under $60. Read the reviews on Amazon for details. For me, this technique brings out the flavor of the coffee quite well. One caveat: This is not a good solution if you want to make coffee for more than a couple people, so you won't be using it for dinner parties.

caffeperfavore
Posts: 260
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:45 am

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by caffeperfavore » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:51 am

Alf 101 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:13 am
The OP has returned to chime back in. Thank you for all the responses, and detailed insight on espresso. I find it a most enjoyable beverage, but reading the range of opinions, I'm left wondering what kind of investment is required for the "espresso curious".

Admittedly, part of the appeal is the craft involved. I'm less motivated by just pushing a button, and like to study the variables in things. At some point I may discover that a millisecond or fraction of a gram represents a critical difference, but you inevitably pass a price for that precision. It might be, down the road, I do continue to upgrade, but I am decidedly more entry level at present.

So what would I need to buy?

1. First off is the espresso machine. I would be looking to spend around the price of the Gaggia Classic. I have seen the Breville Barista, factory reconditioned, in that ballpark. DeLonghi has some manual models I'll also look into. I'm not considering anything fully automatic.

2. I then need a grinder. I currently own the Capresso Infinity, which was the Cooks Illustrated best buy, for general coffee consumption. I could perhaps upgrade to the Baratza Encore, which is about $140. Spending $500+ on a burr grinder is not currently in the cards.

3. I have decent digital kitchen scale with gram accuracy. My hope is this would be accurate enough.

4. Water quality is no doubt a factor, but do you need to go beyond a simple Britta pitcher filter for this?

5. The quality of beans makes a difference, as with filter coffee. I most often find myself buying Peet's medium and dark roasts, which are easy to find and work well for me. How much higher end of beans are needed for a good cup?

I wonder if anyone can weigh on this, understanding that I'm looking just to enter these waters.

My last question regards descaling. Typically, for a drip coffee makers, this has running through a vinegar solution (and flushing it many times afterwards). I suspect, given the additional components, a different approach will be required.
If you only want espresso shots and don't care about milk drinks, get a Cafelat Robot ~$300 or a Flair ~$200? (and a cheap electric tea kettle) and an Orphan Espresso Pharos hand grinder ~$250 (it holds it's own against $1800 grinders - no kidding). This is a very hands on, fiddly option, but you can make espresso as good as anyone on the planet. Or, you can get an Orphan Espresso LIDO E hand grinder for a bit less.

If you want milk drinks, get the Pharos with a Gaggia Classic or a gently used LaPavoni. The LaPavoni will take time to get used to and it may burn you in the process, but when it's good, it's very good. When you're done with these, you can sell them on eBay and get most of your money back (I know from experience). Not true for the Brevilles or DeLonghis. If you go the LaPavoni route, I can share my routine with you. Also, the LaPav allows you to control the flow and pressure of your pulls for maximum fiddling and experimentation. Same is true of the Robot and Flair, all of them being "direct or manual levers."

You can try the Capresso and see how it goes at first, but if you find you're producing either gushers or choking shots but little in between, then you'll need to upgrade. It will just almost work for you, but you'll notice a difference moving up to a better grinder. If you want an electric and not a hand grinder, the Baratza Sette has great reviews from espresso nerds for around $300. Downside is reliability, although Baratza's customer service is reportedly great.

Your scale will be fine. Beans, grinder, size of grind, tamp, and machine are all more important that the exact weight. Anymore, I just top off my portafilter and level it without weighing unless I'm working on a particularly difficult bean to pull.

Beans are important, especially their freshness. After a month, beans start to dry out and you can't get much out of them with espresso (it's different for drip). If the bag doesn't have a roast date listed, then move on. You can freeze them for a couple months and they'll be fine though. I only buy bags roasted within a week and put them in freezer. Recommend trying Redbird Espresso as a good starter bean. They offer good value, especially if you buy in higher quantities. Notice that they sell in full pound bags where most sell 12 oz.

Try the Brita at first. Get some cheap water hardness strips and see we're you're at. Chances are, it will be fine.

It can all seem overwhelming at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's no big deal and a lot of fun to experiment.
Last edited by caffeperfavore on Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.

ThankYouJack
Posts: 3032
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:27 pm

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by ThankYouJack » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:06 pm

Alf 101 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:13 am


5. The quality of beans makes a difference, as with filter coffee. I most often find myself buying Peet's medium and dark roasts, which are easy to find and work well for me. How much higher end of beans are needed for a good cup?
I would move that up to #1. I think it's personal preference, but definitely good to experiment with different beans especially from a great local roaster. Maybe some of the coffee experts on here can assist with beans that would be more similar to Italian roasts that I think you said you're looking for.

I wouldn't think the vast majority of people could notice a difference between coffee with 10 vs 10.4 grams of beans. But then again, maybe there's a placebo effect and if you put more time into it and have everything precisely measured, the better it seems to taste.
The super automatic that I've used tastes great (super smooth), but maybe there's also some placebo with it coming from a $1,300 machine.

caffeperfavore
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by caffeperfavore » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:13 pm

One final thing and then I'll shut up (can't help myself, I love this stuff almost as much as procrastinating at work).

You can sometimes find really good equipment deals on the outlet or open box pages of the espresso websites. Check out Whole Latte Love, Clive Coffee, Chris Coffee, Seattle Coffee Gear, and 1st Line. My last few machines/grinders have all been used or specials, so I've been able to sell them for close to what I paid for them.

InvisibleAerobar
Posts: 355
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:11 pm

Alf 101 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:13 am
The OP has returned to chime back in. Thank you for all the responses, and detailed insight on espresso. I find it a most enjoyable beverage, but reading the range of opinions, I'm left wondering what kind of investment is required for the "espresso curious".

Admittedly, part of the appeal is the craft involved. I'm less motivated by just pushing a button, and like to study the variables in things. At some point I may discover that a millisecond or fraction of a gram represents a critical difference, but you inevitably pass a price for that precision. It might be, down the road, I do continue to upgrade, but I am decidedly more entry level at present.

So what would I need to buy?

1. First off is the espresso machine. I would be looking to spend around the price of the Gaggia Classic. I have seen the Breville Barista, factory reconditioned, in that ballpark. DeLonghi has some manual models I'll also look into. I'm not considering anything fully automatic.
Saeco once upon a time made the Aroma machine. Mine was the Via Venezia (essentially the same machine, but by a different name), and it was more than decent, after I bought the un-pressurized portafilter. These may be available as reconditioned units
2. I then need a grinder. I currently own the Capresso Infinity, which was the Cooks Illustrated best buy, for general coffee consumption. I could perhaps upgrade to the Baratza Encore, which is about $140. Spending $500+ on a burr grinder is not currently in the cards.
Encore at the very least. My first grinder was the predecessor to the Encore, and it could not grind fine enough out of the factory for espresso (water would shoot out of the portafilter, which i guess is fine if one wants Americanos). On the third attempt, Baratza sent me something with a fine enough setting. You'll want to double check with Baratza that the Encore can indeed grind fine enough for your needs
3. I have decent digital kitchen scale with gram accuracy. My hope is this would be accurate enough.
Unlike other posters above, I observe significant differences between 15.5 and 16.5 grams of ground (that's the difference between getting a full 2 oz of extracted coffee vs 1.5 oz of extracted coffee), all else held constant (to the best of my abilities). A scale that reads to the nearest gram has precision of +/- 1 gram. 15 grams would therefore range anywhere from ~14 to ~16 grams. This was made particularly apparent, as I have one scale that reads +/- 1 gram, and another that reads +/- 0.01 gram, and the readings between the two really could be off by a whole gram at times.
4. Water quality is no doubt a factor, but do you need to go beyond a simple Britta pitcher filter for this?
water testing strips (relatively inexpensive from Amazon) is the best way to go here. You can see how hard the water is out of the tap, after filtering, and when dispensed from the group head.

fwiw, my tap water has ~80 ppm of dissolved particulates, and my PUR filter lowers it to ~40 ppm. The water coming out of the brewhead is less than 20 ppm (below threshold of the test strip). So i'd say a Britta should be fine.
5. The quality of beans makes a difference, as with filter coffee. I most often find myself buying Peet's medium and dark roasts, which are easy to find and work well for me. How much higher end of beans are needed for a good cup?
I drink both caffeinated and decaf espressos. For caffeinated, i've found that the $8 Organic Bolivian from Trader Joe's to be great. I can get a standard sized (~50 mL) double shot that is neither bitter (sign of over-extraction) nor sour (sign of under-extraction). Instead, it is smooth, with a slightly nutty aroma that shines through. Beats the $14/lb beans from La Colombe or my other local roasters

For decaf, you need a local roaster. I want to cheap-out here, but i've been consistently disappointed by everything except the ones that Whole Foods roasts on-site.
I wonder if anyone can weigh on this, understanding that I'm looking just to enter these waters.

My last question regards descaling. Typically, for a drip coffee makers, this has running through a vinegar solution (and flushing it many times afterwards). I suspect, given the additional components, a different approach will be required.
you can purchase descalers (I use descal)

dustinst22
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by dustinst22 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:56 pm

Starfish wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:17 am

I think that is BS.
A GOOD 100$ bottle is VERY different from any 10$ bottle and I am willing to take that test any time.
One would think. But most studies show that the vast majority of wine enthusiasts can't pass a basic blind test. People like expensive wines more partly because of the cost -- it's purely psychological. Good documentary on netflix on this. If you're buying really expensive wines, you're probably overpaying by huge amounts for what you can actually taste. Unless you have the palette of say a master sommelier.

Starfish
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by Starfish » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:02 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:50 am
Starfish wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:56 pm
I see people talking about Italian coffee. Italian coffee is not considered good by any self respecting coffee snob (in Europe at least). All the rage now is the nordic type of coffee.
And I disagree that NO american establishment offering good coffee. After 12 years in SF and Bay Area I recently found one.
Other than traveling across the pond, how can I try some Nordic coffee? I prefer lighter roasts, especially with cold brew, and enjoy Central American coffee so I have a feeling I would enjoy Nordic coffee as well.
I a not sure how available commercially it is.
There should be coffee roasters that make lighter roasted coffee which retains some of the volatile compounds that give coffee the flavors (the opposite of the Italian coffee). You get the coffee and make an espresso.
In a larger city I think you can find some specialty coffee place.

international001
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by international001 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:08 pm

caffeperfavore wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:51 am

If you only want espresso shots and don't care about milk drinks, get a Cafelat Robot ~$300 or a Flair ~$200? (and a cheap electric tea kettle) and an Orphan Espresso Pharos hand grinder ~$250 (it holds it's own against $1800 grinders - no kidding). This is a very hands on, fiddly option, but you can make espresso as good as anyone on the planet. Or, you can get an Orphan Espresso LIDO E hand grinder for a bit less.
How long does it take you to grind 7-14 g for a shot w/o overheating it. That's the problem of using hand grinders

quantAndHold
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:21 pm

As much as I love my Pavoni, I would avoid it as a first espresso machine. There are a lot of moving parts to getting espresso right, and even more with a lever machine. I wouldn’t want to be trying to learn how to Pavoni without already having some control of the espresso making process on a less fiddly machine. Also, when you buy that used Pavoni and it doesn’t work right, it’s good to have an idea whether it’s you or the machine.

Hand grinders can work very well, but they take a lot of cranking. I don’t really have the patience for that before I’ve had my coffee in the morning.

The descaling process is basically the same. Put water and descaler in, let it soak, run it through the machine, much clean water afterwards. There are commercial descaling compounds that work better than vinegar, though. We have good water and only need to do it maybe once a year.

ThankYouJack
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by ThankYouJack » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:47 pm

dustinst22 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:56 pm
Starfish wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:17 am

I think that is BS.
A GOOD 100$ bottle is VERY different from any 10$ bottle and I am willing to take that test any time.
One would think. But most studies show that the vast majority of wine enthusiasts can't pass a basic blind test. People like expensive wines more partly because of the cost -- it's purely psychological. Good documentary on netflix on this. If you're buying really expensive wines, you're probably overpaying by huge amounts for what you can actually taste. Unless you have the palette of say a master sommelier.
What's the documentary? There's a freakonomics podcast here - http://freakonomics.com/podcast/freakon ... te-better/

I actually haven't enjoyed the expensive bottles of wine that I've tried. Hopefully I keep cheap unsophisticated palette :beer

gtd98765
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by gtd98765 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:53 pm

dustinst22 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:56 pm

One would think. But most studies show that the vast majority of wine enthusiasts can't pass a basic blind test. People like expensive wines more partly because of the cost -- it's purely psychological. Good documentary on netflix on this.
Title of wine documentary you refer to please? Searched "wine" on netflix and nothing obvious came up.

TN_Boy
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by TN_Boy » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:18 pm

gtd98765 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:53 pm
dustinst22 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:56 pm

One would think. But most studies show that the vast majority of wine enthusiasts can't pass a basic blind test. People like expensive wines more partly because of the cost -- it's purely psychological. Good documentary on netflix on this.
Title of wine documentary you refer to please? Searched "wine" on netflix and nothing obvious came up.
I haven't seen the documentary but I'll repost the link on this topic:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_wine_tasting

The page has links to the several articles. Here is one referenced in the wikipedia page:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyl ... e-analysis

Note it is NOT just the average guy and gal that are bad "wine tasters." The wine "experts" demonstrate their abilities are ..... highly debatable.

I thought this was pretty well known stuff ... I'd heard about it years ago.

TN_Boy
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by TN_Boy » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:23 pm

Strummer wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:28 am
Alf 101 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:13 am
The OP has returned to chime back in. Thank you for all the responses, and detailed insight on espresso. I find it a most enjoyable beverage, but reading the range of opinions, I'm left wondering what kind of investment is required for the "espresso curious".
If you're at the "espresso curious" stage, you might want to start with a smaller investment than a machine that costs thousands or even hundreds of dollars. I don't drink coffee every day but thanks to a local roaster who offers beans from all over the world, I have developed a palate for the stuff. My home solution is the Aeropress and a similarly-sized grinder, which can be had for a total of under $60. Read the reviews on Amazon for details. For me, this technique brings out the flavor of the coffee quite well. One caveat: This is not a good solution if you want to make coffee for more than a couple people, so you won't be using it for dinner parties.
But an aeropress cannot make espresso. I'm not saying it can't make good coffee .... but what it produces is not espresso. Some argue it can be kinda sorta a little close:

https://www.javapresse.com/blogs/aeropr ... e-espresso

The primary thing about espresso machines is that they run the hot water through finely ground beans at a fair bit of pressure.

caffeperfavore
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by caffeperfavore » Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:25 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:21 pm
Hand grinders can work very well, but they take a lot of cranking. I don’t really have the patience for that before I’ve had my coffee in the morning.
international001 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:08 pm

How long does it take you to grind 7-14 g for a shot w/o overheating it. That's the problem of using hand grinders
The Orphan Espresso hand grinders are really in a league of their own and don't take many cranks at all. If you're used to something like a Hario or whatnot, it grinds in a fraction of the time. I believe there's some videos online demonstrating their use if the OP is interested or curious. A lot of people consider any electric under around $1500 to be a step down from these in terms of grind quality.

And no overheating issues, in fact, the slower RPMs of the Orphan Espresso Pharos is likely to be more gentle than an electric.

But yes, any hand grinder is going to require a little more time than an electric grinder and you'll have to be ready for it.

I had one for three years, but... I now have an electric. :) However, it was great and at the time I valued bang for buck over convenience. I thought the OP might be in the same boat, so it's probably worth a look.

dustinst22
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by dustinst22 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:30 pm

ThankYouJack wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:47 pm

What's the documentary? There's a freakonomics podcast here - http://freakonomics.com/podcast/freakon ... te-better/
Sour Grapes. Good watch.

References above are great too.

I enjoy wine, but realize that I can find a good enough bottle in the $15-$30 range.

gtd98765
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by gtd98765 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:26 am

dustinst22 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:30 pm

Sour Grapes. Good watch.

References above are great too.

I enjoy wine, but realize that I can find a good enough bottle in the $15-$30 range.
thanks much.

Topic Author
Alf 101
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by Alf 101 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:16 am

One quick question concerning burr grinders...

So there seems a consensus that the grind is of paramount importance, equal or nearly equal to your choice of machine. Logically, this makes some sense, but it does add another layer of complexity to entry level choices.

I would say the balance of performance and cost is what everyone is looking for, with most everything they buy. I would also be concerned with footprint and size. It is good sized, but we do not have the infinite kitchen -- counter space, cabinet space, island space -- all these factor.

Primarily this would be my purchase and project, so just thinking through the implementation. A grinder the size of our blender, or bigger, would be a hard sell. This assumes most everyone who makes espresso does so in the kitchen; I could explore moving operations elsewhere in the house, but would like I'd want to be within a couple arms' reach of a sink...

TN_Boy
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by TN_Boy » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:39 am

Alf 101 wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:16 am
One quick question concerning burr grinders...

So there seems a consensus that the grind is of paramount importance, equal or nearly equal to your choice of machine. Logically, this makes some sense, but it does add another layer of complexity to entry level choices.

I would say the balance of performance and cost is what everyone is looking for, with most everything they buy. I would also be concerned with footprint and size. It is good sized, but we do not have the infinite kitchen -- counter space, cabinet space, island space -- all these factor.

Primarily this would be my purchase and project, so just thinking through the implementation. A grinder the size of our blender, or bigger, would be a hard sell. This assumes most everyone who makes espresso does so in the kitchen; I could explore moving operations elsewhere in the house, but would like I'd want to be within a couple arms' reach of a sink...
Well yes that is an issue. Our Gaggia classic and Rancillo rocky grinder (the grinder weighs about 20 lbs....) take up a fair bit of counter space. And yes, you really want the espresso making in the kitchen, near a sink.

You are correct to ponder how to sell this to the other half of the Alf 101 team ....

My spouse enjoys Americanos and the occasional latte so she gets a benefit from the machine, but neither one of us is crazy about the space taken up by the machines in our medium sized kitchen. If we had a big kitchen it wouldn't matter.

caffeperfavore
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by caffeperfavore » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:47 am

Alf 101 wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:16 am
One quick question concerning burr grinders...

So there seems a consensus that the grind is of paramount importance, equal or nearly equal to your choice of machine. Logically, this makes some sense, but it does add another layer of complexity to entry level choices.

I would say the balance of performance and cost is what everyone is looking for, with most everything they buy. I would also be concerned with footprint and size. It is good sized, but we do not have the infinite kitchen -- counter space, cabinet space, island space -- all these factor.

Primarily this would be my purchase and project, so just thinking through the implementation. A grinder the size of our blender, or bigger, would be a hard sell. This assumes most everyone who makes espresso does so in the kitchen; I could explore moving operations elsewhere in the house, but would like I'd want to be within a couple arms' reach of a sink...
They vary a lot in size, but most of the entry level grinders you'll probably be looking at are fairly compact (Rancilio Rocky, Gaggia MDF, Baratza Sette 270). It's when you get into the commercial grinders that it becomes more of a problem (e.g., a Mazzer Luigi). My current grinder came with a comically large bean hopper on top that barely fit under my cabinets. But, I don't use it and just put the beans into the mouth of the grinder, using a plastic tamper on top to prevent popcorning (aka, single dosing).

Speaking of, I see that there is a pixie size refurbished Lelit PL53 at 1st Line coffee for around $250. Being stepless (meaning you can fine tune the adjustments rather than having it click into steps that are either a little too big or too small to use - resulting in either gushers or chocking the shot), I like this option over the Rocky or Gaggia MDF. https://www.1st-line.com/buy/rrpl53110/ Another good option is a refurbished Baratza 270 or Vario: https://www.baratza.com/product-category/refurb/

ThankYouJack
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by ThankYouJack » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:32 am

dustinst22 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:30 pm
ThankYouJack wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:47 pm

What's the documentary? There's a freakonomics podcast here - http://freakonomics.com/podcast/freakon ... te-better/
Sour Grapes. Good watch.

References above are great too.

I enjoy wine, but realize that I can find a good enough bottle in the $15-$30 range.
Thanks, will have to check it out.

Topic Author
Alf 101
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by Alf 101 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:09 am

So I did a little research on grinders -- mainly recording dimensions, and subtly taking cabinet and counter measurements, in advance of broaching this project with the other half of Team Alf.

This has led me to consider the Baratza Encore or Virtuoso, for a few reasons. They are compact; and particularly with the hopper removed (9" tall), would store easily in available cabinet place. They also have a modest look, not quite screaming coffee snob or barista, that would sit well with the other team captain. Also if I spent $400 on a grinder right out of the gate, there could be an intervention.

This leads to another question -- are these good enough or better? Recall, as the OP, I'm looking to enter this world, and begin with something in the Gaggia Classic niche. If all I drank was French press and drip coffee, either of these would be great, but espresso is a different game.

quantAndHold
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by quantAndHold » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:12 am

caffeperfavore wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:47 am
Alf 101 wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:16 am
One quick question concerning burr grinders...

So there seems a consensus that the grind is of paramount importance, equal or nearly equal to your choice of machine. Logically, this makes some sense, but it does add another layer of complexity to entry level choices.

I would say the balance of performance and cost is what everyone is looking for, with most everything they buy. I would also be concerned with footprint and size. It is good sized, but we do not have the infinite kitchen -- counter space, cabinet space, island space -- all these factor.

Primarily this would be my purchase and project, so just thinking through the implementation. A grinder the size of our blender, or bigger, would be a hard sell. This assumes most everyone who makes espresso does so in the kitchen; I could explore moving operations elsewhere in the house, but would like I'd want to be within a couple arms' reach of a sink...
They vary a lot in size, but most of the entry level grinders you'll probably be looking at are fairly compact (Rancilio Rocky, Gaggia MDF, Baratza Sette 270). It's when you get into the commercial grinders that it becomes more of a problem (e.g., a Mazzer Luigi). My current grinder came with a comically large bean hopper on top that barely fit under my cabinets. But, I don't use it and just put the beans into the mouth of the grinder, using a plastic tamper on top to prevent popcorning (aka, single dosing).

Speaking of, I see that there is a pixie size refurbished Lelit PL53 at 1st Line coffee for around $250. Being stepless (meaning you can fine tune the adjustments rather than having it click into steps that are either a little too big or too small to use - resulting in either gushers or chocking the shot), I like this option over the Rocky or Gaggia MDF. https://www.1st-line.com/buy/rrpl53110/ Another good option is a refurbished Baratza 270 or Vario: https://www.baratza.com/product-category/refurb/
I have the LeLit grinder. It has lasted longer than the LeLit espresso machine I originally bought it with. And it’s one of the smaller ones out there. Recommended.

caffeperfavore
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by caffeperfavore » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:51 am

Alf 101 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:09 am
So I did a little research on grinders -- mainly recording dimensions, and subtly taking cabinet and counter measurements, in advance of broaching this project with the other half of Team Alf.

This has led me to consider the Baratza Encore or Virtuoso, for a few reasons. They are compact; and particularly with the hopper removed (9" tall), would store easily in available cabinet place. They also have a modest look, not quite screaming coffee snob or barista, that would sit well with the other team captain. Also if I spent $400 on a grinder right out of the gate, there could be an intervention.

This leads to another question -- are these good enough or better? Recall, as the OP, I'm looking to enter this world, and begin with something in the Gaggia Classic niche. If all I drank was French press and drip coffee, either of these would be great, but espresso is a different game.
If you currently have a Capresso Infinity, then I don't think the Encore or Virtuoso will be much of an upgrade for espresso, more like a lateral move. I would keep using it until you can't stand it anymore, saving a little money and getting Team Alf onboard, and then upgrade to the Sette 270, which offers huge value for the price. You can upgrade your machine several times and keep the Sette 270.

Just know that for the Infinity, Virtuoso, or Encore, you'll find yourself needing to either add or subtract your dosage of grinds to make up for the fact that you really need a setting of 11.5 but you can only choose between 11 and 12 (just an example, I have no idea what the actual numbers would be).

If Team Alf balks at the price, stretch the funds by getting a gently used Gaggia on eBay, especially one that they've done the steam wand mod on (replacing the stock steam mod with a Rancilio wand - cheap part swapped out with a wrench). There's tons of them on there all the time. Refurbished Sette 270s pop up on Baratza's website fairly often.

I like that we're making progress here. :)

Strummer
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by Strummer » Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:01 pm

TN_Boy wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:23 pm
Strummer wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:28 am
Alf 101 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:13 am
The OP has returned to chime back in. Thank you for all the responses, and detailed insight on espresso. I find it a most enjoyable beverage, but reading the range of opinions, I'm left wondering what kind of investment is required for the "espresso curious".
If you're at the "espresso curious" stage, you might want to start with a smaller investment than a machine that costs thousands or even hundreds of dollars. I don't drink coffee every day but thanks to a local roaster who offers beans from all over the world, I have developed a palate for the stuff. My home solution is the Aeropress and a similarly-sized grinder, which can be had for a total of under $60. Read the reviews on Amazon for details. For me, this technique brings out the flavor of the coffee quite well. One caveat: This is not a good solution if you want to make coffee for more than a couple people, so you won't be using it for dinner parties.
But an aeropress cannot make espresso. I'm not saying it can't make good coffee .... but what it produces is not espresso. Some argue it can be kinda sorta a little close:

https://www.javapresse.com/blogs/aeropr ... e-espresso

The primary thing about espresso machines is that they run the hot water through finely ground beans at a fair bit of pressure.
This is true — you'll never get the same crema out of an Aeropress that you do out of a true espresso machine. That said, given the OP's entry-level espresso status and the frugal nature of Bogleheads (except when it comes to watches and, apparently, espresso machines), the Aeropress isn't a bad place to start.

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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by TN_Boy » Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:46 pm

Strummer wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 12:01 pm
TN_Boy wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 6:23 pm
Strummer wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:28 am
Alf 101 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:13 am
The OP has returned to chime back in. Thank you for all the responses, and detailed insight on espresso. I find it a most enjoyable beverage, but reading the range of opinions, I'm left wondering what kind of investment is required for the "espresso curious".
If you're at the "espresso curious" stage, you might want to start with a smaller investment than a machine that costs thousands or even hundreds of dollars. I don't drink coffee every day but thanks to a local roaster who offers beans from all over the world, I have developed a palate for the stuff. My home solution is the Aeropress and a similarly-sized grinder, which can be had for a total of under $60. Read the reviews on Amazon for details. For me, this technique brings out the flavor of the coffee quite well. One caveat: This is not a good solution if you want to make coffee for more than a couple people, so you won't be using it for dinner parties.
But an aeropress cannot make espresso. I'm not saying it can't make good coffee .... but what it produces is not espresso. Some argue it can be kinda sorta a little close:

https://www.javapresse.com/blogs/aeropr ... e-espresso

The primary thing about espresso machines is that they run the hot water through finely ground beans at a fair bit of pressure.
This is true — you'll never get the same crema out of an Aeropress that you do out of a true espresso machine. That said, given the OP's entry-level espresso status and the frugal nature of Bogleheads (except when it comes to watches and, apparently, espresso machines), the Aeropress isn't a bad place to start.
I get the point, the problem is that if you want *espresso* you need, like, an espresso machine. And I speak partly from experience. When I first started thinking I wanted to be able to make espresso at home, I tinkered with the moka pot, and I think I had a cheap semi-automatic espresso maker of some kind (would actually do espresso and drip coffee .. a dual function thing) with a cheap grinder ....

And those purchases were a waste of money and time, since I couldn't get a decent cup of espresso out of them. Then I bought a gaggia and a good burr grinder and all was well. It would have been more frugal to have started with decent equipment in the first place. I don't think you have to spend a fortune, but I do think you have to spend several hundred dollars. And then buy good beans.

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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by InvisibleAerobar » Wed Mar 13, 2019 5:51 pm

TN_Boy wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 4:46 pm

I get the point, the problem is that if you want *espresso* you need, like, an espresso machine. And I speak partly from experience. When I first started thinking I wanted to be able to make espresso at home, I tinkered with the moka pot, and I think I had a cheap semi-automatic espresso maker of some kind (would actually do espresso and drip coffee .. a dual function thing) with a cheap grinder ....

And those purchases were a waste of money and time, since I couldn't get a decent cup of espresso out of them. Then I bought a gaggia and a good burr grinder and all was well. It would have been more frugal to have started with decent equipment in the first place. I don't think you have to spend a fortune, but I do think you have to spend several hundred dollars. And then buy good beans.
this exactly. buy it once and buy it right

i wanted the moka pot to work, but i instead melted the handle... The purchase of the grinder + machine + portafilter was a bit extravagant ($550, on a grad student stipend), but the shots that came out tasted better than what Starbucks would produce

international001
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by international001 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:26 am

Some misconceptions
- Pressure is not important. Most cheap machines produce 9 bar you need
- Water temperature is important. You need constant temperature for your shot. Better technologies cost more $
- All the machines with pods are crap, because they cannot imitate fresh ground beans, no matter how much sealing and how much nitrogen they use
- All the machines with pods are crap, mainly because they use pressurized portafilters. What comes is not real espresso.
- Same about the portafilters for most cheap $100-$200 machines. But worse, same for most super-automatic machines

So buy a (semi-)automatic machine if you like good coffee, with a decent grinder.

TN_Boy
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by TN_Boy » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:27 am

international001 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 6:26 am
Some misconceptions
- Pressure is not important. Most cheap machines produce 9 bar you need
- Water temperature is important. You need constant temperature for your shot. Better technologies cost more $
- All the machines with pods are crap, because they cannot imitate fresh ground beans, no matter how much sealing and how much nitrogen they use
- All the machines with pods are crap, mainly because they use pressurized portafilters. What comes is not real espresso.
- Same about the portafilters for most cheap $100-$200 machines. But worse, same for most super-automatic machines

So buy a (semi-)automatic machine if you like good coffee, with a decent grinder.
I agree with much of this .... though real cheap machines might not produce consistent pressure.

I will say that nespresso pod machines are surprisingly good. You get some actual crema and decent flavor. I was breakfasting at a very nice hotel in Europe (credit card points, are they not awesome, I"d have never paid cash for that hotel) where they served me a good cup of espresso and I was shocked when ordering an espresso the next day at the coffee bar, I saw it was a nespresso machine. And if you google around, you'll find that a lot of good hotels in Europe have gone this route.

Now, I prefer a "real" machine and grinder, but the nespresso machines are definitely getting in the realm of "real" espresso. The pods are easier to get cheap in Europe.

This article:

https://www.javapresse.com/blogs/espres ... l-espresso

Is sorta how I feel about the nespresso machines. Except that I don't believe making a decent shot of espresso is THAT hard ... if you have good equipment and learn a couple of techniques.

caffeperfavore
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by caffeperfavore » Thu Mar 14, 2019 10:05 am

TN_Boy wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:27 am
I will say that nespresso pod machines are surprisingly good. You get some actual crema and decent flavor. I was breakfasting at a very nice hotel in Europe (credit card points, are they not awesome, I"d have never paid cash for that hotel) where they served me a good cup of espresso and I was shocked when ordering an espresso the next day at the coffee bar, I saw it was a nespresso machine. And if you google around, you'll find that a lot of good hotels in Europe have gone this route.
A number of restaurants I've been to in France used Nespresso including at least one Michelin starred place. England's famed Fat Duck restaurant used to use Nespresso, because they wanted consistency. I will use Nespresso before any superautomatic.

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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by mokaThought » Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:03 am

calculon11 wrote:
Fri Mar 08, 2019 3:28 pm
Just get a Moka pot.
Endorsed. :)
October: This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks in. The others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February. —Mark Twain

international001
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by international001 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:16 am

TN_Boy wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:27 am

I agree with much of this .... though real cheap machines might not produce consistent pressure.

I will say that nespresso pod machines are surprisingly good. You get some actual crema and decent flavor.
Sure.. the real cheap machines have cheap pumps that do not even produce constant pressure. That's why they tend to use pressurized portafilters to build the pressure.

Nexpresso doesn't produce real crema, nor does any machine with pressurized portafilters. They produce just fake crema (air) that you can get from the worse ground coffee.

https://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/learn ... t-is-crema

TN_Boy
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by TN_Boy » Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:18 pm

international001 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:16 am
TN_Boy wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:27 am

I agree with much of this .... though real cheap machines might not produce consistent pressure.

I will say that nespresso pod machines are surprisingly good. You get some actual crema and decent flavor.
Sure.. the real cheap machines have cheap pumps that do not even produce constant pressure. That's why they tend to use pressurized portafilters to build the pressure.

Nexpresso doesn't produce real crema, nor does any machine with pressurized portafilters. They produce just fake crema (air) that you can get from the worse ground coffee.

https://www.seattlecoffeegear.com/learn ... t-is-crema
As I said previously in this thread, much of this is simply personal preference. I think the nespresso machines produce decent drinks (albeit not my first choice). You may not. I would have to do more research on how "fake" the nespresso crema is to have an informed opinion (the nespresso folks seem to claim they have enough pressure to get real crema, but of course there is marketing and there is reality). The "crema" from a nespresso machine works okay for me, and as the article you linked notes, crema itself is not absolutely critical to flavor.

international001
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by international001 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:29 pm

Everything in life is an acquire taste. But there are tastes that are based on empirical measures. Crema is an emulsion of coffee oils and brings reach flavors. Try to learn the difference. If you can't, then keep using nespresso. I switched from pressurized to non-pressurized and life was never the same for me.

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yatesd
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Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by yatesd » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:05 pm

Personally I bought my setup at Chris Coffee https://www.chriscoffee.com/Default.asp

My suggestion, stick with French Press (which we still use for our "to go cups" and a less expensive grinder set to course https://www.capresso.com/infinity-conic ... eel-1.html

Or go all out if you like long blacks (strong Americano's) and go for something like what I have, which is a rabbit hole:

- bar sink
- plumbing for water
- Dual boiler, plumbable expresso machine https://www.chriscoffee.com/Vetrano-2B- ... evoled.htm
- Commercial grinder https://www.chriscoffee.com/Mahlkonig-K ... 0vario.htm

I can attest that a cheap grinder doesn't work for expresso (I tried making it work with a $100 grinder and it led to disapointment) and it also won't work without fresh coffee. For our French Press we use Sam's Club/Costco good 3lb coffee at around $6lb and for espresso it requires us to buy roast on demand and freeze 5lb bags for about $10lb.

My espresso coffee is usually from Redbird or Paradise Coffee.

Another good resource: https://www.home-barista.com/forums/

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snackdog
Posts: 806
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:57 am

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by snackdog » Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:43 pm

Nespresso has a LOT going for it. The coffee is decent, varied and stays fresh. The machine is cheap, small and heats up fast. The process is easy, clean and hassle free. To get a better cup of espresso at home you need to do a lot more work and spend a lot more money.

TN_Boy
Posts: 1274
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:51 pm

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by TN_Boy » Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:45 am

international001 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:29 pm
Everything in life is an acquire taste. But there are tastes that are based on empirical measures. Crema is an emulsion of coffee oils and brings reach flavors. Try to learn the difference. If you can't, then keep using nespresso. I switched from pressurized to non-pressurized and life was never the same for me.
Laughing a little. I'll get right on and "Try to learn the difference." So my life can change. :oops:

It's hard for me to drink much from a Nespresso machine since I don't have one. I have a basic setup -- Gaggia Classic and a Rancillo Rocky grinder. Beans from both local roasters and national chains (Peets for example). I am happy with the results and prefer this to nespresso.

But I find the nespresso drink pretty decent as do many. Nespresso claims they send the water through the grounds under pressure and seem to imply they have crema. Of course, they are biased. I'd have to research it more before concluding that what they call crema is completely different from what a "real" espresso machine provides.

caffeperfavore
Posts: 260
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2015 11:45 am

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by caffeperfavore » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:40 am

TN_Boy wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:45 am

Laughing a little. I'll get right on and "Try to learn the difference." So my life can change. :oops:

It's hard for me to drink much from a Nespresso machine since I don't have one. I have a basic setup -- Gaggia Classic and a Rancillo Rocky grinder. Beans from both local roasters and national chains (Peets for example). I am happy with the results and prefer this to nespresso.

But I find the nespresso drink pretty decent as do many. Nespresso claims they send the water through the grounds under pressure and seem to imply they have crema. Of course, they are biased. I'd have to research it more before concluding that what they call crema is completely different from what a "real" espresso machine provides.
Yeah, it has it's place as do Aeropress and stovetop brewers. Maybe it's not true espresso, but it can make an enjoyable brew for in it's own right. It's all about what you like. It's not my first choice, but it's certainly better than nothing. I'll happily drink it if I find one in my hotel room. A lot of people (myself included) would take a cheeseburger over filet mignon (which is a "better" meat) and that's ok.
international001 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:29 pm
Everything in life is an acquire taste. But there are tastes that are based on empirical measures. Crema is an emulsion of coffee oils and brings reach flavors. Try to learn the difference. If you can't, then keep using nespresso. I switched from pressurized to non-pressurized and life was never the same for me.
Cheap robusta beans produce tons of crema, yet an all-robusta brew is pretty nasty stuff. Meanwhile, there are a number of single origins that produce little to no crema at all, yet are still delicious.

I don't think anyone is advocating for machines that use pressurized baskets here and everyone seems to be in agreement that those cheap thermoblock style/pressureized portafilter type machines aren't worth the trouble. It sounds like the OP is sold on a Gaggia Classic.

investingdad
Posts: 1667
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:41 pm

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by investingdad » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:38 am

Let me upvote a prior poster who mentioned Whole Latte Love for buying an espresso machine.

We got our first Jura fully automatic from them about 10 years back. It was a nearly new, open box return that worked flawlessly. We bought a new replacement from them about a year ago because their service and ease of dealing with is great.

Our Jura produces a lot of crema on the espresso shots, so much that my mom, who isn't familiar with espresso, thought the cream had already been added.

And our beans come from Coffe Bean Direct, they'll custom roast whatever beans you purchase online.

dustinst22
Posts: 318
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:09 pm
Location: Huntington Beach, CA

Re: Espresso Maker 2019

Post by dustinst22 » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:30 pm

+1 for jura. One of the best purchases I've ever made. Also purchased a refurbished one.

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