New Espresso Machine

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alan weinberg
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#51 Post by alan weinberg » January 1st, 2015, 8:23 am

ybarselah wrote:
alan weinberg wrote:
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:Regarding the importance of the grinder: I was a skeptic at first. I love a good espresso, but do not consider myself a geek about it, so figured I was doing well with my Capresso burr grinder, which was a definite step up for what I'd had before. Then my husband set up a blind test between my old Capresso and his Mazzer. Same beans, same awesome espresso machine, same barista (him) - only the grinder was different. The grinder, and the results, that is. Not even close. It made a huge difference, even to my less-refined palate.
my Baratza Vario-W grinder from Whole Latte Love arrived today.
curious to know how you like the weight aspect. i bought that one first but it wasn't as good as i thought and just got the regular.

also, i need to contact Baratza and send them all the espresso threads - i deserve a kick back!
not pulling shots of espresso so the weight doesn't matter--just grind and put it into my Technivorm.

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#52 Post by ybarselah » January 1st, 2015, 9:44 am

alan - it's designed for espresso and comes with ceramic burrs. if you're not ever intending to do espresso, you should get a different grinder that will excel at grinding course grinds more consistently.

the good news is that you can save a lot of money.
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#53 Post by Larry P » January 1st, 2015, 10:11 am

My Baratza Vario arrived yesterday afternoon, and I gave it a spin for the first time this morning. Man it was frustrating to get this thing dialed in, compounded by the fact that I hadn't had my morning coffee yet!

It appears I had been tamping way too hard working with the Krups grinder. With the Baratza, my grind was well out of the espresso range before I could get any draw at all. So I started over with lighter tamping, and probably pulled a dozen shots before I got something drinkable. I used up nearly all my beans, so I'll need to restart with fresh ones tomorrow. So the journey continues...
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#54 Post by ybarselah » January 1st, 2015, 11:55 am

larry try to keep your tamp consistent. around 30lbs. then adjust the grind. try 1Q at round 13.5 seconds for a double with a good tamp. adjust from there.
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#55 Post by Alan Rath » January 1st, 2015, 12:14 pm

M Hudson wrote:If you spent any time on coffee geek forums you will quickly find most there do not have respect for "most" local coffee shops.

It took me months to dial in my shots, and tons of wasted beans, but you can do it. I can say that on average I agree with the geeks, in that most shops i visit has some unskilled kid calling themselves a barista.

When you learn to watch timing of the pulls and amount in the cup, you can easily spot who knows what they are doing and who does not.
The main two I go to are run by the owners, full time, though they have a couple of employees who are pretty dedicated to the craft. One roasts its own beans, the other buys from local roasters on a rotating basis. Both are constantly tasting, adjusting temp, grind, pressure. They have more experience than I could ever hope to duplicate. And the results are extremely good, good enough for me, anyway ;)
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#56 Post by Larry P » January 1st, 2015, 1:18 pm

ybarselah wrote:larry try to keep your tamp consistent. around 30lbs. then adjust the grind. try 1Q at round 13.5 seconds for a double with a good tamp. adjust from there.
As you can see I ended up at 2W, ground about 9s, and what I think was a really light tamp. I'll try 1Q tomorrow and between now and then I'll try to find a way to measure my tamp pressure.
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#57 Post by ybarselah » January 1st, 2015, 1:51 pm

a bathroom scale would work. you just need to be in the neighborhood and be consistent.

i've found that tamping is really the last yard in espresso. you can have a $20k machine and if you don't tamp correctly, evenly, etc., you'll get crap.
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#58 Post by b. c@stner » January 2nd, 2015, 7:01 pm

Ok..question...currently a comfortable Silvia user. Would I be happy with a refurb Gaggia Baby Class for $164.00 all in as a backup/second machine?
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#59 Post by Alan Rath » January 2nd, 2015, 7:40 pm

ybarselah wrote:but far more important...it looks like this.... flirtysmile flirtysmile flirtysmile

Image
ybarselah wrote:but what i rellay want is....

Image
Funny, the one bar I frequent (where we're long time friends with the owner) has a triple of your top one. And the other bar that opened recently closer to us has a double Slayer. I wish I could try them side by side, can't say that I can tell the difference from memory from one day to the next.
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#60 Post by Sean Moore » January 5th, 2015, 9:48 am

For those lusting over a GS3 or Slayer, I understand and share your feelings, but both are too rich for me. As a result, I'm closely monitoring the Vesuvius and Lucca as more modestly priced options to replace a 5 yr. old Giotto.

http://www.clivecoffee.com/product/vesu ... chine.html

http://www.clivecoffee.com/product/quic ... a_m58.html

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#61 Post by brianmcbrearty » January 6th, 2015, 9:07 am

Kenny H wrote:Larry I have that machine and looooove it. Get this grinder and you are all set!

http://www.brevilleusa.com/the-smart-grinder.html
Are we? I've been wondering about that grinder.

I have the dual boiler Breville and this same smart grinder. The matched set looks awesome on my shelf, a plus no doubt :) But it's a pretty constant fight. And why does the meter go to 15 or whatever if there's a regulator on there and makes the engine crap out at 9?

A macchiato is sounding good to me right now actually. Back in a sec.

YB, what's the cleaning stuff you're talking about? -- after you are done buying tablets? My machine probably needs some home maintenance. Had it a year. Do nothing except the prompted cleanings. Been known to let them slide a week too.

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#62 Post by Larry P » January 6th, 2015, 11:59 am

brianmcbrearty wrote:
Kenny H wrote:Larry I have that machine and looooove it. Get this grinder and you are all set!

http://www.brevilleusa.com/the-smart-grinder.html
Are we? I've been wondering about that grinder.

I have the dual boiler Breville and this same smart grinder. The matched set looks awesome on my shelf, a plus no doubt :) But it's a pretty constant fight. And why does the meter go to 15 or whatever if there's a regulator on there and makes the engine crap out at 9?

A macchiato is sounding good to me right now actually. Back in a sec.

YB, what's the cleaning stuff you're talking about? -- after you are done buying tablets? My machine probably needs some home maintenance. Had it a year. Do nothing except the prompted cleanings. Been known to let them slide a week too.
At this point I'm pretty happy with the Baratza Vario, but still struggling with consistency in my tamping. I can grind a double-shot in under 10s without all the shrill noise I'd get from the Krups, which is win-win. The portafilter holder does spit grounds all over the place, and I'm working to find the right yogurt cup for Mark's hack, but otherwise my main complaint is that it's messy. I could just use the bin, but I really prefer to grind right into the portafilter.

I guess the cleaner yaacov is talking about is this?
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#63 Post by M Hudson » January 6th, 2015, 1:58 pm

if the yogurt cups are too large a diameter, try a sour cream cup, thats what I got to work if I remember correctly.

here is a commercial version http://www.oehandgrinders.com/OE-Stainl ... _p_58.html
Last edited by M Hudson on January 6th, 2015, 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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#64 Post by M Hudson » January 6th, 2015, 2:01 pm

Sean Moore wrote:For those lusting over a GS3 or Slayer, I understand and share your feelings, but both are too rich for me. As a result, I'm closely monitoring the Vesuvius and Lucca as more modestly priced options to replace a 5 yr. old Giotto.

http://www.clivecoffee.com/product/vesu ... chine.html

http://www.clivecoffee.com/product/quic ... a_m58.html

so you can add steps to your pump profile for an additional 2K.

I suppose I am not a real coffee geek, but I have a hard time believing that machine is much better than a normal 2400 dollar dual boiler e61
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#65 Post by ybarselah » January 6th, 2015, 2:47 pm

do the weekly backflush with caffizza mark linked it. but you need to also periodically remove the screen with the included allen wrench and wash that out really well. you can use the caffizza on the basket and portafilter also. the first few shots after a good clean are just so pure.

get grindz for the grinder.

i don't think the smart grinder is that good, but it's probably good enough.
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#66 Post by David Whitworth » January 6th, 2015, 3:38 pm

Can you coffee folks recommend a decent grinder to use with a Behmor Brazen Plus coffee maker? Would the Breville mentioned upstream be a good route to go? We're not in to espresso yet but may move in that direction at some time, so a grinder that would be adequate for both would be great.

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#67 Post by ybarselah » January 6th, 2015, 5:46 pm

David Whitworth wrote:Can you coffee folks recommend a decent grinder to use with a Behmor Brazen Plus coffee maker? Would the Breville mentioned upstream be a good route to go? We're not in to espresso yet but may move in that direction at some time, so a grinder that would be adequate for both would be great.

TIA

David
i would buy a good grinder for drip and if/when you get serious about espresso get a proper espresso grinder. for around $100 (give or take $20) look at the capresso and baratza lines of grinders. these will be excellent for drip.
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#68 Post by Larry P » January 6th, 2015, 10:38 pm

Alan Rath wrote:The main two I go to are run by the owners, full time, though they have a couple of employees who are pretty dedicated to the craft. One roasts its own beans, the other buys from local roasters on a rotating basis. Both are constantly tasting, adjusting temp, grind, pressure. They have more experience than I could ever hope to duplicate. And the results are extremely good, good enough for me, anyway ;)
Alan, who are your coffee places? I've been researching roasters in the east bay and I'm planning to check out Suju's and Mission Coffee, both in Fremont.
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#69 Post by David Whitworth » January 7th, 2015, 10:21 am

ybarselah wrote:
David Whitworth wrote:Can you coffee folks recommend a decent grinder to use with a Behmor Brazen Plus coffee maker? Would the Breville mentioned upstream be a good route to go? We're not in to espresso yet but may move in that direction at some time, so a grinder that would be adequate for both would be great.

TIA

David
i would buy a good grinder for drip and if/when you get serious about espresso get a proper espresso grinder. for around $100 (give or take $20) look at the capresso and baratza lines of grinders. these will be excellent for drip.

Thank you, Yaacov.

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#70 Post by mark rudner » January 7th, 2015, 10:29 am

so with all the talk about grinders, is there a problem if i go to joe's or blue bird (or any other place i like) and have them grind a pound for me then just use that in my super-auto jura? it tastes a hell of a lot better than when i use its internal grinder!

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#71 Post by Dave Solomon » January 7th, 2015, 10:35 am

mark rudner wrote:so with all the talk about grinders, is there a problem if i go to joe's or blue bird (or any other place i like) and have them grind a pound for me then just use that in my super-auto jura? it tastes a hell of a lot better than when i use its internal grinder!
Everything about a superauto machine is a compromise - it's designed to give you decent coffee with no mess and no effort. If pre-ground coffee is better than the internal grinder, I'd start by cleaning the internal grinder and making sure it's correctly adjusted. If it's clean and properly adjusted and still worse than pre-ground then I think it makes total sense to pre-grind.

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#72 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » January 7th, 2015, 11:01 am

mark rudner wrote:so with all the talk about grinders, is there a problem if i go to joe's or blue bird (or any other place i like) and have them grind a pound for me then just use that in my super-auto jura? it tastes a hell of a lot better than when i use its internal grinder!
There's only a problem if you really want your coffee to taste good. ;-)

Seriously, I find that fresh ground versus pre-ground is not even a question. It makes a huge difference to my palate. That said, if you don't have a good grinder, then it's hard to say what's the lesser evil.

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#73 Post by Larry P » January 7th, 2015, 12:03 pm

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
mark rudner wrote:so with all the talk about grinders, is there a problem if i go to joe's or blue bird (or any other place i like) and have them grind a pound for me then just use that in my super-auto jura? it tastes a hell of a lot better than when i use its internal grinder!
There's only a problem if you really want your coffee to taste good. ;-)

Seriously, I find that fresh ground versus pre-ground is not even a question. It makes a huge difference to my palate. That said, if you don't have a good grinder, then it's hard to say what's the lesser evil.
+1 Grinding my own was my first coffee revelation. You want to brew as quickly after grinding as possible.
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#74 Post by mark rudner » January 7th, 2015, 12:42 pm

so then the question is this...if i buy one of the above mentioned grinders and use that fresh stuff in my super-auto, will my shots be good enough to justify the cost, or am i hopelessly limited by the rest of my machine?
btw, my espresso really isn't bad when i use the stuff i buy ground "freshly" in the city, and is infinitely better than my old nespresso crap.

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#75 Post by Sean Moore » January 7th, 2015, 2:49 pm

M Hudson wrote:I suppose I am not a real coffee geek, but I have a hard time believing that machine is much better than a normal 2400 dollar dual boiler e61
I'm not persuaded that what's in the cup will improve so much as to justify the cost of a machine that will pressure profile, but the Vesuvius looks like a strong challenger to the GS3 if you are so persuaded. I'm more likely to go with the Lucca, but only after waiting for some time for reflection from the early adopters.

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#76 Post by Todd F r e n c h » January 7th, 2015, 2:52 pm

Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
mark rudner wrote:so with all the talk about grinders, is there a problem if i go to joe's or blue bird (or any other place i like) and have them grind a pound for me then just use that in my super-auto jura? it tastes a hell of a lot better than when i use its internal grinder!
There's only a problem if you really want your coffee to taste good. ;-)

Seriously, I find that fresh ground versus pre-ground is not even a question. It makes a huge difference to my palate. That said, if you don't have a good grinder, then it's hard to say what's the lesser evil.
You don't find the automatics that grind each shot individually are very good? Espresso is a pain in the butt, but I love it so. I am not about to shell out $2500 for a huge machine, plus another $300 for a grinder, so I have to settle. Anyone come up with a good option for settling on a WAY less expensive option? I've done Aeropress recently, then switched back to Nespresso (which I don't find 'crap' at all, like some do, and it is ultra convenient), but do miss the machine I lost in the divorce...even if it was an automatic.
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#77 Post by ybarselah » January 7th, 2015, 2:55 pm

it's like anything else, there are minimal advances in quality the higher you go, but that doesn't mean people shouldn't go there. a $1000 wine isn't 2x as good as a $500 etc.

once you get to a decent dual boiler with a PID, that's all you need to make truly great shots.
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#78 Post by ybarselah » January 7th, 2015, 2:57 pm

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
Sarah Kirschbaum wrote:
mark rudner wrote:so with all the talk about grinders, is there a problem if i go to joe's or blue bird (or any other place i like) and have them grind a pound for me then just use that in my super-auto jura? it tastes a hell of a lot better than when i use its internal grinder!
There's only a problem if you really want your coffee to taste good. ;-)

Seriously, I find that fresh ground versus pre-ground is not even a question. It makes a huge difference to my palate. That said, if you don't have a good grinder, then it's hard to say what's the lesser evil.
You don't find the automatics that grind each shot individually are very good? Espresso is a pain in the butt, but I love it so. I am not about to shell out $2500 for a huge machine, plus another $300 for a grinder, so I have to settle. Anyone come up with a good option for settling on a WAY less expensive option? I've done Aeropress recently, then switched back to Nespresso (which I don't find 'crap' at all, like some do, and it is ultra convenient), but do miss the machine I lost in the divorce...even if it was an automatic.
why would you look for an alternative if you're satisfied with nespresso?
don't get a machine just to have a machine. that's silly
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#79 Post by Sean Moore » January 7th, 2015, 2:59 pm

ybarselah wrote:once you get to a decent dual boiler with a PID, that's all you need to make truly great shots.
And I'm most swayed by small issues of convenience like the depth/volume of a drip tray, toggles versus knobs, etc.

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#80 Post by Todd F r e n c h » January 7th, 2015, 3:02 pm

ybarselah wrote:
why would you look for an alternative if you're satisfied with nespresso?
don't get a machine just to have a machine. that's silly
Satisfied and excited about are two different things altogether, of course. I'm not the type of guy who is ok with 'ok'...
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#81 Post by ybarselah » January 7th, 2015, 3:05 pm

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
ybarselah wrote:
why would you look for an alternative if you're satisfied with nespresso?
don't get a machine just to have a machine. that's silly
Satisfied and excited about are two different things altogether, of course. I'm not the type of guy who is ok with 'ok'...
then you need to buy a good espresso machine and grinder. that's $1000ish.
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#82 Post by Larry P » January 7th, 2015, 3:15 pm

ybarselah wrote:
Todd F r e n c h wrote:
ybarselah wrote:
why would you look for an alternative if you're satisfied with nespresso?
don't get a machine just to have a machine. that's silly
Satisfied and excited about are two different things altogether, of course. I'm not the type of guy who is ok with 'ok'...
then you need to buy a good espresso machine and grinder. that's $1000ish.
I agree with this, and getting quite thrilled with what I'm getting with the Breville + Baratza Vario combo. Totally blows away anything I ever pulled from my Capresso, or older Krups or Delonghi machines. I'm at just over $900 with this new setup.

I'm getting now the importance of the grinder. If the beans aren't ground well (uniform, precise, and with little or no heating) it doesn't matter what you use to push hot water through them. And, the grind is perhaps as technical a problem, if not more so, than brewing.

Regarding double boiler, my typical use case is pull a double shot, froth some milk, then clean everything and turn it off, and I'm out the door. While I like the idea of a double boiler, I'm not sure it matters much one and done.
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#83 Post by Alan Rath » January 7th, 2015, 5:52 pm

Larry P wrote:Alan, who are your coffee places? I've been researching roasters in the east bay and I'm planning to check out Suju's and Mission Coffee, both in Fremont.
Larry, the only place I go in Fremont is a little shop called "Devout" in Niles, so relatively easy for you to get to - just come down the canyon and into Niles on the north end. Try what they make and give me your impression. They roast and sell beans. To me, they are a true espresso bar, while Sujus and Mission are just coffee shops.

I'll bet if you went into Devout and told them you are struggling at home to achieve the results you want, they'd let you observe what they do and give you tips. They are pretty cool dudes.
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#84 Post by M Hudson » January 7th, 2015, 7:05 pm

I use a virtuoso for my drip and press...it's probably overkill, but I caught a killer sale
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#85 Post by Larry P » January 7th, 2015, 8:22 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
Larry P wrote:Alan, who are your coffee places? I've been researching roasters in the east bay and I'm planning to check out Suju's and Mission Coffee, both in Fremont.
Larry, the only place I go in Fremont is a little shop called "Devout" in Niles, so relatively easy for you to get to - just come down the canyon and into Niles on the north end. Try what they make and give me your impression. They roast and sell beans. To me, they are a true espresso bar, while Sujus and Mission are just coffee shops.

I'll bet if you went into Devout and told them you are struggling at home to achieve the results you want, they'd let you observe what they do and give you tips. They are pretty cool dudes.
Thanks Alan I'll check them out. Hopefully I'll have time this weekend. I'm through there quite often because Coyote Hills is one of my favorite birding spots in the winter.
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#86 Post by Alan Rath » January 7th, 2015, 11:10 pm

Larry P wrote:Thanks Alan I'll check them out. Hopefully I'll have time this weekend. I'm through there quite often because Coyote Hills is one of my favorite birding spots in the winter.
If you go, let me know. I can be there in just a few minutes.
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#87 Post by Larry P » January 7th, 2015, 11:20 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
Larry P wrote:Thanks Alan I'll check them out. Hopefully I'll have time this weekend. I'm through there quite often because Coyote Hills is one of my favorite birding spots in the winter.
If you go, let me know. I can be there in just a few minutes.
Will do! I'll shoot you a PM once I set my schedule.
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#88 Post by Alan Rath » January 10th, 2015, 2:38 pm

ybarselah wrote:i have had actual dreams of owning a gs3
Eat your heart out, Yaacov. Larry was too shy to put this up, but here's a picture of his new GS3 setup neener
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#89 Post by Larry P » January 11th, 2015, 10:47 am

Alan Rath wrote:
ybarselah wrote:i have had actual dreams of owning a gs3
Eat your heart out, Yaacov. Larry was too shy to put this up, but here's a picture of his new GS3 setup neener
Image
LOL not quite, this is in fact the 2nd-rate backup machine at Devout Coffee near Alan's house. I guess they only drag this out when the Slayer is out for service.
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#90 Post by ybarselah » January 11th, 2015, 7:25 pm

stunning!!!!!
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#91 Post by AlbertH » February 2nd, 2015, 5:54 pm

Hopefully in the future that will be a home setup for me. Got to finally taste some espresso pulled from a Slayer in Boston a few months ago. Beautiful machine and the husband/wife team running the shop were roasting their own beans not 20 feet from the front counter so it was a lovely experience overall.
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#92 Post by Dave Solomon » February 2nd, 2015, 6:03 pm

Alan Rath wrote:
ybarselah wrote:i have had actual dreams of owning a gs3
Eat your heart out, Yaacov. Larry was too shy to put this up, but here's a picture of his new GS3 setup neener
Image
Any idea why there a shot timer on the machine? At least on my GS3 the display shows pump run time when you flip the paddle to brew...

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#93 Post by Alan Rath » February 2nd, 2015, 7:30 pm

Dave, no idea, but I'll try to remember to ask them next time I'm in the shop. Maybe it's just handy location to put the time for something else they do.
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#94 Post by M Hudson » February 2nd, 2015, 8:44 pm

Just got a hg-one and like it so much I am going to sell my k10 PB .

Good looking, no waste, and it doesn't overwhelm my counter. Grinds just as well as the k10
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#95 Post by Larry P » February 2nd, 2015, 10:10 pm

M Hudson wrote:Just got a hg-one and like it so much I am going to sell my k10 PB .

Good looking, no waste, and it doesn't overwhelm my counter. Grinds just as well as the k10
So this is your grinder Mark? Thing of beauty! It's as if B&O made an espresso grinder:

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#96 Post by M Hudson » February 3rd, 2015, 9:35 am

Yep, thats it. I bought 3 boxes of minute rice and ran it through before I started with beans. I picked the mazzer burrs. It took me 5-6 tries to dial in the grind after I started coffee, I was choking the machine on what felt like course grinds to me.

Once I dialed it in on Friday I have been pulling shots every day without touching it. This mornings shot blonded a bit early for me, so I may dial it in another notch, but I was working with fresh off the roaster beans that now have a bit of age on them.

Static is a bit of an issue, but I like to take my grounds and dump them into a small Tupperware container and shake anyway.

So my process is on this machine, i weight out 18 grams of beans, dump in grinder, spin for about 30 revolutions and the grounds are in the silver cup thing. Take that over my tupperware container and use the little stopper thing to knock the grounds out the bottom. Shake grounds and dump into PF with my sour cream cup to hold them all. Tap the PF several times on the counter, then pull out sour cream thing....tamp, and into the r58.

Takes me a little longer, maybe 30 seconds more than it did with the electric one, but I kinda like cranking it, and I dont waste any coffee. i bet I was wasting 1.5 to 2-1 before....the compak has a chute between the burrs and the doser that filled with grounds every time.
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#97 Post by AlbertH » February 3rd, 2015, 9:23 pm

That grinder is absolutely beautiful!

I'm loathe to give up my mazzer mini, but this would be a nice second machine to dial in for espresso based drinks while the automated grinder could be used for pourovers.

You find the cleaning of the HG1 pretty easy?
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#98 Post by ybarselah » February 4th, 2015, 7:25 am

that grinder is pretty cool.

i just upgraded to the newer breville double boiler. a few slight improvements on what was already a fantastic home machine. still playing around with it, but very happy.

it looks like darth vader
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#99 Post by Brent C l a y t o n » February 4th, 2015, 7:32 am

Todd F r e n c h wrote:
ybarselah wrote: why would you look for an alternative if you're satisfied with nespresso?
don't get a machine just to have a machine. that's silly
Satisfied and excited about are two different things altogether, of course. I'm not the type of guy who is ok with 'ok'...
Todd,

A friend has this machine and uses great beans, I am very happy with what comes out of it.

http://www.wholelattelove.com/products/ ... d1a59fe4c0

For a couple hundred more you could upgrade to the Gaggia Titanium.

A primer:
[youtube][youtube]
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#100 Post by Larry P » February 4th, 2015, 10:38 am

Brent C l a y t o n wrote:
Todd F r e n c h wrote:
ybarselah wrote: why would you look for an alternative if you're satisfied with nespresso?
don't get a machine just to have a machine. that's silly
Satisfied and excited about are two different things altogether, of course. I'm not the type of guy who is ok with 'ok'...
Todd,

A friend has this machine and uses great beans, I am very happy with what comes out of it.

http://www.wholelattelove.com/products/ ... d1a59fe4c0

For a couple hundred more you could upgrade to the Gaggia Titanium.

A primer:
[youtube][youtube]
Personally I'd recommend against a fully-auto machine at any price point, but particularly in this lower price. I can't tell you how happy I am that my Capresso auto-machine finally died and I'm back to manually tamping.

At that price, this Gaggia looks pretty sweet:
http://www.wholelattelove.com/products/ ... so-machine
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