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Thread: Home espresso machines

  1. #21
    Senior Member khashy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildBoar View Post
    www.home-barista.com is a great info source as well. Lots of reviews by working pros and a very active forum.
    +1

    They are a fantastic bunch

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by khashy View Post
    +1

    They are a fantastic bunch
    That is where I did all my reading as well. I bought my machine from the guy that runs the site. My grinder was one he had that he was replacing.

    Side story - the gs3 I bought was a model he worked to get for review then planned on buying it to take to his car Club. When the time came he didn't want to park that cash in a monthly use portable unit. I browsed Craigslist and made it happen after some initial flip flopping. He now uses a speedster for his car club........

  3. #23
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    Thanks, I'll have a look at those sites.

    Thanks to everyone for the informative posts. Glad I asked, as I wouldn't have paid as much attention to the grinder if I hadn't.
    "I'd better change my signature before I get myself into trouble..."

  4. #24
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    Do you all leave the beans in the hopper for days or do you put in just a measured amount each time you grind?

  5. #25
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    I've just been reading about this. There are a few approaches but apparently a lot of home barristas grind one baket full of beans and the rule of thumb is that this produces a slightly overflowing basket of grounds.
    "I'd better change my signature before I get myself into trouble..."

  6. #26
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    I had the Delonghi Gran Dama model in my last house (http://www.delonghi.com/en-us/produc...620-0132215101). The option to grind or use preground (i.e. when I didn't want to waste my high price beans on ex's family, lol) as well as the self-cleaning and removable milk canister were all important selling features. I just let my local girl at Williams Sonoma know I was looking for one and when they had a sale I ended up getting an open box ontop of discount so out the door at only $700. There are more "professional" units available, but quick start-up and recycle time and auto self cleaning/turn off along with 1 button operation and a bean hopper meant I used it multiple times a day instead of only a few times a week. I was willing to sacrifice a bit of precision for convenience (although I'm not sure how much more "precise" it would need to be).

    A good friend has the Jura XS9 (https://us.jura.com/en/professional/...fications#tabs) in both his home and vacation house. His priority was capacity without needing to refill the water tank (he often has large family/friend gatherings. The same guy has 2 dishwashers, 3 sinks, 3 SZ fridges...very well planned out kitchen for entertaining!). Both models are several years old and have seen extensive use with no issues, and are both excellent consumer choices.

    Since most in the $2k+ range are going to offer the same performance as far as temperature and pressure, you should probably make a secondary list of features you'll want each day and will be using. Programmed on/off, strength and grind settings, multi-function, high capacity, recycle time (a big problem if you make more than 2 cups at a time). You can get kits for most and plump into your existing water supply, but that limits placement (and makes it a bit permanent) and means your using tap water (although I had a RO/DI tank installed inline under my sink to feed mine). Using bottled water is very cheap and easy if you care enough to spend $2-3k on a machine.

    Once you get your machine set-up, the fun part is finding your favorite roasters and sources for beans...which is a conversation worthy of it's own thread!

  7. #27
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    I really just want to make small amounts of nice coffee. After doing a bit of the suggested reading, the grinder really does seemto be key to this.

    We have 3 or 4 really quite good roasters in town, which is good for really fresh coffee I guess.
    "I'd better change my signature before I get myself into trouble..."

  8. #28
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    I order 5 lbs of roasted beans at a time. I vacuum seal and freeze them into ~6 bags. One bag will last us about a week, so beans are not out getting stale for more then a week total. For a while I vacuum sealed the 'working' bag of beans after drawing from it each morning, but the crappy Vacmaster canisters kept cracking so I punted that.

    I do not leave the hopper on the grinder. I pour beans into the throat, and then put a spare tamper in the throat to keep the beans in place during grinding. I eyeball the level needed in the throat (after 7+ years I do not feel a need to weigh). After I make the 2-4 drinks that morning there will be a few beans in the throat, but they will be used the next morning. With a filled hopper you could have beans out getting stale for a lot longer time period.
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  9. #29
    Senior Member Mute-on's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nemo View Post
    I really just want to make small amounts of nice coffee. After doing a bit of the suggested reading, the grinder really does seemto be key to this.

    We have 3 or 4 really quite good roasters in town, which is good for really fresh coffee I guess.
    Perhaps I can put the earlier suggestion of Silvia and K3 into context.

    The Silvia was my first machine 16 years ago with a Rocky grinder. The Rocky has 58mm burrs.

    I replaced the Silvia with a La Cimbali Junior (AUD now around $3,000) and continued to use the Rocky. The only difference in output was very fast steaming with the heat exchanger and 2 litre boiler. The Silvia is perfectly capable of an espresso of equal quality, and possibly better if PID'd.

    I finally (2 years ago) replaced the Rocky with a Compak K10 (AUD $2,000 new) that I bought second hand. The Cimbali has had a new portafilter gasket in the last 15 years, and that's it.

    The espresso quality improved with some blends and roasts compared to the Rocky, but not all. The blend, roast, freshness, water temp control, weather, humidity, tamp pressure, volume of grounds in basket, and phase of the moon make as much difference as the equipment at this level.

    So, spend under $1,400 and get truly excellent espresso and small volume of lattes, if your technique is perfect, or spend $5,000 and get truly excellent espresso and higher volume of lattes, if your technique is perfect. See where I am going here?

    Feel free to read everything written in the last 16 years about the Silvia, Rocky, Mazzer mini, etc, and every machine made since, but you will still end up in the same place.

    Just trying to save you some time and $$, and get you drinking your first amazing home made espresso sooner, mate.

    All the best.

    J

  10. #30
    Senior Member Mute-on's Avatar
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    Oh, only ever grind per shot, and keep freshly roasted beans for 10 days max in an airtight container in the dark at room temp. Get a good quality tamper and milk jug, and get brewing

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