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Thread: Manual expresso machines....thoughts?

  1. #61
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    Default Re: Manual expresso machines....thoughts?

    ^^ The OP is such a dumbass, right?
    we are about to break the surly bonds of gravity and punch the face of God!

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    Default Re: Manual expresso machines....thoughts?

    Big fan here, I had been using a hand-me-down LaPavonni Europiccola for a while, pretty much the standard for lever-actuated espresso machines. I'll echo a lot of the sentiments here, the manual machines are pretty hard to live with; they take forever to heat up, they're very picky on grind and tamp, etc, etc, etc. That said, if you can master it, you feel like king of the world.
    That said, we were given an entry-level semi-automatic machine for Christmas, and I have to say, it pulled a pretty great shot right from the start, with very little effort. Sure it's not the chromed stainless steel Italian contraption, but it does make some great crema. It convinced me to invest in a PID-equipped Rancillo Silva when I get my next bonus, and really learn what I can do with that machine.

    Sure, a lot of this would seem like BS to a lot of folks, but come on people, we can talk all day along about steel tubing, tire pressures, clincher vs. tubular (there are a lot of parallels with tubulars here honestly...), but we give people crap over a lot of coffee & the stuff surrounding it? For me, mastering that 20+ year old machine was a real process, one I enjoyed through and through. I was happy to tell my girlfriend, fiance, and then wife about my various attempts, taste-tests, etc. It's just fun. We can't knock people for spending $400, $800, $1000+ on a machine, when we can spend $2,000+ on a set of wheels for "race day," or a set of $800 "training wheels." A machine like this I use every single day, and a ton more on the weekend.377992_10150444075259664_769684663_10337699_75208357_n.jpg
     

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    Default Re: Manual expresso machines....thoughts?

    Thats a danged fancy caffiene delivery system you got there. Pretty awesome. That was pretty much my vision when this thread started.

    And for the record, the only person dogging you coffee dorks on this thread is me. And I love the stuff.

    Taht said some folks here are pretty stinkin' nuts. Not only am I impresed with with the breadth of knowledge, but the depth and longevity as well.

    I still have not had a shot pulled by Eddie yet. I keep coming to his house at like 7 or 8 pm and he and his GF look at me funny when I say i dont want a double shot at 9 pm on a Sunday night, lol. I tell them that it would keep me up...but I dont think it really registers with them as they have a higher tolorance for the stuff that would rival Dread Pirate Roberts.

    "Never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only *slightly* less well-known is this: Never go in against a Sicilian, when DEATH is on the line!" (laughs maniacally)

    "You truly have a dizzying intellect"

    "Wait till I get going!!!.... Now, where was I??"
    we are about to break the surly bonds of gravity and punch the face of God!

  4. #64
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    Default Re: Manual expresso machines....thoughts?

    Crikey, it has been months and I still haven't mastered the La Pavoni. I pull a shot every morning but I think the second shot on this machine is always better. So it is rare that I get something that I find tasty straight up. In milk, everything is awesome.

    About to roast coffee, actually. This is my current contraption:

    SAM_0537.JPG
     

  5. #65
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    Default Re: Manual expresso machines....thoughts?

    Andrew - we'll plan to ride from my place one morning soon, perhaps when your, ahem, WIFE is otherwise occupied.

    Lukasz - what the heck is that thing?

    I did a quick and dirty refurb on a home-converted bottomless portafilter today using a couple files and a digital caliper. It was gifted to me by this guy in Aurora, CO and had seen some pretty heavy commercial use. The two tapered locking tabs had worn unevenly, one side was etched, and as a result I couldn't get a proper seal. Took both sides down to a max height of 2.25mm and now it works the balls. Awesome.
     

  6. #66
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    Default Re: Manual expresso machines....thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by lukasz View Post
    Crikey, it has been months and I still haven't mastered the La Pavoni. I pull a shot every morning but I think the second shot on this machine is always better. So it is rare that I get something that I find tasty straight up. In milk, everything is awesome.

    About to roast coffee, actually. This is my current contraption:

    SAM_0537.JPG
    Yeah, I really think the second shot is better with my manual machine. You really have to watch the grind, and tmp pressures.
    That said, I've been using that $150 cheap machine lately, as it's just "easier" to use, and does make a pretty great shot, good crema. In every sense of the word though, it feels cheap. From the portafilter, to the buttons, just cheap. Makes me lust for a "good" semi-auto machine. Next year, I'm budgeting for the Silvia. Probably do a machine/grinder combo from eBay, with the PID installed already.
    Maybe I'll sell a set of wheels to afford it... :)
     

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    Default Re: Manual expresso machines....thoughts?

    I feel like I want a semi-automatic as well. The Silvia with PID sounds like a good idea. I already have an old Saeco Via Venezia laying around. Maybe I should just put a PID in it. Not that I have the counter space for two machines.

    The contraption in the photo is a bread machine that I messed with the wiring of so that instead of running a bread program it simply turns on and agitates beans when I plug it into the power. Basically I ripped the guts out and made the power connect directly to the motor.

    I couldn't use the original bucket thingy due to non-stick surfaces and high heat not mixing well, so I took the agitator part off and attached it to a container without a nonstick surface. All in all it works pretty well. I still hold the heat gun over the beans but since the whole process takes 10 minutes or so I don't mind. The next step would be to attach a heat gun holder to it, and maybe some kind of venting system so I could use the machine indoors (like aluminum ducting I could hang out a window).
     

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    Default Re: Manual expresso machines....thoughts?

    photo (3).JPG
    Go big or go home! You can score small industrial single group LaMarzocco Lineas and Rancilio Epocas for less than you think. They key is to spring for a real grinder though.
    When you have $20k in bikes in the house, spending a few bills on nice coffee equipment seems only natural.
    With fancy shots getting to be nearly $3, a nice machine pays for itself after a year or so.
     

  9. #69
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    Default Re: Manual expresso machines....thoughts?

    +1. French press, moka pot, halfway decent burr grinder takes care of 99% of my java needs.

    Mike

    Quote Originally Posted by robin3mj View Post
    Likewise...

    I'm with the boss- leave it to the pros to pull the fancy shots.
    Kettle, burr grinder, various size French presses, and the small-sized moka pot and I am good to go.
     

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    Default Re: Manual expresso machines....thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mookies View Post
    photo (3).JPG
    Go big or go home! You can score small industrial single group LaMarzocco Lineas and Rancilio Epocas for less than you think. They key is to spring for a real grinder though.
    When you have $20k in bikes in the house, spending a few bills on nice coffee equipment seems only natural.
    With fancy shots getting to be nearly $3, a nice machine pays for itself after a year or so.
    My grinder is bigger than my espresso machine :/
     

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    Default Re: Manual expresso machines....thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by mike p View Post
    +1. French press, moka pot, halfway decent burr grinder takes care of 99% of my java needs.

    Mike
    you can't possibly have your coffee needs fullfilled without a bread-machine converted to a bean roaster
    we are about to break the surly bonds of gravity and punch the face of God!

  12. #72
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    Default Re: Manual expresso machines....thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by lukasz View Post
    I feel like I want a semi-automatic as well. The Silvia with PID sounds like a good idea. I already have an old Saeco Via Venezia laying around. Maybe I should just put a PID in it. Not that I have the counter space for two machines.
    Maybe I could take that Saeco off your hands then...help you make room for the Silvia, and let me be able to buy groceries for my family still...:)
     

  13. #73
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    Default Re: Manual expresso machines....thoughts?

    Funny you say that because I sold it earlier this week!

    Quote Originally Posted by acotts View Post
    you can't possibly have your coffee needs fullfilled without a bread-machine converted to a bean roaster
    truth

    (I use an aeropress and a hand grinder when I'm away from home and love the relative simplicity)
     

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    Default Re: Manual expresso machines....thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by lukasz View Post
    Funny you say that because I sold it earlier this week!



    truth

    (I use an aeropress and a hand grinder when I'm away from home and love the relative simplicity)
    Curse your black heart! Well, back to "saving" for the Rancillo, and hoping my wife doesn't google it to find out the price...
    Am staying in temp housing after relocating to CA (again), and my beloved machine(s) are in storage until we secure housing. I'm making do with Peets, but it dies get expensive, and I miss my early-morning doppio...not to mention to pre/post ride ones.
     

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    Default Re: Manual expresso machines....thoughts?

    Luka:

    What do you use for the hand grinder and aeropress?
    we are about to break the surly bonds of gravity and punch the face of God!

  16. #76
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    Default Re: Manual expresso machines....thoughts?

    I need recommendations for new cups.

    I'm good on mugs, but need some espresso cups that can gold the contents of the Moka 3-cup espresso maker. (3 cups is not really 3 cups, more of a doppio size, maybe 4oz?).

    Bonus points for being robust and stylish. Logos OK as long as they are not too corporate looking...
    my name is Matt

    INSTA

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    Default Re: Manual expresso machines....thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by acotts View Post
    Fuck me. I cant believe I mispeled espresso. I suck.
    blame it on Mark Knopfler:







  18. #78
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    Default Re: Manual expresso machines....thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by acotts View Post
    Luka:

    What do you use for the hand grinder and aeropress?
    PORLEX Mini Stainless Steel Japanese Ceramic Burr Coffee Grinder

    Fits inside the Aeropress. Resembles a pipe bomb. TSA doesn't bat an eye. Yay!
     

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    Default Re: Manual expresso machines....thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by robin3mj View Post
    I need recommendations for new cups.

    I'm good on mugs, but need some espresso cups that can gold the contents of the Moka 3-cup espresso maker. (3 cups is not really 3 cups, more of a doppio size, maybe 4oz?).

    Bonus points for being robust and stylish. Logos OK as long as they are not too corporate looking...
    Not sure if these will be big enough, but I love them, both for the color, and the footprint they take up:
    Multicolor Stacking Mugs or Espresso Cups Sets of 6 | Tea Time | World Market

    They are 4oz cups, so that might be ok?
     

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    Default Re: Manual expresso machines....thoughts?

    Quote Originally Posted by robin3mj View Post
    I need recommendations for new cups.

    I'm good on mugs, but need some espresso cups that can gold the contents of the Moka 3-cup espresso maker. (3 cups is not really 3 cups, more of a doppio size, maybe 4oz?).

    Bonus points for being robust and stylish. Logos OK as long as they are not too corporate looking...
    Picture 3.png

    MokaBrown AMALFI Cappuccino Cup/Saucer - Set of 6 - Cups - Everyone's Favorite Miscellaneous
     

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