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Thread: Espresso machines

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Espresso machines

    Add another thumbs-up here for the Gaggia Classic/Silvia Rocky combo. I picked them both up last year for ~ $400 combined, and have run 2-3 drinks per day through them for the last 9 months. I can consistently make better shots than the local establishments, IMO, but don't live in an uber-hip area, either. Hard to beat these as first machines (*if you are willing to take some time to learn/address their subtleties).

    The Rocky grinder doesn't have very fine adjustment, and the Gaggia machine doesn't have great temperature control. However, some of this can be made up for with user experience (e.g., in-between grind settings, purging steam/temp surfing to find the sweet spot, etc). Good, freshly-roasted beans are a good idea in general. Amazing how quickly the moisture content (?) can change in the beans, affecting shot times and grind fineness. I use a local roaster that is pretty good in terms of quality and consistency.

    The Classic takes some work to get a decent shot, but it can be done. If convenience is more appealing than experimentation, an auto machine could be worth a look. Personally, I've enjoyed the pursuit of better espresso, but I'm probably not even in the ballpark...yet.

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Espresso machines

    Great info here. What about brands of espresso? Favorites? Any pre-ground brands in a pinch?

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Espresso machines

    i'd imagine you could find good beans at local coffee shops.
    all the shops here sell a variety of beans...cuvee, intelligentsia, handsome, also many local roasters here too.

    you can get espresso blends but you don't have to.

  4. #24
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    Default Re: Espresso machines

    Quote Originally Posted by Cookietruck View Post
    i'd imagine you could find good beans at local coffee shops.
    all the shops here sell a variety of beans...cuvee, intelligentsia, handsome, also many local roasters here too.

    you can get espresso blends but you don't have to.
    What's that place you sent me on the west side of town (Austin)? Medici? That place was awesome.

    @th_boone: pre-ground espresso? You're kidding, right? Lots of good roasters everywhere. Try a bunch of different stuff, or just mail order from Rojo's, Small World, or Qualia. My faves anyway.

  5. #25
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    Default Re: Espresso machines

    yeah eddie, that was caffe medici
    they actually have a new location right by the convention center now, and a few blocks up another shop, houndstooth, is opening a location too.
    lots of good shops and roasters in austin...plus trailers too.

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Espresso machines

    I have a Gaggia Classic in excellent condition I would like to sell. I bought it about 12 years ago and made nightly lattes for my wife and me for years. I put in a new gasket and filter a few years ago but just haven't used it in a couple of years. It's been well maintained and kept clean. If anyone is interested let me know. Best way to contact me is at my email. Thanks for reading.
    Drew E.
    idrew@me.com

  7. #27
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    Default Re: Espresso machines

    I don't know if this has been posted before, but this is the next unneeded trinket that I need more than anything.

    HG one - tools for building better coffee

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Espresso machines

    Just threw a new set of seals in the group head of my Olympia Cremina 67 and pulled what I thought was a halfway decent shot (for me) but my grinder blows,the problem is I'm not sure I want another electrical appliance/piece of furniture in my kitchen,anyone have much experience with decent hand grinders?
    -Eric
    Eric S. Zimmerman
    Zimmerman Bicycle works
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  9. #29
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    Default Re: Espresso machines

    Quote Originally Posted by Zimmermanbicycle View Post
    Just threw a new set of seals in the group head of my Olympia Cremina 67 and pulled what I thought was a halfway decent shot (for me) but my grinder blows,the problem is I'm not sure I want another electrical appliance/piece of furniture in my kitchen,anyone have much experience with decent hand grinders?
    -Eric
    OE Lido Hand Grinder

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Espresso machines

    I'm used to the Breville Infuser (or whatever was in the price range 5 years ago). I thought it pulled a decent shot.
    Then we picked up a Handpresso. Once we figured out the ground, etc it pulled an OK shot. But its more of a novelty item - broke in 2 years.
    On to a Moka which, once we watched a youtube directions video, made some good brew.

    Last week we inherited a Rancilio Silvia with a PID and got to try it back-to-back with a Olympia Cremina. Both are EFFING AWESOME but the Olympia wins on esotericnessocity, taste and looks -- Silvia looks like a Delorean to me -- and looses on price.

    I'd recommend a Silvia in a second.
    elysian
    Tom Tolhurst

  11. #31
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    Default Re: Espresso machines

    I bought a Rancilio Silvia / Rocky combo just before Xmas.

    The most important tool I've got is a 0.1g set of scales, it means I can be sure to grind the same weight of coffee every time I load my portafilter.

    I grind 18g into a plastic mug set on the scales, stir the clumped coffee grinds with a thin steel skewer (to knock out the clumps) and then load the PF. Tamp, temp surf the Silvia (Google it) and pull either 30g for a thick ristretto o r 36g if I'm making a latte, I mostly have the ristretto.

    I get great shots every time.

    The most important thing is great coffee beans, freshly roasted. I subscribe to a monthly delivery from Square Mile Coffee Roasters (UK) and keep the coffee in a jar in the freezer ensuring is stays freshest for longest.

    I also found the use of a bottomless porterfilter to be the greatest teacher to ensure my dosing / tamping was consistent.

    Rinse, lather, repeat.

    I never knew that coffee could taste so good.

    One final thing, most of, if not all the good advice I have garnered has been from the Home Barista site, loads of coffee dudes on there which helped steer me in the right direction.

    I I ever upgrade in the near future it will be the grinder since this has the greatest impact on how good your coffee is, assuming of course that the machine is capable.

  12. #32
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    Default Re: Espresso machines

    Quote Originally Posted by arcadian View Post
    just ordered this
    Eric S. Zimmerman
    Zimmerman Bicycle works
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    zimmermancamera@gmail
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  13. #33
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    Default Re: Espresso machines

    Quote Originally Posted by Zimmermanbicycle View Post
    just ordered this
    It is quite nice. Does a very good job.

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Espresso machines

    Come to the darkside and get a nespresso machine...

  15. #35
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    Default Re: Espresso machines

    Quote Originally Posted by funcrusher View Post
    Come to the darkside and get a nespresso machine...
    Ummmm no.
    Can't bring myself to throw away a piece of plastic every time I make a cup of joe.
    -Eric
    Eric S. Zimmerman
    Zimmerman Bicycle works
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  16. #36
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    Default Re: Espresso machines

    Quote Originally Posted by Zimmermanbicycle View Post
    Ummmm no.
    Can't bring myself to throw away a piece of plastic every time I make a cup of joe.
    -Eric
    The cups are aluminum and recyclable. I see your point, though.

  17. #37
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    Default Re: Espresso machines

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Strongin View Post
    The cups are aluminum and recyclable. I see your point, though.
    I stand corrected,thank you,still a paper bag full of beans vs individual cups that need to be recycled?
    I'll take the bag of beans
    -Eric
    Eric S. Zimmerman
    Zimmerman Bicycle works
    and Cinematography
    zimmermancamera@gmail
    check out the work here
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  18. #38
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    Default Re: Espresso machines

    hey guys, with a doser grinder such as the mazzer mini, is there waste in the doser? i mean to say are you able to dose everything that was ground is a session? i need a new grinder and want to just get the end-all and get it over with but not interested in wasting fresh ground bean.

    pros and cons of a doser?
    Nick Crumpton
    crumptoncycles.com
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    "Tradition is a guide, not a jailer" —Justin Robinson
    "Mastery before Creativity"—Nicholas Crumpton 2021

  19. #39
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    Default Re: Espresso machines

    Yo Nic I believe there is a mod associated with the Mazzer Mini Doser that involves using electrical tape on the bottom of the doser blades to more effectively sweep the ground beans and not leave any behind. I'm sorry I can't find the link right now but if I do I'll go back and post here.

    I thought you had spoken of the Mazzer Mini doserless? That's the jam I'm in to, or a Macap MC4 stepless.

  20. #40
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    Default Re: Espresso machines

    Go doser-less or go home

    Dosers have no place in the home or workshop. Mine has a doser (Gaggia MDF) and I've looked for ways to cleanly remove it - it just cannot be done.

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