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espresso machine

gage0921

Moderator Emeritus
Any one have experience with these?..............
 

mark the shoeshine boy

Moderator Emeritus
my wife is one....if she has an opinion she will expresso herself....and she always has an opinion....

I never have tried one of these, but I do like a great cup of coffee in the morning.....

I take mine "black" like kiwi shoe polish....

mark tssb

when you post in "the barbershop" you may get all kinds of off the wall comments, in jest.....
 

HlSheppard

Moderator Emeritus
Have you noticed my avatar? LOL

I roast my own coffee and am just about to go downstairs and have a double!

Here's my setup (the pic was taken at our old house, though)



Here's what espresso SHOULD look like. This is the end of a shot of MAlabar Gold (that I roasted) pulled on a Rancilio Silvia (my old machine). See that "stuff" on the top? That's called crema. You can't get that without freshness and proper prep. The bitter black water that Starbux sells should be outlawed! :9898:



That's it - I'm thirsty!!

Here's what I drink every morning. Although my latte art has gotten quite a bit better since this pic. This is a "heart." It's done strictly with pouring the steamed and textured milk in the proper way. It's NOT done with toothpicks, spoons, paintbrushes or what have you... :nono:

 
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AACJ

Moderator Emeritus
I picked one up about 12 years ago new and still use it. I don't know the name of it righ now as I am at work, but can find out tonight when I get home and post it later, but I LOVE it.

It's as simple as can be, a metal tank with metal screw on lid, a glass carafe and a simple steam tube with a knob to control the steam volume, that's it. We keep breaking the carafe but easily find replacements at Bed Bath and Beyond, they retail for 15 bucks but if you go in there with a coupon from another retailer, they will honor it, so we go in with a JCPenney 10.00 off coupon and pick it up for 5.00.

We have purchased a few others that had coffee makers attached but they ended up breaking down after a year or so, either the switch to start the machines breaks or the tank for the steam ends up leaking, they are usually plastic with a heating element in side of them.

My suggestion is to get one with a metal tank and a manual switch like a toggle or a throw swith, the ones that have a bubble that you push wear our very fast and once it breaks, you have to throw it away. And if you don't need all that extra stuff on it, don't get on with it, just means more stuff to break. The cost on most of them have come down so much that if one breaks, its easy to go buy another, so they are cheaply made.
 

AACJ

Moderator Emeritus
Dang Howard, we must have been posting at the same time, I did not see it.

What a beautiful set up! How much does something like that run you? Are you in the coffee business? (Not a columbian drug lord)
 

HlSheppard

Moderator Emeritus
Wanna know what the scary part is?

I'm looking to sell this machine and UPGRADE!!! :out:

Since I don't want a divorce - I'm needing to sell this one first, though. :behead:
 

HlSheppard

Moderator Emeritus
AACJ said:
Dang Howard, we must have been posting at the same time, I did not see it.

What a beautiful set up! How much does something like that run you? Are you in the coffee business? (Not a columbian drug lord)

Yeah - we were posting at exactly the same time (I noticed that too).

No - I'm not in the coffee business. However, I've been SERIOUSLY considering opening a part-time coffee roastery. It's been an idea of mine for a number of years. Just haven't had the stones to "take the plunge."

Honestly guys - the espresso hobby is no different from shaving. If you're into it, then you're into it... :c6:

I've put in a ton of studying and learning and practice, etc. All in the name of the best cup of espresso you can get. This is AFTER spending years perfecting my "normal" coffee skills. That got old in a hurry. There are many more parameters and details that have to be spot on to pull a good shot of espresso.

This machine (when I bought it) was $1200. They can be had for about $1000 now, but I've got several "coffee geek" upgrades to mine. The grinder was another $500. For good espresso the grinder is at LEAST as important as the machine. I won't even go in to the geek elements of THAT statement. You'll have to trust me... LOL

With equipment like this: They are made to basically last forever. You can repair or replace virtually everything yourself. The espresso machine is made to run 24/7 as well (although I have it on a heavy-duty timer to not waste energy and unecessarily heat up the kitchen).

check out www.coffeegeek.com or http://www.home-barista.com/

This will give you a glimpse into my "other life." :biggrin:
 

robofunk

Moderator Emeritus
WOW!

that looks absolutely delicious. i'd have to sell alot of stuff to get one of those machines...
 

HlSheppard

Moderator Emeritus
Hi Sean -

No self respecting espresso geek would be caught with a "super-auto" in his house! LOL :wink:

Actually, I funded the purchase of this equipment be selling off a few of my fine briar pipes... According to my wife (read: financier) it must remain a "zero sum game." If I want to buy something - I must make the money to do so. That's the best way to keep us out of hock.

I must admit (although painful) that she's right!
 

HlSheppard

Moderator Emeritus
guenron said:
Howard,
That is one superb setup. I would like a dopio of Sumatra please...
Hi Ron -

Straight Sumatra is a little "musty" for an espresso shot. French press or vacuum brewed, though... MMMMMMMMM!

I actually have a bag of aged Sumatra beans from 1998. Aging green coffee is a VERY "iffy" process since there can be mold, infestation, etc. at any time. Plus, it's not just "letting it sit there." It's letting it stay in it's harvested "habitat" for a number of years while being rotated and turned and protected.

The stuff I have tastes actually "smokey" with a ton of body. It's scary good!

This is no joke: The picture of the machinery was taken at our last home, which had a fire. One of the things I "saved" was my aged Sumatra! :eek:
 

gage0921

Moderator Emeritus
shave geek yes...................espresso geek...ummmm....no. I want what is easy when it comes to those things...lol
 

HlSheppard

Moderator Emeritus
shave geek yes...................espresso geek...ummmm....no. I want what is easy when it comes to those things...lol
To be fair:

I almost wish more "coffee bars" had super-autos. The consumers-at-large would have a much better idea of what real espresso should taste like (provided they have fresh beans). Roasted coffee is good for about 7 days after roasting. About 3 hours after grinding (since you exponentially increase it's surface area). Exposure to air causes oxidation which is the true taste-killer. Plus, fresh roasted coffee has to de-gas for a few days. Which means if they dared put it in a can - they would pop.

The coffee industry as a whole (i.e. Maxwell House, Folgers, etc.) has re-defined what "good coffee" is supposed to taste and smell like. Basically the exact same philosphy as "Gillette - the best a man can get." :rolleyes: Marketing budgets win every time...

I have had some very decent shots from super-autos. The problem is cleaning and mantaining those buggers. Also, as you can see - they can cost HUGE $$.
 

AACJ

Moderator Emeritus
Howard, have you ever tried that "kopi luwak" coffee? Or is it just some strange rumor?

For those of you that don't know what it is, google it. I'm not saying any more!
 

HlSheppard

Moderator Emeritus
Hi Art -

Nope I have not tried it (although I've had 2 opportunities to do so). Mark Prince (creator of the Coffeegeek.com site) has had some and has posted about it. I don't know if the posts are still on the site, though - it's been a while.

There is an actual Kopi Luwak and (contrary to some internet posts) it is not a rumor. It's just a "strange" harvesting method.

There were a couple of sites that sold it - last time I looked... but at $150 and up per pound. No thanks. At that price I need much more than just a satisfying cup (if you know what I'm sayin') :ihih:

Here's a logo that explains it all (see the top of the page):

http://www.ravensbrew.com/NewFiles/kopiluwak.html
 

gage0921

Moderator Emeritus
HlSheppard said:
To be fair:

I almost wish more "coffee bars" had super-autos. The consumers-at-large would have a much better idea of what real espresso should taste like (provided they have fresh beans). Roasted coffee is good for about 7 days after roasting. About 3 hours after grinding (since you exponentially increase it's surface area). Exposure to air causes oxidation which is the true taste-killer. Plus, fresh roasted coffee has to de-gas for a few days. Which means if they dared put it in a can - they would pop.

The coffee industry as a whole (i.e. Maxwell House, Folgers, etc.) has re-defined what "good coffee" is supposed to taste and smell like. Basically the exact same philosphy as "Gillette - the best a man can get." :rolleyes: Marketing budgets win every time...

I have had some very decent shots from super-autos. The problem is cleaning and mantaining those buggers. Also, as you can see - they can cost HUGE $$.
So a auto is more of a hassel to clean?.................As a beginer what do you reccomend?
 

HlSheppard

Moderator Emeritus
Well - many of them have these pellets that you buy and drop them in to clean them (an ongoing added expense, of course). The real problem in my opinion is the general maintenance of them. The nicer you buy - the more that can go wrong. We actually have a Solis/Saeco repair shop near me.

He has a shop in Ontario (just across the border) and one by me. Since the repair of these machines has helped him start and fund TWO businesses... What does that make you think??

The way I started was with a used Gaggia machine. You definitely don't want a "steam toy" (no offense, Art). You want a machine with a real pump and a good boiler that's been properly maintained.

Here's one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Gaggia-Classic-...ryZ38252QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

I know it's ending soon - but that's something to shoot for. HOWEVER - don't even think about a decent espresso machine without a good grinder. Seriously - you'll just get frustrated and I know 'cuz I've been there.

Here's a good grinder suggestion:

http://cgi.ebay.com/SOLIS-Maestro-P...ryZ32882QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

So - I suppose I should have started by asking you if you had a budget in mind... (oops)
 

AACJ

Moderator Emeritus
HlSheppard said:
The way I started was with a used Gaggia machine. You definitely don't want a "steam toy" (no offense, Art). You want a machine with a real pump and a good boiler that's been properly maintained.

Here's one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Gaggia-Classic-...ryZ38252QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
No offense taken, I have enjoyed learning about it. Mine looks like that one on ebay, only a little smaller and all black. It's not as small or cheap looking as the ones I see in the stores either, it has some heft to it so it doesn't move on the counter and a metal tank (boiler?). Very simple and no frills, an on/off switch and a dial for the steam.


But, what do you mean by pump? Are you pumping the steam out of the tank manually or are you talking about an automatic mechanical pump? Mine makes a thumping noise every time it calls for steam.
 
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