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#301321 - 04/10/10 11:45 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: BlueJays1]
oldskoolboarder Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2181
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
Coffee geek here. I've graduated to a Silvia machine (from a Krups then Gaggia Evolution) and a Rocky grinder. I agree, the grinder is definitely NOT the place to skimp. If you have to, get a manual Zassenhaus to tide you over. I got the Silvia just in case I wanted to hack it w/ PID control. Haven't gone that far yet.

As far as beans, I'm also in the fair trade side. For Ken in SF, I'd HIGHLY recommend Ritual Roasters on Valencia. Their Sweet Tooth Espresso can be heavenly. So complex with tons of flavor. They do mail as well. Barefoot in the South Bay is my fav. They do mail order and I'd recommend the Element 114 or Sweetness if you have patience to get the draw just right.

For canned, you can't beat Illy. I always liked that.

And for the newbies, you could always start w/ a stove top Moka pot. The French have used it for years, and it's one thing I'd agree w/ them on. ;\) Great for traveling and camping.

I also do Arabic coffee (with the cardamum). I get it when I or my friends go to Israel. I have an iBrick and it takes some practices (and mess) to get it right but it's a strong coffee that puts hair on your chest.


Edited by oldskoolboarder (04/10/10 11:46 PM)

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#301328 - 04/11/10 02:14 AM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: oldskoolboarder]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3448
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
I stopped drinking coffee for the most part, because I've come to prefer tea. But the best beans I ever had came from CoffeeFool.

I get my tea from The Republic of Tea, if anyone else has that preference.
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-Chris

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#301385 - 04/11/10 01:34 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: BlueJays1]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3875
Loc: Up yonder
 Originally Posted By: Dr.House
If you are interested in getting into making quality espresso, it takes a commitment. First you need to be willing to spend a little cash. Trying to get a quality espresso out of a $100 investment is just not going to cut it. Research, research and do more research.

1) Source good quality beans - online shopping comes in very handy here.

2) Espresso Machine - There are a few entry level models by Saeco, Rancilio Silvia that are quality machines but do have a learning curve and require practice.

3) Grinder - often the most overlooked area and one of the most important steps to making a quality shot.

4) Trial, Error and Patience - Mistakes are good. In the end your hard work will be paid of with very high quality coffee but this part requires commitment.

If your not willing to do the work or get bored of new things quickly I wouldn't recommend investing money into espresso.


I bought a LaSpaziale Vivaldi II and a Barista Vario grinder. A lot more than I was planning to spend. The quality of my shots is vastly superior to the shots I was getting from a super automatic.
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#301387 - 04/11/10 01:37 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: oldskoolboarder]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 3875
Loc: Up yonder
 Originally Posted By: oldskoolboarder

As far as beans, I'm also in the fair trade side. For Ken in SF, I'd HIGHLY recommend Ritual Roasters on Valencia. Their Sweet Tooth Espresso can be heavenly. So complex with tons of flavor. They do mail as well. Barefoot in the South Bay is my fav. They do mail order and I'd recommend the Element 114 or Sweetness if you have patience to get the draw just right.

I also do Arabic coffee (with the cardamum). I get it when I or my friends go to Israel. I have an iBrick and it takes some practices (and mess) to get it right but it's a strong coffee that puts hair on your chest.


The only fresh roasted beans I've tried so far are from Paridise. Great stuff. I'll try your recomendations above.

What exactly is an Arabic coffee?
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#301416 - 04/11/10 03:59 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
oldskoolboarder Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2181
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
It's also known as Turkish coffee.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_coffee

My Israeli friend went to Greece and ordered Turkish coffee. I'm not from that side of the world but I know BETTER than to ask that. He got the 'look' and they told him he should just call it 'coffee'.

It's a strong cup of coffee that can be sweetened by 'cooking' it w/ sugar. It ends up w/ a muddy residue (which you don't drink). It's espresso on acid. I LOVE strong coffee and this is what I drink when I can afford staying awake.

I say strong because I know lots of people that go to Peet's for strong coffee because they think Starbuck's is too 'light'. Peet's barely has even any taste for me. I definitely prefer my own coffee and miss it when I'm on vacation.

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#301418 - 04/11/10 04:15 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
I consider myself a bit of an espresso geek.

Gaggia Classic + Gaggia MDF Grider for me. Got 'em both on sale from WholeLatteLove.com about four years ago. Debated between those and the Rancillio Silvia + Rocky combo, but went with the Gaggia's because they were a little less $$$. I've used them to make at least a pair of double/triple-shot lattes every working day since I've owned them. One for me, one for my wife. It was about $700 for the machines. No, not inexpensive, but compared to what we would have spent on Starbucks or at other coffee shops, they've actually paid for themselves two or three times over by now.

I'm pretty good at consistently banging out shots that are nearly entirely thick & rich tiger-striped crema. Thought it took about 3 months of daily practice to hone in on the right grind & tamp pressure settings.

It's all up to the quality of the beans & roast. I'm pretty picky about my beans these days. I've got about four specialty roasters from whom I order beans; Northwest Coffee Roasting and Kaldi Coffee Company from St. Louis, MO, Metropolis Coffee Roasting from Chicago, IL, or Kind Coffee in Estes Park, CO. All four offer, IMHO, exquisite and flavorful beans roasted absolutely perfectly at reasonable prices.
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Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
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#301427 - 04/11/10 05:51 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: michael_d]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8268
Loc: Tacoma
 Originally Posted By: michael_d

I bought a LaSpaziale Vivaldi II and a Barista Vario grinder. A lot more than I was planning to spend. The quality of my shots is vastly superior to the shots I was getting from a super automatic.


Jeezus, I hope so. For that kind of money, the thing should dispense something ending in "-job".

We have a Solis conical burr grinder that we've been using every day for many years. Good little machine.
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#301432 - 04/11/10 06:47 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: tomtuttle]
oldskoolboarder Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/25/03
Posts: 2181
Loc: Menlo Park, CA
Wholelattelove is a great site. I got my Evolution as a refurb. If you keep an eye out on the site, you can get some good deals if you don't mind the refurbs.

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#301538 - 04/12/10 01:22 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: oldskoolboarder]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6738
Loc: PEI, Canada
I'm no connoisseur but I do enjoy a dark blend that isn't to bitter. I've perfected this match up at a local farmers market where they allow you to mix the beans. Every coffee roaster is different but with him I blend a Sumatran roast(on the dark side of medium dark) that has some secret squirrel spices mixed in with a much lighter Caribbean roast that takes some of the bitterness away leaving a strong but smooth coffee drink.

All fair trade beans as well.

Curious,
Has anyone ever smelled the aroma that comes from large scale bean roasting. It is not at all pleasant like the smell of the final product. All I can say is that it reminds me of when I used to work at a hospital on the days they used to superheat the giant boiler plant and burners were rigged to dispose of....well.... leftovers.... of a hospital type nature.


_________________________
With great power comes Awesome irresponsibility.

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#301548 - 04/12/10 02:03 PM Re: Any coffee geeks here? [Re: Murph]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6600
Loc: It's all about the location.
Many years ago, I used to vacation in Venezuela. The fresh coffee there was incredible, so much better than anything I've had before or since, strong pure flavour with little/no bitterness and pennies a cup.
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