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196 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 556963 12-Dec-2011 14:19 Send private message

I bought Delonghi ECAM23450 a year ago. It works pretty well and easy to clean. Its not cheap though, good things cost money..Laughing

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  Reply # 556986 12-Dec-2011 14:42 Send private message

Oh, should probably also do a plug to the OP for getting a naked bottomless portafilter... You not only get a better cup of coffee because all the oils are transmitted to the shot, but it is also very instructional in terms of letting you know if your dosing/distributing/leveling/tamping regime is up to snuff.




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  Reply # 556987 12-Dec-2011 14:43 Send private message

NZtechfreak: Oh, should probably also do a plug to the OP for getting a naked bottomless portafilter... You not only get a better cup of coffee because all the oils are transmitted to the shot, but it is also very instructional in terms of letting you know if your dosing/distributing/leveling/tamping regime is up to snuff.


Does something like an e-61/cuadra/domobar need one of these?





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  Reply # 556995 12-Dec-2011 14:49 Send private message

davidcole:
NZtechfreak: Oh, should probably also do a plug to the OP for getting a naked bottomless portafilter... You not only get a better cup of coffee because all the oils are transmitted to the shot, but it is also very instructional in terms of letting you know if your dosing/distributing/leveling/tamping regime is up to snuff.


Does something like an e-61/cuadra/domobar need one of these?



I think so, if you're buying a serious machine then you should get a naked portafilter - those expensive machines will still deposit tasty oils in the spouting of their portafilters and without a naked portafilter you just don't get the same feedback about the quality of your shots (with the naked portafilter you see if there are cracks or fissues in the coffee puck, if the grind is unevenly distributed etc). 




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  Reply # 557249 12-Dec-2011 23:41 Send private message

Here is a good deal @OP: http://www.coffeelab.co.nz/post/breville-dual-boiler-espresso-machine-

The breville dual boiler job + FREE top of the line breville conical grinder worth $500!

Dealicious!




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 557271 13-Dec-2011 08:18 Send private message

One question that has not been asked is how dedicated are you to making your own coffee?  Are you going to get freshly roasted beans once a week or use supermarket stuff?  Going to grind fresh each time you make a coffee?  Keep your beans in a air tight container away from light?  Pre-heat the porta filter, basket and group head?  And above all keep the machine nice and clean with a daily and weekly cleaning routine?

All these things are important to getting the coffee right.  If you are thinking nah can't be bothered with that sh*t then go for a cheap machine or a nespresso type.

Just my opinion of course.

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  Reply # 557273 13-Dec-2011 08:29 Send private message

I had two espresso machines before going with Nespresso. The time spent cleaning a machine after a single coffee wasn't really what attracted me to espresso coffee...





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  Reply # 557302 13-Dec-2011 09:38 Send private message

Which nespresso machine do you use freitasm?

I used to have the Sunbeam ES6500 but slowly started to get over what felt like a laborious task just to make good consistent coffee

I wouldn't mind trying nespresso out 

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  Reply # 557306 13-Dec-2011 09:39 Send private message

I have the Citiz... Very good, seeing I don't make milk drinks at home (only in the morning, but it's mainly hot milk with instant coffee., an old habit from childhood)...







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Master Geek


  Reply # 557311 13-Dec-2011 09:54 Send private message

wallop: One question that has not been asked is how dedicated are you to making your own coffee?  Are you going to get freshly roasted beans once a week or use supermarket stuff?  Going to grind fresh each time you make a coffee?  Keep your beans in a air tight container away from light?  Pre-heat the porta filter, basket and group head?  And above all keep the machine nice and clean with a daily and weekly cleaning routine?

All these things are important to getting the coffee right.  If you are thinking nah can't be bothered with that sh*t then go for a cheap machine or a nespresso type.

Just my opinion of course.



This is a great point, and honestly, I really don't know. Best intentions and all but I am also a REALLY busy man, I run my own business, have a staff member to manage and get 300+ emails a day...

I do know I want a machine that can make really nice creamy coffees and a good ristretto (I assume that what goes into an affogato?) As well as nice lattes and cappucino's for guests (I don't really do the milk thing)

I do like the look and price of the Ascaso Dream!

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  Reply # 557322 13-Dec-2011 10:17 Send private message

I experienced my first Nespresso earlier this year. I want one.
Perfect consistent coffee! Now I jest need to know which model makes those awesome flat whites!

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  Reply # 557437 13-Dec-2011 13:36 Send private message

I probably wouldn't recommend importing a machine from the States, given that the wattage and voltages are different, you may find that the machine will perform differently even with a transformer installed. A lot of machines will have different specifications depending on which market it is sent to. You can find a lot of discussion about differences on the Coffeegeek or Home-Barista Forums where the majority of the users tend to be in the States or Canada. Machines built for the NZ/AU market tend to have a bit more power given the 240V capacity, as opposed to the 120V capacity.

If you've not got the time to make the coffee, or clean the machine and all the bits and pieces around it, then it might be problematic having an espresso machine like the Silvia or Rocket or similar. If the machine is for a work place, it might be easier to get a nespresso or pod type system machine, or a superautomatic one-touch type machine.

Espresso machines tend to have a bit of a learning curve - they can with some work make excellent espresso/coffees if all the right things are there (barista, fresh beans, good grinder etc), but they can make extremely poor coffee as well. Nespresso or Pod systems or super autos give consistently (average in my opinion) coffee, but they do make coffee consistently and they are easy to use. If lots of people will be using the machine then this may be the way to go. You won't get the highs of the espresso machines, but you probably won't get the lows either.

I had a Rancilio Silvia a number of years ago and it was a great machine. It probably isn't suited for high output as the boiler tends to heat up quite a bit (unless a PID is installed), and given it is a single boiler then making milk based coffees can become a little problematic when high volumes are needed - given the cycling between steaming and espresso building.

A heat exchange (HX) machine like a Rocket, or Domobar Super or Cuadra would alleviate some of the problems of that, given it will be able to steam and extract at the same time - still prone to overheating though with high volumes.

For me, bean freshness is paramount as well as a quality burr grinder. These two above the machine itself in terms of importance.

The naked/bottomless portafilter is good in terms of helping to diagnose dosing, distribution and tamping, however I tend not to use it all the time. If you do get a espresso machine, a local engineering firm can usually modify one of the portafilters for this purpose. I have had it done a number of times for different machines.

I find espresso machines fun, and I enjoy the process/physics of building a drink. But there is a bit of a learning curve associated with machines but as others have mentioned, bean freshness as well as a good grinder are the most important things in getting a good cup of coffee.

Yann :)

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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 557453 13-Dec-2011 14:12 Send private message

So much coffee being drunk!!

So Sancho wants a great ristretto. (Now hands up who know what that is without googling it?) A great ristretto cannot be made without taking a bit of time and care and is probably the most difficult to make - milk hides many mistakes. It is all I drink (on the coffee front!)

Recently upgraded from a Gaggia Classic using store bought ground beans. Hmmm. The Classsic does OK, but does not really make good foamed milk. It tends to put bubbles in rather than microfoam. Not sure it really makes a good ristretto either, OK rather than good.

Now that I know better, in order of importance:
1. Beans roasted no more than 2 weeks ago - so they say, although if find 3 weeks OK.
2. Only grind what you use.
3. Cleanliness of the machines is next to godliness!
4. Have a EXCELLENT grinder.
5. Have a GOOD coffee maker.

Now, I have a Rocket E61 (www.therocket.co.nz) and Mazzer Mini grinder from C4Coffee in Christchurch. Both over the top for the home, but I like GOOD coffee. A bit of effort to make a couple of espressos a day, but the few minutes it takes me to make a shot and then another 5 to clean down at the end of the day are worth it.

It took me a while to get to make good lattes as the texturing of the milk is an art, and these are miniturisation of commercial machines rather than dedicated easy to use consumer items. They are both built like tanks and will last for ever, I'm not sure you can say the same about some of the consumer items.

Would I buy the same machines again? Would like a more compact grinder, and not sure for small throughputs I would have a grinder with a hopper. The Rocket is great (and huge), but I have not used similar quality machines to compare. I've used commercial machines and the only difference really is that the Rocket cannot do the commercial throughput. But it is enough for the average home, small office, dinner gathering. If you work on single shots, you can have two going at once and still recover temperatures for the next lot. No way could the Gaggia handle that.

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  Reply # 557454 13-Dec-2011 14:14 Send private message

A bit unrelated as it is not espresso, but since someone talked about "enjoy the process/physics of building a drink", there's a story on Wired today about "Coffee Pot Physics.





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  Reply # 557462 13-Dec-2011 14:24 Send private message

TheUngeek: I experienced my first Nespresso earlier this year. I want one.
Perfect consistent coffee! Now I jest need to know which model makes those awesome flat whites!

 You can get the standalone Nespresso milk frothing jug (Aeroccino), which lets you set how much milk (and what sort of froth) and use it with any machine make or type you like. It's as simple to use as the nespresso machines and again gives consistent results. (It's cheaper if you buy it with a machine though)

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