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Date: 03 Sep 2007 11:38:01
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?
The grinder is the single most important item of equipment. Some folks
recommend that half of your budget should go toward buying a quality grinder
and using the other half to buy the espresso machine and accessories. My
recommendation is to get the best grinder you can find (I recommend the
Mazzer Mini or a used commercial grinder from eBay), and getting a low end
Gaggia machine to brew with. All of the Gaggia's use the same brewing parts,
so it usually comes down to two deciding factors, 1) do you need a 3-way
valve, 2) which machine appeals to you aesthetically? After you've got a
quality grinder a quality machine doesn't have to cost more than $300, PID
installed.

Quality espresso machines have two primary things in common; 1) pumps that
permit proper extraction, 2) heating elements and thermostats that can
achieve proper brew temps. Both the Rancilio Silvia & all of the Gaggia
line-up succeed at meeting these needs, if you master the art of temp
surfing. Honestly though, a PID is a smart investment if you want to achieve
the best a machine is capable of.

Think of a PID as a very accurate and easily adjustable thermostat and
you'll understand it's value. The non-adjustable bi-metallic thermostats
that are OEM equipment have very wide dead zones (the ranges above & below
the tstats set points that the temps will vary). Some folks have recorded
dead-zone swings of more than 60 degrees Fahrenheit in brand new machines!

So a PID begins to make a lot of sense just for the brew temp stability.
Added to that, most coffees have different ideal brew temps. With a PID, you
can run the temp set point up or down so you can experiment at will. The
cost of a PID can be negligible if you're handy with simple hand tools. I
suggest that if you're comfortable replacing a wall switch then a
do-it-yourself install of a PID is a slam dunk. The cost of a PID conversion
can be kept in the $60 - $120 range if one looks hard enough.
--
Robert Harmon
--
http://www.tinyurl.com/mb4uj - My coffee pages.

http://www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - My 'Guidelines For Newbies' page.

http://www.tinyurl.com/2cr3e2 - I have things for sale here.






 
Date: 05 Sep 2007 15:21:02
From: lockjaw
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?

>
> Whilst you didn't exactly say that, your thread title and the contents
> would give a new visitor the impression that it was the gospel, spoken
> according to an experienced denizen of these parts, hence the
> counterbalancing posts.
>
> --
> Regards, Danny
>
> http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
> (apparently bad grammar but I like it that way...)

well, Danny, it IS the new testament -- according to harmon!



 
Date: 05 Sep 2007 00:59:01
From: Ron
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?
I use an Anfim Haus grinder (http://anfim.net/en/prodotti/haus.html?
keepThis=true&) that I got from a 1st Line Coffee auction for $200. It
does a great job and I don't feel that I need a more professional
machine. On the other hand, I get much more consistent results with my
Magister HE machine, as compared with a Saeco Rio Vapore I once owned.
Everyone will probably reflect his own personal experience. Who knows
what an objective study would really show.

Ron



 
Date: 04 Sep 2007 07:55:12
From: lockjaw
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?


I do not understand Harmons sudden conversion from:

A) Touting stock (home) Gaggias as being just fabulous:

"This beautiful machine makes great espresso, shot after shot." --
web page

B) professing a loathing for all things Silvia, stock or otherwise, as
recently as Aug. 7, 07

" 'Howdy' xxx!
Hock the crappy PID'd Silvia on eBay, buy a Gaggia Espresso & a camera
with
your profits. You'll be way ahead in the long run! "

[verbatim quotes]

When did this sudden conversion occur? and why? things MUST be too
quiet in kiwiland, TX.

and for the record, I've owned and used 2 rockies, an MDF, a Cimbali
Jr. grinder, and now a mazzer. They all do a fine job and all have
strengths and weaknesses.

Dave

www.hitechespresso,com
300+




 
Date: 03 Sep 2007 21:55:11
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?
So, despite everyone's objections I still recommend the Mazzer Mini &
various commercial grinders. If others have had good experiences using other
grinders fine, I didn't say any of my choices were any better than your
choices. I've used many different grinders, some for short periods and
others longer; some in commercial environments but most at home or in my
shop. Most were satisfactory, a few were pitiful, and each and every one had
flaws to contend with. The Mazzer SJ throws grinds to the side when dosing,
the Rancilio MD50 doesn't kick the grounds into the doser, Gaggia MDF seems
to heat the grounds more than others, Rancilio Rocky has a wobbly burr
carrier, Rosito Bisani/Rossi RR45 is too noisy, etc.

No one has any reason to suggest that I insisted someone buy more grinder
than they want - Hell everyone has a budget. I'm just saying, for my money
there are minimums and I put them out there for discussion. It's very
disheartening when people I respect have no comments others than to say how
wrong I am, yet so few of you offer any real alternatives. Of 11 forum
replies and 5 emails I believe there were only 3 other suggestions (I
discounted the hand-cranked Turkish grinder as something only a masochist
could love!).

And anyone suggesting that a stock Gaggia or Silvia out performs, or even
performs as well as, the same machines modified with a PID is full of crap.
Producing superior shots using one of these machines in stock form requires
skills not possessed by any but the most skilled of baristas. To say that
what these pro & semi pro baristas can get out of a machine is normal
borders on the absurd, and belittles the time & effort these baristas spent
mastering those skills. If the average user can make good espresso using a
stock machine, then they can make better shots with a machine equipped with
a PID.
--
Robert Harmon
--
http://www.tinyurl.com/mb4uj - My coffee pages.

http://www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - My 'Guidelines For Newbies' page.

http://www.tinyurl.com/2cr3e2 - I have things for sale here.

"Robert Harmon" <Texas_Coffee@earthlink.net > wrote in message
news:13doe2gsk11itf4@corp.supernews.com...
> The grinder is the single most important item of equipment. Some folks
> recommend that half of your budget should go toward buying a quality
> grinder and using the other half to buy the espresso machine and
> accessories. My recommendation is to get the best grinder you can find (I
> recommend the Mazzer Mini or a used commercial grinder from eBay), and
> getting a low end Gaggia machine to brew with. All of the Gaggia's use the
> same brewing parts, so it usually comes down to two deciding factors, 1)
> do you need a 3-way valve, 2) which machine appeals to you aesthetically?
> After you've got a quality grinder a quality machine doesn't have to cost
> more than $300, PID installed.
>
> Quality espresso machines have two primary things in common; 1) pumps that
> permit proper extraction, 2) heating elements and thermostats that can
> achieve proper brew temps. Both the Rancilio Silvia & all of the Gaggia
> line-up succeed at meeting these needs, if you master the art of temp
> surfing. Honestly though, a PID is a smart investment if you want to
> achieve the best a machine is capable of.
>
> Think of a PID as a very accurate and easily adjustable thermostat and
> you'll understand it's value. The non-adjustable bi-metallic thermostats
> that are OEM equipment have very wide dead zones (the ranges above & below
> the tstats set points that the temps will vary). Some folks have recorded
> dead-zone swings of more than 60 degrees Fahrenheit in brand new machines!
>
> So a PID begins to make a lot of sense just for the brew temp stability.
> Added to that, most coffees have different ideal brew temps. With a PID,
> you can run the temp set point up or down so you can experiment at will.
> The cost of a PID can be negligible if you're handy with simple hand
> tools. I suggest that if you're comfortable replacing a wall switch then a
> do-it-yourself install of a PID is a slam dunk. The cost of a PID
> conversion can be kept in the $60 - $120 range if one looks hard enough.
> --
> Robert Harmon
> --
> http://www.tinyurl.com/mb4uj - My coffee pages.
>
> http://www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - My 'Guidelines For Newbies' page.
>
> http://www.tinyurl.com/2cr3e2 - I have things for sale here.
>




  
Date: 05 Sep 2007 08:08:24
From: Danny
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?
Robert Harmon wrote:
> So, despite everyone's objections I still recommend the Mazzer Mini &
> various commercial grinders. If others have had good experiences using other
> grinders fine, I didn't say any of my choices were any better than your
> choices.

Whilst you didn't exactly say that, your thread title and the contents
would give a new visitor the impression that it was the gospel, spoken
according to an experienced denizen of these parts, hence the
counterbalancing posts.


--
Regards, Danny

http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
(apparently bad grammar but I like it that way...)



  
Date: 04 Sep 2007 09:47:25
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?
One further clarification: I said "quality" espresso, just not good
espresso. Quality, as in better than the norm or done to a high degree of
excellence. A Gaggia or Silvia in the hands of most users will make good
espresso right out of the box if fed fresh, properly ground coffee. The same
machine with a PID and fed the same coffee will make better quality coffee.
It's the same with the consumer grinders; fed into a quality espresso
machine the results will probably be good espresso. If the same typical home
user fed the same machine coffee ground in premium grinder the results will
be improved, thus "quality espresso". Of course, this all assumes proper
technique is used.

But the most important thing is the taste preferences of the user. As their
palate is educated, "good enough" becomes inadequate, and the search is on
for ways to improve the taste in the cup. My goal is to get users to the
point where their confidence level in their machinery is high enough that
their efforts will be directed towards the other variables. And based on
sieve results, the consumer grinders produce an inconsistent particle size
in excess of commercial grinders. The less variation in particle size the
better when it comes to making "quality espresso".

So go ahead and take things I say out of context, parse the words like Bill
Clinton even. Most serious folks will read my original post and see that I
didn't mention a minimum setup for newbies, experienced baristas, or ??. I
simple laid it out there that I believe there is a minimum equipment level
needed to produce "quality espresso".

--
Robert Harmon
--
http://www.tinyurl.com/mb4uj - My coffee pages.

http://www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - My 'Guidelines For Newbies' page.

http://www.tinyurl.com/2cr3e2 - I have things for sale here.
"Robert Harmon" <Texas_Coffee@earthlink.net > wrote in message
news:13dpi7mlutkasbd@corp.supernews.com...
> So, despite everyone's objections I still recommend the Mazzer Mini &
> various commercial grinders. If others have had good experiences using
> other grinders fine, I didn't say any of my choices were any better than
> your choices. I've used many different grinders, some for short periods
> and others longer; some in commercial environments but most at home or in
> my shop. Most were satisfactory, a few were pitiful, and each and every
> one had flaws to contend with. The Mazzer SJ throws grinds to the side
> when dosing, the Rancilio MD50 doesn't kick the grounds into the doser,
> Gaggia MDF seems to heat the grounds more than others, Rancilio Rocky has
> a wobbly burr carrier, Rosito Bisani/Rossi RR45 is too noisy, etc.
>
> No one has any reason to suggest that I insisted someone buy more grinder
> than they want - Hell everyone has a budget. I'm just saying, for my money
> there are minimums and I put them out there for discussion. It's very
> disheartening when people I respect have no comments others than to say
> how wrong I am, yet so few of you offer any real alternatives. Of 11 forum
> replies and 5 emails I believe there were only 3 other suggestions (I
> discounted the hand-cranked Turkish grinder as something only a masochist
> could love!).
>
> And anyone suggesting that a stock Gaggia or Silvia out performs, or even
> performs as well as, the same machines modified with a PID is full of
> crap. Producing superior shots using one of these machines in stock form
> requires skills not possessed by any but the most skilled of baristas. To
> say that what these pro & semi pro baristas can get out of a machine is
> normal borders on the absurd, and belittles the time & effort these
> baristas spent mastering those skills. If the average user can make good
> espresso using a stock machine, then they can make better shots with a
> machine equipped with a PID.
> --
> Robert Harmon
--
> "Robert Harmon" <Texas_Coffee@earthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:13doe2gsk11itf4@corp.supernews.com...
>> The grinder is the single most important item of equipment. Some folks
>> recommend that half of your budget should go toward buying a quality
>> grinder and using the other half to buy the espresso machine and
>> accessories. My recommendation is to get the best grinder you can find (I
>> recommend the Mazzer Mini or a used commercial grinder from eBay), and
>> getting a low end Gaggia machine to brew with. All of the Gaggia's use
>> the same brewing parts, so it usually comes down to two deciding factors,
>> 1) do you need a 3-way valve, 2) which machine appeals to you
>> aesthetically? After you've got a quality grinder a quality machine
>> doesn't have to cost more than $300, PID installed.
>>
>> Quality espresso machines have two primary things in common; 1) pumps
>> that permit proper extraction, 2) heating elements and thermostats that
>> can achieve proper brew temps. Both the Rancilio Silvia & all of the
>> Gaggia line-up succeed at meeting these needs, if you master the art of
>> temp surfing. Honestly though, a PID is a smart investment if you want to
>> achieve the best a machine is capable of.
>>
>> Think of a PID as a very accurate and easily adjustable thermostat and
>> you'll understand it's value. The non-adjustable bi-metallic thermostats
>> that are OEM equipment have very wide dead zones (the ranges above &
>> below the tstats set points that the temps will vary). Some folks have
>> recorded dead-zone swings of more than 60 degrees Fahrenheit in brand new
>> machines!
>>
>> So a PID begins to make a lot of sense just for the brew temp stability.
>> Added to that, most coffees have different ideal brew temps. With a PID,
>> you can run the temp set point up or down so you can experiment at will.
>> The cost of a PID can be negligible if you're handy with simple hand
>> tools. I suggest that if you're comfortable replacing a wall switch then
>> a do-it-yourself install of a PID is a slam dunk. The cost of a PID
>> conversion can be kept in the $60 - $120 range if one looks hard enough.
>> --
>> Robert Harmon
>> --
>>
>
>




   
Date: 04 Sep 2007 18:29:29
From: Steve
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?
On Tue, 4 Sep 2007 09:47:25 -0500, "Robert Harmon"
<Texas_Coffee@earthlink.net > wrote:

>I
>simple laid it out there that I believe there is a minimum equipment level
>needed to produce "quality espresso".

I think you might have confused people by writing a subject line that
asks a question, and a body of statements presented as fact.

I've patronized all five of the "recognized" master coffee houses on
the west coast. My espresso is better. I use a Silvia, grind with one
of the Nuovo Simonellis Chris had for a bit, and my own home roasted
beans.
I don't for a second believe that empirical evidence suggests that my
set up is a minimum...


    
Date: 04 Sep 2007 13:07:58
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?
On Tue, 04 Sep 2007 18:29:29 GMT, Steve <not@use.net > wrote:

>I've patronized all five of the "recognized" master coffee houses on
>the west coast.

????

Marshall


     
Date: 04 Sep 2007 23:56:57
From: Steve
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?
On Tue, 04 Sep 2007 13:07:58 -0700, Marshall
<mrfuss@ihatespamearthlink.net > wrote:

>On Tue, 04 Sep 2007 18:29:29 GMT, Steve <not@use.net> wrote:
>
>>I've patronized all five of the "recognized" master coffee houses on
>>the west coast.
>
>????
>
>Marshall

You only put 4 question marks, the fifth is free.
Zoka, Vivace(s), Stumptown(s), Barefoot, and Blue Bottle.
It's not my intention to slight the SoCal shops, I just don't get down
there as often as I used to.


Don't get on me too hard for the statement; my point was that I make
better espresso then shots I have had from these cafes as a result of
_trying_ to improve my skills . It isn't because I have met a
prescribed minimum equipment standard.


   
Date: 04 Sep 2007 12:21:20
From: daveb
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make "quaality espresso?"

"Robert Harmon" <Texas_Coffee@earthlink.net > wrote in message
news:13dqrv48iph3ld0@corp.supernews.com...
> One further clarification: I said "quality" espresso, just not good
> espresso.

is "quality espresso" better than "great espresso" or "good espresso"? or
worse?

I'm just quoting your writings:

"This beautiful machine makes great espresso, shot after shot. And if you
enjoy lattes and cappuccinos it has unrivaled steam capacity. It will take
center stage on your counter top." maybe it is "great" when you're hocking
it . . . . .





  
Date: 04 Sep 2007 00:31:03
From: Ed Needham
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?
Although my last post failed to mention it, I now have a very substantial
commercial grinder (La Pavoni ZIP) on my countertop next to my very
substantial single group commercial espresso machine (LA Pavoni PUBS). Good
deals are out there to be had if one is patient.

The Turkish mill was all that I could afford at the time (married, kiddo,
money going for other things, yada, yada, yada), so it was either that or
really crappy espresso. There was a really ZEN-like quality to spending
five minutes grinding coffee for a shot though. Don't attempt to use this
grinder to share espresso with others. You'll end up with 'Turkish Elbow'
or something similar, and impatient friends.

I still use the Turkish mill, but only for Turkish or an occasional camping
trip where electricity is unavailable. Espresso when made properly is
wonderful.
--
*********************
Ed Needham
"to absurdity and beyond!"
http://www.homeroaster.com
*********************

"Robert Harmon" <Texas_Coffee@earthlink.net > wrote in message
news:13dpi7mlutkasbd@corp.supernews.com...
> So, despite everyone's objections I still recommend the Mazzer Mini &
> various commercial grinders.
<SNIP >
> (I discounted the hand-cranked Turkish grinder as something only a
> masochist could love!).
<SNIP >






 
Date: 04 Sep 2007 02:34:54
From: Danny
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?
Robert Harmon wrote:
-snip-

Well, that ought to put off anyone from trying to make decent espresso
with "normal" gear.

It's more about the barista skills accumulated - I can make as good an
espresso on my friends' setup (Gaggia home machine & MDF) as I can at
work (assuming reasonably fresh beans).


--
Regards, Danny

http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
(apparently bad grammar but I like it that way...)



  
Date: 03 Sep 2007 21:44:25
From: Ed Needham
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?
I used a hand held Turkish grinder I bought for $7 for quite a while to
grind for espresso. Definitely not my first pick for a way to do it but it
worked. Those things will grind very fine and evenly, and although the arm
gets a bit tired, it makes a good grind for espresso on a budget.
--
*********************
Ed Needham
"to absurdity and beyond!"
http://www.homeroaster.com
*********************

"Danny" <danny@nospam.gaggia-espresso.com > wrote in message
news:5k3r1dF204kpU1@mid.individual.net...
> Robert Harmon wrote:
> -snip-
>
> Well, that ought to put off anyone from trying to make decent espresso
> with "normal" gear.
>
> It's more about the barista skills accumulated - I can make as good an
> espresso on my friends' setup (Gaggia home machine & MDF) as I can at work
> (assuming reasonably fresh beans).
> Regards, Danny




   
Date: 05 Sep 2007 08:06:26
From: Danny
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?
Ed Needham wrote:
> I used a hand held Turkish grinder I bought for $7 for quite a while to
> grind for espresso. Definitely not my first pick for a way to do it but it
> worked. Those things will grind very fine and evenly, and although the arm
> gets a bit tired, it makes a good grind for espresso on a budget.

I have a few old wooden box ginders, and the nut on top can be spun
effectively with a cordless drill/screwdriver...

--
Regards, Danny

http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
(apparently bad grammar but I like it that way...)



    
Date: 05 Sep 2007 11:35:44
From: Moka Java
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?
Danny wrote:
> Ed Needham wrote:
>> I used a hand held Turkish grinder I bought for $7 for quite a while
>> to grind for espresso. Definitely not my first pick for a way to do
>> it but it worked. Those things will grind very fine and evenly, and
>> although the arm gets a bit tired, it makes a good grind for espresso
>> on a budget.
>
> I have a few old wooden box ginders, and the nut on top can be spun
> effectively with a cordless drill/screwdriver...
>

Have you tried it for espresso? I would suggest the electric
screwdriver over the drill. Hand grinders weren't designed to spin at
the 300+ rpm a drill can easily put out.

R "I'll spare you my invective, Google for it if you want" TF


     
Date: 05 Sep 2007 17:44:59
From: Danny
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?
Moka Java wrote:

> Have you tried it for espresso? I would suggest the electric
> screwdriver over the drill. Hand grinders weren't designed to spin at
> the 300+ rpm a drill can easily put out.
>
> R "I'll spare you my invective, Google for it if you want" TF

Yes, I've tried it, using a cordless drill with a slow start clutch
(ie: variable speed trigger), so you can spin at whatever speed you
wish. Trouble is, these mills tend to have poorly cast burrs, but I
do have a German one that grinds OK for espresso.

--
Regards, Danny

http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
(apparently bad grammar but I like it that way...)



      
Date: 06 Sep 2007 10:53:24
From: Moka Java
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?
Danny wrote:
> Moka Java wrote:
>
>> Have you tried it for espresso? I would suggest the electric
>> screwdriver over the drill. Hand grinders weren't designed to spin at
>> the 300+ rpm a drill can easily put out.
>>
>> R "I'll spare you my invective, Google for it if you want" TF
>
> Yes, I've tried it, using a cordless drill with a slow start clutch (ie:
> variable speed trigger), so you can spin at whatever speed you wish.
> Trouble is, these mills tend to have poorly cast burrs, but I do have a
> German one that grinds OK for espresso.
>

The biggest problems I had using a Zassenhaus grinder for espresso was
the uncertain and drifting adjustment. The range of adjustment is
limited and the beans push the burrs wider resulting in an uneven grind.
This was with hand cranking. I doubt that a motor will improve the
situation.

Getting back to the topic here, a pressurized PF is a real plus for low
cost home espresso. Yeah, the crema is enhanced but with good coffee
the taste will still be there. The pressurized PF makes grind much less
critical so something like a Bodum Antigua would probably be good enough.

R "not 'upgrading' in that direction any time soon" TF


      
Date: 05 Sep 2007 12:05:16
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?
I had dinner at a restaurant that served coffee using individual ceramic
Melitta-type cones. They'd bring a cart to the table, inquire as to one's
preferences (regular or decaf, strong or mild), then grind the coffee using
a hand-held grinder similar to what you describe. Their's looked factory
built, but I suppose it could've been hand crafted using off-the-shelf parts
(Turkish grinder & cordless screwdriver?).

Bottom line, it made for a very nice presentation & the coffee was the best
I can remember ever having in a restaurant. I've always wondered since then
why others don't try this idea?
--
Robert Harmon
--
http://www.tinyurl.com/mb4uj - My coffee pages.

http://www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - My 'Guidelines For Newbies' page.

http://www.tinyurl.com/2cr3e2 - I have things for sale here.
"Danny" <danny@nospam.gaggia-espresso.com > wrote in message
news:5k84npF2i22qU1@mid.individual.net...
> Moka Java wrote:
>
>> Have you tried it for espresso? I would suggest the electric screwdriver
>> over the drill. Hand grinders weren't designed to spin at the 300+ rpm a
>> drill can easily put out.
>>
>> R "I'll spare you my invective, Google for it if you want" TF
>
> Yes, I've tried it, using a cordless drill with a slow start clutch (ie:
> variable speed trigger), so you can spin at whatever speed you wish.
> Trouble is, these mills tend to have poorly cast burrs, but I do have a
> German one that grinds OK for espresso.
>
> --
> Regards, Danny
>
> http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
> (apparently bad grammar but I like it that way...)
>




 
Date: 03 Sep 2007 15:16:13
From: Marshall
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?
On Mon, 3 Sep 2007 11:38:01 -0500, "Robert Harmon"
<Texas_Coffee@earthlink.net > wrote:

>The grinder is the single most important item of equipment. Some folks
>recommend that half of your budget should go toward buying a quality grinder
>and using the other half to buy the espresso machine and accessories. My
>recommendation is to get the best grinder you can find (I recommend the
>Mazzer Mini or a used commercial grinder from eBay), and getting a low end
>Gaggia machine to brew with. <snip>

Giving you the benefit of the doubt, Robert, I think you lost sight of
your subject line when you made your recommendation. I can't think of
anyone who is seriously knowledgeable about espresso that thinks a
Mazzer of any kind is the "minimum" for quality espresso at home.

I only traded in my Rocky after I was gifted with a particularly
ornery set of espresso blends that would not brew without a superfine
grind. I understood that, when I bought my Mini, I was buying
something I "wanted" rather than "needed," and I would never try to
shame someone whose budget didn't allow such an extravagance.

Marshall


  
Date: 04 Sep 2007 01:34:09
From: Bill (Adopt)
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?
In article <ij1pd3d3pr5sm787irrn917kbhocpvv4b5@4ax.com >,
Marshall <mrfuss@ihatespamearthlink.net > wrote:
> On Mon, 3 Sep 2007 11:38:01 -0500, "Robert Harmon"
> <Texas_Coffee@earthlink.net> wrote:

> >The grinder is the single most important item of equipment. Some folks
> >recommend that half of your budget should go toward buying a quality grinder
> >and using the other half to buy the espresso machine and accessories. My
> >recommendation is to get the best grinder you can find (I recommend the
> >Mazzer Mini or a used commercial grinder from eBay), and getting a low end
> >Gaggia machine to brew with. <snip>

> Giving you the benefit of the doubt, Robert, I think you lost sight of
> your subject line when you made your recommendation. I can't think of
> anyone who is seriously knowledgeable about espresso that thinks a
> Mazzer of any kind is the "minimum" for quality espresso at home.

Well, as a general comment and to be fair to Robert he
does suggest that:

.."My recommendation is to get the best grinder
you can find (I recommend the Mazzer Mini or a
used commercial grinder from eBay)"..

..which is not dissimilar to the advice I was given by
David R and a number other AC'ers not that long ago...

As you will no doubt remember, I invested in an almost
brand new Cunill CT-1 that had spent less than four weeks
in a London UK hotel - very much a commercial grinder, a
lot heavier and with a more firmly massive grinding chamber
than it's lighter cousin, the Tranquilo.

At the time it cost, including delivery, about 2/3 the
price of the much smaller MDF and way less than half the
cost of a Rocky. It is a cheap grinder - but one that I
could afford...

The grinding quality, although possibly not at quite the
same longer term level as a Mazzer is nevertheless, as a
commercial, well up with that order of beast including
having similar size and quality tempered steel grinding
plates, plus oodles of adjustment, et al.

Eminently satisfactory as a grinder now subject only
to a light domestic use.

Also acquired it from a regular roaster/coffee warehouse
supplier, fully warranted and ready serviced plus extras,
including a selection of their espresso roasts and even
some of those Italian almond macaroon biccies chucked in
for good measure as well.

Delivery, from an afternoon order, was by next day courier
service. No Ebay, (sorry Robert)!... ;))

> I only traded in my Rocky after I was gifted with a particularly
> ornery set of espresso blends that would not brew without a superfine
> grind. I understood that, when I bought my Mini, I was buying
> something I "wanted" rather than "needed," and I would never try to
> shame someone whose budget didn't allow such an extravagance.

Yes ..absolutely! We all start somewhere and it would be
most unfortunate if the enjoyment of coffee should ever
become merely the preening preserve of the bow-tied self-
important...

:))

Bill ZFC

--
Adoption InterLink UK with -=- http://www.billsimpson.com/
Domain Host Orpheus Internet -=- http://www.orpheusinternet.co.uk/


 
Date: 03 Sep 2007 21:42:00
From: lockjaw
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?
Thank you for sharing all this brilliant insight.

<yawn >

I'm looking forward to seeing you offer espresso machines for "$300 w/
pid installed"

anything to keep those numbers up harmon, and stir the pot.
.
dave

www.hitechespresso.com




 
Date: 03 Sep 2007 19:32:09
From: Ken Wilson
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?
"Robert Harmon"

Can you explain why a grinder as expensive as a mazzer mini is the "minimum"
required?

Or did you mean to write "Optimum" or even "most desirable"?

Ken " and i'm using the english terminology in case we end up going down
that route" W




  
Date: 03 Sep 2007 17:39:11
From: Andy Schecter
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quaality espresso?
Ken Wilson wrote:
> Can you explain why a grinder as expensive as a mazzer mini is the "minimum"
> required?
>
> Or did you mean to write "Optimum" or even "most desirable"?


Hi Ken:

Sadly, a Mazzer Mini is now regarded as the minimum required. More and more
amateurs are endangering their marriageand their retirement by insisting that
monster commercial conical grinders are actually "necessary" for the finest
espresso. I know a guy who has a $2000+ commercial espresso grinder on his
kitchen counter! :-0
--


-Andy S.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_s/sets/


  
Date: 03 Sep 2007 14:08:57
From: Robert Harmon
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?
Howdy Ken!
Remember that the criterion is being able to make *QUALITY* espresso. Maybe
optimum fits better for you, but I really did mean minimum when I wrote
that.

Ask folks who have encouraged friends to buy Rocky, MDF, Tranquillo, and
other high-end consumer grinders, how long they kept the grinder before they
felt the need for an upgrade? Those grinders are OK for beginners & paired
with a sub-$300 Gaggia espresso machine, can provide a newbie with great
tools for learning how to make good espresso at a low cost.

But IMHO, there's a lot more room for growth with the Gaggia espresso
machine than there is with one of these grinders. I don't believe one can
get past the intermediate stage of making quality espresso until one
upgrades the grinder. Thus my statement that the Mini is the minimum.
--
Robert Harmon
--
http://www.tinyurl.com/mb4uj - My coffee pages.

http://www.tinyurl.com/2tnv87 - My 'Guidelines For Newbies' page.

http://www.tinyurl.com/2cr3e2 - I have things for sale here.
"Ken Wilson" <ken@kwilsonDEDUCT.fsnet.co.uk > wrote in message
news:fbhjv9$1hl$1@aioe.org...
> "Robert Harmon"
>
> Can you explain why a grinder as expensive as a mazzer mini is the
> "minimum" required?
>
> Or did you mean to write "Optimum" or even "most desirable"?
>
> Ken " and i'm using the english terminology in case we end up going down
> that route" W
>




   
Date: 06 Sep 2007 08:48:24
From: D. Ross
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?


   
Date: 04 Sep 2007 13:31:27
From: Ken Wilson
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?
"Robert Harmon"

> Remember that the criterion is being able to make *QUALITY* espresso.
> Maybe optimum fits better for you, but I really did mean minimum when I
> wrote that.
>
> Ask folks who have encouraged friends to buy Rocky, MDF, Tranquillo, and
> other high-end consumer grinders, how long they kept the grinder before
> they felt the need for an upgrade?

C'mon - you're on Rocky Grounds.

remember i'm the chap who encouraged people every 3 weeks for years to make
(drip) coffee in a cracked jug with a tea strainer becuase the alt.c ante
was getting upped - slivias spring to mind.

There is a big difference between wanting something becuase its
cool/convenient and recommending a minimum entry level. I can, and
sometimes do, make espresso with my *$ barrista grinder and my old gaggia.
Every now and again i will hoik out my Krups but i admit I still can't make
that sing.

i PREFER to make it with my "chrome oozing over the counter" machine. - but
i haven't felt the need to upgrade the grinder.

ken
ps it still grinds consistently after, what, seven yrs.....








    
Date: 04 Sep 2007 19:46:30
From: Ed Needham
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?
You Brits are so over the top.
--
*********************
Ed Needham
"to absurdity and beyond!"
http://www.homeroaster.com
*********************

"Ken Wilson" <ken@kwilsonDEDUCT.fsnet.co.uk > wrote in message
news:fbjj6v$aqh$1@aioe.org...
<SNIP >
> i PREFER to make it with my "chrome oozing over the counter" machine. -
> but i haven't felt the need to upgrade the grinder.
>
> ken
> ps it still grinds consistently after, what, seven yrs.....
>
>
>
>
>
>




     
Date: 06 Sep 2007 13:10:49
From: Ken Wilson
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?

> "Ed Needham"
> You Brits are so over the top.
> --
> <SNIP>
>> i PREFER to make it with my "chrome oozing over the counter" machine. -
>> but i haven't felt the need to upgrade the grinder.

Just for those not in the know

http://www.espressovivace.com/archives/lucidcafe/LC22.pdf

Article by Schomer (one of the Gods of Quality Espresso and (almost :-) )
responsible for PID technology ) wrote this lauding the Giotto (which i
just happen to have)

"The Giotto makes the best espresso of any home machine I have tested and
most of the commercial ones too. And it looks like morphing chromium ,
oozing over your bar".


Oh - at the end of the article he tells us he has set up a package with a
distributor (including a Mazzer Mini but thats another thought train).

I think he's 'merican.

ken















      
Date: 06 Sep 2007 15:19:46
From: Brian Colwell
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?

"Ken Wilson" <ken@kwilsonDEDUCT.fsnet.co.uk > wrote in message
news:fboqo9$29b$1@aioe.org...
>
>> "Ed Needham"
>> You Brits are so over the top.
>> --
>> <SNIP>
>>> i PREFER to make it with my "chrome oozing over the counter" machine. -
>>> but i haven't felt the need to upgrade the grinder.
>
> Just for those not in the know
>
> http://www.espressovivace.com/archives/lucidcafe/LC22.pdf
>
> Article by Schomer (one of the Gods of Quality Espresso and (almost
> :-) ) responsible for PID technology ) wrote this lauding the Giotto
> (which i just happen to have)
>
> "The Giotto makes the best espresso of any home machine I have tested and
> most of the commercial ones too. And it looks like morphing chromium ,
> oozing over your bar".
>
>
> Oh - at the end of the article he tells us he has set up a package with a
> distributor (including a Mazzer Mini but thats another thought train).
>
> I think he's 'merican.
>
> ken
>
It's ok, but not as pretty as my "chrome peacock" !!

B




     
Date: 06 Sep 2007 00:08:13
From: Espressopithecus (Java Man)
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?
In article <7pWdnfDC_aQXcEDbnZ2dnUVZ_t2inZ2d@insightbb.com >,
ed@NOSPAMhomeroaster.com says...
> You Brits are so over the top.
>
Yep. What we need is more American understatement. ;-)

Rick


    
Date: 04 Sep 2007 15:45:01
From: Brian Colwell
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?

"Ken Wilson" <ken@kwilsonDEDUCT.fsnet.co.uk > wrote in message
news:fbjj6v$aqh$1@aioe.org...
> "Robert Harmon"
>
>> Remember that the criterion is being able to make *QUALITY* espresso.
>> Maybe optimum fits better for you, but I really did mean minimum when I
>> wrote that.
>>
>> Ask folks who have encouraged friends to buy Rocky, MDF, Tranquillo, and
>> other high-end consumer grinders, how long they kept the grinder before
>> they felt the need for an upgrade?
>
> C'mon - you're on Rocky Grounds.
>
> remember i'm the chap who encouraged people every 3 weeks for years to
> make (drip) coffee in a cracked jug with a tea strainer becuase the alt.c
> ante was getting upped - slivias spring to mind.
>
> There is a big difference between wanting something becuase its
> cool/convenient and recommending a minimum entry level. I can, and
> sometimes do, make espresso with my *$ barrista grinder and my old gaggia.
> Every now and again i will hoik out my Krups but i admit I still can't
> make that sing.
>
> i PREFER to make it with my "chrome oozing over the counter" machine. -
> but i haven't felt the need to upgrade the grinder.
>
> ken
> ps it still grinds consistently after, what, seven yrs.....
>

Thanks for that Ken, I wince everytime I hear someone refer to the
"Silvia/Rocky" combination, as being entry level equipment !!! No wonder
some people new to this group, will say to" hell with it" and go back to
instant ! :-))

bmc




     
Date: 04 Sep 2007 22:51:00
From: Dee Dee
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?

"Brian Colwell" <bmcolwell@shaw.ca > wrote in message
news:14fDi.124671$fJ5.73574@pd7urf1no...
> Thanks for that Ken, I wince everytime I hear someone refer to the
> "Silvia/Rocky" combination, as being entry level equipment !!! No wonder
> some people new to this group, will say to" hell with it" and go back to
> instant ! :-))
>
> bmc
Since I don't drink coffee at home, I had no choice but to struggle forward.

I finally had the time to think about the grinder I would buy for my newly
purchased Saeco Aroma, and bought the Rocky Rancilio Doserless today. It was
just under $300 (a Labor Day coupon of 5%).

After buying the Saeco Aroma not realizing that I would be spending as much
for a grinder as a machine, yes, I thought perhaps this whole idea was a
mistake. It is entry level for me, but I don't think I'll be moving up
soon.

The dumbest thing happened; I realized I need a tamper. I wanted the $28
one, DH said the $12 is ok. The phone salesperson said that these $12 & $28
would not work with the Saeco and I needed a different size. What! I
called Saeco and they didn't know what size it was, but they are sending me
one for free. I still don't know what size it is. But when I asked the
salesperson what one that fit would cost, she said $61!!! I think it was a
53, but not positive what she said at that point, thinking I had to spend
$61 for a tamperer which I'd rather spend on some beans.

Dee Dee









      
Date: 05 Sep 2007 08:04:55
From: Danny
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?
Dee Dee wrote:

> The dumbest thing happened; I realized I need a tamper. I wanted the $28
> one, DH said the $12 is ok. The phone salesperson said that these $12 & $28
> would not work with the Saeco and I needed a different size. What! I
> called Saeco and they didn't know what size it was, but they are sending me
> one for free. I still don't know what size it is. But when I asked the
> salesperson what one that fit would cost, she said $61!!! I think it was a
> 53, but not positive what she said at that point, thinking I had to spend
> $61 for a tamperer which I'd rather spend on some beans.
>

A tamper is just a tamper - yes, you can have a Reg Barber etc, but
size is most important - it must be a good fit. I've used a heinz
ketchup bottle before, which is a good fit for the standard 58mm pf's.
A spice jar might fit your 53mm :) Just make sure whatever you use
is smooth bottomed and nice to hold...


--
Regards, Danny

http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
(apparently bad grammar but I like it that way...)



      
Date: 05 Sep 2007 03:34:48
From: Brian Colwell
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?

"Dee Dee" <deedovey@shentel.net > wrote in message
news:fbl5j3$smc$1@registered.motzarella.org...
>
> "Brian Colwell" <bmcolwell@shaw.ca> wrote in message
> news:14fDi.124671$fJ5.73574@pd7urf1no...
>> Thanks for that Ken, I wince everytime I hear someone refer to the
>> "Silvia/Rocky" combination, as being entry level equipment !!! No
>> wonder some people new to this group, will say to" hell with it" and go
>> back to instant ! :-))
>>
>> bmc
> Since I don't drink coffee at home, I had no choice but to struggle
> forward.
>
> I finally had the time to think about the grinder I would buy for my newly
> purchased Saeco Aroma, and bought the Rocky Rancilio Doserless today. It
> was just under $300 (a Labor Day coupon of 5%).
>
> After buying the Saeco Aroma not realizing that I would be spending as
> much for a grinder as a machine, yes, I thought perhaps this whole idea
> was a mistake. It is entry level for me, but I don't think I'll be moving
> up soon.
>
> The dumbest thing happened; I realized I need a tamper. I wanted the $28
> one, DH said the $12 is ok. The phone salesperson said that these $12 &
> $28 would not work with the Saeco and I needed a different size. What! I
> called Saeco and they didn't know what size it was, but they are sending
> me one for free. I still don't know what size it is. But when I asked
> the salesperson what one that fit would cost, she said $61!!! I think it
> was a 53, but not positive what she said at that point, thinking I had to
> spend $61 for a tamperer which I'd rather spend on some beans.
>
> Dee Dee
>
The Rocky is an excellent grinder and should give you very many years of
service...............and if you are sure you are into this "espresso thing"
you will have saved money in the long run ! In my case, I went thro" several
grinders before I bought the Rocky.....part of the learning curve :-))

There is no reason why you should pay 61 bucks for a tamper a 30 dollar one
will work just as well, just make sure you get the correct size.

Regards, bmc




       
Date: 05 Sep 2007 13:05:44
From: Ken Wilson
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?
"Brian Colwell"
> There is no reason why you should pay 61 bucks for a tamper a 30 dollar
> one will work just as well, just make sure you get the correct size.

A much revered alt.coffeeite, before my time, used to recommend a schwartz
herb jar.

I couldn't get on with it.

:-)

ken






       
Date: 05 Sep 2007 05:16:36
From: Bill (Adopt)
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?
In article <stpDi.127551$fJ5.14854@pd7urf1no >,
Brian Colwell <bmcolwell@shaw.ca > wrote:

> "Dee Dee" <deedovey@shentel.net> wrote in message
> news:fbl5j3$smc$1@registered.motzarella.org...
[..]
> > called Saeco and they didn't know what size it was, but they are sending
> > me one for free. I still don't know what size it is. But when I asked
> > the salesperson what one that fit would cost, she said $61!!! I think it
> > was a 53, but not positive what she said at that point, thinking I had to
> > spend $61 for a tamperer which I'd rather spend on some beans.
> >
> > Dee Dee
> >
> The Rocky is an excellent grinder and should give you very many years of
> service...............and if you are sure you are into this "espresso thing"
> you will have saved money in the long run ! In my case, I went thro" several
> grinders before I bought the Rocky.....part of the learning curve :-))

> There is no reason why you should pay 61 bucks for a tamper a 30 dollar one
> will work just as well, just make sure you get the correct size.

There's even at least one around here who says he uses
the bottom end of glass spice/herb jar ..Schwarz or
somesuch, I guess. Different European jar sizes here
in GB, but I daresay we'll have something similar..

It doesn't have to an absolutely perfect fit - although
the closer I guess the better. Didn't you get a plastic
type tamper that fits (sort of) hidden somewhere in your
Saeco packaging?

The tamper they're sending you may not be the last word
in ..um.. prifeshnul tampers.. but at least it should
be enough to get you started.

Good luck with it all, btw. :)) You will enjoy it - and
will come to appreciate the money so very well invested in
your decent new grinder.

:))

Bill ZFC

--
Adoption InterLink UK with -=- http://www.billsimpson.com/
Domain Host Orpheus Internet -=- http://www.orpheusinternet.co.uk/


        
Date: 05 Sep 2007 00:35:10
From: Dee Dee
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?

"Bill (Adopt)" <adopt@billsimpson.com > wrote in message
news:4f1d633e3dadopt@billsimpson.com...
>
> There's even at least one around here who says he uses
> the bottom end of glass spice/herb jar ..Schwarz or
> somesuch, I guess. Different European jar sizes here
> in GB, but I daresay we'll have something similar..
>
> It doesn't have to an absolutely perfect fit - although
> the closer I guess the better. Didn't you get a plastic
> type tamper that fits (sort of) hidden somewhere in your
> Saeco packaging?
>
> The tamper they're sending you may not be the last word
> in ..um.. prifeshnul tampers.. but at least it should
> be enough to get you started.
>
>
> Bill ZFC

You peeked my curiousity. I just now found a coffee scoop (with a long
handle) and a wooden block about 3-1/2" x 1-3/8" x 9/16". That block's
gotta be somethin', heh?
But no tamper. Hmm. Tomorrow I'll look through the packing again.
Dee




         
Date: 05 Sep 2007 11:29:54
From: Bill (Adopt)
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?
In article <fblbml$82d$1@registered.motzarella.org >,
Dee Dee <deedovey@shentel.net > wrote:

> "Bill (Adopt)" <adopt@billsimpson.com> wrote in message
> news:4f1d633e3dadopt@billsimpson.com...

[..]
> > the closer I guess the better. Didn't you get a plastic
> > type tamper that fits (sort of) hidden somewhere in your

> You peeked my curiousity. I just now found a coffee scoop (with a long
> handle) and a wooden block about 3-1/2" x 1-3/8" x 9/16". That block's
> gotta be somethin', heh?

Pure guess.. the wooden block is part of the protective
packing - but may also be used to rest your Portafilter
on whilst you're pressing down (light = Milanese, heavy
= Californian), tamping the fresh coffee grind...? :))

It's also useful as the 'Arnold Governer' defender fist
support against any who might dare negatively criticise
your skills as a barista..

> But no tamper. Hmm. Tomorrow I'll look through the packing again.

..sort of an, "Aaaaahll Be Baaaaeck"?? !;)))

Bill ZFC

--
Adoption InterLink UK with -=- http://www.billsimpson.com/
Domain Host Orpheus Internet -=- http://www.orpheusinternet.co.uk/


          
Date: 05 Sep 2007 11:31:05
From: Coffee for Connoisseurs
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?
>> You peeked my curiousity. I just now found a coffee scoop (with a long
>> handle) and a wooden block about 3-1/2" x 1-3/8" x 9/16". That block's
>> gotta be somethin', heh?

>Pure guess.. the wooden block is part of the protective
>packing - but may also be used to rest your Portafilter
>on whilst you're pressing down (light = Milanese, heavy
>= Californian), tamping the fresh coffee grind...? :))

Nah. The Saecos used to come with an extra "drip tray" thingy. The wooden
block fits into it to make a knockbox.


--
Alan

alanfrew@coffeeco.com.au
www.coffeeco.com.au




           
Date: 06 Sep 2007 18:52:48
From: Bill (Adopt)
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?
In article <ZrwDi.31584$4A1.14772@news-server.bigpond.net.au >,
Coffee for Connoisseurs <alanfrew@coffeeco.com.au > wrote:
[..]

> Nah. The Saecos used to come with an extra "drip tray" thingy. The wooden
> block fits into it to make a knockbox.

That I didn't know and was too busy daft semi-thinking
outside the box to think inside it.. #)

Hope Dee Dee does have the extra tray ..a knock box may
not be immediately important, but it may also help prevent
smaller bore waste pipes getting clogged over time...

Thanks.. :))

Bill ZFC

--
Adoption InterLink UK with -=- http://www.billsimpson.com/
Domain Host Orpheus Internet -=- http://www.orpheusinternet.co.uk/


            
Date: 06 Sep 2007 15:14:28
From: Dee Dee
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?

"Bill (Adopt)" <adopt@billsimpson.com > wrote in message
news:4f1e31cdecadopt@billsimpson.com...
> In article <ZrwDi.31584$4A1.14772@news-server.bigpond.net.au>,
> Coffee for Connoisseurs <alanfrew@coffeeco.com.au> wrote:
> [..]
>
>> Nah. The Saecos used to come with an extra "drip tray" thingy. The wooden
>> block fits into it to make a knockbox.
>
> That I didn't know and was too busy daft semi-thinking
> outside the box to think inside it.. #)
>
> Hope Dee Dee does have the extra tray ..a knock box may
> not be immediately important, but it may also help prevent
> smaller bore waste pipes getting clogged over time...
>
> Thanks.. :))
>
> Bill ZFC

Thanks, guys, but Dee Dee doesn't have a clue to what the hey you are
talking about -- yet.
Dee Dee




             
Date: 06 Sep 2007 21:59:54
From: Bill (Adopt)
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?
In article <fbpjk2$qj3$1@registered.motzarella.org >,
Dee Dee <deedovey@shentel.net > wrote:

> "Bill (Adopt)" <adopt@billsimpson.com> wrote in message
> news:4f1e31cdecadopt@billsimpson.com...
> > In article <ZrwDi.31584$4A1.14772@news-server.bigpond.net.au>,
> > Coffee for Connoisseurs <alanfrew@coffeeco.com.au> wrote:
> > [..]
> >
> >> Nah. The Saecos used to come with an extra "drip tray" thingy. The wooden
> >> block fits into it to make a knockbox.
> >
> > That I didn't know and was too busy daft semi-thinking
> > outside the box to think inside it.. #)
> >
> > Hope Dee Dee does have the extra tray ..a knock box may
> > not be immediately important, but it may also help prevent
> > smaller bore waste pipes getting clogged over time...

> Thanks, guys, but Dee Dee doesn't have a clue to what the hey you are
> talking about -- yet.
> Dee Dee

Hi Dee Dee.. :))

A 'Knock-Box'..!

No, it's not something outrageous, but a plastic or
metal box or tray ..almost any size although most
fit on a kitchen counter-top or sit under or alongside
your coffee machine(s).

In the knock-box there's a piece of wooden dowling,
sometimes rubber/plastic covered, against which you
can 'knock' your portafilter and so eject the just
used cake of hot coffee grounds.

The box/tray collects all the used grounds that you
may then use to poison the birds, feed the cat or
treat the pet plant to some soil aerobics - rather
than allowing the said used grounds go down the sink,
giving the plumber some work to do to unblock it..

It's one of the sounds of /real/ coffee shop - the
'knock' of the box, the clatter of the cups, the
hiss of the steam, the growl of the grinder - and
this continual knock-bash-thump-tinkle-(curse)-hiss
is the Sign Of The Truely Expert Barista.. ;'))

Anyway - the knock-box or tray is there to collect
the old coffee grounds without reducing the brass
of the portafilter into a jumbled mass of ill-fitting
metal....

hope helps... :))

Bill ZFC

--
Adoption InterLink UK with -=- http://www.billsimpson.com/
Domain Host Orpheus Internet -=- http://www.orpheusinternet.co.uk/


              
Date: 07 Sep 2007 23:48:21
From: Dee Dee
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?

"Bill (Adopt)" <adopt@billsimpson.com > wrote in message
news:4f1e42ef2aadopt@billsimpson.com...
> In article <fbpjk2$qj3$1@registered.motzarella.org>,
> Dee Dee <deedovey@shentel.net> wrote:
>
>> "Bill (Adopt)" <adopt@billsimpson.com> wrote in message
>> news:4f1e31cdecadopt@billsimpson.com...
>> > In article <ZrwDi.31584$4A1.14772@news-server.bigpond.net.au>,
>> > Coffee for Connoisseurs <alanfrew@coffeeco.com.au> wrote:
>> > [..]
>> >
>> >> Nah. The Saecos used to come with an extra "drip tray" thingy. The
>> >> wooden
>> >> block fits into it to make a knockbox.
>> >
>> > That I didn't know and was too busy daft semi-thinking
>> > outside the box to think inside it.. #)
>> >
>> > Hope Dee Dee does have the extra tray ..a knock box may
>> > not be immediately important, but it may also help prevent
>> > smaller bore waste pipes getting clogged over time...
>
>> Thanks, guys, but Dee Dee doesn't have a clue to what the hey you are
>> talking about -- yet.
>> Dee Dee
>
> Hi Dee Dee.. :))
>
> A 'Knock-Box'..!
>
> No, it's not something outrageous, but a plastic or
> metal box or tray ..almost any size although most
> fit on a kitchen counter-top or sit under or alongside
> your coffee machine(s).
>
> In the knock-box there's a piece of wooden dowling,
> sometimes rubber/plastic covered, against which you
> can 'knock' your portafilter and so eject the just
> used cake of hot coffee grounds.
>
> The box/tray collects all the used grounds that you
> may then use to poison the birds, feed the cat or
> treat the pet plant to some soil aerobics - rather
> than allowing the said used grounds go down the sink,
> giving the plumber some work to do to unblock it..
>
> It's one of the sounds of /real/ coffee shop - the
> 'knock' of the box, the clatter of the cups, the
> hiss of the steam, the growl of the grinder - and
> this continual knock-bash-thump-tinkle-(curse)-hiss
> is the Sign Of The Truely Expert Barista.. ;'))
>
> Anyway - the knock-box or tray is there to collect
> the old coffee grounds without reducing the brass
> of the portafilter into a jumbled mass of ill-fitting
> metal....
>
> hope helps... :))
>
> Bill ZFC

I think I might have an extra tray.
Thanks Bill ZFC for taking the time to respond. This will go into my file
for further understanding.
Dee Dee




              
Date: 06 Sep 2007 17:17:51
From: pltrgyst
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?
On Thu, 06 Sep 2007 21:59:54 +0100, "Bill (Adopt)" <adopt@billsimpson.com >
wrote:

>Anyway - the knock-box or tray is there to collect
>the old coffee grounds without reducing the brass
>of the portafilter into a jumbled mass of ill-fitting
>metal....


...and you definitely want to save those coffee grounds to use to repel the
slugs in your garden!

-- Larry


       
Date: 05 Sep 2007 00:03:08
From: Dee Dee
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?

"Brian Colwell" <bmcolwell@shaw.ca > wrote in message
news:stpDi.127551$fJ5.14854@pd7urf1no...
>>
> The Rocky is an excellent grinder and should give you very many years of
> service...............and if you are sure you are into this "espresso
> thing" you will have saved money in the long run ! In my case, I went
> thro" several grinders before I bought the Rocky.....part of the learning
> curve :-))
>
> There is no reason why you should pay 61 bucks for a tamper a 30 dollar
> one will work just as well, just make sure you get the correct size.
>
> Regards, bmc

Thanks, Brian, I needed that.
Dee Dee




   
Date: 03 Sep 2007 14:28:09
From: Lloyd Parsons
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?
In article <13domtgqoghc5f8@corp.supernews.com >,
"Robert Harmon" <Texas_Coffee@earthlink.net > wrote:

> Howdy Ken!
> Remember that the criterion is being able to make *QUALITY* espresso. Maybe
> optimum fits better for you, but I really did mean minimum when I wrote
> that.
>
> Ask folks who have encouraged friends to buy Rocky, MDF, Tranquillo, and
> other high-end consumer grinders, how long they kept the grinder before they
> felt the need for an upgrade? Those grinders are OK for beginners & paired
> with a sub-$300 Gaggia espresso machine, can provide a newbie with great
> tools for learning how to make good espresso at a low cost.
>
> But IMHO, there's a lot more room for growth with the Gaggia espresso
> machine than there is with one of these grinders. I don't believe one can
> get past the intermediate stage of making quality espresso until one
> upgrades the grinder. Thus my statement that the Mini is the minimum.

I wouldn't necessarily agree. While the Macaps and Mazzers are
certainly worth the money they cost, it isn't just the quality of grind
you are buying with them. You are also buying a commercial quality
grinder that will last who knows how many years in the low useage they
get in the home.

I have both a SJ and an Ascaso I2 Conical and frankly the Ascaso
produces a better grind, imo, than does the SJ. And while the Ascaso
certainly wouldn't hold up to a coffee shop useage, I suspect it will
outlive me in my home.

There are other inexpensive grinders out there that also do that.


    
Date: 03 Sep 2007 21:46:11
From: Coffee for Connoisseurs
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?
>Thus my statement that the Mini is the minimum.

Just bullshit. Any of the Lux type conical grinders (Iberital, Nemox, Ascaso
etc.) grind just as well as the Mazzers.



--
Alan

alanfrew@coffeeco.com.au
www.coffeeco.com.au




     
Date: 06 Sep 2007 00:58:07
From: Natalie Drest
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?

"Coffee for Connoisseurs" <alanfrew@coffeeco.com.au > wrote in message
news:Dg%Ci.30326$4A1.1904@news-server.bigpond.net.au...
> >Thus my statement that the Mini is the minimum.
>
> Just bullshit. Any of the Lux type conical grinders (Iberital, Nemox,
> Ascaso etc.) grind just as well as the Mazzers.
>

Do you include the EM480?




     
Date: 05 Sep 2007 23:31:37
From: RobvL
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?

"Coffee for Connoisseurs" <alanfrew@coffeeco.com.au > wrote in message
news:Dg%Ci.30326$4A1.1904@news-server.bigpond.net.au...
> >Thus my statement that the Mini is the minimum.
>
> Just bullshit. Any of the Lux type conical grinders (Iberital, Nemox,
> Ascaso etc.) grind just as well as the Mazzers.
>
>


Yup. Got the Innova (Ascaso) at work, going thru near a kilo a week for the
last 4 or 5 years and still going strong, a better grind than Rocky IMO.
Friends who bought my Silvia bought a Lux type, noisy but the grind was as
good as Rocky.

Rob vL
NZ




     
Date: 04 Sep 2007 02:31:20
From: Danny
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?
Coffee for Connoisseurs wrote:
>>Thus my statement that the Mini is the minimum.
>
>
> Just bullshit. Any of the Lux type conical grinders (Iberital, Nemox, Ascaso
> etc.) grind just as well as the Mazzers.
>
>
>

Although I don't have much direct experience with Mazzers, I would
agree with you - I think the Iberital is an underrated grinder.

--
Regards, Danny

http://www.gaggia-espresso.com (a purely hobby site)
(apparently bad grammar but I like it that way...)



      
Date: 03 Sep 2007 22:28:25
From: Lloyd Parsons
Subject: Re: What's the minimum it takes to make quality espresso?
In article <5k3qqmF20r95U1@mid.individual.net >,
Danny <danny@nospam.gaggia-espresso.com > wrote:

> Coffee for Connoisseurs wrote:
> >>Thus my statement that the Mini is the minimum.
> >
> >
> > Just bullshit. Any of the Lux type conical grinders (Iberital, Nemox,
> > Ascaso
> > etc.) grind just as well as the Mazzers.
> >
> >
> >
>
> Although I don't have much direct experience with Mazzers, I would
> agree with you - I think the Iberital is an underrated grinder.

I see that also. I think that it is because they are not as durable as
the Mazzers and Macaps. But in the home? I can't imagine the Ascaso
and others similar having any problems in the low volume of home useage.

My Ascaso I2 is about 8 months old and used every day with nary a burp
from it. So is my SJ, but if I had bought the SJ new it would have been
about double the cost of the I2 with little benefit in the home.