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Coffee: Intermediate to Advanced


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#161 of 195 Carlo Medina

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Posted May 28 2013 - 06:44 AM

Famous last words: Relax...I know what I'm doing  :laugh:

 

I do a pretty good job of not exceeding two espresso drinks a day, one in the morning before work, one in the afternoon when I get home as a reward for making it through the work day. I'll keep to that schedule, which is why normally I wouldn't buy two 12oz bags, because with this schedule it would take three weeks or so to go through it.

 

But I think I'll make my decision soon about what is going to be my long term bean. I've enjoyed Augie's greatly, and I found WBC to be good. Hoping Klatch's house is better. If not, I'll likely stick with my Intelly bean even though I think Augie's is at least on par with it, I can't justify the 85 mile drive and I don't want to pay for shipping for my beans. And to be honest, getting beans every two weeks gives me an excuse to pamper myself with an Intelly mocha at the store.  :D


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#162 of 195 Sam Posten

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Posted May 28 2013 - 07:22 AM

Famous last words: Relax...I know what I'm doing  :laugh:


Hey hey careful man there's a beverage here!

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#163 of 195 Carlo Medina

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Posted May 28 2013 - 12:59 PM

Well...that's just like...your opinion, man...


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#164 of 195 Carlo Medina

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Posted May 28 2013 - 03:25 PM

Morning batch with Klatch House Espresso was good. Grind was a little too coarse, 2oz in about 17 seconds, ideally I want it around 22-25 seconds, which may have contributed to a little bit of sourness. But it plays well with sugar. Adjusted the grind fineness and will try shot 2 this afternoon when I get home from work.

 

And I know I said I didn't want to pay for shipping, but I think I'll give Redbird Espresso a try because it gets such good reviews from so many espresso aficionados, and also at $12 per pound + $5 shipping it comes in at less than Intelligentsia, so it's worth the risk. But I'll finish my Klatch HE and Augie's first.  :lol:


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#165 of 195 Dr Griffin

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Posted July 13 2013 - 09:05 PM

Anyone know of a good deal on Panama Boquet (any estate)? My local supplier no longer stocks it.



#166 of 195 Carlo Medina

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Posted September 04 2013 - 11:25 PM

Well I went and done it. As Beyonce sings in those DirecTv commercials..."lemme lemme upgrade ya..."

 

I do think this is the last espresso machine upgrade until I either start making a high six-figure salary or I win the lottery. And then it's either a Synesso or a Slayer. :D

 

May I introduce you to the new Quick Mill Vetrano 2B (dual boiler). New model from QM, just released to the US distributor Chris Coffee late last month, arrived at my place today. Spent the evening flushing it out. Made a few lattes for guests. Already worth the investment. Cranked out 3 lattes in a little over 5 minutes: whereas with my Silvia it would have taken nearly 15-20 minutes if I waited for temps to stabilize properly. This bad boy weighs 70lbs, has two boilers and independent PID controls for the brew and steam boilers. E61 brew group. Dry and powerful steam. Something empowering about being able to brew and steam at the same time. ;)

 

And even without having had a ton of time to "dial it in" the initial shots I pulled are better than the Silvia's. And I suspect these will be the worst shots I pull from the V2B, so it's definitely already worth the investment to my mind. Now to sell my Silvia online...

V2B.gif

 


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#167 of 195 Johnny Angell

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Posted September 06 2013 - 09:08 AM

That looks like it belongs under the hood of a Ferrari.   :P


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#168 of 195 Carlo Medina

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Posted September 06 2013 - 09:54 AM

I'm willing to put it there if you're willing to donate the Ferrari! :D


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#169 of 195 BrianW

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Posted September 07 2013 - 09:34 AM

That's sweet. I love the double boiler feature.


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#170 of 195 Sam Posten

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Posted September 07 2013 - 09:42 AM

As I told Carlo via PM the first step is admitting you have an addiction to bigger boilers :)

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#171 of 195 schan1269

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Posted September 07 2013 - 09:47 AM

My cousin and her husband are doing a "home doubling" expansion. Namely a kitchen you can use(the house was built @1910) and first floor bedrooms.

 

They want a kitchen with a separate tea/coffee area(she is into Teavana) complete with its own water filtering and 3 different water temp dispensers...along with standard tap.

 

He, along with me, are the coffee snobs. Not sure he'd go for the Quick Mill Vetrano...but something at least half that good is in the mix...



#172 of 195 Carlo Medina

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Posted September 07 2013 - 10:21 AM

As I told Carlo via PM the first step is admitting you have an addiction to bigger boilers :)

It's not how big it is, it's how you use it. And okay, how big it is.  :lol:

 

My cousin and her husband are doing a "home doubling" expansion. Namely a kitchen you can use(the house was built @1910) and first floor bedrooms.

 

They want a kitchen with a separate tea/coffee area(she is into Teavana) complete with its own water filtering and 3 different water temp dispensers...along with standard tap.

 

He, along with me, are the coffee snobs. Not sure he'd go for the Quick Mill Vetrano...but something at least half that good is in the mix...

Good luck to your cousin and her husband. I do think the Vetrano 2B is a "steal" even after the preorder price expired and it's gone up to $2299 at Chris Coffee (I got in at $2150 preorder price). It stacks up well (actually surpasses according to people who service espresso machines) to the Alex Duetto III and Rocket R58, both of which cost $2600. The La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi comes in at $2000 but it comes with some caveats (you either choose a plumb-in for $200 more or a tank, 53mm group head vs. 58mm E61). 

 

If you and your in-law are okay with temperature surfing, then there are some HX (Heat Exchanger) machines that you can save some money on vs. the dual boilers. I would advise buying one with a rotary pump. Some will say it's just quieter and a good vibratory pump will be louder but perform just as well. But I can tell you the best shot I ever pulled on my Rancilio Silvia was equal to the first shot I pulled on the Vetrano. Every shot since on the Vetrano has improved and the latte I made this morning is very close to Intelligentsia quality. The stainless steel is of very high quality and cleans up easily. I feel like if you're going to spend over $1500 for a good HX machine, you might as well take that last plunge to dual boiler, it takes the guess work out of having to do cooling flushes, etc. The dual PID on the V2B gives you tremendous accuracy, stability and repeatability in your shot.

 

I've moved the machine next to my grinder, and put furniture sliders on the feet so I can easily swivel it to refill the water tank (the cabinet won't allow the door to open). I use Crystal Geyser water because it is 3 grains of hardness and highly recommended by the coffee community to avoid scaling. I'm getting good microfoam (but suck at art) despite the machine shipping with the 2-hole tip (a mistake from Quick Mill on the Chris Coffee order). They're shipping a 4-hole tip and I should have it next week, and people say that makes latte-art quality microfoam much easier. I'll keep y'all posted.

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#173 of 195 schan1269

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Posted September 07 2013 - 10:25 AM

A coffee machine like this, with dual boiler, is one of the reasons they are going with a "tap" and three different temp water dispensers. The home builder(based on the design a plumber came up with based on "our wants") is best served by a machine with a direct "off the wall" water hookup and no tanks.

 

The three water temperatures will be regulated by LCD displays allowing anything from 145 to 205. So no need for a tanked machine.

 

It helps the "kitchen budget" of the remodel is $80,000 by itself. The entire home addition is $650,000. He's a doctor with a bank account already set up with the cash on hand.

 

The highlight of the house will be a re-imagining of a church in Northern England dubbed the "Quilltery". A combination library* and sewing room complete with an 18' tall wall of stained glass windows procured from 15 different churches/libraries in the tri-state area.

 

*He is a collector of rare books. Especially war related. She is a fabric collector and "infrequent" sewer. She also has a masters in creative writing. Hence...Quilltery.



#174 of 195 Sam Posten

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Posted September 09 2013 - 06:48 AM

It's not how big it is, it's how you use it. And okay, how big it is.  :lol:


I've moved the machine next to my grinder, and put furniture sliders on the feet so I can easily swivel it to refill the water tank (the cabinet won't allow the door to open).

 

I'll keep y'all posted.

 

Carlo, what's the tamping mat you've got in the image???  I've been trying to find one of those but all the reviews say the popular ones have nasty rubber smell...


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#175 of 195 Carlo Medina

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Posted September 09 2013 - 06:54 AM

Cafelat tamping mat

 

Many kinds, including ones that fold over your counter (pretty cool, but not practical for my setup). I bought the "small flat mat" and most places sell them. I patronize Chris Coffee Service in Albany, NY. Great people, great service!

 

No smell noted from my mat, though admittedly I'm not sniffing it, it lives about 2' below my nose level. :D


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#176 of 195 Sam Posten

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Posted September 10 2013 - 05:51 AM

Amazon only had the red splat mat via prime so that's what I got, should be here Thursday.  If that looks garish I'll order the corner mat in black direct via Cafelat.  THANKS!


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#177 of 195 Sam Posten

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Posted March 24 2014 - 11:46 AM

Have heard great things about Blue Bottle, never been to one yet tho:
http://www.slate.com..._francisco.html
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#178 of 195 Carlo Medina

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Posted March 24 2014 - 12:52 PM

Hey Sam, it's my go to place when I'm up in SF (actually there's a few locations in the city). Funny a friend just came to visit me this weekend from the Bay Area and she brought me some of their beans.

 

Also, Blue Bottle uses TCHO chocolate for their mochas just like Intelligentsia (the ones in So. Cal.) does. Not surprising given TCHO is a San Francisco company.


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#179 of 195 Carlo Medina

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Posted March 24 2014 - 02:51 PM

Wow - looks like they'll soon be opening in Culver City (just about 5 miles south of me) and Venice Beach...right on the same street as Intelligentsia. Given that Intelly's lines are always out the door there is certainly going to be enough demand to support two high end coffee/espresso shops, but that's like firing a shot across the bow of Intelly!

 

Loved that comment in the slate piece musing about whether Blue Bottle could be the Apple to Starbucks' Microsoft. :lol:  

 

Thanks for sharing!


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#180 of 195 Sam Posten

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Posted April 01 2014 - 11:09 AM

Coffee isn't a ritual or passion for me, I like having Espresso and I refuse to spend $5 a cup so I bought an expensive machine to make my own for the long haul with beans I like but don't obsess over.

 

For you guys who DO go overboard tho:

http://www.marco.org...in-glass-houses


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