think tank forum

technology » espresso setup

lucas's avatar
8 years ago
r4, link
lucas
i ❤ demo
post yours! (i think i might be the only one here.)

BOOM
gaggia classic espresso machine
rancilio rocky doserless burr grinder
reg barber stainless steel tamper (hot pink powder-coated, 58mm, RB logo)
rattleware medium-sized tamping mat
grindenstein gray knock box
two shot glasses (line at 1 fl. oz., rim at 1.25 fl. oz.)
update thermometer
update frothing pitcher (12 fl. oz.)
berlino spoon (8.25 in.)
Carpetsmoker's avatar
8 years ago
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Carpetsmoker
Martin
I just have a drip coffee maker ...

I even use intant *gasp* coffee at times *shame*.
lucas's avatar
8 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
oh, i also drink instant coffee (starbucks via or nestle taster's choice).

i also have a ten-cup chemex, a two-cup porcelain drip filter holder, and a braun water kettle for them.
 
8 years ago
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karpet
awesomeness!
I just got a job at a local coffee roaster/ coffee house. I'm pretty excited about becoming a coffee geek. philsebastian.com

Currently I have a slick bodum press, and a terrible grinder. I use a cone filter to clean up the mess from the terrible grinder.
nny's avatar
8 years ago
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nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
heh.. in nyc one of our more well known coffee shops was just in the news. Apparently all the employees quit in protest over one of the owners not stepping down.

crazy bastards take their jobs seriously.
 
8 years ago
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karpet
awesomeness!
its a pretty intense world, and it doesn't help matters much that everyone is over caffinated.
nny's avatar
8 years ago
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nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
true
lucas's avatar
7 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
i wouldn't mind a double boiler machine. i'd have precise scientific control over extraction temperature, because i can set the exact brew temperature using buttons. that bad thing is that it's much more expensive, a heavier machine, a larger machine, it takes more time to heat up, and if you don't use it consistently, water will stagnate in the brew boiler.

the other option is a heat exchange machine. control over extraction temperature is more of an art, as it depends on how you flush it before extraction. it's a less expensive option, a lighter machine, it takes less time to heat up, and brew water never stagnates.

i'm going with the romantic, less expensive option.

rocket cellini, come to me
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
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nestor
nestor
i need to get my shit together and buy some gear. i'm still using lr's chemex. i need some espresso.
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
wanna buy my setup from me?

i can't justify owning my setup, considering my income.
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
r1, link
lucas
i ❤ demo
wow, the rocket cellini has a very low volume used market on ebay.
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
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nestor
nestor
what is your setup again? i might be interested. would also save me some considerable sales tax.
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
i should probably keep it. i just kinda regret getting into it to begin with, because of my low income.

i'll proceed to discuss home espresso, though!

--

if you don't know the difference between heat exchange (HX) and double boiler (DB) machines, you should become acquainted. DB machines require a lot more electricity than HX. i have a HX (the rocket espresso cellini premium plus), and at my new apartment (built in the eighties), when the heating element turns on and off, it browns-out the apartment:

1) lights dim noticably
2) fans will slow audibly
3) my UPS for my file server will sound an alert and try to pad the line supply using the battery
4) if i use the electric kettle at the same time, it will blow the breaker

that this didn't happen at my old apartment, but it's a shitty situation to be in. if i had a double broiler machine, it might not work at all in this apartment--it might blow the breaker every time!

i've heard that american homes typically can't handle double boiler machines, but that's hearsay. i'm having trouble finding sources on it at the moment.
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
machine options

tempurature surfers

Rancilio Silvia -- this is the cheapest machine i'd recommend. i'd tell anyone that if you don't want to spend this much, then avoid espresso at home. you can make good coffee with these, but you might be occasionally frustrated, and you'll probably want to upgrade to the next level (HX or DB).

heat exchange

Quick Mill Andreja -- i think this is probably a great machine, a good alternative to mine

Rocket Cellini v2 -- almost what i have. it's a great machine, my only issue is the small drip tray.

double boiler

La Marzocco GS3 -- the type of machine i'll have when i'm settled in a career job and have a nice apartment or house. i don't think i'd bother with any other DB machine.

--

if you want to discuss specific things, let me know!
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
here's a video of me making a latte on my setup a year ago...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89TyB5r_6UY
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
good advice on HX vs DB. I think I'm going with the Rocket Cellini v2 - that's what I thought you had, and why I was interested. But I certainly don't blame you for wanting to hang onto it!
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
basically, at this point, i'll keep my setup. but i regret getting it to begin with. although an espresso is very nice after dinner, i get frustrated when i make less than perfect drinks, and i don't have a good enough income to justify owning at the price i originally paid. i think i can justify it at the price my used equipment would get in the market.
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
r1, link
lucas
i ❤ demo
want a couple like-new, clean monin pumps for free? i don't use them

want to buy two like-new 32oz airscape lavendar containers for $20 (half price) with $10 for shipping? negotiable. i don't really use them much. i have other vacuum sealed containers. these are great, though.
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
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nestor
nestor
i might be interested in the containers. let me investigate further.
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
i think you'll like the cellini v2. you'll have a lot to learn and perfect. :)
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
also, make sure that you get a good grinder.

i'd recommend the rancilio rocky doserless or the mazzer mini electronic type a.

there's an anecdote widely repeated that everyone who gets a rancilio rocky eventually gets a mazzer mini. i will make the switch myself when it doesn't seem like such an extravagant purchase (maybe after saving up for it for a couple more years). the rancilio rocky has provided me with three years of good service so far. however, if i had the money, i would have done it right from the start.
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
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nestor
nestor
goddamn it lr
andyp's avatar
5 years ago
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andyp
nothing is wrong - what are you scared of?
http://www.bialettishop.com/Pictures/NewMokaExpressLarge.jpg

that's about it!
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
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nestor
nestor
getting the mazzer a and the rocket cellini v2. this weekend. need to do a couple measurements in my kitchen before i hit buy.
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
whoa.
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
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nestor
nestor
it's been five years since i've wanted to do this, i figure now that i can afford it there is absolutely no reason not to pull the trigger!
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
i'm going to be jealous of your mazzer, your second manometer, and your boiler insulation!

i can't wait until you get it and are ready to show it off! :)
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
r1, link
lucas
i ❤ demo
man, it's such a beautiful machine. link

optimal pressure! link

using vivace vita. link

oh man, i love this video. link
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
time to talk about the tampers i've owned and loved. made by reg barber in victoria, bc, ca.

hot pink powder-coated, 58mm flat stainless steel base. link

zebrawood, no delron, 58mm flat stainless steel base. link

i really enjoyed the weight of the powder-coated tamper, because it's an all-steel tamper. but the zebrawood is lovely, and it adds class to the setup.

--

i'll post more about accessories i've used, giving my opinion.
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
made you a video, bpa. link
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
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nestor
nestor
my credit card got flagged for fraud last week and now i can't buy anything over $250.

guess it will have to wait :(
nny's avatar
5 years ago
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nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
I 3d printed a tamper. http://www.flickr.com/photos/openfly/83902480 … hotostream
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
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nestor
nestor
quick update on this. waiting on a local canadian site to get the rocket back in stock, then going for it. surprise upside on the tax return will pay for both rocket and the mazzer. woohoo.
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
nny: cool. i hear that breville is a pretty nice machine, too.
nny's avatar
5 years ago
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nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
office device. =/
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
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nestor
nestor
ordered the rocket cellini v2 - think i'm picking up the mazzer locally.
nny's avatar
5 years ago
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nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
you are nuts man =P. though i've always said... invest in the things you use often. if you drink coffee often at home, may as well do it right.
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
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nestor
nestor
totally. i didn't drink coffee at home when i was an investment banker because i worked loser hours and was always rushing in the morning -- now that i work relatively 'normal' hours it just makes sense. i've wanted a home espresso setup for >5 years (even posted about it here in 2007/2008). the upfront cost is offset by the massive reduction in coffee spending, and i am confident i'll enjoy the process too.
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
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nestor
nestor
rocket arrived this week. mazzer next week. hand grinding for now - getting some fresh coffee tomorrow night (cfa exam tomorrow).
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
how did the exam go? having fun with the rocket?
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
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nestor
nestor
exam went well. pretty confident i passed. my mean score on practice exams was 3-5 standard deviations away from the highest possible failing score.

i pulled 4 shots on sunday with the rocket - having issues getting grind settings right on my hario. mazzer should sort it out.
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
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nestor
nestor
and, finally got a mazzer mini (E type A).
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
r1, link
nestor
nestor
that was actually like 5 years in the making or something (rocket + mazzer). i take too long to make big decisions.
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
lr, is the 58.0mm reg barber the perfect size for the cellini v2? for some reason i'm having trouble finding google references of people who own both a cellini and a reg barber tamper.
nny's avatar
5 years ago
link
nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
just bought a breville reconditioned on woot...

http://home.woot.com/offers/breville-the-duo- … so-machine

Breville RM-800ESXL Breville the Duo-Temp™ Espresso Machine

so i shall finally be making espresso at home.
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
> finally got a mazzer mini (E type A).

exactly what i want. i think i should either get rid of the rocket or buy the mazzer. the rancilio doesn't cut it.

> lr, is the 58.0mm reg barber the perfect size for the cellini v2?

my 58.0 mm tamper base is not a snug fit at the level of the grounds. but the filter is slightly tapered, and if you insert the tamper all the was into an empty filter, it becomes snug.

i think you should go with the standard 58.0 mm, and if you want to snug it up later, order another base at 59.0 mm or whatever seems perfect for you. i don't know the manufacturing tolerances on the filters, or if they change slightly, so be careful if you're looking for perfection. also, the snug fit may depend on the volume of ground coffee you like to use, or which size filters you like to use (even though the double is the only one most people bother with).

also, unfortunately, my cellini is a v1.

do you have any plans on getting the thermometer kit from chris coffee? there might also be a canadian dealer. i'd like one to really see what i'm doing to temps when i flush and do long pre-heats, etc.

nny: let us know how it goes!
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
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nestor
nestor
great. i'll get the 58mm.

will probably buy the thermometer. there is a domestic distributor and i don't have a tamping mat, knockbox, etc.
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
i'm not a huge fan of tamping mats. i think getting some bleach-safe coffee towels is nice to wipe out the basket after use, then you can simply use the towel as a mat before use. minimal capital!
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
yeah i am a bit sketched out by the absurd cost of accessories here. i'll probably just go with the knockbox and the thermometer.
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
r6, link
lucas
i ❤ demo
yeah, i spent way too much on shit back in the day. here's what i'd buy again:

- a reg barber tamper from a reseller -- either on sale or a cheap one
- bleach-safe black towels like mine
- one graduated 4 oz shot glass like mine
- two libbey gibraltar glasses
- two espresso cups like these i was given
- a few mugs suitable for lattes and americanos -- i've collected a few diner-style mugs for this
- a 12 oz. frothing pitcher
- a milk thermometer
- a nice grouphead cleaning brush with spare heads
- back-flush detergent
- descaler

i think that's all i really use, but i like having each item.
nny's avatar
5 years ago
link
nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
need a recommendation for a burr grinder ( i think burr is the way to go ). nothing too crazy.
asemisldkfj's avatar
5 years ago
link
asemisldkfj
the law is no protection
I've got this hand one and I like it but I have a feeling your want electric.
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
r3, link
lucas
i ❤ demo
these are probably the best choices for the four main price points:

hario/kyocera hand grinder (~$35)
baratza encore (~$130)
rancilio rocky (~$340)
mazzer mini (~$775)

burr is the only way to go!

man, i'd love to sell my rancilio rocky and get a mazzer mini. looks like a working rocky sells for about $200 on ebay, so they hold their value nicely! but i can't put $575 into a grinder upgrade. espresso is such a money sink. i should have stuck with drip until i got a career job. nestor did it right.
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
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nestor
nestor
this stuff doesn't have the replacement cycle of lots of other big ticket items -- so i don't think it's terrible to buy early. smooth that consumption right? life's too short for bad coffee.
nny's avatar
5 years ago
link
nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
I was thinking about using amex reward points on the kitchenaid grinder

http://www.amazon.com/KitchenAid-Line-Series- … roduct_top
asemisldkfj's avatar
5 years ago
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asemisldkfj
the law is no protection
god damn.
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
> this stuff doesn't have the replacement cycle of lots of other big ticket items -- so i don't think it's terrible to buy early. smooth that consumption right? life's too short for bad coffee.

i totally agree, but i've done this a lot already. i'm feeling the pressure of my debts looming.

nny: would you be interested in a used rancilio rocky grinder?
nny's avatar
5 years ago
link
nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
nah rather save coin with amex points =P
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
r1, link
lucas
i ❤ demo
ugh, so that chris coffee e-61 grouphead thermometer kit is just a $10 taylor thermometer with some stainless steel fittings. i wonder if i can source those fittings myself.

better yet is the Scace TTD, but it's $300.
nestor's avatar
5 years ago
link
nestor
nestor
i feel the same way about the e-61 grouphead thermometer

i ended up ordering a ton of accessories - cleaning gear (that i badly needed), knockbox, bottomless rocket portafilter, milk frothing gear, etc. couldn't find a gibraltar glass place that would ship to canada so will need to keep looking or buy something offline.
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
link
lucas
i ❤ demo
they're pretty common glasses. look for:

libbey duratuff glasses
duralex glasses

try a commercial restaurant supplier, even. you can find good deals with them, even for small quantities, sometimes!
lucas's avatar
5 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
i really really want to nail the temperature, though. i don't know the best value (bang/buck) for doing so, though.