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Thread: How I became a coffeesnob

  1. #51
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    had a go at drip ones too much fuss until........

    a sunbeam em2300 came into my hands..no manual and no idea how to use it ..

    found coffee snobs..sent a manual...got freaked out about beans? gringers? huh? oh...i see

    em sits there looking at me accusingly for next 2 months until...someone gives me some store bought ground beans..worried someone from coffee snobs might see me with such abominations

    ok read manual..lets do it...woooo awesome!!! bit bitter try another type...oh yeahh im hooked..this stuiff could raise a dead man (nescafe i kg tin given to less fortunate)

    currently? reading every single thread re ,,,everything,,,wondering if i get the bean buy..what will i do with i t(no grinder 400.00 is aways off)

    im never going back this is going to become a lifetime quest
    ty coffee snobs couldnt have done it without you


  2. #52
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Hi All, especially all other green beans,
    If you are a guest, join up NOW!. This place is THE best place to learn about beans, machines, technique, grinders, the works.
    I joined about a month ago hoping to learn something about making good coffee. I used to think buy a machine, (get a cheapie, all they do is push water though ground coffee) and off you go. How wrong I was. Firstly, if I had found this place before i spent $400 on a breville 800ES, i certainly would not have bought it. I had no idea about coffee machines and went for a flashy looking one. Dont get me wrong, this is a well built machine and looks good but it doesnt make espresso the way it should be made. It uses a PRESSURISED filter basket with a false floor to increase the foam (crema substitute), not produce real crema. Since reading everything on this site, well almost, i have modifed my baskets by cutting out the bottom so as to produce proper crema. This increased the quality of coffee produced quite a lot, however the shots were still going through at about 17 seconds with only slight crema. Next step, the grind. I had purchased a delonghi grinder with the machine and even on the finest grind, it was not fine or even enough. I took the grinder back to the good guys, which were great by the way, and told them that the grinder did not do what it was supposed to do, that is produce a grind for espresso. They would have given me my money back, but instead i upgrade for $40 to a sunbeam EM 0480. There have been good and bad reviews on CS re the sunbeam grinder, but for 40 bucks extra it was worth a shot. I was now able to grind nice and fine and with a good even tamp (another crucial piece of information learned here) i am now producing consistent shots with excellent crema at 25-27 seconds just about every time. The coffee quality is WAY up.
    Now, green beans, get the starter pack from Andy (cheap as chips, actually cheaper, Samboy 50gm-$1.70), read about home roasting, get stuck in. Home roasted coffe is AWESOME. Not just because you did it yourself but because it is fresh, cheap and with a nice little stash of green beans in the pantry, always on tap. Even without resting for a couple days after roasting it is so far superior to stale supermarket crap you would not believe. After a couple of days rest it is kick ar$e.
    I have had an excellent coffee education from this place and am now restoring an old Faema 3 group commercial machine. The experienced CSers here are a wonderful crowd. So much information and experience and they happily have helped me with my novice questions in regards to the restoration.
    Ask these guys questions and you will learn more about coffee than anywhere else.
    Anyway, its getting late and im off, but for all guests out there, if you want to learn, this is the place.
    Cheers and good night.
    James

  3. #53
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Hi all,
    Grew up in Adelaide, my mother knew some good coffee spots, some now well and truly gone, were in the strangest parts of town.
    Spent a season in Rome living with a local friend, who had a Gaggia baby in his kitchen. I had always thought home espresso machines were a yuppie vulgarity, but after living for a few months with a machine, it seemed a great idea, a neccessity infact.
    On return to Oz, with the help of alt.coffee, and Alan Frew of coffeeco, bought a Quaha Nap II, end of story.
    Still shocked by the quality of Coffee in Perth now...

  4. #54
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Quote Originally Posted by james74 link=1166962996/45#51 date=1185549134
    (snip)...Now, green beans, get the starter pack from Andy (cheap as chips, actually cheaper, Samboy 50gm-$1.70), read about home roasting, get stuck in. Home roasted coffee is AWESOME......(snip)
    ;D Thats funny, I had never though about "cheap as chips" equating to $34/kg.
    Coffee is also much lower in fat, salt and sugar (if you choose straight black)

    The rest of your post if great too, nearly brings a tear to my eye to see just how good a community of passionate coffee people we have who are happy to share ideas and knowhow.

    On ya CSrs, lets improve the planets coffee average, one cup at a time!

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  5. #55
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    For me it has been progressive. I first drank espresso coffee, when I got my first part-time IT job. I didnt particularly like it but I drank it.

    I remember making plunder coffee and think that was good. I then would drink at place like GJs! (I havent drunk coffee from them in a long time).

    I first had good espresso coffee, in a coffee shop in Bankstown. That was about 2 years plus ago. That was where I had my first macchiato (yum).

    Now I dont drink coffee from someone, unless I hear the milk being done well, the barista working with confidence, machinary cared for, and hopper not oily! :)

    Chris

  6. #56
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    In the beginning, I drank instant. Later dabbled with filter and plunger.

    Then in early 90s I found a cheap steam-powered espresso machine in Coles. Nothing flash, but it tasted good enough to get me looking for better beans (pre-ground).

    In 1997 the steam machine passed away, so I bought a bottom-of-the-range Saeco espessso - much better. Was still using pre-ground beans, but began seeking out good quality freshly roasted beans. I did try a blade grinder, but as Alan Frew says "they just dont cut it", for espresso at least.

    I realised I was on the road to snobbery last year when holidaying. Previously I took instant on my travels (better than nothing, I thought), but last year I took no coffee at all. I thought if I cant find good coffee in a cafe, Id rather go without. My palate had evolved.

    Early 2007 an epiphany occurred - at Epic Espresso in West Perth I had a revelation of how fantastic coffee can taste if its done really well. I tried all coffees on their menu to learn to appreciate the different types. Inspired, I bought a Sunbeam grinder (after reading CS) and noticed an improvement at home.

    Recently my Saeco breathed its last, so I replaced it with a Breville Ikon. On advice from this site, the pressurised baskets were ditched, and with some tamping improvements Im now making the best coffees Ive ever made. Plenty of room to improve, especially in the area of consistency, but Im happy.

    Not content with that, I bought a crazy popper, ordered a green starter pack, and did my first roast last week. Wasnt bad for a first effort. Now I need to build a bean cooler, roasting bench, buy a proper tamper, and ... the journey will no doubt continue. One thing Ive learned from CoffeeSnobs is that the quest for better coffee has no end.

  7. #57
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    UPDATE: Since I posted in June my snobbery has advanced in leaps and bounds. I very quickly decided that Silvia was a necessity and not a luxury and thus purchased her much to my delight. After a settling in period and getting to know her intimately great espresso started to flow in our household.
    Then I decided to go into the roasting section and read about poppers and a starter pack, which I ordered and received very prompltly, this started the next phase in my coffee journey. First roast was like charcoal but soon got the hang of it, then I tried multiple roasts one day and popper turned up her toes, so a BM from the Readers Mart and and HG from Bunnings were soon purchased and Coretto roasting commenced, after refining the setup great roasts and being produced in my garage, though my wife is concerned about the myriad of electeical leads and 4 way power boards etc..................thank you CSers for encouraging and helping me with information and tips along the journey, youve got me totally hooked now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Must run Silvia is calling.......................
    cheers
    Greenman

  8. #58
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    I was first introduced to espresso 15 years ago via my Italian mother-in-law. *I still remember her suggesting that I have sugar since it was my first espresso. *My male ego got the better of me & showing off in front of my new girlfriend, I said " nah...Ill take it as is". *Anyhow...after replacing my eyeballs which both sucked into the back of my head, *:oI decided to bravely continue through the shot...my manliness stayed in tact!

    I still to this day never had sugar in my coffee! *Earlier this year, I just decided Id had enough of instant coffee & an interest grew in making my own espresso. *I bought a machine after my birthday, & the rest they say is history. *I havent had a single instant coffee, or bought one from a coffee shop since being involved in learning the intricacies of roasting, grinding, tamping. e.t.c.

    In summary, my new love of coffee is not unlike the day I became a Christian! *I could have continued doing the same old thing, but once youve found out that life can be so much richer & fulfilling...why would you go back to instant! ;)

    Warm Regards
    Andrew




  9. #59
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    I live in the country and I had to go to the city for a training course. So trying not to get lost and find shops, I landed at the door of the shopping center and there was a coffee shop. I though that smells nice, I might get a coffee. Imagine my surprise at having something that tasted nice. I ended up having two for lunch. I ended up getting a coffee machine so I could have them all the time. Though I had not had the freshest of beans. My son is in the army and went to Timor and he was posted where they roasted coffee beans. He knew that I now loved coffee and sent me beans. Imagine how good they were. They were so fresh. Went out and got a grinder and havent looked back. Now if I cant get a decent coffee I ask for tea when I am out. Now I get my beans from this site and I am always checking prices from sponsors for the price of my next machine and grinder.

    Kaz

  10. #60
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Kaz, your sons unfortunate need to be in Timor has been your coffee awakening!

    Funny how life works ...

    Trust hes home & safe now - sounds like a good kid, looking after his mums coffee interests in such circumstances speaks volumes!

  11. #61
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Actually he is now in the Middle East. He said he is safe. Of course thats what you would tell your mother.

  12. #62
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Great to hear! - safety wise, I mean. Now youve got a multitude of fantastic SOs at hand, with your son in & around UAE to source.

    Depends where hes at ...

    Rest assured, a sons true confidante at the end of the day is always their mum.

  13. #63
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Hope hes home safe and sound soon, Kaz!

    About time I introduced myself properly I guess :)

    Over the years I progressed from instant to plunger then stovetop. Then someone bought a plastic thermoblock machine for my wife (shes worked in a few cafes and restaurants around Hobart). I used that with supermarket preground for a few years, before deciding that I needed a grinder. Mel bought me a blade grinder on the recommendation of a David Jones salesman - after that went back I decided to do some research, which led me to this site :) I decided to bite the bullet and picked up my sunbeam EM6910 and 480 combo second hand but brand new.

    Now, Im working on my dosing and tamping, thinking about home roasting, eying off a Pullman and seriously considering a grinder upgrade ;)

  14. #64
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times". A rather famous line that just about sums up my coming to be a CoffeeSnob. Ive always liked coffee in all its various forms. However, I never really ventured into the do-it-at-home area, other than the odd instant or three. At one stage though, I did receive a plunger and a hand grinder as a pressie. I think this started things. My brother then invested in an espresso machine and I was pretty impressed with what he got out of it. It was then a case of, "Ive got to get me one of those things". Thats about as far as it went until the Award points on my credit card built up enough to investigate what I could get for them. It was a toss up between a battery operated vacuum cleaner or an espresso machine. About a week later I pulled out of a *carton, a shiny new espresso machine *;D (albiet a cheepie). A few shots later and I was wishing that I had gone for the vacuum cleaner! *:P Not to be detered, I did some digging on the internet to see if I was doing anything wrong (maybe that should be "doing anything right"). One of the sites I came across was Coffeesnobs. Wow! an Aussie site with some great info on it and everyone so helpful. However, it was here that my shiny new machine became rather tarnished as I read about what makes a good machine. "But", I thought, "anyone can throw big money at a problem and solve it". I reasoned that if I could make a good coffee from what I had, then if ever I got a good machine, making a top coffee should be a breeze. So then CoffeeSnobs got me thinking about doing the old Jewish trick and circumcising my baskets *:o so they were no longer pressurised and roasting my own beans, not to mention water temp, tamping etc etc. My family thinks Im nuts. I mean, who buys bathroom scales to press coffee on, and a popcorn popper to roast coffee beans!! *:-? But I wouldnt have it any other way.
    The jouney continues.... *8-)

  15. #65
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    [b]The jouney continues.... [/b]

    Yep, welcome ;)

  16. #66
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    i used to drink white instant coffee, 2 sugars(im a trady) then one day a mate says to me try this ............... ristretto mmmmm sweet, full of flavour. that was it. learnt the hard way that all baristi are not equal. when i order a coffee and the barisa gives me a quizical look, its time to leave with a polite *"gosh is that the time!". why is it that a ristretto can be any thing from what it should be to a demitas just about overflowing?
    :-[

    hans

  17. #67
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    I drank instant from the age of 13, never got the bug until i was 17 and my Italian friend made me my first stovetop expresso .... *the taste and hit was awesome :)

    Since then i have owned 4 different stovetops and a few basic expresso machines, after being regularly dissapointed with most coffees i have out and tasting what can be done with the right equiptment and skills at a local roaster i have a silvia to play with :)

  18. #68
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Its interesting that everyones got a piece of their CS story. Well, Im a Singaporean post-grad student studying at UQ. We dont have good coffee back home- we call it the sock coffee, well you use the filter, we use (& reuse) sock like cloth to soak coffee powder to extract the crema. Yes, many in coffeegeek agree that good coffee is rare in Singapore, so I must agree after coming to Brisbane and drinking some good quality coffee. Honestly though, there are Baristas (or are they?) who burnt the coffee, happens to me a few time already.
    I must say though, reading from all the experts from here certainly improve my knowledge. Of course I would like to one day run a cafe(if God allows). But first let me find a good second Rancilio and learn the art of pulling a godshot :)

  19. #69
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    I got into coffee to be social, my work mates were regularly meeting in the mornings over coffee. and unless I joined them I missed significant discussions!

    I never like milk in my coffee, filled me up too much. Sooner or later our suburb was spoilt with various great cafes to get an espresso. And it wasnt until recently with a purchase of a lelit combi and freshly roasted beans did we discover great coffee at home.

    Im eagerly awaiting my first purchase off the beanbay (brown beans) and Ive been caught a few times looked for 2nd hand bread machines...

  20. #70
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    My family background is, like some on the forum, Italian so I too grew up with the mocha pot on the stove.

    I got married, and was given a Sunbeam espresso machine and a filter coffee machine, you can guess which one is still in the pantry after 20 years.

    The Sunbeam is long gone but I replaced it with a Cafe Roma and have been using supermarket blocks for a long time.

    It was not until my wife got me a grinder for Christmas and I suddenly realised that I had been swimming down at the shallow end of the pool all this time.

    Since Christmas I have been reading like mad in search of coffee nirvana.

    So now I have a list of things to get, starting with a Silva, and I know there are a heap of things out there just waiting to be discovered, technique, beans, machines............

    Che gioia, he gusto! :)
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  21. #71
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Sounds like a renaissance is about to occur Carmine, be warned once you start this journey it is very addictive and upgraditis is a common complaint of most CS members--good luck as you travel into coffee nirvana, you will get heaps of support and encouragement from fellow CSers...............................

  22. #72
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    I grew up in Russia where there isnt a big coffee culture for starters. However, when people like coffee, they swear by making it "Turkish way" - ibrik on the gas or hot sand. Later, first in France and then here in Australia I realized that there was a whole lot more exciting thing - espresso. Knowing nothing about how to make proper coffee I bought my first plastic quasi-espresso machine (Breville, I think) and assured myself I was making great espresso buying ground coffee from a good roaster... I was trying to experiment with another slightly better plastic machine, hand grinder and various beans.. Time passed, I couldnt understand why my coffee made wasnt anywhere near the one I would order in a coffee shop...
    And then something happened... I was passing by a cafe in North Melbourne which offered barista express courses (and served fantastic coffee, I should say) and I suddenly realized that I had to take one of them. I got my wife to give me a Xmas present in a form of a gift voucher and started reading coffee articles like mad. By the time I actually went to the course I already knew that I would have to learn the whole lot more, spend more money and effort before I make my perfect rosetta.
    So here I am

  23. #73
    Senior Member redzone121's Avatar
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    I guess we all have a circuit or 2 thats similar.
    Sunbeam-Silvia-VBM-???
    Super market preground-local roasted beans-your own roasted beans???

    Enjoy !

    CB.

  24. #74
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    I got a job that I wanted...

    and love it

  25. #75
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    My obsessions started a number of years ago. Me and my SO used to stop for coffee at a local bar after a night out and would get a cappuccino before calling it a night.

    Soon into our relationship, she bought me a proper machine, a Melita Cafe Cappuccino machine (I still have this and still use it most days in our shop). I had absolutely no idea what so ever about how to make a shot, or what went into making a good espresso. For more than a few years, I made these drinks with brown-ish stuff in it and some fluff on the top, our own home "cappuccinos". I didnt really know why they were never "like in the cafes", but thought it was to do with the quality of the machine (I was partially correct at least). At the time, I was using fresh(ish) beans, well, they were fresh from a cafe, but it would take 4 - 6 weeks to go through the kilo, and I would grind them to random grinds using a whirly blade grinder (often could still see the chunks of beans), and, as I had lost the plastic tamper thing early on in the piece, I "tamped" the puck with a marmite jar, that pretty much fit in the top of the PF, well sort of......

    Roll forward a year or 3, and the "cappuccino" making became few and far between. The results werent satisfying, and I never felt I was getting "cafe" quality at home, so would rather just have plunger / press pot coffee at home. Fortunately, work had a series of full auto machines (I think they were Jura, cant remember) so "good" coffee could always be had at work.

    New job (well, actually almost totally new life, but thats another story) and my daily coffee fix was coming care of the local Muffin Break (where I would order a tripple shot flat white to get my fix), but the expense of it started to get to much, so I managed to convince the minister of finance that we needed our own machine at the shop, and the research began.

    One day I decided I would look into how to make an espresso, and came across Rule # 1 - 30mls. I had previously been filling a small tea cup with fluid from the machine before adding milk (120 - 150mls Id guess) and then added milk on top. OK, so the 30ml / 60ml thing was under control.

    Next I discovered Rule #2 - the 30 seconds thing. Nows where things started to get tricky. The blade grinder would have to spin its arse off to try and get a "fine" grind, and I had to come up with some way of replacing the trusty marmite jar as a tamper.

    Initially, we were set to buy the EM5600, this had just had a good review in NZs "Consumer" magazine, and the price wasnt too bad, but a quick google, and I started to have doubts. Thats when I came across the 6910. This seems to have good reviews, and although double the price of the 5600, seemed the better option. Seizing upon a moment of weakness at the ministry of finance, I managed to get one of these things home (but still no grinder).

    I "made do" with preground coffee from a local roastery, but this went stale pretty quickly, and the quality of the coffee started to suffer, so again, with some slick work, managed to get approval for a grinder (Breville KG100 IIRC). Even at its finest setting, it was barely able to make an espresso - 30ml in about 20secs and I just couldnt settle on it, so it went back and home came the EM0480.

    I now love this combination. I am making some absolute kick arse drinks at home, better than I have ever been served and enjoy getting up in the morning to use the machine. Now the old Melita machine I mentioned at the start of the post that used to produce this odd brown substance - well, thats at the shop and is producing an "ok" shot, still not as good as the sunbeam (partially because I take in ground coffee in a container from home each day) and I hate the steam wand with a passion (froth enhancer steam hole - it will not produce microfoam), but its still better than instant, and saves us a fortune from the local Muffin Break.

    I guess in some ways, I have always been a coffee snob, I just had no idea that I was, nor how to get there

    Sen

  26. #76
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Like alot of people i started drinking insatnt coffe - white w/ 2.
    I then progressed to plunger coffee - white with 2, but hot mile done on the stove.
    My mum gave me her 8 cup moka, but it became cumbersome and the moke itself was as old as me when i got it (20yrs)
    It wasn`t until i went to see family in Italy that i realised what i had been missing.
    My Aunty that i lived with for 3 mths used a 2 cup moka withj Medaglio di Oro beans that she ground when making coffe for breakfast , lunch & dinner.
    The cooffe shops there spoilt me, but it wasn`t until i stayed with one of my uncles in the Udine area in the north of Italy , the area was Fagagna and he had his own bar there, and he taught me to make coffee at his bar to help him out when he was busy. He used to get his beans off a local bloke who did his own roasting. When i came back to Australia i started to buy sub $500 machines to make my own. I still dream of a commercial machine plumbed into my home with a similar quality grinder.
    But at the moment i have a Saeco Gran Crema deluxe with a Sunbeam bur grinder, still using the Medaglia di Oro beans from the supermarket. I don`t get to go to the Valley much to get the frexh roasted beans form Cosmos cafe.
    As they sya the rest is history.
    cheers
    Jordan

  27. #77
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Working an executive position I was very often meeting people. Coffee was generally part of the relaxing approach I took ... which interestingly meant I won every bit of business when I could meet a new client at a coffee shop (Out of my office / environment and out of theirs ... neutral territory & no distractions).

    I became addicted I guess ... and would HAVE to have a real coffee. No more put the jug on for me ... then as an accountant I started to do the numbers, and ended up with a machine in the office, and while I was at it, got one for home. Only the cheapy Sunbeam ones ... but hey, better than a instant coffee ANY day.

    Now, Ive been making my coffee and adding ice cream, and affogatto ... not technically correct I dont think, and the today I decided to look up how others made them and found this site.

    So I too am now a Coffee Snob!

  28. #78
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    (Mods. I have just reread this before posting and it now reads like a mini history thesis. Please feel free to edit for length if necessary)

    As this is my first post, I guess that it is by way of an introduction.

    I first became aware of coffee in the 1950[ch8217]s when my parents used to make coffee using a Sunbeam percolator. At that age I didn[ch8217]t care much for the taste of coffee but I loved watching the coffee fountain against the inside of the glass bowl at the top of the percolator with the great smell of brewing coffee.

    I really didn[ch8217]t have much to do with drinking coffee until one wonderful day in 1967 when I had a cappuccino at one of Brisbane[ch8217]s then best coffee shops, Peter Hackworth[ch8217]s Primitiff, which was downstairs in the Piccadilly Arcade which used to run between Queen and Adelaide Streets. The smell as you walked down into the café; the French music which was always playing; the magic combination of fresh coffee, milk, and chocolate!! Over the years I constantly visited the Primitif I, II, and III in their various locations. I also had good to very good coffee at the Alouette in George Street, the Great American Disaster at the bottom of the SGIO tower, and at Willie[ch8217]s Bazar which was about thirty yards from a then Brisbane Landmark, the National Hotel. We had a few good roasters in Brisbane in those days, but I think that only the Merlo family have survived in the coffee business. Throughout my life, Fortitude Valley and New Farm have been the centre of the Italian community, and of great places where I got good coffee, at restaurants like Giardinetto and the Cortina Bar (now sadly gone). (Merlos and Campos in the Valley, have carried on the tradition.)

    My own production of coffee had progressed through instant to a stovetop and finally to a Bodum press which I used for years. Like many people then, I bought my roasted beans at the grocery shop (ours had freshly roasted beans delivered 5-7 days old) and I ground it in the shop for immediate use at home. (Until relatively recently (15 years ago??), all good grocery shops and supermarkets had large commercial grinders.) Later on, after I was married, I got (and although now very worn, still have) a great little coffee mill attachment for a Kenwood Chef. It allowed slow to very, very slow grinding using a screw-fed conical burr set driven by the 375 watt, infinitely-variable, geared down motor of the Chef. (The 300 rpm of a Compak K10 WBC is supercharged speed compared to this.) Unfortunately they seem to have abandoned that product for a bean smasher. Over a decade I moved from Brisbane to Sydney to Canberra to Melbourne and back to Brisbane again, continuing to press and drip filter coffee but mainly now with pre-ground coffee for convenience. However, my discovery of this site about 6 or 7 weeks ago has re-ignited a long dormant interest in upgradeitis (I may be mistaken but I think that this site is the actual disease vector).

    As a final point on how I became a Coffee Snob, I have been interested in computers since the beginning of the 1980[ch8217]s, and have seen the on-line community evolve from BBS[ch8217]s at 300 baud to the present world of chat rooms, blogs, and sites like this. Since discovering the site I have read almost the complete history for much of the site including machines, grinders, cupping etc. In all the sites that I have seen over quite some years, I have never seen another site quite like this where there is a range of members from zero to vast experience, yet all are united in a sense of joint and co-operative interest in coffee, and helping those who are similarly interested in coffee. Not one of the thousands of messages that I have read has been mean, vitriolic, vicious, or even just unpleasant. Flame wars are totally absent. In my fairly wide experience this sense of community is absolutely unique and I am delighted to join.

  29. #79
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Well this is an appropriate topic to make my first post. I progressed from a teatotaller (ie no coffee) to someone who didnt even mind swilling International Roast to an uninformed cappuccino drinker to a somewhat discerning cappuccino drinker. Im ready to make the switch to the short black yet.

    A year or so ago I bought a cheap DeLonghi Espresso machine - a factory recon job. Its certainly nota machine I would recommend - its mostly pastic. However, I did buy myself a Gaggio grinder and good quality beans (from a supermarker if necessary) and taught myself to make a good cuppa cappa. Despite the limitations of the machine, my results have been as good as or superior to any coffee Ive bought at a cafe. The quality of the bean and being freshly ground were contributing factors Im sure. The DeLonghi is a poor machine and doesnt produce a consistent shot size even after providing a consistent tamp. I can get a reasonable crema from it and the milk steamer is poor but Ive worked out how to get a reasonable microfoam from it

    Anyway, Im in the market for a new machine. Coffee Snobs has already convinced me away from the department store models and Ill start saving for a proper machine (ie $2000+) - not the fully automatic ones. Trouble is, when you go to this level of snobbery, your tolerance for other coffee is lowered but this is what coffee snobbery is all about, eh?

  30. #80
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs "flynnaus" and "Scorpion" ....... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Enjoy the journey and glad to have you as members of our (not so) little community....

    Cheers :),
    Mal.

  31. #81
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Thanks Mal. Delighted to be a member and looking forward to extending my interest in, and knowledge of, coffee. I have already started advance negotiations with the Minister for Home Affairs with a view to getting budget approval for extraordinary expenditure items. Although the financial atmosphere is not exactly inviting on this question, the biggest problem to overcome appears to be possible territorial disputes about bench space. Wish me Luck!!

    Regards

    Scorpion

  32. #82
    Senior Member tasadam's Avatar
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Great discussion.
    Where it started for me? Hard to define. I guess a lot of factors.
    My wife and I went to Italy for our honeymoon in 2000. I was drinking straight espressos there - because I could. Because I was in Italy... Just because. And in Milan, I had my first ristretto.
    Everywhere in Italy, you see in the windows the LaPavoni lever machines. So we decided wed get one.
    Shopped around, and ended up getting a*beautiful brass machine with a large boiler and a guage for something - cant remember.
    That machine lasted 6 months - it went to Melbourne for repair with a leaky steam pipe, and was trashed when it got back.
    Eventually got a refund. That left us with bad feelings and so we were without a machine for some time.
    I did a coffee course with a chap named John Russel Storey from Lavazza - he came to Tassie and held courses so I went along with a work colleague. It was interesting and good.
    At work my mate and I had checked out about every coffee shop in Launceston - used to take around the temperature gun and a "score sheet" - rating the coffees we had.
    Id seen in the magazines the Breville 800ES machine advertised as being a good machine, so when they were available with the ANZ points, we used the points and it didnt cost us anything.
    Of course, then one needs a grinder... So hitting the itnernet to find me a grinder.
    Ended up with a Rocky doser brand new for just over $400.
    Then the quest for information began. I found this site. Modified my basket to get rid of the pinhole. The idea of roasting beans brought back to my mind something I learnt from the Lavazza course and that was Johns opinion that we needed more people who roasted. The more I read here on this forum, the more interested I became.
    Now I have a Vibiemme Domobar and roast Corretto, and am definitely a "coffee snob".

  33. #83
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    mmmmm expressos in Italy. That would complete me!

  34. #84
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Well it begins with the old sunbeam we used to have but have passed on to one of my grandparents. Scoot then got the silvia and coffee got more serious for her and she started to study baristering, she got obsessive about it and i was pulled into the glory of great coffee. I have never regretted it either i love coffee!

  35. #85
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Hi;

    Have been lurking for awhile and learned a great deal from posts here. Last week decided to go ahead and get a started pack (Thanks Andy!), did my first roast with bugisu beans in steel wok with 20 bucks HG.

    Dont ask me about cupping, but it is damn good to anything I have tasted. Real eye opener...I am really looking forward to do this again.

    I suppose my coffee drinking history is somewhat a bit mixed up, have drank pretty much good variety worst type of coffee that includes special blend, half price that of international roast, 100% brazilian arabica roasted ground perfectly stale on sale from IGA supermarket for $1.00 per 200 gr.

    Did my first espresso with discounted krup machine eight years ago. However mostly do vac pot now.

  36. #86
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Non-coffee drinker up to 3 months ago. husband (coffee drinker) and I were walking through a department store and he says "lets get a coffee machine". an hour later we were lugging home a Gaggia Baby Twin. It lasted about a month and was returned to the store as we were very unhapppy with its performance. in the meantime i had been doing some research and got onto the Silvia/Rocky thing. so Gaggia went back and Silvia and Rocky came in. Being a general food snob, I just can;t do anything by half. So Im buying fresh beans from a local roaster and reading and reading about how to get it right! So in 3 months I have gone from a tea only drinker to someone obsessed with my pull times and quality of microfoam. husband is not complaining but does think im obsessed about one more food item now. I realised how bad Ive become when we went out for breakfast with friends last weekend and i had my coffee at home - I just didn;t want to miss out on the fun of making it.

  37. #87
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Its not just the fun divine.
    Id bet your coffee tasted better.

  38. #88
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    I didnt drink much coffee as a kid. The only coffee I knew about was nescafe that my Mum had stored in the cupboard, and we all know what that taste like.

    In my latter days of high school a new kid arrived, and during his first week, he fell asleep during a maths lesson, which was the first lesson on Thursday mornings. Our maths teacher was direct and bad tempered as they come (and we all know the personalities of maths teachers, right).

    After a while he caught my friend asleep. He walked up, slammed his fists down on the table with such force that half of the class jumped out of their skin, but not my friend. He slowly and calmly lifted his head and said, "Go easy mate, I havent had a coffee yet". "WHAT" the teacher screamed. "There was a black out this morning. No electricity, means no coffee machine, in turn means no coffee. Its as simply as one minus one equals zero" my friend responded. The class erupted in laughter and my friend earnt himself a weeks detention.

    But whats a coffee machine I wondered????

    Over the next few weeks we become good friends and one day after school a couple of us were invited back to his house. As soon as we walked through the front door he asked, "Whose for a coffee". We all said yes, and walked into the kitchen, and there it was, a beautiful stainless steel coffee machine that shined like a mirror. I cant remember the brand, but it was impressive just to look at. Our friend went to work and soon four cups of coffee were served. I had a sip, and from that moment coffee has never been absent from my life. I would leave 30 minutes early for school everyday - via my friends house for a flat white. My parents thought I was just keen to go to school.

    A few years later I moved to Sydney and found Gloria Jeans. While I could find my friends on any given Friday afternoon at the pub, they could find me at Gloria Jeans for a lift home.

    I moved down to the south coast of NSW and found a new coffee shop a block from where I lived. I found this coffee far superior and one day I begun talking to the barista and I discovered he roasted his own beans, "What, you dont buy it already roasted from overseas" I remember myself saying. After chatting for a while I booked myself in for a coffee course and learnt about the finer things in life.

    I currently have a Gaggia Evolution which Im having a few problems with. Ive thought of chucking it away, but didnt know what to replace it with. I begun surfing the web and come across Coffeesnobs. What a great community Coffeesnob houses, and the depth of knowledge and forthcoming information for those in need is remarkable. Im hooked.

  39. #89
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob


    Great story Mick, welcome to CoffeeSnobs and the next step in your journey to coffee nirvana.

    :)


  40. #90
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs Mick.... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    As Andy said, a great story and one that brings back memories of my High School days and strict, no nonsense Maths Teachers. They were tough, but good teachers nonetheless... ::)

    Have fun mate :),
    Mal.

  41. #91
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Mothers Day May 2008: received Breville Cafe Roma proudly from husband. I looked at it and went how the heck do I use that?

    Day after Mothers Day: found CoffeeSnobs.com.au
    2 weeks later: ordered a grinder, a Macap M4
    4 weeks later: built a Corretto, bought green beans
    6 weeks later: bought a VBM Domobar Super Lever.

    Bliss.

  42. #92
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Quote Originally Posted by Intellidepth link=1166962996/80#90 date=1216694366
    Mothers Day May 2008: received Breville Cafe Roma proudly from husband. I looked at it and went how the heck do I use that? Day after Mothers Day: found CoffeeSnobs.com.au 2 weeks later: ordered a grinder, a Macap M4 4 weeks later: built a Corretto, bought green beans 6 weeks later: bought a VBM Domobar Super Lever. Bliss.
    Not sure whether to add congratulations or sympathy? Your taste buds are obviously in heaven but cant be good for the bank balance.
    What happens to the Cafe Roma? What did hubby think when his thoughtful gesture turned his wife into a coffee snob.? *:)

  43. #93
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Hehe - the day my workmates and I stopped going to a particular coffee shop in the city because the coffee was crap..

    (Despite the cheap/decent toasted sandwiches and otherwise great service!)

  44. #94
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Straight out of high school I started a BMath, and conveniently placed was one of the best coffeecarts in the uni, just outside the maths building. Well in my early days, I wasnt much of a coffee drinker, but I slowly started buying coffee from there. First it was for early morning lectures (9am is still early for me...now and forever), and that evolved to buying a cuppa before any class I had.

    I had dabbled with the idea of buying an espresso machine. Dad had an electric percolator and an old cappuccino machine which was the cheapest and nastiest of thermoblock machines, in the back of the cupboard, all dirty and missing parts. I attempted to revive it with no luck, so stuck with the percolator and the ultimate harris level 5. A friend of mine was on the same path, evolving into a bit of a coffee snob. He had a whirly blade "grinder", a moka pot and a little frothing pump thing and his cappas were far superior to my preground percolated business. I started to research how I could improve my experience, without any real hope of affording anything particularly nice.

    It was then I got a summer vacation scholarship, and had $1100 burning a hole in my pocket at one point, and I had just discovered the Silvia. I used my maths skillz to work out it was theoretically possible for me to actually save money by buying the machine, and its faithful sidekick the Rocky, to make coffee at home, instead of buying 1-2 double shots a day at uni (as I was by that time doing). Soon enough I had installed a PID and got a bottomless portafilter, located local roasters etc and I think thats pretty much the defining moment (thats not really a moment, but you get the point :P)

    Less than a year passed before the bug got me again, this time it happened to coincide with me being awarded another scholarship - this time for my PhD. I mean seriously - a scholarship for maths? I do pure maths, all I need is pens and paper. And coffee. So in comes a VBM Domobar Super, and on its way is a Hottop B. Cant wait :)

  45. #95
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    My evolution as a coffee snob.  (long)

    Oh how things have changed. I guess I should start by saying Ive always been a bit of a coffee snob. I just was the sort of coffee snob that would buy rather than make his own coffee. This is the tale of the evolution that has led me to where I am now.

    It all started when I decided to build a house. You see, in the days before house building, everyday, I would go to my favourite cafe on my way to work and get my morning fix of decent coffee. Then, at lunchtime most days, I would go back and get my second coffee. This place has very good coffee, and 95% of the time it is prepared excellently, but it was costing me $8 a day on average to have my 2 coffees. So when looking at areas that I could save a few dollars, I decided I would start making my coffee at home.

    I already had a coffee machine, it was a DeLonghi EC430. A fairly standard semi auto coffee machine with a pressurised 53mm portafilter (at that time i didnt know a pressurised portafilter from a bar of soap) and it made an almost adequate cup of coffee. But trying to drink this every day, was really not working for me. My attempts at a decent coffee were failing. Sure I was using pre-ground illy, but even then, the coffee was way below the standard I had become accustomed to from my favourite cafe (did i mention they roast their beans?)

    So, it was then i discovered coffeesnobs. One of my friends who has been a member here for quite some time told me the best thing I could do for my coffee was get a grinder. Something confirmed here. So after a fair bit of umming and aahhing (im really good at that) i bought myself a sunbeam EM0480. Now, armed with beans relatively freshly roasted from my regular cafe, I was now making a slightly better cup of coffee, but the EM0480 ground coffee was making my delonghi machine seize up and spatter coffee grounds out the side of the portafilter. This was a result of the fineness of the grind, but any coarser and the coffee wasnt tasting right.

    So then, after much reading here, and much looking, I decided to get a Gaggia Cassic off ebay. Unfortunately, the unit I bought was not in "good condition" as described in the auction ad, it was caked, crusted, seals dried out and generally not very clean. Once again, i turned to the coffee snobs forum for help, and help was provided. A quick purchase of new seals, and a new shower screen along with some cafetto from coffee parts, a lot of soaking and scrubbing and unscrewing and roughly 2 weeks after its purchase, my gaggia classic was in as new condition, backflushed, cleaned, resealed and awesome.

    It was then that even more reading was done here in the coffee snobs forum and some on coffee geek that i began working on getting a decent shot out of my now beloved machine. Its still not perfect, but its improving every day.

    The one thing I did not like about my Gaggia Classic was the panarello frothing aid. Hard to clean and not overly good, it left a lot to be desired in coffee making, not a massive issue for me personally, as i was always happy to just have an americano. But guests, seeing my passion for coffee always wanted a cappuccino or latte, froth was going to be a necessity. So once again, coffee snobs to the rescue and with a bit of effort and a few dollars later, I have a silvia frothing wand and it is installed. Also, thanks to detailed instruction again gleaned from coffee snobs (thanks Crema Kid) my frothing skills are better than they have ever been and I am getting excellent microfoam.

    Its around this time, the obsession really bites me, and I order my first starter pack of green coffee beans and picked up a air popper off ebay. My first attempts were a little bad, but i saw the potential. After a fair few tries, the possibilities were looking quite good. However the roast size and consistency wasnt good enough for me. I needed more than 100g at a shot. So bunnings was visited and a heatgun procured. The bread maker was liberated from the kitchen ("we are going to get a better one for here soon" the non-coffee drinking girlfriend was told) and my first corretto style roaster was born. Massive improvements in volume of roast and roast consistency follow. Two beanbays later and I have a 6 kilo store of green beans left, a standing order from my brother for 300 grams a week of beans and several friends requesting my coffee.

    I still have a long way to go, I cant get a decent roast out of Bin35 and I am also unhappy with how my Monsoon Malabar turns out. But in general, my coffee at home is always at least as good and sometimes better than the coffee I used to buy daily, and its now costing me substantially less, to the point where my equipment has paid for itself over, and also given me a home hobby that I am both passionate about and can share the benefits of with friends and family.

    Sure there are some downsides, I find it difficult to drink coffee when out. When desperate (like on a recent trip interstate) as I approach the coffee counter, I am looking at the beans, seeing wondering how long the mix has sat ground in the doser, judging all the way, and my new refined tastebuds are very very judgemental. I think like some other CSers out there I will start carrying my own coffee with me when travelling.

    I guess this post is just a long thanks you to all my fellow CSers. Especially Andy for running CS and running Beanbay , but CS as a whole has certainly evolved my taste in coffee, and in my opinion, much for the better.

  46. #96
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    Re: My evolution as a coffee snob.  (long)

    Outstanding! (short) ;)

  47. #97
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: My evolution as a coffee snob. *(long)

    Thats well told.

  48. #98
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    Re: My evolution as a coffee snob. *(long)

    Yep. (shorter)

  49. #99
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Great storey Raphec, you have gone through an interesting progression, i wonder when upgraditis will set in again?

    Mal

  50. #100
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Such a familiar story Raphec, CS has enlightened the masses and educated us to appreciate and produce great espresso!!!

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