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.