Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: intro and some help please

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    301

    intro and some help please

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Gday all,

    well I have been lurking for about 6 weeks now reading everything I can in my quest to create a better cup. Man there is a lot of people who are seriously into their coffee *:)

    I am loving the steep learning curve that you provide but at times the amount of information can send my brain into overload!!!

    Now for the help part..... about 2 years ago when instant coffee was the bees knees my wife allowed me to "splurge" on the $79 sunbeam special - Sunbeam ristretto 2300 from memory. Used it for about 2 weeks then sort of went off the whole make real coffee thing as it was too much work *;D

    Lately I have decided that I am spending altogether too much on cafe coffees and got really interested in making better home coffee - local coffee dude is a good barista and loves to talk about coffee making etc, so I have become quite energised about the whole process and love learning stuff about it all.

    I have quite the cash flow problem (young family, mortgage etc) so the plan is to keep the sunbeam for the moment and save for a challenge grinder by the end of the year. Then by end of next year upgrade the machine.

    I have read that you can get non pressurised baskets for this machine, but no matter what I search I cannot find info about where they came from - I know that at least 2 people on here have done it, if anyone has any ideas about how I go about finding the unpressurised baskets I would be greatful. BTW I have made the assuption that even though the machine is LOW end I would still notice a difference in the coffee with non pressurised baskets? If I am barking up the wrong tree I would love to be led to the correct tree!!

    Thanks for listening (reading)

    Shannon.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,498

    Re: intro and some help please

    Shannon,

    Hi and welcome to CoffeeSnobs,

    Non pressurised baskets are made by Krups and Saeco. Look up the service agents for either of these brands in your local yellow pages and take your portafilter along to the nearest....

    They should have "normal" baskets which will fit your machine. As you know you will need a good grinder and the Iberital you mentioned will fit that bill.

    With normal baskets and the grinder you should get really goods coffee.

    If you need any help have a read of the posts here or post any questions you may have...

    Enjoy your journey!

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    459

    Re: intro and some help please

    Hot tip - dont get unpressurised baskets until you get a grinder, or youll be getting gushers every time.

    Keep the beans as fresh as possible - buy small quantities regularly.

    The standard filters can be modified (de-pressurised) in a lathe, but you have to do it the right way (leave a lip at the bottom so the pressed-in inner piece doesnt get blown out).

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    301

    Re: intro and some help please

    Thanks for the welcome and advice,

    Java as always quick and sage advice. I am sue that once the new grinder and non pressurised baskets come along, I will have a whole new set of challenges and therefore questions along this path I am undertaking!!

    Matt - whilst I do have a lathe at home, I dont think my expertise would suffice to try and modify my pressurised baskets just yet.
    Thanks for advice on not getting new baskets until the grinder is purchased.

    Now I know Im hijacking my own thread here, but does anyone have any advice between the [s]Imbetial[/s] Iberital Challenge and the Gaggia MDF - I have read that they are roughly the same price, but I cannot find much written on the MDF. I know the challenge is a bit of a good thing for the price and have found plenty to read about it.

    Also I have started to look out for a better quality second hand item - is it OK to buy second hand for a grinder? I know it seems alright for coffee machines, but am wondering if grinders go through too much in their daily process to be viable 2nd hand??

    Thanks again for the help and possible upcoming help.

    Shannon.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    South Coast NSW
    Posts
    838

    Re: intro and some help please

    Gday Shannon,
    the MDF is a stepped grinder and the Challenge is stepless. Apparently the steps on the MDF are quite large, so they might not be deemed suitable for espresso use due to limited ability to fine tune the grind. Lucinda has one and she swears by it though.
    If youre regularly preparing different types of coffees, ie plunger, espresso, drip, etc, then the stepped grinder would probably be the go. The Challenges adjustment is via a worm drive and while this will give you excellent tweakability for espresso, to go between plunger and espresso grinder would take heaps of turns of the adjuster.
    The MDF is also a doser and apparently doesnt sweep very cleanly, but it can be modified to do so.
    In relation to buying second hand. If it has been looked after, it should be fine. A new set of burrs and a thorough cleaning should have it behaving like a new one.
    Hope this helps.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    596

    Re: intro and some help please

    Shannon
    Have you seen this grinder for sale over on the hardware for sale section, it was still available a month or so back, I was going to buy it myself but my other half preferred the more domestic looks of the rocky, rather than the commercial look of the tranquillo.
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1173098937

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    301

    Re: intro and some help please

    Hi Vicroamer - funny you should mention this, I had seen the grinder and was going to send belinda a PM tomorrow!! It does seem to be a good grinder. Ill let you know how I get on.

    Hi Mal thanks for the edit, I am not too good with all these new names just yet!

    Shannon.

  8. #8
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Warwick, QLD
    Posts
    16,604

    Re: intro and some help please

    Quote Originally Posted by Shannon link=1180515317/0#6 date=1180787832
    Hi Mal thanks for the edit, I am not too good with all these new names just yet!
    Most welcome Shannon :),

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs by the way [smiley=thumbsup.gif].... Wont be long before you have all the jargon and equipment names down pat, and then helping out even newer members [smiley=laugh.gif]. All the best,

    Mal.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    1,673

    Re: intro and some help please

    Quote Originally Posted by Lovey link=1180515317/0#4 date=1180748622
    Lucinda has one and she swears by it though.

    Did I hear my name being mentioned?? :D

    Okay, the MDF is excellent and the steps are pretty well okay. Not too big - though the anal retentive amongst us who go overboard with such things may disagree. I may go between two steps in the grinder and it is more to do with the bean I use than the grinder and it is not too much of an issue.

    The Doser sweeps pretty cleanly on my grinder - I may have very few stray grounds in the doser - my guess this is as much as any doser grinder. The only thing I do is to tip it forward to clear the grinding chamber of grinds after grinding *as a few get left behind every now and then.

    I also grind for a plunger for my partner to take with him to work and it does a great job of this.


    The other thing is that the MDF is a very solidly made machine and will last for years - Hazbean also has one and he has had his for a very long time (>10 years) and has had no issues with it.

    If you get one, especially well looked after second hand, you wont be sorry.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    439

    Re: intro and some help please

    Id get a Sunbeam EM450 or EM480C. Same burrs as the Iberital/Lux but MUCH cheaper (~$160 and $190, respectively) and the grind steps arent too large.

    The burr set on the Iberital/Lux/Sunbeam is conical while the MDF has flat burrs if that is of any interest. I havent found any difference between the 2 types in terms of grind quality.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,498

    Re: intro and some help please

    Quote Originally Posted by kaanage link=1180515317/0#9 date=1181284395
    Id get a Sunbeam EM450 or EM480C. Same burrs as the Iberital/Lux but MUCH cheaper (~$160 and $190, respectively) and the grind steps arent too large.
    kaanage...

    Mmmm most here would say that the steps are TOO large!!!

    The burr sets might be the same.... but adjustment on the Iberital is far better. IMHO it is the entry level espresso grinder.... the others are good for practice but after you get better you will find these grinders arent good enough (and that wont take long)....

    So get a good grinder in the first place - a good grinder is FAR more important than the coffee machine if you want good espresso.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    439

    Re: intro and some help please

    Its easy enough to adjust the dose a bit to alter the shot timing if you find yourself looking for an "in between" setting with a standard dose.

    I have a Lux, which is almost identical in steps size with the Sunbeams, and a Nuova Simonelli MCF, which as a stepless adjustment via a screw system that rasies and lowers the motor/lower burr assembly and I can make equal shots with either grinder.

    Andy Lew at the old Maltitude often used to set his grinder at the start of the day and only adjust it at midday while using dose adjustment if conditions varied in between. Simon James, who made great coffee with crap Map beans at the Prahran car wash, is anal about calibrating his doser and then altering the grind to suit. Neither technique is the only right one and its good to learn both.

    The basic upshot is that it is CRITICAL to be consistent with the dose calibration. That way, with a stepless grinder, you can get the full benefit of dialling in perfectly or with a stepped grinder, you can easily alter from standard dosing if the grind requires it.

    Playing around with cheap equipment can challenge you to become more versatile else we might as well recommend everyone just by Swift grinders (and Synessos)

  13. #13
    kay
    kay is offline
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    47

    Re: intro and some help please

    Have been reading these posts with interest. I have the sunbeam 0480, and it seems to work ok - I dont consider that I have outgrown it - yet. If other more expensive grinders have the same burr set, is there any purpose in upgrading to one of those other grinders?

    Or perhpas should I be asking what makes a good grinder - and would the sunbeam do justice to something like a Silvia? Or more sophisticated machine? And what would you recommend as a grinder that would serve the purpose through various upgrades of the espresso machine? If I buy a new grinder, I dont want to be upgrading it all the time. Would rather start at the top!

    Kay


  14. #14
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    10,496

    Re: intro and some help please

    Its said by a few that the Iberital challenge is the starting point for espresso grinders.
    Approx. $300.

    Double that $ and you are looking ata a Compak of some sort. Supposed to be very good.

    I started with my Macap $700ish. I dont think Ill ever need to upgrade.

    I consider that by spending $700 to start with, Ive saved $300 on an Iberital.
    Therefore the Macap only cost me $400 in the long run. Sort of.


  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    1,687

    Re: intro and some help please

    Haha, Thundergod - I love the way you justify getting something better with the ol "I consider that by spending $700 to start with, Ive saved $300 on an Iberital. Therefore the Macap only cost me $400 in the long run. Sort of." Thats the rationale of what most CoffeeSnobs hit up. Dangerous haha

  16. #16
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    2,118

    Re: intro and some help please

    Sounded perfectly logical to me. 8-)

  17. #17
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Warwick, QLD
    Posts
    16,604

    Re: intro and some help please

    Quote Originally Posted by fatboy link=1180515317/15#15 date=1181351676
    Sounded perfectly logical to me. 8-)
    Absolutely 8-)

    Mal.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    1,673

    Re: intro and some help please

    TG I use that justification all the time. My father always taught me that you get what you pay for - and considering when my parents died I inherited his beautiful american skillet that I remember cost serious money and would be thirty years old as well as my mothers 40+ year old renaware saucepans (still in great condition) it is the best advice I can hand on.

    When I bought my MDF it was the best I could afford and I spent more than I could afford at the time. I had to start roasting to justify my grinder.

  19. #19
    kay
    kay is offline
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    47

    Re: intro and some help please

    No quibble with the logic! There is nothing more irritating than a tool that cannot do the job.

    So take-home message, that I have been able to glean is

    (1)$700 or thereabouts will get me a grinder - for life!

    (2)Mazzer/Macap/Compak will do the trick. ECM Best? Which one is MDF?

    I am one of those who can get bamboozled if I have 10 brands to consider - helps to narrow down to 3 or 4 or 5. I will look at the doser/doserless issue at some stage. Seems to be a personal choice.

    Thanks for the comments.

    And I enjoy reading the forums. Have learned heaps.

    Kay



Similar Threads

  1. Intro to blending
    By delbs in forum Blending Room
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 27th March 2013, 01:05 PM
  2. Intro thread
    By nmcampbell in forum General Coffee Related...
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 2nd May 2008, 06:35 PM
  3. Hot Top and Coffesnobs intro member pack!
    By ozbevnet in forum Home Roasting - Tips, Tricks, Ideas
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 13th August 2007, 12:45 AM
  4. Hi and Hello- Long intro
    By TEPIN in forum General Coffee Related...
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 22nd December 2005, 10:05 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •