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Thread: Hello! Newbie here with some questions!!!

  1. #1
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    Hello! Newbie here with some questions!!!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi! Im new here :D and pretty much new to the whole in-home coffee experience. I have drank coffee since a teenager (well Im in university now so maybe I still am!) I do like my cup of coffee and never beening that picky like I would drink franchises etc. But then I undertook a barista course for interest and never knew how much things there were in making coffee. So I am inspired to buy a coffee machine and make it myself! Since i dont have that much money I want to spend <$300 on a coffee machine and hopefully it would last a few years with moderate use? I was wondering which ones were good as I looked at the forum topics, but people were talking about all these different factors like aluminum, steel etc and I got confused! Also I saw a cusinart coffee auto burr mill and was wondering how good that would be for grinding.

    Thanks for your opinion :D

  2. #2
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! Newbie here with some questions!!!


    Use your cash on a good grinder
    and get
    1) a plunger for French press coffee
    2) an Aeropress hand machine for espresso



    http://www.coffeepress.com.au/aeropress_video.html

    KK






  3. #3
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    Re: Hello! Newbie here with some questions!!!

    second that... better a low end machine and a decent grinder than a better machine and preground coffee.


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    Re: Hello! Newbie here with some questions!!!

    Hi all,

    Firstly Im glad to have found such a great forum as Ive become quite the snob lately!! :D After a quick browse I havent seem to have found much of a consensus on a recommended low-end/entry-level machine in this category. Sure, if you read the mid and high range forums theyll tell you its necessary to pay $1200 for a decent machine but that is beyond my means and Im quite convinced its possible to pull a good shot from a cheaper machine. Of course I will use freshly ground Campos Superior so that helps!

    My flatmate has a cheap Sunbeam model and it can produce a good pull but its not consistent. It seems to be particularly sensitive to an under-filled cup. Also, for some reason it ocassionally seems to get "clogged" somehow resulting in a low and bitter yield and when you take off the cup a build up of pressure causes grinds to EXPLODE everywhere!! Quite the mess.

    Are these common problems in the cheaper models and what is the best value machine regarding consistently good pulls!

    Cheers in advance!

  5. #5
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! Newbie here with some questions!!!

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs Simon.

    Will you be grinding your own Campos?
    Otherwise its stale by the time you get home.

    A good grinder is the #1 priority for good coffee.
    With a good grinder you can get the most out of a cheaper machine.
    It wont work the other way around; a $1200 machine with a c**p grinder will give you c**p coffee; GIGO.

    Do we assume your total budget is $500?

  6. #6
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    Re: Hello! Newbie here with some questions!!!

    Its an intended 30th birthday present, so while Im generous, Im not THAT generous! *:-X

    Sure, just give me some suggestions and yeah freshly ground before use! *Dont want the VOCs escaping!

    Simon.

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! Newbie here with some questions!!!

    simonm
    you did not state you budget ??

    KK

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    Re: Hello! Newbie here with some questions!!!

    Preferably under $400 excluding grinder.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! Newbie here with some questions!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by simonm link=1218365375/0#7 date=1221101335
    Preferably under $400 excluding grinder.
    Get in quick
    Flynnaus is selling his Gaggia $380

    Follow link to coffee hardware for sale
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1221047971

    KK

  10. #10
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! Newbie here with some questions!!!

    Thanks KK. Are you after commission? ;D

    Its in as new condition Simon and a very reliable machine. I did lots of research before buying (which is how I ended up finding CS) and it ticked many boxes in that price range (max. $500). This is a recent model (end of 2007) - a manual version (not volumetric) so you get a taste of the black art of espresso making .
    Ive been even persisting with the panarello steam wand and found a technique that gives a fair texture of milk (ie not meringue). I even managed some very rudimentary latte art (if you squinted you could almost see a heart-shape 8-)

    Anyway, Ill stop there before running foul of mods cross-posting for-sale items in other forums

  11. #11
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    Re: Hello! Newbie here with some questions!!!

    Looks nice, Id consider it for myself but its hard to give a pre-loved item as a present...

  12. #12
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! Newbie here with some questions!!!

    So if you considered buying them an antique piece of furniture for example, youd dismiss the idea because it was pre-loved?

    Perception.

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    Re: Hello! Newbie here with some questions!!!

    I guess not! ;D OK maybe Im being funny. Im sure theyd appreciate it if its a quality machine (even more so if its better than what Id buy otherwise)

    S.

  14. #14
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! Newbie here with some questions!!!

    Simonm,

    Ive been fond of fine coffee for more than 40 years, but have only recently become higher-educated in the art.
    Here are few basics that support Thundergods statements, for which I can vouch, from personal experience.

    **Once the flavour in the bean has been damaged, nothing can bring it back.**
    Bad growing is beyond your control.
    Bad roasting is something you can learn to spot, and avoid--at least before you start doing it yourself. :P
    Roasted beans are at their peak for about 3 weeks.
    Ground coffee is at its peak for about 3 minutes!
    Bad grinding is permanent--beans cannot be re-ground.
    Making the coffee is the last chance you have--and you can only retain the flavour that is left, you cant make good coffee out of bad beans, badly roasted, and gone stale since grinding!

    So,
    Buy good beans, freshly roasted. If they dont have a roasted on date, you wont know how old and stale they are.
    Buy a decent grinder--on your budget of $400, it should be close to half (at least), and then the best maker you can find with what you have left over.
    Keep the great beans you purchased only last week in a valve-bag, and in a cool, dark place.
    Put beans in grinder, grind.
    Make coffee.
    Enjoy.

    Good luck on your trip to fine coffee.

    Greg

  15. #15
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    Re: Hello! Newbie here with some questions!!!

    Hi, and welcome to CS!

    I second KKs input from personal experience of doing it the wrong way around: good grinder first. If you get a prosumer one such as a Macap M4 or Mini Mazzer, itll survive an upgrade (or two) in your coffee machine.

    Then save save save for a real machine that has a 3-way valve and unpressurised baskets. Check out the sponsors on the left for machines you want to save for if you insist on a new one. Dont spend your money on a chain-store pressurised version if you can resist it - Ive been there, done that.

    I know that some of the site sponsors allow you to come in and have a hands-on experience to see what you love and dislike about their different machines. Its a good place to start.

    While youre saving, check out the for-sale section on this site, as great quality second-hand machines come up for sale from CSers who get upgraditis, or from sponsors who off-load their demo machines.

    Simonm: the explosions come from too fine a grind in a pressurised basket in a machine that doesnt have a 3-way valve. Commonly called "choking" the machine. (Ive worn a lot of coffee from my old pressurised machine. ;))

  16. #16
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! Newbie here with some questions!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Intellidepth link=1218365375/0#14 date=1221445275
    Simonm: the explosions come from too fine a grind in a pressurised basket in a machine that doesnt have a 3-way valve. Commonly called "choking" the machine. (Ive worn a lot of coffee from my old pressurised machine. ;))
    "Explosions" are actually caused because there is no provision on low cost machines to bypass the pump pressure when it reaches a predetermined setpoint, in other words, an Over Pressure Valve (OPV) or Pressure Limiting Valve (PLV) - different names for essentially the same device.

    Ulka pumps (and their copies) are capable of developing pressures upward of 15 Bar (220+ PSI) within a closed circuit and considering that a lot of cheaper machines use Groups manufactured from various types of reinforced plastic, its not very surprising when the plastic lugs are unable to withstand the force being applied over an area of roughly 3 in2 which equates to something in excess of 650lbs. :o

    Thats why you should always start off with a coarser grind and work your way finer until such time as youre achieving good quality pours, NOT the other way around....

    Mal.

  17. #17
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    Re: Hello! Newbie here with some questions!!!

    Oops Thanks Mal. Terminology stuff up - OPV not a 3-way! :D



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