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Thread: Early impressions of the GEE

  1. #1
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    Early impressions of the GEE

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi there,

    since I wasnt able to find out much about user experiences with the GEE, I thought Id put my own early impression forward for anyone who might be interested in it :)

    Picked up the GEE about 2 weeks ago, so I cant say I mastered it yet. But the shots are improving, especially after picking up a naked portafilter from 9Bar (thanks guys!). Paired with the Breville Smartgrinder it took me probably a good week before -more or less accidentally- hitting a decent grind setting. As a complete newbie to grinding your own coffee I find it extremely hard to figure out how fine the grind is supposed to be - it reminds me of my mum telling me a recipe for pancakes: "Take 2 eggs, flour and milk and mix together". Me:"how much milk, how much flour?" "Oh, youll see..." Needless to say, I didnt. Point is, these things come with experience, which I dont have ;) yet...

    Functionality and steam
    Back to the GEE, despite my shortcomings as a barista, the GEE seems to be doing everything its expected to do. Steam power is quick to come on, and as long as I dont forget to purge the steamwand, the steam is powerful and dry and I have never produced better froth/microfoam.

    Build quality and looks
    The machine seems quite solid, though there are a few niggles that dont bother me too much, but I might someone else to look elsewhere. For example, the stainless steel grill doesnt fit properly onto the tray and shows some early signs of a little rust. Even the steamwand seems to have a little rust going, but I will have a good clean on the weekend and see if its just caked on milk despite my best efforts to wipe and clean after every use. I thought the looks of the machine would bother me, but actually they dont. It feels quite functional, and is most definitely not a shrine to liquid gold...but it works well in our kitchen (especially since its relatively small footprint!).

    Ease of use
    Its dead easy to use - I had a quick look through the settings, decided all was as I wanted it, and started pulling shots. One thing to keep in mind is that for the steam to be properly primed the dial has to be turned to steam mode and pressed, otherwise one gets very wet steam, well, water. Thanks to the thermoblock (quieter than I expected) I am also most relieved that I cant burn the boiler out while blissfully steaming milk to my hearts content. As a newbie, this is a definite plus! Also, its easy to see when the water tank needs filling up and its easily accessible.

    Quality of the coffee shots
    You will notice that so far there has been a glaring absence of commenting on the quality of the coffee...since I have only the old Krups with pressurized baskets and espresso at my favourite cafe to compare it to, this is probably only of limited use to other people as it is very subjective. To me, the coffee has improved greatly from the first shot I pulled to the last one this morning - more crema, not as bitter or sour, just generally more rounded, and it blends nicely with the milk. A friend of mine who is way more picky with her coffee gave me an 8 out of 10, but she might have been kind :D The one thing I find odd, however, is that in comparison to both the Krups and at the cafe, the same beans seem to produce a much stronger espresso. Stronger not as in bitter, just, like I would like more milk with it :-/ (I do realize that the portafilter came with a double (synesso?) basket, so I have effectively had a doubleshot since I have started using it, but the same applied for the single shot from the spouted portafilter). Not sure where thats coming from - could it be from me aiming for ristrettos and stopping the shot at 18-20 seconds?

    Anyways, these are my 2 cents, and overall I can say I am quite happy with the GEE.

    cheers


  2. #2
    Caffeine Junky
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    Re: Early impressions of the GEE

    Nice review toscadera.* Most people who buy the GEE will probably come from a similar level of experience as yourself so its well aimed.

    I have a GEE which has been sitting under my desk in the box for around 6 weeks waiting to be unpacked and filled with water.* I guess thats the problem with having too many coffee machines, not enough time to play with them all!

  3. #3
    lu
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    Re: Early impressions of the GEE

    Quote Originally Posted by 3F3E3427393C26550 link=1301451487/1#1 date=1301550145
    I have a GEE which has been sitting under my desk in the box for around 6 weeks waiting to be unpacked and filled with water.* I guess thats the problem with having too many coffee machines, not enough time to play with them all!
    aawww GEE schucks Caffeine (machine) Junky* :(

  4. #4
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    Re: Early impressions of the GEE

    @ Caffeine Junkie - thanks :) when you do unpack it, let us know what you think. I am more than curious to see what more advanced user think of it. In fact, I would also love to hear if there are any other GEE owners, who could provide longer term experiences (> 6 months). Youre right, its well aimed at noobs in that it can take out some of the variables that go into the coffee-making, such as stable temperature and consistent shot length. Well see what happens in terms of longevity of the machine

    @Lu: :D

  5. #5
    lu
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    Re: Early impressions of the GEE

    toscadera,

    always good to someone try and also review "new product", it does take a leap of faith 8-). Im very new to all this joined CS early March and found much good info and reviews and also discovered other sites like Home Barista. Initially going to get Ikon (entry-level, now discontinued), then considered several in mid-range including GEE, before coming to conclusion that Ponte Vecchio Lusso 2 group (on cusp of medium/pointy) could keep me happy for a decade :).

    I bought my Smartgrinder this week from Chris @ Talk Coffee, it arrived yesterday and was Beautifully packaged (unexpectedly it came with Breville 2yr replacement guarantee) ;D.

    Now I am hanging out for the espresso machine - the Lusso is currently out of stock and my ears are flapping to hear more of the new Breville with mid-range price and pointy end features according to Breville.

    Hope to hear more about your journey with the GEE down the track.

    cheers, lu :D

  6. #6
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    Re: Early impressions of the GEE

    Quote Originally Posted by 6A73060 link=1301451487/4#4 date=1301565128
    Initially going to get Ikon (entry-level, now discontinued), then considered several in mid-range including GEE, before coming to conclusion that Ponte Vecchio Lusso 2 group (on cusp of medium/pointy) could keep me happy for a decade .
    Wow, that is a beautiful machine. I was bouncing this way and that, going as far as thinking of a Simonelli Nuova Oscar, or VBM Piccolo and then had to reign it back in. I was quite set on a LeLit, but then the GEE demo from Talk Coffee came along at a very good price, and Chris was very nice and confidence inspiring, so I went with that. The Ponte Vecchio looks like itll keep you happy for a long time :) The GEE will undoubtedly inspire upgraditis at some point, I just hope Im more cashed up when that happens* 8-)
    Quote Originally Posted by 6A73060 link=1301451487/4#4 date=1301565128
    Now I am hanging out for the espresso machine - the Lusso is currently out of stock and my ears are flapping to hear more of the new Breville with mid-range price and pointy end features according to Breville.
    Im also very curious to see the Breville, I wouldnt be at all surprised if it was a mix between the Sunbeam 6910 and the GEE. If only they would give us a loose timeframe... :-/

  7. #7
    TC
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    Re: Early impressions of the GEE

    Quote Originally Posted by 362D31212326273023420 link=1301451487/5#5 date=1301624261
    If only they would give us a loose timeframe...
    They have.... :-X

    Wont be too long- but well be there when we get there ;)

  8. #8
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    Re: Early impressions of the GEE

    youre a tease... :P good thing Im not interested for myself, I have the patience of a 5-year old...Im holding off recommending the GEE or Sunbeam for my friends - I think they would feel more re-assured with the support of a big, well-known company than a new-comer...

  9. #9
    lu
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    Re: Early impressions of the GEE

    Quote Originally Posted by 657E62727075746370110 link=1301451487/7#7 date=1301630072
    I have the patience of a 5-year old
    ah ha toscadera, ditto,
    reminds of Xmas as a kid, especially "tell us what features and functions you want" .
    i hope it will have [s]flippers[/s] paddles, lever as well as buttons [smiley=laugh.gif]



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