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Thread: Ive taken the plunge, or should that be puck?

  1. #1
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    Ive taken the plunge, or should that be puck?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Ive done it! Ive finally bought some toys to make a better coffee. My budget went from around $1000 up to over $3000 and back again. Its hard when you like things just so and often has me reaching too far into my wallet. So what did I end up with?
    Lelit, silvia, cheaper HXs were all swirling around my head and making me quite giddy and I was thinking Id be reaching deeper and deeper into those pockets but then I saw some second hand machines on the dreaded ebay that I used to like the look of before joining coffeesnobs. Info searches had really variable opinions, people really love or hate them. Having seen one in action a few years ago and being impressed and seeing how cheap they were second hand I decided to take a risk. What did I buy youre all waiting to hear, well Im at the character limit so hold on its coming......

  2. #2
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Ive taken the plunge, or should that be puck?

    Um.... its a ten thousand character maximum, not one thousand, but anyway... oh the suspense. I can hardly... be bothered finishing htis;fsdg

  3. #3
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    Re: Ive taken the plunge, or should that be puck?

    .... its a KitchenAid Artisan *:o , arrghhhh I hear you all moan, that is way too amateur, its a toy, not a real espresso machine! Well you may be right and I may have to eat my shorts but let me give you an initial impression.

    OK we all know its just two Gaggias mated together in a somewhat like-able aesthetic. But sometimes the sum is greater than the parts. Sure they are little boilers and Im told aluminium (ive got alzheimers already so dont have to worry). But for a home machine it might just be the beez kneez for me. You see it heats up to operating temp in under 10 minutes and with the two boilers can do a great impersonation of a good two boiler machine (not that I have deep enough pockets to have a qualified opinion on these). *So for someone who wants to pull a few coffees in the morning and has a hard enough time getting up early enough to get to work this quick turn around is great.

    WHAT ABOUT THE COFFEE you say? Well having saved a bucket load and taking good head of CSers saying the grinder is the most important I went out and splurged on one. Again Ive thrown caution to the wind and gone out on a limb and chosen a machine that doesnt have a huge following yet.

    Shameless plug inserted here: Big thanks to Di Bartoli Coffee in Bondi for their help, they curbed their obvious religious passion for coffee to tame it down for a newbie and didnt even spit at me when I told them I bought the KitchenAid, thanks guys and gals!

    So I splurged and got a Mahlkonig Vario although mine I noticed is rebadged Ditting Swiss but same thing. So with an average $60 tamper, a few other bits and bobs and some very brief instructions from Renzo and Ofra (I was in a rush) I handed over more cash than the KitchenAid cost and headed back up the coast.

    WHAT ABOUT THE COFFEE!
    OK crunch time, or should I say grind time! Unpacked, set up, I loaded some remnant beans I had laying around and had a go. First pull and I had a little smirk on my dial. Way too slow an extraction but gee the crema looked nice. Yep bitter it was and so to I am on my learning curve. Too late for another coffee so I follow the scale and clean protocols, do my first back flushes and cant wait till I have time to practice again. So I find myself on day two with a little time and in need of coffee. Ive bumped the adjustment settings on the grinder from what Renzo set them at (this is what I see *will maybe be the biggest annoyance with this grinder - changing settings is so easy but its too easy to accidently bump and change them). So adjusting I go, one, two, three shots - variable and I bump the adjustment and lose my place. Four, five, six shots all like dishwater but Im getting my tamping better and seeing some improvement. Seventh shot pretty good and good enough to serve to the wife. Eighth shot and Im really smiling, it looks the goods and tastes beautiful. Oh I must say by 7th shot Im nearly into the free beans Di Bartoli gave me and the 8th would have all been good fresh beans. Im chuffed but running late for the gym so out the door I head. Excited on the way home I call mother dear and tell her to head on over for a coffee. Get home as she arrives, machine on and heated up before pleasantries exchanged and one double shot for her and another single for the wife and I. All tasting the shots and all impressed with look and taste. Off with the plastic nozzle thing and nice micro-foamy milk for a chino. The standard wand is very short with the plastic removed but functions in the right container. I want to mod this, saw a great mod but cant remember where so if anyone knows the link Id appreciate it *:-*

    So Im suitably impressed. Many say the Kitchenaid was overpriced for what it is but for a home machine I think it may have been under-rated. Having one crappy Gaggia boiler for shots and one for milk I think turns two crappy boilers into something rather functional. Ive seen the issues with poor quality control and many breakdowns, I guess this is why kitchenaid dropped them from their line. This is also why I was happy to buy an older one. This one is over 3 years old, looks in good nick but definitely was used regularly so Im hoping if there was gremilins they would have surfaced by now. So Im hoping to improve my techniques, find where I put the camera and post shots of my first god shot soon *;D

    As far as the Vario grinder goes, its got a tiny foot-print, being able to adjust easily and time the grind is great for learning as it gives good consistency in this area.

    Phew did I get a bit carried away here? I hope a few of you got to the end of this and still think you might read further posts by me!

    I only really have one big question though, can I be a real Coffee Snob with a Kitchenaid *:-/


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    Re: Ive taken the plunge, or should that be puck?

    Oh my Im boring you lot before Ive even finished the post!!!

    Oh Fatboy, can I make it up to you by having you around for a coffee?

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    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Ive taken the plunge, or should that be puck?

    Quote Originally Posted by 3E3D2E28265C0 link=1285655428/2#2 date=1285658360
    I only really have one big question though, can I be a real Coffee Snob with a Kitchenaid
    Yes.

    Oh my Im boring you lot before Ive even finished the post!!!
    I dont speak for everyone!

    Oh Fatboy, can I make it up to you by having you around for a coffee?
    I would say that if you bought from Di Bartoli, we are probably not really within drop in radius of each other, but thanks for the offer.

  6. #6
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    Re: Ive taken the plunge, or should that be puck?

    nice GMC.
    I think if you have abit more of a deeper look into theses forums, youll find that coffee is an experience of the senses, totally personal and subject to your own preferences.. so if you love whats going on, on your bench top, whos to tell you youre wrong?

    just curious, one of your main selling points seemed to be the quick start up time.. did you consider a la pavoni leva at all? *up to temp in 5 mins, absolute killer shots and ample, dry steam.
    Im sure though, it seems youre well satisfied.
    Goodluck on the new adventure and keep us up to date - including some pics of killer shots!!

    cheers,
    matt

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    Re: Ive taken the plunge, or should that be puck?

    Thanks for the sentiments kotaro and yes the la pavoni did spark some interest with me. I am pleased to be enjoying the experience with what I have but when Ive perfected this machine I may move it to work and try the la pavoni, itd sure look nice on my bench top.

    Ill have to put some shots up for critique too.

    Cheers

    GMC

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    Re: Ive taken the plunge, or should that be puck?

    haha awesome GMC
    and yea, ill have to admit, theres only a few places away from my own kitchen that ill happily pay ~$3.50 for coffee these days. ;D ;D

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Ive taken the plunge, or should that be puck?

    Every step forward in the coffee journey is generally followed by other steps

    You are where you need to be for now
    Enjoy the journey

    KK

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    Re: Ive taken the plunge, or should that be puck?

    Quote Originally Posted by 785C555556566C785C405E5C330 link=1285655428/8#8 date=1285677004
    Every step forward in the coffee journey is generally followed by other steps
    or leaps and bounds *::) ;D ;D

  11. #11
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Ive taken the plunge, or should that be puck?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5D5942574459360 link=1285655428/9#9 date=1285677720
    or leaps and bounds ::) ;D ;D
    How is the roaster assembly going

    KK

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    Re: Ive taken the plunge, or should that be puck?

    Quote Originally Posted by 16323B3B38380216322E30325D0 link=1285655428/10#10 date=1285678641
    Quote Originally Posted by 5D5942574459360 link=1285655428/9#9 date=1285677720
    or leaps and bounds *::) *;D *;D
    How is the roaster assembly going

    KK
    :D
    almost there, things have been abit hectic at work and home with renos and stuff all going on, so i havnt had much time to myself.
    but, ive just gotta finish turning down my shaft and I should be right to go. hopefully well be up and running very soon!
    after all, ive got all sorts of beanbay goodies to test out :D
    ill post pics as soon as shes up and running :D

  13. #13
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Ive taken the plunge, or should that be puck?

    Gday GMC.... :)

    Nothing wrong these machines from a coffee quality perspective mate, its only been the exorbitant price-tag for a new one that rubs most of us the wrong way. Three years old is not old for one of these though and providing you look after it properly, it should give you many years of good service and great coffee.

    The little Vario has got a pretty good rep too so the pair should be a very capable combo. There is a Steam Wand/Valve Mod that can be implemented too which really improves the texturing ability of the Artisan. If you do a Search via the Quick Search Tool up on the top R/H corner of the page, you can read a thread or two started by owners who have done very neat upgrades.

    All the best mate and Happy Brewing.... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Mal.

  14. #14
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Ive taken the plunge, or should that be puck?


    Quote Originally Posted by 6162717779030 link=1285655428/2#2 date=1285658360
    I loaded some remnant beans I had laying around and had a go.
    I have to tell you that when you get good fresh beans you will have to start all over again dialling in the grinder.
    All you will have learned is how to adjust the grinder.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6162717779030 link=1285655428/2#2 date=1285658360
    Oh I must say by 7th shot Im nearly into the free beans Di Bartoli gave me and the 8th would have all been good fresh beans.
    This is the point I was talking about.
    You were on a hiding to nothing prior to this point.
    Coincidence that the following shots were approved by Mum and the missus?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6162717779030 link=1285655428/2#2 date=1285658360
    I only really have one big question though, can I be a real Coffee Snob with a Kitchenaid :-/
    No!


    Just kidding.


    A rather long post (maybe you drank too many of those practice shots).
    I could feel your excitement.

    Im glad you took some advice and visited Di Bartoli to spend up on a grinder. In itself thats going to be a good long term investment in your coffee journey.

    Stick with fresh beans from now on.
    A weekly/fortnightly visit back to Renzo and Ofra will cover that.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6162717779030 link=1282828357/7#7 date=1283180210
    OK I havent even bought a machine and feel Im getting upgraditis!!!!
    Let us know when the upgraditis returns. ;)



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