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  • How I became a coffeesnob

    The moment comes in our journey through life when we spit the dummy and suck on the caffeine brew instead.

    Then our taste buds cry out for greater joy and we graduate to become coffeesnobs. We know we are....different from the rest who say "Ill put the kettle on and make a cuppa."

    We buy a coffee machine.

    When was that moment in your life? What convinced you. Why did you lash out and spend hundreds, or thousands of dollars? Thats an awfully big investment for something that costs, by comparison, a mere $3 in the shops.

    In my own case, I was happy with the stove top for espressos, but coveted a machine to make lattes for my wife. Little did I know then that machines were made for superior espressos.

    --Robusto



  • #2
    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

    I cant pinpoint a moment.
    There were several things that led to it.
    - My cousin had bought a machine.
    - My sister got a little Sunbeam of some sort.
    - Id seen the ads in the paper about learning to make coffee.
    - My job was made redundant and I had free time to do the course.
    - I had time to research equipment.
    - I found this site.

    Somewhere in all that something clicked.

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    • #3
      Re: How I became a coffeesnob

      my epiphany was buying a grinder, then having a look on the internet to see whether Id made a decent choice (fortunately it was an OK choice). But then I started reading more...

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      • #4
        Re: How I became a coffeesnob

        For me it was beans.
        I had been using a plastic name brand machine. When it died, I graduated to a more expensive name brand machine and I was happy. I thought I made good coffee.
        Then I stopped working near my coffee supplier and was looking on line for a bean supplier.
        Came across an article on home roasting and it all sort of gained momentum from there.

        Brett.

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        • #5
          Re: How I became a coffeesnob

          I remember a long time ago, like 1976, in a distant galaxy, I was given a filter machine, that was when the journey began.

          From there it was a continuous learning and improvement, french presses, stove tops, grinders, espressos.

          Next episode...

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          • #6
            Re: How I became a coffeesnob

            Great topic!  Can we get this turned into a sticky? (DONE! 2mcm)

            My coffeesnobbiness was ingrained into my personality from birth.  My grandmother and father pulled up their roots in Italy and moved to Australia with half of their village around the time of the Melbourne olympics.  Naturally, they presumed that Australia was a desolate wasteland and, so, each family brought with them the entire set of bialetti moka pots.  I dare say that there will be a few people on this forum who will fondly recall their Italian relos pulling out the moka pot at the drop of a hat.  Coming from a family that made their own pasta, as well as practically everything else that was consumed, it was only natural that I would work in hospitality to keep me going throughout school.

            The moment of catalysis was when I finished school and was forced to make a career choice.  My two interests were cooking and law.  I got into law and I knew that any part time job as a chef would never really amount to anything.  So I decided to continue working as a barista to keep me going throughout uni as a way to continue living through my palate.  A year or so in, I met Andrew Lew from Maltitude (now at Maling Room) and the rest is history.

            Cheers,

            Luca

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            • #7
              Re: How I became a coffeesnob

              I guess this is the "Hi, Im _ _ _ _ _ and Im a coffeeholicsnob" thread.

              Around 1990ish I was given a couple of Belaroma vacuum bricks and a plunger. Before this my coffee experience was instant. For the next four years I experimented with different plungers, different coffees (mostly stale in hindsight). I didnt really know anyone with a deeper affection for coffee than this, so I didnt know there was anything more out there than this. A couple of years later I met a guy from Robert Timms, who was a taster / roaster. I got talking to him a little about coffee and told him about I coffee from the supermarket I liked, and he told me he could match the taste if I could provide him a sample. I never got this far, but his wife made the BEST tomato soup I ever tasted in their business at Cremorne, under the cinemas.

              In 1994 I moved to Germany, where no-one drinks instant coffee, but every house has at least 3 dripolators. It was at a Cafe in Leipzig where I had my first short black. Not long after this I purchased a "Cappucino" machine for about $50 (Deutshmark back then). WOW - real cappucinos at home.

              When I moved back to Australia in 97 I bought some Moka pots, discovered Gloria Jeans, and drank plunger coffee every day. I guess it was here I realised I was hooked. I just HAD to taste the Blue Mountain and Kona coffees that GJ sold. Somewhere here I bought/was given a spice grinder to grind my beans for the plunger. Somewhere about this time a mate told me when he was growing up his dad used to roast his own coffee? WHAT? ROAST? YOUR OWN? OH!!!!!

              In 2000 I bought my Napoletana espresso machine. With a grinder built in. Within a year or so after that I was roasting my own, buying my beans from where-ever I could get them, reading alt.coffee, going to the then not-so-busy Rocks Aroma festival. My friends thought I was crazy spending so much on another coffee gadget, but our place soon became the coffee house of choice for a number of friends.

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              • #8
                Re: How I became a coffeesnob

                I grew up drinking real coffee. Thanks to my dad who had travelled around Australia with his best mate and had worked with a heap of New Australians on the Ord River scheme in WA before I was born.

                I always remember the old stove top coffee percolater and watching it go glop glop glop as it perced the coffee every morning - and the smell was just devine. Dad and mum got their coffee at the Central market here in Adelaide and I can remember Dad buying it from the coffee importers.

                Then we moved to Port Lincoln when I was about 8 and the percolater didnt come out as often and my mother drank instant, the only time I remember the percolater coming out was when we had been to Adelaide and dad or mum managed to buy some beans.

                I moved back to Adelaide to work and one of the first things I bought was an aluminium moka pot which I had for years until I was given a small stainless steel one. I also had a plunger, which was used when the moka pot died and I could not afford to buy a new one. I also had my first job in a cafe using an old Gaggia lever machne, the thing was terrifying to use as it belched steam and made the largest racket when you used it - steaming milk was a real adventure ;D

                About 15 years ago I was given an old sunbeam espresso machine - now a garden ornament, it was pretty old when I got it and didnt last long so I went out and bought another moka pot.

                It was when we were in New Zealand in 1999/2000 the we found a brand new (still in box) phillips duo espresso machine at a car boot sale for $20NZ (yes $20).

                OG bught it and wouldnt let me touch it as it was his new toy. The thing was, I was the one who was able to get great coffee out of it so it soon became my job. Knowing that the blade grinder wasnt the best to use, OG invested in a brass turkish grinder for us to hand grind the beans. Much to my annoyance at times. After that it became our dream to own a real italian made machine.

                The old phillips did go to god eventually, and it was back to the old moka pots again and we accumulated various sizes.


                After my dad died, while I was cleaning out the shed (never again!!!) I found the old percolater which is now in our shed (I now know where my tendency to hoard comes from). I also inherited some $$$ and the first thing I did was go out and buy my Gaggia Classic.

                I knew I needed a decent grinder and started surfing the net. I found a good one for a reasonable price - in New Zealand - and sent the money off to a family member to send one over to me. Meanwhile I kept using the blade grinder as it was quicker than using the hand grinder.Them being disgustingly busy, this didnt happen so I started surfing the net and found coffeesnobs for grinder info.

                I started Home roasting after a few weeks, had the money sent back from New Zealand and bought my MDF grinder. I was hand grinding the home roasted beans because this really got the best flavour out of them.

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                • #9
                  Re: How I became a coffeesnob

                  I wasnt always a coffesnob. There was a time when i was a coffeeknob (aka coffee ignoramous). I once went into a caf and ordered, confidently, a "Long White". The girl at the counter just stared at me. Then she repeated, "A LONG white?". I said, even more confidently, "Yes please". She nodded and started making the coffee and i went and sat down. It was the best (and only) Long White ive ever had!
                  My family never drank coffe and certainly didnt go to cafes for breakfast, so i didnt get my snobbery from there. My first induction into coffee was when i started working. As we all know, coffee makes the world go round -- would any work get done if not for the obligatory work coffee station? Our workplace had only instant, but we all drank several cups a day. Sometimes after work wed go to a nearby caf and i would usually be too afraid to order the mysterious macchiato or ristretto and opt for the much safer flat white or cappuccino. But i did wonder... what made a long black long? or a flat white flat?
                  Then i went to uni and drinking coffee was very cool and very necessary. I moved to Newtown, where houses are sold with the slogan "Live the cafe lifestyle!" and i found the local roaster, Campos. In those days they roasted every Wednesday right there in the shop. The smell was sinful! The shop was tiny and pokey. Its walls adorned with coffe gadgets and paraphernalia old and new. I was entranced.
                  My girlfriend, taking pity on me no doubt, bought me a Gaggia espresso machine and Breville grinder. I eventually ditched the grinder, which produced woodchips and bought my coffee pre-gound from one of two local roasters. I discovered the second roaster, Berados, while walking home one night after midnight. The shop, which had always appeared closed or abandoned during the day, was alive and roasting. I popped in the door which was ajar, and started chatting. I walked out of there with a small bag of warm freshly roasted coffee. While Campos make the best coffee ive had in cafes who use their coffee, Berados made the best coffee from my domestic machine. I only managed to catch them open one other time, and then, just as mysteriously as they had appeared, they vanished! If anyone knows whats happened to them, my espresso machine and i would dearly like to know.
                  Last year I bought a conical burr grinder and so re-discovered the pleasure, and mess, of grinding your own.
                  Im not sure i really am a coffee snob (kick me out now!). I still enjoy a cup of instant now and again (all those years of work on upteen cups a day) and instant has nostalgiac value as i used to drink it with me ol gran. But i could not for the life of me find a website entitled "Coffeebores" --- that would be my true home. Many a glazy-eyed dinner guest ive over-bored with my endless coffee talk!
                  Rock on snobbers!

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                  • #10
                    Re: How I became a coffeesnob

                    mean bean,

                    Berardos closed down in Glebe but are now at the address below according to the white pages...


                    Berardo Coffee Company
                    208 Cleveland St Chippendale 2008

                    Beanmeister.

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                    • #11
                      Re: How I became a coffeesnob

                      Nice story, mean bean. You could just about savour the arome of the roasters.

                      -Robusto

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                      • #12
                        Re: How I became a coffeesnob

                        In the beginning God made Krupps, Krupps beget Sunbeam Grinder and then God sent his only son 9610 to save us sinners, this is when I saw the light, and now I follow in the path of righteous coffee snobbery

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How I became a coffeesnob

                          Originally posted by simo_02 link=1166962996/0#11 date=1168562407
                          In the beginning God made Krupps,
                          Are you sure it was God?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How I became a coffeesnob

                            Originally posted by JavaB link=1166962996/0#12 date=1168563861
                            Originally posted by simo_02 link=1166962996/0#11 date=1168562407
                            In the beginning God made Krupps,
                            Are you sure it was God?
                            It couldnt possibly have been, not if Krupps was the pinnacle of their creation. ;D :


                            Java "Maybe if it had been a Cimbali." phile
                            Toys! I must have new toys!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: How I became a coffeesnob

                              ....and on the fourth day, the demon, in the form of a snak, saind unto Eve, "Wassup, Eve? Can I tempt you with one of these twin-boiler volumetric numbers with electronic control...."

                              And the rest is history.

                              --Robusto

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