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  • To Presso or not to Presso?

    Dear Caffeinated Cognoscente,
    A newby with questions that may have been answered and I missed them (or perhaps this should post elsewhere). If so please redirect me and apologies for the fumble.

    So, last week was the end of year sale at a local emporium and I came close to getting the Sunbeam twins (6910 and 0480). At the last minute the cost seemed a tad extravagant for my espresso needs and I went back to browsing the excellent discussions in this forum.

    I work from home and so the kitchen has to serve as the local cafe. For this small local demand a combination of the excellent looking (and performing) Presso and maybe a hand grinder seems to be a good option.
    The question: If this is the primary means by which to make espresso should I go with the hand-crafted approach or would I regret not going for an espresso machine and keeping the Presso idea for backup?

    I am also a little concerned that my partner likes her coffee with milk and I cant see that there is any other way to get steamed milk without a steam pipe!

    Any thougths much appreciated.


  • #2
    Re: To Presso or not to Presso?

    Most here will say to spend up big on a decent grinder and even try the plunger route. A good grinder can later be matched with just about any machine. The Presso would serve you well I am sure.

    As to the "steamed milk" there have been discussions about heating milk in the microwave verses steaming and some people think that milk heated in the microwave is just as good, if not better.

    You can use google to give you more search results on the coffeesnobs site if youre after more information in regards to what Im talking about!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: To Presso or not to Presso?

      Weve been heating milk for breakfast in the microwave for....many years.

      The first difference I notice compared to gas heating is --- it never boils over and burns. So you dont get a burning smell. Good.

      As to texture and suitability for espresso-based drinks, I dont think it is any substitute for the real thing.

      Getting microfoam texture with its sweet taste takes skill and equipment up to the task.

      --Robusto

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: To Presso or not to Presso?

        Thanks to both of you for your thoughts.
        I am currently using a plunger but miss the espresso intensity of flavour. However I dont have fresh ground coffee so that is probably a big part of the problem as has been pointed out here.

        Time to get the grinder and then I can think about the espresso question a bit longer.

        cheers.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: To Presso or not to Presso?


          I tried a presso for the first time a couple of weeks ago at a CS gathering. Comparing to a commercial machine, the presso held up well. I was very impressed and surprised to taste the espresso flavour from a hand operated machine. Well worth it... especially for portable espresso. With a hand grinder, youve got espresso in the bush.... Great for camping.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: To Presso or not to Presso?

            Thanks Sparky.
            I also just reread Andy Freemans post on the Presso as an essential motorbike accessory.
            Definitely makes a great camping coffee maker even if I eventually move on to a machine with temperature control.
            decisions, decisions...

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: To Presso or not to Presso?

              And, IMO, the shot I gave Sparky was a pretty poor representation of what the Presso is really capable of.

              If youve gotta have steamed milk, then the Presso is rather obviously insufficient. If youre happy with microwaved milk, you will be hard pressed producing better espresso for the money.

              Im not sure I can advocate the hand-grinder as much though...I gave a cheapo model a run for a while and it was a lot louder and more time consuming than Id hoped it was going to be. I use the EM0480 and I find it adequate (though waiting a little longer for an Iberital Challenge would possibly have been a better decision).

              Fresh coffee is a definite must. I grind a days worth of coffee at home before I go to work and it still makes me feel a little dirty inside...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: To Presso or not to Presso?

                Regarding hand grinders Cameron alias "Presso" is trying to source a good hand grinder for espresso.
                He hopes to have some good news in the next month or so.
                Now that will make the Presso/manual grinder an essential part of the CSers camping kit.

                Cheers,
                Ken.

                PS. Hey Daveze,
                That shot you pulled for Nigel and I later that day was much better though.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: To Presso or not to Presso?

                  Its great to be able to tap into all the experience and ideas on this forum. thanks

                  Fresh roast plus grinder plus some "Presso-digitation" should produce a pretty good espresso.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: To Presso or not to Presso?

                    Originally posted by AndrewJ link=1184997454/0#3 date=1185013358
                    Thanks to both of you for your thoughts.
                    I am currently using a plunger but miss the espresso intensity of flavour. However I dont have fresh ground coffee so that is probably a big part of the problem as has been pointed out here.

                    Time to get the grinder and then I can think about the espresso question a bit longer.

                    cheers.
                    Now to find the AF post on the Presso; my son got one for me to take to work as I mostly drink straight shots as milk management is always an issue. We also went away for a couple of days and took it and some ground coffee with us. Not bad if I say so.... Better than plunger, ummmm different may be a better way to explain it. He likes milk, and getting it right in the microwave first and then using the Presso to deliver a shot top gave a great result. Again, different and much better than instant.

                    PS: Can not find the AF post / review :-(

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: To Presso or not to Presso?

                      So, the Presso was ordered last Wednesday, it shipped on Thursday and Australia Post delivered it to my door on Saturday morning.

                      Couldnt spend the rest of the weekend just staring at the thing and Presso had included a nice bag of freshly roasted beans. The best smelling parcel the family have received in a while.
                      So I had to head straight out to another of the site sponsors to buy a grinder.

                      Spent the weekend playing with grind, water levels and stop watch and starting out on that road that so many of you have described in this forum.

                      Should be fun

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: To Presso or not to Presso?

                        Why not get a cheap stove-top with steamer as well as the presso. I picked up a stove top with decent steaming capabilities so I could make the I hate coffee half her chai lattes. Was only $30 on evilbay.

                        Match that with a hand grinder and presso, great!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Aeropress - Thoughts/Recommendations?

                          Originally posted by Andy Freeman link=1187691066/0#10 date=1187793282
                          Your best bet is get to a CS bean pickup and tee-up for someone to bring both the gizmos so you can try coffee from them.
                          Unfortunately for me that isnt going to happen anytime soon  [smiley=sad.gif]

                          Do you suggest the Presso is a better coffee maker, because the result is closer to Espresso, or for other reasons?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Aeropress - Thoughts/Recommendations?

                            I am curious for a review on the Presso also.

                            A few Qs for me on the Presso being:

                            Does it neet to have a shot (or two) of hot water run through it first (Like most machines I figure)?

                            Is it made from a cast alloy, stainless stuff or ???????

                            Is the resulting brew like ??????:
                            (a) A commercial machine (I wish).
                            (b) A domestic machine (Would be nice).
                            (c) A stovetop (More likely).
                            (d) A plunger (Ill stick with my plungers...).

                            It looks the goods to me, and I dont mind spending the $240, as long as its worth it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Aeropress - Thoughts/Recommendations?

                              I am curious for a review on the Presso also.

                              A few Qs for me on the Presso being:

                              Does it neet to have a shot (or two) of hot water run through it first (Like most machines I figure)?

                              Is it made from a cast alloy, stainless stuff or ???????

                              Is the resulting brew like ??????:
                              (a) A commercial machine (I wish).  
                              (b) A domestic machine (Would be nice).  
                              (c) A stovetop (More likely).
                              (d) A plunger (Ill stick with my plungers...).

                              It looks the goods to me, and I dont mind spending the $240, as long as its worth it.


                              I confess I dont own a presso [yet] , but have used then a couple of times,  they are a beautifully made piece of kit, stainless steel and I think come with a lifetime warranty.

                              They need to be warmed up with a couple of blank shots, just like any coffee maker.

                              The extracted expresso shot tastes as good as any well made commercial or  home espresso.  
                              Funny you make that distinction....most CSers would probably produce better shots than most commercial cafes.

                              I would add, the Presso shots seem to have a cleaner taste & feel in the mouth over traditional espresso machine shots,  others attribute this with the pressure characteristics of lever machines...in any case this is a good thing.

                              The only minor negative is that they produce & retain minimal crema, compared to a traditional espresso machine but this is really a  visual/textural issue as the flavour is great.

                              One of my favorite and most memorable shots ever came from a presso.


                              If you prefer espresso based shots, the presso is the way to go.
                              If you prefer longer drinks, the aeropress is probably better.



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