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  • El cheapo setup

    We’ve packed the family off from Sydney to the parents place in the country. Unfortunately there is not a decent espresso for at least 30km. So I decided to give an el cheapo setup a go: I got the Anko manual espresso machine ($89 at Kmart, I bought second hand for $15), and the Kogan burr multigrinder for $89.

    The espresso baskets are pressurised but they can be unpressurised by removing the black plastic from the base of the basket.

    it’s early days - so far I’ve had one shot that choked off the grinder, one a little over and one a little under. But the coffee is definitely drinkable and worth a bit more playing around. note I only drink it as espresso so no milk to hide the flaws.

    it’s nothing on my home setup (Isomac tea, mazzer major) but for a cheap setup (and lightweight and portable!) it’s actually a lot better than I was expecting. I’ll update as I play around more.

    happy to post photos but not sure how

  • #2
    Originally posted by Budgiesmuggler View Post
    happy to post photos but not sure how
    https://coffeesnobs.com.au/off-topic...e-posting.html


    Java "" phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Budgiesmuggler View Post
      We’ve packed the family off from Sydney to the parents place in the country. Unfortunately there is not a decent espresso for at least 30km. So I decided to give an el cheapo setup a go: I got the Anko manual espresso machine ($89 at Kmart, I bought second hand for $15), and the Kogan burr multigrinder for $89.

      The espresso baskets are pressurised but they can be unpressurised by removing the black plastic from the base of the basket.

      it’s early days - so far I’ve had one shot that choked off the grinder, one a little over and one a little under. But the coffee is definitely drinkable and worth a bit more playing around. note I only drink it as espresso so no milk to hide the flaws.

      it’s nothing on my home setup (Isomac tea, mazzer major) but for a cheap setup (and lightweight and portable!) it’s actually a lot better than I was expecting. I’ll update as I play around more.



      happy to post photos but[ATTACH=CONFIG]25523[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]25524[/ATTACH] not sure how


      photos added above
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Budgiesmuggler View Post
        it’s early days - so far I’ve had one shot that choked off the grinder, one a little over and one a little under. But the coffee is definitely drinkable and worth a bit more playing around. note I only drink it as espresso
        Good one and I agree, it's fun playing and modifying cheap gear to see what it will do.

        The trick is often to "choke off the grinder" then adjust back a little as you found.

        I took a Breville Cafe Roma on a houseboat about 15 years ago and after a bit of fiddling managed to get really good shots from it and all these years later that little machine is still doing the rounds as people I know explore espresso at home for the first time.

        You don't have to spend a fortune to get something better than half the cafes!

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        • #5
          I bought one the Anko machines for my brother about 6 months ago and he seems to be happy with it, not a coffee nerd but it is going strong, nothing wrong with a cheap setup.

          Mal: Pretty sure Breville Cafe Roma was my first machine in my coffee journey and even I even managed to find single walled baskets for it.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Andy View Post
            Good one and I agree, it's fun playing and modifying cheap gear to see what it will do.

            The trick is often to "choke off the grinder" then adjust back a little as you found.

            I took a Breville Cafe Roma on a houseboat about 15 years ago and after a bit of fiddling managed to get really good shots from it and all these years later that little machine is still doing the rounds as people I know explore espresso at home for the first time.

            You don't have to spend a fortune to get something better than half the cafes!
            G'day Andy

            I agree - I won $100 from a self proclaimed coffee fanatic by making a cuppa from a SB EM480 grinder and a Breville Cafe Roma (the original stainless steel one) with an unpressurised basket. He reckoned it would not be good enough to drink. All four of his mates told him it was better than his own effort (on way more expensive gear). He paid up.

            "You don't have to spend a fortune to get something better than half the cafes!" - too bloody right. Having said that, pushing the coffee flavour boundaries with better gear is also a lot of fun.

            BTW, have fun at the next salt flat racing meet - whenever they can hold it "Corona free".

            TampIt

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            • #7
              My brother-in-law (fellow snob) happens to be stuck in MEL for the foreseeable future due to a combination of events.
              He is separated from his Bezerra and Macap back on the Gold Coast
              I have loaned my backup kit of a ~18 year old Delonghi Cafe Norma and a Sunbeam grinder (and my beans) and he reckons it's producing pretty decent stuff.
              Certainly better than he can buy around his area.
              So, not perfect, but works well in a pinch.

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              • #8
                For sure, the "back of the cupboard" equipment is an upgrade to a lot of starting points and good coffee in just about anything will produce something better than bad coffee in the best equipment.

                It's nice to own heavy, shiny and pretty gear but really, we are just improving the last few percent and it's easy to get carried away with the wave of upgrades.

                I like to (bad pun warning) ground myself with simpler coffee gear often, sure, we can all tell the difference but if your base was a jar of instant then most other methods will produce something enjoyable.

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                • #9
                  I've only recently started on my journey to better coffee at home.

                  I've started with a cheap setup, Skerton hand grinder and Mokka pot. Just something to start me on my way to using fresh roasted coffee.
                  I started the descent into madness (i.e. on the road to becoming a Coffee Snob), spending all of my free time scouring the internet for the next upgrade to my setup and figuring out how to work it into the budget.

                  A $300 budget very quickly turned into $500, which very quickly turned into $700 plus. Several times I almost pulled the trigger on these upgrades. But I'm glad I didn't.

                  My setup currently brings me joy with every coffee and I'm still trying different things and for better or worse, drinking the end result ?
                  I've decided that I'm going to stick with my current setup for awhile and enjoy it as part of the journey of learning different tools and techniques along the way.

                  But I'm glad to read through threads like this to help me realise that many of us go through a similar journey and to remind me to enjoy the journey and not to rush through it.
                  It's good to read from experienced Coffee Snobs that I don't need to spend all the money in the world to make some good coffee, although let's be honest, I eventually will....

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                  • #10
                    So I’ve been using this setup for about a month and I’m getting consistently good tasting shots they im happy to drink. I bought an unpressurised basket off ebay and did some research about using a thermoblock machine.

                    im going to keep it as my camping/holiday set up as it’s really small and light.

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                    • #11
                      I just bought one of these as my 3rd Em6910 broke yet another seal.
                      what difference will it make if I take the black plastic off the group head ?

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