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  • portaspresso as main home brewing device

    Hi all,

    I am an espresso novice and would like to buy some new equipments. I only drink a few cups of espresso a day (4 cups max, typically 2 in morning/evening) and never use milk so that I don't need high pressure steam etc... I have been playing with an Europiccola + porlex for a few months and can get decent shots on average, and good shots when luck is here (which is rare). This has been quite a lot of fun, have learned a lot about espresso in the process, but am getting quite frustrated about the randomness of the quality of my shots. I guess that I could plug a thermometer near the group head and obtain better temperature stability, and try other tricks, which I will surely do at some point, but I would also like to buy some new equipments. I don't really like fancy electronics devices and would instead like to buy something simple which could let me tune the different parameters. In the end, I don't need high pressure steam, but only hot water at a stable given temperature/pressure going through some fine grind coffee.

    First, I would like to update my grinder, and I am thinking of getting one of these wonderful Rosco mini! While reading about the Rosco grinder, I discovered the Rossa portaspresso device: it looks superb, is built too last, received very good comments (on this forum at least), seems to be very temperature stable, goes well with the rosco grinder, does not make my kitchen a mess (wife appreciates this point), is small, and allows easy pressure profiling! The only thing that I am not crazy about is the fact that I need to turn the thing upside down during the espresso making process - this does not seem to be a big problem though, so says the videos. I would have loved to buy a Caravel, but this seems hard to find. (Don't like NO2 cartridges,

    I am wondering if other have used the portaspresso as their main home device (i.e. not on the go), and if this choice sounds crazy (considering that this is not exactly a cheap investment). Other suggestions very appreciated!


    Many thanks,
    Alex.

  • #2
    Hey Alex have a good look into the Pharos grinder from orphan espresso, there are some reviews on the net comparing it to the rosco and it outperforms it everytime.

    Comment


    • #3
      Opinons...
      My Pharos lives at the Snobbery to give people a laugh. The Rosco is very well engineered (I don't own a Rosco Mini so won't comment on it) but I would expect a similar level of thought and engineering in it.

      I suggest you really need to try the devices first and don't make your buying descision based on reviews of people who own just one grinder.

      I would also suggest that unless you really have a need for a hand grinder then have a look at good electric ones. Hand grinders are a lot of work for little output, if you are making a few coffees at a time then they will quickly become a chore. They are great for camping or making coffee away from a power source though.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Wynton87 View Post
        Hey Alex have a good look into the Pharos grinder from orphan espresso, there are some reviews on the net comparing it to the rosco and it outperforms it everytime.
        The Pharos is way bigger so not really an apples to apples comparison.
        Might as well compare my Macap to the Rosco as he's not talking an on the go unit.

        Originally posted by Andy View Post
        Hand grinders are a lot of work for little output, if you are making a few coffees at a time then they will quickly become a chore. They are great for camping or making coffee away from a power source though.
        True. Last year this time I was working on the road and powered my hand grinder with my portable drill.

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        • #5
          On the matter of Rosco Vs Pharos....

          I have a Rosco and a VoodooDaddy pimped Pharos. Whilst the Rosco is a beautiful piece of engineering and does a great job of grinding, it is much harder work to grind a double dose of beans with it than it is with the Pharos.

          If I had to choose only one to keep, it would be the Pharos every time.

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks all for these thoughts on Rosco vs Pharos. I obviously don't own them, so can't really comment on that, but from the various posts and videos that I have seen, it seems like the Pharos is muh faster but is also way bigger and more difficult to handle (ie. transfer coffee from grinder to brewing device). It is said that the Pharos grind is slightly better, which might be true, but I am not sure that the improvement is that spectacular and that my newbie palate can appreciate the difference (while it is very possible that I can appreciate the porlex -> rosco update).

            Also, my main question was concerning the choice of the portaspresso as a main home brewing system? Does it sound a sensible choice knowing that I only drink maximum 4 espressos a day (and more often only 2 espressos) and that I don't care about latte etc... What are my other alternatives? Also, I don't mind if I need 10min to produce my espresso. I do mind about the price (rosco+rossa already hits my maximum budget) of the device and the quality of the espresso.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Andy View Post
              Opinons...
              My Pharos lives at the Snobbery to give people a laugh. The Rosco is very well engineered (I don't own a Rosco Mini so won't comment on it) but I would expect a similar level of thought and engineering in it.

              I suggest you really need to try the devices first and don't make your buying descision based on reviews of people who own just one grinder.

              I would also suggest that unless you really have a need for a hand grinder then have a look at good electric ones. Hand grinders are a lot of work for little output, if you are making a few coffees at a time then they will quickly become a chore. They are great for camping or making coffee away from a power source though.
              I hear this comment a lot about you really need to try the equipment out first, which in the ideal world where we dont have lives, responsibilities, family, work and there is a well equiped coffee machine shop in every suburb then yes - it makes a lot of sense to try out equipment first. But lets face it, im sure a lot of good decisions surrounding coffee equipment have been heavily based on reviews and consumer feedback via the web/CS etc - otherwise you could delete 70% of the threads on CS. I dont know how I could have tested a pharos when no-one stocks it on Aus and im not overly keen on going to a strangers house 30mins away who happens to own a pharos to grind a few beans, i think my wife would truly see me as a obsessive coffee freak more than she already does. And its not just reviews, its specs as well, how could the 38mm burr set of the rosco compare to 68mm burr set on the pharos? It just made a lot of sense to me, so why wouyld i buy a rosco just because i can 'test' it. I also bought my cremina based on reviews because frankly they aren't readily available to test out, even coffee parts wont demo them. And what do you know, 1000+ people were right, it does make good espresso and im pretty bloody happy with my decision.

              Think too that a lot of people who are asking about new equipment may not really be able to tell the difference in taste between coffee ground from a rocky vs a robur because they are early on in there coffee journey, their senses havent matured much yet, so if you cant taste the difference would you just buy the rocky because its cheaper? Or do you do the maths and listen to opinions of those who can taste and enjoy having a superior grinder later on when you are able to appreciate its quality. And Andy you say dont base your review on people who own just one grinder and then you suggest the rosco which you dont own?? Atleast the grinder i recommended i own.

              I dont see the big deal about hand grinders being hard work? I mean why are we so scared of moving our arms a little? I think we would all do well to move a bit more if we can. Fair enough if you have to entertain 10 people, but sounds like alekk is after a setup that hes happy to fiddle and take time with.

              Sorry Andy if i sound a bit narky but i just felt like you were belittleing my comment.

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              • #8
                The portaspresso equipment will last a lifetime with very minimal maintenance.

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                • #9
                  I have had a Portapresso and Rosco grinder for about 8 months, the Rosco is quite a good hand grinder, the Portapresso, I'm not so impressed.

                  I suspect if I were forced to use both as my daily coffee prep equipment I would probably go back to instant, ok on the road for a few weeks when a machine isn't practical, they certainly make better than plunger, that's about it.

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                  • #10
                    Yelta, have you emailed Portaspresso about getting the most out of the Rossa?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by eljimberino View Post
                      Yelta, have you emailed Portaspresso about getting the most out of the Rossa?
                      I'm aware of all of the theory, what I'm saying is it's way too much stuffing around for a shot of coffee.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Yelta View Post
                        I suspect if I were forced to use both as my daily coffee prep equipment I would probably go back to instant, ok on the road for a few weeks when a machine isn't practical, they certainly make better than plunger, that's about it.
                        Hi Yelta: "better than plunger", is that the best that you can get out of the Rossa? (or is it a general complaint against the practicality of the device?) For example, something that slightly worries me is that I have not been able to find youtube videos from real (i.e. not Ross himself) Portaspresso users.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Wynton87 View Post
                          ... And Andy you say dont base your review on people who own just one grinder and then you suggest the rosco which you dont own?? ...
                          Andy does own a Rosco; see http://coffeesnobs.com.au/grinders/3...d-grinder.html

                          It's a Mini Rosco he doesn't own.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by alekk View Post
                            Hi Yelta: "better than plunger", is that the best that you can get out of the Rossa? (or is it a general complaint against the practicality of the device?) For example, something that slightly worries me is that I have not been able to find youtube videos from real (i.e. not Ross himself) Portaspresso users.
                            It makes a fair espresso with a lot of, lubricating with water, unscrewing, screwing, unwinding, winding, all in all a lot of messing around.

                            As you suggest I find that it's far from practical, can imagine making a couple of before work coffee's with one, you would have to get up half an hour earlier.

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                            • #15
                              I've been thinking similarly to the OP and have been seriously considering rosso/rosco set, so you're not alone Alekk. However, being an aforementioned petite female, I took note of inventor Ross' hefty forearms...nice on Ross, not on me though. Considered the Air...but to get a tiny compressor for home use over-complicates a beautifully simple device; I might as well get a plugged grinder& machine as I don't want a nice set a popeye arms.

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