Wax on . . .
. . . . Wax off
Im new to this science for inorder to make a good brew you need to be a scientist. I have a number of freiends who have given away their machines as they think the whole process is a total waste of time. I inherited one such machine and surely i got a better cup of coffee from the 43 bean jar. Why so you ask? Well its like this. go purchase you machine and they give some nicely printed instructions dont they. Yep they are so good they tell you how to turn it on, how to make hot water, to fill the portafilter and how to make steam. Great just great. But does all this switching and pushing of leavers make a good brew.......of course not. The first lesson then in making a good drinkable brew is to remember that they are just instructions on how to operate the machine.... not instructions on how to make great coffee. Something like Windows, they tell you how to point and click but they DON"T tell you why you have to do this!!!
Now in order to make great coffee you need to understand a few things. read, read and read still some more, here at coffee snobs is much information you will not find in your cornflakes box!
I nearly gave this game away as its too hard to master...but is it. First tip.. just think you are making coffee esence not a cup of cofee...that comes later. Bed time. More to come. have fun, Kualityman.
Wax on . . .
. . . . Wax off
^Great comeback, Rob!! ;)
I think that its probably been said so many times were all a bit tired of hearing it now.
But coffee is what you make of it. Its not a hard science to master and certainly no more difficult than trying to put together a meal for a family, IMO. Some also consider it art, but I think mainly a bit of effort, time and care and you can produce drinkable coffee. Stick to some of the essential basics and this is what you should get.
But like anything, we like to lift it to the next level and so you see people like those here on this forum get together and discuss how they can do it better!
And so, here we are, with telephones, the internet, tv, computers, movies, cars, planes, automatic coffee machines (I had a laugh) you name it. All because someone thought it could be done better and went out and did it. ;)
Once again Guys thanks for the feedback it gets the mind thinking doesnt it? Im afraid I am a green horn and im bound to say what has been said before as its all new teritory for me. So I appolgise in advance to those that find my reasoning a little stale but watch this space as i am on a voyage of discovery and you never know what we may find along the way.
My bitch is that we buy coffee machines with little or no knowledge on how to produce a great brew and in the process give the appliance a bad name. Automatic machines are out there I know but if one understand the process one can create a great brew with a very simple machine. Its all a question of know how. More to come as I reveal how to get the best out of the Sunbeams both the Stainless Crema model and the basic plastic.
Gday Kualityman, and welcome to the furum.
That depends on where you buy your set up from. If you buy it from a reputable dealer (insert reference to, and plug for the site sponsors here *8-) ) youll have its workings fully explained and be shown how to use it .My bitch is that we buy coffee machines with little or no knowledge on how to produce a great brew and in the process give the appliance a bad name.
As youve already bought or inherited your machine and grinder, you might want to invest in a coffee preparation course. A lot of them will let you bring in your machine and grinder and will give you some advice on how to get the best out of it. Then its a matter of practice, practice and a bit more practice.
Have a search through the forums, you might find an answer to a question that you want to ask, has already been answered.
Having said that, dont be afraid to ask questions here. A wise man once told me, "Theres no such thing as a dumb question." ;)
Again, welcome aboard.
Thanks Lovely your words of wisdom are pearls. The truth of the matter is that most white good merchants would not have a clue on how to make a good coffee. Dealing with a coffee house is without doubt the best advice for a newbe, trouble is most of dont even know such people exist until we embark on the journey and find places such as this. This site is truely a gold mine all you have to do is go digging.
Now it has been my experience when people come over and I offer to make a coffee my wife comes out with "dont set him off for this is his new found passion" Over a few months now I have made a few mugs and the comment I now get is" Gee it tastes just like one you would by at a good coffee shop, real smooth." Now thats a compliment so i figure I must be doing something right for a newbe a Green Bean if ever there was. So my mission is to help those who have just bought a machine and would like to know how to make a good coffee. I am not talking here of those automatic machines that do everything but even then the brew can be improved by understanding what the machine is try to accomplish. So over time I shall explain how to get a good brew out of an el-cheapo. More to come.
I think there are many of us here that can relate to this.Originally Posted by Kualityman link=1145109525/0#5 date=1145184311
Let us celebrate coffee passion!
Let the pigeons loose! ;D
Sorry Kualityman if my post seemed a bit harsh there. (I meant it in the nicest possible way and didnt mean offence).
Being a Green Bean here myself I didnt want to say stuff that these guys have heard before. :-[
But I totally agree with you on your comment about coffee machines being sold with not one word of how to do it from general retailers. Its sad in a way as the average joe takes home their machine expecting to get a great cup of coffee that rivals their local cafe and when they find its too hard, they go back to the dreaded instant coffee because they can get a consistently okay cup of coffee.
Though at the same time, kudos to Sunbeam for having a bit of a go and issueing a dvd now with their current machine. Its easy to understand and Paul Bassett does a good job of explaining the finer art. I dont know what everyones feelings are towards this guy, but I admire him for trying to get the massess to understand and love good coffee like he does. The only thing I dislike about his dvds are the annoying camera movements all the time!! Hold the damn thing still so I can see what hes doing for crying out loud!! :)
Hence the value of buying from your friendly site sponsors 8-) who live coffee rather than just move boxes - department store style. Maybe sometimes its actually worth paying just a few bucks more than evilBay when you take into account pre and post sales service, warranty, having somebody who cares on the other end of the line.....I could go on..... ;)
True, a few dollars more for some, however for others it is in the Hundreds and then comes the grinder that you find you now need :-) ( Still chasing a em0480 :-* ).Originally Posted by 2muchcoffeeman link=1145109525/0#9 date=1145234401
KualityMan ( should be Gadget Man) and I have the misfortune ;D to actually know each other and to be the thorn in each others side ;)
Both of us have CHEEP sunbeams and would love to go to the next step, however the $$$ and our personal safety at home suggests that bigger and better units will have to wait...
However even with these almost fool proof systems we hear of users doing the most foolish things and then turning away from coffee. Scoota gal your second post was spot on as you also confirm that we are coming from the same place.
Others I have directed here have some times indicated that it all appeared to high tec or that they did not want to ask stupid questions etc.
KualityMan and I have found that some people for eg just keep the coffee running ( and you know how quick it does in a cheep system) to make a full cup or / mug. Others will stop it and then place a second cup and fill it if they happen to have a double basket fitted.
Many hear / read about the magic 30 second pull, but do not realise that with an EM3600 or a EM4800 etc that 10 to 15 sec with a double basket, is often the best you will do (colour change detected) and that Tamping and the Grind will assist to obtain a better shot, even with the pressurised basket.
Then others (we have them at work) go and spend many hundreds to upgrade and become a little disillusioned. Why, because with their new unit Silvia or a Classic they then need a new better quality grinder ( more $$$) and to top it off, they now have to spend extra time temp surfing etc. to get a good shot.
Where does it end ?
Soz if I have gotten off track, but had a hard weekend.
If some one does make the choice for what ever the reason; How, can we encourage those users and purchasers of CHEEP equipment to persist, gain some experience and then grow confident enough to take the next step in the path to caffeine enlightenment.
For my $0.02 I could only suggest that for relatively a pain free way to a good cup of coffee is that there really is nothing wrong with a good old fashioned plunger that has been warmed up (and a warmed cup) previous to the brew being done. I find it a bit strange that all that is talked about on this site is about machines, machines, machines........
Plungers are quick, easy, not as much mess and cheaper. Youre probably less youre less likely to be left a bit bitter about how much you spent for an ordinary result. Lets face it; generally speaking domestic machines are never going to be commercial machines. True plungers, dont produce the same coffee as an expresso but the thing to appreciate is it just a different taste, not nessecarily better or worse.
The real advantage I have found with keeping my coffee preparation simple is that the money not spent on buying a machine has left free money for things that can really improve the tatse of your coffee like grinders and roasters.
Colour changed, a bit hard to read........
Wow guys seems like I finally hit the neve. SCOOTA GAL you are spot on, and by the by no offence taken.
Yes I have to admit I know ANGER MANAGMENT, twas he that steered me here in the first place. kept sending me URLs info info and still more info. Yeh wax on.......wax off i get the message but tis true just sit around the meal room table and bring up the subject of coffee making. There is an overwhelming disinterest generally and the basic all time remark is "Its just tooooo difficult."
Now with my cheep plastic Sunbeam, the lowest priced machine in the Sunbeam range, I can now make quite a good coffee. In fact i also own a Cafe series all stainless model as well. I bought this thinking it would make a better brew. Alas alas how wrong can a guy be.
The simple truth is that the plastic machine does not use the water pump when creating steam and hence produces a much better drier steam than the SS Model as it has its pump running and over supplies the thermoblock and hence one gets very wet steam. Frothing milk with this means a 20% dilution because of the condensate.
Now if one happens to generate some steam up front when testing things out, well this proves to be a mistake. You see the thermo block has been over heated to produce the steam.
When you finish with the steam and before making a second shot you should run some water through the machine into an empty jug. At first you will not get any signs of water as the block is just too hot but then after a minute it explodes with a burst of steam and finally hot water. Let this run a wee while until you think the temerature has stabilized and then proceed with your second shot.
because of the erratic movement of the hot water above the grinds they tend to leave a residual in and around the shower screen. So you need a rag handy to wip up inside the showerscreen. Remember its B hot and dont burn your fingers. Old grinds lend to bitter coffee so its vital you keep eveything clean.
Finally i flush the machine after my brew and then use the hot water and the rag to clean the steam pipe head. It cleans real easy if it is wiped with a wet cloth.
Its time for THE BILL and a coffee to wind up the day.
Good tips there, Kualityman for the Sunbeam Cafe series....
I might have accidently blown up one by not doing this when I was busy trying to make coffees for visitors once. The machine just all lit up (all the lights on the buttons) and it got very very hot and there was an odd burning smell and then, nothing. So I switched it off at the wall. Thankfully it was still under warranty and the machine was happily replaced by the retailer and Sunbeam. Cant argue with that service!At first you will not get any signs of water as the block is just too hot but then after a minute it explodes with a burst of steam and finally hot water
Some one on here suggested, and Im sorry I have forgot who it was but it was in my intro thread, that I remove the plastic out of the portafiller for the Sunbeam. I wondered for a few days what was meant and then whilst staring blankly at the metal portafiller realised that it had been done so months ago because it was such a horrid place where things could grow!! ;)
Well I have to say we are now getting to the heart of the matter. ANGER MANAGEMENT, well hes not really like his photo but I have to say that armed with any machine he can pull a good shot.
Of course there will be some test runs in order to find the starting point but this is essentially where its at...aint it? What was it Mumsy used to say "If at first you dont succeed try try again."
Trouble is instruction books dont tell you where you are going wrong.
What we want is a universal help line. How about we get all coffee machine importers and manufacturers to put a statement in their instruction books that says something like" If you are in trouble and need help to make your machine work for you log on to Coffee Snobs and seek the answers before you throw it out or give it away."
What say you?
Kualityman, my Sunbeam machine has a "Sunbeam Coffee Help Line" and a 1800 number printed on a sticker.
Ive never had the need to ring the number. Anyone else here done so??
Originally Posted by scoota gal link=1145109525/15#15 date=1145435337
My wife did with the first one when we had problems, and all they did was to direct her to a service centre. Which she took the unit to and the service person was able to explain what the problem was.
KualityMan is a Quality focused person and firmly believes that the suppliers can do better :-) Is that not right KualityMan ?
However, I can see how to some degree they (the suppliers) could see that it is not cost effective and one must ask. To date has it restricted sales ? I think not. Besides if the user become fussy with their cheep system, then there is always an upgrade to a better system where support is provided is available.
Thus the consumer society is supported and that disposable cash is what the suppliers are looking for :-)
Besides, is it not the fact that some of us like to be ahead of the game and look forward to being the local expert :-) to assist and enlighten some of our less able friends ;D.
We only have to look at the computer industry to see and understand that 99% of users really have little if any real understanding of the system they use. Does that hurt the PC industry ::) …..
In fact it strengthens it, as the demand for a quick and easy fix is what most are look for and the same with the coffee machines. You only have to look at the new fully automated home system available and even at 3K plus they sell plenty. As to the quality of the final product, most of these users would not realy care ::)
However the purest will always revert to first principles and with that being the case, where is that cezve, briki, mbiki or toorka I had stashed away…
Well Mr Anger Managment, marketing is marketing and they all do what they have to to get their product into the marketplace. We then, the consumer, only get the crumbs that we are fed. All that aside, thats a different arguement, what we want is to be able to simply make a superb coffee without a lot of fuss. First we need to have a machine which is capable of producing coffee to our desired taste then we need to understand how we operate that machine to produce the coffee taste we desire. So what im saying is that if we understand our machine, basic or otherwise, then armed with the knowledge of what make a good coffee we can get the most out of our equipment no matter what that maybe.
So im simply saying that one needs to know how ones machine works and what it is capable of. If then this capability is suitable for our needs then there is no need to go any further, simply enjoy what you create.
The ultimate process is, please correct me if im wrong:
1. Roast the beans
2. Grind the beans
3. Preheat the coffee maker test hot water
4. Place the gind in the portafilter
5. Tamp the grind
6. Pre heat the cup or utensil that you are going to make your brew in.
7. Make your brew timing the length of shot making
8. Turn on your steam and let it run until you get clean steam.
9. Froth your milk
10.Pour frothed milk onto coffee
11. Shake a sprinkle of chocolate over the top.
12. Take an armchair, a good book and enjoy what you have just created.
Now what i have listed above contains a large number of variables. It is essential therefore that at each stage you understand what is happening and thus produce the coffee you desire with some degree of repeatability.
Now witness the content of this site as to how to address the variables.
Tip for today: Place dried rice or peas in your chocolate sprinkle container to prevent it becoming lumpy. I find rice is best as it makes for a finer powder when shaken.
Above all have fun
Oh I almost forgot. Jugi you are absolutely right in your thinking. It is all a matter of taste when all is said and done. I have a friend who swears by his plunger but I have to say the taste is different and not as mellow as an expresso. But so what, if this is what you like then go for it.
Expensive machines are , to my mind at least, designed around repreatability and this is achieved through automation of the process. They attempt to manage the variables. Nothing wrong with that if at the end of day you get what you want.
Im saying that armed with a little knowledge you can produce perfectly good coffee from a machine that has capability if you understand the process.
Time for a brew.
I must agree with the gist of this topic as I had been given a low end machine for my birthday some years ago. My wife used it to make me coffee for several months (That was sweeet) as she has a little experience making coffee in a restaurant. Eventually I took over with some small instruction from the good wife and I off and ran with it. Lots of fun until I killed my machine. So I relegated the machine to room of things that have died and ignored it for many months.
Then I joined you guys at CS. Did a bunch of reading and finally got that book " Barista Techniques" by Doyle. I realised that my dead machine could use another look. So i digged it out cleaned it up and started to understand what was happening. The machine wasnt dead! it wasnt great! but not actually dead. Now I could do stuff and understand the results and how to "fix any problems that arose.
Knowledge was all I needed and although I dont have much I am starting to understand and use my machine effectively
Well done.. The problem for many is "Knowledge " or more importantly where to obtain it :-)Originally Posted by doppler link=1145109525/15#19 date=1145503784
Have you been talking to A Current Affair lately?? ;)
Seriously, theres a report on "Home Coffee Machines" on there tonight. Will get back to you all when its been said and done...
At last i think we are all seeing the light as it were. Doppler, what a great story, it is exactly this kind of story that I think has happened to many would be coffee makers. As Anger Management states, "knowledge is everything." I repeatedly got all sorts of issues with my SS machine and was on the verge of doing a Doppler!
Anger Management asked me what i was doing and then fell off the chair laughing.Hey what I thought was logical was that i placed the ground coffee in the portafilter. Cliped it onto the machine placed me mug underneath it and turned on the hot water. All too easy.
It was logial to me at least that if I wanted a MUG of coffee then I ran the machine until the mug was near full allowing just enough room for the frothy milk. Now I should say that it took 6 heaped teaspoonfuls of sugar to get the brew anywhere near drinkable. But hey that didnt phase me. So emotionly involved was I that a placed a second mug under the portafilter and made a second cup. Gee this mug i just couldnt get sweet no matter how much sugar I loaded into the mug. Whats wrong with this stupid machine I self expressed!
As you can now imagine telling my story to Anger Management was like a red rag to a bull. He just couldnt help himself. His words of wisdom were,"try pulling a 10 second shot." A what I asked? "Try using only the first 10seconds of the brew." What i said, and waste all that good coffee?" Again he burst into fits of hysteria before finally burting out, "the small filter is designed for one shot, one shot equals one cup of coffee."
Really i replied, does this mean i have to clean and refill the machine for every cup?" Well we all what the answer to that question is ....dont we?
So finally I was put on the yellow brick road. There was a marked improvement in the brew and I actually took back everything I thought about the machine! Anger Management proceed, over the coming weeks, to send me URLs relating to the issues I was having at any given point in time.
Now armed with the knowledge I proceed to take another look at my machines and experimented to get the best brew for me.
Now I understand the limitations of the machines and can produce the best brew possible from them. Not necessarily the best ever brew but a very pleasant and drinkable coffee.
My aim in the coffee world is to own a La Pavoni Professional as, being an engineer, I believe that given a certain amount of tweeking this machine has great potential. The price though is out my marriage and hence a distant wish. Hey if any wants to throw one my way no matter what condition, ill pay the postage.
Im currently looking at a stove top Bellman, does anyone have any experience with these? Id like to go Atomic but then they go for a small fortune. If you have one of these keep it, one day on collectables it will fetch a fortune.
In the mean time i am very happy to announce that i have just place my order with Vitali for the IMex roaster and some green beans. The next step as it were.
So affectionardos what do i need to know about this machine, especially roasting times.
No Scoota girl i didnt know about a current afair or I would have watched it myself. What was the gist of their story?
Having fun? You betcha.
Better still im enjoying my coffee.
Originally Posted by Kualityman link=1145109525/15#22 date=1145527568
Well, like most "a current affair" stories, it seemed more to be about advertising a product. Cynic that I am!! :)
They took four guys, Paul Bassett, John Forsyth and two others, one the guy from Single Origin Cafe and I cant remember the third fellow. :-[ But if you went to their website youd probably be able to find out.
They had several machines ranging from the basic entry level right through to the upper echelon auto machines and one Expobar as this is the machine John Forsyth sells (apparently).
They didnt tell us anything new, just tested each machine and gave a rating on each with a final decision made by all on the best value machine for money and the best machine to get a good cup of coffee. Obviously the Sunbeam twin thermoblock was the clear winner, according to the four of them.
The Expobar was just eye candy!!
Ah Kuailityman much reading, typeing and talking ahead in the search of brewing coffee perfection which I think you will achive. Invite me round for the ultimate brew when youve got it sorted.
I suggest going to some direct sources in your ongoing quest in all things coffee as well as asking here a CS. SweetMarias U.S. website a god source of info and user friendly. Also suggest Kenneth Davids "Home Coffee Roasting - Romance and Revival" book, its an oldie but goodie. Im yet to see a better one on the topic.
Are you geting a grinder or do you have one?
As for the Imex I suggest roasting no more than 130 to 135g grams of beans at a time. The rest youll muddle through ie. the hunting for beans, burning them, over brewing them, grinding them wrong, saying "that tastes like poo" until you say................"AH! Thats pretty good but what if put in a touch more........".
As you sound like an engineer type Id be interested to hear if you think of modifying your Imex at any stage.
P.S. the story on ACA was basically an ad as far as I could see. Choice did a better job (as you would hope they would).
The Expobar did look good though..............
Hi Chris,Originally Posted by 2muchcoffeeman link=1145109525/0#9 date=1145234401
And there-in lies the problem I think.....
When I first started out on this journey into trying to produce the best coffee possible, several years ago I asked around some of the specialist coffee shops that seemed to produce better than average brews, but none of them could help me out or advise me on which way to turn to try and setup a home installation (this is pre Internet by the way ;), yeah I know.... showing my age).
I more or less gave up at that time and relegated myself to making coffee with the ubiquitous plunger and sourcing my coffee from either of one or another of specialist coffee shops that were better than the average. It was only with the proliferation of the domestic appliance espresso machines that I noticed in such stores as Myers or DJs, etc that I realised that it was now possible to buy a machine and set up my café bar at home.
Of course, there were many disappointments over time and it has only been in the last couple of years (sadly after I can no longer work for a living) that I came to realise that there were vendors out there who were passionate about promoting the ideal of equipping would-be home baristas with hardware that was/is capable of producing coffee equal to the best that can be produced. If only I had known about these establishments while I was still earning a living, who knows what sort of equipment I might have decorating my kitchen bench now and the wonderful coffee experiences I could have had starting about 10-15 years ago. Ah well, no good waxing lyrical on what might have been, as they say. A little advertising would have gone a long way back then :-/,
In case I forget to say it further along, this has so far been a great journey, Kualityman! ;)
Youve really managed to get me thinking about what we are trying to do here and even though I am not a mechanical tinkerer, I know I can adjust my technique in the actual brewing process to try and acheive the great coffee we are looking for.
Some things that I have thought of, since reading everyones posts last night...
Most of us here are searching for that great cup of home brewed coffee, much like we search for that perfect home made receipe and that perfect bottle of wine. I guess what I am trying to say is that we are people who search for the finer things in life. I am betting that most of you are also into great dining and drinking experiences. Yes?
To me, the average person doesnt want great coffee at home, hence why we have seen the proliferation of these pod machines. I mean, what do they tell you!? What they tell me is that they are there for convenience and ease of use. So that the average instant coffee drinker can do their morning coffee just that little bit better, without too much more fuss!
Ah well. I am probably preaching to the converted here, thoughI think that it is human nature to want to learn, grow and develop. Thankgoodness for books and the internet!
And to all those baristas out there that have kindly let me peer in behind their machine and so generously have given me five minutes of their busy time to answer my neverending questions... I wholeheartedly thank you!! And I thank you as well for trying to serve the best coffee you can possibly serve! :)
Thanks for the journey, Kualityman! Im still travellin with ya! ;)
Its Ok for you, we have to work together as well as visit many of the same forums ;DOriginally Posted by scoota gal link=1145109525/15#27 date=1145573106
The Truth is realized in an instant; the Act is practiced step by step. - Zen saying
PS. Thanks KM for hanging in there, even when I have been at my most " in ya face mode".
ah ... thats Rob Forsyth, not John.
I forgive you :-)Originally Posted by scoota gal link=1145109525/30#30 date=1145606755
But if you go here http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/default.asp and then select the actual story, you can watch it all again.
What a great delight i have awoken the dead as it were. No offense ment I can assure you but Doppler you take the prize. This is exactly what im on about. We go out have a nice evening and sometimes end it with a nice coffee. Then thinking coffee we go shopping and then see an expresso machine. So, being human we think if i buy one of these ill be able to enjoy more great coffee at home without the expense.
How wrong can we be and hence my opening bitch re the lack of "instruction."
Now today i learn that another collegue who had 3 machines, a Black and Decker, a Delonghi and a Breville. The Breville has just been tossed into the bin. You see this guy just installed a new kitchen and his wife thought that the grotty machine was the worst one and this wasnt going to clutter her new kitchen so come bin day out it went!
You can imajine the dialogue that went back and forth between these two carnt you? He survived.
Again this same friend complained about the brew cycle and suggested that perhaps we should "play." So we meet Monday to sort out whats what etc.
So what made me jump into roasting. Well I asked the question and this is the reply I recieved.
Hello Rob - answer is yes freshly roasted does have an
edge, you can taste sweetness as post roasting means oxygenation which is bad for coffee - oxygen kills coffee, so any time lag between roasting and brewing means bitterness will appear, so roast, grind and drink ASAP is best.
Isnt this the essence of truth?
So Im off to discover the joys of roasting. Yesterday i ordered an I Mex from Vitali. For $140 they are shipping an I Mex Roaster and 600grams of 6 - 100gram sample lots plus postage! can you believe that.
Now I sit and watch for the postman. Toward the end of next week i hope.
So what made be go for the IMex? Well this site contains a number of posts re roasting and theres a fair number refering to the use of poppers. Alas mine went in the last garage sale. Then thinking about the process got me looking at a cross sectional drawing of the I Mex. Yes it said to me you are an over grown popper. But it was made of material that can handle heat unlike most poppers. So the price is now in the right bracket and the offer was good to, so i ordered it.
More to come as i unfold the depths of roasting. If you want to read a good write up on the coffee business go see Coast Coffee on the net.
here they grow their own beans, import beans, roast beans, grind coffee,sell coffee, run a coffee shop what more is there?
Here is what he is sending:
Coffee beans..how about 100grm bags of Kenyan, Costa Rican, PNG, Indian, Indonesian and Columbian, 6 x 100grms for $10 for you to try out.
So more fun along the way, ive passed the TinMan but the Lion is catching up!
Do I have a ginder asks Jugi? Yes i most certainly do as control at this end is where it is at as far as i am concerned. I grind fresh for every cup, well not quite some days when i have to please my daughter I grid our needs all at once. I Have a Delonghi KG 100. E Bay job and paid too much for it but then I didnt pay full retail either and so.
After a through clean and some very minor adjustments it now gives me a good grind that suits my process. I have researched into the home market grinders and the write ups on the new Sunbeam EMO480 give it a good wrap. So a few weeks ago i ordered one from Hardly Normal for $155 suggested retail is $199. However no stock till mid May they say. And so i wait.
Its a good job my wife is not computer literate all she sees is my expanding laboratory out on our front vehandah! No room in the kitchen. In our next house the kitchen will be the biggest room in the house. And you though it would be the garage. No there will not be a garage as such just a great big shed where upon I can eat sleep drink lots of coffee and entertain without all the usual hasels.
Im having fun now how about you? Had a good brew today?
You have kept me up way past my bed time so its a good night from me.
H [smiley=cool.gif] [smiley=cool.gif] [smiley=cool.gif]ave fun
If your tired of waiting for Harvey, grab another $20 and go pick yourself one up now at Myers or Good Guys. Have seen plenty of stock in my travels at these places last couple weeks.Originally Posted by Kualityman link=1145109525/30#32 date=1145630272
PS: this thread is proving to be an enjoyable read over last week or so...
Most here would probably agree that generally you should allow 24hrs, preferably 1-3 days, for the roasted beans to degass CO2 before consuming.Originally Posted by Kualityman link=1145109525/30#32 date=1145630272
I try to roast three days ahead where I can. But Ive been known to grind-and-brew the next morning when running low ;D
WOW never in my wildest dreams did I think that coffee would have so many tales to tell.
Thank you lochness for the advice on the EMO480 but I have done the deal through a union shopper so now I wait. No problem as the KG100 does such a good job. But thanks for the info.
Yep I have spent a lot of time and I mean a lot of time reading up in the roasting posts here at CS. Some mighty good stuff there.
So please tell me I have this right?
1. I roast the beans
2. I cool them as quick as possible
3. I package them in a vented enclosure for 24 hours
4. I then seal the packages
5. Grind as required
What i have found a little confusing is that the Guy at Coast Coffee describes the cooling process and even advocates the addition of a water spray.
Now this guy is in business and his business would not prosper if he got it wrong now would it?
My thinking is that if we cool the beans, in order to preserve the time of roast, (critical mass if you like) then moisture is likely to be absorbed into the bean is it not? Just how critical is this cooling period? Theres a lot of you out there using collanders and i guess the real answer is to do the same thing each time one roasts and hence gain consistancy.
So if i time my roast to any given point and from that moment i cool in a collander and the period in the collander should be until when, I can safely handle them or what???
Can anyone advise me as to what temperature the bean would be considered cooled? The easy answer here is ambient temp but this will depend on the nature of the bean. The rapid cooling is to preserve the required taste is it not?
Next month I am up that way and intend to call in and have a coffee or 2 and glean some info and some beans.
Thinking this issue through it would be good to have a cold air blower would it not? Do such things exist or is this something else I must invent? Again avoiding condensation would to me be the main aim.
The collander cooling method. Has anyone ever placed the SS colander in the fridge prior to using it to cool the beans? If so did you have any problems with condensation as the Queenland climate tends to be high with humidity and hence most things taken out of the fridge show condensate quickly.
The journey along the coffee brick road is interesting and the enjoyment of drinking the source of ones creation is without doubt very satisfying.
In the begining of time it took me many attemps and lots of sugar and i man lots of sugar before I mastered the process. Time taken to make a brew has gone from something like 20minutes, I kid you not consider all the preparation, to no more than 3 to 4 minutes depending on how hot I have the milk. Cappuccinos are my go or else a long latte.
My goal is to remove the sugar from my drink and to date have gone from 3 large teaspoonfulls of raw sugar to just one. Yes i have a very large mug. I find that as the coffee mellows that the sugar is not necessary. So to understand the brewing process is critical to acheiving much pleasure later.
Talking of mugs the SS Sunbeam is a real pain when it comes to making a brew as one has to use small containers to catch the essence and then transfer this to ones drinking utensil. I have bought from Aldi a set (2) cappuccino SS cups that now serve my purpose but then they make for more washing up.
The plastic Sunbean has greater height and hence one can get a bigger cup under it.
Frothing milk is another issue with these machines as the steam spout is also in the wrong spot. It should come out more so that one can get the jug under it and move the jug around until full then upon removal there is sufficient space to withdraw the jug without spilling.
The plastic machine is slightly better as it has more height. I guess a modification is required, either extend the existing tube or add a flexible tube just worried about burning my fingers!
Finally what is the best chocolate to use for dusting? I see from one supplier that he sells a grater for grating actual chocolate. Im currently using Cadburys drinking chocolate, with rice added. Any suggestions.
Heres one to set the sparks flying how does one become a qualified Barista, home or otherwise? Are there courses? If so who and where?
Wops im in trouble the old lady has just asked "What are you, doing the lawn needs mowing." Thats a statement of fact but a coffee first and then another aferwards. Shes off to a Tupperware party need i say more!!! Coffee storage containers?
My best advice is dont be afraid to experiment with your machine the more you understand it the better your brew will be. Do the wine thing make a brew taste it and spit it out until you find the perfect process for your coffee.
Ive just turn the machine on great anticipation before having to mow the lawn.
Just watched the ACA video. What a load of cods wallop. Sams? comments at the end say it all. He states that he was supprised that the low end machines can make an equally as good cup as at the top end.
Now buying the $2,000 machine does not mean you will make great coffee. It means that it has the greatest potential to make a great coffee given the degree of control over the process.
"Given that it gives a greater control over the process." is the thing to remember. Hey but first someone has to advise what that process is and what the variables are. Otherwise expect to get just mud.
Like Sam said the cheap machines were surprising and that is because being so called experts in the art of coffee making he knows how to operate the machine to get the best out of it.
Think bulldozer. Think driving it. The book of words says push this button and the engine will start hey thats great. Then pull this leaver and it will move off. Ok so you mastered the controls good well done. But all this doesnt mean that you can operate a buldozer now does it? How to layout a footy field all perfectly flat? Do they tell this in the manual?
So making a good coffee is having the time to understand the whole process know how to operate your machine to match the criteria for producing good coffee and hey presto youre off your head with a caffin overdose.
Machines ready and so is the lawn.
Have fun and thanks Anger Management for the URL. I wish i was the reporter! [smiley=evil.gif] [smiley=evil.gif] [smiley=evil.gif]
Yeah- an "interesting" piece....MY CG reply consisted of:
"The poor performance of the superautos was no surprise....I guess if you expect to get espresso nirvana on the press of a button, youre somewhat naive. When judged using the criteria they used, *the outcomes for the machines tested were reasonable.
Its probably not a big jump to interpret the whole segment as a well-placed Sunbeam Advertorial. With the bucket baskets in the Basset spec. Sunbeam, youd want to get a pretty good espresso. I dont believe it was fair for Paul to be a judge in this case- given that he designed the machine. One wonders what size the baskets on the minore were??
The bottom line is that a well used HX or Minore for that matter is likely to kick sunbeam butt on consistency, performance and ultimate espresso quality- but at a cost $$$$- and without using a bucket load of coffee. As for the 10 sec superauto shots from 5g of coarse ground coffee, well what would you expect? And the perception of "value"? I reckon thats all in the eye of the beholder....
Can an owner clarify what Sunbeams "5 year commercial warranty" actually means.....Does a service man visit your home the same day to replace any worn or broken bits???? Hmmm.... "
It seems that the Sunbeam is clearly a very good machine- albeit witht he inherent compromises of the thermoblock system. As we all appreciate, quality training will foster an understanding of espresso chemistry and an appreciation for consistency and cleanliness- which will lead to the best possible performance out of any machine....
Well stated Chris. I have to agree with you please remember im a green bean but I have an enquiring mind and Im not seeking perfection only an acceptable result and that result doesnt have to be to anyone elses liking.
My journey has shown that armed with the right knowledge i can indeed make myself a nice mellow brew that i enjoy. All the hype about this machine being better than that machine doesnt cut it with me. One cannot reach utopia and really there is no need to go this far. You just need to be able to enjoy what you create. Is the ultimate a GOD SHOT?
I can see some mods to my portafilter coming up, like turning it naked.
As you state Chris;
" As we all appreciate, quality training will foster an understanding of espresso chemistry and an appreciation for consistency and cleanliness- which will lead to the best possible performance out of any machine.... "
Im with you on this one.
And so as they say cleanliness is next to Godliness does this mean im close at getting a GOD SHOT?
Id like to think so.
Just finished the lawn and now to that send brew.
I made the comment earlier on this thread that domestic machines will never be commercial machines. The Expobar from what I could see did appear to be a commercial grade machine that was made into a domestic size. Looks may be decieving and I many be incorrect.Originally Posted by Kualityman link=1145109525/30#36 date=1145677624
The variables in this case is the pressure that the coffee is exracted under. I would define a domestic machine as those sold at department stores like Krupps, Saeco, Sunbeam, etc, etc. (correct me here someone if I am wrong (2MCM?)) and they cannot exract coffee under the same pressure as a commercial machine. I wold imagine this is where the expen$e comes in for dearer domestic machines in most cases, not counting over pricing or show pony machines.
As for the cooling cycle many people advocate at times using a water mister or similar to cool the beans, but the trick is not to over do it. Ambiant air temp probably has the most to do with it. I prefer not to use water, Im a bit paranoid about water on my beans prior to brew. I instead prefer colander + fan. Refer attached pic. Simple and effective, I can leave it to cool while I do other stuff which is usually roasting more beans. By the time the next roast is done, beans are cool. I only roast in small batches of around 150gr to 200gr at the most so my small fan and colander are sufficent.
Also Kualityman the only re-occuring problem I have seen from domestic machines (yes they do produce ok coffee despite my preferance for plungers!) is when they are not de-scaled regularly. If they are not de-scaled regulary it will generally lead to a clogged up boiler, which will then break down. Read a broken down boiler as the heart of the machine and most expen$ive part to replace/fix. The next step for most at this stage is a new machine.
Also do not (as my dear old mum ::) did with her Saeco she won in a comp) leave it on ALL the time so its "ready" for a brew whenever reuired. Its not required. This apparently leads to a broken termostat, which luckily Saeco saw as a faulty part and replaced without hassle. Whew! I cannot believe I am her son sometimes........
In response- many/most have a vibe pump- theyre pretty much all the same. In fact the issue with many domestic machines is that pump pressure is not limited to 8 or 9 bar- which most experts believe is ideal.Originally Posted by Jugi link=1145109525/30#39 date=1145688384
"Domestic" covers a spectrum of over 2.5k....It includes low end department store brands as well as high-end HX and dual boiler machines.
I think you may find that the "cooling cycle" you refer to is a cooling flush- most commonly used to flush the group of the machine and bring it to operating temperature. Misting of freshly roasted beans is a completely different concept and I dont believe that it has particular relevance to this discussion.
Scale can be an issue in areas with hard warter- leading to premature failure/breakdown of machines. This is why many CSers and others choose to use either a water softener in their machine tank or some other method of softening water- e.g a jug or in-line tap filter....
So we have identified the variables and to some extent have come to understand them. The posts following this subject have revealed there is imence wealth of knowledge out there.
2muchcoffee, the cooling I am refering to is the cool down after a roast and not with the actual machine. You are absolutely right about boiler scale and particulary at high temperatures it can be the very devil. You see way back early in life I was a Marine Engineer and hence familiar with engines boilers and the like.
It has indeed occured to me that to maximize the life of any unit one should ensure that it is fed with pure water. Boilers clog up and overheat if left uncleaned and of course they become inefficient. So descaling should be part of everyones regular maintenance routine.
So come on some of you must have gone down the water preperation road with filters and reverse osmosis units, are they really worth the trouble of maintenance and upkeep? What would you recommend and why?
Jugi, I love your novel cooling aid if that works for you it can most certainly work for me. Your batch size would be about the same for me so keeping it simple is a great way to go.
Thank you now to await the postman
Have fun...I have had too many cups today!!
Where I work buys chocolate from the same supplier as the coffee. But it looks just like Cadbury drinking chocolate powder to me.Originally Posted by Kualityman link=1145109525/30#35 date=1145675369
There are courses for becoming a Barista. I guess I should preempt any other replies here and say that the site sponsors are some that run courses. ;) Though I dont know if they are in Queensland.Originally Posted by Kualityman link=1145109525/30#35 date=1145675369
If you google "Barista Training" for Australia you will be impressed (like I was) with the amount of places that do training of some sort or another. I guess the cafe industry is becoming a huge place!
On completely different topic (well still about coffee! ;D) compliments are coming from all directions at work over the standard of coffee that is now being served up (thanks to yours truly! No, I dont have tickets! :P) One that came from a prominent regular local yesterday was "Have you changed the coffee beans?" I just gave her a smile and said "No, weve changed the coffee maker!"
Even the boss is saying "Before we sold s**t coffee, now we sell great coffee!"
All is good. :)
Oh, 2mcm, I asked a friend who has that twin thermoblock Sunbeam (sorry cant remember the number designation! :-[) last night about the so called "5 year commercial warranty". He was a bit surprised and said that as far as he knew it was a one year replacement warranty and a 5 year replacement warranty on the pump. Does that make sense?
Another thing I have heard about the Sunbeams and this may be discussed elsewhere, so excuse me if I am repeating anything...Apparently someone has said that they do have very strong pumps and that you can put them under pretty tough pressure (well, I know that we certainly do! You should hear it sometimes! :)) And if you dont have any problems with them in the first twelve months, then you probably never will.
Anyway... Im off to find a new Sunbeam grinder too! ;)
Enjoy your Sunday coffee, Kualityman!! :)
[QUOTE=scoota gal link=1145109525/30#42 date=1145745841]Hmm...thought it sounded like PB was blowing it out of his a$$....Sure looked like he was making it up in the segment ;DOriginally Posted by Kualityman link=1145109525/30#35 date=1145675369
Hi Scoota gal,
Thanks for the info and you being in the trade an all. You are the epitamy of this thread. You see armed with the right knowledge you are now producing QUALITY COFFEE.
The word quality here refers to the fact that what you make is acceptable to both Boss and Customer.
What I mean by this is that both sides of the busines win by your attention to the process. I can feel the job satisfaction you are getting especially when the boss says you now make great coffee.
Well done a fantastic achievement.
You see I am a Quality Manager in the real world and strive to teach business how to float the bottom line and keep it on the up and up. This is a very hard thing to accomplish in the real world as most managers are not open to suggestion I have found. They know it all as it were.
The old adage "the customer is aways right" is right even if they are completely wrong!
For many this is a very hard lesson. How to treat the evil customer, now thats a whole web site in itself. I am also a partner in a business so I indeed practice what i preach. I hasten to add that its not the coffee business but it is a store.
You have taken the time out to find out more about your skill and trade than the first lesson of how to use your coffee machine. There is no doubt as WOMM comes into play you will see an increase in trade.
Hence you are sustaining the business bottom line.
The thinking used to get you to where you are should now be applied to every other aspect of the business. Then watch it grow. This is where I have the most fun when working with a CEO or business owner. Yes I also know that some scribes here run training schools and the like and if your boss has any sense he should fund you into the next level or levels. This is what i call getting the most out of the employee such that they love their job and the business loves having them. Truely a win win situation.
What I am advocating here is the gaining of knowledge and here we refer to the process of making a coffee that excites a customer and even the Boss. You can only improve on this by increasing the number of coffees served and because of WOMM you should see this.
I frequent a coffee shop locally as i know each and every time I have a coffee there I get the same great standard of service and the product is entirely to my liking. Hence I go back again and again. The money doesnt bother me because i am getting a service more than i am paying for. This in turn leads to great business success.
You are then the epitamy of this success.
Because of my new found knowledge, thanks Anger Management, and to those who have contributed to this thread, I am now very critical of poping into any old coffee shop to get a coffee. I can even tell what they are doing wrong, and yes i do complain when its not to my liking. Nicely of course. But what this means is that I tend to have a favourite coffee haunt and only one or 2 at best.
What this means for those businesses is that they have gained a customer for life and I in turn bring my friends to the same coffee shop. They in turn are delighted with the service and so on and so on.
In the early days in Quality we would use the example of buying a coffee and getting a chocolate or biscuit as a freeby extra. We would refer to this as exciting quality a bribe to get you to come back. Now of course everyone does this in some shape or form so its not exciting anymore. It has become expected. Now comes the test how to maintain this degree of excitiment?
Well we should learn that the bribe is only necessary when the product is inferior. If I make great coffee then over time the world will get to know and my business will grow.
You have done well scoot gal and your story is a great one.
So anyone selling home espresso machines should indeed know how to make a great coffee from it and be able to demonstrate this to the customer. It doesnt matter what that machine is. Time spent edcuating the customer has its own WOMM.
On a busy day in the shop I spent 20 minutes with a customer who in the end bought nothing. They got the benefit of my knowledge. Back then to a busy shop floor. So ten days later this same cistomer comes into the store and spent $800 and was there for only 10 minutes.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think creating a thread about coffee would reveal such a great success story.
Well done scoota gal.
Yes I have just enjoyed a nice coffee and made one for my daughter also. She licks her lips and I say no, one is all you get.
Scoota gal you made my day.
kulaityman [smiley=kiss.gif] [smiley=kiss.gif] [smiley=kiss.gif] [smiley=laugh.gif]
Check out the following link.....http://tinyurl.com/zctu9. You should be able to find someone of integrity somewhere in this lot :),
Hey there, Kualityman.
How goes your journey?? Ive been missing reading your posts and have been wondering where youve gone and got to.
Anyway, my journey still continues. Heres another story for you that I nearly started a new thread on but decided not to in the interests of not spamming! ;)
A new concept creeping into all aspects of life...
As a rural resident, one other hobby I have is horses. And occasionally I will go to a horse show to compete. Just this weekend past I went to a (fairly) local agricultural show to do such a thing. As most of you can probably imagine, there are little "ag shows" dotted all around our country and every weekend throughout the year, there will be a show on somewhere. Of course, they are miniature versions of the greater Royals and Eccas and the like in the bigger cities. One thing they all have in common is their "Sideshow alley". The "carnies" are always trying different things to keep people coming back to their same rides, food and showbags and this year has been no exception!
As we strolled down the relatively small alley at this particular show, I was kind of amazed to see that the Coffee Cart has come to the show! ::) Being wary of having someone else make my coffee, I stood back and let my girlfriend order for herself a latte. As I watched with interest, the "barista" took the preground coffee out of a tin and after putting some into the porta filler, lightly tapped it with the back of the spoon which had been used to put the coffee into said porta filler and plugged it into the group head. I couldnt see the pour from where I was standing.
The milk frothed to an inch of its life and half a cup of foam later, my friend declared it was "ordinary" and "lacking any flavour"! I was given some to try myself and thought it was no better than a cup of instant coffee. She even paid me a compliment by saying how good the cup of coffee was that I had made her at home a few months prior. (I was amazed she even remembered that!)
Of course, I had half thought it was too good to be true, that the carnival folk would actually know how to make a good brew. To think that they could be bothered with a coffee machine but not actually have a grinder with it amazed me a little. But they do tend to do things cheaply and expect that they will get great returns. Personally I think its a hard life and I could never find myself living like they do.
So, next time you go to your local ag show, beware the "Coffee Cart". It may just be staffed by a bored "carnie" employee that has no idea and no interest in making your coffee experience memorable.
*My apologies to any "carnie folk" that may read this and I hope I have not inadvertently insulted any of you here. But the coffee was terrible and there is room for improvement. ;)
Oh, and how much was the coffee? Four bucks for that. Even our coffee is cheaper at work at 3.80 for a large takeaway! :o
He has been hard at work on e-bay and now ownes a number of new machines including a new Em0480 grinder.Originally Posted by scoota gal link=1145109525/45#46 date=1147674334
He is awaiting on my order for some Krups filter baskets and then his road down the coffee train will pick up :-)
My old man is from the bush (the real bush) and grew up with some of Australia’s bush pioneers- Kidman etc and until recently had a number of Arabs :-)
As a bushy he had to do most of his own repairs so has a strong hobby in making small saddles, all to scale, including hand carving the tree. He also makes stock whips to help pass time away.
He likes his coffe BLACK :-) and is happy even when it goes cold and a few flies drown :-)
Thats some awesome work there AM! Your pas got quite the skill there. [smiley=tekst-toppie.gif]
Java "Wishes he could carve like that" phile
:o WOW! That is a beautiful piece of art, AM. Your dad has really got a terrific talent. I can appreciate how much work he must put into that sort of thing as I own a couple of western saddles (full size!) myself and theyre pretty intricately carved too.
Were out near the "Kidman Way" as well, so I know exactly what you are talking about when you say the "real bush". Heck, we dont even consider ourselves in the bush here, whilst others closer to the coast would! ::)
Thanks for filling us in about Kualityman. I look forward to his return! ;)