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Thread: Becoming a Grey Nomad

  1. #1
    Senior Member Shotgun's Avatar
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    Becoming a Grey Nomad

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all
    Wifey and I are becoming Grey Nomads and are extremely concerned about our coffee addiction.

    We have a Vibiemme and a Mazzer mini and use good fresh beans at home but in a caravan the set up is quite impractical. Someone suggested a Nespresso machine with the sealed coffee pods are quite good but the machines are $350 or so, too much to make a mistake on. I like the idea of no mess with quick clean disposal of the pods though.

    Any suggestions about a good coffee option at a reasonable price that is easy to maintain and not too messy?
    Cheers & thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    Lelit Combi? Fairly no mess with the grinder dosing straight into the portafilter cleanly (with a cup funnel). I take it with me on more overnight road trips. Only 10kg or there abouts and produces as good an espresso as my Giotto. Steam power is ok for one or two lattes but thats the limit. Small foot print too.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Shotgun's Avatar
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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    Quote Originally Posted by 6C7E70667A1F0 link=1338857550/1#1 date=1338858081
    Lelit Combi? Fairly no mess with the grinder dosing straight into the portafilter cleanly (with a cup funnel).* I take it with me on more overnight road trips.* Only 10kg or there abouts and produces as good an espresso as my Giotto.* Steam power is ok for one or two lattes but thats the limit.* Small foot print too.
    Thanks saoye
    I had a look at it on the web and it looks like a very good unit. It looks as though it might be a bit of overkill for a caravan and except for the built in grinder, its not too different from my current setup.

    Because we wont be in caravan parks with access to water most of time the unit really needs to be very simple to clean without much water. I tend to use quite a few litres of water cleaning my existing set up which wouldnt be possible out bush.

    If possible I would like something smaller and less weighty. Maybe something like that doesnt exist?
    I really like the idea of pods with fresh coffee because theres no mess.

    Any other suggestions?

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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    Hi SG,

    Sorry - this is not answering your question at all but were thinking ahead to a Grey Nomad future and have just started looking at caravans. One of our requirements is that the kitchen needs to have sufficient bench space for a Silvia and Mazzer. (This probably should be in the "You know youre a coffeesnob when..." thread* ::) )

    Weve only found one likely candidate so far...

    As the time gets closer, I dare say reality will set in after we start weighing the vans proposed contents and well explore similar options to yours.

  5. #5
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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    a) You really cant beat a stove top espresso "moka" pot (also sometimes known as a bialetti)

    b) Aeropress

    Both simple and easy to use for good results as well as very small.

    There are slightly more fiddly units also that cost a lot more money, but the above are good as well as cheap (so just right for CoffeeSnobs* ;D* ;D* ;D )

    My opinion, KISS. When I travel, I curtail the habits that I partake of when at home, even when the travelling is long term (well, 5 weeks for me is long term, and plungers and other methods like the above suffice).

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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    Hi Attilio,

    Weve owned a pair of stainless Bialettis for about 10 years and have never managed to really enjoy what they produce. Probably because Ive never really persisted with learning what techniques are required to get the best out of them so thats something Ill pursue.

    They look nice, though.

  7. #7
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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    Know what you mean.

    Upgrade them to the standard aluminium type, they are light years better. Wont go into why.

    Then "learn" them, and they are your friend for life.

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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    I think Ive got one of the aluminium ones tucked away somewhere as well. Youve got me interested now - more research is needed.

    Ive got a Tranquilo grinder which is not being used so that should be good for testing.

    Thanks for the advice.

  9. #9
    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    Since we are talking small and simple maybe also carry the Vietnamese coffee drip for something different. Strong coffee. condense milk makes everything tasty even stale preground if youre not bringing with you a grinder ;)

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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    Nothing wrong with the tranquillo as a "travel" grinder. Much cheaper than the MM (all round not just in $) but its grind quality should be the same (please no arguments...I do this for a living ;) ).

    It will help you to make excellent coffee with whatever you take away.

  11. #11
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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    Have you considered the Mypressi Twist & hand (Porlex) Grinder. ?
    The Mypressi site has a very good demo.


    I have not tried it, but many reviews have commented on its shot quality.

    If you need textured milk, i have had great success with a Bodum milk frother jug .

    EDIT:
    I intended to add...my preferred travel option is the Moka pot .. but some practice /patience is needed to get the best results

  12. #12
    Senior Member Shotgun's Avatar
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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    Thanks everyone for the feedback and Im looking all these things up, but please feel free to continue to offer your two bobs worth.

    The point is here that I know were going to take a hit with coffee quality, I dont expect to achieve anything like what I get at home.

    But... and its a BIG BUT, when free camping for a couple of weeks without access to power or water, one has to protect their resources. I dont want to be drawing a heap of power or using a lot of water for clean-up etc.

    Maybe I inferred that we wanted premium coffee while away when what I meant was, that in the interest of practicality, and protecting limited resources, that we just want the best we can as simple and clean as possible.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Beanz.'s Avatar
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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    I would consider a Bacchi for your travels see prevoius posts http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1333781070/1#1

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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    If youve got the patience to learn how to use it a La Pavoni Europiccola makes very good coffee and is quite small.

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    Senior Member speleomike's Avatar
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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    Hi Shotgun

    As others have suggested ... a Moka pot. Id also add in a plunger machine and an Ibrik for turkish coffee. When travelling around those three machines will give you a nice variety of coffees. We tend to like a Moka pot in the morning and a plunger in the evening or a turkish coffee with a touch of sugar.

    Also I have found that the aluminium Moka pots make better coffee than the stainless steel ones - I still dont know why.

    Mike

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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    +1 on better coffee out of ally moka pots.

    Used to use a small ally moka pot for weekend coffees, bought a stainless one, tried that a few times, didnt like the results, and my ally one seems to have gone AWOL (or rather my *small* ally one has gone awol, Ive a four and an eight cup too) so I stopped drinking stovetop.

    I figure its something to do with heat transfer through bulk material, stainless moka pots (at least the ones Ive seen) are very thin whereas the ally ones are cast so they have a lot more metal in them.

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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    (I dont think this post is going to help you much but ...)

    I live in a nomad mecca. They are everywhere as the weather is close to perfect and there are lots of free camping spots. Hauling the boat on to the trailer this morning I had 1/2 dozen nomad helpers who were obviously bored to the back teeth (assuming they still have their own teeth)!

    If I went to hell and had to become a GN for a year I would insist on the best coffee machine I could practically afford to have bolted to the van and a large supply of alcohol to numb the pain of the non-coffee parts of the day. Imagine all the new friends you would make if they could get a fresh made espresso coffee from you!

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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    We are working on this Whiteman. Going to the Qld Caravan and Camping show on Friday to look for our G.N. home on wheels. You know what is number one prority for us within our affordability range?? A kitchen area in our yet to be purchased van that has room for food prep. and our coffee machine and accessories!!!!! (Our Otto and Espresso machine are a must plus.....) We are addicted C.Ss now and need to continue the caffeine fix everyday when mobile no matter where we are in Aussie. (Unless we are in C.Ss Business areas. :)

  19. #19
    Senior Member Shotgun's Avatar
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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    Quote Originally Posted by 0936372A3B333F305E0 link=1338857550/16#16 date=1338966559
    (I dont think this post is going to help you much but ...)

    I live in a nomad mecca. They are everywhere as the weather is close to perfect and there are lots of free camping spots. Hauling the boat on to the trailer this morning I had 1/2 dozen nomad helpers who were obviously bored to the back teeth (assuming they still have their own teeth)!

    If I went to hell and had to become a GN for a year I would insist on the best coffee machine I could practically afford to have bolted to the van and a large supply of alcohol to numb the pain of the non-coffee parts of the day. Imagine all the new friends you would make if they could get a fresh made espresso coffee from you!
    I object Your Honor!
    The quote "(assuming they still have their own teeth)!" is abjectly racist... no not racist, demeaning... well maybe just funny* ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

    Even if it were true, its not the sort of comment one would expect on a politically correct forum like CSs.

    I agree that we might end up with lots of new friends if we were able to offer a decent espresso, but I really dont want a bunch of toothless old geriatrics drooling and dribbling all over the floor of our new van.

  20. #20
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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    Well, I reckon you could do very well with the French Press and a hand grinder, like the Hario or Kyocera.

    It is what I take camping personally. Not being a milk drinker, I just take my coffee black and with cream, so I dont need to worry about frothing milk.

    If you read here about how to make great French Press, youll be very happy with it, I reckon. It doesnt take up much room, you only need a kettle which can be heated up on a gas flame or one of those small butane cookers. I keep my press and grinder in a small plastic container which really doesnt take up much room.

    I guess if youre looking for small footprint, low water use and not too hard to clean up, I think youd be happy with this method of making coffee and youll still do way better than any local coffee shop whilst out bush...(oh, except if you come to my town! ;D)


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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    I can really see the value in taking an espresso machine on the road if you can manage it, but I can also vouch for the quality of coffee from a press - in my case an Aeropress with the SS disc. With fresh beans freshly ground in a Porlex mini, the resulting coffee is glorious!* Ive even served it to white and two sugars types and theyve enjoyed it black with no sugar, but its also great with a splash of milk or cream if thats your preference. Sugar is unnecessary.

    I take my Aeropress with me when I travel.* Im about to head for the great [s]coffee[/s] espresso desert called the USA with beans roasted six days ago.* Im confident of finding good coffee in Chicago and Seattle, but Im not so sure about Spokane.* I could be drinking only my own coffee for a week and I wont mind one bit!

  22. #22
    Senior Member DavidW1960's Avatar
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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    Theres a site sponsor - name escapes me who does a very good quality hand grinder and hand espresso thingy - its not a cheap combo but I doubt you would be compromising on the coffee!

    I think its portapresso http://www.portaspresso.com/

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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    Shot gun,
    could you clarify if you are looking for an "espresso" coffe or will some other version ( filter, french press, moka pot, etc), keep you going. ?
    There are many options being proposed, but if you want to retain a true "espresso" experience , many of these suggestions are not really an option for whilst they may make excellent coffe.... they do not produce "espresso" coffee. Even Nespresso will not satisfy a true CSr !
    If you are constrained by space, power, ( gas ?), water supply, AND insist on espresso, then your options are limited to systems such as ....
    Presso
    Portapresso
    Mypressi twist
    Handpresso Wild
    and other similar manual devices..
    If you have a tolerant pallet , that dosent insist on espresso, or a reliable power source, you have much more choice.

  24. #24
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    Hand grinder and a Presso.

    Greg

  25. #25
    Senior Member Shotgun's Avatar
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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    Quote Originally Posted by 404E474C461710220 link=1338857550/22#22 date=1339023610
    Shot gun,
    * ** ** *could you clarify if you are looking for an "espresso" coffe or will some other version* ( filter, french press, moka pot, etc),* keep you going. ?
    There are many options being proposed, but if you want to retain* a true "espresso" experience , many of these suggestions are not really an option for whilst they may make excellent coffe.... they do not produce "espresso" coffee. Even Nespresso will not satisfy a true CSr !
    If you are constrained* by space, power, ( gas ?),* water supply, AND insist on espresso, then your options are limited to systems such as ....
    Presso
    Portapresso
    Mypressi twist
    Handpresso Wild
    and other similar manual devices..
    If you have a tolerant pallet , that dosent insist on espresso,* or a reliable power source, you have much more choice.
    Thanks all,
    Maybe Im looking for the impossible. You see we wont be staying in caravan parks very often because were equipping the van for freecamping which means very limited access to resources like water and power. Gas stove top is OK for Moka I guess but limited water for clean-up.

    I suppose thats what first appealed to me about the Nespresso (type) units with sealed pods that could go straight into the bin with no mess. Seems like the coffee is crap though?

    We will have 90 litres of drinking water and 270 litres of other for showering etc and all this might have to last 2 - 3 weeks. Limited power usage too although while espresso machines draw a lot its only for a short time.

    We will have 4 solar panels and a generator for times when the sun dont shine. But having had a live on yacht for some time years ago I am really mindful of protecting resources. LPG will be the most abundant with 18kg carried. On the boat we used plunger coffee but that was before I got serious about it.

    I guess we are prepared to take a reasonable hit on quality to facilitate the rest of the issues as mentioned above. Id love to take the Vibiemme and mazzer but too many issues not to mention the added weight.

  26. #26
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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    Quote Originally Posted by 152E2932213328460 link=1338857550/24#24 date=1339368652
    Gas stove top is OK for Moka I guess but limited water for clean-up.
    Hi SG...due to your water concerns, I must recommend the Aeropress, matched with a good handgrinder.* I have the Rosco Mini and it is beautifully made ( http://www.portaspresso.com/page007.html )
    The Aeropress requires hardly any cleaning...the plunger virtually self cleans the body of the unit, and all you need to do is clean off the end of the plunger. If you use the paper filters, they can either be thrown away (they are cheap) or simply rinsed and reused. The alternative SS disc allows sediment into the cup, but the paper filter completely prevents this . Some argue the SS disc gives better flavour. The Aeropress allows lots of experimenting with amount/grind of coffee, amount /temp of water, standard/inverted method. Gives a fantastic long black. I have had mine for about 4 years and have just treated it to a replacement plunger (six bucks)

    Cheers,

  27. #27
    Senior Member Shotgun's Avatar
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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    Quote Originally Posted by 56415252340 link=1338857550/25#25 date=1339377067
    Hi SG...due to your water concerns, I must recommend the Aeropress, matched with a good handgrinder.* I have the Rosco Mini and it is beautifully made ( http://www.portaspresso.com/page007.html )
    Thanks Buff I like the look of that.
    Will that set-up grind enough for a strong long black or maybe 2 cups of long black?

    And, will the Aeropress hold enough for 2 cups of long black or does it need to be done twice?

  28. #28
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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    The Mini easily holds 20 grams of beans...havent bothered to find out maximum capacity.
    I prefer to do one press with 20 g coffee with Aeropress about half filled with water, then top up with water to desired level for one long black. Im sure you can easily do 2 long blacks, though.
    Cheers

  29. #29
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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    I agree with Buff re aeropress.

    This is what we have used for years.

    As buff said, to clean up, just wipe off with the paper. That way, you can make a coffee with just the amount of water needed for the coffee. Weve done this a lot in camping situations where water is difficult to come by. When there is more water around, Ill usually use the disc and an inverted method, definitely a better flavour.

    Our choice of grinder is Porlex, it is compact and fits well in our camping box of tea and coffee stuff (we dont have a caravan, just a 4WD with a roof top tent, so space is at a premium). The Rosco is of course a good choice, there a quite a few possibilities.

    I usually do one brew with the A/p for both of use. This is about 18g coffee in the Porlex, fill up the A/p (about 300ml), and split half into another cup (insulated mug). Not a "long" black, more a medium, but good flavour -- we learnt to live with it! Sometimes would do another a bit later though ...

    On one longer trip up through Marree / Birdsville / Boulia etc, we knew we would run out of coffee, so I threw in a kg or so of Yemen, and my wife invented a roasting apparatus out of a steamer saucepan (holes in the bottom), a heat diffuser and a long wooden spoon over a gas burner. Not optimal, but worked well. Now that we have a Baby Roaster (FZ RR 700), would use that, it is a superb manual roaster.

    Best wishes for the trip!

  30. #30
    Senior Member sidewayss's Avatar
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    Re: Becoming a Grey Nomad

    If i was in grey nomad mode, it would be the FZRR700 roaster which can be used with any camping gas stove, A good hand grinder and the Aeropress. The papers for the press are re-usable a few times and they come in a neat paper holder which holds many papers. Or simply use the optional steel filter.

    These are small footprints on both space and carbon. Longevity is well known. Priced well.
    On a day to day basis when you want to simply enjoy life on the road, hard to beat.

    Gary at G

  31. #31
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    As a part-time grey traveller (4 months during year) for 9 years, I have used plunger, stove top (both with pre-ground coffee - and therefore barely ok), Aeropress + Hario Grinder - and now Portapresso. The last is brilliant - no compromise - and I use it at home as well (I drink espresso only). I ony use the Pavoni at home for visitors, ie milk drinks). Aeropress is good - but not espresso, the Hario gives very good espresso grind but takes forever to grind - and is of course 1/8th the cost of the Portapresso. Incidentally I travel in a campervan.

    Enjoy travelling
    Peter

  32. #32
    Member sando's Avatar
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    On a lighter note:
    Some would suggest that....
    Your dedication to your addiction is lacking….

    Solution:
    Leave wifey at home and convert her allocated space to your addiction.

    Might not be as easy to accomplish but…

    True dedication is hard to find now days..

    I had a laugh
    Last edited by sando; 12th October 2012 at 12:28 PM.

  33. #33
    Bean Powered Member jaybee's Avatar
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    I have to confess that despite the several thousand dollars worth of Italian stainless that I have at home, the Winnebago carries a Nespresso machine

    It shames me whenever I go to the Nespreso shop in Brisbane to re-stock - it's bad enough to be surrounded by middle aged fassion victims who actually believe that it is anything more than ordinary, but to be seen touting the bag is too much. I take some other bag along to disguise my shame. I droped my pods on the floor of the train tonight (we are off to see the eclipse shortly) and I nearly died of embarrasment.

    So why? It tastes kind of ok with milk, its quick, its clean. Ive tried lots of alternatives, but when I'm travelling...

    Please don't tell Andy, he'll take back my snobs card!

  34. #34
    Senior Member C-man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregWormald View Post
    Hand grinder and a Presso.

    Greg
    X2

    Good hand grinder like a Rosco or Pharos and a Presso

    once you have a good quality hand grinder the possibilities are endless
    Last edited by C-man; 24th October 2012 at 07:19 AM.

  35. #35
    Senior Member BLrdFX's Avatar
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    Stainless Steel Moka Pot. They take a bit to get dialed in.

    Pharos hand grinder. Best hand grinder for the money.

    Propane or multi-fuel backpack stove.

  36. #36
    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
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    Having travelled many years on and off the road, my preferred travel-options would be a good hand/knee grinder ( Zassenhausen), a small stove-top espresso maker, a small 2 cups plunger ( less messy and complicated than an Aeropress) 4-5 kg supply of green beans, a few valved bags, a stainless bowl, longhandled wooden spoon and a heatgun.
    When 'on power' use the heat gun, wooden spoon and the bowl to roast enough coffee for the next stage of the trip, which you then store in the valved bags for 'off Road'.
    From time to time organise fresh greens to be shipped to your next destination via BeanBay.
    Must admit, though, that after we went predominantly 'on-power', our bus was kitted out with a decent set of machines
    Hope you enjoy your trip

    L

  37. #37
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    Becoming a Grey Nomad

    Jaybee, why don't you buy the refillable capsules? Put some good coffee in 'em.

  38. #38
    Senior Member BLrdFX's Avatar
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    Kudos for your determination Lizzie! I never would have thought to roast my own beans while traveling in a bus.

  39. #39
    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
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    Matter of getting sick and tired of stale stuff... even the Nescafe we managed to buy was out of date!
    Found CS and together with a few CS stalwarts and Andy's beans gradually worked the problems out ... our 'on power' gear was a Botticelli and a Carimali grinder
    I must have a pic somewhere of the Coretto set up in the bus's bathroom, and chaff flying around everywhere... those were the times


    L

  40. #40
    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
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  41. #41
    Senior Member BLrdFX's Avatar
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    Chaff flying around in the loo, what a riot!

    Your "Coffee on the road" link is pretty nice! I can see that you are determined enough to live in the remodel of your home, the gumball or candy machine must have gotten you through
    Last edited by BLrdFX; 2nd November 2012 at 12:49 PM.

  42. #42
    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
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    found it .... Coretto in the bathroom of the bus!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    brokenvase likes this.

  43. #43
    Senior Member BLrdFX's Avatar
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    Nearby campers must have been puzzled by such good smells coming out of that room!
    Lizzie likes this.

  44. #44
    Senior Member Lizzie's Avatar
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    ... and roasting in Coolgardie
    Attached Images Attached Images

  45. #45
    Bean Powered Member jaybee's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by ajayro57 View Post
    Jaybee, why don't you buy the refillable capsules? Put some good coffee in 'em.
    Sorry for the late reply - been on the road and hadn't noticed the Q.

    Interesting things - I hadn't realised they exist, but I have to think that if I was going to go to that trouble I'd take my mazzer, and if I took that I'd take the Giotto I guess I'll just have to suffer the Nespresso (which begins to taste ok after a week, quite nice after two...)



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    Last Post: 24th December 2008, 02:00 AM

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