View Poll Results: What's more important to you, the coffee or having the latest machinary.

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  • The coffee is what it's all about.

    31 65.96%
  • The machinary, gotta have the latest.

    2 4.26%
  • I have owned 1 machine in the past 5 years.

    14 29.79%
  • I have owned 2 machines in the past 5 years.

    13 27.66%
  • I have owned 3 machines in the past 5 years.

    4 8.51%
  • I have owned 4 machines in the past 5 years.

    6 12.77%
  • I have owned 5 machines in the past 5 years.

    1 2.13%
  • I have owned 6 machines in the past 5 years.

    0 0%
  • I have owned 7 machines in the past 5 years.

    3 6.38%
  • Cant wait for the next model so I can upgrade.

    1 2.13%
Multiple Choice Poll.
Results 1 to 29 of 29
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  • 1 Post By Yelta
  • 6 Post By greenman
  • 2 Post By LFM60
  • 1 Post By TampIt
  • 6 Post By samuellaw178
  • 1 Post By Yelta
  • 2 Post By Bigjaype
  • 2 Post By Yelta
  • 2 Post By matth3wh
  • 1 Post By Barry O'Speedwagon
  • 1 Post By Barry O'Speedwagon
  • 1 Post By Yelta

Thread: Are You a Coffee Snob or a coffee machine snob?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Are You a Coffee Snob or a coffee machine snob?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Have often contemplated this point, what's it about for you, the coffee or the machinery?

    Seems a lot of us are seduced by any promise of new features (particularly electronic) on machines, the quality of the coffee is almost secondary.

    We see lots of claims of superiority being made for grinders, particularly flat burr and conical, the aficionados of each claim theirs to be the best, however when it comes down to it and comparisons made the difference always seems to be marginal.
    Outbackstriker likes this.

  2. #2
    Member CoffeeHack's Avatar
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    I certainly don't see myself as a full-blown snob, just a semi-snob (hence the user name!). I have owned three machines in the past five years, however that has been a stepping-stone process from a crappy Sunbeam double-walled basket machine, to a crappy Sunbeam EM7000 and now to a 20+ year old Bezerra BZ99s. As I don't have any friends/family who have gone all-out with prosumer gear it's been a process of discovery for me that I don't think I could have just dived into based on the price to get set up. So whilst I appreciate I've probably wasted a bit of money on the Sunbeam machines for me I think it was necessary as it's a lot of cash to spend up-front to get a decent, reliable setup going. And then there's the grinder on top as well as addressing the quality of water that goes into the expensive bit of metal sitting on the bench!

    Funny thing is now I'm feeling comfortable with my home setup to make espresso-based coffees, I've really been getting into cold-brew they sell at a cafe near my work. So good on a hot day! I can't believe how good it tastes and it makes me wonder whether I would just have been happy with that and/or a pour-over option to have at home!! Hmmm....

  3. #3
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    Tricky to answer the poll, as I have discovered and played with so many different machines that I would be up to about 5 in the last 5 years, and have kept most of them! But really it's all about the coffee for me. My Gaggia Classic has 3 boxes on the side: PID, shot timer and volumetric dosing. I just can't justify upgrading to a 'better' machine when the coffee it oozes out its spouts is just how I like it, but I really also enjoy changing to the LaPav EP on lazy days for the pure pouring pleasure it gives me.

  4. #4
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    The coffee and cameraderie is what it is all about for me, I have met so many amazing people through my coffee adventures, being able to share coffee I have roasted and brewed with friends and fellow coffee lovers brings me a lot of joy.
    A bit of bling along the way has added a little sparkle, always researching new innovations in machinery and brew methods.
    Cheers!!!

  5. #5
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    It's the machines for me I'd have to say. Contrary to most, my favourite are super automatics and entry/mid range semi auto machines, simply for their design and functionality. My target customer base is focused on these machines so that is also where I focus.
    I do still like Italian machines and enjoy working on them and there's no denying they make a superior cup and most of the time look a lot nicer on the bench.

    I selected the 7 machines in the past 5 years option because it didn't go any higher. I've cycled through so many before eventually slowing down and settling on machines for a bit longer.

  6. #6
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    Definitely about the Coffee for me, I like to learn and try new things......2017 will see in a new machine for me & they'll probably bury me with that one.

  7. #7
    Senior Member LFM60's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smee View Post
    Definitely about the Coffee for me, I like to learn and try new things......2017 will see in a new machine for me & they'll probably bury me with that one.
    There's one for sale in the Valley for you Smee. Just under $14K.

    Might take up a bit of bench space though..........

    image.jpg
    matth3wh and Smee like this.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Guess retailers are a bit of an anomaly, it's obviously in their own interest to trial and come to terms with as wide a range of machines and brewing methods as possible.

    I really had hobbyists and home barista's in mind when setting up the poll, suppose I should have said so.

  9. #9
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    Little krups ~20 years ago.
    Gaggia classic 8 years ago
    pavoni 2 1/2 years ago
    alex 1 year ago.

    I said 3 (classic, pav & Alex) but I also have a Saeco via venezia & rok presso.
    These were bought as take away machines. Not to be my main gear as such, so I didn't count them. Hope that's okay. ( classic is now my work machine).

    Definitely searching for the best flavour here, but I am fond of the levers (pav , presso, Alex) and the way they work.
    i never have bought a machine thinking "can't wait to see what I get next". They've all been "lifelong purchases"!
    Last edited by shortblackman; 28th January 2017 at 10:25 PM. Reason: Words

  10. #10
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortblackman View Post
    Little krups ~20 years ago.
    Gaggia classic 8 years ago
    pavoni 2 1/2 years ago
    alex 1 year ago.

    I said 3 (classic, pav & Alex) but I also have a Saeco via venezia & rok presso.
    These were bought as take away machines. Not to be my main gear as such, so I didn't count them. Hope that's okay. ( classic is now my work machine).

    Definitely searching for the best flavour here, but I am fond of the levers (pav , presso, Alex) and the way they work.
    i never have bought a machine thinking "can't wait to see what I get next". They've all been "lifelong purchases"!

    Evening SBM, I started with a Krups as well, long time ago now, probably 15 years, was a pretty average machine.

  11. #11
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    Hi Yelta.

    Well I sold my old krups to someone I know, and I can say that it was still going strong 1 year ago ( bought in 1997 I think.) I have a feeling of nostalgia when I think of it. .....

    The days when preground lavazza, straight from the fridge, was good enough for me.

  12. #12
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    I had to laugh at the options.

    The coffee is the only thing that matters. At best, we snobs can only try to get what the beans in front of us can actually deliver. However, we can certainly trash whatever quality those beans represent if we do not get our act together.

    In the last 5 years I have chalked up 11 different machines and grinders however the only reason for most of those changes was 18 months of havoc culminating in a nasty US divorce. Back in OZ, broke and working my way back to gear capable of making a decent cuppa added a few more to the list. Apart from grinders, the 25 years before that had almost no changes - a two group La Pavoni, Electra lever and (much later) a Silvia. Poorer tools just mean that I have to work harder to get the kind of shot I am accustomed to.

    Now I am running two Mahlkonig Varios, the grinders are settled at home for the duration.

    As for espresso machines, I would love my last US combo - a 240 volt GS3 and my old manual lever Electra (modded with a weaker spring so I can really feel what the coffee shot is doing). Unless someone comes up with something truly revolutionary (i.e. the Decent Espresso Machine's DE1+ or "pro" - which may be a game changer in a domestic environment) when I get back to those equivalents I will probably stop the upgraditis again.

    TampIt
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  13. #13
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    Let's be honest to ourselves here...After tasting hundred types of specialty coffees, coffee will & can become just coffee after all.

    Sure you have well-pulled coffees, you can have terrible coffees. Even when they're pulled properly, they all might taste slightly different but you get the similar themes, with slight spins on them (notes of fruits, berries, chocolate, honey, citrus etc etc). Yeah, including Gesha, rare Ethiopians, etc etc. It might be novel for the first few time, but the kick you get out of it decreases as you repeat the process. Even a God shot will become mediocre if you taste it more than a few times.

    Nothing's difficult about pulling 30g of shot in 30s time frame, especially if you have the basic prerequisites down (fresh beans, sound techniques, decent machine, solid grinder & great water). It's even easier to pull something better than cafes around you particularly if you don't have decent cafes around.

    What I found fascinating and kept me rolling was the knowledge behind it, particularly the geeky stuff as some passed it as. The grind distribution, the interaction between different parameters, the machines, how different machines were designed etc etc. I am & was amazed by how many ways are there to deliver 9 bar pressure @ 93 deg Celcius, and some of the engineering ingenuities involved in doing that will just blow you away.

    As alluded above, the interaction and exchange between like-minded Snobs also kept me interested in the hobby.

    Another addictive aspect of making coffee at home - you're always chasing to make a great cup excellent, and an excellent cup even better. It never ends. It's not the coffee isn't good, you're just doing what you can to improve it further - whether via new machines, new grinders, or new techniques.

    Also, it doesn't harm that every time you get a new machine (I call them toys ), you do get the kick from the whole process of waiting/receiving the parcel, unboxing, learning, understanding & eventually mastering. It doesn't have to be the latest newest nuclear tech out there, as long as it's new to me.


    If I can only taste the coffee and cannot have fun with the toys, I would've been out of this hobby long ago. Even if I could have a world barista champion serving coffee to me daily (for free at that!), I would've lost interest after a month or two maybe. It's never just about the coffee for me. I suspect it's the same for most but option 1 in the poll seems to be the only wise option (the poll is rigged!! )

    But most importantly, that's just me and how I enjoy coffee. I would never expect/intend to impose my standards upon others (that is truly the definition of being a Snob). Just keep enjoying coffee the way you like.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samuellaw178 View Post
    Let's be honest to ourselves here...After tasting hundred types of specialty coffees, coffee will & can become just coffee after all.
    Interesting view, not one that I share, been making and enjoying coffee for a long time, I never tire of good/well made espresso, regardless of whether its home produced or from a cafe.

    Coffee for me is more a way of life than a hobby.

    Sure! I appreciate a well made home espresso machine that produces shot after shot of quality coffee, that, 95% of the time is far superior to cafe offerings, however what the machine produces is far more important to me than having the latest big and shiny totem sitting on my bench.
    Dimal likes this.

  15. #15
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    For me it's always the coffee. True, like Samuel said, you get used to the level of coffee you buy/make. But that's were a good machine steps in. When you hit a plateau you need to put in extra effort to go past it, and a good, flexible machine (in terms of what you can do with it) helps with that. So the machine is important. Again, you can go past your plateau by discovering new coffees or changing water recipes, etc but that's for another topic.

    I had an HX machine that I was happy with. I learned how to use it and eventually I got pretty good at getting the most out of it. But it had limits, there were coffees I could not pull well wilt it. So when I had to sell it due to my planned move to Europe I got a Portaspresso as a stopgap. Portaspresso is more flexible in some ways than the HX machine so I'm able to get good extractions from a larger range of coffees. It still has limitations so I'm already dreaming of a new machine that has more flexibility and allows me to better extract an even larger range of coffees. So I don't think it's as simple as labeling someone as just coffee snob or just machine snob. Sometimes you're a machine snob because you're a coffee snob . Just my 2 cents.

  16. #16
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    For me it's about getting cheap and nasty beans and producing something palatable from them by playing with all the variables! And restoring old tired machines and giving them a new lease on life. Life has taught me that even the snobbiest of snobs can be easily fooled by a perceived lower class product and often the name already affects the palate...wonderful thread by the way...enjoying all the different perspectives! Time for a coffee me thinks!
    samuellaw178 and Wynton87 like this.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigjaype View Post
    For me it's about getting cheap and nasty beans and producing something palatable from them by playing with all the variables! And restoring old tired machines and giving them a new lease on life. Life has taught me that even the snobbiest of snobs can be easily fooled by a perceived lower class product and often the name already affects the palate...wonderful thread by the way...enjoying all the different perspectives! Time for a coffee me thinks!
    "cheap and nasty beans on tired old machines"

    Not sure what to say.
    Stan and Smee like this.

  18. #18
    Senior Member SniffCoffee's Avatar
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    It's a tricky question Yelta

    Like Sam I love the gadgets, but the upgrade path for me has been more about producing consistency and has made me appreciate even more that really it's all about the beans and the quality of the roasting.

    My upgrade path has been eased by the fact that if you look after your machine you can recoup much of the cost of initial purchased through resale here on CS.

    I think I've reached 'peak' gadgets for grinder and espresso machine but the combined result of that has been that I can now pick up more of the quality (or lack thereof) of my home roasting.

    I think the best roasts I produced at home were with my second-hand Hottop B. I'm currently using the iCoffee from Korea but am looking at the Aillio bullet or CloudBean roaster.

    And like Paul says, you can get great shots from simple equipment. I still remember getting an amazing extraction on my Presso/M4D/Hottop combo from some Venezuelan San Cristobal beans over 5 years ago...

    Sniff

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LFM60 View Post
    There's one for sale in the Valley for you Smee. Just under $14K.

    Might take up a bit of bench space though..........

    image.jpg
    3 Group.......imagine the amount of good coffee beans I could destroy with 3 heads.

    .......not sure the wife would approve of me taking that much space in the kitchen.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    "cheap and nasty beans on tired old machines"

    Not sure what to say.
    Yelta, you've said everything...

  21. #21
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    If I had a caffeine sensitivity and could no longer drink coffee I would still grind the beans and smell that good good smell

    Oh yes and happily make coffees for other family members too I suppose (regardless of brew method)
    Dimal and Magic_Matt like this.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    If only they could invent a method of taking the caffeine out of the beans............
    Magic_Matt likes this.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    @thread - both... what of it?

  24. #24
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic_Matt View Post
    @thread - both... what of it?
    Am I missing something?

  25. #25
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Am I missing something?
    He's simply saying that you can be both a coffee snob and a machine snob........the 'or' in the question can be taken to imply that you have to pick one or the other.
    Magic_Matt likes this.

  26. #26
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    He's simply saying that you can be both a coffee snob and a machine snob........the 'or' in the question can be taken to imply that you have to pick one or the other.
    Thanks Barry.

    I'm sure you can, particularly during the honeymoon period after buying a new machine.

    It's a multiple choice poll, so, you can please yourself how you vote, and of course unlike the Federal election voting is not compulsory, so if you feel so inclined, simply pass on through and don't mark the ballot paper.

    No matter how you word the question/s in a poll someone will find fault, let's face it these polls are more for entertainment value than anything else, if anyone feels they can set up a better worded and more inclusive poll, be my guest.

    The voting does give a bit of an idea as to where the average Coffee Snobs interests lie.

  27. #27
    Senior Member ArtW's Avatar
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    Both. I guess if you enjoy drinking great coffee but not particularly making it, you can just be a coffeesnob. However, if you enjoy the process of making coffee as much as drinking it, to a certain extent you will also be a machine snob - even if financial constraints mean that you don't have the opportunity or think it worthwhile upgrading every year or two. I'm on my third machine in 12 years, am perfectly happy and will keep this one for many more but it doesn't mean if I won the lottery I wouldn't have a Slayer or Speedster or similar ...

  28. #28
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    He's simply saying that you can be both a coffee snob and a machine snob........the 'or' in the question can be taken to imply that you have to pick one or the other.
    Exactly

    Tapatalk cleverly hid the voting options, so I didn't realise there was a poll attached. The way the question is phrased does tend to imply an xor.

    I'd say I'm more a gear than machine snob in any case - to quote Javaphile "toys! I must have new toys!"

    But the gear only exists to improve the quality of the coffee. Of course it helps if it looks nice while doing so.

  29. #29
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by Magic_Matt View Post
    Tapatalk cleverly hid the voting options, so I didn't realise there was a poll attached.
    There does seem to be a disunite between Tapatalk and PC operating systems running Asblock Plus, I don't see images posted on TT, unless I disable ABP.
    Magic_Matt likes this.



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