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  1. #951
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnwriter View Post
    Pressurized = portafilter with a bottom rather than a naked one? If so, yes.

    Coffee is sourced from a local shop that then sells to a local store. It is a few weeks old according to whatís written on the bag but they can do that at any time so not sure how old it actually is. I used to go to the shop pre-COVID but itís only open in short windows these days.

    Probably pretty accurate on taste profile. I threw that one out so not sure.

    I think Iím at a crossroads where I have a basic machine and burr grinder and I can make a quick cappuccino that works for my life but would like to make better but it seems to require more time, effort and money all to get there.

    Can I just start with a naked portafilter and scale and will that at least get me some way further ahead without having to get new equipment. If I do ever have to go back to work I can just stop and get a pretty good coffee drink on the way to drop off kids...though still 6 mos. min until we are back in the office.

    Have a gaggia classic and an entry level burr grinder. Iíve read above about upgrades and a few other things but havenít really done much to get there.

    Also have a friend who has a good shop and high end machinery and sheís willing to help with me learning there during non covid non peak hours.

    Had access to a guy who owned his own shop and made good coffee and he was knowledgeable and super helpful but more about the recent history and evolution of the business in the US. He would really get into the science part of pulling a good shot but again, for me , I just donít have the time or interest to get that deeply into it.


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    nahh pressurized baskets are the double walled ones. spouted or unspouted won't make a difference in the actual extraction, but it does help to see a naked portafilter to know how the shot is extracting.

    you can do a ton with a gaggia classic and a burr grinder. first thing is to buy a drug scale for sure:

    https://www.amazon.com/AMIR-Upgraded...NsaWNrPXRydWU=

    like we've talked about, the goal of the scale is to help you get in range of what is good. weigh out 18g, pull a shot, should be 27-40 seconds and should weight somewhere between 24 and 40 grams, all of this is +/-. then follow the flavor.

    second thing is to buy fresher coffee. and like, as full of shit as i am, i promise this isn't a bullshit thing. here's the deal - when you roast coffee the coffee starts to degas as soon as it is out of the roaster (letting off co2). this degassing follows a curve - lots of gas at first and then it slows down. if you try to pull a shot too soon (days 1-5 off roast), it'll taste gross (the carbon dioxide dissolves into the espresso as carbonic acid under pressure and it tastes like batteries? science bros check my homework on that one), but if you try to pull a shot too late in the degassing curve (day 14+ off roast), there won't be enough swelling (or bloom, as it's called in brewed coffee) to prevent channeling and to lock the puck into place. so like - this isn't asshattery, it's literally because espresso won't function if it's too old. if you want i can make a video of me trying to pull a shot with old beans, but you'll see, it's literally impossible.

    in general, espresso (physically) works between 5 and 14 days. if you're good, you can squeak out a passable shot up to 21 days off roast, but you gotta know what you're doing for sure. some would even argue for a tighter window; like 6-12 days is the only real time you can pull a proper shot. the reason coffee tastes better at a good cafe is because they go through enough volume to always have beans that are perfectly in that window. their baristas are shit, and chances are, their $10k machine is pretty much doing the exact same thing as your gaggia. sure, they might have a better grinder, but you can still get close with what you've got (nb - when it does come time to upgrade, your money is best spent on a grinder)

    so yeah. get a scale, get better at distro (jm2e is spot on with his advice), get coffee that is in the correct time window).

  2. #952
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    Fresher coffee and a scale are both pretty easy next steps and Iíve got the time to manage both. Thanks!


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  3. #953
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    The freezer will extend that time frame though?


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  4. #954
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    If you can't have the espresso you want, love the espresso you have. Apologies to Steven Stills.

  5. #955
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    I bought an Amazon scale that measures to 0.05g - 1000g, which would probably be awesome for selling cocaine & heroine.
    Wish Iíd bought the one that measures 0.1g - 3000g because itíd be better for measuring output. The 1000g limit canít handle a lot of ceramic cups or milked/watered down drinks.


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    Lots of Cream, Lots of Sugar

  6. #956
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    Quote Originally Posted by neufox47 View Post
    The freezer will extend that time frame though?


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    yes. freezing is good. buy the freshest goddamn coffee you can find (ideally roasted to order, which if you're getting a 5lb bag - and you should - they will usually do that for you). freeze into individual 8-12oz bags (as much as you can drink in a 1-2 week period, really) - and then only take one bag out at a time. this is the dirtbag way to cheap, excellent coffee. read more on the coffee beans thread.

    what happens is the coffee will still be just as excellent as before (you literally just stop the degassing process at whatever point it's at - ideally, the sonner the better), but it will age slightly quicker. so if a particular coffee would be in it's prime at day 8 (yes, coffees do hit their prime, and it's not at all uncommon for that to be day 8ish) unfrozen, then it'll come into it's own closer to day 5 or 6. you just gotta plan accordingly, but it's no big deal really. still tastes killer good, works as espresso, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by jm2e
    I bought an Amazon scale that measures to 0.05g - 1000g, which would probably be awesome for selling cocaine & heroine.
    Wish I’d bought the one that measures 0.1g - 3000g because it’d be better for measuring output. The 1000g limit can’t handle a lot of ceramic cups or milked/watered down drinks.
    yeah you really only need accuracy to the tenth of gram range for espresso. really, even half of gram is accurate enough. i'm not picky. i throw beans on my scale and if it's anywhere from 17.8 to 18.2 i run it.

  7. #957
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    Iím saving up funds until I can justify the $12 for a new scale. Maybe find on on Craigslist for $8 if Iím lucky!


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    Lots of Cream, Lots of Sugar

  8. #958
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnwriter View Post
    Pressurized = portafilter with a bottom rather than a naked one? If so, yes.

    Coffee is sourced from a local shop that then sells to a local store. It is a few weeks old according to whatís written on the bag but they can do that at any time so not sure how old it actually is. I used to go to the shop pre-COVID but itís only open in short windows these days.

    Probably pretty accurate on taste profile. I threw that one out so not sure.

    I think Iím at a crossroads where I have a basic machine and burr grinder and I can make a quick cappuccino that works for my life but would like to make better but it seems to require more time, effort and money all to get there.

    Can I just start with a naked portafilter and scale and will that at least get me some way further ahead without having to get new equipment. If I do ever have to go back to work I can just stop and get a pretty good coffee drink on the way to drop off kids...though still 6 mos. min until we are back in the office.

    Have a gaggia classic and an entry level burr grinder. Iíve read above about upgrades and a few other things but havenít really done much to get there.

    Also have a friend who has a good shop and high end machinery and sheís willing to help with me learning there during non covid non peak hours.

    Had access to a guy who owned his own shop and made good coffee and he was knowledgeable and super helpful but more about the recent history and evolution of the business in the US. He would really get into the science part of pulling a good shot but again, for me , I just donít have the time or interest to get that deeply into it.


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    Your espresso machine is ok, o would get a better grinder first

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  9. #959
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    Cool thanks. Better grinder is pretty manageable too. Still not goi g to get the crazy one you mentioned up thread.


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  10. #960
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnwriter View Post
    Cool thanks. Better grinder is pretty manageable too. Still not goi g to get the crazy one you mentioned up thread.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    if better grinder is manageable then that's a no brainer

    if you're okay hand grinding you could get "better than upscale cafe" quality espresso for $200. that's not an exaggeration. i did it for years - hand grinding espresso is a great workout and tons of fun, too.

  11. #961
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    What grinder? Mentioned above? If so must have missed it. That could be worth it for me since the automatic grinder is always a backup option and works for my wifeís coffee. Plus there are lots of times I need to wait until family is up to grind my coffee.


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  12. #962
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnwriter View Post
    What grinder? Mentioned above? If so must have missed it. That could be worth it for me since the automatic grinder is always a backup option and works for my wifeís coffee. Plus there are lots of times I need to wait until family is up to grind my coffee.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    if i was in the market for a hand grinder for espresso this is what i would buy, absolutely no doubt:

    https://gear.coffee/products/m47-sim...RoCY0QQAvD_BwE

    that's about as good of grind quality as you can get under $1000.

    backup would be this one:

    https://www.oehandgrinders.com/LIDO-E_c_31.html

    had one of those for years. used it every goddamn day, i easily put more than 1000 shots through it. $75 cheaper than the kinu. not as ergonomic, but comparably excellent grind quality. IMO the $75 is more than worth it for the better ergonomics - that really matters for hand grinders.

  13. #963
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    espresso making mags?

    For reference; 18g of stale Peetís coffee at a semi coarse grind takes me 120 cranks. 15g of fresh, light roast takes 80 cranks.
    Havenít used mine for espresso grind. I expect that might take a bit more persistence.
    Porlex Mini courtesy of patg. Thanks Mang!

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    Last edited by jm2e; 12-29-2020 at 02:24 PM.
    Lots of Cream, Lots of Sugar

  14. #964
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    Ok trigger pulled on the Kinu and I bought a cheap scale. Thanks all.


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  15. #965
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnwriter View Post
    Ok trigger pulled on the Kinu and I bought a cheap scale. Thanks all.


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    yeah that + a good basic machine (gaggia classic) + good coffee will get you to the 90% mark pretty quickly. within a few months you'll have better espresso than anywhere in a 100 mile radius of you. unless you live in seattle or san francisco or similar, of course.

    good luck man!

  16. #966
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    Couple questions.

    Been living in Mammoth approx 8000' elevation since November. Brought the Expobar Pulsar up here. It "seems" to be running hot as in when I hit the brew button with no coffee in it it does a fair bit of splattering where as at sea level it might do that for a second, but once the hot was flushed it was what you would expect. Is it pressure that is governing the temp on this kind of HX machine since there is no PID? Given the difference in pressure at 8000', has that caused it to run hot?

    Looking for a new machine, but the used market has been brutal right now. With a PID HX machine, the PID controls the brew temp for espresso, right? In that situation where the brew temp is now super stable, what is the advantage of a dual boiler machine if you are only doing 2 cappuccino's a morning and an afternoon espresso? Trying to decide between a HX machine and a dual boiler and just debating how much I get for the extra $$$ on the DB. Ahh, think I just found the answer to my above question. Apparently PID's on HX machines are for the steam temp. Hmm, I want to control the espresso temp, not so concerned by the steam temp...

    What is the advantage of the $2500-$3k DB machine over say the $1500 Silvia DB, Lelit Elizabeth or CPM Caffeum Perfectus Minima Dual Boiler Espresso Machine? Bigger more powerful boilers?
    Last edited by comish; 01-19-2021 at 07:25 PM.
    He who has the most fun wins!

  17. #967
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    Quote Originally Posted by comish View Post
    Couple questions.

    Been living in Mammoth approx 8000' elevation since November. Brought the Expobar Pulsar up here. It "seems" to be running hot as in when I hit the brew button with no coffee in it it does a fair bit of splattering where as at sea level it might do that for a second, but once the hot was flushed it was what you would expect. Is it pressure that is governing the temp on this kind of HX machine since there is no PID? Given the difference in pressure at 8000', has that caused it to run hot?

    Looking for a new machine, but the used market has been brutal right now. With a PID HX machine, the PID controls the brew temp for espresso, right? In that situation where the brew temp is now super stable, what is the advantage of a dual boiler machine if you are only doing 2 cappuccino's a morning and an afternoon espresso? Trying to decide between a HX machine and a dual boiler and just debating how much I get for the extra $$$ on the DB.

    What is the advantage of the $2500-$3k DB machine over say the $1500 Silvia DB, Lelit Elizabeth or CPM Caffeum Perfectus Minima Dual Boiler Espresso Machine? Bigger more powerful boilers?
    the answer to all of your questions/problems:

    get a lelit marax

    even with a PID on a HX you still have to temperature surf. that's just HX machines for you.

    and yeah no doubt your pstat is running hot at altitude

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  18. #968
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    Quote Originally Posted by tgapp View Post
    the answer to all of your questions/problems:

    get a lelit marax

    even with a PID on a HX you still have to temperature surf. that's just HX machines for you.

    and yeah no doubt your pstat is running hot at altitude

    Sent from my Pixel 4a (5G) using Tapatalk
    So then I'm back to thinking about a Lelit Elizabeth or CPM Minima. Dual Boiler's and similar pricing to Mara X
    He who has the most fun wins!

  19. #969
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    Quote Originally Posted by comish View Post
    So then I'm back to thinking about a Lelit Elizabeth or CPM Minima. Dual Boiler's and similar pricing to Mara X
    Ehh I would get a Lelit machine no matter what. Dollar for dollar they're very hard to beat.

    Given the choice between the MaraX and the Elizabeth I still like the MaraX - it will have a ton more steam power, and, being an e61, you can install flow control onto it. The Elizabeth still looks awesome though, so ymmv. Probably a touch more consistent with less steam power and slightly longer recovery times.

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  20. #970
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    I would guess that your machine is running the same temp. The boiling pt is 197 deg at 8000í.

  21. #971
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    Quote Originally Posted by berko View Post
    I would guess that your machine is running the same temp. The boiling pt is 197 deg at 8000’.
    You're wrong. It's 91.666 ;-)

  22. #972
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    You tgapp how about the expobar? $899 for a just professionally tuned one sound right?

    https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/app...263328173.html


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  23. #973
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    espresso making mags?

    Quote Originally Posted by neufox47 View Post
    You tgapp how about the expobar? $899 for a just professionally tuned one sound right?

    https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sfc/app...263328173.html


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    Price seems high for a 12 year old machine but it is a great. Iíve been running mine about daily for 8 years. Had to replace the pump once about 6 months ago (cheap and sorta easy to do on your own) and am due for a screen and gasket upgrade. Have parts. Just need to do it but this thing sounds all tuned up and ready to rock. I will say tho I donít really know pricing in the secondary market but no reason not to get this machine from a functionality standpoint unless you want temp control. Welcome any specific questions here or by PM. Took some laps with some of your old Jay crew Monday. Mountain is finally skiing great.
    Uno mas

  24. #974
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doremite View Post
    Price seems high for a 12 year old machine but it is a great. Iíve been running mine about daily for 8 years. Had to replace the pump once about 6 months ago (cheap and sorta easy to do on your own) and am due for a screen and gasket upgrade. Have parts. Just need to do it but this thing sounds all tuned up and ready to rock. I will say tho I donít really know pricing in the secondary market but no reason not to get this machine from a functionality standpoint unless you want temp control. Welcome any specific questions here or by PM. Took some laps with some of your old Jay crew Monday. Mountain is finally skiing great.
    yeah expobar makes great machines. i've never owned one but i have use one, and, well, it's an e61. they're all kinda the same, but e61's are also my favorite machines. they're like little espresso making tanks.

    as for value, i'd say $900 is a touch high, but not insane. like doremite said, these machines last forever, but i would peg it's value at closer to $800.

  25. #975
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    I have had an Expobar for maybe 10ish years that I bought used. I'm guessing it's got 15yrs on it total. I paid around $700ish. It's been great. Had 2x $200 services in the last decade. Been super solid. I'm kinda psyched for a PID machine to eliminate the temperature surfing or flushing that is required, but it's way easier to get to the right zone with these than say a Silvia which I owned before the Expobar.

    The used market seems like very slim pickens these days and correspondingly prices are up.
    He who has the most fun wins!

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