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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
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    Ut
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    espresso making mags?

    Some think its too strong, some think its for starbucks yuppies. But since I've been hooked, I make my own every morning with an old Gaggia Baby I found at a yardsale.

    I recently picked up a Grimac La Valentina that is in need of some work, and will hopefully pull a fine shot. I can make a bunch of drinks but usually just a double shot gets me going in the morning.

    Anyone else rock the espresso from their house rather than starbacks?

  2. #2
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    Nov 2005
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    Land of Brine Shrimp and Magic Underwear
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    Every day for me. Triple in the morning and if I'm working I'll pack another triple for the 4am-8am stretch. I usually drink it Americano style with a little milk and sugar but sometimes not.

    I use the little stovetop italian style ones, I've got a small and a medium one. They rock, I've had the little one for over 10 years.
    There's nothing better than sliding down snow... flying through the air.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    East Van-BC
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    238
    Quote Originally Posted by powwrangler View Post
    I recently picked up a Grimac La Valentina
    That's a nice looking little machine. You going to plumb that badboy in? And what grinder are you using?

    I've been out of the home espresso game for a while now but if I were more stable here, I'd buy another machine in a heartbeat. I had a salvaged old italian thing, similar to the Baby, but I was able to coax a pretty decent shot out of it after a while. My girlfriend at the time did not think so highly of the idea of spending a couple grand on a Sylvia and Rocky combo. Bitch.

    I don't even order milk based drinks here in North Vancouver despite having about 6 cafés in a 4 block radius. Mmm, I have to go across the water to run an errand later... that means a decent macchiato from Caffe Artigiano.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    1,928
    Dude, tell your ex that the sylvia rocky combo is only about a grand Isn't good coffee enough justification? You spend about $850 per year going to Starbucks to get your daily latte. So in a few years, you actually saved a few bucks (minus the cost of buying your beans).

    I only know this in theory. I have not yet bought my espresso machine, but I have one on the wedding registry for next year. Now it's just the waiting game... Come on Sylvia!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    East Van-BC
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    238
    This is about 4 years ago, so I thought I remembered it being more expensive.

    I actually have a fully automated Saeco thing that my roommate owns. It steams okay, but after adjusting the grind as fine as it goes, I have no control over the watery shot that comes out. A latté outta the Saeco still beats asking for one from anywhere around here though.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    280
    I'd dig on an espresso machine eventually. Plain ol' espresso and water for me with some 1/2 & 1/2. Good stuff.

    For now I'm slummin' it with Costco Starbuck's French Roast... it's not that bad actually(to my palette at least) and it's hard to beat for $4-5/lb when you get it in the big bags.
    Huck the Joneses.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    Stuck in perpetual Meh
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    35,263
    Quote Originally Posted by somegeek View Post
    I'd dig on an espresso machine eventually. Plain ol' espresso and water for me with some 1/2 & 1/2. Good stuff.
    AKA an "Americano." I gave our espresso maker to our babysitter (we had gotten it from my MiL who never used it.) I don't need to jack myself up that hard every morning.

    Oh, we found that using a medium roast Central American bean and grinding it fine tasted better than traditional "Espresso Roast" beans.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    in a van down by the river
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    Rockin' the stove top. $22 and nothing will break or go wrong.

    Usually with a french roast, I have been drinking Bean North coffees they are pretty good. Although I am fickle and tend to buy what ever med-dark to dark roast catches my eye.

    The only starfucks bean that I have enjoyed recently is the Italian roast, although the Gold coast is passable when desperation takes hold.
    I don't work and I don't save, desperate women pay my way.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tippster View Post
    AKA an "Americano." I gave our espresso maker to our babysitter (we had gotten it from my MiL who never used it.) I don't need to jack myself up that hard every morning.
    I've been told that a cup of normal drip coffee contains more caffeine than a double shot of espresso. Getting "jacked" on espresso actually requires a little more substance, surprisingly.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2008
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    East Van-BC
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    The longer you roast, the less the caffeine. A 16 oz (grande) medium roast can have anywhere from 200-300 mg of caffeine, whereas a single shot of espresso tends to be around 40mg.

    If you drink your 'spro I-talian style (2 packets of sugar in a single espresso), then it's probably the sugar that gets you jacked.

  11. #11
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    Apr 2008
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    just outside the bubble
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    Used to have a little machine that I gave to a friend when I moved.

    We have one at the office for my daily mid-afternoon pick-me up shot. If I don't go with a straight shot, I'll put 1-2 shots in my coffee. I've heard it called either a Shot in the Dark, Redeye, etc. I'll usually only do that in the a.m. though.

    I could go for a shot right now.
    It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. –Ernest Hemingway

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Salt Lake City
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    806
    I used to have a Gaggia machine that my parents had in their restaurant.
    It was fully mechanical. No electronics save for the pressure switch that turned the pump on and off.
    I think it was 30 years old when they got it. You had to turn knobs to make the machine do it's work, so there was quite a bit of 'feel' to making espresso and other drinks.

    I still think that machine made the best espresso.
    It's gone now. It broke and the replacement parts were no longer available.
    -James

    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo View Post
    It doesn't behave well until it's going mach retarded.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    BANFF, at my house
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    523
    Little stove top beastie that pumps out a triple shot, Mntlion is the wimp in the family and uses the single shot mini, we have our own stove tops because neither one will wait for the other to have their coffee and let the machine cool to fill their own.

    We have been drinking Domonican Republic import and need to return soon to do a refill. hence the campaign for baseball gloves... but who really needs a charity excuse to go veg on a beach for a week following a semester form hell in nursing school!!!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tahoe
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    I have a lower end home machine with an E61 head - similar to your la valentina but not as nice. I've been making 10 shots a day for 5 years... love it.

    Once you get it working definitely toss the reservoir and plumb it in to an undersink filter/softener ... you can get the parts from chriscoffee.com . You want to soften the water or junk will eventually ruin the heat exchanger, and as long as you are doing that ditching the reservoir is a no brainer. Hopefully all you need to do is connect the line from the softener to the intake of the pump.

    I had to do two other things... put a solenoid ($40) valve on the line, otherwise water would slowly leak through the pump. Easy 30 minute job, just piggyback off the pump leads so when the pump turns on the solenoid opens. The internals on mine also had a hose that dribbled excess water back into the tank, so I had to drill a hole in the front of the machine to run it into the drip tray. Another 30 minutes. No biggie.

    The biggest thing I did to get better coffee was roast my own... I get the beans green from sweetmarias.com (Liquid Amber blend, $5/lb in 20 lb bags). Not only does it taste way better than anything I could buy roasted but its 1/3 the price and the green beans keep for 6 months so you don't have to buy them every week. The drum roaster was $500 or so when I bought it and it paid for itself in a couple of years.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    LaLa Land
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    3,214
    Rocking an Expobar which has done me pretty well. Had the Rialto, often described as the poor mans ugle duckling silvia. Occasionally had an amazing shot, but was very inconsistent. The Expobar probably hasn't had one shot as good as the couple of amazing ones I got out of the Rialto, but its consistently good. Using Peets Italian roast these days. Buy 1/4 lb of beans and get a free espresso = pretty good deal and I like the beans themselves...
    He who has the most fun wins!

  16. #16
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    Apr 2006
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    Espresso porn from a few minutes ago.
    Mmmmmmmm... creamy.

  17. #17
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    Comish, which expobar do you have? I'm considering getting my dad an espresso maker for xmas, and have heard good things about expobar.

  18. #18
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    Nov 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patches View Post
    Espresso porn from a few minutes ago.
    Mmmmmmmm... creamy.
    Espresso Jizz?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Big in Japan
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    I have recently been introduced to the wonders of making my own at my new workplace. I use this: http://www.starbucksstore.com/produc...asp?SKU=602940
    It's an excellent value. I say that because it sits next to two others that suck and cost more. (I work for a company that makes them) When I first started, the unit was almost ten years old and used up like a 43st street walker, and it still pumped well, although it was showing it's age. The new one is 3 years old and quite the, .... thing. Same machine, basically, as the one above. Why pay more.

    Let's do some livin'
    After, we die

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Replicant colony
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    I wish I could afford a one-armed-bandit style manual pump action, but they're just too much cash.

    I keep toying with the idea of making this: http://www.engadget.com/2005/02/15/h...resso-machine/

    I alternate between a stovetop espresso maker, I think they call them "moka" pots, and a 1-cup french press.

    The Moka makes an excellent tasting super-strong coffee, but I wouldn't call it espresso exactly. Low-medium heat for 12 minutes and it trickles out ever so slow, but extremely strong.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    LaLa Land
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patches View Post
    Comish, which expobar do you have? I'm considering getting my dad an espresso maker for xmas, and have heard good things about expobar.
    I have this one:
    http://www.wholelattelove.com/Expobar/Expobar.cfm

    Wholly shit is it expensive. I Ebayed it and have forgotten just how pricey these things are. I definitely like it. I still have yet to get the perfect shot, but I'm not really sure that is the fault of the machine and it is consistent which I like unlike the Rancilio.
    He who has the most fun wins!

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    50 miles E of Paradise
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    8,619
    We have a two-cup stovetop moka pot at home. Makes a great thermos cup for the drive to the mtn

    There's a small espresso machine at our office but only about four of us use it regularly. The regular coffee pot is high-end and there's a grinder too.

    Since we hired a guy whose brother roasts coffee for a living, I've learned that the bean and the roast make all the difference. We get beans by mail order now from The Wandering Goat in Eugene OR. www.wanderinggoat.com/index.php?action=home

    Way better for the same price as Starbucks beans. Really diggin' the yirgacheffe

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    5,501
    damn, that Expobar is flippin sweet.
    We;ve got a krups combo, maybe $250 or so and it's legit for pumpin out a real shot. I'll spring for some Lavazza super crema but usually just pack the extra strong jinky brasil powder. lil cinnamon and some steamed milk
    Last edited by willywhit; 11-01-2008 at 10:46 PM.
    Bacon tastes good. Pork chops taste goood.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    gunnison valley
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    723
    Bialetti!

    My wife just returned from italy with a new all stainless steel version of the stove top standby. We must be 6 years strong with this method.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    106
    I have had the expobar office control. I love it.

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