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Editor's Choice Awards 2006 - Espresso by Mark Prince
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julioale
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Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Posts: 36
Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Wed Dec 20, 2006, 5:39pm
Subject: Re: Editor's Choice Awards 2006 - Espresso by Mark Prince
 

Thanks for your answer Mark.    Saw what you said at Alt. Coffee.  BTW, I donít like that forum  because there is no control, no moderator and it can lead to defamation.  Here we appreaciate the work you do at CoffeeGeek.  If it wasnít for site like this one and Home Barista we coulnít share and learn our passion.

I always see the Editorís Choice as an expert opinion with the right to choose and recommend.

Mi suggestion is that companies shouldnít announce in their sited the Editorís Choice before been published.  

As I mentioned before, thanks for the work you do.

Julio
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CraigA
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Posted Wed Dec 20, 2006, 5:48pm
Subject: Re: Editor's Choice Awards 2006 - Espresso by Mark Prince
 

Hi Julio,

alt.coffee isn't a "forum" per se, but Usenet & a Newsgroup.













.

 
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MarkPrince
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MarkPrince
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Posted Thu Dec 21, 2006, 12:15am
Subject: Re: Editor's Choice Awards 2006 - Espresso by Mark Prince
 

julioale Said:

Thanks for your answer Mark.    Saw what you said at Alt. Coffee.  BTW, I donít like that forum  because there is no control, no moderator and it can lead to defamation.  Here we appreaciate the work you do at CoffeeGeek.  If it wasnít for site like this one and Home Barista we coulnít share and learn our passion.

Posted December 20, 2006 link

I can't be harsh towards alt.coffee. I cut my teeth there, still have lots of love for a lot of folks in the newsgroup - people like Barry, Andy, Ted, Bernie, Danny, Randy, heck even Al and many others. Without alt.coffee, I wouldn't be where I am in my coffee and espresso knowledge today.

Being unmoderated and uncensored is a double edged sword though - you either gotta be really careful with what you write, or just write whatever, or don't write at all - but do so knowing it's all going to be in the public record without chance for modification. So that means if someone wants to try and be anonymous to stir up stuff, and gets caught or identified, it's there in public record. It can't be edited or cut later on.

And brutha, have I got my own doosies in the annals of alt.coffee that I'm not so proud of myself ;)

julioale Said:

I always see the Editorís Choice as an expert opinion with the right to choose and recommend.

Posted December 20, 2006 link

Amen! I should have said that from the get go. But if I labeled myself an expert, I probably would have been slagged for that too. How about "someone with a lot of experience with these products".

Mark

 
CoffeeGeek Senior Editor
www.twitter.com/coffeegeek www.flickr.com/coffeegeek, www.instagram.com/coffeegeek (you get the picture)
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olywadave
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olywadave
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Posted Thu Dec 21, 2006, 12:24pm
Subject: Re: Editor's Choice Awards 2006 - Espresso by Mark Prince
 

MarkPrince Said:

Amen! I should have said that from the get go. But if I labeled myself an expert, I probably would have been slagged for that too. How about "someone with a lot of experience with these products".

Mark

Posted December 21, 2006 link

Mark you may not believe me but I do feel for you... Its difficult to be so high profile and I would hate to have so many critical eyes paying attention to your recommendations.

I doubt very much ANYONE would doubt your expertise after 5 years of dedicated work and experience in this field. I'd personally label you as much an expert (if not more) as anyone thats been working in the industry for 5 years.
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IMAWriter
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Posted Thu Dec 21, 2006, 11:12pm
Subject: Re: Editor's Choice Awards 2006 - Espresso by Mark Prince
 

Mark...I'm sure the espresso blend had to be one of your tough choices, and it only points out your impartiality, considering many of our awesome professional roaster's advertise and participate here on CG....and taste being subjective, you pointed out a strength of KID-O important to  many of us...consistency despite  inconsistent circumstances...(humidity, grind, temp variations, etc)....and for many home "baristi" one less variable in the process is a good thing!...and watching your performance over the years, I know your choice is not meant as a slight to the other blends...
Just THIS year it's KID O...next year????
I do have to say that my fair lass "Anita" is sulking in the kitchen.

Merry Christmas to all...and to all a good night
Rob J

Edit

Moderators...sorry for the double...first time it didn't appear to go through...please remove...thanks

 
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My Music Production web site:
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AndersMC
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Joined: 17 Oct 2006
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Location: Denmark
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Dec 22, 2006, 2:15am
Subject: Re: Editor's Choice Awards 2006 - Espresso by Mark Prince
 

Great article!

I think it is very interesting that you have the Krups XP series machines as a runner up for Best New Espresso Product.

As I recall you were mentioning a product review some time ago -was that ever published?
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MarkPrince
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Posted Fri Dec 22, 2006, 12:02pm
Subject: Re: Editor's Choice Awards 2006 - Espresso by Mark Prince
 

AndersMC Said:

Great article!

I think it is very interesting that you have the Krups XP series machines as a runner up for Best New Espresso Product.

As I recall you were mentioning a product review some time ago -was that ever published?

Posted December 22, 2006 link

No... not yet :(

I have a first look ready and on the website, but unpublished for both the XP4030 and XP4050. But when I knew Krups would be the primary sponsor for the Holiday Gift List, I put off publishing it. I was worried about the perception of graft or things like that (though with today's alt.coffee, I wonder why I bother worrying - people will always perceive it). So I'm waiting for the new year to publish it.

Here's the how and why on Krups.

I have a soft spot in my coffee heart for Krups. Back in the late 1980s, I thought they were the coolest thing going for coffee. Them and Braun. In the mid 1990s, I bought a Krups Novo Compact, which was actually quite a good machine, and one of Krups' only true boiler / brass grouphead / brass pf machines, ever.

In the late 1990s, I went through three Krups drip brewers. All brewed too cold - I could even tell then. Ditto for Braun. It was like having, I dunno, like finding out the tooth fairy wasn't real.

Krups' espresso machines from 1998 through 2004 were pretty sucky. I bought a couple, tried them out, returned them during that time. Their drip machines - ditto.

Then a big shake up happened at Krups a couple of years ago. New management, new owners, new ideas on coffee. They started getting involved in sponsoring barista competitions. And more involved at the SCAA show.

In 2005, I volunteered to train the media judges for a Krups "Kup of Excellence" media junket across Canada. I did my part, really emphasizing good espresso over bells and whistles, and it seemed to work - they picked a good order for Vancouver's cafes that year (this year, I didn't do it, and the selections for best cafes were pretty bad!). As a "thank you", one I wasn't expecting, Krups gave me a (still not for sale at that time) XP4030.

A year before, they sponsored the Canadian Barista Championship, and all competitors got one of the old Krups espresso machines. The person I trained got one, and I used it for a while.

I mention that because, in early 2005, the company ditched all it's old line of coffee and espresso machines (the Novo lines, etc), and rolled out the XP line, based on the same internals that Sunbeam Australia (not the same as Sunbeam over here) was using.

I put the 2004 Novo machine head to head with the 2005 XP4030 machine. There was no comparison - the XP was, to use an overused phrase, a quantum leap in shot quality compared to the novo. Also a huge leap in performance and build quality. I was actually able to get a good shot out of it!

So I was quite impressed. Fast forward to SCAA 2006 - all USBC judges got the auto version, the XP4050. I had long talks with SEB Group and Krups USA at the show about their machines and tech. They seemed very receptive to addressing some concerns. More good news.

I used the XP4050 this past summer, and found it was a very good performer for its price. It's biggest handicaps were a) pressurized baskets, and b) forcing you to use the froth aider. But it had a better froth aider than the 4030, and one could "hack" it slightly to steam traditionally (no such option with the 4030).

All this was done without any knowledge by Krups.

So starting this summer, I started recommending this machine. based on the machines themselves. I didn't think anything would benefit me from doing so - there was no hidden reasons for doing so. I mentioned it in a few interviews, featured it in an Imbibe Magazine story, started mentioning it on CoffeeGeek. I felt it was (and is) a great turnaround product from Krups - not perfect, not "there yet" but signs of a good move towards coffee quality by a major company.

This is how Krups' sponsorship of the HGL came about - they started talking to me - their ad people - and never once asked me for a positive review of the product, or positive placement - just that they felt I was being honest and forthright with my commentary, both good and bad about the product, and wanted to become involved with hte website. I mentioned the HGL, and they asked to be involved. I stressed in  communication that they had no editorial control over anything with this sponsorship, save for their own page (the page about the Krups Espresso shorts), and they had no issues with that at all. Didn't expect or ask me to link any of their products in the HGL itself (I did though - because, well, read above).

But I had to put off posting the First Looks for their XP line because of this. Again, because of a worry about a perception of "advertorial". I will never, ever write an advertorial review on this website or anywhere online or in print. Most people who know me well know how opposed I am to that. But there'll always be the conspiracy theorists...

Hope that explains things. I think the Krups XP line is a good choice for a starter machine. Needs work, but I'm also working on that (eg, convincing Krups to sell aftermarket non pressurized baskets, for eg).

Mark

 
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Yirga
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Joined: 3 Feb 2006
Posts: 659
Location: Big Bend
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Dec 23, 2006, 7:49am
Subject: Re: Editor's Choice Awards 2006 - Espresso by Mark Prince
 

I've held off reading this post so that feed-back could accumulate.  The choices and commentary in support, thereof, for 2006 are extraordinary and at least once a while back, I've asked for such a choice element on here (not necessarily, for the past year, or one from Mark, but this does, fine, since it reaches down to a, "beginners" entry level choice and runner-up).  I'd think that most experienced serious coffee hobbyists would recommend that ALL inexperienced serious coffee hobbyists should be encouraged to read it -- much time will be saved from asking redundant questions about, "the best" and having volunteers repeatedly recommending their prized coffee toys or even their personal, "objective ideas" for noobs (Mark is way more likely to convince noobs that his choices are objective with HIS style of experience and objectivity -- evidenced by his keen concern NOT to be taken as a shill hack -- nice to be open and concerned about it!).  I find it refreshing that these choices are offered up in the style of, "NOT an expert", but from one with lots of experience!  Considered over time, they will be a definitive GUIDELINE for all to consider, even though some of us have emotional ties to what's in our favorite toy box!  Maybe even some may be convinced they have more objectivity to offer -- if so, they are free to add their choices should they care to do so!

BRAVO, Mark!
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AndersMC
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Joined: 17 Oct 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Denmark
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Dec 26, 2006, 11:28am
Subject: Re: Editor's Choice Awards 2006 - Espresso by Mark Prince
 

Mark,

Thanks for a very quick and detailed reply on the Krups XP question. I fully understand your rationale for not publishing the review yet.
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jason_casale
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jason_casale
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Posted Tue Dec 26, 2006, 12:28pm
Subject: Re: Editor's Choice Awards 2006 - Espresso by Mark Prince
 

Mark and everyone,
Just to chime in I am a long standing member of alt.coffee and have read what was said the critisisms of the editors choice.
But I have to back Mark on this.
As a long time network and pctech I used to read computer shopper and they would always have there top picks in various catagories usually chosen by the editor.
Some advertised with the magazine some did not. So I really do not see anything wrong with the list.
Heck my company advertised with coffee geek with a banner ad this year and have helped with donations for the silent auction.
Does that mean I should get the best coffee or espresso vote from him of course not.
You can't  by favorable opinions here on coffee geek thank goodness.
When Mark says he didn't select just advertisers or clients of his other ventures for the editors choice awards I have to believe him and take him at his word.
KidO happens to ge a very consistent versitale blend and works well for alot of machines so I can see why he chose it.
The editors choice is subjective based upon the editors opinion that is without saying so you can assume a fair amount of the editors biased personal opinion in chosing items for the list.
If the list was voted best by the people then that would be a different story.
Anyway that is my 2cents feel free to hack away at me now if you wish.

 
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