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Choosing an Espresso machine for church use?
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Buckley
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Mar 16, 2014, 3:02am
Subject: Re: Choosing an Espresso machine for church use?
 

Joe,
I have a solution for you to consider and I have offered it before to church people proposing just what you wish to plan - you are not the first.  However, it looks like you have virtually signed off from this thread.  If you are interested in one more plan to accomplish what you are considering, please contact me on my public email.  You can access it by clicking on my name and getting into my profile.
Buckley
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JoeMorton
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Joined: 13 Mar 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Orlando, FL
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Mar 17, 2014, 6:52pm
Subject: Re: Choosing an Espresso machine for church use?
 

I'm still here Buckley. Anything you'd want to share, I'd be interested in. If you post here, hopefully others could benefit from it too.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,710
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue Mar 18, 2014, 8:08am
Subject: Re: Choosing an Espresso machine for church use?
 

JoeMorton Said:

So I'm brand new
but is it unreasonable to think that a prosumer model could handle this kind of use? I was looking specifically at the Breville BES900XL.

Posted March 13, 2014 link

That machine is a home use machine, a true prosumer machine is much better built.

There is a lot of work to running a fast paced between service coffee bar. As you discovered, the most limiting factor is manpower and training. Equipment can be purchased but keeping a staff of people who know what they are doing is the hard part.

Our church tried this before I got involved in quality coffee, they had 3 people and a single group prosumer machine, the line was long, the staff harried and a lot of people did not get their drinks between service and S. School.

One way to serve quality coffee is with air pots or brew stations. Commercial brewers that brew directly into a brew station or air pot are widely available, they can be purchased in a pour over setup so if you can not or do not have the room to plumb them in, you can use bottled water and pour the water into the brewer for each pot.

With this type of brewing, you can keep the standards high and start before the rush to make the needed coffee so the work load is spread out over a much longer span of time, this along with a quality grinder such as the LPG by Bunn, you will have an easy to use, high quality and large volume coffee service.

It is the peak demand time that really puts a strain on things. Everyone wants their coffee NOW! In 20 minutes, no one wants it at all :D

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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Buckley
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Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Mar 18, 2014, 9:46am
Subject: Re: Choosing an Espresso machine for church use?
 

Dear Joe,
Now that the posts in this thread imply that you would only like to present high quality black and milk coffee drinks to your congregation, we can continue.  The other unspoken goal that can underlie this kind of request is to provide a festive-appearing hospitality 'center' for a social gathering that features a 'performance' attraction.  This 'barista bar' is a valid appraoch to hospitality as long as high quality coffee drinks are the outcome, but my suggestion is incompatible with this goal.  The alternative that I propose is much lower cost with a much lower learning curve; the coffee will never be excellent espresso but it will also never be poorly made watery, sour espresso, either, and it will be consistent, abundant, easy to serve and way better than most of your congregation are currently buying for themselves (if popular trends are any indication).  I have only tried this one-on-one; you will have to do some research on scaling it up but it promises to be straighforward.  Here are the ingredients:

-Learn how to cold brew and make a batch the required number of days before Sunday, or day of serving.
-Reconsitute the coffee at the POS (point of service).  This requires a kettle or 'tea urn' of boiling water.
-Buy an IKEA frothing wand.  I think they are $4.95 and they work batter than the $20 brands.
-Buy a digital thermomter.
-Get a small microwave.  Most churches have one or two lying around, even if you or a helper do not.

Cold brewing makes excellent, concentrated coffee extract that can be reconstituted to give a very high quality coffee or coffee drink.  To reassure yourself of this, you have no further to look than the forums here and on Home-Barista.com.   If you use even this primitve search engine and search for "cold" "brew" (2 wds.) in the 'Machines and Brewing Methods' section of this forum, you get 12,000 hits.  The same search in the 'Coffee Recipes' section gives 200 hits.  Since cold brewed coffee is concentrated, it can mix with frothed milk very well to give a flavorful drink.  Needless to say, what you can make will be much better than commerically sold coffee concentrates.

Warming the milk up to 150-155 F is important because it renders the lactose in milk more soluble than if it were left cool and this increases the perception of sweetness in the milk.  This is easy to do in a microwave, aided by the thermomter to avoid the 'eggy' taste of overcooked milk.  The microfoam produced by a wand is very close to, if not indistinguishable from, steam wand produced microfoam.  To check this assertion, do a search with 'frothing wand' here and on H-B.  Your searching may possibly have some threads by people who have scaled this up to 4-6 cups of milk at a time; I do not know, but possibly.  If you want to introduce some festivity into the presentation, you can practice latte art with wand-frothed micrfoam.

There are many cold brew recipes; you will find that you do not need to buy a cold brewing machine.  You will have to select the few recipes  that appeal to you and try them out.  Try them on a few houseguests, too.  Perhaps the only investment that you will need to make is the frothing wand, a bag of quality, fresh roast and a good grinder.  The grinder will not have to grind espresso-fine, which gives you a lot more latitude with which to choose.

Since cold brew extracts flavor from coffee based upon time and not so much on grind size or heat, there is a range of grind sizes that the recipes suggest.  If you find a recipe that works for you on a small scale then when it comes time to scale it up you might use the coffee grinder in a retail establishment to grind a pound or two and then hurry home with the coffee and begin the brew before it loses its freshness.  For instance, Central Market in Dallas sold several dozen coffees by local roasters, some quite good, in self-serve bins and had complementary grinders there for customer use.  (One was 'flavored' and the other one was 'unflavored'.  If there is only one grinder, watch out for this).  It would be likely that some establishment like this would be in or near Orlando (I would avoid Whole Foods - their in-house roasting is usually overdone and terrible, but seems to vary store by store.  If they carry a quality local roast and will grind it for you, then that is another story).  In this way it might be possble to even avoid the expense of a good grinder.

If this sounds like a fair amount of work, it is not - it is mostly research and planning.  And it has got to be less stressful than trying to turn out 30 cappas in 30 minutes on a machine - but I never tried it.

Buckley
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,177
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Tue Mar 18, 2014, 1:44pm
Subject: Re: Choosing an Espresso machine for church use?
 

+1 with Buckley's secret plan, and this one too:

boar_d_laze Said:

Another really good (and economical!) choice is putting out carafes of cold-brew concentrate (Toddy for instance) and allowing your congregants to build their own hot or cold drinks by presenting a bar which includes ice, cold water, hot water and the appropriate variety of dairy, sweeteners, etc.  I like this sort of service a great deal because it's so easy to pair with a tea service.  

Posted March 15, 2014 link

FWIW, the giant, commercial sized, Toddy is available at any number of places for under $100.  If you're serious about "best" results you'll want to use high-quality, fresh roasted beans and grind them just before use with some sort of bulk grinder; such as an appropriate model Bunn of Grindmaster for instance.  They're widely available used, in good shape, for under $400.  

Besides its taste and versatility, cold brewed coffee is an excellent choice for afternoon and evening service, because it is very low acid and has a relatively low caffeine content.  

Rich
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