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I have never had an espresso
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Discussions > Espresso > General > I have never had...  
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wsikes
Senior Member
wsikes
Joined: 3 Oct 2011
Posts: 396
Location: West Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Promac MD-64 AT
Drip: Bunn
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012, 5:02am
Subject: I have never had an espresso
 

I am a lifelong drip coffee drinker...
But yesterday I purchased an espresso machine.  I can't believe I did it.  Curiosity killed the cat, yet I couldn't resist the temptation.
I looked at some cheap new and used machines for a couple of days and decided to make the jump by getting a used Saeco Aroma off of eBay.  It's not here yet, but I am already overwhelmed in thoughts of what I am going to do next. I guess I need to get some different beans since I only have Africans on hand, and I probably should go ahead and order them now so I won't have to wait so long to try the machine out.  Maybe I'll just try some of my Rwanda in it and go from there.
Wow... can't believe I did this... I have never even tasted espresso.

 
Bill
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MARIOBARBA
Senior Member
MARIOBARBA
Joined: 26 Sep 2011
Posts: 126
Location: MONTREAL CANADA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Ascaso DUO Prof TRONIC
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012, 5:45am
Subject: Re: I have never had an espresso
 

Don't pass judgement on espresso based on what you will make in your new/old espresso machine.  You will need a better grinder, preferably an espresso blend of coffee and this is most important, a lot of patience, before you can make what most people would consider good espresso.  Wait, cancel that last part, most people probably do not know what good espresso tastes like since they think Starbucks = good espresso.  Replace most people with people who have taken the red pill.  

The saeco has a pressurized portafilter (the basket you are going to put the coffee in only has one hole in it that creates a back pressure and forces the coffee to come out really quick and gives it a fake crema).  You will need to get rid of it (the pressurized portafilter that is, not the machine) before you can start making real espresso.  

Your grinder unfortunately cannot grind for espresso.  You need a grinder that can grind very fine and consistently.  

Lastly, although the trend in NA is starting to use single origin coffees for espresso, the Italians make espresso by blending coffees from different parts of the world (they also blend arabicas and robustas, which is frowned upon by third wave movement).  Try getting some espresso from here: Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

I don't want to discourage you, but you have a lot of work to do until you can make good espresso at home, you may want to try some espresso at a local cafe with a good reputation here and over on HB.  Then, if you like the espresso, come back searching for more advice.

Good Luck
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,869
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012, 6:09am
Subject: Re: I have never had an espresso
 

wsikes Said:

I am a lifelong drip coffee drinker...
But yesterday I purchased an espresso machine.  I can't believe I did it.  Curiosity killed the cat, yet I couldn't resist the temptation.
I looked at some cheap new and used machines for a couple of days and decided to make the jump by getting a used Saeco Aroma off of eBay.  It's not here yet, but I am already overwhelmed in thoughts of what I am going to do next. I guess I need to get some different beans since I only have Africans on hand, and I probably should go ahead and order them now so I won't have to wait so long to try the machine out.  Maybe I'll just try some of my Rwanda in it and go from there.
Wow... can't believe I did this... I have never even tasted espresso.

Posted April 23, 2012 link

Congrats Mr. William on your new purchase - let me too chime in and call your complete set up utterly useless for espresso - wait a minute, have you tried using your Baratza Maestro Plus to grind fine - not powder fine but finer than auto drip? That is all it needs to be capable of producing using the devil a pressurized filter basket. As for coffee, those Rwanda beans will not, unfortunately, make espresso in your set up - they do, however, make espresso in my gear though, so maybe you should try using them any way.  

Oh, you need to by a used HX (in before the usual suspects) since these are the only machines in the world capable of producing espresso - I suppose new HX's clearly will not work for the new user since they are never, ever recommended...

Tongue in cheek of course - go forth and espress with your gear and beans!

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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Daniel437
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Apr 2012
Posts: 22
Location: Berlin
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012, 6:10am
Subject: Re: I have never had an espresso
 

You have to start somewhere-- I think you will like your machine. Chances are good you'll like espresso if you've been drinking coffee your whole life. Like Eric said, you'll need to do a few things to maximize your machine's potential.
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wsikes
Senior Member
wsikes
Joined: 3 Oct 2011
Posts: 396
Location: West Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Promac MD-64 AT
Drip: Bunn
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012, 6:16am
Subject: Re: I have never had an espresso
 

Thanks Mario... I know I have a long long way to go, but the journey should be fun.  Unfortunately I live out in the hills and mountains and we don't have any coffeeshops within 50 miles of here.  It is easier to get moonshine where I live that it is to get good coffee.  I do roast my own and love the coffee I get, but I want to try something different.  I read a LOT and I know what a challenge this will be for me... sounds like fun.
I'm thinking I will use the pressurized portafilter until I can get a better grinder, but a fellow has to start somewhere, I guess.  I am going to order a decent blend today so I will know it is not the coffee that is the problem when I start pulling my shots... maybe some Black Cat or maybe one of Tom's blends from SM.
Wish me luck...  I'm gonna need it!

 
Bill
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wsikes
Senior Member
wsikes
Joined: 3 Oct 2011
Posts: 396
Location: West Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Promac MD-64 AT
Drip: Bunn
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012, 6:21am
Subject: Re: I have never had an espresso
 

Thanks Daniel... I'm hoping this machine will be relatively simple and as a beginner I can make some swill to get started... lol.

 
Bill
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,869
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012, 6:25am
Subject: Re: I have never had an espresso
 

Give those Rwanda beans a try - I have been using them this weekend and they are delicious.  If it tastes too bright try a sample roast going a little darker.  Also, send me your address on the Green Coffee Buying Club Forum in a PM. Once you know the machine works properly I will send you some coffee through ROASTe - lots of Velton's Bonsai Blend love over there but the Deep Cello Black Tie and Klatch's Belle is popular as well - I will get you something well known so you can easily find what other people describe the taste to be.

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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wsikes
Senior Member
wsikes
Joined: 3 Oct 2011
Posts: 396
Location: West Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Promac MD-64 AT
Drip: Bunn
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012, 6:30am
Subject: Re: I have never had an espresso
 

Eric, I am going to try my Maestro Plus, but I am almost positive it will not do the job... especially if/when I go to a non-pressurized portafilter.  I watched a video on how to recalibrate my grinder to grind finer, but I have never even tried it on a fine setting yet.  I'll know more in a few days... hopefully.
I am one of those people who, once they stick their toe in the water, they have to jump in the lake... I have always been this way with my hobbies and I'm sure this will be no different.  I am the luckiest man in the world in that my wife never tells me that I can't buy something if I want it.  I'm not rich, but my wife figures that if I'm happy, she's happy.  So... look out!  I know this is going to be fun!

 
Bill
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,869
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012, 6:58am
Subject: Re: I have never had an espresso
 

Yep, once you switch to a non pressurized filter basket things change - actually the Maestro can grind fine enough but the burrs will wear out quickly using it this way - probably hard on the gears and motor too.  I played around with mine and got powder once but the sounds it made were not very pleasant.

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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MARIOBARBA
Senior Member
MARIOBARBA
Joined: 26 Sep 2011
Posts: 126
Location: MONTREAL CANADA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Ascaso DUO Prof TRONIC
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Mon Apr 23, 2012, 7:30am
Subject: Re: I have never had an espresso
 

Hey, I used a pressurized pf with a Brevile Cafe Roma and pre-ground Italian espresso for about 4 years and was relatively happy with it (and I did know what real espresso tasted like at the time).  The most important thing is to remember to enjoy the journey.

Maybe you can trade Eric some of that moonshine you mentioned for some espresso :)
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