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Hello coffeegeeks (newbie intro)...
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Discussions > Espresso > General > Hello...  
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CoffeeRon
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 753
Location: Eatonville, Wa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Wed Jul 3, 2013, 4:55pm
Subject: Re: Hello coffeegeeks (newbie intro)...
 

A number of years ago the Rocky was considered one of the best entry level grinders. Things have changed a lot. There are quite a number of former Rocky owners who post here and most have nothing good to say about them. The biggest beef is with the big stepped settings.

 The Preciso is stepped but the micro steps are very close. I've never heard one complaint about the steps being too far apart. I don't own a Preciso but I do have two Virtuosos (just picked one up on ebay with the Preciso burrs for $50, just needed a few dollars in parts and a half hour to make it right!) they may not be solid steel but they are very well built in my opinion and give a good grind. Baratza customer service is super (I would avoid Pierce though if you have any real problems). So my vote is Definitely for the Preciso.

 As for the tamper only thing I have heard that goes beyond personal preference is that some say your tamper should match your shower screen. If your screen is flat go flat, if it's rounded get convex. I generally prefer flat but I picked up a used Espro Tamper that's convex and don't really notice a difference. Early on in my journey I used a convex for a bit and struggled with it more than a flat one for some reason.

Sorry if I seem to be rambling a bit, hope this helps with your questions.

Cheers, Ron

PS:  I should mention Baratza offers refurbs on their website for a good price. The refurbs are as good as new or better. Refurbs are posted Thursday mornings, so if you're looking and don't see one that would be the time to look.
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2013, 6:26am
Subject: Re: Hello coffeegeeks (newbie intro)...
 

BTW! If you deside on a  Baratza contact the dealer and see if they have any refurbs in stock.  You may get a deal.
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jtferraro
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Jun 2013
Posts: 49
Location: CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks (Saeco) Barista,...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Aerobie Aero Press
Drip: Bonavita Thermal
Roaster: none
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2013, 8:52pm
Subject: Re: Hello coffeegeeks (newbie intro)...
 

CoffeeRon Said:

A number of years ago the Rocky was considered one of the best entry level grinders. Things have changed a lot. There are quite a number of former Rocky owners who post here and most have nothing good to say about them. The biggest beef is with the big stepped settings.

 The Preciso is stepped but the micro steps are very close. I've never heard one complaint about the steps being too far apart. I don't own a Preciso but I do have two Virtuosos (just picked one up on ebay with the Preciso burrs for $50, just needed a few dollars in parts and a half hour to make it right!) they may not be solid steel but they are very well built in my opinion and give a good grind. Baratza customer service is super (I would avoid Pierce though if you have any real problems). So my vote is Definitely for the Preciso.

 As for the tamper only thing I have heard that goes beyond personal preference is that some say your tamper should match your shower screen. If your screen is flat go flat, if it's rounded get convex. I generally prefer flat but I picked up a used Espro Tamper that's convex and don't really notice a difference. Early on in my journey I used a convex for a bit and struggled with it more than a flat one for some reason.

Sorry if I seem to be rambling a bit, hope this helps with your questions.

Cheers, Ron

PS:  I should mention Baratza offers refurbs on their website for a good price. The refurbs are as good as new or better. Refurbs are posted Thursday mornings, so if you're looking and don't see one that would be the time to look.

Posted July 3, 2013 link

Great info - thanks Ron.  You weren't rambling at all.  I appreciate your advice and I'm definitely thinking the Precisio might be the grinder for me, at this time.  Re: the refurbished models Baratza offers - when I factored in shipping, the difference in price between them and new ones is only $43, so I'd rather go the new route.  Burner0000, are Baratza dealers (SCG, WholeLatteLove) likely to offer a better deal on a refurb?

Re: tamper base shape...when you say 'shower screen', your referring to the screen on the group head in which the water sprays through, correct?  Initially I thought you may be referring to the portailter basket shape.

Thanks again,

    -Jeff
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CoffeeRon
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 753
Location: Eatonville, Wa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2013, 10:56pm
Subject: Re: Hello coffeegeeks (newbie intro)...
 

Yes I'm referring to the screen in the grouphead. It's something I read here one time, there isn't really much talk on the subject- mostly it's a matter of preference.

The only source for Baratza refurbs is thru Baratza AFAIK.

I'm happy to help. I started out with a SB Barista myself but the bug hit me hard and fast and I was soon looking for an HX machine. The best place in my kitchen for a machine is easily plumbable and I soon found my used plumb only Wega here on the BST.
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jtferraro
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Jun 2013
Posts: 49
Location: CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks (Saeco) Barista,...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Aerobie Aero Press
Drip: Bonavita Thermal
Roaster: none
Posted Sat Jul 6, 2013, 9:05pm
Subject: Re: Hello coffeegeeks (newbie intro)...
 

CoffeeRon Said:

Yes I'm referring to the screen in the grouphead. It's something I read here one time, there isn't really much talk on the subject- mostly it's a matter of preference.

The only source for Baratza refurbs is thru Baratza AFAIK.

I'm happy to help. I started out with a SB Barista myself but the bug hit me hard and fast and I was soon looking for an HX machine. The best place in my kitchen for a machine is easily plumbable and I soon found my used plumb only Wega here on the BST.

Posted July 4, 2013 link

Ron,

Since you previously owned a Barista, do you recall if the screen was flat?  I believe it is, but I'm not sure if I would need to physically remove it to determine if that's officially the case.  

Like you, the bug has hit me too but I'm trying to take smaller steps, for now.  'HX' stands for 'heat exchange' machine, correct?  Cool.

Thanks
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CoffeeRon
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 753
Location: Eatonville, Wa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Sun Jul 7, 2013, 11:26am
Subject: Re: Hello coffeegeeks (newbie intro)...
 

jtferraro Said:

Ron,

Since you previously owned a Barista, do you recall if the screen was flat?  I believe it is, but I'm not sure if I would need to physically remove it to determine if that's officially the case.  

Like you, the bug has hit me too but I'm trying to take smaller steps, for now.  'HX' stands for 'heat exchange' machine, correct?  Cool.

Thanks,

Posted July 6, 2013 link

Hi Jeff,
 Yes the screen in the Barista is flat. Once you have a grinder, you may want to take the guts out of the pressurized portafilter. You'll still be dealing with too high a brew pressure though, so I always viewed that as a two-edged sword.

Yes HX stands for heat exchange. The brew water runs through a tube in the boiler, heating it to the proper temp as the espresso pours.

Enjoy the journey,
                  Ron
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jtferraro
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Jun 2013
Posts: 49
Location: CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks (Saeco) Barista,...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Aerobie Aero Press
Drip: Bonavita Thermal
Roaster: none
Posted Sun Jul 7, 2013, 11:55am
Subject: Re: Hello coffeegeeks (newbie intro)...
 

CoffeeRon Said:

Hi Jeff,
 Yes the screen in the Barista is flat. Once you have a grinder, you may want to take the guts out of the pressurized portafilter. You'll still be dealing with too high a brew pressure though, so I always viewed that as a two-edged sword.

Yes HX stands for heat exchange. The brew water runs through a tube in the boiler, heating it to the proper temp as the espresso pours.

Enjoy the journey,
                  Ron

Posted July 7, 2013 link

Ron, is the brew pressure something I can adjust?  I'm assuming you're referring to an inherit issue of this particular machine, as opposed to the modified PF, correct?  

Can you steam and brew concurrently with a HX machine?

Thanks
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CoffeeRon
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 753
Location: Eatonville, Wa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Sun Jul 7, 2013, 1:21pm
Subject: Re: Hello coffeegeeks (newbie intro)...
 

jtferraro Said:

Ron, is the brew pressure something I can adjust?  I'm assuming you're referring to an inherit issue of this particular machine, as opposed to the modified PF, correct?  

Can you steam and brew concurrently with a HX machine?

Thanks,

Posted July 7, 2013 link

As with most lower end SBDU machines the brew pressure on the Barista is not adjustable. That would require an adjustable overpressure valve. Some manufacturer decided 15 bars of pressure sounded like a good selling point to unknowing consumers so unfortunately many low end machines brew at that pressure.

You will hear many people suggest going to a non-pressurized portafilter. In my personal opinion going with a non-pressurized portafilter at 15 bars pressure is not going to be good. I actually upgraded before I did any real comparison taste testing to prove this theory, but it is still my opinion.

The Gaggia classics have an adjustable OPV, and owners of other Gaggias w/o the adj. OPV have changed them out. You may be able to do the same with the Barista if you were so inclined.

Yes the HX machines can brew and steam concurrently, the boiler stays at steam temp., while the HX tube heats the brew water to brew temp. while passing thru the boiler.

Hope this helps some,
                   Ron
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,022
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sun Jul 7, 2013, 1:46pm
Subject: Re: Hello coffeegeeks (newbie intro)...
 

You can mod the machine a bit to change pressure if you like to do that sort of thing.  Of course you need to be handy and spend some money.  There are fairly universal OPV's such as below.

Click Here (www.chriscoffee.com)

Click Here (espressocare.com)

You would need to figure the fittings.  The Gaggias mentioned have an OPV that bolts to the boiler and is an easy add on, but more money and will not help you.

You can search pressure profiling and dimmer and see possible electronic solutions, also pressure or pump and PWM.  Sometimes it is best to use what you have and save for the next machine.  There are threads on Starbucks Barista and pressurized PF and un-pressurizing.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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jtferraro
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Jun 2013
Posts: 49
Location: CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks (Saeco) Barista,...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: Aerobie Aero Press
Drip: Bonavita Thermal
Roaster: none
Posted Sun Jul 7, 2013, 5:06pm
Subject: Re: Hello coffeegeeks (newbie intro)...
 

CoffeeRon Said:

As with most lower end SBDU machines the brew pressure on the Barista is not adjustable. That would require an adjustable overpressure valve. Some manufacturer decided 15 bars of pressure sounded like a good selling point to unknowing consumers so unfortunately many low end machines brew at that pressure.

You will hear many people suggest going to a non-pressurized portafilter. In my personal opinion going with a non-pressurized portafilter at 15 bars pressure is not going to be good. I actually upgraded before I did any real comparison taste testing to prove this theory, but it is still my opinion.

The Gaggia classics have an adjustable OPV, and owners of other Gaggias w/o the adj. OPV have changed them out. You may be able to do the same with the Barista if you were so inclined.

Yes the HX machines can brew and steam concurrently, the boiler stays at steam temp., while the HX tube heats the brew water to brew temp. while passing thru the boiler.

Hope this helps some,
                   Ron

Posted July 7, 2013 link

SingleBoiler(DU?)

That's cool the Gaggia Classic comes with an OPV.  I like that said machine also utilizes a 58mm non-pressurized PF.  2 merits right there.  That said, I wish the steam wand wasn't the newer Pannarello style.  Am I correct that this can be seen as the steaming equivalent to the pressurized PF?  Does the Sylvia also come equipped with a OPV?

Assuming there are merits to a HX over a dual/double boiler (price?), and vice-versa (no compromise?)?

Thanks gang.  This is fun!
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