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how would you rate coffee making
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Discussions > Espresso > General > how would you...  
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z0mbie
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z0mbie
Joined: 26 Sep 2013
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Posted Thu Oct 24, 2013, 10:16pm
Subject: how would you rate coffee making
 

People have said grinder grinder grinder.  Of course others have also first and foremost beans beans beans.

I want to know how much more important is one aspect over the other.  How would you distribute 100% across the following list?    I will compile an average for both lists.


For espresso:
Beans
Grinder
Espresso Machine
Prep & Tamp technique
Tamper


And for drip,
Beans
Grinder
Brewing Device
Brewing Technique
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jliedeka
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Posted Fri Oct 25, 2013, 8:05am
Subject: Re: how would you rate coffee making
 

Maybe water should be in there somewhere since it makes up the majority of our beverage.

I wouldn't look at it as a weighting, at least not until you get further down the list.  Without fresh beans, you aren't going to get a good brew, full stop.  For espresso, a correct grind is also a requirement.  I think once you get down to machine, technique, and tamper, things get a little murkier.  A better machine won't make up for poor technique.  A better tamper makes prep and tamp a lot easier but isn't essential.  Most machines we are talking about here have the capability to produce a good shot.  There may be other considerations for choosing a machine like temperature stability over multiple shots.

For drip, it's going to depend on whether you are doing auto or manual.  Again, fresh beans are a requirement.  The grind is less critical but may depend on the device.  Technique contributes but it really boils down to fresh beans, water at the proper temperature, a reasonable grind, and proper extraction time.  You need all those.

    Jim

PS: I was going to say trying to rank those things is splitting hairs but then I looked at what site I was on.  That's what we do here. :)

 
Cafe todo el dia, tequila toda la noche
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brianl
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Posted Sat Oct 26, 2013, 11:05pm
Subject: Re: how would you rate coffee making
 

I think you have the proper order for each. It's hard to really put a percentage because to us they are all essential
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DanoM
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Posted Mon Oct 28, 2013, 7:40am
Subject: Re: how would you rate coffee making
 

I can't give you % of importance, because they are all intertwined, but here's my order of importance for espresso:
  1. Grinder - without a proper grind even the best machine with the best beans and the best barista can put out horrible espresso time after time.
  2. Machine - you want a machine that is able to put out real espresso.  "Single boiler, dual use" doesn't meet this need for semi-auto machines in my opinion, although with levers a single boiler works fine as do single boiler HX machines.  If you get a machine with problems you will have problems putting out good espresso.
  3. Man - Prep, tamp, technique are all learned.  Without some consistency in making espresso you won't have consistency in the cup.  This takes a little time to learn, but it isn't that hard.  It does pay to be a little obsessive about your espresso preparation details - especially when first learning.
  4. Beans - You must have good beans!  Fresh beans!  Quality roasted beans!  Beans are available from many quality roasters mail order these days.  They are also the cheapest "upgrade" your espresso can have, which is why I put the beans so far down on the list.  You should be using good beans, and if you aren't you should try an "upgrade" to see the difference.
  5. Accessories: tamper, knockbox, towels, steaming pitcher, ...  All these tools are important, but up to personal use and style in many cases.  My current tamper for my La Pavoni is a thick piece of HDPE cutting board I cut out with a hole saw, and it works great.  Italian espresso bars, as I have read, typically don't use a 30# tamp, but more of a leveling tamp and then slap it into the machine.  Steaming pitchers with squared bottoms versus a nice rounded edge bottoms give different steaming and milk swirl that some prefer.  All these tools are for option 3, the Man (or Woman!) and their preference.

Any of the above can turn great espresso into horrible espresso with the exception of the accessories.
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brianl
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Posted Mon Oct 28, 2013, 2:16pm
Subject: Re: how would you rate coffee making
 

normally i wouldn't say anything, but BEANS are always the most important. then grinder. machine I would put near last just before accessories.
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Skylar
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Posted Mon Oct 28, 2013, 2:42pm
Subject: Re: how would you rate coffee making
 

I must object to a general comment that an sbdu is not capable of making a good shot. Perhaps the inconvenience of multiple milky drinks makes an hx or db desirable, but I protest my shots are as tasty as any I have had in good cafes with good machines, trained staffs and using stumptown or counter culture notwithstanding. Grrrrrrr.

Skylar, and I am not laughing out loud either.
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brianl
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Posted Tue Oct 29, 2013, 9:19am
Subject: Re: how would you rate coffee making
 

Skylar Said:

I must object to a general comment that an sbdu is not capable of making a good shot. Perhaps the inconvenience of multiple milky drinks makes an hx or db desirable, but I protest my shots are as tasty as any I have had in good cafes with good machines, trained staffs and using stumptown or counter culture notwithstanding. Grrrrrrr.

Skylar, and I am not laughing out loud either.

Posted October 28, 2013 link

I completely agree but that comment took a backseat compared to the other blasphemy that the post included (and I objected to above). haha
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takeshi
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Posted Tue Oct 29, 2013, 11:33am
Subject: Re: how would you rate coffee making
 

z0mbie Said:

People have said grinder grinder grinder.  Of course others have also first and foremost beans beans beans.

I want to know how much more important is one aspect over the other.  How would you distribute 100% across the following list?    I will compile an average for both lists.

Posted October 24, 2013 link

They're all important.  However, unless "Prep & tamp technique" includes grind and dose then you're missing some stuff.  A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

DanoM Said:

Machine - you want a machine that is able to put out real espresso.  "Single boiler, dual use" doesn't meet this need

Posted October 28, 2013 link

How so?  A SBDU is certainly capable.  One may not prefer to use one but a single boiler and espresso aren't mutually exclusive.
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DanoM
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Posted Tue Oct 29, 2013, 3:10pm
Subject: Re: how would you rate coffee making
 

takeshi Said:

DanoM Said:
Machine - you want a machine that is able to put out real espresso.  "Single boiler, dual use" doesn't meet this need
Posted October 28, 2013 link

takeshi Said:How so?  A SBDU is certainly capable.  One may not prefer to use one but a single boiler and espresso aren't mutually exclusive.

Posted October 29, 2013 link

I tried to write some cute reply, but it just comes off with me looking like an a$$.  LOL

Anyway, the above was my opinion, and nothing more.  For some reason the rest of that sentence was dropped when quoting: "in my opinion".  Granted, not all SBDU systems are alike, but there are a lot of complaints about many of them.  Waiting for the boiler to switch from brew to steam to brew to steam can get old real quick.  I just can't recommend one; my personal opinion.

I know alot of people love those SBDU as an entry machine.  Jumping from a crappy SBDU to the NS Oscar I realized espresso was much easier than I ever imagined, and saw no reason to put anyone else through such misery of dealing with a SBDU.

Then again, I think most of the home users could do great with some practice and an old lever machine.  I love the manual lever!  Talk about misery when it came to learning that one...
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CoffeeLoversMag
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CoffeeLoversMag
Joined: 10 Jan 2013
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Location: Seattle
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Posted Thu Oct 31, 2013, 2:53am
Subject: Re: how would you rate coffee making
 

I think what is important in coffee making is your knowledge. Even how good your grinder is, you have the best beans yet you donít have the technique in making the best espresso ever, then everything is not contributing. You canít rate higher to any you have enumerated above because all are essentials for coffee making.

 
Did you know...? Dark roast coffees actually have less caffeine than lighter roasts due to the fact that the process of roasting burns off caffeine.
www.coffeeloversmag.com/theMagazine
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