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And so it begins...
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Discussions > Espresso > General > And so it...  
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draku007
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2013
Posts: 3
Location: US
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Oct 29, 2013, 9:09am
Subject: And so it begins...
 

After my recent trip to Italy where I was shocked to experience the coffee/espresso religion I decided to take action - I'm picking up my Gaggia Classic machine today and I'm placing an order for Baratza Vario grinder later today so I can have it all ready for the weekend.

This is my first espresso setup and I hope it will last me a while.

I'll be buying the grinder from wholelattelove.com and want to ask you if there is anything else I'll need to get started - any specific coffee, I need espresso cups and my wife want's to get the glass ones (any problem with those VS porcelain?).

I live in the NYC metro area and I was wondering if there is a coffee store where I could take a look at some espresso cups, spoons and pickup some coffee. I'm having hard time finding any local stores other then Bed Bath & Beyond or Williams-Sonoma.

Thanks.
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 447
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic (w/PID)
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: chemex
Posted Tue Oct 29, 2013, 9:14am
Subject: Re: And so it begins...
 

Third Wave coffee shops usually have their own merchandise, which included some really nice cups. You will probably need a tamper as well. I just dislike the glass ones because they are harder to clean. It also sounds like you'll probably need to do the "OPV" mod on the gaggia classic. Quick google search will help.

I have the same set up as you. albeit, my machine is heavily modded. It's worked out pretty well and it's hard to beat for a beginner setup.
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takeshi
Senior Member
takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 968
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Tue Oct 29, 2013, 11:39am
Subject: Re: And so it begins...
 

draku007 Said:

I'll be buying the grinder from wholelattelove.com and want to ask you if there is anything else I'll need to get started - any specific coffee, I need espresso cups and my wife want's to get the glass ones (any problem with those VS porcelain?).

Posted October 29, 2013 link

Tamper, pitcher, shot glasses, towels, etc.  A thermometer may help if you don't trust your sense of touch.  Specific beans all depends on your preference.  As long as they're freshly roasted.

draku007 Said:

I need espresso cups and my wife want's to get the glass ones (any problem with those VS porcelain?).

Posted October 29, 2013 link

Doesn't really matter.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,023
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Oct 29, 2013, 3:30pm
Subject: Re: And so it begins...
 

you want glasses that will hold the heat.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,259
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Oct 29, 2013, 7:06pm
Subject: Re: And so it begins...
 

I loved my Classic and for five years it worked like a dog everyday. Now my daughter uses it. I made great espresso and the shot I use for my logo here is from it.
I never adjusted my OPV and was fine. I just loaded the double basket,tamped to 30 lbs and kept adjusting grind until I was at 30 sec pull for a double.
I backflushed it and cleaned as your supposed to. They have heating elements on the outside of the boiler to avoid corrosion and because its a
smaller boiler it cycles fast. Have fun. I did change the steam wand to the one for the Silvia.

Great coffee
http://www.intelligentsiacoffee.com/

Read about the classic.
http://www.sweetmarias.com/prod.details-gaggia.php
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Skylar
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Apr 2004
Posts: 137
Location: New Jersey
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: lelit espresso
Grinder: lelit grinder
Vac Pot: B. D. Electric
Drip: chemex
Roaster: wok roast and popper, heat...
Posted Tue Oct 29, 2013, 7:45pm
Subject: Re: And so it begins...
 

You need freshly roasted beans. Roast date on bag should be within a few days of your purchase. NEVER "use by" date. Those beans are stale. You will be terribly frustrated if you try to make a shot with stale beans.

The NY metro area has a goodly number of roasters and coffee shops that offer dependable beans. If you are going to dial in your machine and grinder and do not want to spend a lot of money consider ordering a five pounder of red bird espresso. At that weight it comes with no additional shipping cost. The price is right and I find it dependable and tasty. In warm weather I roast my own but after mid-October to April I usually get a series of five pounders and freeze what I don't quickly use. I know this kind of sounds like an ad, but you will probably be doing a goodly amount of grinding and shot making until you are happy and the price (and the taste) of red bird are both a favorite of a number of people here.


Skylar
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draku007
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2013
Posts: 3
Location: US
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013, 9:01am
Subject: Re: And so it begins...
 

Thank you all for your comments.

So far I have 2 latte and 2 espresso under my belt. I only have 2 months old Starbucks Espresso grounded coffee to play with till my new grinder comes in tomorrow.

I have few questions about the Gaggia Classic machine for the Gaggia owners. I noticed the brewing light goes off just few seconds after I start making espresso and comes right back once I stop. Is that normal?
Also how do you know the right size of your espresso shot? The machine doesn't stop so you have to use your own judgment to figure out when to stop? I don't have espresso cups yet so that becomes a challenge a bit at the moment.


@Skylar I'm from northern NJ. Are you from the area? Where do you buy your coffee?
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 447
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic (w/PID)
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: chemex
Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013, 10:04am
Subject: Re: And so it begins...
 

yes. you need to use your own judgement. this site has tons of manuals to help with that though. I typically go for about 25grams of espresso in 30 seconds.
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sherpakid
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 111
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Quickmill Silvano
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Virtuoso
Drip: Chemex, Aeropress, Clever...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Oct 30, 2013, 10:08am
Subject: Re: And so it begins...
 

I live in Brooklyn and work in Manhattan. Check out Joe's Pro shop on 21st. between 6th and 7th Ave. in Manhattan. They sell gear at the pro shop - as well as "curate" coffee. You can buy a bag from a selection of roasters and it changes over fairly frequently. I love stopping in there and grabbing a cup of something new or a new espresso.

 
www.prohibitionspecialtycoffee.com
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Nurk2
Senior Member
Nurk2
Joined: 3 Oct 2013
Posts: 75
Location: Syracuse
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggio Classic
Grinder: Gaggio MDF
Drip: French Press
Posted Thu Oct 31, 2013, 8:11am
Subject: Re: And so it begins...
 

draku007 Said:

I have few questions about the Gaggia Classic machine for the Gaggia owners. I noticed the brewing light goes off just few seconds after I start making espresso and comes right back once I stop. Is that normal?

Posted October 30, 2013 link

Yes. You may want to run water through the machine, before you attach the loaded portafilter, until the light goes off. Then attach the portafilter. When the light comes back on, it means that the boiler has reached the end of its heating cycle. That's when I start the brewing.


draku007 Said:

Also how do you know the right size of your espresso shot? The machine doesn't stop so you have to use your own judgment to figure out when to stop? I don't have espresso cups yet so that becomes a challenge a bit at the moment.

Posted October 30, 2013 link

There's a lot to that question, and you'd benefit greatly by doing a little research. Fortunately, there's a metric tonne of information about making espresso here:

http://www.home-barista.com/resources.html


draku007 Said:

Where do you buy your coffee?

Posted October 30, 2013 link

In addition to your local roasters, you might want to investigate Metropolis, Red Bird, Intelligensia and a number of others who roast and ship.

Check this out:

Click Here (www.thrillist.com)

 
If it sounds good, it is good.
~ Duke Ellington

If you sound bad on Squire through a Peavey Bandit, you're not going to sound good on a PRS through a Badcat.

www.danskidmore.com
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