Posted Thu May 17, 2012, 1:48pm Subject: Re: Newbie buying machine, help me choose!
regarding HX, I think it has certain advantage over DB because the water used to brew is not sitting in the boiler, making it more sanitary. Even with descaling, there is no way to get rid of all that sludge.
That is a point I have never heard, and IMO, does not represent factual information. Most home-use double boiler machines have fairly small brew boilers, so if they are getting regular use it's no big deal. The brew boiler of the VBM DD is only .5 liters. And even if not used regularly the user can just flush out the boiler occasionally by running about 8 ounces through it.
As far as descaling, if the proper quality of water is used, scale should not build to excessive levels. Descaling uses citric acid or a form of it, and that is a component of food anyway. A glass of milk is more hazardous than whatever might be in the boiler. A report related to me recently stated that a woman had her breast milk tested and it showed it contained flame retardant chemicals which testing revealed were absorbed into her system from the fabric which covered her couch at home.
So, we need a joke - the components of which must contain a flame retardant couch, breast milk, and an espresso machine... GO! ;-)
Posted Fri May 18, 2012, 2:40pm Subject: Re: Newbie buying machine, help me choose!
Congrats on your new addiction. I personally went with a QuickMill Silvano and Baratza Preciso Grinder. I bought from Chris Coffee and they offered me $100 off my purchase for getting both the machine and grinder with them--so I would contact Mary or Chris to discuss whether or not you can get a combo deal from them. The silvano was over $900 and the preciso was $200. If you're budget is tight you want to keep in mind all the other things you'll need--frothing pitcher, thermometer, cleaning supplies--for both interior and exterior (if you go for stainless steel you'll want a polish to keep it at a mirror shine.) Lets not forget cups, saucers, tamper, and coffee. I have tried Chris Coffee's roasted: I needed an replacement part for the Silvano so they sent me a few samples: they were very good. But I think the best roast I've had is RedBird Espresso: it's amazing. Sweet Maria's Liquid Amber is pretty good too--though it took 10 days from roast to arrival which my friend who ordered it was not too happy about--it also produces a ridiculous amount of crema which, when settled, leaves about half a cup of coffee remaining.
So if your budget for the ENTIRE purchase is $1500: keep in mind all the accessories you'll need. And check out chriscoffee.com: super helpful staff and good deals. Also: their warranty for my machine was extended to 2 years which is awesome. Just some stuff for you to consider.
"Coffee should be black as Hell, strong as Death, and as sweet as Love."
Posted Mon May 21, 2012, 7:18am Subject: Re: Newbie buying machine, help me choose!
I also got a deal from Chris Coffee when buying a machine/grinder combo. I think pretty much all you have to do is ask...and ye shall receive (so it seems).
Need: frothing pitcher, cups (if you don't have already - but who doesn't already own cups in their home), 2 shot glasses (if your cups won't fit under the pf spouts - afterall, you do NEED to catch the espresso with something), cleaning supplies (JoGlo, Cafitza, Cleancaf or similar AND grindz or siimilar), coffee, milk?, sweetener?
Want: good tamper (to replace the crummy plastic one that comes with most machines), cups (designed to optimize espresso/cappuccino or latte), special brushes for group, grinder, etc; thermometer (debatable - some people use a hands-on technique that precludes need of a thermometer), more frothing pitchers, water softener (depends on your source water hardness - talk to Mary @ CCS), 0.1 gm scale, many more items...
agreed on the Red Bird! It's also one of the cheapest great coffees available, especially if you can do 5 pound bags (need a good way to divide the beans for storage. Many people use ziplocs or mason jars and freeze a few days worth in each vessel).
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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