I just took a 1 day class from Heather Perry at Klatch coffee. I own a Baratza Vario W and the Breville Dual Boiler (BDB). Higher end machines will not fit under my low cabinets. I brought my machine and grinder to her classroom. She had a La Marzocco and Nuovo simonelli commercial machine in the class room. We used the Klatch WBC espresso. Impressions: The La Marzocco pulled a sweeter shot than the Nuovo and my BDB with less bitterness. The Nuovo had preinfusion, the La Marzocco did not, but shots were better from the La Marzocco. , After tweaking the shot on my BDB (increasing temp to 203 on and playing with the grind, we were able to pull a very sweet shot from the BDB which tasted comparable to the La Marzocco. Latte art was easy on my BDB, the Nuovo also was easy to create latte art, but the La Marzocco steam was very fast and is tougher for Latte art. The commercial Italian machines (the Nuovo and La Marzocco had a well built sturdy feel to them. My advice.. take classes from an experienced barista - the results in your shots and Latte art will be greatly improved. Do not underestimate the value of training. A 2000- 3000 dollar dual boiler machine e61 grouphead machine with a PID such as an alex duetto, rocket r58, quickmill, expobar or vibiemme and a good grinder with techniques learned from experienced baristas should provide you with good consistent results for a lifetime. Of course if you want a more beautiful machine such as Speedster, Slayer , Mistral or Hydra, go for it!. My BDB is good, tends to pull a brighter shot than the above until you tweak it and is not as well built as the above, but it is what fits in my kitchen. As evidenced in the class I took, it is capable of pulling a great shot.
As a basis for comparison, Intelligentsia offers a 3 hour class in NYC for $200, while Counter Culture has an all day class for the same price. All day meaning 9-4, with I assume some time off for lunch.
I'll get around to taking one of these classes before too long, I'm sure.
I took the private 1 day session with Heather. I drove to Klatch in Upland. I was able to bring any equipment I wanted. The ability to play with professional equipment, to be able optimize my own equipment and have an expert barista guide me and answer any questions I had made it worth it. A wonderful experience.
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