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Yep... I'm there! A coffee geek success story!
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Yep... I'm...  
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DeanOK
Senior Member
DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 693
Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Thu Jan 2, 2014, 5:40pm
Subject: Yep... I'm there! A coffee geek success story!
 

Ok... those of you that have been around a long time and read every post may remember when I complained about a year ago that McDonalds and Starbucks made better Espresso than I did. I got my feelings hurt a bit when a few suggested that maybe I didn't know what good coffee tasted like. I didn't think that was the case, but none the less I had to consider the notion that maybe that was true.

To keep this short as possible and tell an interesting success story, I will just say I had some mechanical failures in the machine I was using and didn't know what the problem was at the time (brew pressure was low). I moved past that, got it fixed,  and then  I got the hankering to have a V2B. I have improved greatly since I got the V2B... I think the biggest reason fore the improvement was the fact that the V2B is such an easy machine to get consistency with. I feel that all of my shots are very controllable.

So.... a few days ago I had one of those fasting doctor appointments about 20 miles from home. I had to get up and leave without anything to eat or drink. So when I got out of the doctor's office I decided to go to McD's and get a Sausage McGriddle (I love those things) and a hot mocha (my favorite espresso). I couldn't believe it... for the first time since I got back into making espresso at home I felt that the McD's drink wasn't even close to what I make at home.... good for me! Since I always considered McD's espresso to be better than SB's, I think it may be fair to say mine is better than theirs too. Now I know that you guys/gals that have been around a while would expect espresso made at home to be better, but in the past I had turned out some not so great shots.

So I am happy.... In fact, this morning I made a GREAT caramel mocha and put it in a to go cup... when I got to work I was telling everyone that I had outdone myself. Since my shots have been getting better, I have cut back on milk and flavors... and they are yummy.

Thanks to all of you that spent time typing your fingers off trying to help... even those of you that thought maybe I didn't know what good espresso tasted like.  It hurt a bit, but I'll let bygones be bygones.

Dean
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barkingburro
Senior Member
barkingburro
Joined: 23 Nov 2011
Posts: 212
Location: Irvine, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Vac Pot: Trifecta MB, CafeSolo,...
Posted Thu Jan 2, 2014, 7:46pm
Subject: Re: Yep... I'm there! A coffee geek success story!
 

Congratulations!  I remember your post last year.  It's good to hear you've succeeded in brewing better espresso.  As for knowing how to discern better coffee, it's absolutely true that if you have never tasted anything better than McDonalds or Starbucks coffee, you're missing out on a major level of improvement, flavorwise.

But having said that...

Most people often dismiss evidence if it's outside of their experience, forgetting that anyone who can discern differences is still miles ahead of someone who thinks everything tastes alike.  You could discern something different between your home espresso and McDonald's, so there was no reason for people to place you in the same category as someone who can't taste the difference.

I've faced this same issue with "closet coffee elitists" many times, when describing my own preferences for drinking coffee + cream + sugar.  The common reaction is to dismiss my observations or claim it's all in my head.

I think anytime you can tell the difference, you're clearly standing on the right foundation for getting better and better.  The only people whom I give up on are those who claim all coffee tastes alike, or all audio equipment sounds alike, or all movies are better in 3D, or an egg bagel tastes the same as a water bagel.  But I digress...

 
- Michael
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Frost
Senior Member
Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 2,095
Location: Sierra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Lelit PL53
Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Thu Jan 2, 2014, 9:49pm
Subject: Re: Yep... I'm there! A coffee geek success story!
 

Congratulations.

Really it's all about the coffee, the bean, varietal, origin, and roast. Your espresso kit is just to best express the bean in the cup.  The better and more varied flavors you find in the best beans, the less you will want to use other flavoring that mask flavors in those special beans.

I would suggest you take a teaspoon of your straight shot before you add milk, and slurp it vigorous, taste it while you steam the milk. Get to know it.

PS I posted last April on your efforts to match McD's at home:
""
This is a slow motion train wreck that just keeps on.  When your coffee making efforts are bested by McD's, just put a fork in it, your done. Go get your coffee fix at McD's.   ""

Sorry, but after 11 pages that thread just made me sick.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,834
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Jan 2, 2014, 9:51pm
Subject: Re: Yep... I'm there! A coffee geek success story!
 

Hey, how dare anyone say that coffee with milk and sugar even comes close to tasting good?!!!!!
Now, excuse me and I will take the time to go make a HUGE Latte :D

Just poking fun. You like to drink what you like and no one should tell you otherwise or feel better than you just because they don't like it the same way you do.

In the same vein, we get a lot of  new people who are looking for an espresso machine and are not concerned as to the steaming abilities as they only drink straight shots. Hey, that may be true, more power to them but is that to say that they will never have someone over who DOES like milk? Truly no judgement from me, I just wonder sometimes if they feel the need to say that because they feel that is the expected norm. Now excuse me and let me get to my LATTE!!!! Don't get me wrong, I love straight shots too, they just don't last long enough to sit down and drink while reading a good book or while on the board here :D

OH, Dean,
I have read just about everything you say, I also remember the thread you pointed out. It is good to hear of your progress :D CONGRATS :D:D:D

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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friendlyfoe
Senior Member


Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 122
Location: toronto
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Thu Jan 2, 2014, 11:03pm
Subject: Re: Yep... I'm there! A coffee geek success story!
 

If you're brewing worse shots than McDonalds with that machine, you either have a grinder incapable of espresso or your beans are the worst. Not bad, the worst. I'm using a 10 year old 200 dollar machine with a disassembled portafilter and am leaps and bounds ahead of anything other than craft.

I've never steamed, there appears to be a bit of a trick to that, but as far as straight espresso, somethings wrong here.

calblacksmith Said:

Don't get me wrong, I love straight shots too, they just don't last long enough to sit down and drink while reading a good book or while on the board here :D

Posted January 2, 2014 link

That's what scotch is for ;) goes nice after a shot of espresso.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,834
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Jan 3, 2014, 2:25am
Subject: Re: Yep... I'm there! A coffee geek success story!
 

friendlyfoe Said:

That's what scotch is for ;) goes nice after a shot of espresso.

Posted January 2, 2014 link

While that does sound good, I can't drink, anything. I had gastric bypass surgery, it worked, I lost 180 pounds but one of the affects of the surgery is that I have no stomach to dilute the booz in, it goes right through and would hit the liver with a sledge hammer, causing damage. I used to love a good dark beer and a single malt is mighty nice too but those days were over for me 7 years ago. Can't say I miss them much!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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barkingburro
Senior Member
barkingburro
Joined: 23 Nov 2011
Posts: 212
Location: Irvine, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Vac Pot: Trifecta MB, CafeSolo,...
Posted Fri Jan 3, 2014, 4:12am
Subject: Re: Yep... I'm there! A coffee geek success story!
 

friendlyfoe Said:

If you're brewing worse shots than McDonalds with that machine, you either have a grinder incapable of espresso or your beans are the worst. Not bad, the worst. I'm using a 10 year old 200 dollar machine with a disassembled portafilter and am leaps and bounds ahead of anything other than craft.

I've never steamed, there appears to be a bit of a trick to that, but as far as straight espresso, somethings wrong here.

Posted January 2, 2014 link

Indeed, something is wrong here.  The OP has already addressed this point.  It was mechanical failure.

 
- Michael
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,146
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Jan 3, 2014, 8:46am
Subject: Re: Yep... I'm there! A coffee geek success story!
 

Hey Dean,

Congrats!  It's nice to see how you've progressed over the last year or so...and yeah, I read most of your posts too!

I'm an avid drinker of something that ranges between a macchiato to a latte - depending on my mood.  I also usually drink at least some straight spro during my drink prep. I always make double and typically, when preparing for my wife and mother-in-law, there's a fair amount of straight spro left from their drink, so I sip that while making my own drink. Occasionally, I even make myself straight spro to have while I make my milk drink - just to have it, because in truth, my drinks only take about 3 minutes to make start to finish. But hey, we're all different, so as Wayne said...ok, my own version of it...drink what you like and to h#!! with anyone who faults you for it.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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DeanOK
Senior Member
DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 693
Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Fri Jan 3, 2014, 1:52pm
Subject: Re: Yep... I'm there! A coffee geek success story!
 

barkingburro Said:

Indeed, something is wrong here.  The OP has already addressed this point.  It was mechanical failure.

Posted January 3, 2014 link

In the interest of keeping it short and sweet I didn't go into detail, and ended up causing more confusion...oops.

For anyone that cares, I was not using the V2B when I initially logged my complaint about MCD's coffee being better than mine. I was using a different machine that didn't have a pressure gauge. I later found out that brew pressure was way low, but a new pressure valve was installed and solved that problem. So no, the V2B didn't have anything to do with that original assessment.

However, I have improved even  more since I got the V2B. The V2B is a very nice stable machine in my estimation and it is very easy to get repeatable results with it... so over the last few months I have really gotten pretty good at dialing in my shots and knowing where I need to be to get the flavor where I want it.

One other point: I do occasionally sample my espresso straight. I can't say I am a fan, but it's not something I consider terrible. For now, I am staying with my milk, but I do use less milk than I used to.
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MikeReilly
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 306
Location: Vancouver Island
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Cimbali Junior Gaggia...
Grinder: Pharos CC45 Mazzer Mini
Drip: Cuisinart
Roaster: Behmor, I-Roast 2, Popper
Posted Fri Jan 3, 2014, 4:26pm
Subject: Re: Yep... I'm there! A coffee geek success story!
 

Congratulations on your improved results!  My personal taste does not include sugary syrups, so caramel mochas are not on my personal menu, but to each his own.  I'm sure there are many out there who would be horrified that I drink almost exclusively cappuccinos for espresso based drinks and always have a bit of 2% milk with my drip or press coffee.  To each his own.  I do make sure that I drink some straight espresso from time to time as it is the best way to determine how good your espresso is (milk tends to mask some of the flaws), just as I will order straight espresso at a cafe in order to determine if they *really* know what they are doing.  A really good espresso is hard to beat.
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