Posted Fri Oct 1, 2004, 6:46pm Subject: Avanti Minibar
Partially quoted from another thread...
The shots I pulled today on the Avanti used *freshly roasted beans* and they were crema-laden, and rich-bodied, with a velvety mouthfeel. The shots were only about 1 to 1.5 ounces due to the smaller basket size...
The point is that using good beans and a good grind I was able to pull beautiful shots on a VERY cheap (inexpensive) espresso machine. I wished I had my camera with me but I had used up the battery at work and it was charging. maybe I'll try again later - I'm doing machine maintenance tonight...
I found this machine on eBay and it was under $100 after shipping IIRC. It was damaged in shipping: The reservior was destroyed and the body was bent up badly. I spent an afternoon getting the bodywork straightened out and I'm using a plastic jug for a reservoir. It actually looks pretty sweet now!
The machine has a semipro (REAL small) pump and a small (I believe it's stainless) boiler (it might be a whole 6oz). The brew temps are pretty close to ideal for me (188F in the styrofoam cup for ~3 oz.). The portafilter is chromed brass and it's small, but heavy and the group is heavy brass as well. The little plastic tamper actually FITS the double basket (the single is worthless AFAIC). The double basket maxes out ~10-12 grams of coffee (as far as I can tell, I don't have a way to accurately measure that)
It has a separate button you hold down for extra-heating the boiler for steam and that works surprisingly well. I need to practice, but it frothed 6oz of milk in less than a minute (with very strong whirlpool action).
I'll post some pics of it later if y'all are interested.
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