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Office etiquette - taking espresso gear to work
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Office etiquette...  
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AndyPanda
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AndyPanda
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Posted Thu Sep 16, 2010, 2:40pm
Subject: Office etiquette - taking espresso gear to work
 

The coffee at work is typical office coffee (horrible).  I've tried making my own pour over cup with the office beans in the office grinder - and that is certainly way better than the stuff in the urn - but still pretty horrible.  Same with the aeropress - if I used the stale office coffee beans it just isn't very great.  And no way to easily empty the 10 pound bean hopper on the office grinder to grind a few of my own beans (too coarse for espresso but would work for FP or AP)

Grinding enough fresh beans in the morning and bringing it to work already ground?  Not my first choice.

A couple of times I've brought in my spare espresso machine (still works great) but I can't use the office coffee grounds - so it means I have to bring in my grinder (huge - I have a commercial Fiorenzato) and my fresh roasted beans.  We have a nice kitchen area but I have to take up a pretty large part of the counter space with this massive grinder even though the espresso machine is small - meanwhile, as the machine is warming up, everyone coming into the kitchen wants to know what all this equipment is for and of course everyone wants a shot (and of course they all want steamed milk which I don't do at all).  So now it has gone from me just wanting a fresh shot of 'spro and then get back to work -- to me having to bring in a steaming pitcher and cups since nobody at work is going to have a cup short enough to fit under the portafilter.  And although it was fun to share some quality espresso with my co-workers - it took up half of my day and not something I want to do as a regular thing.  

I don't think anyone else at my office has the patience or interest to learn the whole complicated routine of temp surf, grind, distribute, tamp.  I'm the only geek at work - well only coffee geek, there are plenty of ordinary geeks - I think everyone else thinks the coffee sludge in the urn is just fine.

I guess I could get a hand grinder and let them grind the coffee if they want a shot - bet the line would get shorter real fast  :>

So how do you folks, those of you who have an espresso machine for the office, deal with the social etiquette?   And how do you deal with the grinder logistics -do you pre-grind, hand grinder, haul your home grinder back and forth, or do you buy a second $500 grinder to keep at work?

Best idea I've been able to think of (so far) is to buy a Maestro or Virtuoso and use the AeroPress - but I sure would like to use my spare espresso machine if I can figure out the logistics.
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JDHarding
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Posted Thu Sep 16, 2010, 5:08pm
Subject: Re: Office etiquette - taking espresso gear to work
 

Get a Baratza Virtuoso if you want to do espresso. The Maestro will not work for that. Although I never use my Virtuoso for espresso 'cause it clogs easily on those fine settings.

Another idea is to get a handpresso and get espresso pods, although pods will not taste the same. But at least it doesn't need a grinder, and it's a small machine you can conceal from everyone at work. ;)

 
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franky
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Posted Thu Sep 16, 2010, 5:38pm
Subject: Re: Office etiquette - taking espresso gear to work
 

For drip I used a hand grinder and a Black and Decker Brewer. That alone caused some conversation, I used a Zassenhau grinder and in a quiet environment it could be heard. The brewer makes good coffee. I couldn't imagine bring in a espresso setup!


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You may be able to get this at Walmart too.
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AndyPanda
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AndyPanda
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Posted Thu Sep 16, 2010, 5:51pm
Subject: Re: Office etiquette - taking espresso gear to work
 

JDHarding Said:

Another idea is to get a handpresso and get espresso pods, although pods will not taste the same. But at least it doesn't need a grinder, and it's a small machine you can conceal from everyone at work. ;)

Posted September 16, 2010 link

My spare espresso machine would work with pods - but wouldn't pods be even worse than if I simply ground my beans at home in the morning and took them to work pre-ground?   I've read so many posts here saying 15 minutes is the max after you've ground the beans - or are they just being too fussy?  hehe
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AndyPanda
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AndyPanda
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Posted Thu Sep 16, 2010, 5:55pm
Subject: Re: Office etiquette - taking espresso gear to work
 

franky Said:

I couldn't imagine bring in a espresso setup!

Posted September 16, 2010 link

I can't imagine doing it again - hehe.  Actually it was really fun (at first) but as the day went on it got old really fast.

I'm sure I've read several posts where people mentioned (no details though) getting a new machine at home and taking their old machine to the office.  So I'm really curious how they managed the logistics - unless they are executives with a wet bar in their office.
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c4h5n2o
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Posted Thu Sep 16, 2010, 10:50pm
Subject: Re: Office etiquette - taking espresso gear to work
 

Obviously it varies from company to company. If the office culture & your boss is flexible, it may not be an issue. In more formal companies, it may not fly at all. Some companies will not allow any personal electrical appliances. Generally speaking, a hand grinder & mypressi or french press i.e. something relatively small & unobtrusive will go over easier than a full size machine & super jolly.

I have an HX, grinder & bar fridge (but no wet bar) at work. But it's in my office, so when I close the door no one else sees it & it's almost inaudible. I don't see how I would swing that if I worked in a cubicle or open office. And you are already familiar with the problems of trying to locate equipment in a lunchroom. What you can do really depends on where you work.

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wbaguhn
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Posted Thu Sep 16, 2010, 11:24pm
Subject: Re: Office etiquette - taking espresso gear to work
 

c4h5n2o Said:

a hand grinder & mypressi

Posted September 16, 2010 link

I normally don't recommend hand grinders, but this is one of the few cases where I think they make sense.  Space is at a premium.

If you'll be heating the water for the mypressi in a microwave, you've already got a minute or so while it heats; that's about right to crank a grinder.

Hand grinding is ok for taking a break from other things, but I find it obnoxious when coffee is the primary task at hand.
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JDHarding
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JDHarding
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Posted Fri Sep 17, 2010, 12:21am
Subject: Re: Office etiquette - taking espresso gear to work
 

I'm kinda curious why you'd go to this sort of trouble for espresso. Why not drive to a cafe and get yourself a couple shots instead of dragging a whole machine and grinder setup in?

Though it might get kinda pricey doing so, but it'd be a lot more pricey if somebody stole or broke your setup.

 
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
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Posted Fri Sep 17, 2010, 5:56am
Subject: Re: Office etiquette - taking espresso gear to work
 

When I brought my spare FFX5 into work, I made specific instructions on how to use the machine and taped it to the wall above the machine. It was a novelty for a while but people soon tired of making their own coffee and I pretty much had the machine to myself after that. In the time since, I have given that machine away and only have drip in the office now, though I have a 2L Curtis airpot maker, not a standard home duty drip machine. I also have a commercial grocery store bulk grinder, large but nearly indestructable sitting on the table. The grind isn't like my grinders at home but then again I think rocks could go through this thing and it would be OK.

Anymore, I am the only one who drinks coffee in my office so the gear, though taking up a lot of space, is only used by me. Anyone is free to use it but most don't want to go through the bother, they would rather go down the hall and put $.50 in the machine and get a hot water and powdered coffee like drink.

 
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wbaguhn
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wbaguhn
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Posted Fri Sep 17, 2010, 6:11am
Subject: Re: Office etiquette - taking espresso gear to work
 

JDHarding Said:

Why not drive to a cafe and get yourself a couple shots instead of dragging a whole machine and grinder setup in?

Posted September 17, 2010 link

While I can't speak to others' situations, I know that there simply isn't any drinkable espresso* at a cafe within a 20 minute one-way drive of my office.  My coworkers prefer if I don't take hour-long coffee breaks, and I prefer not drinking lousy coffee.






*There may be some that I haven't found, but I think the only place nearby I haven't tried is Starbucks.
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