Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Questions and Answers
Variable espresso quality - am I to blame?
Support Coffee Kids
Coffee Kids is a non profit charity working with farming communities around the world. Donate today!
www.coffeekids.org
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Variable...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 2 of 2 first page previous page
Author Messages
Mandheling
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Aug 2012
Posts: 35
Location: United Kingdom
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evolution
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Instantaneo
Posted Fri Aug 31, 2012, 12:56pm
Subject: Re: Variable espresso quality - am I to blame?
 

Thanks for the tip - I'll take a look...
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,139
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Fri Aug 31, 2012, 2:33pm
Subject: Re: Variable espresso quality - am I to blame?
 

Mandheling Said:

I know stones will wreck pretty much any grinder, but I reckon I'd rather replace the burrs in a Mazzer for about a quarter of the cost of the Mahlkoenig (I think they're branded Baratza in the US) if the worst did happen... I don't know why but they seem to be cropping up more regularly in my beans at the moment - I think I've found 3 in the past 5 years with 2 in the last 12 months...

I've been regularly cleaning the group etc but had overlooked the importance of descaling when I first bought the machine as I live in a very soft water area (our kettle is at last 3 years old and has no trace of scale). After a while I noticed a few problems with reduced flow through the head which were fixed by descaling so I've been doing it regularly since.

I did wonder if some of the problems were a legacy of my initial poor maintenance so I tried aggressively descaling it which made a bit of an improvement but wasn't a "magic bullet".

It certainly seems like the root of the problem is the grinder so I'll be working on a Mazzer fund for a while!

Posted August 31, 2012 link

Sounds like you have a handle on keeping your espresso machine maintaince up.

The Baratza Vario ( or Mahlkonig Vario) is a very good espresso grinder for the money for typical home use. I have only delt with Baratza and they have taken care of me and my 3 grinders I have from them for the last 5 years even way out of warenty. I probably should have gotten a commercial grinder for espresso right from the go for the amount I put through it but as I said Baratza has taken care of any of my problems including trading in a failing Vario for the VarioW after 3 years of hard use for a price I couldn't refuse, plus commercial grinders are so very big for the home. Definitely spend the time doing your research for a grinder since it is so very important for what you get in the cup, crazy as it seems it is worth spending the correct amount of money for a good grinder.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,021
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Fri Aug 31, 2012, 10:20pm
Subject: Re: Variable espresso quality - am I to blame?
 

If you can't choke your machine, your grinder will be to blame. Using pre-ground coffee is no alternative, simply because the fineness is practically never right, and no matter how much on demand the company grinds the coffee will be stale by the time it arrives.

Considering a new grinder is therefore a very good idea. The Mahlkönig Vario would be a good choice, but depending on your budget there are others to take a look at: the Compak K3-Touch or the Eureka Mignon Istantaneo, for example.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Mandheling
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Aug 2012
Posts: 35
Location: United Kingdom
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evolution
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Instantaneo
Posted Sat Sep 1, 2012, 2:07am
Subject: Re: Variable espresso quality - am I to blame?
 

NobbyR Said:

Considering a new grinder is therefore a very good idea. The Mahlkönig Vario would be a good choice, but depending on your budget there are others to take a look at: the Compak K3-Touch or the Eureka Mignon Istantaneo, for example.

Posted August 31, 2012 link

I've been looking at the Vario or Mazzer Mini-e up to now - the Vario seems like a better physical fit in my kitchen but I'm a little worried about longevity / cost of repairs although people have said really positive things about Baratza customer support (not sure if the same goes for Mahlkönig?). The Mazzer is physically bigger but seems like it would last a lifetime and produce excellent results - although it's on the outer limit of my budget (for a new one).

The two you've suggested look interesting - time for some more homework I think!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,021
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Sat Sep 1, 2012, 4:38am
Subject: Re: Variable espresso quality - am I to blame?
 

The Vario simply hasn't been around long enough to have any strong data on its durability. The Mazzer as well as the Compak and Eureka are known to be rock solid.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,368
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sat Sep 1, 2012, 9:02am
Subject: Re: Variable espresso quality - am I to blame?
 

Well, I've got my Baratza Vario approximately six months after release and have had no problems.  True, it hasn't been out as long as a Mazzer or Eureka, but I have no hesitation in recommending it . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Mandheling
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Aug 2012
Posts: 35
Location: United Kingdom
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evolution
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Instantaneo
Posted Sat Sep 1, 2012, 9:58am
Subject: Re: Variable espresso quality - am I to blame?
 

Thanks to everyone who's contributed to this thread - much appreciated!

I've looked back over everyone's comments and it looks like the consensus is I've reached the limits / end of life of my equipment (notably the grinder) rather than simply being a terrible "barista" :o)

I don't want to hijack my own thread with discussions about "which grinder should I buy", but the suggestions are great and I'll be doing some more research!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,008
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Sep 1, 2012, 12:46pm
Subject: Re: Variable espresso quality - am I to blame?
 

quick review of the grinder section will have about 10000000000 threads on the same thing and a bunch in the machine section as well.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
showing page 2 of 2 first page previous page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Variable...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Learn @seattlecoffeegear
Learn all about coffee, watch videos, read how-to articles.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.278985977173)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+