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Moving away from my coffee shop, improving homemade
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Moving away from...  
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FoundlingOfDollar
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jun 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Edwardsville, IL
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Tue Jun 25, 2013, 5:39pm
Subject: Moving away from my coffee shop, improving homemade
 

Long time lurker, first time poster.  I have read CoffeeGeek reviews every time I have bought any kind of coffee paraphernalia.

I am moving away from Austin, TX, and my favorite coffee shop, Houndstooth.  Houndstooth pulls great ristretto shot and makes great milk drinks with it.  I can never manage to pick just one espresso, so trips cost at least $7.00.  I am moving to the St. Louis area where the only really great coffee shop is an hour and fifteen minutes from where I will be living.  At home I use a cheap ec 155 and a cheap krupps burr grinder.  It's not a problem, because I can make great coffee with a french press or by cold brewing and when I have to have great expresso I can go to Houndstooth.  

Now that I won't have that luxury though I was wondering what people would suggest as the cheapest grinder/machine combo capable of producing a ristretto shot and microfoam.  I would love to be able to buy a brand new Silvia or La Pavoni and Rocky, but I can't afford it.  I don't mind buying refurbished, but if you suggest refurbished please give realistic price estimates (no $200 Silvia and $100 Rocky).

Thanks!
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,747
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Jun 25, 2013, 7:36pm
Subject: Re: Moving away from my coffee shop, improving homemade
 

Skip the Rocky and get...(electric) a Preciso, $239 refurbed or (manual) an OE Lido, $165 new

Look at the Gaggia Classic. Strongly consider getting a Silvia wand to mod it, since you're interested in great microfoam.

I don't know of a cheaper combo I'd recommend.

.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,879
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Preciso
Posted Tue Jun 25, 2013, 7:59pm
Subject: Re: Moving away from my coffee shop, improving homemade
 

Welcome to CG.

I agree with Ron's suggestion of the Baratza Preciso. The refurbished is a great buy. If you decide to buy another machine I would also recommend the Gaggia Classic. That said, it is not a huge upgrade from your EC 155. They are still both SBDU machines. If you are electrically inclined I might add an PID controller to the EC 155. That would be fairly easily transferable to another machine later. If you get the Gaggia you will still probably want an PID controller. I believe you can also improve the steam wand of your current machine. You may have been implying that you cannot take the EC 155 with you.

There are some large EC 155 threads.

Have fun with your research and decision.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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FoundlingOfDollar
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jun 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Edwardsville, IL
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Tue Jun 25, 2013, 8:09pm
Subject: Re: Moving away from my coffee shop, improving homemade
 

Thanks for the initial feedback.  So the precision will produce a fine enough grind for a good 25 second pull?

The EC 155 will go with me, and a paid and new steam wand would be a good way to stretch out the purchases, maybe long enough to save for a lever machine...

I used to live in St. Louis, but it has been a while. The only coffee shop that I have found so far that impresses me is Picasso's in St. Charles, but I will be living on the Illinois side.  Anyone know any good shops East or Central?
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,879
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Preciso
Posted Tue Jun 25, 2013, 8:23pm
Subject: Re: Moving away from my coffee shop, improving homemade
 

The suggestion of a new grinder is based on having an unpressurized porta filter. If you are still using the pressurizer system you are not getting real crema nor the best taste. If you have not depressurized your machine, there are threads available on that.

If you save the money by retaining your machine you may want to consider the Baratza Vario refurbished. Refurbished grinders are available at Baratza.com in the refurbished section. New supplies become available each week on Thursday morning.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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FoundlingOfDollar
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jun 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Edwardsville, IL
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Tue Jun 25, 2013, 8:41pm
Subject: Re: Moving away from my coffee shop, improving homemade
 

Thanks. I have previously depressurized the of, though my current grinder is all but completely unable to produce cream so it was all academic anyway.

Edit: I wasn't paying attention to the auto correct, I depressurized the PF and am unable to produce crema.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,747
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Jun 26, 2013, 7:52am
Subject: Re: Moving away from my coffee shop, improving homemade
 

yes, as Fred pointed out the recommendation assumed you would no longer be using a pressurized portafilter.  Glad to hear you're past that stage.  As you seem to have learned by now, it would be impossible to achieve your goal (the one about making your own espresso anywhere close to what you are used to) with a pressurized pf.  Many here, myself included, consider the Baratza Preciso to be the entry level electric grinder adequate for espresso.  It will serve you fine on just about any machine.  That doesn't mean there aren't much, much better grinders available, but considering your needs and budget, I believe it is the very best electric grinder for you.

I also recommend keeping everything you already have for making FP and cold brew, then you don't have to go back and forth on the Preciso between coarse and fine grind settings.  Even though people say that's relatively easy...why bother if you don't have to?

Baratza updates their refurbished units available every Thursday morning (as Fred mentioned)...so depending on availability, it may take a couple of weeks to find one from them.  The refurbished units come with a full one year warranty.  Baratza customer support is fantastic! I have first hand experience with this) I've seen more than a few posts from people who've thought the refurbished units are better than the new ones.

Actually...there's one available right now...

Click Here (www.baratza.com)

I don't plan to elaborate more on the Rocky, but suffice it to say...I've had one and don't recommend it to anyone for espresso.

Good luck on your move!

.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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gophishin
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Mar 2013
Posts: 45
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Wed Jun 26, 2013, 9:12am
Subject: Re: Moving away from my coffee shop, improving homemade
 

I think the numerous suggestions for the preciso speak for themselves, and the refurb price is very reasonable through baratza.  You can pair that with a refurb gaggia classic ($250), switch to the siliva steam wand ($25 http://www.espressoparts.com/R_1054?&search_id=2111098), and you have a very capable setup.
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FoundlingOfDollar
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jun 2013
Posts: 8
Location: Edwardsville, IL
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Wed Jun 26, 2013, 7:16pm
Subject: Re: Moving away from my coffee shop, improving homemade
 

So, the interwebs have been busy with my commerce today.  I ordered a Silvia V1/2 steam wand, a deeper unpressurized filter basket (will cut the bottom off of the PF to have a naked PF), and a Porlex hand grinder.  There's still an electric grinder in my future, but the porlex fell under the category of "money I have today", so for the time being the rule will be "you want espresso? grind it."  I also love Turkish coffee, so the Porlex will be good for that too and I can save my current burr grinder for the french press and cold brewing.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,747
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Thu Jun 27, 2013, 10:15am
Subject: Re: Moving away from my coffee shop, improving homemade
 

that should keep you relatively happy for a while.  good luck!

.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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