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Overly bitter shots from my QM Anita
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Overly bitter...  
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belmore
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Dec 2013
Posts: 12
Location: Atlanta, GA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Dec 12, 2013, 2:26pm
Subject: Re: Overly bitter shots from my QM Anita
 

I'm sure that you're right. Both my Nespresso and superauto are no doubt producing overly weak shots. This is probably a big reason why they seem so much more forgiving than my Anita. Even with that said, I still decided to return it. It was a really difficult decision, but I felt that I had "run out of time". What I did not want to happen is roll the dice hoping that I'd eventually master it and be happy. I was afraid that instead, I might end up with upgraditis and a machine that I could no longer return.

The build quality on the Anita seemed stellar to me. I just wasn't thrilled with its usability. The constant refilling the tank, dumping the drip tray, flushing and trying to guess the temp, having to use my phone as a stopwatch, etc. I really debated moving up to next level QM machine that included a PID and I'm sorry that didn't. If I had, I imagine that I'd be keeping it.

Instead, I'm replacing it with BDB. I would imagine many of you will feel this is a big mistake,  Hopefully, it won't die on me like it has apparently on many others. I realize its replacement (the 920) could be released at any time. But I wasn't willing to wait indefinitely.

Why did the BDB appeal to me? For couple of reasons. I'm already going to have to eat a nice chunk of coin as a result of returning my Anita, so I have lost my appetite for jumping to a more expensive machine. I'll eliminate temperature control as an unpredictable variable (I realize that this is due to my inexperience). I won't have to fumble for my phone to time a shot (I know this sounds like a nit, but after doing it hundreds of times, it really was annoying).

In the end, I rather have a machine that I actually use (and enjoy doing so) with questionable longevity than a machine that will last forever but I don't use because I find it too difficult or a hassle to pull a shot. It remains to be seen if I will like using the BDB any better obviously. I'll know soon. It will be in my hands tomorrow. Wish me luck!
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,030
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri Dec 13, 2013, 3:23pm
Subject: Re: Overly bitter shots from my QM Anita
 

Just for the record at the dollar store you can get a kitchen timer and set it for 27 or 30 second.

 
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
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,030
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri Dec 13, 2013, 3:41pm
Subject: Re: Overly bitter shots from my QM Anita
 

I stuck it to my machine with double stick tape. you can see it in the photos. You might be able to use a magnet on metal cases or put them on the wall.

 
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
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belmore
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Dec 2013
Posts: 12
Location: Atlanta, GA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Dec 13, 2013, 7:28pm
Subject: Re: Overly bitter shots from my QM Anita
 

I realize that I could use an external timer and I figured that I would get dinged for that comment. Pushing the start and stop button on that timer obviously couldn't be easier when considered in isolation. My reason for mentioning it was this represents just one more step that felt unnecessary and inconvenient to me. It's almost a no brainer to me that an espresso machine would include this functionality and it would triggered by pulling the shot lever... and that's exactly what the Breville does.

I can imagine someone not caring that these more expensive machines lack this functionality. I can't imagine someone being unhappy if they did. The lack of this functionality on a $1500 machine reminds me of how the original Porsche Boxster didn't have cup holders. Guess what? Eventually, they were added in later model years. If no other cars had them, the boxster would no doubt still lack them.

Like or hate the Breville, they are obviously listening to customers and grabbing market share. It can be argued (and is probably true) that Breville's market is mostly made up of a nubes like myself, but what difference does that make? I'm sure QM would rather have my dollars, nube or not. Like I said, whether I'm going to regret this decision or not remains to be seen. I still haven't gotten my BDB yet. But I guarantee the reason I won't be happy won't be because it has "cup holders" :).
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,030
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri Dec 13, 2013, 10:15pm
Subject: Re: Overly bitter shots from my QM Anita
 

I would have made no comment if all you had said was "I like the built in shot timer" and I don't disagree that there should be timers on machines.

But when you ding the QM for you fumbling with your smart phone in the kitchen instead of you using a kitchen timer, I had to speak up.  That is like saying that Porshe owes you a new pair of pants for spilling your coffee at 100 mpg.

 
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
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belmore
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Dec 2013
Posts: 12
Location: Atlanta, GA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Dec 18, 2013, 3:10pm
Subject: Re: Overly bitter shots from my QM Anita
 

I finally received my BDB and thought I would write another post with my opinion of it vs. my Anita. There's no question. The Anita has a much more solid build. The Anita weighs probably twice as much. I wouldn't have thought this would matter, since neither would I consider lightweight. But when I lock the portafilter in and out of the group head of the BDB, unless I'm holding on to the side of the machine, the BDB will rotate. This never happened with my Anita and the portafilter slipped into the group head much more smoothly and naturally. With the BDB, it feels a little like metal grinding on metal. Also, I'm not sure how, but I've already managed to put a small scratch in the drip tray of the BDB. Neither "problem" is a huge deal, but they do illustrate the superior build of the Anita.

The negatives aside, I'm finding the BDB less intimating to use. Granted, I went thru my initial pains of dialing in my grind, mastering my tamp, etc., etc. with the Anita. As a result, I was able to pull a pretty good shot on my first attempt with the BDB. The process was definitely simplified. No cooling flush. No need for an external timer. Little water was used, so there was no need to dump the drip tray or refill the tank. I didn't have any problems with the puck sticking to the screen (as I read some others mentioning). In fact, very little grounds suck to the screen and were easily rinsed by pushing the 1 Cup button for a second or two. With the Anita, I really needed to use a brush to wipe the screen and perform a backflush to get it clean.

Steaming milk on the BDB worked very well. It did seem to take slightly longer, but the result was as good or better than I was achieving with the Anita.

I also like the fact that the BDB comes with everything you need. You don't have to buy a tamper, a pitcher, an appliance timer and stop watch (although you still will probably want to buy a scale). It would nice if places like Chris' Coffee would throw in all this stuff (and include a bag of fresh beans, too!).

What about the result in the cup? It's hard to say if my shots are really better. I do think that they seem a little less bitter. I realize the unpleasing results that I was achieving was partially caused by the beans that I was using (Vivace). They seem to use a pretty dark roast and although they taste decent in a latte, in a shot, I'm not a big fan. The taste is just too bold and bitter for me. I suspected this, but wasn't sure. Was it the beans or was my temp too hot/cold? The BDB gives me (a feeling of) more control and I feel more confidence as result.

In the end, I think that I made the right decision. If money was no object, I'd imagine that I'd prefer the next level of Quick Mill that is a dual boiler and PID'ed. Other the lack of a built in timer, that would give almost everything that the BDB does, but with the higher build quality of the QM machines.
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florentt
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Jun 2013
Posts: 1
Location: Austria
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Dec 19, 2013, 4:03am
Subject: Re: Overly bitter shots from my QM Anita
 

99% sure it's the beans, Whole Foods has stores down here that roast and they suck imo, better than Charbucks, but they seem to roast every bean/blend to the same dark level which is a no no, different beans have different roast requirements, not a one size fits all roast. They do carry artisan roasters but I've never found fresh stock, think the closest I've seen is Counter Culture 3 weeks out from roast lol

 
nothing venture, nothing gain
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