BWR Senior Member Joined: 5 Dec 2012 Posts: 9 Location: Cape Town, South Africa Expertise: Just starting
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012, 1:05am Subject: Re: New to CoffeeGeek? Welcome, introduce yourself!
My name is Bruce and I'm based in Cape Town, South Africa. While we don't have many fantastic coffee shops here, we do have a few places that roast their own beans and (in my very limited experience) serve decent espresso. I've been drinking coffee for years, but only recently really started trying to find a better Americano (still my primary coffee drink) which lead me to trying more straight espresso and eventually to CoffeeGeek. I've been amazed by the amount of information on this website and the depth of knowledge in the community. I'm sure I'll continue to learn from everyone here for a long, long time.
slofox Senior Member Joined: 28 Nov 2012 Posts: 32 Location: Hamilton, New Zealand Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Fri Dec 7, 2012, 12:53pm Subject: Re: New to CoffeeGeek? Welcome, introduce yourself!
Greetings from Hamilton New Zealand, where springtime is upon us and the sun is shining.
I came across this site in my search for a decent espresso machine that I could afford. I have been a coffee addict for more years than I care to remember - starting with a percolator back in the mid-60's and drifting through an array of options until the advent of home espresso machines which I have used for the past 15 - 20 years. My first machine was made by Kenwood and the current one by Breville. Neither of these was a "real" espresso machine but both produced a respectable enough cup of coffee to keep me happy at the time.
However, with advancing age and experience comes advancing desire for perfection. The Breville is now on its last legs - water leaks from everywhere, the group head is warped a little and it seems to me that it is a good excuse to get rid of it and buy something a little better, despite a limited budget. What the hell, an intractable Visa bill is better than no espresso, yes?
I was, of course, tempted by the Rancilio. I watched one on the local equivalent of Ebay - it sold, brand new, for $NZ 855.00. This was cheap by local price standards but still a little outside my range.
So I looked at the local espresso specialty shop, at an Isomac Viper, but again, a little too expensive.
And then I heard and read about the Gaggia Classic. I liked the simplicity of the design, the basic nature of the process (I like the classical purist approach to anything) and I have read a gazillion reviews of the unit and have found very few that didn't like it. So the decision was made.
Upshot of all this was an Ebay purchase from Australia (the "West Island" of New Zealand). Brand new, good price (a little over half of the local price), all boxes ticked. I am now in the awaiting arrival stage of the operation. Fingers crossed it won't languish in the hands of the customs department for a month before they let me get my paws on it...
I'd have to say this site has proved invaluable in my hunt - enough so to prompt me to join up. So here I am.
I'll let you know what transpires when the Gaggia arrives. In the meantime, I appreciate the information I have gleaned here, Great site,
Ruthie Senior Member Joined: 9 Dec 2012 Posts: 4 Location: Michigan Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Mon Dec 10, 2012, 9:48am Subject: Re: New to CoffeeGeek? Welcome, introduce yourself!
Hi! I have read posts on here over the years, but never signed up because I don't have expertise to share. My late husband was a member and really got into the coffee thing about 4- 5 years ago. He was on dialysis and fluid restriction, so espresso shots were appealing.
He purchased an awesome machine and grinder and did lots of research on roasting his own beans, but gave up after a failed attempt. We sampled espresso at many of the independant coffee shops in the area.
The love of good coffee stayed with me, but I haven't really gotten into the make-my-own kick like him. I joined to hopefully sell his equipment, but will probably hang around for some of the general discussions. I don't have any expertise to share, but I know my coffee shops in the Detroit and Ann Arbor area. I prefer to leave the roasting and brewing to the experts.
Sebastiaan Senior Member Joined: 18 Dec 2012 Posts: 3 Location: The Netherlands Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Posted Tue Dec 18, 2012, 3:11am Subject: Re: New to CoffeeGeek? Welcome, introduce yourself!
First of all, thanks to the CoffeeGeek community for all the resources provided over the past few years. Last week, after a few years of pressurized portafilter espresso, I decided that it was time for something else. I had the chance to buy a second-hand Rancilio Silvia for a very decent price and, without much hesitation, I bought it. While it was still working 'Ok', the pump was old and getting a bit lazy, so I'm in the middle of replacing it (i.e., the replacement will hopefully arrive tomorrow). I might one day replace the boiler, but for now it's heating well and does not leak. The only thing remaining to buy is a grinder, as a replacement of my current manual. It's on my wish list for this week, so I can start experimenting with my Silvia the moment I'll put her back together.
So, as you could've read above, I'm getting drawn more and more into the world of espresso and that's why I decided to sign up for the CoffeeGeek website.
Posted Mon Dec 24, 2012, 9:13am Subject: Re: New to CoffeeGeek? Welcome, introduce yourself!
Been frequenting these forums as a casual observer for a good while (1-2 years), but now that I am starting work on a new espresso tamper concept I wanted to start engaging this community in a more personal way, try to give back, and learn what members care about when pursuing the perfect espresso shot(s).
A little bit about me: trained as a mechanical engineer and spent 6 years designing commercial cooking equipment (if you have eaten at Panera Bread you have benefited from our bagel and bread slicers). I saw at the time the inevitable course a life as a design engineer would take and decided to put things into my own hands a bit more. I quit my day job, started a company with my best friend, and helped build a web development shop that produced websites and custom software as a service packages for 3+ years. As the real passion for building a business drained out through the grind of the work tasks I did not naturally love, I sold the company, moved to Atlanta, GA and married my long time girlfriend.
Those years leading up to the move to Atlanta, coffee houses were purely a social habit. A place for friends to lounge on weekends, play cards; a place to work, a place to meet prospective clients. I was always a heavy coffee drinker (7-10 cups a day), but the coffee came secondary to the ambiance. I would say I started paying attention to what I was putting into my cup, oddly enough, when I realized how much weight I was taking on due to cream and sugar. When I went to strictly black coffee, I started noticing cups of coffee I enjoyed and others I found downright dreadful. This started a cascading journey into what makes good coffee and what doesn't.
In Atlanta, and after taking a corporate project management job, coffee crafting became a hobby. A La Pavoni machine and Gaggia MDF grinder (researched off this site a few years back) were purchased, Octane Coffee became my shop of choice, I began applying my engineering principles to the pursuit of good coffee. I read books, kept logs, asked obscene amounts of questions of far too friendly baristas and really got into the craft.
I always knew I wanted to start another company at some point, but I promised myself that whatever I chose next to build it would be for the love of it, not the money in it. Through serendipity coffee had become that muse. Knowing specialty coffee is a market full of incumbents and the equipment market is small'ish I started the process of opening Foundry Coffee Company as a nights and weekends project that really is my coffee hobby converted into a business venture.
That brings us to today. We are working on our first project, an espresso tamper that provides real-time feedback as you tamp and a historical log of levelness/forcefulness. This design effort is an attempt to maintain specialty coffee as a respected craft while giving baristas, owners, trainers, and enthusiasts tools that help them perfect their craft and create reproducible results. This first effort is but one step on this journey, and will be followed by many more (other products we'll design as time marches on).
I am always looking to converse about coffee. It is something I truly love engaging and would welcome any posts/emails/calls or local coffee shop meetups. Hit me up anytime here or at the links below.
Posted Thu Dec 27, 2012, 6:43am Subject: Re: New to CoffeeGeek? Welcome, introduce yourself!
Hello all. I've been tinkering with espresso since I received my first Braun steam "toy" more than 20 years ago. I've been a sponge around this site for the last few years w/o ever joining, soaking up the reviews, opinions and general knowledge, but all the while believing that--being an amateur--I had nothing of real value to contribute to the community.
Well, by perusing this site, my interest has advanced exponentially, and my various contraptions (Aeropress, French Presses of various sizes, Chemex, drip makers, semi-automatics, mypressi twist, moka pot, vacuum pot, hand grinders, etc.) have inexorably staked an increasing claim to both cabinet and counter top space in my kitchen to the point where my girlfriend is going crazy. At that point, I realized my hobby was a full-blown obsession.
That obsession, plus the facts that I began contacting members for advice and found myself wanting to respond to various reviews and forum comments, was the impetus for my joining. This is a wonderful site and I applaud those who have made it so.
Posted Sun Dec 30, 2012, 6:38am Subject: Re: New to CoffeeGeek? Welcome, introduce yourself!
Hi everyone, This is David from Charlotte, NC. I am new here although I have two posts already since yesterday. Also I have lurked here a while and am now taking the plunge and participating. My history: I had a pressurized Mr Coffee for several years and decided to upgrade to a Silvia / Preciso last spring. That was a huge move for me and then I subsequently made a trip out to San Francisco for a conference and in during breaks was darting about to the coffee places my local roaster told me the check out. I had unbelievable coffee, it was nirvana. I then added a PID to the Silvia, another big jump up. I am currently working on my skills and doing some more upgrades and eventually want to try roasting as well. I started blending Trader Joes coffee recently (I posted about this in a cheap coffee thread) so I guess I am on my way : ) Glad to be here!
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