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What are some of you favorite espresso tools

Postby jwill911 on Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:48 pm

Hello HB'ers,

I ordered my first real espresso machine an Alex II but I'm on pre-order and waiting. In the mean time I what to acquire some of the essentials:
I'm looking for things like knock boxes, tamp mats, pointers for good espresso, cappuccino, and latte cups (yes I'll be making milk drinks too) that are good but aren't too expensive, oh cleaning tools. Also thinking of getting a bottomless portafilter. I'm sure I'll think of stuff but I'm sure many of you have already ferreted out the better quality better bang for the buck favorites.

Thanks in advance for any pointers,
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Postby geoffbeier on Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:38 pm

I got my bottomless PF from Chris' along with the machine. It's what I use most of the time.

I like this brush for cleaning around the group. This stand makes it easier to tamp both the bottomless and spouted PF, and really helps keep the spouts from picking up stray grounds from my work area. These latte cups are my favorites. This brush is good for cleaning the shower screen. I ordered that along with a couple of extra gaskets along at the same time as my machine also.
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Postby BruceB on Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:21 am

I only got it recently but I'm loving my Grindenstein knock box. Seems really sturdy and well built along with being stable. The one downside is it it small so doesn't hold many spent pucks (I typically get 6 in before I have to empty, which is plenty but it depends on your use); the upside of it being small is that owning the Silvia it just sits on the drip tray when not in use so reduces clutter.

Shipping was also ultra fast to Canada. http://dreamfarm.com.au/products/grindenstein/
It's all in the grind, Sizemore. Can't be too fine, can't be too coarse. This, my friend, is a science.
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Postby Louis on Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:51 am

I own a Dreamfarm Grindenstein and recently bought a Cafelat Tubbi.

The Tubbi contains more pucks, while having only a slighly larger footprint.
The Grindenstein is noisier when knocking the portafilter.
The Grindenstein is dishwasher safe. The Tubbi specifically says that it should be washed by hand.
The puck often gets stuck on top of the bar in the Grindenstein.
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Postby yakster on Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:36 pm

One of the tools that I like to use to help clean my group is a wash bottle like those offered at Oprhan Espresso. It makes rinsing the group easy and can get some of the grounds out that my brush can't reach. Since the La Peppina has a 45 mm group head, the Cafelat brush would be a little too big, so I use a Pallo coffee tool followed by the wash bottle. I also find a microfiber cloth handy for cleanup.

Another tool I like is the Orphan Espresso dosing funnels. I don't WDT so I like the small dosing funnel with my Vario, but they have a taller version if your looking for something fancier then a yogurt container. I guess if you were going to WDT, you might want a dissecting needle too. I picked one up at a science supply shop along with the wash bottles.

You can see a picture of the wash bottle and the dosing funnel in this picutre here.

I even picked up a second wash bottle and Pallo coffee tool for the Nespresso Pro machine here at work, even though I try and avoid using it, favoring a hand-grinder an a Mypressi Twist instead, but someone's gotta clean the machine at work.
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Postby cannonfodder on Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:32 pm

My Grinder and the hose attachment for the vacuum cleaner.
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Postby wingding on Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:28 pm

Scale and Bodum cups.
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Postby mitch236 on Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:39 pm

My scale. It fits the entire portafilter so I don't have to mess with the basket. It also runs on ac so I don't have to tare it once it's set unless the power goes out.
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Postby jwill911 on Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:14 am

Thanks for the tips I like:
1 - Rancilio bottomless portafilter Chris' seems to have a good price
2 - Cafelat group brush
3 - I already bought the Bodum 2oz double wall espresso cups, they're awesome for chilled vodka.
4 - Like the Tubbi knockbox, was looking at a stainless steel one with rubber base but there's already too much stainless steel in my kitchen.
5 - Like the portafilter dosing funnels never saw those before.
6 - The jury is out on the espresso, cappuccino, latte cups too many choices something will grab me one day.
7 - I like the Cafelat flat tamp mat.
8 - Also like the idea of a tamp stand but counter real estate is getting scarce already, the Alex II is 14 1/5 inches wide. I'll wait on that decision until I see how it all fits.
9 - I'm going to need some of those Teflon pads for the feet to slide the 70 lbs out from under the counter to fill the reservoir until I can get it plumbed.
10 - Clive is including a Rattleware tamper which I'll make due with until I see something I can't do without.

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Postby aecletec on Sat Apr 30, 2011 5:37 am

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