Hello everyone! Upgrade espresso machine and grinder -- or only grinder? - Page 2

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
User avatar
cafeIKE
Supporter ★

#11: Post by cafeIKE »

To make great espresso, the relative importance of each item:

Ian's rule of ½'s:
  • 8: Coffee
  • 4: Grinder
  • 2: Machine
  • 1: You

Nunas
Supporter ♡

#12: Post by Nunas »

japester79 wrote:Think niche zero is going to be the winner...
Nice grinder if you single-dose exclusively. Long waiting time to get one. Good reputation for quality, but the jury is out on service, as it's fairly new and does not have local dealers.

CafelatStore: home of Cafelat products online
Sponsored by CafelatStore
VoidedTea

#13: Post by VoidedTea »

cafeIKE wrote:To make great espresso, the relative importance of each item:

Ian's rule of ½'s:
  • 8: Coffee
  • 4: Grinder
  • 2: Machine
  • 1: You
I think "You" should be at the top with the highest score. Otherwise it doesn't make any sense IMO.

BodieZoffa

#14: Post by BodieZoffa » replying to VoidedTea »

Totally agree as if YOU lack skill and understanding of the process no coffee or equipment will offset that.

Nunas
Supporter ♡

#15: Post by Nunas »

How about You, coffee, grinder machine?

User avatar
cafeIKE
Supporter ★

#16: Post by cafeIKE »

With good coffee & my [minimal - no doodads] gear, it's possible teach almost anyone to make perfect espresso and steam milk* in 15 minutes. Of course, they couldn't start from a blank slate out of the box and achieve that. But I have gone to pal's good coffee in hand, tweaked their stuff to the ball park, showed them what ± changes do. Almost universally, the theme is "Wow! I had no idea it was so simple."

It took considerably longer to learn but ever easier with better coffee and grinders. I still have the machines I got about 15 years ago that are based on a 1961 design. They're tweaked a bit, but fundamentally ancient. I've had the most awful dreck pulled on Slayer, Synesso, La Marzocco & probably ½ the Italian pro makers through Robur, Malkonig, etc. because the coffee was crap.

With crap coffee and my gear, I might make something passable in about 10 tries before I give up.

With a crap grinder, I never will. Hence if asked about machines, I always ask "What grinder do you have?" My response varies from "Great!" to "Fogeddaboudit. You'll never make decent espresso [or possibly even any other brew] with that PoS!"

With good coffee & grinder, almost any machine that can get the water to ≈200°F and ≈10 bar is going to be acceptable and probably better than 99% of the shops. Machines have subtleties that some may prefer, but in general, it is a fancy kettle.

IMO, we do the espresso space a disservice with all the voodoo. I watched a video the other day and I can pull two shots & steam twice in the time the fellow took between measure & lock in the PF due to all the falderal.

*IMO, milk must be very fresh. 3 days open and bottom of the quart, fogeddaboudit. Some brands steam well, others not so much.

fruitfly
Supporter ♡

#17: Post by fruitfly »

Ian, thanks for your refreshing take!

Decent Espresso: espresso equipment for serious baristas
Sponsored by Decent Espresso
baristainzmking
Supporter ♡

#18: Post by baristainzmking »

Nunas wrote:How about You, coffee, grinder machine?

You forgot water! Good quality water. ;)
Julia

User avatar
cafeIKE
Supporter ★

#19: Post by cafeIKE »

You're right. :oops:
It's something I take for granted as I've either lived where the water is great or bought bottled or installed filtration.

Everyone should read Jim Schulman's Insanely Long Water FAQ

So,
Ian's revised rule of ½'s:
  • 16: Water
  • 8: Coffee
  • 4: Grinder
  • 2: Machine
  • 1: You

japester79 (original poster)

#20: Post by japester79 (original poster) »

Thanks for all the posts and advice.
So I thought I'd decided on an NZ but wandered into looking at the Eureka Mignon Specialita too.

Anyone got one?

Lots of people seem to say they are competent and a good alternative to the NZ (if you are flexible to adapt to the different workflows).
At the moment I'm single dosing and would continue to do so regardless of which grinder I picked.

Just in a quandary again! Ha! Conical vs flat, hopper or no, established company versus new (ish) player....

Aaargh!