Ready to buy - how do I make this latte!

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.

#1: Post by Djeayzonne » Aug 10, 2019, 4:40 pm

Hey, I've been lurking in here for a couple years and finally ready to get into this hobby.

I already ordered the Niche Zero grinder.

As far as the machine goes, I'm still not sure, but I was leaning toward either the Profitec 800 or the decent.

At the end of the day, all I really care about is being able to reproduce what I would call my reference standard of excellence.

I found the absolute best latte I've ever had in my life at this little hole in the wall place in Ginza, Tokyo. I have never seen anything like the amount, texture, color, and thickness of the crema they provide. It's just naturally sweet enough to drink as is.

I would love the experts to take a look at some the photos and tell me what I need and how to do this!


They have Instagram, but I don't have an account myself.

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#2: Post by guydebord » Aug 10, 2019, 5:32 pm

Their equipment looks nothing special. From the shots I see and the beans in the grinder, they use a super dark roast, even darker than classic Italian :shock: If this is your standard, I would consider the Profitec 800 more, fiddling with super dark-roast on the Decent seems counterintuitive to me.
Im more curious on why you narrowed it to these two machines, they are quite different...
In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni


#3: Post by Djeayzonne » Aug 10, 2019, 7:22 pm

No particular reason other than they are both quite unique, solid performers at what seems to be the sweet spot price-wise for espresso machines.

I like the idea of a more manual, involved experience. But, I would go with the technological experience if it made a significant difference in the cup.

I'm open to any suggestions and advice. I have no idea what I am doing, just what I want to drink.

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#4: Post by Bret » Aug 10, 2019, 9:54 pm

Since you live in Dallas, you have a number of options for training sessions: this might be a good first step before major initial purchases. You might find machines/grinders that you prefer, some that you would avoid, get some hands on time with equipment, etc. And you'd be ahead of the game a bit with some how-to (and don't do) knowledge.


#5: Post by happycat » Aug 10, 2019, 10:26 pm

Their water, their milk, their coffee (if tons of crema probably some robusta in there).

Machine? Why does everyone get so caught up on the machine? What do you know about their ingredients, that's the question.
LMWDP #603


#6: Post by Djeayzonne » replying to happycat » Aug 21, 2019, 3:12 pm

That would be because I don't currently have one, at all, of any kind, whatsoever.

The Niche Zero just came a few days ago.
Wow, the quality even for grinding drip for the Mocamaster is amazing! And I wasn't expecting it to be so quiet. Very nice.

I plan to make the machine purchase in the next 2-3 weeks, so can I please get some more useful feedback. Thanks! (so excited)


#7: Post by Seanmells » Aug 21, 2019, 6:49 pm

happycat wrote:Their water, their milk, their coffee (if tons of crema probably some robusta in there).

Machine? Why does everyone get so caught up on the machine? What do you know about their ingredients, that's the question.
I went to Turret multiple times the last time I was in Tokyo and I have to agree with what's being said here. They were doing some pretty serious water treatment for sure; the shop is very rustic and it was all on display.

I will also echo that the beans were definitely very darkly roasted.

Great little shop, sorry I can't be more helpful in regards to equipment. Just thought some more first hand experience might help others hone in.


#8: Post by Rokypop » Aug 21, 2019, 7:04 pm

After living in Japan for 7 years I found that lots of shops pulled something closer to a ristretto than the traditional shot you find here in the states. For the most part I would usually see a darker northern Italian style roast with south American coffee. I'm sure with either of the setups your looking at you'll be able to replicate something quite similar after some practice and experimenting.


#9: Post by mgwolf » Aug 21, 2019, 8:53 pm

If you're liking the darker roasts, you'll do very well with the 800 lever. Especially if you like to come up to the machine and pull great shots, one after the other. If you like to fiddle with lots of variables on each cup (some of which will work, some will not), the DE1 will make you happy.

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#10: Post by bluesman » Aug 22, 2019, 10:40 am

happycat wrote:Machine? Why does everyone get so caught up on the machine?
Right! As we say in the blues, it ain't what you play - its how you play it. You can make great espresso on an infinite number of machines. No matter what you buy for your first machine, you'll go through periods of doubt and wish many times that you'd gotten something else. If you can start with an 800 or a Decent, you're way ahead of the game - either is a great machine that's far more capable of making great espresso than are most of us. So get the one that appeals to you aesthetically, functionally, and viscerally - it has to feel right to you. If you can't make the choice that way, flip a coin because which one you get won't matter at all until you gain enough experience to know what goes into the shot you want.
Djeayzonne wrote:I would love the experts to take a look at some the photos and tell me what I need and how to do this!
i'm not an expert, even after 6 decades of making and drinking espresso. My sister is 7 years older than me and got me started on it when she went to college in New York in 1957 (when coffee shops had manual machines and the e61 was still a gleam in Ernesto Valente's eye). But I know enough to tell you that what you need is lots of knowledge and years of experience. You can't buy what you need - you have to earn it. The equipment is just a tool to help you use what you know. And the faulty carpenter blames his or her tools.
Djeayzonne wrote:I like the idea of a more manual, involved experience.
Then you might consider starting with a La Pavoni Europiccola at far less cost. It's a great little machine - you can make wonderful espresso with it, and it will give you the manual experience while letting you learn quickly how grind, pressure, time, temperature etc affect what's in your cup. If you master it and want to move up to an 800, you can always sell it for close to what you paid for it.

No matter what you get, do not obsess if your first shot isn't fabulous - it will take you pounds of beans, gallons of water, and months of patience to produce a good shot consistently. Getting it even close to good at the beginning is a combination of pure luck and random chance. Sadly, the few who achieve such fortune think it means they know more than they do, which hampers their learning. Your first shots will probably be so far from what you want that you'll get depressed unless you print this post, put it on your refrigerator door, and read it every day :D