Sources of espresso equipment upgraditis - Page 3

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.

#21: Post by compliance »

But you really could upgrade from the mini (peer pressure :twisted: )


#22: Post by CoffeeOwl »

compliance wrote:But you really could upgrade from the mini
Oui! 8)
'a a ha sha sa ma!

LMWDP #199

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#23: Post by »

Is the Vario the knee of the cost/benefit analysis of grinders?

I'm talking home use...
LMWDP #670

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Team HB

#24: Post by another_jim »

Talking only in terms of coffee quality ...

Back in the day when the Rocky and Silvia were the top end kit; there were lots of coffees and roast levels nobody would have dreamed of doing as espresso. When the Mini and an E61 box took top place, the choice of coffees widened; but for the most part, Centrals or East African at medium or lighter roast levels were still off limits. With the top level kit nowadays, there are still occasional impossible coffees, but they've become much rarer and cannot be predicted ahead of time. You need to try the coffee to know whether it'll work or not.

Part of the reason of this expansion is improved techniques. These techniques would not have been discovered on lower end equipment, since these aren't consistent enough to work out the fine details. But once the techniques are worked out, they can be used with more entry level equipment. So I can do a lot more with a Rocky and Silvia now than back in the day. But the choice of coffees you can use is still more limited than with the best equipment.

I would suppose the "knee" is a level of kit that would let you try any coffee that people are talking about, and get a fair idea of what the fuss is about. My feel is that the Jolly and Vario are just on the cusp of this level, but that they could turn out to have a few blind spots. That makes the Vario a very good deal in terms of price/performance; but it might not turn out to be your last grinder.
Jim Schulman

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#25: Post by »

If the very last part is true, than that would bring other higher priced grinders closer to the cost/benefit knee, right? If I can have a Nino/Robur for a lifetime compared to several Varios, the cost/benefit of the more expensive grinders become more attractive than first thought.

I can already sense my Vario will probably see the shop more often than those other grinders will, I've already had it replaced within a month of owning it and about 7 months later the burr carriage sounds wonky.
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#26: Post by duke-one »

I started with "serious" coffee in Greenwich Village as a 13 year old drinking espresso and listening to poetry. Then as a young adult with drip coffee, buying my beans (ground) from Peets in Berkeley. On to a stove top aluminum espresso maker and a home made steamer made from an old pressure cooker that I had added a valve and nozzle to (it had LOTS of steam power!!). My first "real" machine was a Olympia Cremina (?) and matching grinder. I sold that to a pal and bought my current machine a Astoria "Jun" (I'm not sure of the model as it is privately labeled by Mr. Espresso in Oakland Ca.) in 1997 or so. My next step was a Mazzer Mini Electronic. The setup stayed that way until a few months ago when I bought a Mahlkonig Vario K30 WBC and gave the Mazzer to Maria for her kit (she will get a Vibiemme DD when the new one gets here).
So I don't know (or care) if this is "upgradeitis" but something has for almost ever drawn me to serious coffee. It has meant different things at different times but never keeping up with the Joneses or some ego driven obsession, just coffee love or lust or whatever it is.


#27: Post by Sakae »

I am about to purchase a grinder and an espresso machine. The way I am looking at it, I want to deal with people who have pedigree making that stuff to avoid as many headaches later on as possible, and since it is for my personal use, it's definitely not an investment; just pleasure from having something pleasing at home where I spend my life in comfort. For about a buck a day ($1) amortized over fifteen years it is perhaps not a such bad decision.

Isn't this British after all - I am not so rich that I can afford to buy cheap stuff?