Who do you trust for unbiased advice? - Page 4

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

#31: Post by bluesman »

another_jim wrote:Thanks. But mostly even here it's five people, five different pieces of advice, and all of of us as utterly convinced.
To paraphrase an old saying from my culture, ask 5 experts and you'll get 6 opinions :D

3cordcreations

#32: Post by 3cordcreations »

I have called and emailed Chris' coffee a few times and have received biased (of coarse) but honest answers. I recently asked a lady (keeping her name anonymous) about 3 grinders.
They sell all 3 I asked about, Compak e5, Ceado e37J, and some Mazzers. About the Compak and Ceado she said she is a fan of both but she would pick the Ceado because it has a superior build quality (i was surprised to hear this) better grind quality and easier to dial in. She said the Ceados are rock solid grinders.
About the Mazzers, she said she doesn't really like the Mazzer grinders but didn't go into detail.

All retailers can't carry every brand and some carry brands exclusively, so they are going to be most familiar with those and probably recommend those. It is hard to sort through all the info out there now. Some places like Clive Coffee give you a chance to try out equipment and return within a certain time period, and just pay return shipping. It is tough when you can't try things out first, I know, I'm in IL :(
A three cord strand is not easily broken...

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Spitz.me

#33: Post by Spitz.me »

There is something that retailers tend to do without looking or sounding like they're doing it to make the sale. Retailers tend to really push and promote the positives of what they have in stock in order to divert your attention away from what they feel you may prefer, but isn't in stock. I'd only trust a salesman to give me technical details that I can then use to make my own decision.

Most retail sales staff hardly have real life experience with most of the gear and so they're just pulling from anecdotes they've heard or been told.
LMWDP #670

dsblv
Supporter ♡

#34: Post by dsblv »

3cordcreations wrote:...It is hard to sort through all the info out there now..
It's only hard to sort things out if you haven't spent the time figuring out what you want. When I'm looking for a new piece of gear, I create a detailed list of what I'm looking for. I then use the forums to find comments to see if I missed any features that I may want to add to my list. I also look for trends (accurately) being mentioned.

This allows me to sort through the information that's out there and ignore comments that don't apply or are too biased. I never ask a retailer for their opinion/advice on what I should by. It's my choice and my money, after all.

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bluesman

#35: Post by bluesman »

Spitz.me wrote:Most retail sales staff hardly have real life experience with most of the gear and so they're just pulling from anecdotes they've heard or been told.
But that's also true for most of us, yet we seek input from each other. How many HBers have even used 5 competing machines in the same class, let alone owned them for any period of time. I've owned about a dozen machines at most in 50 years, and I don't remember half of them. I've pulled 10 shots on an LMLM, 3 at the first Road Show demo in Philly, 4 at the LM cafe in Seattle, and 3 on other people's machines. I've pulled 2 shots on a Rocket, 2 on a Rancilio Classe 5 at a local restaurant, etc. This hardly qualifies me as an expert on any of them.

Honest vendors will tell you if they've ever even touched a machine they don't sell. Ask how they formed the opinions they offer - if you get a squirrelly answer, go elsewhere.

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russel

#36: Post by russel »

bluesman wrote:But that's also true for most of us, yet we seek input from each other. How many HBers have even used 5 competing machines in the same class, let alone owned them for any period of time. I've owned about a dozen machines at most in 50 years, and I don't remember half of them.
Some of us do have more than our fair share of first hand experience...and those who do and manage to consistently and continuously contribute to the discussions here are a true gift to the community (I'm at about 50 machines, 50 grinders, and 7 years as a "coffee professional", and I don't count myself as such a person because I know that often I don't have the patience to contribute constructively and instead get a little rant-y on my soap box or just close the browser and have another cup of coffee).
russel at anacidicandbitterbeverage dot com

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AssafL

#37: Post by AssafL »

I see a distinction between the subjective and the objective knowledge.

When one measures the pressure or temperature at the group, or describes a declining ROR (as measured) that is an objective assessment. The model and type of pump used in a machine is objective.

The subjective is how it influences flavor. The hedonisti/ organoleptic properties associated with to a "result in cup" are far more difficult to prove.

As an example, when evaluating distribution tools an objective criteria is how it affects consistency. As to whether OCD fosters clarity? Well that depends on the amount of fog is in the tasters brain. No?

I try to seek out the technical and technological aspects of what others write and try them myself. I pick those the help me achieve better results. Better results for me at my current preferences and flavor thresholds.
Scraping away (slowly) at the tyranny of biases and dogma.

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bluesman

#38: Post by bluesman »

russel wrote:Some of us do have more than our fair share of first hand experience.
There's no doubt about it, and I never said otherwise. But sometimes we need a scorecard to tell the players apart :)

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Spitz.me

#39: Post by Spitz.me »

bluesman wrote:But that's also true for most of us, yet we seek input from each other. How many HBers have even used 5 competing machines in the same class, let alone owned them for any period of time. I've owned about a dozen machines at most in 50 years, and I don't remember half of them. I've pulled 10 shots on an LMLM, 3 at the first Road Show demo in Philly, 4 at the LM cafe in Seattle, and 3 on other people's machines. I've pulled 2 shots on a Rocket, 2 on a Rancilio Classe 5 at a local restaurant, etc. This hardly qualifies me as an expert on any of them.

Honest vendors will tell you if they've ever even touched a machine they don't sell. Ask how they formed the opinions they offer - if you get a squirrelly answer, go elsewhere.
I totally agree. The difference is that at the end of the day, what does a forum goer with an opinion gain from distilling machine anecdotes? Maybe the feeling of making a contribution to the community and therefore feeling useful and happy that they could help. Honest vendors can still push you in any direction they choose. I never said the sales staff wasn't being honest. From experience, I know that you can pump the tires of something without lying and make the sale. May not be lying, but it is disingenuous.

I doubt we'll find forum participants to be disingenuous for selfish reasons.
LMWDP #670

mdmvrockford

#40: Post by mdmvrockford »

Peppersass wrote: All vendors of espresso equipment have a vested interest in getting you to buy what's on their shelves. But the smart ones take pains to make sure the purchase is right for you because if you're happy you'll come back and buy more. I've had excellent experiences with sales and support from Chris Coffee.

But I don't trust anyone unconditionally. I agree that no one is unbiased. It's my responsibility to do thorough due diligence on large and/or important purchases. You say, "in addition" to the advice you get on HB. Well, if I were buying an expensive espresso machine, first thing I'd do is post queries here and get as many opinions as I can. There will be many biased and conflicting opinions. Your job is to sift through all that and try to determine what advice makes sense, seems to come from people who know what they're talking about and applies to you, your preferences and your needs. Over time, you learn who to listen to.

Then you pick up the phone (or email) and talk to two or three or four vendors to compare their opinions and prices. Again, you have to comb through the chaff and synthesize the responses into advice that's relevant to you.
I know there are quotable quotes on HB. But this entire post should be a quoted. IMO, this should be required reading before someone should post "what ______ should I buy for ______ budget?"
LMWDP #568