elef3u wrote:Hmm good point. I guess while I'm learning I'll be using a scale to weigh every shot anyway so the shot timer might only come into play after everything is dialed-in? Or maybe never? I guess I'm trying to have some "one touch" style convenience for those early mornings where you just don't feel like pulling 2 or 3 shots before you get one that tastes good.
Or, with good equipment (grinder), is getting consistently drinkable shots on the first try each day easy?
I drink a latte first thing and usually take an americano on the road with me. I usually use a comfort espresso that doesn't have a ton of subtle flavors or whatever. I've been at it for about a year and my palate isn't too picky. After getting dialed-in, due to the coffee choice and all the milk or water, i could easily get away with pushing the button on my grinder and not weighting it, then pushing the button on the BDB that is set to whatever time i dialed it in for. I would notice some difference in straight shots but not the drinks i make. I don't do this though. It is part of my routine to weigh everything, make sure my distribution is good and then weigh and time the shot. I have it down and it really takes me 2 min to make a latte in the morning. When I have a bunch of people over who want coffee drinks, I do dial-in, and then use the presets once I have them programmed for the dial-in.
For the second question ^. The short answer is yes. With decent equipment, coffee you like, and good skills you can get great shots consistently. I do.
The long answer: My grinder holds about 5 grams of ground coffee in the exit chute. If I am making a latte, I just grind the dose into my portafilter and I make the shot for the latte and it is great, though it usually pulls a little fast. If I am making a shot to drink straight and I haven't pulled a shot in say, an hour, I will purge 5 grams of coffee and toss it, then grind the dose. This purge ensures I have fresh ground coffee for the straight shot. Once I get everything dialed in, it stays pretty consistent with my setup. I buy 5lbs of coffee at a time, rest it for 7-10 days, then freeze it in vac seal bags. I only have coffee in my hopper for about 3 - 4 days then i am defrosting another 1/2lb. As most coffees age in the hopper, you'll find that they pull a little faster. You can adjust for this by 1) ignoring it, 2) upping the dose a tad, or 3) adjusting the grinder. With my 3 days regimen, i usually do either 1 or 2 once I am dialed-in.
Last thing. Buy your BDB at Bed Bath. Use the 20% coupon, keep your receipt and rest easy about reliability issues. Their return policy goes a long way to taking away my concerns about that issue.