How Much Effort and Money Does Home Espresso Take? - Page 3

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
mgrayson
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#21: Post by mgrayson »

For home roasting with no outside ventilation, don't forget to budget for a fume extractor! :lol:


coyote-1

#22: Post by coyote-1 »

Junior wrote:There's a ton of used equipment out there if someone wants to mess around with espresso. The reality is that most older commercial and home equipment use off the shelf parts and are fairly easy to work on and learn how the magic happens. But that's the effort route.

My main machine was bought at a state surplus auction (cimbali jr.), a grinder off an ebay auction (mazzer major). Even with a few parts and new burrs, the total for both was less $1,000. Along the way, I've learned how to repair and what goes into a good (and bad!) shot. I spend about the same amount on beans every year.

Just glancing at craigslist right now, I see a good looking ECM Classika II machine and a Rossi rr45 grinder for about $1,100 total. That combination would make espresso at a decent level and what you do and dont like about it. You could probably get a new silvia and baratza sette for near the same price.

It's upgrading from whatever starting point that becomes expensive. At that point, just like with every other hobby, once you get beyond the basics and into aficionado territory, the costs really climb.

Of course, the question of how much effort is required is kind of beside the point. I learn something about my equipment and the coffee I'm using nearly every day. The effort required is exactly how much you are willing to put into it.
I cannot imagine a newbie who has had some good espressos out and decides he wants to start making them at home NOT being put off by the prospect of having to lay out a grand or more just to get started. Even in today's world, that ain't chump change. You can spend $200 on a guitar or clarinet and be happy for years. You can purchase a few hundred in tools and build cabinets. $1100 for a machine to make a foreshortened cup of black coffee?

ira
Team HB

#23: Post by ira »

mgrayson wrote:For home roasting with no outside ventilation, don't forget to budget for a fume extractor! :lol:
I've one of those, but I don't use if for coffee, awfully expensive solution to the problem.

mgrayson
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#24: Post by mgrayson replying to ira »

I dunno. I basically live inside my roaster. The Hakko works, and I can probably continue to get filters. Cheaper models are made in countries that do a lot of soldering, but don't have as strict rules about healthy worker environments. I may be missing something obvious (there is no stove hood, opening the window is out, doesn't work as well, and something that *did*, like a ducted fan, would run afoul of the Landmarks Commission, to say nothing of the dreaded Coop Board.) Like i said, it works. I'm enjoying a Costa Rica Finca La Bella Bourbon as I type, and the apartment doesn't smell like I live next door to a refinery.

ira
Team HB

#25: Post by ira »

It's a great solution if it works, just would have never occurred to me. Were you able to borrow one from work for an evening to test it? I just exhaust using the stove hood into the courtyard, thankfully, no one's said anything. 16 unit condo and my wife's the president.

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IamOiman
Team HB

#26: Post by IamOiman »

Looks at amount spent on everything related to espresso

I budget my spending to the penny. Any cost, any acquisition, everything . I can flat out state that if I wanted to be at a point where I was pulling espresso to my satisfaction I could have stopped at my $100 transformer + €300 Pavoni Professional + $20 tamper + $190 Lido E (at the time) and call it quits on new equipment. It took me 2 weeks to adjust to the Pavoni and maybe a month or two to be very consistent with the output.

I.E. I could have reduced my spending a hundredfold of the total I actually have spent so far, but for me I keep going for the tinkering and collecting aspect. :mrgreen: . Getting at least adequate espresso with a proper machine and grinder should not be difficult to achieve even on a budget

Accessories (tampers, scales, brushes, tamp mats, etc) have probably set me back about $300 over all the many machines I have which is pretty good I think. I still use my cheapo $10 AMIR scale from 5 years ago. I may have replaced the battery on it once.
-Ryan
Using a spice grinder violates the Geneva Convention
LMWDP #612

mgrayson
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#27: Post by mgrayson »

ira wrote:It's a great solution if it works, just would have never occurred to me. Were you able to borrow one from work for an evening to test it? I just exhaust using the stove hood into the courtyard, thankfully, no one's said anything. 16 unit condo and my wife's the president.
This apartment is over the building's recessed entrance, so they constructed it with NO vents, hoods, or fans that may disturb the atmosphere. I started roasting when I lived upstairs in a place that *could* vent to the courtyard. Now I can't vent at all. Zero. You can imagine how poorly the clothes dryer works!

When I first looked at fume abatement for roasting, all the hits were commercial units the size of missile silos and about as expensive! :shock:

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Martin (original poster)
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#28: Post by Martin (original poster) »

Reading these many posts I'll stick with my puppy metric as a reply to those who inquire about "what does it take?" to pursue and maintain a HB habit. OK, it's not perfect, but IMO a committed roaster who moves to an exhaust-challenged apartment faces a comparable dilemma as a puppy 'owner' whose dog suddenly needs dental surgery. Repeatedly.

Someone probably told me to brush the pup's teeth every day--maybe the same folks who advised a very rigorous cleaning/flushing coffee schedule. In both cases--dog and coffee--if you have no prior experience plan an unanticipated adjustment to lifestyle including benefits, challenges, and costs. :wink:
Heat + Beans = Roast. All the rest is commentary.

Bluenoser

#29: Post by Bluenoser »

Jeff wrote:For consistently good home espresso, a good hand grinder ($100-250), any of a number of open-boiler or pour-into machines (La Peppina, VAM/Caravel, Baby, Robot, ... , $150-500), your existing kettle, and a $20-a-week bean budget for a quality espresso blend for two shots a day. .
For the absolute minimum, I'm surprised how little money it can take to make really good espresso.. With virtually no maintenance. However, you must spend time and effort in experimenting and most people aren't willing to do this. I think the $10k expenses are only those on the upper end of the espresso experience. My Havanese is costing me waaaaayyyy more for maintenance than my Robot .. in my recent $1k vet bill... grin... that's not counting having most of his front teeth extracted.. and after I brush them 3 times a week.. So espresso doesn't need to be like that.. take a year to really learn.. then 10-15 minutes a day to enjoy after that..

jpender

#30: Post by jpender »

Martin wrote:Reading these many posts I'll stick with my puppy metric as a reply to those who inquire about "what does it take?" to pursue and maintain a HB habit. OK, it's not perfect, but IMO a committed roaster who moves to an exhaust-challenged apartment faces a comparable dilemma as a puppy 'owner' whose dog suddenly needs dental surgery. Repeatedly.
This is true but home espresso does not require home roasting. Roasting is a second hobby.

You can buy a 1Zpresso Q2 and a Picopresso and start pulling shots for a little over $200. It's certainly not an "end game" setup but it can work, up to a point.

Any puppy is at least ten times the effort. And as for commitment, you can get rid of your espresso stuff any time you like, nobody cares. Dogs live for a long time and giving one up is kind of a big deal.