How Much Effort and Money Does Home Espresso Take? - Page 5

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
coyote-1
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#41: Post by coyote-1 »

NicoNYC wrote:I actually think cycling is a great equivalent for making espresso in terms of both cost and difficulty. In your case, Cat1 is pretty damn competitive, you were basically training to compete in the World Barista Championships, or at least a national qualifier for the WBC (excepting of course the physical demands of cycling).

For both cycling and espresso, a thousand bucks or so gets you into the game, maybe 1.5 or 2k if you want to skip the entry level. On a budget, you could get a single-speed or fixed gear (Robot, Flair, hand grinder...). Then the accessories: pedals, shoes, jerseys, GPS (tamper, WDT tool, fancy cups, dosing rings). And if you start to dive deep, you need a road bike, gravel bike, mountain bike (flat burr, conical burr, titan flat, ghost burr). A similar amount of time and knowledge necessary for routine maintenance and repair as well.
I raced back in the day. My bike was CAAD2, much less than a grand, when everyone else was spending $3K or more for advanced aluminum and nascent carbon. By doing so they shaved perhaps 1.5 pounds off the bike compared to what I had. And even though they had DuraAce and I didn't**, I still was able to keep up on the flats and overtake most on hills.

**My group, though not DuraAce, was nonetheless SIS. But I also raced before that indexing system became common, back when even with the most expensive Campagnolo group you still needed to hunt around for your gearing. And down-tube shifters! lol Sometimes, equipment does confer a huge benefit. So it went with Shimano; SIS was a game-changer.

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

Sometimes rational decision making only gets us so far before it crumbles with contradictions. And sometimes solid logic takes us where we don't want to go. That's where aesthetics, pride, hope, prejudice and fantasy fill the holes in common sense. So I maybe I should have bought a Decent instead of Bianca. But the Decent just doesn't look like a proper espresso machine. So how can I be happy with its shots?

Take that, you empiricists. :roll:
Heat + Beans = Roast. All the rest is commentary.

Primacog
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#43: Post by Primacog »

BaristaBoy E61 wrote:Ask you friend, "how much trouble and effort are you willing to endure to produce an exquisite cup of coffee?"
That's the question that resolves the conundrum most of the time for me. Maybe 99 per cent of people don't really care that much about the quality of the coffee they drink. Most of them actually are fine drinking instant coffee and sometimes drink milk espresso drinks as a social thing or a nice drink when they're in a cafe. We are the very small minority or the weird ones to the rest of the world LOL If they actually know how much we spend on our coffee hobby they will think we are not just weird but crazy!
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jpender
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#44: Post by jpender »

Seems like there is a lot of space in between instant coffee and $20K worth of equipment, 10,000 hours of time, and $400 per pound specialty beans.

bullet08
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#45: Post by bullet08 »

Any average intelligent individual can learn to make drinkable espresso in an hour or less. Simple idea as ratio, input/output dose, and what tastes like bad espresso can be explained and understood. With help of a scale, and a stop watch, the initial idea of what to look for and how to meet them isn't hard. Finding these ideas might take time, but if that individual has a friend who's into it what's the issue? Making good espresso is another issue. Take money for equipments only because that person understands there's something better. And getting everything to line up to get exactly what you want out of espresso takes more than knowing sour, bitter and sweet. Yes, there is learning curve. But three year old might consider pooping in a potty takes learning curve. I smoke tobacco pipe. Much cheaper vice. That has much steeper learning curve than understanding simple math involved in pulling drinkable espresso.

Primacog
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#46: Post by Primacog »

I think I just reached the limits of the faffing I am willing to got hru to make espresso with the frozen whiskey ball hack. I think that hack does work by the way at least for me, but mainly due to it cooling down the espresso as the taste buds taste better at a lower temp.
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JB90068
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#47: Post by JB90068 »

When I was asked a similar question by a friend, I told him that it is a lot like owning a sailboat. Before I could say another word, he replied "Oh, so it's best to have friend who owns a boat."

Now I have friends that randomly drop by the house asking me to make them coffee. :D :D
Old baristas never die. They just become over extracted.

coyote-1
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#48: Post by coyote-1 »

Martin wrote:Sometimes rational decision making only gets us so far before it crumbles with contradictions. And sometimes solid logic takes us where we don't want to go. That's where aesthetics, pride, hope, prejudice and fantasy fill the holes in common sense. So I maybe I should have bought a Decent instead of Bianca. But the Decent just doesn't look like a proper espresso machine. So how can I be happy with its shots?

Take that, you empiricists. :roll:
I almost went down the E61 rabbit hole. I was trying very hard to break my Krups espresso maker in order to justify a machine $2K or less. Had the wife's buy-in and everything. But that Krups never broke (I still have it in the basement). But at some point I also decided I did not like the "all plumbing" look of these type machines. And you not only get the actual tubes, knobs, pipes, buttons, levers, gauges etc - you also get that polished chrome to reflect it all!

Capuchin Monk
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#49: Post by Capuchin Monk »

Speaking of the rabbit hole...

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JohnTheBastard
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#50: Post by JohnTheBastard »

I usually compare home espresso to buying a 70s era Maserati. If you like fixing cars more than you like driving them, it might make sense. If you want cheap and reliable transportation, it's an absolutely terrible idea.
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pulling sour shots since 1996