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Topic: I'm back baby! (12 msgs / 257 lines)
1) From: jim gundlach
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And I might add that a crotchless portafilter is a big help on  
learning to use a lever machine when ever you learn to use it.
     Pecan Jim
On Aug 14, 2006, at 1:09 AM, Les wrote:
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And I might add that a =
crotchless portafilter is a big help on learning to use a lever machine =
when ever you learn to use it.    Pecan Jim 
On =
Aug 14, 2006, at 1:09 AM, Les wrote:

 Personally, I can't imagine = simply

starting with a lever = (espresso machine).  It = would be a big learning curve. 

= = --Apple-Mail-10-537050148--

2) From: Derek Bradford
The GeneCafe arrived as planned, although I was out all day white
water rafting, so I didn't do my first roast until very late last
night.  I roasted up some Harar Lot #30, of which I have enough for
one more roast, and I also roasted some Donkey.  I'll roast more
today.  The Harar, even after only very nearly 12 hours rest, was
wonderful.  Boring as an Americano, but as a ristretto it knocked my
socks off.  Blueberry, cinnamon and dark chocolate...buttery, sweet,
and thick.  A very yummy shot indeed.
I've really missed roasting.  It's good to be back in the groove.  For
anyone wondering about the GeneCafe, after two roasts I have the same
opinion as everyone else--built well, easy to use, roasts evenly, is
quiet, cools slowly, and seems to do a good job overall.
The Uglyroast 3! Coffee Roaster.  ...Now 85% less ugly!http://uglyroast.atspace.com

3) From: Tara Kollas
How's the chaff control?  I've had my hottop for over a year, and I love
it.  But the chaff collector isn't the best, imho.  Depending on the bean,
of course, but my Harar comes out full of chaff.
On 8/12/06, Derek Bradford  wrote:

4) From: Derek Bradford
My Harar came out clean as decaf last night.  I had a pile of chaff in
the collector, just as intended.  I did a roast of Liquid Amber today
with the same results.
I only wish I had the cooling the Hottop does.  I may start cooling
myself, but I don't think I will right away.  For now I'll see how the
slower cooling goes.  When I have some good profiles down I'll start
comparing and experimenting to see if there's a measurable difference.
 I know this much--my lot #30 today was outstanding, even after 12
hours.  I can't wait for tomorrow.
On a slightly different topic, for anyone weighing the differences
between a Europiccola and an Elektra Micro Casa, after 4 straight
months with the Elektra I never even came close to the shots I can
pull with my Europiccola.  I pulled my first shots in 5 months with my
Europpicola, and they blew anything that came out of the Elektra right
out of the water.  There's just so much more control with a manual
lever.   ...Especially if you dig ristrettos.
On 8/13/06, Tara Kollas  wrote:
The Uglyroast 3! Coffee Roaster.  ...Now 85% less ugly!http://uglyroast.atspace.com

5) From: Les
I agree with you 100%.  However, it is nice to learn about levers on a
spring loaded machine.  My Cremina out does my SAMA.  That said, the
learning curve was shorter having learned some basics on the SAMA.
On 8/12/06, Derek Bradford  wrote:

6) From: Derek Bradford
Ok Les, you've stumped me.  SAMA.  What's
that?  I learned on the Europiccola, and it was
indeed a steep learning curve.  But man...when you get it down,
nothing touches it.  I've never had shot at Stumptown or
Intelligentsia, or one at your house, or one from a GS-1, but if
they're that much better than my Europiccola ristrettos then I am in
for a supreme treat one day.  In my opinion, the spring just has no
idea about good coffee.
On 8/13/06, Les  wrote:
The Uglyroast 3! Coffee Roaster.  ...Now 85% less ugly!http://uglyroast.atspace.com

7) From: Tara Kollas
I was wondering about this, actually - I love the look of the micro casa,
but was concerned that a lot of the price was the look and not the coffee it
made.  I do think it's gorgeous.  I was also a tad concerned about the
exposed plumbing with two toddlers in the house.  The younger one, I'm
convinced, is trying to kill herself.

8) From: Les
A SAMA is a small lever machine that uses a spring similar to an
Elektra.  It isn't the machine an Elektra is but new they do sell for
over $600.00 retail.  That said, I have heard the Elektra does a great
job and the Coffee Geek gave it a very good review.  Personally, I am
simply really enjoying having the full feel of the shot as I supply
the pressure.  That said, you need to learn a lot to make it an
enjoyable experience.  My espresso learning curve began with a SAECO
with a pressurized PF and an average grinder.  I was able to pull
acceptable tasting shots.  I moved to a Rancilio Miss Nancy (poor
sister of the Silvia, plastic case same insides) and a Mazzer Super
Jolly.  Next step was to a HX machine, the Expobar Office Control and
a Mazzer Major.  My first lever was the SAMA.  By this time, I knew
about proper grind and other various subtle techniques such as
tamping, temp control, etc.  Personally, I can't imagine simply
starting with a lever.  It would be a big learning curve.  However
with a commitment and some of the great advice out there it could be
done!  My hat is off to all of you who started the journey on a lever
and are making wonderful shots.
On 8/12/06, Derek Bradford  wrote:

9) From: Derek Bradford
Thanks Les.  Do you have any pictures of a SAMA?  Google images has
not been helpful.  As for the Elektra, I think it's quite capable of
doing a good job--CoffeeGeek rarely lies about that sort of thing, and
Mark did manage to pull some nice looking shots.  I think in my case
it's down to the grinder--I'm grinding with a Maximo (La Pavoni PGC),
and while it does a fine job, it's no Mazzer.  Perhaps my less than
stellar experiences with my Elektra are because of my grinder, and
I've been too hard on it.  If anyone out there is using one with a
proper grinder, do chime in and correct me.
With my Europiccola, I've learned to compensate for grind during the
pull.  I'm guessing (and I'm quite certain about this) that the
Elektra is extremely grind-sensitive, and I just couldn't fulfill her
As to starting with a lever, I think it was the best thing I could
have done.  I really laboured over that decision, but in the end I
think I've learned far more about espresso than I could have on an
automatic in the same time period.  There were, however, some
exceedingly frustrating days...
On 8/14/06, Les  wrote:
The Uglyroast 3! Coffee Roaster.  ...Now 85% less ugly!http://uglyroast.atspace.com

10) From: Derek Bradford
I really wish I'd had one when I started.  I got my first naked PF
when I started using the Elektra, months after I'd been using the
Europiccola.  I've got a naked PF for the europiccola now, but have
pulled only a dozen or 2 shots with it.  I got a couple jets on a shot
this morning, but that was the first trouble shot.  My dosing was
messed up, though, and I knew it would happen.
On 8/7/06, jim gundlach  wrote:
The Uglyroast 3! Coffee Roaster.  ...Now 85% less ugly!http://uglyroast.atspace.com

11) From: Ralph Rosen
I have both an Elektra MC and a Europiccola, and would certainly say 
that they produce shots with quite different qualities-- neither 
better or worse than the other, but different. But I would also say 
that it took me a LONG time to get superb shots from the Elektra, as 
opposed to the Europ., which is more forgiving and easier to use. If 
it's really true that your shots on the Elektra "never even came 
close" to those on the Europiccola, I wonder whether you might want 
to keep playing around with the usual variables a bit more-- it's 
very sensitive to grind and fill, I've found, and it also helps to 
infuse the shot slowly at the beginning; but the machine is capable 
of a divine shot, even if you conclude it's not worth the effort! :-)

12) From: Derek Bradford
We shall see each other again in two years.  Perhaps I need to be more
gentle and forgiving.  :)
On 8/14/06, Ralph Rosen  wrote:
The Uglyroast 3! Coffee Roaster.  ...Now 85% less ugly!http://uglyroast.atspace.com

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