HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Solis Master 5000 (38 msgs / 1026 lines)
1) From: Edward Vigil
If you were actually inquiring about the Solis Master 5000, I own it.  I
like it.  I would recommend it.
Edward Vigil
Albuquerque, NM 87110
EVigil
Sow a thought
Reap an action
Sow an action
Reap a habit
Sow a habit
Reap a character
Sow a character
Reap a destiny
	--------------------------------
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2) From: John - wandering Texas
Yes, the Solis Creama Master 5000 is what we are considering. Do you ever
brew a full cup of coffee with it, and is it as good as a drip when you do?

3) From: Edward Vigil
I brew a full cup all the time.  It is far superior to drip.  The cup brews
with full body, excellent flavor extraction,  and a rich layer of crema at
the top.  My personal preference is to brew a cup rather than a shot.  No
clean up required except for dumping the expended grounds once a week.
Other cleaning about once a month.  Very self contained.  Due to the high
boiler temperatures, recommend distilled water unless you have excellent
water in your area.
Edward Vigil
Albuquerque, NM 87110
EVigil
Sow a thought
Reap an action
Sow an action
Reap a habit
Sow a habit
Reap a character
Sow a character
Reap a destiny
	--------------------------------
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4) From: David Jewett
<Snip>
Ouch! That's a extremely damning allegation, and if true would eliminate the 
Solis 5000 from contention as a purchase for just about anybody that reads 
this list. I guess without a complete teardown there's no good way to find 
out for sure what exactly the "hang" amount is, but I think for the sake of 
clarity we really do have to find out some how. Tom sells this device and if 
what you say is true then maybe he shouldn't, or at this point, won't. So 
far, at least one person has said it's now a hands-off machine for him. I 
don't mean to be imposing, but I really believe that you have a 
responsibility to confirm this.
Could you somehow completely clean the system, put in a measured amount of 
beans into the hopper, brew a cup and then remove what's left in the hopper. 
So if you put in 15 grams, brew and then retreive 10 grams of unground 
coffee proximal to the burrs then you know that there are 3 grams of ground 
in the circuit since the machine should have dosed 7 grams. Call Baratza and 
ask permission to disassemble what you need to and measure the left over 
ground coffee directly. Maybe you could brew your favorite coffee until you 
know absolutely that you are getting the expected cup, and then switch to 
something readily perceptable, say straight robusta or city roasted 
monsooned malabar and then brew some more. If you get 3 cups of good coffee 
before the bad stuff shows up, then we all can infer that you are right. If 
the first cup is bad, then something is wrong with what you have said. I 
mean, I don't care if the manual comes as an hand scribed manuscript with 
Sweet Maria herself in flowing mocha gown to read it to me in Latin and 
English, if the machine is not capable of brewing a fresh cup of coffee then 
I wouldn't buy it. So John in Texas doesn't know what coffee is supposed to 
taste like, and should be embarrassed for all those accolades? And Tom, our 
much respected coffee cupper and vendor, is deceived by the alleged stale 
habits of the machine as well?
I really don't mean to put too fine a point on it, but something doesn't add 
up. If this has all been said today, sorry, I read the digest.
David Jewett/MI
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5) From: Coffenut
Sure sounds similar to the problem with the Solis 177 Mulino Grinder
which is why many of us have to spank the grinder after each use to
clear all the grounds.  I've weighed the grind amount that remains in my
177 after grinding and it's 3grams.  Spanking the SM5k doesn't sound
like its practical, kinda like when the kids get to big to spank...
Coffenut  :^) 
<Snip>
grind
<Snip>
the
<Snip>
ground
<Snip>
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6) From: Angelo
Wouldn't it be easier to grind a contrasting material, eg. minute rice, 
rolled oats or kasha, etc.? It would be very clear to the eye just how much 
gets left behind in the subsequent doses..
A.
<Snip>
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7) From: JB Christy
I don't suppose not letting it watch TV for a week would work either.  How about
grounding it?  Oh, wait, grounding was the problem in the first place, wasn't
it?  Oh well.
--JB  B-]
<Snip>
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8) From: =?iso-8859-1?q?Alan?=
You could just grind some green beans and tell from the colour...  Wasn't there a
mail about something like that recently?
Alan
<Snip>
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9) From: John - In Deep Southern Texas
UMMM     Yeah - it was about how grinding green beans would destroy the
grinder :O(   As nice as the grinder is, I wouldn't risk it.  I have found
the solution for me is to just waste a couple of shots if the mix isn't
compatible.  I've had some nice "blends" by accident with my SM5k

10) From: Tom & Maria
<Snip>
Grinding green coffee will probably kill most grinders -they are just 
too hard. Its not that the burr cant handle it but it will jam in the 
auger as it gets pulled down into the grinding surface of the burr.
Tom
--
                   "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
            Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria
                   9 E. 2nd Avenue Columbus OH 43201
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11) From: Tom & Maria
I agree David,  and Baratza is receiving these posts too. If you read 
Sweet Maria's reviews of the M-5000 it talks about ease of use as an 
office machine, excelling in the lungo and cafe crema settings and 
not being the best machine for short espresso. All espresso equipment 
is designed to do something well, and superautos are have their 
place. They do not do everything perfectly, and there is not a 
machine out there with an integrated grinder and auto-tamping that 
doesn't have some drawbacks resulting from it. Using the M-5000 in 
double mode and making taller shots and coffee with it, it is a great 
machine. We enjoyed one in the shop for 3 months BEFORE we decided to 
carry it. We missed it greatly! Mike is stating half-truths with an 
air of authority that he has yet to  establish. He has said that 
there are 3-4 shots of espresso in the pipeline between the grinder 
and the filterbasket. This is not true, although there is going to be 
some lag between grind and brew. I am writing this not because he is 
insulting Sweet Maria's at all ... indeed it is great to have people 
testing equipment and sharing experiences. I am writing because 
Baratza comp'ed him on this machine, and it shows great disrespect 
that he does not verify the truth of his statements with them before 
posting them and, as you can see from people's responses, hurt the 
reputation of the machine. Mike, is this fair to Baratza?
Tom
<Snip>
--
                   "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
            Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria
                   9 E. 2nd Avenue Columbus OH 43201
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12) From: Mike McGinness
From: "Tom & Maria" 
<Snip>
Tom,
As you stated Baratza is receiving copies of all I send. If you're sending
them then they are getting them twice because I send them when I send to the
list, bcc. (blind carbon copy, that's so all replies from the list don't go
to them too.)
At first I did mistakenly say there was 2-3 shots left because the manual
stated it took 3-4 coffees to take effect. I misinterpreted Solis's
statement. Later I corrected it. It does take 3-4 shots before all of the
cup is new grind. Each shot having more new grind of course. Depending on
how long the grinds have set and what type of grind adjustment if any made,
determines how noticeable will decrease in each successive shot. Most
noticeable in the 1st, depending on change maybe barely if at all noticeable
in the 2nd etc. Gone by 3rd or 4th.
My intention was never to belittle the SM5k, and I honestly don't believe I
have. My mistake is not being a 'professional' reviewer and passing along my
observations and thoughts too soon, like as they enter my head at times! For
this I apologize. When I've discovered an error in my conclusions I've
followed up as soon as possible to correct it with a new post.
I should have waited which initially I planned to do. Someone posted asking
about how the SM5k early eval' was going a day or so after I got it. It was
still in the box! I felt terrible! I was letting the list down! Somehow I
felt 'it was my duty' to get something out to the list ASAP. Again, I
apologize for the premature inaccurate statement of 2-3 shots ,up to 21gr,
hung up. 'Taint so.
I totally agree this is a great unit for convenience and makes very good
Cafe' Crema to weak coffee (tastes good just weak), good double volume
lungo, fairly good lungo and decent espresso. I've stated as much already.
I'd love to have one for entertaining. Way easier than me pulling all the
shots! I did say even the espresso was better than most you'd get across a
counter. The give and take for convenience is dumping the 1st shot of a
session after it's set for a while or making a bean or grind change. It's
not totally necessary but the resulting cupping will be a higher percentage
of fresh ground, new bean or new grind. Solis states this in the manual and
my observations agree. Josie from Baratza emailed me back say she thought
the same thing.
MM;-)
Home Roasting in Vancouver, WA USA
Someday I'll learn to think twice before typing...
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13) From: joerlich
Instead of green beans, perhaps a very light roast contrasted against a very
dark roast would suffice?
-- Erlich

14) From: Tom & Maria
Mike - thanks for your thoughtful response. I feel that my sentence 
about air of authority was heavy-handed when i re-read it to myself 
-I am sorry about that. What I meant is that, unlike Kyle at baratza, 
you don't have access to the schematics for the machine and I think 
he's probably ripped these apart a million times. Kyle is a very 
thorough person. He could tell us exactly what kind of residuals 
might show up in the extraction. I didn't disassemble a M-5000 when 
we were testing it any more than looking over the insides (without 
much disassembly) and checking out the flowvalve and a couple other 
things. From my experience, the first shot after changing over coffee 
is certainly going to be a blend, and the second is pure. This is 
only from using the machine for 3 months, and noting the cup 
character when we would go from Sumatra to Harar -very extreme 
character changes. If you had a superauto that could clear out the 
pipeline between coffee change-overs, you would probably be dumping 
this coffee anyway, so the idea of dumping one double shot (or 
perhaps it is actually a neat blend -who knows-) doesnt seem too bad. 
But in my experience, residual for 3 shots is not the case. I emailed 
Kyle about it and was awaiting his response, but thought I should 
write with my experiences now, since this residual was something I 
specifically paid attention to with the machine. The M-5000 is, for 
me and Sweet maria's, a bit of an oddball item because it is not 
really inline with home roasting, etc. In my mind, hand-pull machines 
were the way to go until I found that the pump technologies on the 
rancilio and solis and a few others was so good that you didnt have 
to put up with the very, very inconsistent hand-pull results. It is 
just that we enjoyed the M-5000 so much as a one-button machine, I 
saw how suited it was to small office. I just think some of the 
things we discuss need to be put in a context because it changes the 
effect of the critique. I dont have a M-5000 in the shop right now to 
investigate this more but I know kyle can tell us what the tube 
length is, how the coffee is moved through it, and what the normal- 
and worst-case scenario is for residual.
Tom
<Snip>
--
                   "Great coffee comes from tiny roasters"
            Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting  -  Tom & Maria
                   9 E. 2nd Avenue Columbus OH 43201
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15) From: Randy Roy
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Does anyone in this group own this machine?  I'm trying to decide between this and a Silvia.  Thanks,
Randy

16) From: Randy Roy
Does anyone in this group own this machine?  I'm trying to decide between
this and a Silvia.  Thanks,
Randy
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17) From: Mike McGinness
From: "Randy Roy" 
<Snip>
this and a Silvia.  Thanks,
Randy,
Check the may archives for May 02.http://lists.sweetmarias.com/mailman/private/homeroast/I don't own the SM5k but had use of one for a couple weeks to test drive. It
has it's place, but not for great espresso IMNSHO. Great convenience, great
Cafe' Cremas, mediocre espresso. Miss Silvia pulls far better shots. More
work, and worth it depending on person 'style'.
MM;-)
Variable Variac Rockin' Rosto Roasting
Miss Silvia brewin'
Limping along with Solis Maestro grindin'
Christmas is coming!!!
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18) From: Charlie Herlihy
 Hi Randy, a few of us have one and we all love the sm5k. It's
true that it doesn't make world class one or two oz. espresso
shots, just better than any I've ever been served anywhere. My
favorite beverage is a 4 oz. cafe crema and I have one any time
I want just by pushing a button. If anyone else wants one, or 20
people do, just keep pushing the button and keeping the bean
hopper full. They always turn out perfect. My kids like making
capochinos which it'll make, but with only one boiler you have
to foam the milk then make the coffee, or vice versa. No biggie.
My wife likes to stretch her cremas out to 7 oz and just adjusts
the grind a little corser. Very good americanos, but probably
not as perfect as the Silvia. A lot easier and less messy,
though. Nice that a decent grinder is built in. 
Charlie,  brick oven roasting in BC
--- Randy Roy  wrote:
<Snip>
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19) From: Owen Davies
Among other comments, Charlie Herlihy wrote:
<Snip>
The write-up on the SL-90 doesn't mention these.  Does anyone
know whether that's an oversight, or is it really not able to do them?
It's an issue, because I'd really love to have that feature, or the 6-oz
cups I've heard of, but don't much want the built-in grinder.
Thanks.
Owen Davies
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20) From: James Gundlach
If you set the SL-90 on "0" one push of the button starts it and the 
next stops it.  You have complete control of the size of the amount of 
water you pump through it.  I have the SL-90 and now wish I had the 
Silvia.  In fact when, or if, the kids move out I will probably give 
them the SL-90 and get the Silvia.
Jim Gundlach
On Monday, October 28, 2002, at 10:07 PM, Owen Davies wrote:
<Snip>
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21) From: Clifton Burkett
Afternoon all, 
I'm new to the list. Been watching and reading for awhile but not =
posting. I
have a question I was hoping someone be able to help me with. I checked =
the
archives back for a few months and didn't find anything so I thought I =
would
post. I have a Solis Master 5000 that I have had for a couple of months.
(got it from SM back in October) This morning when I went to brew my =
second
cup of coffee of the day the beans won't grind. The bean grinder spins, =
but
you don't hear a grinding sound. After about ten seconds with the =
grinder
spinning but not grinding the red light comes on saying check the bean
hopper. I tried cleaning the machine to no avail. I can see the beans
spinning, but no grinding sounds! The red led went off after the power =
was
cycled during the cleaning session, but comes on after the bean grinding
fails again. I took the old beans out of the hopper and cleaned the =
feeder
input to the grinder with a vacuum and I can't see any obstructions into =
the
grinder. By "old beans" I mean two days in the bin for some Monsooned
Malabar which had been rested for three days. Reloaded some different =
beans,
Costa Rican Full City +, and the same results. This was my second cup of =
the
day, just finished mowing the grass and came back in for a second =
Americano
and no luck. Looking back I think the grinder had been slowing down for =
the
last few days. Anyone have any suggestions? I have emailed
'service' for info but being the weekend I won't hear =
anything
from them for a few days. I was wondering if anyone on the list may have
something for me to try that won't void my warranty. I don't have a
bore-scope so I can't look at the exit of the grinder to see if it is
obstructed. I can only see the input to the grinder which is clean.
So I broke out my old Kitchen-Aid Bur grinder and I'm back to the
Bodum-Santos and the French Press for now. 
Any help would be appreciated. 
Clif - SomeWhere in Florida

22) From: Julie H Tieszen
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
What do people think about this machine for a lazy coffee lover? I tried =
looking in the archives but maybe I didn't look back far enough. Does it =
brew coffee at the right temp?
Solis Master 5000 Fully Automatic Espresso Machine with Built-In Burr =
Mill
Thanks,
Julie

23) From: Sandy Andina
--Apple-Mail-103-567382593
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Well, most of us who are serious coffee geeks avoid superautos--they  
are jacks of all trades and masters of none.  Their built-in burr  
mills are mediocre (and the burrs are hard if not impossible to  
replace when they dull), their turbofrothers produce poofy coarse  
macrofoam, they don't have enough consistent steam pressure (not air  
pressure or "crema enhancer" doodads) to produce decent crema and  
extract properly. If you are going to drink brewed coffee and are  
lazy, go with a separate grinder and auto-drip machine. If you want  
good, real espresso and milk drinks, there ain't no easy road....you  
will have to work at it.  If you don't mind the espressos, lattes and  
cappuccinos you can get at Starbucks or at restaurants, I suppose a  
superautomatic like that one will satisfy. But I wouldn't take my  
carefully crafted homeroast and run it through a machine that "ho- 
hum." If all you want is cafe creme, save your money and buy a pod  
machine and refillable pod so you can use your own ground coffee.   
IMHO, one has to be extremely lazy to eschew a separate grinder.
On Dec 9, 2006, at 3:23 PM, Julie H Tieszen wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com
--Apple-Mail-103-567382593
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
Content-Type: text/html;
	charsetO-8859-1
Well, most of us who are serious =
coffee geeks avoid superautos--they are jacks of all trades and masters =
of none.  Their built-in burr mills are mediocre (and the burrs are =
hard if not impossible to replace when they dull), their turbofrothers =
produce poofy coarse macrofoam, they don't have enough consistent steam =
pressure (not air pressure or "crema enhancer" doodads) to produce =
decent crema and extract properly. If you are going to drink brewed =
coffee and are lazy, go with a separate grinder and auto-drip machine. =
If you want good, real espresso and milk drinks, there ain't no easy =
road....you will have to work at it.  If you don't mind the espressos, =
lattes and cappuccinos you can get at Starbucks or at restaurants, I =
suppose a superautomatic like that one will satisfy. But I wouldn't take =
my carefully crafted homeroast and run it through a machine that =
"ho-hum." If all you want is cafe creme, save your money and buy a pod =
machine and refillable pod so you can use your own ground coffee.  =
IMHO, one has to be extremely lazy to eschew a separate =
grinder.
On Dec 9, 2006, at 3:23 PM, Julie H Tieszen =
wrote:
What do people think = about this machine for a lazy coffee lover? I tried looking in the = archives but maybe I didn't look back far enough. Does it brew coffee at = the right temp? Solis Master 5000 Fully Automatic Espresso = Machine with Built-In Burr MillThanks,Julie 
= Sandywww.sass-music.com
= = --Apple-Mail-103-567382593--

24) From: Barry Luterman
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I agree. Espresso from a super automatic is like stew from a crock pot. =
Start from scratch for a quality product. Or go the really easy route =
and open a can of Dinty Moore Stew.
Gave my wife the Garmin GPS for Christmas yesterday. Couldn't wait. Then =
I proceeded to download the drivers etc. She said, "Do you remember, =
many years ago, when you gave me a Z&D for Mother's Day? Is this going =
the same way?"

25) From: Julie H Tieszen
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Thanks! I love these responses I get on here! It helps me think more =
clearly.
And thanks to all who responded to my question about drinking my coffee =
black instead of with milk. I feel no shame adding milk now. But I'm =
still going to try it black every so often. Today I drank my Rwanda =
Bourbon black because my 7 month old wouldn't let me put her down to get =
the milk. It was very good.
Julie

26) From: Jim Anderson
Well, Julie I am going to swim against the tide a bit here.
We got a SM5000 a couple of years ago and like it for quick coffee. It
won't make espresso like a dedicated machine. Not even close.
We use it for after dinner coffee and my wife uses it in the morning
to make a couple of cups, while I'll use a French press or pour over
to make mine and fill my thermos for the day. I don't have the ability
to make fresh at work.
One of the drawbacks is the ability to change bean types. Tough to get
all of the old ones out, but we have gotten pretty good at only
loading enough for as many cups as we are going to make at the time.
Probably a bit expensive for a one cup coffee maker, but it does that well.
Jim
On 12/9/06, Julie H Tieszen  wrote:
<Snip>

27) From: Michael Guterman
Julie H Tieszen wrote:
<Snip>
Julie,
I don't use my SM5K as an espresso machine, but use it for cafe crema.  
They make great coffee, and I like the "heavier" cup more than that from 
a drip pot.  I use my Isomac when I want espresso.  I don't use milk, so 
the froth part doesn't affect me.  I did have a failure, and had to send 
it back to Baratza, but they handled it quite quickly, and it was under 
warranty.  I run about three pounds of beans per week through mine.  As 
long as your expectations are not for a real espresso machine, it can be 
a wonderful device.  Check out the reviews on coffeegeek.com.  I do have 
doubts about its long term reliability, but I will just have to see.  I 
guess I wouldn't mind buying a new one every four or five years.
Michael

28) From: miKe mcKoffee
I agree SM5k does excellent job for Café' Crema type cups on demand. =
Which
really isn't surprising since it's Swiss made, IIRC that's were Café' =
Crema
style "shots" originated. Excellent for entertaining too, just point =
guests
at it and tell them which button to push. I demo'd one for a month just =
to
see how it compared to Miss Silvia. No, SM5k couldn't match even =
Silvia's
espresso shots and that was when I still had Maestro grinder I believe, =
but
might have already upgraded to Rocky, don't rightly remember for sure, =
'twas
5 years ago or so. And if you didn't attempt finer grind for true =
espresso
shots built in grinder should hold up longer. (same burr set a Maestro I
believe)
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I =
must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal =
enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone =
before.
<Snip>

29) From:
Julie:
I have one on my counter and use it daily. I have had the Saeco and other grinder/espresso machines and this on is top notch and beats them all.
If you do get one there are tons of people here and at homeroasters.org who have them so you will get lots of help.
Go for it, great price point, great machine to own that will service you for years!
ginny
---- Julie H Tieszen  wrote: 
<Snip>

30) From:
Michael, Michael, Michael...
the shots are not at all bad. you are spoiled.
the cafe cremas are the best.
ginny
---- Michael Guterman  wrote: 
<Snip>

31) From: Michael Guterman
pchforever wrote:
<Snip>
Spoiled is good!!  It's all Tom's fault.
Michael
<Snip>

32) From: Eddie Dove
So ... by the transitive property ... Tom is good.  Correct?  :-)
Eddie
On 12/10/06, Michael Guterman  wrote:
<Snip>

33) From: Vicki Smith
I wonder if the coffee is anything like what I get from my KMB?
v
<Snip>
<Snip>

34) From: Michael Guterman
Yes, Tom is good.  Correct!  (Maria, too!!!!)
Michael
Eddie Dove wrote:
<Snip>

35) From:
what's a KMB?
g
---- Vicki Smith  wrote: 
<Snip>

36) From: Vicki Smith
You get, yet another bunch of CSA points AND a gold star.
vicki
True, Dennis W. FC1 (CVN69) wrote:
<Snip>

37) From: raymanowen
Oh, no, ginny-
You didn't actually say, "machine to own that will service you for years!"
did you?
An Edsel could service its owner for years too, if he could afford it...
Ralph Nader started his Unsafe at Any Speed tirade against the Corvair by
pointing out the great number of accessory equipment manufacturers, Corvair
clubs and newsletters, as if their presence indicated a basic lack in the
vehicle as delivered by Chevrolet.
Now, Say What-about the tons of people who have [SM5K] so you will get lots
of help?
I got a cheaper education. In the long run, I have gotten outstanding shots
of espresso from my funny-looking Capresso thingy. This, after I reinstalled
the restriction in the bottom of the filter handle that artificially sets
the puck brewing pressure.
The foam enhancing dildo is still in the drawer. With the nozzle at the tip
of the bare steam wand, it makes micro foam like pushbutton shave cream.
Just bury the tip if you only want to heat a liquid.
Why should I dislike Faux espresso? It's Terrific on flavor and a little
thin on crema. This is not a good teaching machine, but I can try.
Grinder M has 10 marked grinding steps (0-9), and 9 increments between the
steps, for 100 distinct, resettable grinding steps. The step midpoint is
easy to set also, so 200 specific steps can be set or reset.
You could hardly want better flavor, but the Bodum Assam cups are
tattle-tales. When I decide "prettier tastes better," me and Grinder M are
going to get serious with one of the difficult Ethiopians as a single origin
shot. Baby steps...
And you say your grinder is built in? Push the button, Max-
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
JFK said not to let the comfort of your opinions block the discomfort of
actually learning something new-
On 12/10/06, pchforever  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

38) From: True, Dennis W. FC1 (CVN69)
OH OH I know I know!!!! Pick me (hand waving around wildly)
KMB = Krups Moka Brewer
Did I get it right?
Dennis
AKA
FC1(SW) Dennis W. True
CS/CS-5
USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69)
FPO AE 09532-2830
HG/DB and Z&D roasting in the Persian Gulf
 "On station and on point 143 and counting down..." 
what's a KMB?
g


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