HomeRoast Digest


Topic: espresso/grinder upgrade brouhaha (12 msgs / 378 lines)
1) From: Sandy Andina
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I think one of the problems with any group with a dedicated cadre of  
passionate enthusiasts is the "nothing-but-the-best-is-worth- 
anything" mentality. In an ideal universe, true connoisseurship ought  
not to be impaired by unpleasantries such as economic realities. But  
we live in the real world--and newbies more so than we more advanced  
obsessives.  I will repeat--I have owned crappy espresso machines,  
good espresso machinesm great espresso machines, crappy burr  
grinders, good (entry-level for espresso--SM+), mid-level (Rocky) and  
great (Mazzer Mini) grinders. I have gotten the best shots out of  
Mazzer-cum-Livia, but still really good shots out of Silvia-cum-SM+  
combos.  Had someone told me to hang on to my Krups pumper until I  
could afford a Mazzer or even a Rocky grinder, I'd probably have  
given up on home espresso. There is a saying: The best is the enemy  
of the good. I stand by my advice lest we scare a newbie away from  
our hobby.  And I realize my advice is contrary to just about all the  
founders of this list.
Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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I think one of the problems with =
any group with a dedicated cadre of passionate enthusiasts is the =
"nothing-but-the-best-is-worth-anything" mentality. In an ideal =
universe, true connoisseurship ought not to be impaired by =
unpleasantries such as economic realities. But we live in the real =
world--and newbies more so than we more advanced obsessives.  I will =
repeat--I have owned crappy espresso machines, good espresso machinesm =
great espresso machines, crappy burr grinders, good (entry-level for =
espresso--SM+), mid-level (Rocky) and great (Mazzer Mini) grinders. I =
have gotten the best shots out of Mazzer-cum-Livia, but still really =
good shots out of Silvia-cum-SM+ combos.  Had someone told me to hang =
on to my Krups pumper until I could afford a Mazzer or even a Rocky =
grinder, I'd probably have given up on home espresso. There is a saying: =
The best is the enemy of the good. I stand by my advice lest we scare a =
newbie away from our hobby.  And I realize my advice is contrary to =
just about all the founders of this list.
 Sandy =
Andinawww.sandyandina.comwww.myspace.com/sandyandina=


= = --Apple-Mail-45--343731659--

2) From:
Sandy:
I could not agree with you more. Very well said. I frankly do not think the opinion is contrary to the founders of this list.
ginny
---- Sandy Andina  wrote: 
<Snip>

3) From: Paul Carder
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Sandy, you are 100% correct! I'm a passionate enthusiast for fresh, =
homeroasted coffee who is well satisfied with the equipment I currently =
use. My Iroast 1 has been a workhorse for several years now. A BODUM =
french press, a CONA vacuum pot, a Barista conical burr grinder, a =
Barista espresso/cappucino maker, a TECHNIVORM drip brewer, they make a =
perfect cup or shot. For me, freshness of roast and quality of greens is =
the key.  My restless journey in this hobby is trying to find that =
perfect bean, roast level, and blend. I'm not a tinkerer, so building or =
modifying my own equipment isn't my cup of tea. Still, I enjoy and learn =
a lot from those on the list who are ever striving for equipment =
perfection. I have yet to convert any coffee drinkers to the roasting =
hobby, but all of them say my homeroast is some of the best caffeine =
they've ever had. That sure makes any homeroaster feel good!
Regards, PAUL CARDER

4) From: Sandy Andina
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Thanks, Paul!  I am sure there are those here who sneer at my failure  
thus far to buy a drum roaster or exercise my biceps using mass- 
quantity manual methods.  I am loading Rocky and Silvia into the car  
(along with a half-lb. ea. of Monkey Blend and Red Line-plus-Brazil  
Mogiana decaf homeroasted espressos) for a guitar-pull party in  
Algonquin this afternoon. Only reason I'm taking the Rocky and not my  
SM+ is that my family won't let me take the latter out of the house  
because that's what they use for drip and press.  Every year I manage  
to convert several people to, if not homeroast or espresso, freshly  
roasted beans.
On Jun 16, 2007, at 12:25 PM, Paul Carder wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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Thanks, Paul!  I am sure there =
are those here who sneer at my failure thus far to buy a drum roaster or =
exercise my biceps using mass-quantity manual methods.  I am loading =
Rocky and Silvia into the car (along with a half-lb. ea. of Monkey Blend =
and Red Line-plus-Brazil Mogiana decaf homeroasted espressos) for a =
guitar-pull party in Algonquin this afternoon. Only reason I'm taking =
the Rocky and not my SM+ is that my family won't let me take the latter =
out of the house because that's what they use for drip and press.  =
Every year I manage to convert several people to, if not homeroast or =
espresso, freshly roasted beans. 
On Jun 16, 2007, at =
12:25 PM, Paul Carder wrote:
Sandy, you are 100% = correct! I'm a passionate enthusiast for fresh, homeroasted coffee who = is well satisfied with the equipment I currently use. My Iroast 1 has = been a workhorse for several years now. A BODUM french press, a CONA = vacuum pot, a Barista conical burr grinder, a Barista espresso/cappucino = maker, a TECHNIVORM drip brewer, they make a perfect cup or shot. For = me, freshness of roast and quality of greens is the key.  My restless = journey in this hobby is trying to find that perfect bean, roast level, = and blend. I'm not a tinkerer, so building or modifying my own equipment = isn't my cup of tea. Still, I enjoy and learn a lot from those on the = list who are ever striving for equipment perfection. I have yet to = convert any coffee drinkers to the roasting hobby, but all of them say = my homeroast is some of the best caffeine they've ever had. That sure = makes any homeroaster feel good!Regards, PAUL = CARDER
= Sandy = Andinawww.sandyandina.comwww.myspace.com/sandyandina=

= = --Apple-Mail-46--302371687--

5) From: Angelo
I have a tough time with people being "offended" and "insulted" so 
easily.  Remember, a statement is only an insult if you, in some way, 
agree with it. And the good people who apologize to them are only 
enabling a type of negative behaviour that I find to be all too 
prevalent on the Internet and in our society, in general...
I found nothing offensive in Ray's remarks...Ray is the poet laureate 
of this list, and as such is to be given poetic license. Sometimes, I 
don't know WTF he's talking about and at other times he distills 
truths beautifully. He is what he is, and I don't remember him ever 
setting out to insult anyone.
He didn't say that people should buy an "expensive" grinder. He said 
get a "good" grinder. We all say this. You can pick up "good" 
grinders on ebay and flea markets for$25. It just involves some 
research and care. You pay with money or you pay with time and work.
I wish we had a "sticky" FAQ for this list that neophytes would have 
to read before they post questions that have been previously 
answered, ad nauseam. There isn't such a FAQ, but the questions DO 
get answered by many very patient people. To have people get 
"offended" by the style of the response is what I find offensive...It 
shows a deep ingratitude, coupled with a whinny ego. An unbeatable 
combination for unhappiness..
Come in, hang around, watch, and learn. You'll learn more by watching 
and asking intelligent questions than in looking to find animosity in 
the responses to your questions... Rant mode off
A

6) From:
Angelo my Lad:
very well said, I agree.
so many comments are tongue-in-cheek around here that unless there is an all out food fight no one should get excited.
your comment about "whinny ego" is good.
any person on any list needs to be prepared for neophytes. we are here to help the new kid on the block. having to read before posting questions that have been previously 
answered would never work, you know that.
if anyone gets upset by a response to their query they need to dump the post so they never have to look at it again.
Ray-O is the poet laureate for the SM List.
We are lucky he is here.
ginny
---- Angelo  wrote: 
<Snip>

7) From: John McCormick
"Offended Newbie" ... from another "Newbie" I offer the advise to listen to
the messages rather than be offended ... There are veteran's on this list
that are kind enough to continuously hand out great observations and do so
(in my opinion) out of the love of coffee and goodness of their hearts ...
Les and Ray are great contributors and I have found that with email ... an
attempt to save some typing time can come across as being abrupt or even
possibly offensive ... that's the nature of email unfortunately.  Not
everyone uses computers all day long and can type as fast as those that do
... like you and me...  
Anyway, the base advise is rock-solid, many things can ruin a good coffee
experience and thankfully from info on this list, I found that my grinder
was the culprit that had me on the verge of moth-balling my espresso machine
and going back to the French press ...  I pitched the $35 Sams Club
Cuisenart in the garbage and went back to my whirly grinder and found a
quantum improvement to the point that (until I can afford a quality burr
grinder like a Mazzer ... or until I get a Zass ...) the whirly running into
powder is the best I can do ... I cannot swing $450 ... or even $300 for a
grinder ...
What I would like to point out is that without the guidance from the people
on this list, I would have probably just given up and thought "oh well, this
espresso stuff isn't all that it's cracked up to be" ... and been back to FP
and my trusty Eight O'clock coffee.  (in my opinion still a lot better than
most restaurant coffee).
This is fun stuff!  ... I roasted 5 pounds with my SCTO (Stir Crazy Turbo
Oven) today and had a blast! ... although I cannot say that I taste every
nuisance of every sip of coffee ... I don't monitor temperature with a
thermocouple, I don't have a PID'd Rancho Silvia ... I can't say the I taste
each sip with flowers, grapes and whatever, but I drink it and say ... yeah
this is a good cup of coffee ... this is how it should be ...  I look back
at where I was 9-10 months ago and can assure you that the effort is well
worth it ... and it's fun ... roasting, grinding and brewing ... good
stuff!!! Each with it's challenges ... and each SM Sampler Pack holds, for
me, an educational and interesting cup ... I just wish I had started on this
education 30 years ago ...
All the best,
John

8) From: Bob
John McCormick wrote:
<Snip>
CAN I HEAR AN AMEN?!
Well written, John
Bob (enjoying a cup of Mysore Nuggets from a Mokha Pot)

9) From: Michael Dhabolt
Angelo,
Extremely well thought out and presented statement.  My hat is off to you.
Mike (just plain)

10) From: Brett Mason
Amen!
On 6/16/07, Bob  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

11) From: Les
Angelo,
Many folks enjoyed my $38.50 Mazzer Major find yesterday as we ground
homeroast for all kinds of espresso at the PNWG V yesterday.  There are some
great deals out there if you keep your eyes and ears open.  As you said,
"You pay with money or you pay with time and work."  I started with a Zass.
I wore out a Solis Maestro in about 8 months.  I bought a Mazzer Super Jolly
from a Star Bucks and refurbished.  When I got my Major, I sold the Jolly.
I have worked my way up through the same refurbish route on espresso
machines and the education has been worth the journey.
Les
On 6/16/07, Angelo  wrote:
<Snip>

12) From: Angelo
Les,
That's my point exactly. If you put the message out to the universe, 
and are willing to wait awhile, you don't need to spend a fortune on 
equipment. I, like you and many others on this list, have gone 
through the upgrade path w/o going into hock.
As I may have stated before, I got 2 Creminas within months of each 
other - one for $35 and the other for$50. You know the ridiculous 
amounts people are paying for them on ebay...
I have done this with almost everything I own. I almost feel like 
I  don't want new stuff. To me, new = perfect, so it is difficult to 
deal with the slight imperfections which are in everything, new or 
used. Not so with previously owned stuff...I know where I stand with 
it and have rarely been burned in my purchases... Thank heaven for 
thrift shops..
A
<Snip>


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