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Topic: *$ Barista machine (18 msgs / 420 lines)
1) From: Les
Dennis,
Welcome to the darkside.  Your machine takes a 53mm tamper.
Les
On 8/8/07, Dennis & Marjorie True  wrote:
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2) From: Barry Luterman
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Get the new Ridgeline one I have one on order.

3) From: Brian Kamnetz
Dennis,
Others may have more informed opinions, and I hope they offer them, but I
would suggest that instead of putting any money into the machine you have,
you consider getting a Gaggia Espresso. If I understand correctly, even the
cheapest Gaggia machines are much better than alternatives up to Silvia.
Brian
On 8/8/07, Dennis & Marjorie True  wrote:
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4) From: Bonnie Polkinghorn
I am struggling with the same issue.
I purchased my *$ Barista in '02 and I have used it almost every day.  My
'02 DeLonghi burr grinder from Costco gave up the ghost this year and I
bought that previously discussed Costco Cuisinart burr grinder, but I hated
it - even the finest grind was not fine enough, the coursest grind was not
course enough, plus the static was killing me.  I purchased a Solis
Maestro.
I was in coffee heaven so I thought, until I started home roasting (on my
stove top whirley pop corn popper) this June and joined this group, and now,
of course, I feel, well, not so good, like a pauper.  Every piece of coffee
making equipment I have that I used to be so proud of, well, now I feel
embarrassed.  Did I mention I only drink decaf?
Start the violins, I purchased a cheap french press, a plastic part of the
plunger broke after not even daily use after less than 2 months, hand washed
ever so gently.
So, I was going to return that Costco grinder, but ended up gifting it to my
brother-in-law with his second batch of home roasted beans because I
couldn't bear to grind it for him, I wanted him to grind it just before
brewing.  I remembered I had that dusty grinder sitting in a bag by the
door.
But I digress.
I am struggling with the same issue of wanting the non-pressurised
porta-filter, plus a tamper that actually fits, so that is at least $30 for
the porta-filter, plus ?? for the tamper, now I will have invested a little
too much into this machine, when I should just save up for a better one.  It
is a tough choice for me.
I also need a new french press.  I want an aero press, I want a moka pot, I
want, I want.
The good news... I love my new hobby and really do enjoy the coffee I make,
especially trying to get the best shot I can out of the equipment I own.  If
it's a sink shot, well, I just add plenty of milk, sugar and ovaltine (not).
So, now you know me a little bit, which is probably why this post is a
little long.
-Bonnie P.

5) From: Mike Koenig
Dennis,
I got mine right from Saeco, and used to use it on my Saeco Aroma,
which, with the exception of the case, is the same as the *$ Barista.
The picture in the link from 1-st Line that Jack provided looks
exactly like mine, so I'd say you should be OK ordering from 1-st
Line.
--mike
On 8/8/07, Dennis & Marjorie True  wrote:
<Snip>

6) From: Bailey Blanchette
Dennis
While I have no first hand experience with the *$ Barista, my eBay acquired
Gaggia Espresso has begun to provide me with great espresso. As I keep
improving my skills, the machine responds with better and better shots. I
think if you can find a bargain gaggia its a much better investment that
will serve you for a longer period of time.
BB
On 8/9/07, Brian Kamnetz  wrote:
<Snip>

7) From: Jack M. Rogers
Brian and all:
I have to (respectfully) disagree.  The Gaggia machines have _one_ 
advantage over the Barista (as well as some disadvantages), but nothing 
significant enough to warrant getting rid of a perfectly good Barista 
for.  It's a "lateral" move--not an upgrade, but a "sidegrade" at best.  
There are no fundamental differences, only minor ones.
The Gaggia's chief advantage is the 58mm portafilter (but that alone is 
not enough to justify switching).  This is industry-standard size.  That 
is, the baskets are interchangeable with most others.  The portafilter 
itself is not interchangeable with any other brands that I know of.  The 
Gaggias have aluminum boilers on a brass group.  The combination of 
dissimilar metals makes it susceptible to galvanic corrosion.
The Barista is very well constructed, and uses a brass boiler, if I'm 
not mistaken.
If you're looking for a real upgrade, hang on to the Barista until 
you're ready to move up to an E61 group HX machine.
Jack
Brian Kamnetz wrote:
<Snip>

8) From: Brett Mason
www.saecoparts.com for the portafilter....
Brett
On 8/9/07, Bonnie Polkinghorn  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

9) From: Lisa Carton
welcome Bonnie!
i only drink decaf too.....my partner benefits from all t=
he incredible beans i just HAVE to try that don't come decaffeinated.....i =
started with a barista from starbucks, too (before i knew this group existe=
d!)..and i have a solis maestro sitting next to it---for drip (my partner a=
gain) every morning... they go on vacations/camping trips with us and make =
nice "campaccinos" for my relatives quite nicely!  fun...BUT, it may be dis=
placed on the countertop soonby my newest acquisition: La Peppina!!!!  I ju=
st ordered a custom tamper from Les and am so psyched waiting for it to arr=
ive........In the past year i have acquired a KMB, some pourovers of variou=
s sizes (swiss gold and not), the aeropress, an electric bodum, (gave away =
2 french presses i just don't use), hmmmm......a presto scandi  (plus a few=
 i gave to relatives), a trosser (hand grinder) a nice antique style electr=
ic espresso maker, a small bialetti imitation  stovetop espresso maker, 2
 ibriks......a small cona type vacuum brewer.....i may be forgetting some..=
.BECAUSE i really mostly don't use ANY of these too much thanks to my Ranci=
lio S27 and Mini Mazzer (the loves of my life every morning) becasue i usua=
lly can't resist the urge to pull a few shots, steam up some milk and pour =
a little cappy or latte.....and there are still so many things i WANT TO TR=
Y!!!!!!!!!  So, YEAH!!!!! I hear the I want, i want,,,,!!!!!!   Isn't it GR=
EAT!?!?!?!?!?!?
oh-----that doesn't include the ROASTING "paraphernali=
a"!
Started with the caffe rosto a few years ago...it got burnt out---=
tried a few poppers, a whirly top, cast iron outside, LOTS of wonderful HG/=
DB roasts.....then got a Gene---awesome times  spent with it----and now am =
using mostly the RK setup on my porch!  yeah...it is never-ending!!!!!!
=
SO, speaking of roasting; last night i NAILED a roast of ethiopian decaf=
 that was SO amazing right out of the drum that i ground some real fine and=
 swirled it into my favorite yogurt and it was AWESOME!  I was playing with=
 the real light roast and it payed off: this morning i had the most lemony =
acidity i have ever experienced, with the jasmine-ish/floral tones and a ni=
ce light chocolate underneath....i know it will deepen by tomorrow......LIF=
E IS GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for inspiring another long post...........=
..
;D
 
~~~~> Come see my Coffee Blog at http://lisabeeen.blogspot.c=om    
----- Original Message ----
From: Bonnie Polkinghorn 
To: homeroast
Sent: =
Thursday, August 9, 2007 12:07:05 PM
Subject: Re: +*$ Barista machine
=
I am struggling with the same issue.
 
I purchased my *$ Barista =
in '02 and I have used it almost every day.  My '02 DeLonghi burr grinder f=
rom Costco gave up the ghost this year and I bought that previously discuss=
ed Costco Cuisinart burr grinder, but I hated it - even the finest grind wa=
s not fine enough, the coursest grind was not course enough, plus the stati=
c was killing me.  I purchased a Solis Maestro.  
 
I was in coffee hea=
ven so I thought, until I started home roasting (on my stove top whirley po=
p corn popper) this June and joined this group, and now, of course, I feel,=
 well, not so good, like a pauper.  Every piece of coffee making equipment =
I have that I used to be so proud of, well, now I feel embarrassed.  Did I =
mention I only drink decaf? 
 
Start the violins, I purchased a cheap f=
rench press, a plastic part of the plunger broke after not even daily use a=
fter less than 2 months, hand washed ever so gently.
 
So, I was going =
to return that Costco grinder, but ended up gifting it to my brother-in-law=
 with his second batch of home roasted beans because I couldn't bear to gri=
nd it for him, I wanted him to grind it just before brewing.  I remembered =
I had that dusty grinder sitting in a bag by the door. 
 
But I digress=
.
 
I am struggling with the same issue of wanting the non-pressurised =
porta-filter, plus a tamper that actually fits, so that is at least $30 for=
 the porta-filter, plus ?? for the tamper, now I will have invested a littl=
e too much into this machine, when I should just save up for a better one. =
 It is a tough choice for me. 
 
I also need a new french press.  I wan=
t an aero press, I want a moka pot, I want, I want.
 
The good news... =
I love my new hobby and really do enjoy the coffee I make, especially tryin=
g to get the best shot I can out of the equipment I own.  If it's a sink sh=
ot, well, I just add plenty of milk, sugar and ovaltine (not). 
 
So, n=
ow you know me a little bit, which is probably why this post is a little lo=
ng.
 
-Bonnie P.=
Moody friends. Drama que=
ens. Your life? Nope! - their life, your story. Play Sims Stories at Yahoo!=
 Games.http://sims.yahoo.com/ 

10) From: Barry Luterman
This is probably the best advice. Save as many upgrade moves as possible. 
Then bite the bullet and go for it.

11) From: raymanowen
I started on a couple of much lesser machines than my funny-looking
Capresso Luxe. One of these days, I hope to take a giant leap forward.
Until then, I'm composing a list of things I need to learn.
For example, I'll try pulling a partial vacuum on the grounds puck
before introducing the pressurized hot water, using a 3-way valve for
vacuum/ pressure cycling.The requisite 2-way valve will dump
portafilter pressure at the end of the brew cycle.
If you measure the ID of your portafilter with dial or vernier inch
calipers, and divide the inch reading by 0.03937in/mm. That gives a
number in mm of the bore diameter of the PF. A metal pocket scale will
work just fine. Just be sure you're reading it correctly.
Get the next smaller tamper (piston) diameter. An interference fit is NG.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Grinder First- it's the Prime Bottleneck of all coffee brewing!
On 8/8/07, Dennis & Marjorie True  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the
Mighty Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

12) From: Dennis & Marjorie True
I plan on getting a great machine one day but for now I but for now I 
will just "learn" with what I have since I can not afford the machines I 
would like.....
Dennis
Barry Luterman wrote:
<Snip>

13) From: Ingrid Clark Zavadoski
I have a Saeco Rio Vapore, (before it became a Starbucks Barista) and 
the portafilter doesn't "fit" under my Rocky grinder -- I have to take 
the filter basket out and fill it and then plunk it in the portafilter. 
Anyone else have this issue? Am I doing something boneheaded?
Thanks,
--Ingrid

14) From: Sandy Andina
I had those issues too when I wanted a doser grinder--nothing  
conventional worked with the Rio Vapore and later Estro Profi's PF.  
Discovered the LaPavoni PGB stepless burr grinder at Zabars--you can  
grind into the bin and then scoop, or remove the bin and grind into  
darn near any size PF by pressing the PF against a lever beneath the  
grinds spout. I eventually gave up on it because it was messy (lots  
of static), had a small hopper, and the plastic housing warped,  
causing the lever to engage if you didn't slide the bin back on *just  
so.* But it was a very good grinder for espresso, and it turns up on  
eBay occasionally. (Cost me under $150 new--it's about $200 now if  
you can find it).
On Aug 10, 2007, at 4:15 PM, Ingrid Clark Zavadoski wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com

15) From: stereoplegic
i think some on this thread missed the fact that you already have the 
barista. i think there are very few machines in it's price range that 
can compete. the articulating (even Silvia's stock wand is a 
swivel-type) steam wand w/ standard tip and the steaming power this 
machine provides alone are huge reasons to keep it. the pressurizing 
feature is in the PF itself, not the baskets (no crappy 5-or-more-piece 
(PITA to clean) baskets al a Delonghi and the Chinese-manufactured 
machines in its range, just one-solid-piece well-made baskets shaped 
very well). the PF is very easy do de-pressurize, but i'd still probably 
opt for the non-pressurized version just to have a spare if nothing 
else. so it's 53mm-so what? there are plenty of good 52mm and 53mm 
tampers out there (i'd go for 52 and practice your Staub tamp-some 53mm 
tampers are just slightly too big for this one-unless you send your 
single basket to Les for what i'd imagine to be @least very near-perfect 
sizing). i've heard that the pump is only 12 bar, but isn't espresso 
best extracted at 9? Jack mentioned the brass (if he's not mistaken), 
boiler. i believe it's actually a thermoblock, or at most a very small 
boiler, but these machines are very easy to temp surf. the body is thick 
stainless steel (even my Carezza, which i adore after several mods, is 
bakelite). could i have gotten the Barista for the price i paid for my 
Carezza ($117 shipped, used and with a pinhole leak from the pump to the 
boiler, albeit just 10 cents worth of tubing to fix), that's what would 
probably be on my counter in its place. granted, i've never seen one 
produce the kind of crema i get daily w/ my Gaggia, but eliminate the 
pressurized crap from the equation and it'll do a pretty damn good job 
for a long time.
dmtrue wrote:
<Snip>

16) From: Steven Dover
I can make espresso every bit as good as the $20k lever-type Rancilio at the
best coffee shop in town. It's all in the coffee blend and the
technique...one builds/controls pressure via fineness of grind & firmness of
tamp. Build as much pressure as you can *without stalling* the pump. I hear
the Saeco Rio Vapore/Barista machines will not last. I bought my Rio Vapore
in 1995 and it still works. For a number of years it make espresso twice
daily {two 8 oz fruit jars of coffee}.
Steven D.

17) From: Sandy Andina
The Saecos will last for quite awhile if you descale regularly and  
replace the gaskets annually. Eventually, the pumps give out.
On Aug 10, 2007, at 7:22 PM, Steven Dover wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.sandyandina.com

18) From: Steven Dover
Maybe so, but I'm yet to hear of one of their pumps "giving out". Imo,
sitting unused does more harm to the pump than anything else. - Steven D.


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