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Topic: Espresso Recommendation (11 msgs / 250 lines)
1) From: Michael I
Congratulations on your purchase.  I assume that your M4 is a doser model
(since you didn't say doserless).  Same thing I've got -- I know that the
doser isn't particularly necessary, as there are never grounds stored in it,
but I like it better.  When the grinder is going, I'm clacking away at the
doser, and the grinds distribute nicely in the portafilter.  About 25 pulls
of the lever per shot.  No need for any of the distribution techniques (WDT,
Stockfleth's, etc).  
And the stepless adjustment allows for minute control of the grind size, so
if you can measure the same amount of beans for each shot, you can
completely control the timing of your shot with the grind, rather than
resorting to updosing or changing tamp pressure.  A few less variables to
worry about is good, as you'll soon find out.
As far as beans go -- drink what you like.  If you like Yemeni and E.
Africans, then try them as an SO shot.  Just make sure you let them rest for
a few days first.  If they're too intense, blend with something like a
Brazilian (I quite liked the Cachoeira Yellow Bourbon DP last year, and I
see on the SM site that it's back).  Or try it as an Americano.
Other things that have helped me are getting roasted blends from other
sources (SM is roasting Liquid Amber on Monday, and I thought that Mike's
Ohana blend was excellent).   That gives me something to "shoot for" in my
blends.
Finally, after getting an espresso machine, it's tempting to stop going to
your "not very nearby barista".  But I've found it's a very good idea after
you think you're getting good shots at home, to go somewhere that you know
pulls shots properly, and "recalibrate" your palate.  I found early on that
the shots I thought were pretty good didn't stand up to the pros.  But now,
I'm pretty confident mine are better than you can get in most places.
Good luck!
-AdkMike

2) From: John Haley
I just bought an Andreja Premium espresso machine and a MACAP M4 Stepless
grinder. I'm looking for a recommendation for the best SM espresso match for
me, bearing in mind I love pressed Yemeni and East African coffees. I'll be
roasting in a HotTop. I enjoy espresso and cap, but until now have had to
rely on my not very nearby barista.
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3) From: Edward Bourgeois
It's a bit steeper learning curve but I prefer post roasting blending.
Actually I don't blend until I'm ready to grind to prepare a shot. I
studied Toms lessons on blending concepts and experimented. His
guidelines are very good. I can make little blending adjustments
depending on what I'm in the mood for from shot to shot.
On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 2:20 PM, John Haley  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Ed Bourgeois aka farmroast
Amherst MA.http://coffee-roasting.blogspot.com/Homeroast mailing list
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4) From: Michael Dhabolt
John,
You can't go wrong starting with Monkey.
Mike (just plain)
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5) From: Jim Gundlach
John,
      I think you will love the Andreja, I sure do mine.  My guess is  
that you would like the Moka Kadir Blend, but try a couple of others,  
I've loved the Monkey Blend, need to order some more once the stash is  
adequately down.
       pecan jim
On Mar 26, 2008, at 1:20 PM, John Haley wrote:
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6) From: Terry Stockdale
I vote for Monkey Blend.  It takes a good range of roasts - I prefer FC 
+ about 10 seconds into a fast rolling crack.  With a Hottop, you  
won't have any problem recognizing that point.
Next order, pick up one of the digital thermocouple thermometers, then  
snake the thermocouple into the beans via the input chute.
--
Terry Stockdale
Sent from my iPhone
On Mar 26, 2008, at 1:20 PM, "John Haley"  wrote:
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7) From: Bean Brain
Hi John -
Enjoy the Andrea! We got one about two years ago (Mike McKoffee convinced me
to get an HX instead of a PID'd Silvia) and have been thrilled. It was our
first "real" espresso machine. Granted, it took a while to learn how to
really pull a good shot, but it was fun learning. Now we've got it down and
get consistently great shots and microfoam. In fact, we just recently added
on the direct connect kit - a real godsend.
We also roast in a Hottop and love Tom's espresso blends. Monkey is a
fantastic blend - our standby. We've recently started drinking a good bit of
the classic Italian blend as well. Personally I like Monkey for shots and
the Italian for milk drinks, but both are fantastic. We also keep a stash of
Donkey for those times when you want to avoid the caffeine.
I tried doing a little blending to no avail at first, didn't have much luck
with SO shots, but when I finally bought some Monkey my problems all went
away. I highly recommend that as a starter. I believe Tom sells an espresso
sampler, maybe you want to check that out.
Also - the home barista web site has a plethora of great info on learning to
use and maintain and HX machine if you haven't used one in the past. It was
invaluable for us when we were just getting started.
On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 1:20 PM, John Haley  wrote:
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8) From: Dennis Parham
You know , of all the years some of us have been here and buying and  
cupping from Tom and Maria, this will be my first roast of   
Monkey !!!  I can't wait !!! Roasting it tomorrow!!! :-)
D
On Mar 26, 2008, at 5:25 PM, Michael Dhabolt  
 wrote:
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9) From: Mike Koenig
John,
Congratulations on your purchase.  I love my M4, and I'm envious of
your new espresso machine.
As far as espresso goes,  I go back and forth between Monkey and Moka
Kadir as my "staple" espresso,  but I usually pull SO shots of
whatever I have roasted at the time.  Currently I have the Misty
Valley, and the Yemen Mokha Sana'ani (the lot prior to the current
one), and I really like them as SO shots.
--mike
On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 2:20 PM, John Haley  wrote:
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10) From: Mike Chester
Monkey Blend is a good beginning home roasted espresso blend, but I would 
start by ordering some of Tom's shop roasted espresso to learn with.  You 
will know that the roast is correct and you can concentrate on grind, tamp, 
temp and pull.  With fewer variables, it is easier to figure out the effect 
of each one.  After you are able to get good, consistent shots, you can add 
the variable of roast.
Mike Chester

11) From: raymanowen
" I tried doing a little blending to no avail at first, didn't have much
luck with SO shots"
I can see how that might be tough. -ro
On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 5:19 PM, Bean Brain  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976
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