#11  
Old 04-25-2007, 12:52 PM
michael
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Default Re: Coffee Machines

Bill

Sorry, looks like I got the wrong end of the stick, now that you've described the glass siphon system in more detail, I think I've seen the Bodium model and yes it is a filter brewing system. Let me take a closer look the next time I'm in a cook shop. In the mean time, get a Moka and have a nice coffee.

A word about using a Moka pot, and these instructions came from Mr Bialetti himself. I met him at the Speciality Coffee Conference in London about 6 years ago.

He says, to make great tasting coffee, always use a good espresso blend coffee ie. Lavazza, Segafredo, IllyCaffe, Kimbo. Try to avoid these high-roasted Starbucks or Peets coffees...the beans are burnt from the start, you end result will be excessively bitter - use a medium or french roast.

Step one: fill the small coffee chamber to the brim with a good Italian mediun grind espresso coffee, use the scoop and sweep method used in baking (yes, yes, I know we need to weigh our flour, but these are small quantities!). Always, always fill to the brim...even if you only want a single cup...it must be full no matter what size your Moka pot. Never tamp the grounds, leave them in the natural loose state with the scoop and sweep action.

Step two: Fill the water chamber to "just below" the small air jet that sticks out about 2cm below the top of the chamber. This allows the water to expand during the heating process and not overflow.

Step three: Screw everything together, place on a burner using medium-low heat....good coffee takes a few minutes...relax, don't rush this. The moment you hear the water in the lower chamber begin to boil - turn off the heat and let everything continue to bubble and gurggle away. The pressure build up will allow the brewing process to continue.

When everything is quiet again, relax, pour yourself a nice shot of good, flavourful, strong coffee. If everything went well, you should see a nice, creamy brown cap called crema. Enjoy!
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  #12  
Old 04-25-2007, 01:04 PM
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Default Re: Coffee Machines

You met Mr. Bialietti? That's great. He must be getting along in years. I have many more questions. I can see now that I have been leaving the heat on too long with my Moka, and I am burning the coffee.

Michael, thanks for sharing your knowledge -- maybe we should set up a special Forum section on coffee.
James
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Last edited by james; 04-25-2007 at 01:22 PM.
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  #13  
Old 04-25-2007, 01:23 PM
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Default Re: Coffee Machines

I got a Pavoni for my birthday in 1984. I drilled the steam holes out to 1/16 for speed, use it every day twice a day & still going strong. For me it's the only way to go, if it ever gives up I'll get the same but the bigger version. As for coffee, Illy is way better than any I've ever had from a small roasting company.
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  #14  
Old 04-25-2007, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: Coffee Machines

Hello JC
I think I've seen a Saeco while visiting a customers home, is this machine capable of both filter coffee and espresso? In any event, the reasoning behind blends and origins, here we go.

The filter coffee/french press brewing process is very gentle, typically gravity fed and using water below 200F - just off the boil. This is important because coffee will burn above 200F. Like the brewing system, origin coffees tend to be gentle, uncomplicated and loads of a unique flavour specific to the region (the origin). There is no flavour like a Kenya AA, Java has it's own unique taste, Costa Rican coffee is so different from Colombian.

I like to use tea as an example, origin teas (Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Assam) are all verrrrry different from one another. Just ask anyone who received Earl Grey when they wanted Assam....you'll hear about it! Now consider English Breakfast, PG tips, Red Rose, Liptons...these are blends that should stay very consistent or people start looking for another brand. Blends are unique to the house and part of the appeal, I like PG tips tea, I do not like Liptons, etc.

Because we want to savour the unique taste of a good high grown Ethiopian or a Brazilian Santos, for these coffees I want to use a filter process. The Espresso or Moka or Turkish coffee making process is much more aggressive, boiling water and espresso machines brew above 130psi of pressure which tends to intensify the flavour by a factor of 50. The net result is a stronger, full bodied blast of flavour.

Most origin coffees on their own are a bit one dimensional, mono-flavoured if you will, and that's the appeal. Can you imagine the fruity, flowery taste of Earl Grey intensified by a factor of 50....undrinkable! And that's the case with most origin coffees...mono-flavoured. For a more robust flavour we need to collect a blend of coffees that actually deliver the required punch. We go to Brazil for body, Costa Rica for the bit of acid, then I might look to Mexico for strength, then Ethiopia Mocha for a bitter-sweet chocolate finish.

So, origins for lighter brewing methods, and good sturdy blends for more aggressive brewing. Now we need to learn about Robusta and Arabica...ooh! la! la! never enough time and my dough is ready, sorry I'm off to the oven!

Michael
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Old 04-25-2007, 02:51 PM
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I wish my Pavoni was still going. I'm not thrilled with my new, very so-so machine. I don't think the flavor intensity is there. Still using Illy, and I can see there is lots to learn.
James
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  #16  
Old 04-25-2007, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Coffee Machines

Always mellow, never bitter.
Put some water in a can, pot, whatever, add some ground or crushed coffee beans, heat and stir just before it boils to prevent foaming over, simmer or boil for 5 to 10 minutes, remove from heat and let rest for a few minutes or add a small amount of cold water and count to 30. Much better flavor than pressed and much more flavor per bean than filtered.
Always mellow, never bitter.
Earl
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Old 04-25-2007, 10:06 PM
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Default Re: Coffee Machines

michael...nice work

we have a great coffee shop in our city market that sells the largest local range of fresh beans. I've tried a few blends now and am learning a lot and can now work out what I like and why...... I like something along the line of what they call a "Columbian" and "Italian Espresso"...

This all sounds a bit like appreciating wine.....there are a whole heap of "taste dimensions" to it.
Bearing in mind I have a number of wine regions all within 2 hours drive from my house ....
....my fave a cool climate Cab Sav.
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Old 04-26-2007, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: Coffee Machines

Quote:
Originally Posted by michael View Post
Hello JC
I think I've seen a Saeco while visiting a customers home, is this machine capable of both filter coffee and espresso?
Hi Michael,

The Saeco I have is their lowest end "Vienna" model, and it only does steam brewing. It grinds, tamps, forces a variable amount of steam, then ejects the grounds into a hopper and is ready to start another cup. You can set the spacing of the burr grinder and the amount of water/steam, that's no other adjustments.

http://products.saeco.com/articolo.a..._articolo=8752
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  #19  
Old 04-26-2007, 10:52 AM
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Default Re: Coffee Machines

I have owned four Saeco machines over the years. They specialize in the pressurized portafilter -- where there is a hing and a valve in the portafilter, so do you don't have to tamp. It's automatic, and it gives a very consistent shot. The pressure builts to the right point, then you hear a little "pop" and the coffee comes through. Interestingly, it can bring a crema out of a less fine coffee grind -- where tamping just won't do it.

A dealer here told me the Saeco and Gaggia are now the same company. It's just brands, and they are huge here.
James
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Old 04-26-2007, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: Coffee Machines

James I heard that same rumour when I bought mine over a year ago......Gaggia is not as big here but still around.
Most of the domestic stuff here tends to be Saeco, Delonghi, Sunbeam, Kamrook - all a very mixed bag. Then in your more specialised shops you tend to see the likes of Jura, La Cimbal, Lavazza, Krups, Gaggia, Rancilio...among others

My Saeco is the Magic Deluxe (single boiler) model. I'm guessing overall not that much different to the Vienna as far as the base brew group etc. My mate has a Magic that is over 10years old and its been very reliable - which is what influenced me to a point.

In Adelaide we have pretty crap drinking (mains) water. So whenn I did my kitchen renovation I put an R.O. (Reverse Osmosis) unit in and thats all I put in my machine now. Its surprising how other water - mains, filtered (depends) or bottled spring tends to mask some of the taste of the coffee.

To help prove the point here are the comparable reading I got on TDS meter of the various water types:
Bottled Spring water = 150ppm - depends on the brand
Adelaide Mains water = 220ppm - lowest reading but it goes higher
RO water = 19ppm - never goes higher but has been as low as 11ppm

Filtered water readings vary, depending on the type/stage of filters use but it floats between bottled and mains.

bearing in mind Saeco recommend you only use spring or filtered water for the life of the boiler
.....but hey its just another aspect in helping to achieve a good coffee.
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