#11  
Old 09-09-2008, 06:44 AM
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Default Re: Espresso machine for the outdoor kitchen

How's the machine doing? I am definitely keeping my Rancilio Silvia and Iberital grinder indoors - English weather has even been in the news now.

And unlike some here, I have built my oven close to the roof over the patio. I don't do sacrifices and getting wet while everybody else is enjoying themselves - would be.

It's raining as I write ....

W.
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  #12  
Old 09-09-2008, 07:04 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Espresso machine for the outdoor kitchen

The Technika III is a great machine. I was disappointed at first as the brew coming out of it was only pretty average, but like you, I now have an Iberital grinder which after numerous grind trials, am now producing very very enjoyable espresso.
Hell, this is a real science. Done some research and got it working in the right direction.
It won't be located permanently outdoors but will be aggisted there at times.

Neill
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  #13  
Old 10-11-2008, 09:18 AM
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Default Re: Espresso machine for the outdoor kitchen

The biggest jump in quality for me came when I started roasting my own beans. My old roaster finally died, and this is the one I have now:

i-Roast - The NEW Hearthware iRoast 2 Home Coffee Roaster - In Stock -Hearthware i Roast

It's a small roaster, but does twice as much as my previous and is serving well. Very simple to use.

I get all my green coffee beans from Sweet Marias as well, and am particularly fond of their "Monkey Blend" for espresso.

Good luck with it!
Travis n'Texas
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  #14  
Old 10-12-2008, 04:55 AM
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Thumbs up Re: Espresso machine for the outdoor kitchen

Travis,
I am not that ambitous yet. I am quite happy to purchase different beans fresh from the market, simply grind and make good coffee.
I am still coming to grips with the different grind settings as I still can't get that good crema. Changed from tap water to spring water (no chemicals nor chlorine), and still playing with grins particle size and different blend of beans.
I am always prepared to try new methods and processes especially if the result is better, but I have relatively simple tastes.

Neill
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  #15  
Old 10-13-2008, 07:01 AM
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Default Re: Espresso machine for the outdoor kitchen

Understood. But there's always a but!

Using truly freshly roasted beans (beans that sat after roasting only for a couple of days to out gas) also solved all my crema issues that I had from the store bought beans.

Refine grind and tamp procedures till you get the shot times correct, then if you are still having crema issues, it may well be that your beans are older than they should be.

Just my two bits, your mileage may vary.

Good luck,
Travis n'Texas
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  #16  
Old 10-13-2008, 03:29 PM
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Default Re: Espresso machine for the outdoor kitchen

Thanks for your input.
I have varied the grind size and believe it is correct from other professional barista remarks.
The tamping makes little difference whether I use a 15kg pressure wih a smoothing twist to polish the surface of the ground beans. My wife doesn't agree with the 10-15kg pressure but the coffee concentrate comes within 4 to 5 seconds as it should.
I still suspect the beans and will get to the markets and buy some straight out of the roaster for a trial, then it is a matter of finding our preferred mix which could take some time.
It's a little annoying also not being able to buy the special milk used by the coffee shops here in Adelaide but there is a close alternative, a protein enriched 4% milk fat variety available.

Cheers.

Neill
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  #17  
Old 10-14-2008, 04:04 AM
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Default Re: Espresso machine for the outdoor kitchen

Neill,
a couple things to throw in....maybe you already know.

Water:
I assume maybe you don't have a water filter if you are buying spring water?
Hey I changed over to a Reverse Osmosis unit (under sink unit).....it makes such a difference for coffee, tea, drinking water, ice etc. Sure its not the cheapest option but Adelaide tap water is pretty poor as you know. Plus I was raised on rainwater out in the country and its hard to beat for taste (personal opinion).

Anyway I have a TDS meter which I use to check that my R.O. unit is doing the right thing plus a couple pressure gauges on the side. Anyway I did a comparison once just to see the difference between various water....it went something like this (best to worst):

-Reverse Osmosis
-Rainwater (my Dad lives 1 hour out of city a cleans tanks yearly etc.)
-"Spring" water....no these can be very varied due to lack of local proper regulation - some even have a degree of chlorine
-Filtered Water (standard 2 filter system) - most can barely filter chlorine but after about 50lt. the filters struggle to filter it out.
-Adelaide Water....if is smells like $#%^.....looks like $#%^...then it must be $#%^


Milk:
(well yes I admit I do "taint" my coffee with milk)
I guess you have worked out that our standard skim milk will usually froth up easiest. I prefer a full cream but sometimes it gets a bit temperamental..I guess you know to thicken up your froth you tap the jug on the bench and encourage the bubbles to condense etc.
And have you worked out how to "hear" if you have the frothing nozzle at the right depth.....Too deep and it "pings" on the bottom.....to high and its noisy and the bubbles are big a no strength.

....not to fool you if it sounds like I might be a coffee purist but hey my Saeco super auto with the right beans, the right water, milk etc knocks up a half decent daily brew.......lets call it my "daily driver"
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Old 10-14-2008, 08:42 AM
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Default Re: Espresso machine for the outdoor kitchen

I have to confess to having a superautomatic espresso machine as well- I know that purists would probably die before they used one instead of grinding their own and tamping, etc., but all I want in the morning is to push the button. My Gaggia Synchrony compact makes pretty good espresso, and it makes good crema as well.

I did have to switch beans a couple of times, though, to get a brew that had the flavor I was after, and coincidentally, the bean with the flavor I liked also had the best crema. I like a fairly dark, but not burned, bean. The ones I'm using are from Brazil, are fair trade certified, and also certified carbon neutral, although I don't know if that holds true after they're sent from Brazil to here! I store the unused beans in the fridge- I think the oils keep better when I do.

I always thought that skim milk was the best for frothing, too. I drink mine black, so I don't really use that feature... My husband says I should just get a caffeine IV installed.
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  #19  
Old 10-17-2008, 03:15 AM
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Default Re: Espresso machine for the outdoor kitchen

Elizabeth they are so convenient

ahhh and then there is my summertime fix.....1 or 2 espresso shots then stick it in chilled milk for an iced coffee.?.....plus ice cream on top and a couple cubes of ice for a slow drink
or
just go all out an make an affogato
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  #20  
Old 10-17-2008, 04:18 AM
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Default Re: Espresso machine for the outdoor kitchen

affogato - as in the bitter chocolate ice-cream with espresso? Mmm ... not that we have a warm summer here right now ... but just the thought ...

Our Department has the newest model of bean-to-cup Jura, so I suppose I'll just nip uspstairs now. No ice-cream, but hey. A cappuccino with an extra shot of espresso ... actually the caf-IV might be a practical alternative.

W.

W.
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