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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:30 AM   #76
WoodNUFC
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I'm starting to wonder if Starbucks serves the same stuff in Europe that they do in the States?
My experience of Starbucks in Europe (England specifically) is far different to that in the States. I usually get espresso based drinks at Starbucks, fwiw. I never had two cups that tasted the same in England, there was no consistency between locations or barristas. In the US, they generally taste the same everywhere, albeit burnt.

With that said, I don't visit Starbucks overseas unless I have to. The local cafes nearly always serve better cups at competitive prices.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:32 AM   #77
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I totally agree with you. If you are serious and you are looking for something that will be used a lot, last for years and have replacement parts available you need a commercial grade machine.

I have a QuickMill Andreja machine and a Vario Mahkonlge Grinder. There don't come cheap but I have at least 15 cups of coffee a week and never regretted the spend on this configuration.
I have about 4-5 double shots per day! I'm not worrying about my grinder lasting forever, and although I can't disagree that a commercial espresso machine will last forever, please talk more about the longevity of non-commercial machines.

My machine, a non-commercial machine, has a copper boiler with brass end plates, and an E61 brew group. With proper maintenance, occasional professional attention (perhaps every 2-3 years), soft water, etc., what is likely to fail with my usage level?
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:37 AM   #78
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Originally Posted by nebo1ss View Post

I have a QuickMill Andreja machine and a Vario Mahkonlge Grinder. There don't come cheap but I have at least 15 cups of coffee a week and never regretted the spend on this configuration.
I got a vario about a year ago, what a fantastic grinder! I do a lot of brewed coffee as I'm lazy and a rubbish home barista so the ease of switching between espresso and filter settings is just fantastic.

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Originally Posted by WoodNUFC View Post
My experience of Starbucks in Europe (England specifically) is far different to that in the States. I usually get espresso based drinks at Starbucks, fwiw. I never had two cups that tasted the same in England, there was no consistency between locations or barristas. In the US, they generally taste the same everywhere, albeit burnt.

With that said, I don't visit Starbucks overseas unless I have to. The local cafes nearly always serve better cups at competitive prices.
My main issue with Starbucks is that they seem to roast the beans in the fires of hell itself. Apparently they buy very good coffee, but they over roast it into oblivion.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:43 AM   #79
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My main issue with Starbucks is that they seem to roast the beans in the fires of hell itself. Apparently they buy very good coffee, but they over roast it into oblivion.
I'm glad that someone else feels that way! I thought maybe my wife and I were crazy!
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:44 AM   #80
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I'm glad that someone else feels that way! I thought maybe my wife and I were crazy!
Its them! Not us lol.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:46 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by Kissaragi View Post
I got a vario about a year ago, what a fantastic grinder! I do a lot of brewed coffee as I'm lazy and a rubbish home barista so the ease of switching between espresso and filter settings is just fantastic.

----------



My main issue with Starbucks is that they seem to roast the beans in the fires of hell itself. Apparently they buy very good coffee, but they over roast it into oblivion.
Since we're talking grinders, I can't resist plugging the grinder I just received. It is a hand grinder, and a beautiful (IMO) and amazingly functional grinder. The construction and materials are nonpareil. It uses 83mm Mazzer conical burrs, and the consistency of the grind is amazing.

It's an HG-one grinder:

www.hg-one.com for those who are interested in a look.

I agree that Starbucks turns their beans (hard to tell how good they were before flaming) in little charcoal briquets.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:51 AM   #82
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Does anyone know if Starbucks roasts the beans at each store location or are they done centrally and then shipped out to the stores already roasted?
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:56 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by Shrink View Post
Since we're talking grinders, I can't resist plugging the grinder I just received. It is a hand grinder, and a beautiful (IMO) and amazingly functional grinder. The construction and materials are nonpareil. It uses 83mm Mazzer conical burrs, and the consistency of the grind is amazing.

It's an HG-one grinder:

www.hg-one.com for those who are interested in a look.

I agree that Starbucks turns their beans (hard to tell how good they were before flaming) in little charcoal briquets.
Should I be looking to get a grinder like that?

Because I don't have $850



ha
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 09:57 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by SandboxGeneral View Post
Does anyone know if Starbucks roasts the beans at each store location or are they done centrally and then shipped out to the stores already roasted?
I don't think they are roasted on site. I saw an article (didn't read beyond the headline) about their "roasting plant", so I'm assuming that the beans are roasted in a central location.


Quote:
Should I be looking to get a grinder like that?

Because I don't have $850



ha
Not unless you have totally taken leave of your senses....like me!!
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 10:01 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by Shrink View Post
Since we're talking grinders, I can't resist plugging the grinder I just received. It is a hand grinder, and a beautiful (IMO) and amazingly functional grinder. The construction and materials are nonpareil. It uses 83mm Mazzer conical burrs, and the consistency of the grind is amazing.

It's an HG-one grinder:

www.hg-one.com for those who are interested in a look.
Are you kidding me? That's your testimonial?
I expected a tad more to be honest.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 10:08 AM   #86
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Are you kidding me? That's your testimonial?
I expected a tad more to be honest.
I thought it would be prudent not to slobber all over the thing about how great it is.

The construction is beyond anything I have ever owned!

The materials are unbelievable and perfectly finished!

It has an infinitely variable grind adjustment!

It has 83mm conical burrs for faster grinding...even though it is a hand grinder.

It has no curves or corners for the grinds to flow through...straight down from the hopper to exiting the machine!

Incredible grind consistency...it produces a "fluffy" output, totally devoid of any lumps or clumping!

Not motor to burn out, or chips to fry!

I like it a lot...

OK, better??


(Boy, is this a tough room!!!)
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 10:13 AM   #87
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OK, better??
slightly...it'll do for the moment. Thank's.

I'll bother you again when I scraped said $850. Oh, and I can confirm everything said about Italy and perfect espresso and cappuccino. Besides, I never met one Italian drinking latte machiatto...whatever that means.

Nothing probably.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 10:22 AM   #88
Kissaragi
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Originally Posted by Shrink View Post
Since we're talking grinders, I can't resist plugging the grinder I just received. It is a hand grinder, and a beautiful (IMO) and amazingly functional grinder. The construction and materials are nonpareil. It uses 83mm Mazzer conical burrs, and the consistency of the grind is amazing.

It's an HG-one grinder:

www.hg-one.com for those who are interested in a look.
Wow, that thing is amazing! I have grinder envy (again)

Dont worry op, you dont "need" a grinder like that.... yet

On a different but slightly related note. Does anyone else come across SeattleCoffeeGear videos when looking for grinder demos and finds those two women to be the most annoying people on the face of the planet? Whats worse is that there normally isn't a second video, its them or nothing. Obviously I choose nothing.

Last edited by Kissaragi; Feb 4, 2013 at 10:27 AM.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 10:34 AM   #89
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Originally Posted by Kissaragi View Post
Wow, that thing is amazing! I have grinder envy (again)

Dont worry op, you dont "need" a grinder like that.... yet

On a different but slightly related note. Does anyone else come across SeattleCoffeeGear videos when looking for grinder demos and finds those two women to be the most annoying people on the face of the planet? Whats worse is that there normally isn't a second video, its them or nothing. Obviously I choose nothing.
I've watched several of those videos, looking for useful information.

Suffice it to say, useful information or not, I can't watch any more of their videos.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 10:37 AM   #90
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I've watched several of those videos, looking for useful information.

Suffice it to say, useful information or not, I can't watch any more of their videos.
Im so glad im not alone!
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 12:38 PM   #91
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I feel like we have got a bit off topic from the ops questions now...
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 12:45 PM   #92
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I feel like we have got a bit off topic from the ops questions now...
Well, OP asked about getting into espresso making with a $500 investment.

Getting into espresso also means learning the proper process of espresso production.

Those awful videos might be a place where OP might go to learn about machines, grinders, and technique.

And we, very helpfully, provided information about what OP might AVOID.

Ergo...we were squarely on topic.

For other examples of tortured logic and sophistry...feel free to PM!
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 12:49 PM   #93
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No I appreciate what you guys have been saying, even if it might not be exactly my question, it's still good, relevant information.

I've watched a few videos, read on Coffeegeek, and I guess what I really still have a hard time with is exactly what to buy with my budget.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 01:00 PM   #94
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No I appreciate what you guys have been saying, even if it might not be exactly my question, it's still good, relevant information.

I've watched a few videos, read on Coffeegeek, and I guess what I really still have a hard time with is exactly what to buy with my budget.
Having just discovered how to search google usa in the uk (you google it) i have found what seems like a good deal here.

http://www.wholelattelove.com/Gaggia..._brewready.cfm

Slightly over your budget, but the MDF was always a great grinder. I haven't shopped for any espresso stuff for about 5 years so I'm a bit out of the loop with current stuff.

Btw will you be doing just espresso or do you plan on doing other coffee with the same grinder? (filter, etc) Something like the MDF will be spectacularly useless for you if you do as they are a nightmare to switch from fine to coarse.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 01:01 PM   #95
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No I appreciate what you guys have been saying, even if it might not be exactly my question, it's still good, relevant information.

I've watched a few videos, read on Coffeegeek, and I guess what I really still have a hard time with is exactly what to buy with my budget.
I don't know if I, or we, can comfortably tell you what to buy (notice how I speak for everybody else. Presumptuous bastard, aren't I?)

First, look for BURR grinders in the $200-$250 range. Read the user reviews, as well as the professional reviews. The last grinder I had (before my current beauty) was a Racilio Rocky...a bit out of your price range, but I found it to be an excellent grinder. One thing to look for is the number of grind adjustments on the machine. As an example, the Rocky had 55 adjustments. The higher the number of adjustments, the better you can control small variations in grind. The more, the better.

As for a machine, I started with a De Longhi machine. My last one was the Retro. You want to look for a machine producing at least 9 BARS of pressure. Easily accessible water reservoir is good too. Read the reviews for information about the ease of access and use of the steamer wand.

I can't think of any other hints for your search. I'm sure others can add to my list of things to look for.

Armed with my, and others, suggestions, you have to do a little shopping and reading to decide what to buy.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 01:12 PM   #96
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Having just discovered how to search google usa in the uk (you google it) i have found what seems like a good deal here.

http://www.wholelattelove.com/Gaggia..._brewready.cfm

Slightly over your budget, but the MDF was always a great grinder. I haven't shopped for any espresso stuff for about 5 years so I'm a bit out of the loop with current stuff.

Btw will you be doing just espresso or do you plan on doing other coffee with the same grinder? (filter, etc) Something like the MDF will be spectacularly useless for you if you do as they are a nightmare to switch from fine to coarse.
I'm going to do espresso with the grinder strictly. I've got a decent grinder that works for drip coffee.

What you linked looks like a good deal.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 01:20 PM   #97
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I'm going to do espresso with the grinder strictly. I've got a decent grinder that works for drip coffee.

What you linked looks like a good deal.
For what it's worth, I think Kissaragi's suggestion is excellent. Gaggia makes an excellent line of machines ( my machine before the one I have now was a Gaggia Baby Class). And the grinder has 35 adjustments, from very coarse (used with a press) to very fine...for espresso.

Incidentally, www.wholelattelove.com is an excellent vendor. I bought my current machine there. And they have a great Technical Support and Customer Support phone service!
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 01:31 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by Huntn View Post
That has to be bate! I'm not biting.

However, Starbucks is good coffee offering a wide variety of tastes and strengths although I acknowledge regional preferences exist. I'm not a Starbucks sales person, but I believe they could compete with any coffee offered in Europe. I'm not sure when I ordered a cup of Coffee Americana (Italy), why I got a cup of coffee? Would that be a particular blend or the fact that I got a cup of coffee vs espresso? It also seemed no one took their coffee to go. Along the highway everyone (most) seemed to drink their coffee in the gas stations.
This was my reaction when I first ordered a coffee (black, sugar) at starbucks:
1: Small sip
2: Throw away.
Some time afterwards, a second attempt yielded the same results. You can call it a coffee-based beverage, and I'm fine with that, but as a coffee, it sucks. And I'm not even remotely a coffee wannabe connoisseur.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 01:32 PM   #99
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For what it's worth, I think Kissaragi's suggestion is excellent. Gaggia makes an excellent line of machines ( my machine before the one I have now was a Gaggia Baby Class). And the grinder has 35 adjustments, from very coarse (used with a press) to very fine...for espresso.

Incidentally, www.wholelattelove.com is an excellent vendor. I bought my current machine there. And they have a great Technical Support and Customer Support phone service!
looks like we have a winner then. I was looking at that machine anyway, and it appears to be a good deal. Now just have to save up some more and buy it and get to brewing!

Thanks guys.
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Old Feb 4, 2013, 01:49 PM   #100
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looks like we have a winner then. I was looking at that machine anyway, and it appears to be a good deal. Now just have to save up some more and buy it and get to brewing!

Thanks guys.
I hate to do this, but you gotta know there's a lot to learn. You working with a number of variables that need to be controlled and adjusted.

Extraction time - which is effected by tamp pressure, grind adjustment and coffee dose.

Extraction time is the time in seconds it takes to get 2 - 2 1/2 ounces in your cup - it should take between 20-30 seconds. (Some do extraction strictly by time, irrespective of how much is in the cup. Not the method I favor, but that's me). If it takes more than 30 seconds, your grind is too fine (assuming you hold your tamp pressure constant) and you are over extracting. You then move the adjustment a click or two to make it a tiny bit more coarse.

Conversely, if getting 2 - 2 1/2 ounces in your cup takes less than 20 seconds, you are under-extracting, and need to make your grind a click or two finer. Again, this assumes you hold your tamp pressure constant.

The nice thing about the grinder suggested is that his has a doser, which means another variable is controlled for you. You will get a consistent amount of grind in your portafilter each time you use it. I suggest using the double shot basket. You will get a single shot basket and a double shot basket. I suggest you use the double shot basket for openers.

Sorry to make sound all complicated, but even casual espresso amking does require a bit time to learn.

Go for it...you'll love the drinks you make!!
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