KSC, I don't think Dieter was suggesting you brew for 60s. That would result in a very over-extracted shot.

His "60s count" was from the time the boiler light flipped on. If you figure it takes about 15-25s for the boiler to stop heating, allow you to grind/tamp/etc, and then brew for 25-30s, then it adds up for the most part.
Good info and I will try it later this morning. Thanks. I have not been timing my brew to the boiler light at all, but still found the coffee to be damn good.
We bought a new machine late last year and did a lot of study beforehand. I must say this thread was really useful!

Our biggest difficulty was to find a machine that would meet our requirements, and would be sold here in the area. We knew we had to go to Dubai to find something. Here in Oman there is the choice of substandard Krups machines, or Nespresso machines (probably Krups as well). Dubai has a good range of automatic machines (Jura, Siemens etc.), but we didn't want that. We were looking for a good manual machine. There weren't many to choose from. In the end we found the Rocket Giotto. It isn't cheap (a lot more expensive than Rancio Silvia), but it's a great machine. It has two boilers, so you can brew coffee and steam milk at the same time. Also you don't have to wait for the the machine to get back to its right pressure after making a cappucino. Very handy if you're serving a larger group of people. I'm very happy with the quality, and constant performance. As with all manual machines, it takes some practice before you make the perfect espresso, but once you get the hang of it, you never want anything else anymore.

Next to the Giotto, we chose the Eureka Mignon Instanteaneo Grinder. We get very good results with it, and from what I've read on the internet (mostly afterwards I must admit), we made a good choice.

Now, getting good coffee is more of a problem. Here in Oman we are stuck with what we can buy in supermarkets. Not so good. But luckily we can buy great beans in Dubai from Raw Coffee Company, a local roastery that makes great organic roasts (we also bought the machines there, they are one of the few true coffee nuts in the Middle East). Unfortunately, we don't go to Dubai that much, so from time to time we're stuck with bad beans, but when we do get fresh beans they taste all the better!
At the other end of the spectrum, anybody have much experience with this low tech wonder? Bialetti We use it regularly---and like it---but are having a hard time dialing in how coarse to grind the beans.
quote:
Originally posted by indybob:
At the other end of the spectrum, anybody have much experience with this low tech wonder? Bialetti We use it regularly---and like it---but are having a hard time dialing in how coarse to grind the beans.
I had one -- Bialetti -- until the handle snapped while attempting to twist the bottom off.

As far as coarseness goes, as fine a grind as you can make it would be my suggestion.
quote:
Originally posted by Ronnie Roots:
We bought a new machine late last year and did a lot of study beforehand. I must say this thread was really useful!

Our biggest difficulty was to find a machine that would meet our requirements, and would be sold here in the area. We knew we had to go to Dubai to find something. Here in Oman there is the choice of substandard Krups machines, or Nespresso machines (probably Krups as well). Dubai has a good range of automatic machines (Jura, Siemens etc.), but we didn't want that. We were looking for a good manual machine. There weren't many to choose from. In the end we found the Rocket Giotto. It isn't cheap (a lot more expensive than Rancio Silvia), but it's a great machine. It has two boilers, so you can brew coffee and steam milk at the same time. Also you don't have to wait for the the machine to get back to its right pressure after making a cappucino. Very handy if you're serving a larger group of people. I'm very happy with the quality, and constant performance. As with all manual machines, it takes some practice before you make the perfect espresso, but once you get the hang of it, you never want anything else anymore.

Next to the Giotto, we chose the Eureka Mignon Instanteaneo Grinder. We get very good results with it, and from what I've read on the internet (mostly afterwards I must admit), we made a good choice.

Now, getting good coffee is more of a problem. Here in Oman we are stuck with what we can buy in supermarkets. Not so good. But luckily we can buy great beans in Dubai from Raw Coffee Company, a local roastery that makes great organic roasts (we also bought the machines there, they are one of the few true coffee nuts in the Middle East). Unfortunately, we don't go to Dubai that much, so from time to time we're stuck with bad beans, but when we do get fresh beans they taste all the better!


Great Choice, I've had the Giotto Premium (used to be called ECM) for about 5 yrs now. Its a workhorse that has never let me down. I replace the portafilter screen and gasket yearly and I've replaced the Pressurestat once. Not a big deal if you're mechanically inclined.
My grinder is the Macap M4; not stepless but I can dial it in for a 24-28 second shot with little problem.
Many coffee roasters will ship freshly roasted beans express post so you'll get them in plenty of time. Try several different blends, you'll find some work better in your machine than others.
quote:
Originally posted by indybob:
At the other end of the spectrum, anybody have much experience with this low tech wonder? Bialetti We use it regularly---and like it---but are having a hard time dialing in how coarse to grind the beans.


Try this site for some suggestions (ref Stove Top):
http://www.brewmethods.com/

I especially like the method suggested by Stumptown. The most important thing to bring from this is to use pre-heated water. Thats where most people fail with their Moca pots.

BTW... All suggestions on the website linked are provided by people or organizations that have proven themselves in the specialty coffee business over some time. They are not just a random collection of methods by someone who can use google. Most can be considered sound advice!
Last edited by dieter01
When I picked up the Rancilio Silvia last December, I passed on the Rocky Burr Grinder as I had a Compressa Burr Grinder. Figured I should run that til it dies before picking up the Rocky.

It just died. Methinks it's time
quote:
Originally posted by KSC02:
When I picked up the Rancilio Silvia last December, I passed on the Rocky Burr Grinder as I had a Compressa Burr Grinder. Figured I should run that til it dies before picking up the Rocky.

It just died. Methinks it's time


For $100 more, I'd recommend the Baratza Vario.
A Faema E61 for home? That's a serious investment. How many group heads?

KSC: If you're looking for a new grinder, also look for a Mazzer. I love mine. You probably only need the short hopper though, unless you're looking to open up a cafe for a side-business.
quote:
Originally posted by futronic:
KSC: If you're looking for a new grinder, also look for a Mazzer. I love mine. You probably only need the short hopper though, unless you're looking to open up a cafe for a side-business.


I agree with this -- If you have the budget for it, grab a Mazzer and be done with the upgrade game forever. Even a Super Jolly at $849 is more grinder than you'll ever need. I was just trying to recommend something in the same price range as the Rocky.
quote:
Originally posted by futronic:
A Faema E61 for home? That's a serious investment. How many group heads?

KSC: If you're looking for a new grinder, also look for a Mazzer. I love mine. You probably only need the short hopper though, unless you're looking to open up a cafe for a side-business.

We have the 2 group jubile automatic. And I agree wholeheartedly on the mazzer- they are wonderful grinders. As for the faema, only downsides are that it takes up a lot of space and it requires professional installation. But other than that, we are very pleased.
Thanks for the recommendations, all.

Mazzer!? Eek Out of my snack bracket, gents

I think I'm going to pick up the Rocky Grinder (doser-less....duh, I can eye a correct dose for a double-shot Razz .)
Mazzer is a bit wild at double the Rocky.

The Baratza Vario however, is a marginal $100 on top of the price of the Rocky and has significantly more grind settings (230 vs 55). In a hobby that requires precision and micro adjustments on each batch of coffee, you will appreciate the ability to fine tune your grinder. In addition to the greater grinding flexibility, you get ceramic burrs rather than steel, which should stay sharp much longer.
I don't know if I am too late... But Nespresso is amazing! My whole family in Switzerland switched from Delonghi Magnifica's to Nespresso about a year ago. My house now has both machines side by side (Magnifica was about $700-1000, Nespresso was about $200). http://www.espressomachineresearch.com/ I go for the Nespresso every time, everything else just doesn't cut it anymore.
Just a follow-up update:

Went with the Rocky and now, a couple of weeks and several cups later, dialing into the right setting and enjoying...we LOVE IT! I should have switched out long ago. Cool
I recently got a nespresso machine. It is truly amazing. Probably not quite the quality espresso as if I spent time to grind my own beans etc.... but it is amazing nonetheless. Really good quality espresso in about a minute or less (depends on machine warming up) with basically no cleanup or setup. The milk frother works like a charm too for cappuccino, which is what I basically drink every morning. Yum!
Ok i know comparing some professional espresso machine with nespresso is like comparing chateau Latour to a bag-in-box wine.
Put me on the list of ignorants nevertheless, +1 nespresso. Very good espresso imho, beats every 500+ machine i've seen so far.
I agree that Nespresso produces a better drink than the average joe could on an expensive machine. I'll even go as far as to say I've enjoyed several of the cups I've been served by friends on these machines. But... It's not espresso!

I've owned a cheap burr grinder, a Rocky, a Mazzer Super Jolly and a Mazzer Kony. I've also had a chance to borrow a Vario for a while. I'm quite sure that the Vario is the best value for money. There seem to be quite a few used Mazzers, Macaps and other brands around though so if you can get your hands on those they will serve you well for the same amount of money. They run forever and worst case you need a new set of burrs (not an expensive upgrade).
Nespresso here as well. I had a Sylvia and while it made a good espresso, it is hard to beat the Nespresso on speed, convenience and great tasting coffee. I realize most here would ridicule a $300 machine, but anyone whos tried it loves it.
quote:
Originally posted by lansa:
Nespresso here as well. I had a Sylvia and while it made a good espresso, it is hard to beat the Nespresso on speed, convenience and great tasting coffee. I realize most here would ridicule a $300 machine, but anyone whos tried it loves it.
Interesting Coffee Facts


I also loved it.
I have a Silvia. She is my best friend and she never disappoints. She even tolerates that the beans are ground on a crappy grinder as the Rocky is on my holiday list. I descale it and back-flush too, when espresso starts tasting weird, and she perks right back up. After shopping for beans everywhere, I found that my local farmers market (dekalb for those in atl) roasts amazing Ethiopia yurgacheffe and I'm a happy camper.
quote:
Originally posted by lansa:
Nespresso here as well. I had a Sylvia and while it made a good espresso, it is hard to beat the Nespresso on speed, convenience and great tasting coffee. I realize most here would ridicule a $300 machine, but anyone whos tried it loves it.

Maybe coffee, but the espresso sucks.
quote:
Originally posted by The Old Man:
quote:
Originally posted by lansa:
Nespresso here as well. I had a Sylvia and while it made a good espresso, it is hard to beat the Nespresso on speed, convenience and great tasting coffee. I realize most here would ridicule a $300 machine, but anyone whos tried it loves it.

Maybe coffee, but the espresso sucks.


I have yet to find a great espresso in Germany, but they do love their coffee, especially in Southern Germany.

I thought Switzerland had better than average and France's coffee is always just tea to me.
quote:
Originally posted by AmsterdamNL:
I have a Silvia. She is my best friend and she never disappoints. She even tolerates that the beans are ground on a crappy grinder as the Rocky is on my holiday list. I descale it and back-flush too, when espresso starts tasting weird, and she perks right back up.

If there was ever a post that deserved the Seaquam treatment...
quote:
Originally posted by VinT:
quote:
Originally posted by AmsterdamNL:
I have a Silvia. She is my best friend and she never disappoints. She even tolerates that the beans are ground on a crappy grinder as the Rocky is on my holiday list. I descale it and back-flush too, when espresso starts tasting weird, and she perks right back up.


If there was ever a post that deserved the Seaquam treatment...



It's true-- I too have a Sylvia. She is my best friend and she never disappoints. But when it comes to tolerating... Well, that's a bit variable. Smile

My espresso machine is now a Gaggia Platinum Superautomatic. My son gave it to me for my birthday last May and, although at the time I thought it was wasteful as I had a perfectly satisfactory older Saecca manual machine, the Gaggia is remarkably functional and very easy to use. Does have a fairly small water reservoir though, and needs a few minutes of maintenance to clean the drip tray and used coffee holder after every dozen or so uses. Attractive machine, too.
For a functional piece of art in the kitchen, the La Pavoni manual is fantastic.

It's a little high maintenance, takes a lot of practice to get right and can be temperamental when your grind is not right . . . but once you get used to it and have your burr grinder settings just right, it produces great espresso and is really a very beautiful machine

We unfortunately had to retire this to our basement for now because we have visitors frequently enough and opening this up to the uninitiated can lead to "explosions" of coffee grounds across the kitchen
Speaking a bit off topic but do you use vinegar to descale? It’s natural and non toxic and works great on my single boiler espresso machine but can it be used on dual boilers ? Anyone else use white vinegar or a water-vinegar blend?
Espresso is overrated. Give me a good cup of fresh brewed normal coffee any day.

Don't get me wrong, I love a good espresso. But in the morning when I rise... a good cup of french pressed java beats an espresso every day of the week.

PH

Looking for some feedback. TYIA.  De'Longhi Specialista or Dimamica or neither?

I have enough Airmiles for either a De'Longhi Specialista or Dimamica.  If I get one, it will be going into the cottage, so occasional use.  Not looking to become the barista supremo but the Airmiles are sitting there with not many other appealing options.  If an automated machine will make a decent brew without excessive cleanup, it should be a step up from the cafetera's (Stainless) that I've used for decades...

Anyone familiar with these machines? 

Thanks

VinC

 

@wineart 2 I just read through this thread and saw you bought the DeLonghi Magnifica. I can't tell when you bought it because THE DATE STAMPS ARE MISSING FROM OUR POSTS 🙄 ... but I think you must still have it because I saw it in an IG post of yours recently.

I bought the same machine for my office back in 2012. It worked reasonably well for a few years but has been temperamental since then. Lots of error messages related to clogging. And based on a quick google search I'm not alone. Besides that, I have never been impressed with the coffee it brews, nor with the steamer. 

What's your take on it?

I've been MUCH happier with the Saeco Aroma that we have at home. Yeah, it's not automatic, and it's the entry-level Saeco. But it got really solid reviews at the time (I don't think they make it any more).

I will gladly spend 5 minutes grinding the beans in our burr grinder, filling the filter holder, priming the pump, brewing the espresso, and then steaming the milk with the steamer arm. The end result is worth it.

sunnylea57 posted:

@wineart 2 I just read through this thread and saw you bought the DeLonghi Magnifica. I can't tell when you bought it because THE DATE STAMPS ARE MISSING FROM OUR POSTS 🙄 ... but I think you must still have it because I saw it in an IG post of yours recently.

I bought the same machine for my office back in 2012. It worked reasonably well for a few years but has been temperamental since then. Lots of error messages related to clogging. And based on a quick google search I'm not alone. Besides that, I have never been impressed with the coffee it brews, nor with the steamer. 

What's your take on it?

I've been MUCH happier with the Saeco Aroma that we have at home. Yeah, it's not automatic, and it's the entry-level Saeco. But it got really solid reviews at the time (I don't think they make it any more).

I will gladly spend 5 minutes grinding the beans in our burr grinder, filling the filter holder, priming the pump, brewing the espresso, and then steaming the milk with the steamer arm. The end result is worth it.

Sunny, interesting. I bought mine in 2006 and it was a 2005 model. Has been an excellent machine ever since in every way. ( don’t jinx me!)

You got hit with a couple of negatives I’m thinking. One, by 2012 many of their parts were being made in China. Also they bought out Braun from P&G and started out sourcing. I have heard mixed reviews every since. They are so much cheaper today than they were in 2006 I would be curious as to why. 

Funny, we bought a Saeco machine for our Santa Fe location and it lasted less than 3 years. 🙃.  We replaced it with a Breville ( $700 +-) and it works well but not used as often as one would at an office. 

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