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Getting Started Advice


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Hi guys,

 

I've spent most of the morning lurking through different threads from people looking to up there coffee again and I'm sure you guys are sick of it at this point but just want some help on first steps.

 

Living in Nottingham means in recent years with all the new cafes popping up that serve some pretty superb coffee has mad my old tassimo and cafetiere dull to me now, so want to upgrade, budget I basically just want to start out and slowly upgrade over time.

 

I don't drink a massive amount so have been looking at hand burr grinders mainly a Hario Mini, any other recommendations for this price range.

 

Now when it comes to machine Im a bit stumped, I'll go second hand as to get more bang for buck but Was looking at a Delonghi Dedica as Gaggia Classic is a little bit out of range too how much I want to spend to start out.

 

My main question is at the price am i better off with a machine or just getting and aeropress and something else like a v60 or chemex?

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I wanted to go down the home espresso route, in fact I tried a sage machine but it broke.

 

I realised if you want coffee as good as the speciality shops then you need patience, time, and a good budget. My plan was to spend 600 to 1k on a grinder and 1k on a rocket appartamento heat exchanger machine.

 

Some people get along fine with cheaper equipment but I came to conclusion that for now I am better off brewing coffee. Currently using an aeropress and feldgrind hand grinder, getting decent coffees. Eventually I'm going to add a bonavita pour over temperature controlled kettle and have a play around with v60 brews.

 

Long term I still plan on tackling home espresso but not until I own my own house again and have access to a bigger kitchen.

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I’m going to go against the grain here. Admittedly I’m nowhere near as experienced with home espresso making as many of the people here, but having lived in Australia (where the independent cafe culture means it’s practically impossible to get a bad coffee) for 8 years of my adult life I know good coffee - I also did a barista course over there. When I moved back here I refused to drink the sub-standard coffee you get in Starbucks/Nero/Costa and bought a Delonghi Scultura (ECZ351) machine and a Hario Skerton hand-grinder and a Pact Coffee subscription.

 

I know this set up is not up to this forum’s standards, but it was within my budget and while Which don’t rate machines as this forum would the Delonghi Scultura is their Best Buy coffee machine, and I was able to get very decent coffee out of it.

 

And that’s my point. I was very happy with the coffee I got from that set up and that’s all that matters. Good beans do half the work for you. I also impressed other people with my coffee. I had a work-man in my house one day, made him a coffee and he made my day by saying ‘That’s the best coffee I’ve ever had, miles better than Costa!’

 

So if that’s all your budget allows I say go for it. You’ll at least get a feel for making your own espresso based drinks and you’ll get something miles better than the coffee chains. My only regret with the Delonghi machine is that they really aren’t built to last. Mine gave up on me a couple of months ago, I tried to get it fixed, but it was a pointless exercise. I’ve now replaced it with a Sage Duo Temp Pro, which should have a better lifespan!

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Im not too clued up on different brew methods, I did presume getting an machine to start with wouldn't be the best of ideas.

 

Also with hand grinders like the mini is it possible to get different grinds and if so how, or are hand grinders only really brewed like v60s or aeropress and wouldnt work with an expresso machine?

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My Classic and Mazzer Mini cost me £75 and £85 off eBay. If you watch enough listings for long enough, as I did for a month or two, you can get those kind of bargains. Both needed a thorough clean but fortunately both turned out to be in good condition. Both had been stored for a while, and were collection only. No shortage of industrial size grinders on eBay for £100-150. If you have the space they're the bargains. A Classic is pretty much the serious starting place for a machine - loads about and cheap and available spares for everything. If you're a bit handy with DIY you're always fine with a Classic, since there are so many threads and tutorials on them.

Edited by les24preludes
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Also with hand grinders like the mini is it possible to get different grinds and if so how, or are hand grinders only really brewed like v60s or aeropress and wouldnt work with an expresso machine?

 

Yes, you can, there’s an adjustment nut, although there’s a very limited number of settings which makes it harder, if not impossible, to get the grind EXACTLY right. But when I had the Delonghi machine I managed OK as it has pressurised baskets. It’s harder with my new Sage machine as it’s less forgiving (although I managed to grind far too find and choke my machine the first time I used it) so I’m getting a Smart Grinder Pro.

 

Here’s a video that describes it better than I can!

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I think I'll just watch out for a decent priced classic then didn't realise they could be had for so cheap if you snag the right one.

 

Would a hand grinder suit for the classic, if not what wouild be the cheapest most realistic grinder to get to use with one?

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I think I'll just watch out for a decent priced classic then didn't realise they could be had for so cheap if you snag the right one.

 

Would a hand grinder suit for the classic, if not what wouild be the cheapest most realistic grinder to get to use with one?

 

A Mazzer Super Jolly usually goes pretty cheap, and it's a really top class espresso grinder - coffee shop quality. Spare parts are cheap on Mazzers and all kinds of mods online and on YouTube for converting dosers to single dose if you prefer. A couple on eBay this week went for around £100 - they're plentiful in the UK. Probably the most popular good grinder about, so a good match for a Classic.

Edited by les24preludes
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A Mazzer Super Jolly usually goes pretty cheap, and it's a really top class espresso grinder - coffee shop quality. Spare parts are cheap on Mazzers and all kinds of mods online and on YouTube for converting dosers to single dose if you prefer. A couple on eBay this week went for around £100 - they're plentiful in the UK. Probably the most popular good grinder about, so a good match for a Classic.

 

Going top of the line and looking into mods right now isn't something Im looking at. Need to learn the basics first really and up my kit slowly.

 

So my best options are either grab a decent burr grinder and aeropress or v60 or spend a little extra and get a hand burr grinder and second hand classic?

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Going top of the line and looking into mods right now isn't something Im looking at. Need to learn the basics first really and up my kit slowly.

 

So my best options are either grab a decent burr grinder and aeropress or v60 or spend a little extra and get a hand burr grinder and second hand classic?

 

Do you like black brewed coffee ?

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Do you like black brewed coffee ?

 

I do enjoy them however, I own a cafeteire and mocha pot but it means I have to buy pre grounds so it never tastes all that great a lot of the time.

 

I drink a fair amount of americanos both when out and from my current tassimo.

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