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Am I going to get slaughtered here?!!


Gilly
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I think the hardest thing in life is going back. You listen to mono and love it, until stereo comes along so you try it and your not really sure if you can tell the difference. Then 5.1 comes along and that's nice, it sounds a bit better and you upgrade and are happy again. Then after a while you listen to something in mono and it's completely unbearable.

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On 20/12/2019 at 12:14, Gilly said:

Hello everyone;

So it’s raining and cold and I’m bored. I’ve started to procrastinate on some of the items/ questions regarding the upgrading of nice shiny things for other more EXPENSIVE nice shiny things. It seems that there is a steady but infectious trend upwards toward ‘coffee nirvana’. Why is this?

I once thought that Costa’s black AMERICANO was it; then I came across Nero’s equivalent which knocked back Costa’s serving; (Starbucks didn’t even register as when you open the door it smells of sour milk yuk)! So anyway I got myself a 1425w Classic and a little Graef 800 and realised I had been drinking dirge water and paying top whack money for it from the above establishments. My black AMERICANO no sugar was all about the naked taste and I got better at pulling shots. Then I thought ‘wait a minute I need a better grinder I want to go finer,‘ so I got myself a Mazza Mini Electronic and I got finer grind ok. Then it was a PID; looks so pretty on there all those nice led numbers(I feel so barista/serious now).Got some nice dark city roast beans from my local roaster and I’m away. Then I started to look at myself in an honest sort of way,and thought I’ve inadvertently jumped on the upgrading gravy train which I know is going to eventually lead to dissatisfaction and self loathing in buckets. You see you can’t make your finest shot finer. Be honest; if you have a coffee that was so nice (you know the one that finally reached parts other coffees have never reached) you are NEVER NEVER NEVER going to make it any better no matter how much money, gadgetry, blood sweat and tears you put into it. 

You will of course been suckered.I know this because I went through much the same with Hi Fi. Started with a Garrod/ wharf dale and stopped at the Linn/ Naim/Epos set up.

I wanted to hear more from and on my vinyl and cds. And yes it’s true there were significant differences as in I could hear more of what was at the original recording source.

This journey cost me thousands. As I continued to ‘upgrade’ I finally had to take myself in hand and ask truthfully if spending any more really amounted to any further improvement? Sadly I had to conclude that it was after a certain point a MIND GAME ONLY with extra shiny lights.

 You can polish a ? to a certain degree, then after that you’re just sprinkling it with glitter.

So the moral of the story is, if you’re relatively happy with your poison then realise that you can ONLY IMPROVE IT TO A POINT.

Nuff said I’m going out now with my umbrella ️.

 

 

 

 

Guess we all enjoy our toys... I have followed the route you mention HiFi Cycling Photography now the Coffee bug is pulling me in.

A cycle shop keeper who i bought some titanium handlebars off once summed it up well, he called it “sick money” 

I am going to try not going head over heals and be satisfied if coffee I make at home is a pleasure to drink.

? apart enjoy your brews and have great Christmas and New Year ? 

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The coffee/hifi analogy is an interesting one and something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. I used to work in the hifi industry and spent way to much time listening to equipment, until,one day it dawned on me that was what I doing, listening to the mechanical reproduction system, not Tony Levin’s amazing bass, although I realise that will date me. Shortly after I gave up hifi and got more into the actual music.

Sometimes I worry I’ll get to the point where I’ll be tasting the machine rather than the beans. But for now, I can make great coffee at home and enjoy finding new shops or beans, so perhaps life’s too short to worry about it!

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19 hours ago, Beanruined said:

The coffee/hifi analogy is an interesting one and something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. I used to work in the hifi industry and spent way to much time listening to equipment, until,one day it dawned on me that was what I doing, listening to the mechanical reproduction system, not Tony Levin’s amazing bass, although I realise that will date me. Shortly after I gave up hifi and got more into the actual music.

Sometimes I worry I’ll get to the point where I’ll be tasting the machine rather than the beans. But for now, I can make great coffee at home and enjoy finding new shops or beans, so perhaps life’s too short to worry about it!

The day that you are tasting the machine rather than the beans is the day that you machine is telling you that it needs a very good clean ?

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23 minutes ago, Phil104 said:

The day that you are tasting the machine rather than the beans is the day that you machine is telling you that it needs a very good clean ?

Like 90% of them do!

Sticks and Stones, sours…or rancid (horrible). Quakers hide until roasted, pick em out and flick them in the bin. Life is too short for bad coffee

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Coffee and HiFi are very similar, the end result is an input into your senses.

At some point on the HiFi ladder you (should) realise your hearing is the weak link. Same with coffee, at what % from perfection can you not tell the difference?

 

Also avoid places like this. If you never hear another HiFi, yours will be brilliant. If you never taste someone elses coffee, or read reviews of how great some equipment is, you are happy with yours.

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49 minutes ago, GrahamS said:

At some point on the HiFi ladder you (should) realise your hearing is the weak link. Same with coffee, at what % from perfection can you not tell the difference?

With coffee gear, a lot of the time it's about things that don't make the largest difference in taste. Aesthetics, pride of ownership, function, perceived and actual value are huge factors in purchasing decisions. For some even the change or trying something new is fun @dfk41 Most people buy a machine and the first time they taste coffee from it is once they get it on the counter. They never went and did a tasting with 3 or 4 other contenders, or rarely does that happen. If they do, there is no guarantee the grinders, coffee, set-up of the machine was optimal. At the moment I'm using a coffee that needs 92C in the little ECM Puristika at 8.5 bar, normally I use 93C, had I been viewing in a showroom, I couldn't make those finer adjustments unless I had some real time with the machine and familiarity with coffee and grinder.

@Rhys Intimated the fun was over...well it's never over till it's over....there's always that next, machine grinder, roaster, gadget, hand grinder, pour over, scale. After that you can help others, pop up videos, give something back e.g. moderating a forum. Even with all that there is always something new to learn, to try, to enjoy. Chasing perfection is not a good idea because you will never get it.

For me personally coffee is a hobby, Roasters, Grinder, Machines, Beans are interesting as is the paraphernalia (less so) that surrounds it. It's not a passive hobby for me, it's like watching football, vs playing or coaching, I prefer to do the latter. I love espresso machines and can take pleasure from using all different types of machine (at all different price ranges). If I had the space, I would love to have them all out on display, ready to rock and roll. I had 4 roasters until I realised I had to thin the herd...but still I look forward to new roasters coming on tests, I have another arriving in a few days.

So some may say it's coffee gluttony, but I like to consider myself more of a discerning hobbyist, with my own special interest area...in the mid to high value segment, but not at the extreme end of things. The reason is not diminishing returns but diminishing interest, as that sort of equipment can only be the province of the few and my reviews and work give me satisfaction when it's for the many.

If it was about perfection, then the fun would be over and I hope I never find it....but like a fine painting, each machine can be perfect in its own right, in the correct setting and with the right owner.

Edited by DavecUK

Sticks and Stones, sours…or rancid (horrible). Quakers hide until roasted, pick em out and flick them in the bin. Life is too short for bad coffee

 

 

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29 minutes ago, GrahamS said:

Coffee and HiFi are very similar, the end result is an input into your senses.

At some point on the HiFi ladder you (should) realise your hearing is the weak link. Same with coffee, at what % from perfection can you not tell the difference?

 

Also avoid places like this. If you never hear another HiFi, yours will be brilliant. If you never taste someone elses coffee, or read reviews of how great some equipment is, you are happy with yours.

What is the hi-fi equivalent of a cupping/french press (no machined, mechanical, moving parts, no electronics necessary, perhaps like 2 paper cups & wet string)?

Yes, there is the law of diminishing returns. Yes, the more specific your requirement the more you may need to spend, but coffee & equipment are not linked in a linear fashion when it comes to enjoyment & perception of quality of the drink. Espresso roasts are typically cupped for QC. You need the machine (or a mechanical device to produce the pressure) to make coffee of typical espresso strength, with crema, but not all coffee is espresso.

If you have a lot of money to spend (on anything) & it gives you pleasure, do it. If you don't have a lot of money to spend make the best of what you have. But you can still enjoy great coffee.

"% from perfection" isn't realistic, or can't be unless you have a selection of coffees scoring 100 & you don't, no one does (you can't experience 100%, if you only have 90 to start with, which would still be bloody good). A selection of coffees will have a normal distribution, the highest & lowest scoring will be smaller proportions than the 'mediocre/fairly good/a little poor' coffees

Taking a mastered recording & having it reproduced in full glory in your living room is one thing (compared to hearing it through laptop speakers, or from a Dansette), but you're putting the finished article into your hi-fi, just determining by how little it has been degraded (or whether that 'degredation' actually flatters it). When you make coffee, you're more like the studio doing the recording. If you wan't to do it like a simple recording with a couple of carefully placed mics, fine. If you want to build & use a purpose built studio, do that too. Neither excludes you from quality music (what's better, music you like played live, or music you personally don't, but still a high quality, from expensive hi-fi?).

The hi-fi analogy is more like, "How expensive is your cup?" :-)

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7 minutes ago, MWJB said:

 

 just determining by how little it has been degraded (or whether that 'degredation' actually flatters it). 

 

Ahhhh … so monin syrups are the graphic equaliser of the coffee world.  Whack that bass, mid and treble to the max and make it sound better than the studio recording.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, working dog said:

Ahhhh … so monin syrups are the graphic equaliser of the coffee world.  Whack that bass, mid and treble to the max and make it sound better than the studio recording.

 

 

So true for so many, the majority in fact!

Sticks and Stones, sours…or rancid (horrible). Quakers hide until roasted, pick em out and flick them in the bin. Life is too short for bad coffee

 

 

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why do you need all those bikes? folk would enquire, you can only ride one at once. Well you wouldn’t go ballroom dancing in wellies or go mountaineering in your slippers see


It's amazing how people would lose their minds over owning multiple bikes - I mean did they think it was possible to race on my 1980s Raleigh tourer? No one sees Lewis Hamilton at the shops and genuinely expects him to be driving his F1 car [emoji1]
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1 minute ago, KingoftheHeath said:


 

 


It's amazing how people would lose their minds over owning multiple bikes - I mean did they think it was possible to race on my 1980s Raleigh tourer? No one sees Lewis Hamilton at the shops and genuinely expects him to be driving his F1 car emoji1.png

 

I remember a young lad joining our bike club and after a few weeks decided to enter a road race on a heavy framed old knacker of a bike.  He either won or came close to winning.  Had the 'all the gear' brigade wondering why they'd spent all of the money.  He was one of my old teachers sons, lad called Rob Coull who went on to represent the UK in the Olympics pursuit.  

But aside from pure natural ability I get the analogy.  A Porsche is a lovely car with great performance but you wouldn't use it to plough a field.

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I remember a young lad joining our bike club and after a few weeks decided to enter a road race on a heavy framed old knacker of a bike.  He either won or came close to winning.  Had the 'all the gear' brigade wondering why they'd spent all of the money.  He was one of my old teachers sons, lad called Rob Coull who went on to represent the UK in the Olympics pursuit.  
But aside from pure natural ability I get the analogy.  A Porsche is a lovely car with great performance but you wouldn't use it to plough a field.
On the flip side, I was doing hill reps with a mate and it got to the point where I was giving him a 20 second head start and still beating him to the top... Next week he got a new pair of wheels and all of a sudden was keeping up with me.

That young lad would have won by a considerable margin had he been on a quicker bike.
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1 minute ago, KingoftheHeath said:



That young lad would have won by a considerable margin had he been on a quicker bike.

Agreed but it was funny to observe.  Time served dedicated cyclists, out in all weathers, fixed gear in winter, shiney expensive stuff in summer.  In he strolls, no real experience, cheap heavy bike and beats the top cyclists.  Its fair to say that he didn't use the same bike in his pursuit riding.

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