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Blackberry Butterscotch

Ponderings of a newbie

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Think I’m ready to dip my toe into the world of espresso...

Currently I have a delonghi grinder and v60 at home and a porlex Tall and Aeropress for work. I’m still enjoying these for now but have had my head turned from too many espressos recently.
 

My budget is limited(here we go again, I know)  So I anticipate the advice may be to just continue with coffee shops for my espresso fix. But the ace up my sleeve is I already have a machine, or can ransack one anyway. My parents have a Dualit Espress-auto they were gifted, but is now gathering dust. I know this wouldn’t be anyone here’s choice of machine but it should be capable enough get me started and learn on, no?

So I’m looking to buy a used grinder for 200-250. I’ve seen plenty of Mazzer SJ and a few Majors in this range. But I’m only citing these as people on here seem to like them and there seem to be a fair number of used ones about,  I have no idea if they’re right for me? My thought is even if I end up with a major that’s pretty beat up, I’ll only be using it for a couple of coffees on the weekend so should still get fair mileage out of it?  Other than maybe having to replace burrs is there risks of buying second(or more) hand I’m overlooking? Also don’t think I’m ready to abandon the v60 altogether yet, so are there grinders out there better served for switching brew methods that should be on my radar or is this not worth the hassle and I should keep my current set up for v60?
 

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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15 hours ago, Blackberry Butterscotch said:

Think I’m ready to dip my toe into the world of espresso...

1. My budget is limited(here we go again, I know)  So I anticipate the advice may be to just continue with coffee shops for my espresso fix. But the ace up my sleeve is I already have a machine, or can ransack one anyway. 

2. My parents have a Dualit Espress-auto they were gifted, but is now gathering dust. I know this wouldn’t be anyone here’s choice of machine but it should be capable enough get me started and learn on, no?

1. Normally I'd say yes, but at the moment no.

2. No, it will simply frustrate you.

 

How much do you anticipate spending per week in coffee shops on espresso+ any other coffee drinks?

Edited by DavecUK

 My reviews at https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/ - Various Machines and grinders, Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster: YouTube channel at https://tinyurl.com/szhgxzl .......

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8 hours ago, DavecUK said:

1. Normally I'd say yes, but at the moment no.

2. No, it will simply frustrate you.

 

How much do you anticipate spending per week in coffee shops on espresso+ any other coffee drinks?

Thanks for the response.

Ahh really, why’s that, is it incapable or inconsistent? Is it not even adequate as stop gap for a couple of months?

Only about £10 a week, but my motivation isn’t economic.

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If you get a decent grinder which will still do justice to a later upgraded coffee machine then why not? I'm a noob too but I think Dave is being grumpy!

 

I'm getting really nice coffee (better than most cafes IMHO) out of a Delonghi Dedica which is a similar price to what you're talking about using. I'm sure it's not a patch on a proper machine but I'm glad I've got it. 

Edited by grumble

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46 minutes ago, Blackberry Butterscotch said:

Thanks for the response.

Ahh really, why’s that, is it incapable or inconsistent? Is it not even adequate as stop gap for a couple of months?

Only about £10 a week, but my motivation isn’t economic.

I'll answer in reverse order.

I didn't say your motivation was economic but you mentioned budget. It was to help get things in perspective. If you get a machine that's good enough you no longer want to buy from the shops or even half your consumption, that's £250-£500 per annum. As a good machine will last decades with minimal maintenance and probably give you the first 3 or 4 years with no maintenance, spending a bit on the machine and grinder may be a fiscally better long term decision. You will certainly get better tasting shots,  much more success from good kit. it's also much easier to use.

The Dualit whilst I am sure is a fine machine on the shelves of shops like John lewis, is all the things you mentioned in your last post..I'm not being grumpy either (rather a silly comment), it's just what a lifetime of experience with machines has taught me, much of it on machines like that!

 


 My reviews at https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/ - Various Machines and grinders, Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster: YouTube channel at https://tinyurl.com/szhgxzl .......

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The Dualit will only give you some of the experience. It's worth borrowing and giving it a good clean and descale, then trying it out. The workflow is close enough to the same for a regular espresso to give you a taste of how much work it is. If you get on ok with it, then you can let the upgraditis flow.  If the work of making espresso on the dualit is too much, then just go back to your other brew methods. 

A better grinder is a no brainer really, if you have the space to put it to use, then a Mazzer SJ or Major is a perfect way to grind up your coffee whatever the brew method..  If the grinder in question isn't making lots of scary noises when running empty, then it'll probably last forever. And I'm sad to say that over the next few months, there will be plenty of them available.


Gear:

Gaggia Baby 2001, Gaggia Color 2007, Delonghi Dedica, Severin grinder, Marcfi badged Compak K6 2004

Sent from my grinder using smoke signals.

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14 hours ago, DavecUK said:

 

The Dualit whilst I am sure is a fine machine on the shelves of shops like John lewis, is all the things you mentioned in your last post..I'm not being grumpy either (rather a silly comment), it's just what a lifetime of experience with machines has taught me, much of it on machines like that!

 

Grumpy was perhaps the wrong word, but overly negative IMO. If the choice is between no espresso machine and basic espresso machine plus decent grinder, why would you not try it, especially given the uncertain times we live in.

Though should the OP even be visiting his parents right now? 😕

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1 minute ago, grumble said:

1. Grumpy was perhaps the wrong word, but overly negative IMO. If the choice is between no espresso machine and basic espresso machine plus decent grinder, why would you not try it, especially given the uncertain times we live in.

2. Though should the OP even be visiting his parents right now? 😕

1. You say this about me based on what personal experience of how many machines and grinders? If you want to discuss it properly, then say what features of the various machines are unnecessary, why exactly you believe that the machine he mentions will work well, what are key features you should look for. Otherwise, you started by saying "I think Dave is being grumpy! " followed by "I'm overly negative". It's like me starting a discussion with you by saying "you don't really know very much about espresso machines, grinders or coffee". I didn't do that did I?

2. I would imagine he could go and pick up a Dualit Espresso machine left on the front porch, I don't think anyone would steal it. Or he could knock, step back 3 metres and wait while they placed it outside.

 


 My reviews at https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/ - Various Machines and grinders, Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster: YouTube channel at https://tinyurl.com/szhgxzl .......

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Yes you clearly know vastly more than me, well done. I am however able to gain an impression of your attitude, based on what you say on here, and it's a bit 'funny' sometimes. As in, unable to see things from any viewpoint other than your own.

Edited by grumble

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On 25/03/2020 at 22:18, DavecUK said:

I'll answer in reverse order.

I didn't say your motivation was economic but you mentioned budget. It was to help get things in perspective. If you get a machine that's good enough you no longer want to buy from the shops or even half your consumption, that's £250-£500 per annum. As a good machine will last decades with minimal maintenance and probably give you the first 3 or 4 years with no maintenance, spending a bit on the machine and grinder may be a fiscally better long term decision. You will certainly get better tasting shots,  much more success from good kit. it's also much easier to use.

The Dualit whilst I am sure is a fine machine on the shelves of shops like John lewis, is all the things you mentioned in your last post..I'm not being grumpy either (rather a silly comment), it's just what a lifetime of experience with machines has taught me, much of it on machines like that!

 

Sorry, I’m getting mixed messages by what you’re saying here. The first paragraph seems to support getting a grinder and having a go with the Dualit. Then the second paragraph warning against it.

My interpretation is if I can get a good second hand grinder and use the Dualit as a stop gap then by not buying from coffee shops I’ll be able to save for a good machine quicker?

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I would just buy  a Gaggia Classic for the time being, and a used mazzer say a 64mm size one. Unless the Dualit is a Sage undercover I am not that sure

Edited by Jony

SAGE IS NOT A UPGRADE

 

 

:)

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Not that any member needs me to defend anyone on here but to comment on the responses :)

By all means try the dualit but be prepared to be frustrated as what will come out will not be the same as what you getting out of a coffee shop(it may resemble visually). Whether you use a new to you grinder or not the difference between what is marketed to the masses as an espresso machine such as the Dualit and similar is very different in both execution of shot and temperature stability to name two plus the way it is extracted through a pressurised basket. Some espresso machines produced solely for the unknowing consumer have pressure vessels producing approx. 2-3 bar of pressure some have up to 18-19.

A decent grinder coupled with decent beans from a roaster that is aiming to bring out the best in a particular bean / blend will improve your coffee experience even if you stay with the v60 / Aeropress ( I had a porlex, most any grinder will be an improvement, especially if burrs worn), there's nothing wrong with filter  / drip, espresso is just another way to make coffee at the end of the day. 

Dave's advice above has saved me on more than one occasion from potentially expensive mistakes and whilst have no desire to wade into the he said they said element, the advice is correct, you could well be frustrated. If you accept that "bob on" as they say.

Espresso and milk drinks made from espresso are probably the hardest / most frustrating to get right and no, you don't need to spend fortunes to get a decent espresso, have had some blinding straight shots from Gaggia classics / Silvia's in the past and current G105 little lever, none of which you would call expensive second hand. What you do get with expenditure is consistency shot to shot( the blinding shot from the classis stood out as 1 amongst the following 10 that were either average or sinkers) but this in itself is not a reason to spend big. You could get a classic, fit a MrShades PID kit and have some fun tweaking / pimping / improving as many do on here (there is a whole sub forum devoted)  but you could also save that money towards either another more stable machine or stick with drip / filter etc

Quality beans> decent grinder (Made by knock, Lido etc would also work and not cost a fortune plus portable for aeropress)> means to extract coffee is a good way to think of order of priorities.

Hope of help and taken in the manner written not wishing to have a go at anyone (I started with a krups combined filter and "espresso" machine of the type with the pressure vessel above, shudder at the memory..)

John

  • Like 1

Roasters: BB Dalian Amazon 1kg -Power contolled GeneCafe 101- 90Kg of greens - Tonino

Espresso: Londinium L2 - Gaggia G105 - Silvia v3 Mr.Shades PID'-d - Faema E92a2 (Project) - MyPressi Twist - VST baskets / Motta Europa (350/500/750ml) - Torr Ti 58.55 & Goldfinger flat 58.4 TiBlack, Pullman 51.4 - Acaia x2

Grinders: Flats: Compak R120 - NS Mythos plus Conics: Compak K10PB - Lido 3

Brewed: Behmor Brazen - Moccamaster KBGT471 - Aeropress - V60 - Cona model D - Clever - Mizudashi - 8-10 + 6 cup Chemex

Water: BWT Bestmax V Refrac: VST III

and a Puq Press not in a pear tree..

 

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