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Do you really need to turn the steam off, put the pitcher in place, and then turn it back on?   I just plunge it right in real fast while the steam is spraying and it causes no problems. 

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Just now, Axiom of Choice said:

 

 

The surface finish on both of these is nice and glossy.  They look better than pretty much any cappuccino outside of a specialty coffee shop.    

 


It depends on the flow rate and velocity of your steam wand.  With a commercial machine, if you submerge while steam is open, it tends to spray milk and create large bubbles that don't easily dissipate and negatively effects the consistency of the foam.  Standard method is to open steam for a few seconds to purge condensate, turn of steam, submerge wand just under the surface of milk, and throttle steam back open.  I've never seen a specialty shop deviate from this.

 

Thanks.  In the video posted earlier, the guy appears to submerge the tip for the first ten seconds or so, then brings it to the surface with the hissing for about 30 seconds or so, then submerges the tip again at the end for 10 seconds or so.  Is that the right process? 

I've gotten pretty good at getting the volume and the whirlpool, but I'm not sure I'm bringing it all together correctly because I can't do any art.  When I pour the completed product in, I first circle it around to mix in, but then I can't get anything to stay on the surface except for, suddenly, a thicker foam at the very end that doesn't look like the light foam art I get at shops. 

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20 hours ago, Axiom of Choice said:

From the video above on the Breville, it looks like he uses the initial ~10 seconds to find the ideal spot for the wand under the surface of the milk for the stretching phase.  Shops will often do the same thing (start with wand tip low, bring up to the right point for stretching), except they only have about 1-2 seconds to find this spot, because a shop machine will heat enough milk for a cappuccino in about 15 seconds.  In the video, it took him about a minute and a half to steam the milk, so he can move at a more leisurely pace.  But it is not required to have the wand submerged initially for that long; as soon as you have the steam on, I would start trying to find the right spot for milk stretching.  

The thicker clumps of foam at the end is indicative of not sufficiently homogenized milk.  If it is properly homogenized, then there will not be any sharp transitions in density or texture when pouring.   With a commercial machine, this is not too difficult to achieve because you can make very aggressive whirlpools due to steam flow rate.  With home machines, it is a bit more difficult and takes more practice.  I never could get it right on the Breville (though I only used it about 20 times or so), but Dutch seems to have mastered it.  Also, how big is your pitcher?  If it is too large, it will be just about impossible to generate a sufficient vortex.    

I'm using the standard pitcher that it came with.  Not sure the size, but I noticed the guy in that video used one pitcher for two different cups, so maybe I'm using too much milk.  Your last example clearly had less milk that I use — was that a double shot?   I don't want to waste milk by pouring half out, so maybe I should try a smaller pitcher. 

I'm getting plenty of volume, so it sounds like my problem is not enough whirlpool time to make the foam finer?   That is, I should try to complete the stretching as quickly as I can while maintaining the quality of the initial foam (i.e., small bubbles), then try to get the strongest possible vortex to break them up even more. 

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anyone in here know anything about robusta beans?  I’ve done some very brief reading about them on a website and it sounds like they have deeper flavor and more caffeine than arabica beans.  why are all beans at the store arabica?  I’m not big on espresso; I just like big cups of strong coffee.  

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My dad was gifted a Breville espresso machine. What's a cool gift or accessory for an espresso hipster dad? Or is there a really good brand of coffee for espresso that I could order for him?

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16 hours ago, Chips O'Toole said:

My dad was gifted a Breville espresso machine. What's a cool gift or accessory for an espresso hipster dad? Or is there a really good brand of coffee for espresso that I could order for him?

That's a nice gift! Is a Barista Express? Touch? The Granddaddy Oracle Touch?

Where does he live? My go-to espresso roast these days is "Hidden City Espresso" from Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters.  Good crema, very balanced flavor profile, and works amazingly well as a straight espresso or with milk.  It goes for $12/12oz bag. They're based in Bishop Arts, the beans are available at various locations around DFW and across Texas, and they'll ship as well.  If not, then I'd say do some research and see whether there's a coffee roaster in his area.  Freshness of the beans really does make a difference; you can definitely tell a difference in the quality of an espresso if you're brewing with beans roasted within a few days and ground seconds prior to extraction. 

As for accessories... idk.  I'm still new to the espresso game myself, so I'll defer to the more veteran amongst us.  Breville makes a stainless steel knock box that looks very nice next to my machine.  Perhaps a set of double-walled glass latte or espresso mugs. None of these are "high-end," though.  If his machine doesn't have a built-in grinder, than a quality burr grinder capable of repeatable fine grinds might be nice.

Edited by Dutch

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I have a feeling I'm posting in the wrong thread for this. It coffee maker shit the bed and we need a replacement. With my wife and I both being coffee drinkers, but at different times, we need a single serving type setup. We dont want a kpod type system as we prefer to buy and grind our own.

The one that crapped out on us was the Ninja system that allowed us to brew single serving or carafe. I don't feel like that system was worth the money, hence the petition.

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2 hours ago, Spur08 said:

I have a feeling I'm posting in the wrong thread for this. It coffee maker shit the bed and we need a replacement. With my wife and I both being coffee drinkers, but at different times, we need a single serving type setup. We dont want a kpod type system as we prefer to buy and grind our own.

The one that crapped out on us was the Ninja system that allowed us to brew single serving or carafe. I don't feel like that system was worth the money, hence the petition.

 

I have gone to a basic glass drip.  Takes a few extra minutes versus the Keurig I was using and the coffee taste great. 

https://www.chemexcoffeemaker.com/

 

 

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4 hours ago, Spur08 said:

I have a feeling I'm posting in the wrong thread for this. It coffee maker shit the bed and we need a replacement. With my wife and I both being coffee drinkers, but at different times, we need a single serving type setup. We dont want a kpod type system as we prefer to buy and grind our own.

The one that crapped out on us was the Ninja system that allowed us to brew single serving or carafe. I don't feel like that system was worth the money, hence the petition.

If you can spring ~$500 you might consider the breville bambino plus (Wirecutter's pick), or the barista plus, which a couple guys on this thread (like @Dutch have had good experience with. Or @Axiom of Choicemay have another idea.

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I'll second the pour over method.  Takes a few extra minutes but the payoff is a superior cup of coffee to a Keurig.  A ceramic hand grinder,  either a Chemex or ceramic pour brewer (think I got my ceramic one at World Market for ~$15), a food scale that measures in grams, and a gooseneck kettle are all relatively inexpensive and can be used for multiple brewing methods (other than the pour over unit, obv).  A French press is also an inexpensive option to make a very good cup.  Here's some good tutorials if you've never used a pour over or French press before.  It will take a few brews to find your ideal grind size and ratio, but I liked the experimentation.

As for espresso machines, you can spend as little or as much as you want. I love the Breville Barista Express. It's the right balance between price and excellence. Built-in grinder, Italian-made boiler with pre-infusion that extracts an excellent shot, and a steam wand that stretches and textures milk effectively (though there is a learning curve with frothing milk).  There are units out there with dual boilers that will produce a better milk and brew at the same time, but you pay for the convenience.

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14 hours ago, Spur08 said:

I have a feeling I'm posting in the wrong thread for this. It coffee maker shit the bed and we need a replacement. With my wife and I both being coffee drinkers, but at different times, we need a single serving type setup. We dont want a kpod type system as we prefer to buy and grind our own.

The one that crapped out on us was the Ninja system that allowed us to brew single serving or carafe. I don't feel like that system was worth the money, hence the petition.

Aero press is my favorite single serving method. Easy peasy and makes a great strong cup of joe. 

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I appreciate all the advice but think I need to set up a few parameters (as I drink this delicious pour over I had to go by from my local joint).

With the chaos of getting the toddler ready for school in the morning (and ourselves for work), we need something that has a programmable function to start when we (she) wakes up.  While I love espresso, I think we only need a unit for coffee.  I'm willing to spend around $100 for a setup that makes a. good coffee b. has programmable start times and c. isn't a k-pod type unit (allows us to use our own).  I have both a french press and a moka pot for other delicious coffee preparation but we don't necessarily make an experience out of it.

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You may want to look into a brewer with "grind and brew" functionality, given your parameters.  You load the beans and water the night before, tell the machine when you want your coffee ready, and then it grinds and brews at the designated time.  I had this model from Cuisinart.  It made my morning coffee for about ten years, and I still have it for when I need to brew a lot of coffee for company. The big upside is fresh coffee that was brewed right when I was ready to leave for work, and the carafe was large enough to make enough coffee for the wife and I.  Easy and convenient. This model had two downsides, though:

1. It uses a blade grinder, which produces a wildly inconsistent grind and it tends to pulverize the beans into a fine grind.  That said, it makes a cup of coffee that is better than using pre-ground beans or a Keurig but not as good as a one made with a burr grinder or the cup you enjoyed this morning.

2. It's a pain to clean, and you have to clean it daily.  Steam from the hot water migrates up into the bean hopper/grinder and turns the residual coffee dust into a paste. 

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3 hours ago, Spur08 said:

I'm willing to spend around $100 for a setup that makes a. good coffee b. has programmable start times and c. isn't a k-pod type unit (allows us to use our own).  I have both a french press and a moka pot for other delicious coffee preparation but we don't necessarily make an experience out of it.

An appliance timer plus an electric kettle filled with water. Use for a pour over, aeropress, or a french press.

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Good thread.   With the lockdown and me not wanting to risk COVID over a cup of espresso I’ve been considering buying a 500 setup. That said now, I’m not sure it’s worth it.   I was hoping to be able to match the foam for That amount. 

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2 hours ago, thunderlounge said:

Foam, or crema? Two different beasts. 

And that shows how little I know. Lol.   The stuff in a cappuccino.   

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The “foam” from a pull of espresso is crema.

Foam, or froth, is the milk shit.

 

You can do well with either on $500 or there about. Well, crema for sure. I don’t do froth.

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My bonavita drip coffee maker died last week after only 7 years of use. I loved the quality of coffee it produced, but the new ones seem to get terrible reviews. Any recs for a new machine? Looking for something simple with at least 8 cup capacity, thermal carafe, and preferably a timer that can be set for autobrewing in the morning. 

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So what's the Surl thoughts on pour overs? They seem simple enough to me, but quite a bit written about technique and shit.

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4 hours ago, G650 said:

So what's the Surl thoughts on pour overs? They seem simple enough to me, but quite a bit written about technique and shit.

Pretty cheap to buy a pourover kettle and ceramic filter holder to give it a go.  I think they are overrated, personally.  That's not to say my technique couldn't be refined.  I recall having some pretty good pour over coffee somewhere at some point.

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31 minutes ago, dcbc said:

Pretty cheap to buy a pourover kettle and ceramic filter holder to give it a go.  I think they are overrated, personally.  That's not to say my technique couldn't be refined.  I recall having some pretty good pour over coffee somewhere at some point.

To be completely forthright, my only motivation is ease and not necessarily quality.

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4 hours ago, G650 said:

So what's the Surl thoughts on pour overs? They seem simple enough to me, but quite a bit written about technique and shit.

Not worth it. Too much hassle, imo. 

I have a semi-automatic espresso machine and love it. 

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3 minutes ago, Asithappens said:

Not worth it. Too much hassle, imo. 

I have a semi-automatic espresso machine and love it. 

Gotcha. I may just give it a miss then. I have an espresso machine, a Nespresso and a press. Was trying to get something easier to deal with than the press for just brewing a cup.

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14 hours ago, G650 said:

Gotcha. I may just give it a miss then. I have an espresso machine, a Nespresso and a press. Was trying to get something easier to deal with than the press for just brewing a cup.

Have you tried an aeropress?

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Just now, Chopper said:

Have you tried an aeropress?

Yeah, not a super fan. Not sure why, just don't get on with it well.

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, G650 said:

To be completely forthright, my only motivation is ease and not necessarily quality.

Drip machines probably have come a long way, in that case.  I have a super automatic that I use on weekends and a 20 year old Cuisinart drip machine that just keeps chugging for my work day brews (and desire to see if drinking mostly filtered coffee makes a discernible difference in my cardiovascular health).  I did the semi auto espresso for years, but have since erred on the side of convenience.  Good beans and a good grind make up for my lack of effort to a degree.

Edited by dcbc

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1 hour ago, dcbc said:

Drip machines probably have come a long way, in that case.  I have a super automatic that I use on weekends and a 20 year old Cuisinart drip machine that just keeps chugging for my work day brews (and desire to see if drinking mostly filtered coffee makes a discernible difference in my cardiovascular health).  I did the semi auto espresso for years, but have since erred on the side of convenience.  Good beans and a good grind make up for my lack of effort to a degree.

Yeah, it's certainly crossed my mind. The main issue I have with drip is getting enough body. I generally like the coffee to be strong enough to walk out of the cup and smack me in the face strong, and the only way I've managed that with drip is with fresh grinding beans on the spot. So it's doable but goes back to my laziness.

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1 hour ago, G650 said:

Yeah, it's certainly crossed my mind. The main issue I have with drip is getting enough body. I generally like the coffee to be strong enough to walk out of the cup and smack me in the face strong, and the only way I've managed that with drip is with fresh grinding beans on the spot. So it's doable but goes back to my laziness.


Take coffee, pour back into reservoir and run it again. It’ll walk. Couple more times and it will hold a spoon straight up. 

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8 minutes ago, thunderlounge said:


Take coffee, pour back into reservoir and run it again. It’ll walk. Couple more times and it will hold a spoon straight up. 

1987-10-20.gif

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On 6/15/2020 at 12:44 PM, G650 said:

So what's the Surl thoughts on pour overs? They seem simple enough to me, but quite a bit written about technique and shit.

One vote for pour over. Took a bit of trial and error to get my ratio (g coffee : g water) and grinder setting dialed in, but pour over makes a very good cup. There is a bit of technique to pouring the water, but it isn’t hard to learn.  A gooseneck kettle is a must. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, G650 said:

Yeah, it's certainly crossed my mind. The main issue I have with drip is getting enough body. I generally like the coffee to be strong enough to walk out of the cup and smack me in the face strong, and the only way I've managed that with drip is with fresh grinding beans on the spot. So it's doable but goes back to my laziness.

I looked at a few after posting that.  Looks like there are some pretty precise temp controls, bloom delays, and other features that might make it worth a look. 

I get being lazy.  I definitely do not feel like putting in a lot of effort before I have had my coffee. 

Edited by dcbc

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On 6/15/2020 at 12:44 PM, G650 said:

So what's the Surl thoughts on pour overs? They seem simple enough to me, but quite a bit written about technique and shit.

I have a Hario pour over rig with paper filters, hand grinder and freshly roasted coffee beans. I pour it over directly into my 20 oz Yeti cup.  Every day.  Great coffee.  I control the coffee/water ratio carefully and it is very repeatable. Takes a few minutes of your time each morning unlike an auto drip machine. 

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1 minute ago, CycleTex87 said:

I have a Hario pour over rig with paper filters, hand grinder and freshly roasted coffee beans. I pour it over directly into my 20 oz Yeti cup.  Every day.  Great coffee.  I control the coffee/water ratio carefully and it is very repeatable. Takes a few minutes of your time each morning unlike an auto drip machine. 

This was pretty much my thought.

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I weigh my ingredients. I pour the water through the pour over with the cup sitting on the scale.  Easy. 

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22 hours ago, G650 said:

1987-10-20.gif


 

I wasn‘t kidding though. Way back I used to work for this ol salt, and he wanted exactly that. He was second shift, and wanted coffee hot and ready when he got there. However his “direction” was to make a pot at 7am, and leave it on the warmer all day. 
 

Well fuck that. How else was the morning shift supposed to get any? One cup at 7am and that’s it? Hell no. So he got there about 2. Around 1, I’d make another pot, then run it back through twice. He never knew the difference.

Problem solved. 
 

I wouldn’t have drank it, but whatever. 

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21 minutes ago, Axiom of Choice said:

Got a new machine for the house.  It was a pain to plumb up RO water system and run 220V power.  Before anyone asks, I am aware this is a bit ridiculous for household kitchen:

https://imgur.com/9WG77FT

Go big or go home!

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3 hours ago, Axiom of Choice said:

Got a new machine for the house.  It was a pain to plumb up RO water system and run 220V power.  Before anyone asks, I am aware this is a bit ridiculous for household kitchen:

https://imgur.com/9WG77FT

Damn; that’s a beautiful machine, a piece of art. Bet it pulls a great shot & texturizes milk in seconds. 

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So I’m leaning towards the breville barista express or the breville bambino plus. It looks like the major difference is the wand and grinder.   Is a built in grinder worth it? Are all grinders generally the same? Or are there huge differences in production quality between models/price points similar to the espresso machine themselves? 
 

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The grind for espresso is a critical element to the quality of the shot. Not sure a built in grinder cuts the mustard.  Look at Rancilio Rocky for a good entry level grinder. 

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So I’m leaning towards the breville barista express or the breville bambino plus. It looks like the major difference is the wand and grinder.   Is a built in grinder worth it? Are all grinders generally the same? Or are there huge differences in production quality between models/price points similar to the espresso machine themselves? 
 
We have the barista touch and it is fantastic.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, CycleTex87 said:

The grind for espresso is a critical element to the quality of the shot. Not sure a built in grinder cuts the mustard.  Look at Rancilio Rocky for a good entry level grinder. 

A friend of mine had a similar Breville with the built in burr grinder.  It was very good as were the shots from the machine.  I have a Gaggia Brera and the built in burr grinder is every bit as good as my old Gaggia MDF grinder.  The Rocky is a great grinder, but saving space with a good built in isn't the worst thing.

Edited by dcbc

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