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Noob - Should i go for pre ground coffee first?
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Discussions > Espresso > General > Noob - Should i...  
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mysticbertie
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Joined: 3 May 2013
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Location: Stevenston
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun May 5, 2013, 8:46am
Subject: Noob - Should i go for pre ground coffee first?
 

im picking up a second hand Ascaso Arc Fun Espresso Machine on tuesday. Im new to espresso making. SO should i start off with some quality pre ground coffee to get me into the way of it or should i go the whole hog and get a second hand grinder and beans?

im just thinking it may be wise to tackle one thing at a time.

Is there a good pre ground coffee worth going for im in the uk. So can i get something good from the supermarket?
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fwtechwiz
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Posted Sun May 5, 2013, 8:53am
Subject: Re: Noob - Should i go for pre ground coffee first?
 

mysticbertie Said:

im picking up a second hand Ascaso Arc Fun Espresso Machine on tuesday. Im new to espresso making. SO should i start off with some quality pre ground coffee to get me into the way of it or should i go the whole hog and get a second hand grinder and beans?

im just thinking it may be wise to tackle one thing at a time.

Is there a good pre ground coffee worth going for im in the uk. So can i get something good from the supermarket?

Posted May 5, 2013 link

One absolute prerequisite to making espresso is dialing in the grind to achieve a 1.5 to 2 oz shot in 25 to 30 seconds.  You cannot do that with pre-ground coffee.  Even if you get lucky and the grind is close to correct, the coffee will be stale by the time you try to pull your first shot.  Ground coffee starts to go stale after 15 minutes.
The espresso machine is the accessory to the grinder, not the other way around.  At the very least, pick up a good hand grinder to start out.  You won't regret it!
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frcn
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Posted Sun May 5, 2013, 10:57am
Subject: Re: Noob - Should i go for pre ground coffee first?
 

Should i go for pre ground coffee first?

Never.

 
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mysticbertie
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Joined: 3 May 2013
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Location: Stevenston
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun May 5, 2013, 11:06am
Subject: Re: Noob - Should i go for pre ground coffee first?
 

fwtechwiz Said:

One absolute prerequisite to making espresso is dialing in the grind to achieve a 1.5 to 2 oz shot in 25 to 30 seconds.  You cannot do that with pre-ground coffee.  Even if you get lucky and the grind is close to correct, the coffee will be stale by the time you try to pull your first shot.  Ground coffee starts to go stale after 15 minutes.
The espresso machine is the accessory to the grinder, not the other way around.  At the very least, pick up a good hand grinder to start out.  You won't regret it!

Posted May 5, 2013 link

many thanks i understand, ill bide my time to find myself a grinder. Is there a budget priced new one worth buying or shall i spend about 50 on a second hand one?

Interesting, that ground coffee goes off so quickly.
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qualin
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Posted Sun May 5, 2013, 9:31pm
Subject: Re: Noob - Should i go for pre ground coffee first?
 

mysticbertie Said:

many thanks i understand, ill bide my time to find myself a grinder. Is there a budget priced new one worth buying or shall i spend about 50 on a second hand one?

Posted May 5, 2013 link

Well, keep an eye on the used market here and the classifieds. A lot of used espresso capable coffee grinders typically require new burrs, which is a relatively inexpensive replacement.
Outside of making sure that it is meticulously cleaned, there isn't that much that can go wrong with them. Either it runs or it doesn't. I would at least double or triple your budget for a used one.

mysticbertie Said:

Interesting, that ground coffee goes off so quickly.

Posted May 5, 2013 link

Very much so. It oxidizes quickly and loses flavor. Don't waste your time with pre-ground coffee.

Don't worry about biting off too much, grinding coffee for the right shot times is the hard part.. Putting a loaded portafilter into a machine and turning the pump on is the easy part.
(It isn't really all that hard by the way.. it took me about 15 minutes to dial in my grinder the first time I used it.)

Good luck.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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__________
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Posted Mon May 6, 2013, 5:10am
Subject: Re: Noob - Should i go for pre ground coffee first?
 

Hello, mysticbertie

Fifty quid is probably too low to get something second hand that's worth having.  There are several Mazzers - either super Jolly or Mini models - currently for sale in the UK on a well known web Auction site which may go for "good value" prices though.  

Those are built like the proverbial tank, so unless they've been really badly knocked around the most you might expect is to have to fit some new burrs (not a major expense, and in a domestic environment will then last you for years).

Unfortunately, used grinders advertised on here will normally be somewhere in North America and not compatible with European electrical standards.
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DavecUK
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Posted Mon May 6, 2013, 1:32pm
Subject: Re: Noob - Should i go for pre ground coffee first?
 

You really need to think hard about the journey your on.

try to imagine it this way.

  1. You buy a car for $500
  2. You use the cheapest oil you can find
  3. You use the lowest grade gasoline you can get
  4. You drive it badly
  5. You never clean it
  6. You never service it, if you do you only use cheap parts.

Do you think the ownership experience will be very satisfying., or the car will drive well.........because in a way, your doing this with the coffee journey.
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steamer
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Posted Mon May 6, 2013, 3:45pm
Subject: Re: Noob - Should i go for pre ground coffee first?
 

DavecUK Said:

You really need to think hard about the journey your on.

try to imagine it this way.

You buy a car for $500
You use the cheapest oil you can find
You use the lowest grade gasoline you can get
You drive it badly
You never clean it
You never service it, if you do you only use cheap parts.

Do you think the ownership experience will be very satisfying., or the car will drive well.........because in a way, your doing this with the coffee journey.

Posted May 6, 2013 link

I loved my old Volkswagen beetle, 1967 model, ran for ever, just like you explained.
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Ian
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Ian
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Posted Tue May 7, 2013, 1:25am
Subject: Re: Noob - Should i go for pre ground coffee first?
 

__________ Said:

Unfortunately, used grinders advertised on here will normally be somewhere in North America and not compatible with European electrical standards.

Posted May 6, 2013 link

That's largely correct.


mysticbertie Said:

...second hand grinder...

Posted May 5, 2013 link

You could try TMC , you may need to sign up to see the sales section. It might be necessary to up your budget as well if you want a desirable grinder.


Ian

 
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DavecUK
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Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,417
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue May 7, 2013, 6:12am
Subject: Re: Noob - Should i go for pre ground coffee first?
 

steamer Said:

I loved my old Volkswagen beetle, 1967 model, ran for ever, just like you explained.

Posted May 6, 2013 link

There is always the exception to the rule.......bet you still got the beard ;-)

Seriously though, it's like the chap who smoked 40 a day and lived to 95 years old....ther are always some examples, in the main though, it's better to spend a little more and grieve a little less.
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