Posted Fri Jul 5, 2013, 10:13am Subject: Another Noob out of the shadows...
Hi Friends- Serial board-lurker here, finally stepping into the community! I've been flirting with quality coffee in fits and starts for years and years beginning with a rather tumultuous relationship with a roommate's Pavoni lever machine in the early nineties (how did we not kill ourselves?) then to a Gaggia Coffee machine purchased in the early 00's. Frustrated with not getting the quality I was looking for I gave up on home espresso and ultimately made my way to the wonderful Chemex system a few years ago. I realize that my critical mistakes have been the craptastic Pavoni PA grinder I bought with the Gaggia (and in the early days) good, fresh beans. When I started really appreciating coffee, good beans meant Illy for the most part, but now in the SF Bay Area we obviously have quite a few great quality roasters. Blue Bottle pretty much remains my favorite for drip and for espresso (at their bars) but have to admit Peet's Solano blend makes a pretty nice cup in the oh-so forgiving Chemex. I've also really enjoyed various beans from Sightglass, Four Barrel, Ecco, Flying Goat, Intelligentsia and Stumptown.
Now, after moving back to Sonoma from SF my choices are a bit more limited, although thankfully I can walk to the fantastic El Molino Central restaurant and purchase BB Three Africans by the bag! Even better, a dear friend gave me (!) her used Livia 90 machine which she had replaced with a simpler setup. Score! The Livia is about 10 years old but appears fully functional, just needing some routine maintenance and cleaning. I'm in the process of replacing the fossilized and very stuck group head gasket and just ordered a Preciso refurb from Baratza. Can't wait to get my hands on it and ditch the Pavoni which obviously won't cut it for the Livia. Ironically the PA still happily munches beans after 12 years of daily use. Dear god, why couldn't it just die and help me make the case with my wife for a new grinder???
Anyway, a big thanks to the moderators and the community for helping me realize that the Livia will be worth some maintenance and investment and for helping me to select a grinder. I'm on a tight budget and am aware that the while Precisio has had some quality control/reliability issues in the past it seems that the company is on track with resolving these problems and that I can expect excellent customer service if need be. Grind quality sounds superb which from what I gather is something that the Livia will require. Speaking of great customer service, I talked with a tech at Pasquini earlier this am and he gave me some valuable pointers on the machine. Super cool. Hopefully I'll be pulling some great shots by early/mid next week and will post some of my thoughts on that. Although I've been scouring the CG boards lately any tips on the Livia and the Preciso you all have would be welcome and appreciated! Here we go again... Many thanks and Cheers! John
Posted Fri Jul 5, 2013, 1:26pm Subject: Re: Another Noob out of the shadows...
Welcome to the board, former lurker ;)
I could write and write and write, but it's already been done! Check out article 12 Easy Guide to Better Espresso at Home, under how to on www.espressomyespresso.com it's an awesome guide and will get you started for sure!
Your setup should serve you well. Remember also that great freshly roasted beans are only a few mouse clicks and days away, if you desire something that can't be found locally. And my final word of advice...remember ALWAYS that the number one thing about espresso is, it's what's in the cup that matters most!
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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