Coffeenoobie Senior Member Joined: 11 Dec 2011 Posts: 3,052 Location: PNW Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: N S Oscar Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:49am Subject: Re: New Machines
I know grinders have a burr break in time but I am not aware of that for espresso machines. If you have gotten cheap machines and stayed with espresso this long, maybe it is time to thing about getting a good one.
Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.
JasonBrandtLewis Senior Member Joined: 9 Dec 2005 Posts: 6,475 Location: Berkeley, CA Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -... Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -... Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup Drip: CCD, Chemex Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:53am Subject: Re: New Machines
In my humble -- let alone feeble -- opinion, there are two factors at work here.
The first is that, yes, after a couple of weeks, you (the 4th M) got better on the then-new machine and thus your drinks improved from when you first began . . . with that then-new machine.
Secondly, when we buy something new, we expect, we anticipate that it will be an improvement over whatever it was that it replaced. Ergo, a new car will always be better than the old one, but a new-to-us used car will also be better than the old one. So, too, with espresso machines.
But in my experience, there is no "break-in" period for a machine as there is with a grinder.
DavecUK Senior Member Joined: 21 Sep 2005 Posts: 1,466 Location: UK Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Thu Jan 10, 2013, 4:14pm Subject: Re: New Machines
Well I have reviewed lots and lots of machines, when I get a new machine to review I dread it, because it's a fairly horrible process for me. I am what they call a "supertaster" and should theoretically not like coffee, this is only partially true. I detest any coffee flavoured things and cold coffee drinks, the only coffee I enjoy is hot coffee drinks, espresso latte or Americano. Copper boilers definitely add a strong taste to the water, especially so when new, less so once they have been used a bit, as does all the other parts of a new machine. The new machine taste is no myth although some people are more sensitive to it than others. I run a LOT of water through a new machine and also do a number of heating cooling cycles before I drink coffee from it. I will have a machine on review for at least 2 weeks, never less and only make the subjective taste assessments or quality assessments for drink production for drinks made in the 2nd and 3rd week.
There is some truth in saying that a persons skill level may improve as they learn about a new machine, but when I review the same model that has had some changes e.g. Duettos etc.. I am not learning how to use the machine, however, the same new machine taste and break in period applies. Interestingly this new machine taste is less (and over with faster) when a machine has steel boilers!
So yeah.....new machine taste, no myth, how sensitive people are to this, variable....but probably has some contribution to the perception of better tasting drinks after a few weeks.
P.S. I also review a machine for at least 2 weeks, because I think it takes that long to really get a feel for the machine.....don't trust reviews done in an afternoon, or where they don't get the case off and have a poke around.
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