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qualin
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qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
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Posted Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:08pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade theory - Which machine next? And which one after that?
 

Iluvdabean Said:

Are you saying you cant get a god-shot ( subjective metaphor) with a Gaggia Classic or Silvia ? Did you really go 25 years until you first created a god-shot ( subjective metaphor)?

Posted February 23, 2013 link

I think that it is harder, IMHO. It requires more "Fuss and Muss" to get it right. I've pulled "God Shots" on my Silvia.. (Or what I thought were "God" shots.) but I've also pulled some horrible ones
too, same grind, same coffee, same extraction time, same everything, except I forgot to temperature surf.

I am curious to know what Jason's thoughts are on the quoted comment above.

When I took an espresso course at the Local Phil and Sebastians, the barista did something really weird with the Silvia.. He deliberately left the steam switch on and did a flush like you'd do with
an HX machine, then he'd brew.. It takes a special kind of skill to make a machine sing in ways you don't expect it to, yet get some incredible results. I'm sure the engineers at Rancilio never thought
someone would use their machine like that... I personally don't advocate using a Silvia like that and I've never tried that myself.. Never did when I had mine...

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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Iluvdabean
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Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
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Location: Kentucky
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Posted Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:42pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade theory - Which machine next? And which one after that?
 

Yeah Im interested to. Whats also interesting is if espresso is subjective then whose god-shot is the real god-shot and secondly how is this illusive subjective metaphor god-shot substantiated qualitatively and
quantitatively? I personally feel a god-shot is possible on a Classic or Silvia but just not as consistently. Now Im a Latte drinker so its possible that the many shots I made this morning,like the ones to the left,were
lost in the steamed milk. Yet to think of going 25 years without a god-shot ( subjective metaphor) sounds weird. Then when its found with a high end machine makes it sound like thats the only way to
extend the journey. Which when considered at face value, that a person went 25 yeas without a god-shot, how would they know to recognize a god-shot in the first place,even at the hands of an expensive machine.
Sounds to me like for him and his journey that was how it unfolded in his own experience and not to be taken as a dogmatic rigid formula or path for all. I do feel though with a more expensive machine
you get to control more variables and this leads to better consistency. Which is why I often think of machines like the Silvano might be a choice I would consider in the future. Ive been on the coffee road for 40 years
and the espresso experience for me is on year six so we will see.

qualin Said:

I think that it is harder, IMHO. It requires more "Fuss and Muss" to get it right. I've pulled "God Shots" on my Silvia.. (Or what I thought were "God" shots.) but I've also pulled some horrible ones
too, same grind, same coffee, same extraction time, same everything, except I forgot to temperature surf.

I am curious to know what Jason's thoughts are on the quoted comment above.

When I took an espresso course at the Local Phil and Sebastians, the barista did something really weird with the Silvia.. He deliberately left the steam switch on and did a flush like you'd do with
an HX machine, then he'd brew.. It takes a special kind of skill to make a machine sing in ways you don't expect it to, yet get some incredible results. I'm sure the engineers at Rancilio never thought
someone would use their machine like that... I personally don't advocate using a Silvia like that and I've never tried that myself.. Never did when I had mine...

Posted February 23, 2013 link

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JimOD
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JimOD
Joined: 24 Jun 2012
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Posted Sat Feb 23, 2013, 10:49pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade theory - Which machine next? And which one after that?
 

D4F Said:

Is OP, Ever, still reading and getting something from this thread or we just talking with each other :)

Posted February 21, 2013 link

I don't know about him, but I'm still reading and getting something from this thread ....... so carry on!

 
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russel
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Posted Sat Feb 23, 2013, 11:18pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade theory - Which machine next? And which one after that?
 

I feel like maybe I'm becoming a broken record and should just stop with this but...I don't think "god shot" is really a useful term or a healthy idea to have in mind when making espresso.  I feel that I've pulled two, maybe three god shots over many years, many more machines/grinders, even more variations of beans, and a short but growing professional career.  None of them helped me enjoy my everyday espresso more.   The first two lead to serious ruts.  I was able to accept the third and keep on making espresso and enjoying most of it (it may have just been perfectly balanced and not a full on revelation, I don't know and I prefer not to waste too much time thinking about it instead of just enjoying the memory).  I know people who my professional peers regard with the utmost respect who agree that a "god shot" is not a useful target.  I don't mean to offend, but if you feel like you're pulling a consistant number of "god shots" on a regular basis, you've probably never actually encountered the espresso event that the term "god shot" is meant to evoke.  And there isn't anything wrong with that.  What we try to make everyday is called "good espresso", and that's just fine.  It's healthier and more useful to pursue a balance of flavors the pleases your palate.
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Iluvdabean
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Iluvdabean
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Posted Sat Feb 23, 2013, 11:41pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade theory - Which machine next? And which one after that?
 

I agree and dont know how a useful target can be a purely subjective target,because it means one thing to one person and another thing to someone else. Talk about the variable in espresso you cant control. Well there is one for the record books.

russel Said:

I feel like maybe I'm becoming a broken record and should just stop with this but...I don't think "god shot" is really a useful term or a healthy idea to have in mind when making espresso.  I feel that I've pulled two, maybe three god shots over many years, many more machines/grinders, even more variations of beans, and a short but growing professional career.  None of them helped me enjoy my everyday espresso more.   The first two lead to serious ruts.  I was able to accept the third and keep on making espresso and enjoying most of it (it may have just been perfectly balanced and not a full on revelation, I don't know and I prefer not to waste too much time thinking about it instead of just enjoying the memory).  I know people who my professional peers regard with the utmost respect who agree that a "god shot" is not a useful target.  I don't mean to offend, but if you feel like you're pulling a consistant number of "god shots" on a regular basis, you've probably never actually encountered the espresso event that the term "god shot" is meant to evoke.  And there isn't anything wrong with that.  What we try to make everyday is called "good espresso", and that's just fine.  It's healthier and more useful to pursue a balance of flavors the pleases your palate.

Posted February 23, 2013 link

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qualin
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qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 662
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
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Posted Sun Feb 24, 2013, 12:11am
Subject: Re: Upgrade theory - Which machine next? And which one after that?
 

russel Said:

I don't think "god shot" is really a useful term or a healthy idea to have in mind when making espresso.

Posted February 23, 2013 link

Well, therein lies the rub. You see, to me, a "God Shot" is when you sit down with your coffee and say, "Oh wow." when you take your first sip. Just because it kind of hits you and is "different". Whether or not
it is better or just different... It's like this blend of Koke I worked through a few months ago.. I nearly fell off my chair when I first tasted it.

There are always people who want "Just that much more", they're looking for something that maybe the machine and grinder can't deliver. This is the reason why there is that market for the $120,000 stereo
system that someone just spent the last ten years of their life saving their hard earned dollars for. I'm guessing this is why people buy Speedster machines, but I may need to be enlightened on that topic.

I think I'm pretty much happy with what I have now. Although, I think I'd like to see what it is like to pull (and taste) a shot on someone elses Versalab Grinder and a La Marzocco GS/3 machine, just to see what it is
like.. and to compare between my Mazzer and Izzo, if only out of curiosity. I don't know if it would actually compel me to buy them as a result, but in some ways, I hope not! :-)

russel Said:

None of them helped me enjoy my everyday espresso more.

Posted February 23, 2013 link

OK, This is kind of what I wanted to get at.

In the mornings, I can't taste much of anything unless it is really strong. So, drinking coffee from my K-Cup machine in the morning was almost like drinking flavored water. I eventually sold off my K-Cup machine
because nothing I could buy could make the coffee stronger. (Not even the bold blends.) It was pretty much one of my main motivations for making my own espresso to begin with.

An "Average" tasting espresso is good enough in the morning to get me going. It is when I drink my evening espresso that I demand something a bit more.. but even then, if I'm 75 percent there, Its good enough.

russel Said:

It's healthier and more useful to pursue a balance of flavors the pleases your palate.

Posted February 23, 2013 link

Well, that's just it. Sometimes I'll deliberately overextract or underextract, just to see how it changes the taste coming from a particular blend. If I lose sight of that, then I don't know what is good anymore.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
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Posted Sun Feb 24, 2013, 5:15am
Subject: Re: Upgrade theory - Which machine next? And which one after that?
 

Iluvdabean Said:

Are you saying you cant get a god-shot ( subjective metaphor) with a Gaggia Classic or Silvia?

Posted February 23, 2013 link

Where did I say that???

Iluvdabean Said:

Did you really go 25 years until you first created a god-shot ( subjective metaphor)?

Posted February 23, 2013 link

No.  30.  Let's not forget that for the entire time I had the Pavoni -- five years before switching to the Gaggia -- I was using a whirly-blade chopper, rather than a burr grinder.  You want to talk about "problems with consistency"???  I pulled some decent shots, but they were few and far between.  Thus, the Gaggia.  

But go back for a moment to 1976-1980 . . . it certainly predates the commercial/consumer-oriented Internet; it predates CoffeeGeek and Home-Barista.  Where would I have gone to get help/advice to make better espresso or steamed milk?  Who knew?  So the consistency of a burr grinder, however marginal of a grinder it was, was a massive leap forward over the whirly-blade and my espresso was magnificent!  Well, not really, but it was decent enough to keep me happy in the mornings, but there were always cafés which made (consistently) better espresso than mine, and to which I still visited regularly.  

So, IMHO, did I ever pull a god-shot that stopped me dead in my tracks?  Not that I recall, but -- again -- you have to remember that I had NO guidance, NO training, and NO ONE to help/advise me in what I was doing -- right and wrong.  My espresso was never better than my local café, and I always continued to use an automatic drip with a thermal carafe . . .

Today, my espresso is equal to or better than almost ever café I visit -- so much so in fact, that I find most espresso to be disappointing.  I rarely go to cafés and coffee houses anymore, and never order espresso in restaurants (something I used to do all the time when I owned my Gaggia).  

Hope that clears up any confusion . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,416
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 Sun Feb 24, 2013, 5:28am
Subject: Re: Upgrade theory - Which machine next? And which one after that?
 

russel Said:

I feel like maybe I'm becoming a broken record and should just stop with this but...

Posted February 23, 2013 link

Why stop, Russell? It's part of your charm.  Go right ahead.  ;^)

russel Said:

I don't think "god shot" is really a useful term or a healthy idea to have in mind when making espresso.

Posted February 23, 2013 link

I think it's a very useful term . . . the way I use and understand it.  But I think it's a very different understanding of what the term "god-shot" means than you seem to have.

russel Said:

I feel that I've pulled two, maybe three god shots over many years, many more machines/grinders, even more variations of beans, and a short but growing professional career.

Posted February 23, 2013 link

Yeah, that's about right . . . I think I've pulled perhaps 3-4 true "god-shots" that have just left me speechless, and several others which left me saying, "Wow, that's was great!"

russel Said:

None of them helped me enjoy my everyday espresso more.

Posted February 23, 2013 link

No.  Nor would I think they would have been . . .

russel Said:

. . . a "god shot" is not a useful target.

Posted February 23, 2013 link

Who EVER said that a "god shot" was a "useful target"???  Good lord, no!

russel Said:

What we try to make everyday is called "good espresso", and that's just fine.

Posted February 23, 2013 link

No, Russell, it's not fine.  If I only wanted "good" espresso, I'd have been been happy with my Gaggia and never upgraded.  Why did I upgrade?  To be able to make great espresso and to be able to do so consistently.

A "god-shot" to me, Russell, is just that:  a serendipitous coming together of the Espresso Gods that result in a truly amazing shot, leaving you speechless.  You cannot create a god-shot.  You cannot "aim" for it, or attempt to reproduce it.  It is something that -- when all is right in the heavens, and the stars perfectly align -- just happens.  THAT (to me) is a "god-shot."

What you CAN make is consistently GREAT espresso, and that requires skill, technique, fresh beans . . . we all know the mantra.  But if all you're doing, Russell, is making good espresso, remind me never to go to your café -- I'd just be disappointed.

 
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diggi
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Posted Sun Feb 24, 2013, 6:53am
Subject: Re: Upgrade theory - Which machine next? And which one after that?
 

Interesting thoughts on the 'god shot'. I tend to agree with this:
"I define a Godshot as a better shot than I've ever made before. Each time I pull one, the bar goes up a little and it will be harder to pull the next one. The Godshots get less and less frequent." pulled from this
I've only ever had 2 god shots. One on the silvia, and one on my spaz. But overall, every one of my shots is better than what I could make on the silvia (except maybe that one god shot).
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,416
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 Sun Feb 24, 2013, 7:11am
Subject: Re: Upgrade theory - Which machine next? And which one after that?
 

diggi Said:

Interesting thoughts on the 'god shot'. I tend to agree with this:
"I define a Godshot as a better shot than I've ever made before. Each time I pull one, the bar goes up a little and it will be harder to pull the next one. The Godshots get less and less frequent." pulled from this

Posted February 24, 2013 link

Amen to that!

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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