Hi to all of the others who obsess about grinds, dosing, shot timing and milk whirlpools! I'm a coffee geek out of Los Angeles. I'm the guy who goes into a good espresso bar and asks about the dose, the timing, the beans, basically just annoying the baristas. When I travel, which is often, I research the best artisanal coffee places in whatever city I'm in.
I started with a Starbucks machine, which I thought was as good as it gets. Then I bought an automatic from Costco, which let me to believe that just pushing a button was how one should live. Then I saw a La Marzocco, and life hasn't been the same since.
After a year of researching, I purchased a S1 Vivaldi II from Chris' Coffee along with a Vario W. I plumbed it in, installed a 20A outlet, and I thought as soon as this monster was fired up, I would be as good as the baristas from Intelligensia. I soon found out that it's like going to Guitar Center, buying a Les Paul, and thinking when you get home, you could play Layla.
It took me months to figure out how to just adjust the grinder. Jeez, I made a lot of mistakes, wasted tons of coffee and milk in the beginning.
I'm finally getting great shots most of the time, but my milk steaming skills need serious development.
For beans, I'm using Handsome (my favorite), Black Cat (at times), sometimes Peet's Espresso Forte, but I recently tried the new David Lynch coffee, which is sold at Whole Foods, and it's very good.
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