Coffee Forum

Forum Discussions => Have your say => Topic started by: K_Bean_Coffee on 02/03/2017, 10:55 PM

Title: Espresso aficionado
Post by: K_Bean_Coffee on 02/03/2017, 10:55 PM
I was just reading through my buyer's guide and came across these words I put together a little while ago:

"To be an aficionado you need to tick off 4 of these 5 criteria:
1. Your last thought at night is - How will I have my coffee tomorrow morning?
2. You can pick the subtleties of an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe when compared to an Ethiopian Gambella.
3. You polish your coffee machine more often that you polish your car.
4.If you had to give up either chocolate or coffee for life, you would say "goodbye" to the bars.
5. You have read "God in a Cup."
 
Someone told me I'm being too tough here.  What are your thoughts?  Fair call or not?

I'm very open to suggestions for changes.

Thanks :)
Paul
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: askthe coffeeguy on 03/03/2017, 07:32 AM
Actually I think it all sounds pretty reasonable to me - you could possibly add,. "You have numerous coffee preparation methods and techniques at your disposal"

I for one own two expresso machines, five cold drip towers, one syphon, an Atomic stove top, numerous pour over devices, five hand grinders, and a plunger, to name but a few !"
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: West Village on 03/03/2017, 08:05 AM
Regarding point 1, I don't actually have a last thought at night about my morning coffee because I'm up all night thinking about it due to being over caffeinated 😀.

I've polished my new splendor  twice this week already and counting. I've polished my 2 year old car exactly....0 times since purchase.

Your list seems on point Paul.
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: K_Bean_Coffee on 03/03/2017, 07:27 PM
Actually I think it all sounds pretty reasonable to me - you could possibly add,. "You have numerous coffee preparation methods and techniques at your disposal"
Great point.  I'll add some words on that for sure.
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: K_Bean_Coffee on 03/03/2017, 07:28 PM
Your list seems on point Paul.
Awesome.
So far, so good :)
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: Brett H on 03/03/2017, 09:11 PM
Great list and I certainly tick all your boxes.  I agree with Pat's addition and will add: an aficionado desires running multiple grinders for multiple beans/blends the pinnacle being both flat and conical burrs to cater for different flavour profiles.

How's that for pedantry AND..... it's awesome!
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: K_Bean_Coffee on 03/03/2017, 10:45 PM
Excellent Brett.
The buyers guide is always evolving :)
Paul
www.kbean.com.au
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: LeroyC on 04/03/2017, 11:08 AM
So is this specific to espresso Paul? Your thread title states so, but your list title doesn't. I think that has a huge bearing on weather the list is a good one or not. I'll await your clarification before I comment.
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: K_Bean_Coffee on 04/03/2017, 04:26 PM
Hi Leroy - yes, this is specific to espresso.
It comes in at my buyer's guide in the DB & PP discussion.
Quote "For most a DB or PP machine is overkill.  You just don't need to go this far for a great coffee. However, these do have a place for experienced espresso aficionado. To be an aficionado you need to tick off 4 of these 5 criteria....."
....so yes, if you add milk I don't see the value in a DB or PP machine. 
However, long black or even macchiato drinkers could benefit from a DB or PP machine so I'll have to think of a way to fit this in.
Cheers, Paul :)
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: vyapada on 04/03/2017, 06:39 PM
Oh dear, I haven't read that book... I guess I'll retire my roaster, refractometer, lever and two commercial grinders...  :angel:
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: Brett H on 04/03/2017, 09:29 PM
Oh dear, I haven't read that book... I guess I'll retire my roaster, refractometer, lever and two commercial grinders...  :angel:

Retire them cheaply.... to my house :P
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: K_Bean_Coffee on 04/03/2017, 09:38 PM
Oh dear, I haven't read that book... I guess I'll retire my roaster, refractometer, lever and two commercial grinders...  :angel:
You are definitely out - what are you even doing posting on this forum? :)
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: askthe coffeeguy on 05/03/2017, 10:39 AM
In the game of coffee chess I think it's fair to say that roasting trumps extraction every time ...



Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: vyapada on 05/03/2017, 10:59 AM
You are definitely out - what are you even doing posting on this forum? :)
Being sent on my way!
(down the path of learning ;))
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: LeroyC on 05/03/2017, 02:04 PM
Hi Leroy - yes, this is specific to espresso.
It comes in at my buyer's guide in the DB & PP discussion.
Quote "For most a DB or PP machine is overkill.  You just don't need to go this far for a great coffee. However, these do have a place for experienced espresso aficionado. To be an aficionado you need to tick off 4 of these 5 criteria....."
....so yes, if you add milk I don't see the value in a DB or PP machine. 
However, long black or even macchiato drinkers could benefit from a DB or PP machine so I'll have to think of a way to fit this in.
Cheers, Paul :)

Ok, if it's espresso specific that counts out ATCG's reference to alternative brewing methods. It would apply to coffee fanatics/aficionados, and definitely most of us, but not specifically to espresso. So with that in mind I think you list is pretty good Paul. I know it's a bit tongue-in-cheek, but this could be lost on some people so it may just need a little tweaking. Maybe something like this:

To be an aficionado you will most likely tick off 4 of these 5 criteria:
1. Your last thought at night is - How will I have my coffee tomorrow morning?
2. You can pick your Kenyans from your Colombians.        (Still not easy for some people, but doable. I think Yirgacheffe from Gambella is a bit of a stretch for anything other than real pros).
3. You polish your coffee machine more often that you polish your car.
4.If you had to give up either chocolate or coffee for life, you would say "goodbye" to the bars.
5. You have read 'God in a Cup', 'Espresso Extraction: Measurement and Mastery', OR 'ESPRESSO COFFEE: Professional Techniques'.

What do you reckon?
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: K_Bean_Coffee on 05/03/2017, 02:19 PM
I like that Leroy.
The change to Colombian and Kenyan is definitely a good one. 
Also, yep, I shouldn't be too specific about the book.  I just love "God in a Cup" so much :)

ACG, yes, agreed re roasting as well.
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: LeroyC on 05/03/2017, 03:34 PM
I like that Leroy.
The change to Colombian and Kenyan is definitely a good one. 
Also, yep, I shouldn't be too specific about the book.  I just love "God in a Cup" so much :)

ACG, yes, agreed re roasting as well.

I'm actually reading a very well written book at the moment called The Curious Barista's Guide to Coffee. It's by Tristan Stephenson and I'd never heard of him or the book until I saw it for sale for $5 at a local book store. It's only a year or two old so is very current. I'd highly recommend it for people that want a slightly softer entry to coffee reading material than that provided by the books mentioned above.
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: mycuppa on 05/03/2017, 03:41 PM
3. You polish your coffee machine more often that you polish your car.

Depends upon your car and whether or not it's kept out of the elements. The point of polishing a car is to enjoy the result and in this modern day with many people forced to park outside, it's a short-term level of enjoyment so many people don't even bother, or they know they are just going to get bored with their car and flip it in a few years (like their coffee machine).

I've got some of the best coffee machines but I don't polish them anywhere near as often as my cars. Maybe I don't love my coffee machines but I certainly love espresso.

Personally, I think being in love with your coffee machine or your car is symptomatic of other **idiosyncrasies** like inadequacy. It's a love that is temporary at best and subject to change in the next wave of anxiety that triggers another round of upgraditis.

Espresso is about the coffee beans and has little to do with gear - especially in the hands of the able or competent......... :stir
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: Brett H on 05/03/2017, 06:31 PM
Now, now MyCuppa..... being realistic and sensible and see you fail the aficionado test  :pan
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: K_Bean_Coffee on 05/03/2017, 08:14 PM
Love the post MyCuppa.

Rule of thumb is 1/3 beans, 1/3 gear, 1/3 operator.

.....something like that :)

If you have great beans and you know what you're doing, the gear can be a $20 pourover.  Big $ on gear is not needed for great coffee I'm the first to agree - even if pricey gear is my business ;)
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: mycuppa on 05/03/2017, 09:11 PM
Sorry Brett and KB......old age amplifies cynicism.

Reality is that unless you stump up big $$ for a game changer like Slayer or some of the levers then everything else is just same-same.........barely 15 % difference between the worst and the best.....in the hands of the skilled. Equipment enthusiasts would obviously beg to differ with protected or vested interests.

The key to appreciation of espresso is not believing you must have the right gear but the many AHA moments in the long journey of honing technique and more importantly targeting the right beans. The best gear with a perfect technique cannot salvage espresso prepared from beans that were not roasted or blended for that extraction method. Square peg being jammed into a round hole.

Hazard a guess that 90 % of roasted coffee in Australia is not suitable for espresso .....so where does that leave the poor aficionados...holding onto the thin line that advancements in gear will ultimately compensate for huge variability of ingredients ?

There is a simple and profound epiphany when you experience a classic and rewarding espresso from unsophisticated equipment and sloppy technique and it's a reason a visit to Italy should feature prominently on said list as should the admission that a true espresso aficionado learns something new everyday about espresso.



Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: Brett H on 05/03/2017, 09:19 PM
There he is... saved from being voted off the island with a cracking post and two must-adds to the list!  Bravissimo!
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: askthe coffeeguy on 06/03/2017, 12:46 AM
Ive got my sunbeam cafe series salvaged from hard waste and repaired by myself on the bench at the moment as I got sick of hauling my rancilio epoca up and down two flights of stairs twice a week to go to the markets and with a bit of tweaking I can pull shots comparable to just about any commercial coffee environment - of course the milk production is rubbish but then milk in coffee is for the weak and the feeble of mind anyway ...

P
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: askthe coffeeguy on 06/03/2017, 12:49 AM
(just kidding I love my lattes as much as the next person I just wanted to provoke a response and to see how that looked in writing but I stand by my comments on shot quality  :pan :pan :stir :stir :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:)
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: LeroyC on 06/03/2017, 08:58 AM
Reality is that unless you stump up big $$ for a game changer like Slayer or some of the levers then everything else is just same-same.........barely 15 % difference between the worst and the best.....in the hands of the skilled. Equipment enthusiasts would obviously beg to differ with protected or vested interests.

Yep.

I've said it before. I can make perfectly good coffee on this -

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170305/299874639f0d1563f3091bc493741bc4.jpg)

And that's why I've kept it as my current home machine. Between this, my Little Guy and various soft brew appliances I have all I need. It's a great little steamer as well so my once daily milk drink is always good.
And the espresso from it is excellent. To be fair, it does lack a little of the depth and complexity that I used to get on my semi-commercial machine, but it's still really good and I wouldn't hesitate to serve it up to any of you. I know looks aren't everything, but they give a bit of a clue to whether an espresso shot is good or not. This is the usual standard from my little machine -

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170305/3b6381e169d3c582ff2ad641c49fb5ff.jpg)

So I totally agree with your sentiments MC.
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: K_Bean_Coffee on 06/03/2017, 09:27 AM
Reality is that unless you stump up big $$ for a game changer like Slayer or some of the levers then everything else is just same-same.........barely 15 % difference between the worst and the best.....in the hands of the skilled. Equipment enthusiasts would obviously beg to differ with protected or vested interests.
Great post and I couldn't agree more.

As I said in my post, I sell these big $ machines (yes, vested interest) but I'm the first to say that a $20 pourover can make a fantastic coffee.

Great beans and a $20 pourover or average beans and a Slayer?  I'll take option 1 any day of the week :)
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: LeroyC on 06/03/2017, 12:28 PM
Great post and I couldn't agree more.

As I said in my post, I sell these big $ machines (yes, vested interest) but I'm the first to say that a $20 pourover can make a fantastic coffee.

Great beans and a $20 pourover or average beans and a Slayer?  I'll take option 1 any day of the week :)

I'll take the 1gr Slayer thanks. Are you giving one away?
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: K_Bean_Coffee on 06/03/2017, 10:28 PM
Ha - not this time Leroy.
That was an "in joke" - Leroy won 2nd prize in a competition I ran last year :) 
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: LeroyC on 07/03/2017, 06:23 AM
Ha - not this time Leroy.
That was an "in joke" - Leroy won 2nd prize in a competition I ran last year :)

Can't blame me for trying. LOL.
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: Dry bean. on 07/03/2017, 09:35 AM
Espresso is about the coffee beans and has little to do with gear - especially in the hands of the able or competent......... :stir

This about nails it Mycuppa.  :thumb:
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: K_Bean_Coffee on 07/03/2017, 10:52 AM
Another agreement from me.
People visit my showroom and I tell them that in all honesty the difference in espresso from a low end to a high end prosumer machine is very small.  Leroy and his work machine prove that beyond doubt :)
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: kbilleter on 14/03/2017, 12:49 PM
Even reasonable milk _can_ be steamed from a tiny (250 ml I think!) single boiler
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170314/0a62cd72feba1cab2fc8f325c12abc9d.jpg)

:-)
Title: Espresso aficionado
Post by: LeroyC on 14/03/2017, 02:52 PM
Even reasonable milk _can_ be steamed from a tiny (250 ml I think!) single boiler
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170314/0a62cd72feba1cab2fc8f325c12abc9d.jpg)

:-)

So true!

SNAP! (Not quite as tidy as yours, but I'm getting there).

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170314/31cf34fd2ee7a69a0a9b9d87c644acf2.jpg)
Title: Re: Espresso aficionado
Post by: K_Bean_Coffee on 14/03/2017, 05:20 PM
Maybe that's because you guys are latte art Pros....  I wish I had your skill.  Nice work :) !!