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  1. #1
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    De'Longhi EC155 and what little I know!

    I bought my first espresso maker August 01, 2009 of Amazon for $32.00. I still use it, but took it to where I work. I just bought the same maker Jan. 15, 2014 for $3.00. A few months ago purchased a burr grinder for $15.00 plus shipping.

    I'm still not positive that I'm making espresso correctly after all this time, I have read that the grind should be about the size of granulated sugar, and to use the double size filter, preheat filter and filter holder, fill up a 1\3 cup with a fill time of about 20 seconds which helps determine if grind size and tamp were good, use 2\3 cup milk for latte.

    Anyone got praise or criticism?

  2. #2
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    If that's the budget a person is on, and they enjoy the results of their equipment... HOORAY!

    I would strongly contend that what you're producing is espresso-like, but is not espresso. Have you been to a coffee shop where they know what they're doing and have proper equipment?

    Again, I'm not knocking what you're doing, especially if you enjoy it. I'm also not trying to justify the outlay of large sums of money, so I don't feel dumb for buying expensive equipment when it could've been done for under $100. I'm just saying you may not have a good reference point for what true espresso is and how great it can be.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterjschmidt View Post
    If that's the budget a person is on, and they enjoy the results of their equipment... HOORAY!

    I would strongly contend that what you're producing is espresso-like, but is not espresso. Have you been to a coffee shop where they know what they're doing and have proper equipment?

    Again, I'm not knocking what you're doing, especially if you enjoy it. I'm also not trying to justify the outlay of large sums of money, so I don't feel dumb for buying expensive equipment when it could've been done for under $100. I'm just saying you may not have a good reference point for what true espresso is and how great it can be.
    I have been to a local barista, I didn't note any massive difference, I bought fresh roasted beans from her, my crema might not be as consistent but most of the time my creama is worthy. With the equipment that I have I'd wager if you get quality beans you'll be hard pressed to honestly note much difference from my experiences with local Barista's and what I can pull at home, get top quality beans with a set up like mine and most average folks will get along fine. Its kinda fun with my stuff cause it keeps you on your toes, it's do it right or no cream a and I've been there before! lol

  4. #4
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    The caveat was a coffee shop where they know what they're doing and have good equipment. Your barista may be lacking in one or both.

    Again, I'm sorry for sounding contentious or snobby, but do you think there might be a good reason (beyond speed and longevity) that a coffee shop will invest $10K (most likely much more) in a grinder and machine if they could produce a similar product by spending $100?

    I know that you're right about the average person getting along fine w/ good beans and a set up like yours. I also can appreciate the fun you have keeping on your toes, and trying to wring every last bit of perfection from your equipment.

  5. #5
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    I'd wager that a coffee shop would spend $10k on a machine would be for a machine that would hold up to frequent use and for ease of mass producing many copies in a day and maybe ease of maintenance.

  6. #6
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    I see your from around Milwaukee, great town, I was there a few times a long time ago, Went thru Mitchell Domes, saw the peacockes in the zoo, the museum, and once during labor day, went bowling and hot dogs and beer were a buck each! Stopped at a place where they had great pastrami. Only town with paved Ally's! I lived in northern Indiana back then.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mawil1013 View Post
    I bought my first espresso maker August 01, 2009 of Amazon for $32.00. I still use it, but took it to where I work. I just bought the same maker Jan. 15, 2014 for $3.00. A few months ago purchased a burr grinder for $15.00 plus shipping.

    I'm still not positive that I'm making espresso correctly after all this time, I have read that the grind should be about the size of granulated sugar, and to use the double size filter, preheat filter and filter holder, fill up a 1\3 cup with a fill time of about 20 seconds which helps determine if grind size and tamp were good, use 2\3 cup milk for latte.

    Anyone got praise or criticism?
    Regarding proper grind, there is no perfect setting as every machine, grinder, coffee, household/commercial setting varies. A good rule of thumb on this to get you really close is to pinch a small amount of the ground coffee between your thumb and index finger, then pull apart. If the coffee doesn't clump and instantly falls away it's too coarse. If it clumps and sticks to your skin in one solid mass then it's a bit too fine. Ideally it should be right in between those "extremes"... Not sure if your machine relies on any sort of pressure enhancing parts... if so, a bit more coarse is what you need. Espresso is all about trial and error.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  8. #8
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    To the OP, I've had the pleasure of owning/using some high end\very capable equipment over the years, both at home and commercially. My current setup is a Kitchen Aid Pro Line espresso machine (made by Gaggia) and a Baratza Vario grinder. What I extract daily is at least 95% as good as the best double shots I extracted from commercial setups. As I have said MANY times, fresh coffee and skill trump everything...
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadow745 View Post
    Regarding proper grind, there is no perfect setting as every machine, grinder, coffee, household/commercial setting varies. A good rule of thumb on this to get you really close is to pinch a small amount of the ground coffee between your thumb and index finger, then pull apart. If the coffee doesn't clump and instantly falls away it's too coarse. If it clumps and sticks to your skin in one solid mass then it's a bit too fine. Ideally it should be right in between those "extremes"... Not sure if your machine relies on any sort of pressure enhancing parts... if so, a bit more coarse is what you need. Espresso is all about trial and error.
    Very helpful suggestion! Thanks and my espresso machine is a 15 bar machine if that's what you mean by pressure enhancing. I've taken it apart up above the coffee grind holder, there is a plastic plug held up by a metal spring where the water comes out. I've just recently started experimenting with the grind settings, I had been set at the finest setting but I think it may be what you said about too fine.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadow745 View Post
    To the OP, I've had the pleasure of owning/using some high end\very capable equipment over the years, both at home and commercially. My current setup is a Kitchen Aid Pro Line espresso machine (made by Gaggia) and a Baratza Vario grinder. What I extract daily is at least 95% as good as the best double shots I extracted from commercial setups. As I have said MANY times, fresh coffee and skill trump everything...
    The way I figure my el cheapo espresso machine is probably wayy more better than the first espresso machine made! If it comes out perfect every time then wheres the challenge! Sometimes I can get a kick butt creama, other times it's, What the What, where's the creama! lol

 

 
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