Dan, thanks for the info and I'll hvae a look. My wife gave me a
machine a pile of years ago, but I don't use it much. It does some
sort of job, but of course doesn't have a pump, but it must build
some pressure being it does have steam, but never could get it to
really froth the milk well. In any case, yes I figured the better
grinders would cost some money and turthfully this one does ok other
than its messy and damned loud. I did get my drip maker fro mone of
the sites you mentioned and they are good folk. Again, thanks for the
info and I'll have a dig into this. I do love a good cup of coffee
and I do actually use a Tilia vaccum machine to keep my grounds fresh
and its worth every penny. Even the junk coffee from the store will
taste better if stored properly and that's saying a lot.grin
On Jan 16, 2006, at 4:42 AM, The Scarlet Wombat wrote:
Hi Scott, no, the pump has a real purpose. In order to make true espresso, you must compact the grounds and push nearly boiling water through them at 140 to 150 pounds per square inch of pressure. Only a pump can do this and maintain the proper pressure during the entire time of pulling the shot.
Here are some sources of good espresso equipment, they are all very willing to share knowledge and all fully support the machines they sell.
www.chriscoffee.com www.wholelattelove.com www.1stline.com www.sweetmarias.com
A good site for reviews and a host of information is www.coffeegeek.com
Espresso machines range from about $180 to ten times that much. The one I demonstrated is about $800. You can get a Gaggia for the $300 range that produces extremely fine espresso. There are several machines under $200 that do a most credible job. If you search the Libsyn.com directory, you will find the Coffee Geek podcast, get the one that talks about picks for holiday buying, he discusses several bargain priced espresso machines.
Yes, I have roasted many beans. sweetmarias.com has roasters and many different kinds of green coffee beans. The only reason I do not roast here is because there is no adequate way to ventilate the roaster. Coffee roasting produces smoke and you need either a very active ventilation system or to do it next to an open window with an exhaust fan, or in a garage.
Good burr grinders are not cheap, but the Solis Maestro Plus is a good grinder for about $150. Small, non-pro grinders will always be noisy, that comes with the territory, but grinding your own beans is the only way to get truly decent coffee flavor. Even a few hours of letting the ground coffee sit around will begin the oxidization and deterioration process. I cannot emphasize that enough, fresh grinding is essential to good coffee.
I get my beans from coffeebeandirect.com in 5 pound bags, the price is half what you pay from anyone else.
Hope this helps,