Coffee Machines

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Coffee Machines

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:54 pm

I recently acquired a Via Venezia. It makes expresso and foams up some milk. It's a bit finicky, somewhat messy, and more work than I want to do. Maybe it's just my proletarian background, but I prefer my 20 dollar Mr. Coffee.
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Re: Coffee Machines

Postby dai bread » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:10 pm

I would like an espresso machine. I would not like to clean it though. That's why I stick to instant.
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Re: Coffee Machines

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:45 am

You clean the coffee-brewing part of the espresso machine just like the Mr. Coffee machine - the removable parts go into soapy water or dishwasher or just get rinsed off, depending on your level of fussiness. The steam-the-milk tube you clean by having it run live steam into a wet bar towel. Hold the towel with tongs, or wear an oven glove.
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Re: Coffee Machines

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:47 pm

Cleaning the machine is only one issue; it also makes a mess. Too much coffee in the little basket-thingy and it overflows. There are drips from places. Removable trays catch most, but they need to be taken apart and cleaned. I can't seem to use this thing without getting coffee grounds, water, and watery coffee everywhere. I like the weird noises it makes. I've promised my wife to continue trying, but I already know I don't want to keep it.
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Re: Coffee Machines

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:08 pm

You need very finely ground coffee for the espresso machine, and you need to tamp it into the basket very firmly. Also, the basket needs to make a pressure seal before you push the go button or you leak everywhere: make sure it's firmly seated. That's why too much coffee makes such a mess.

If it's really a nuisance and you don't want to deal with the learning curve, dumping some Via powder into steamed milk is a very, very, very good imitation cappuccino. Use the Mr. Coffee for regular coffee...
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Re: Coffee Machines

Postby jamiebk » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:57 pm

Peet's seems to work fine for me...
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Re: Coffee Machines

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:40 pm

jamiebk wrote:Peet's seems to work fine for me...



I've never had it; it has a good reputation. It costs four times as much as the local stuff I buy. I buy whatever is on sale.
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Re: Coffee Machines

Postby DavidS » Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:49 pm

I drink espresso and filter at restaurants, cafes and coffee stalls, and very nice too; but at home freeze dried instant is fine - saves time, space on kitchen counter, mess and hassle.
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Re: Coffee Machines

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Wed Jun 08, 2011 2:08 pm

saves time, space on kitchen counter, mess and hassle.



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Re: Coffee Machines

Postby dai bread » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:18 pm

And so do I. Coffee and sugar on the bench; cream in the frig. Or, as seems to be the common term in the US, refrigerator.
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Re: Coffee Machines

Postby Selma in Sandy Eggo » Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:05 pm

DavidS wrote:... freeze dried instant ...

:shudder: :gaack:
(and she faints dead away)
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Re: Coffee Machines

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:24 pm

This machine was a gift, so I can't get rid of it. Every time I go into the kitchen I see this big black hulk hogging up the counter. It's truly menacing.

When I was young I owned a British sports car. I think Americans just like to jump in their cars and go. The British, apparently, have their traditions. Before motoring off on a journey, they need to lift the bonnet, maybe check the plug gap, fiddle with the timing, insure the valve lash is correct, and struggle with one of man's most infernal creations, the SU carburetors. Check all the fluid levels, inspect hoses and wiring, check batteries (my TR-2 and MG both used two six volt batteries hooked up to give 12 volts), check tyre pressures, etc., etc., and some half an hour later you can begin driving. Forego it and it's guaranteed that in 20 minutes you'll be on the side of the road trying to figure out what's wrong. The prelude is part of the experience. It's meant to be enjoyed. Revel in your skill and mechanical knowledge. Set off to the market to pick up those expresso beans you forgot full of confidence, satisfaction, and fully gratified.

I view this as the analog to the coffee machine. You need a few barista skills to work the dang thing, then you can impress your friends, family, and even yourself. Keep your hands busy assembling things, pushing buttons, all the while maintaining your patter about these new beans you've discovered. Part of the experience. Unfortunately all I want to do is gulp the go-juice and get it over with. My cheapo Mr. Coffee makes the stuff in just about two minutes and clean up is just dump the grinds and rinse the little plastic basket.
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Re: Coffee Machines

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Thu Jun 09, 2011 2:50 pm

Selma in Sandy Eggo wrote:
DavidS wrote:... freeze dried instant ...

:shudder: :gaack:
(and she faints dead away)



DavidS and I are just cultural Philistines when it comes to coffee. I don't care.
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Re: Coffee Machines

Postby BigJon » Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:49 pm

The SU carb is a mechanical marvel when you rebush the shaft so it doesn't leak air. I got a buddy in Maine who does this for side cash in his retirement. They run forever when he fixes them.
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Re: Coffee Machines

Postby Shapley » Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:26 am

I had a Mr. Coffee espresso machine, but did not have the patience to learn to make good espresso with it. I took it to work, but nobody here seemed to care about making espresso either, and it was too time-consuming, compared to the Bunn Automatic coffee brewer, so everyone just drinks regular brew. I took it back home, where (I think) it still rests in the basement, if the wife didn't give it away.
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Re: Coffee Machines

Postby piqaboo » Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:53 am

I made cappucino at home for several years.
Stopped when the Altoid joined the clan.
Could start again, come to think of it. Will look for a spare sqft of counter.:)

The machine likes a very fine grind, finer than we use for drip coffee. That might mean buying extra coffee which is a problem because there's no place to store it. Hmmm. But now I am jonesing...
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Re: Coffee Machines

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:31 am

Giant Communist Robot wrote: (my TR-2 and MG both used two six volt batteries hooked up to give 12 volts



I had a TR-3A. I was poor GI and didn't have the money for a repacement battery so I just used the crank for about a year.
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Re: Coffee Machines

Postby Giant Communist Robot » Thu Jun 16, 2011 3:48 pm

I had a TR-3A.


A more sophisticated version of the TR-2. The 2 lacked things like door handles on the inside. The usual method of entry/exit was to hop over the door.
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Re: Coffee Machines

Postby DavidS » Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:28 pm

The 2 lacked things like door handles on the inside.

Like the back doors of police cruisers - to keep people under arrest from jumping out.
Some old-style British slam-door train designs featured doors that could only be opened from the outside, so it was common for passengers to lean out of the window to reach the outside door handle.
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Re: Coffee Machines

Postby jamiebk » Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:26 am

We've got one of those "Flavia" machines at work...coffee's free so I drink it...lots of it. It's not the worst...it's not the best. Better than instant and the price is right. The packets are convenient and they come in a wide variety. http://us.myflavia.com/product/index.js ... Id=3442362
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