Mark dishes out a major guilt trip. And Rossi grinder news
Posted May 30, 2001 9:45am
A quick update before I get into things, about the CoffeeKid bookstore through Amazon. First, a hearty and big thank you to the 4 people who placed orders for books so far. I really appreciate you linking through this site to obtain what are pretty good books (Schomer's book, Ken David's roasting book, and a CD).
I do have to admit I'm a bit disappointed in the number of people who actually visited the book page or clicked through to Amazon (at this writing, only 89 visitors in a month, when this site gets some 60,000 unique visitors per month).
I'm getting a bit serious about this. At this stage, I don't want to stop this site and take it off line, but it is costing me a lot of my time, and a lot of my money to run. In fact, I could almost buy 1.5 Pasquini Livias for what it costs me in a year to host this site. I don't want to run advertisements, and I was hoping that something like the Amazon partnership or the forthcoming paypal "donations" scheme would help costs a bit. I'm not expecting everyone to just buy an Amazon book, but come on, - 89 click throughs in a month? That's pretty sad.
Anyway, 'nuff said on this for now. If you want to visit the bookstore I put together, you can click the button on the left, and you can also help out this site by doing your general shopping over at Amazon by clicking through this link. And once again, my sincere thanks to the people who made 4 purchases so far :-) You guys (and gals) are stars.
Rossi RR45 Grinder is in da house.
The big news around here is the arrival of a grinder I bought from Barry Jarrett, who runs Riley's Coffee and Fudge in Illinois. Bar is an online buddy of mine (and one of the oldest oldbies in the newsgroup alt.coffee) who offered to sell me this used grinder from his shop for a great price. I couldn't refuse. Barry's a great guy. He's always helping people out, he's a conscientious and ethical retailer, and heck, just this past year he offered me free tix to the SCAA conference, and those tix ain't cheep. Too bad I couldn't make the trip to Miami.
As you can see from the picture, the Rossi grinder is HUGE. It dwarfs the Livia beside it, which is a larger espresso machine than the Rancilio Silvia. It is also bloody heavy - about 30 lbs of metal and glass and chrome. It's a substantial piece of machinery.
So here was how my first day (yesterday) went with the grinder:
After unpacking it (there was a LOT of styro popcorn wedged everywhere) and assembling it, I turned it on. My first disapointment (and only, and a minor one) was that the Rossi it was louder than the Rocky! But like I said, a VERY minor disapointment. There's so much cool factor stuff going on with this grinder, I got over it. After giving it a dry run, I set about finding a spot for it in my kitchen. I ended up having to completely re-arrange the layout of the our kitchen counter to accomodate this beast.
Beast is an understatement. This mutha is HUGE. FREAKIN' Huge. It makes my Pasquini Livia look like a little toy next to it.
Did I mention how big it was? A big part of this machine's "bigness" is the hopper - it holds about 2.5 lbs of beans, and really adds to the overall height and massiveness of the grinder.
Before I poured the beans from my Rocky into the Rossi grinder (the Rocky hopper was full with .75lb worth of fresh roast coffee), I took off the hopper, turned the machine on, and turned the grind selection until the burrs started to whisper touch. Turned it off, cranked it back up 12. Figure hey, this is a commie grinder (short for commercial), so I have more range, right?. So I pour in the contents of my (sob! I'll miss you!) Rocky grinder hopper, which was full of a 1 day old roast, and barely make a noticeable impression on the Rossi Hopper. It laughed and mocked me, it was so empty.
Anyway, I pour the beans in, run the grinder (note to self - always leave the doser lid on. It sprays.). Dose, lock and load, and get a fabulous 10 second shot. Well, it was entertaining to watch.
So I dial it down to 6. Run it again. About 20 seconds.
I dial it down to 5. Run it again. 23 seconds.
I dial down to 4 (sheesh, zero is zero on this) and run it again - I get 25 seconds. Too fast for my ristretti.
I dial down to (gulp) 3. Run again. I get 40 seconds. WTF?
I dial up to 4. Adjust my adjust tamp. I get 28. I drink. Pretty good. Not great.
I keep it at 4 and adjust tamp heavier. I get 30. I drink Better. Not god shot.
I dial to 3. still adjust tamp lighter. I get 30. I drink. Mmmm. Getting there.
I go on. I go on. I drank about 10 ristretti out of 15 or 16 made. I run out of freakin' beans.
Anyway, the Rossi still isn't dialed in. "Dialing in" a grinder is finding harmony between grind, bean quality, dose, tamp, and brew. One lesson I learned today. A Rossi ain't a Rocky. This is not a bad thing at all. It just means I have to get out of my Rocky mentality and get into my Rossi mentality. "Be one with the machine, gwassshoppah", you know the score.
When I look back to when I got the Rocky, it took me about a month or two to get that harmony almost on demand. I must have patience.
Meanwhile, Jeanette rolls her eyes. :-) But hey, as Bogiesan says, I am once again a seeker! More news on this next rant.
New Personal Site Launched
In other news, I recently relaunched my personal site, which had been sitting languishing for over a year. It can be found at www.spiffle.com and is now run by my company's web content management software (called WIPS), which allows me to update it on the fly, from anywhere. Give it a check see.
Till next time, thanks for stopping by!