July Musings and Detailed Reviews
Posted July 15, 2003 6:35pm
It's been another good coffee week, as they say. I've made some real progress on the Version 2 of the CoffeeGeek site; We have heaps of content lined up for the launch; and I've made some serious inroads into getting a bunch of First Looks and Detailed Reviews out the door.
Getting Caught Up with Reviews
These past ten or so days, I've gotten the bulk of about five Detailed Reviews written for CoffeeGeek. In order of publication, I have the Isomac Zaffiro, Francis! Francis! X3, Swissmar Alpenrost, Elektra Micro Casa Semi Automatica, and the Gaggia Carezza done. I still have some photos to do, including the Isomac Zaffiro's shot pulling ability, and a series of photos of the troublesome Micro Casa (those reflections are killer).
Here's some comments
- Most Surprising has to go to the Francis machine (supplied by EspressoPeople). I was getting very good results from it,and its placing in the Iron Barista contest speaks volumes
- Best Value is kind of obvious - the Gaggia Carezza (again supplied by EspressoPeople) is about 90% "Gaggia Classic" inside (save the metal body and 3 way solenoid valve) but at nearly half the price. Nice beginner machine that gives you a commercial sized portafilter and basket.
- Long Wearing out of this current crop of machines, the Alpenrost (supplied by Swissmar) is easily the longest wearing machine of the bunch. I've put about 180lbs (370 roasting sessions) of coffee through this thing, and while it isn't performing at top ability today, it's holding up well. Two things that went on the unit - the display panel's LED counter has one of the bars not working, so 8 looks like a 9, etc. Also, I am very sure that roasts are more dull coming out of this roaster. I have two alpenrosts, one has been used for maybe 15lbs, and it produces a much more punchy roast compared to the long used model. But you only notice these things in a side by side cupping.
- Most Purty is there any doubt for this one? If there is, lemme set it straight - the Elektra Micro Casa Semi Automatica (supplied by 1st Line) not only produces an amazing shot of espresso (it passed the Aaron Test) but it looks absolutely stunning while doing it. At slightly less than $2K, it had better!
In other news
You may have noticed that on the right side of this page, below the nifty calendar, is something new - the latest photo from the CoffeeGeeking Moblog. This is something I've gotten really involved with in the last month or so. I started it up when I went to the Coffee Expo in June and I wanted to give the peeps a look into the convention, real time, but I've continued using it since. I'm enjoying sharing the world of coffee as I see it, and judging by the fact that my Moblog was mentioned specifically in USA Today a few days ago, I think others are enjoying it as well.
If you want to see what I'm up to, on a day by day basis in the world of coffee, this is the definite thing to check out. Just click the latest image to get to the Moblog.
Cupping with Ken; I'm extremely honoured and fortunate that I was invited to a private cupping party organized by Ken Davids and Sherri and Danny Johns, to be held in August in Seattle. It's a cupping event for Indian coffees, and I'm on a list of 25 invitees. You can bet I'll write about the results.
Wow... cupping with Ken Davids.That has to be every serious coffee aficionados' dream. It's one of mine in this world of coffee. If you told me a year ago I would b cupping coffee with Ken, I'd call you a liar. I'm just blown away.
Other stuff Finally, I've home roasted again. I have only roasted once since the SCAA show in April; I've been flush with supplied roasted coffee. This past Sunday, I put five lbs through the Alps (both of them) and on Monday, had a major blend discovery day - six different types of coffee (I wrote five on my Moblog, but i forgot one of the coffees), and the result is a very caramelly sweet blend in the Mazzer and Rocky grinders today.
And that's about it for now. More soon!