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November | 2011 | Tamp & Steep

Archive for November, 2011

Choosing a Classic

I have finally had enough with this inferior steam based espresso machine. It’s time to step up my game. This old Krups machine was great and all (not really great, but it was a starting point that was free) but I want something closer to the real thing. I want a shot with some sense of crema. I want a big boy portafilter with some heft. I want to pretend to know what I am doing.

I hit the Internet and researched, then I researched my research. After drooling over the Rancilio Silvia I decided I am not that ready, but baby steps have lead me to the Gaggia Classic. It seems to be a solid middle of the road machine that did not completely break the bank. Plus it should be a bit more forgiving for a rookie.

So here we go down the long, dark rabbit hole of preparing coffee based beverages. I have no idea where or when this “hobby” will end, but it sure will be a delicious trip for my taste buds.

1 Year

A year ago I began the journey into home espresso. There was not a professional machine in sight and I really didn’t know what I was doing, but it was fun to begin to learn. It started with tea. When I began learning more about tea it was relaxing and interesting. The art of the brew. The timing of the steep and the temperature of the water. The taste of “good” tea. It was an experience. But I love coffee too!

That’s when I decided to give espresso a try. Yeah, we did the drip coffee but that was no fun. I wanted the process, the craft, the art. So I dusted off an old steam espresso machine from deep within my parents’ cupbards and I played. It never was a great machine, but I was still having fun learning.

As a web designer I manipualte pixels on a screen. I type lines of code. I don’t get to use my hands. But this was great. I’m not a car guy, I don’t like getting my hands dirty. But to craft a wonderfully tasting drink? That’s more my style. In the kitchen.

So here we are a year later. I have had a blast trying fresh beans from different roasters. Intelligentsia, Blue Bottle, Sightglass. I can’t wait to finally try Handsome Coffee Roasters, Stumptown, Mad Cap. Maybe even one day Square Mile or even another place that I have not discovered yet. But its time for an upgrade. I am ready to make the next step to a proper pump machine. My Gaggia Classic order is complete and I can’t wait to start the next step. I’m no pro, but I am having fun pretending I am.

I love the process and the passion to get a perfect cup. I love the smile on my wifes face when she takes a delicious sip. It’s my version of “handmade”. I love the craft.