My Own Home Barista Journey

Paul here again.

Like most of us, I started off with instant. Then in 2005 a coffee machine called the Phillips Senseo came along. This machine was similar to modern day pod coffee machines, except that it used coffee bags instead of coffee pods. At the time, and after many years of instant, the Senseo was great.

Next step was a big one - I decided to try out a Sunbeam coffee machine and a Sunbeam grinder. I was soon gripped by the home barista hobby and I found myself spending a huge amount of time on coffee forums and trawling the internet to learn more.

It was soon time to move to my first Italian coffee machine - a Rancilio Slivia. I also upgraded to a commercial grinder. This was a huge step forward but before long the poor thermal stability was driving me a little mad, so I opened up the machine and installed an electronic temperature controller (a PID). 

It wasn’t long before I was coveting a manual Italian espresso machine with an E61 group. I soon grabbed an original ECM Giotto coffee machine. Damn!!! Now this was getting good. The move up from the single boiler coffee machine to an E61 heat exchanger coffee machine was just AMAZING!  

You can see some of my old coffee gear in the pictures below.

From this point forwards I was absolutely hooked by the coffee hobby. I designed and built my own coffee roaster, I created manual brewing gear from bits and bobs. I also played with dozens of off-the-shelf manual brewing toys including the V60 pourover, Chemex, Aeropress, siphons, cold immersion kits, cold drip towers and many more.  

When it came to Italian coffee machines and grinders I started cycling through them at an alarming rate. I basically upgraded either my machine or my grinder annually. I guess that you could call that obsessive. There were no giant leaps here in terms of in the coffee quality in the cup, but I just loved playing with the very latest and best Italian coffee machines and grinders.

...and then K Bean was born and trying out new gear became part of my job. Happy days !

To read all about my very cool journey from coffee hobbyist to Melbourne coffee machine retailer please click here