My Own Home Espresso Journey
Paul here. 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 a modern day pod coffee machine but used coffee bags instead of pods. At the time, and after years of instant, the Senseo was great.
Next step was a big one - I decided to spend up big (cough) and grabbed a thermoblock Sunbeam coffee machine and a Sunbeam grinder. Again, at the time it was great. Another step forwards.
Next after months of research I jumped forward again. This time it was to a single boiler Italian espresso machine - a Rancilio Slivia. I also upgraded to a commercial grinder. A huge step forward yet again but before long the poor thermal stability and temperature surfing was driving me mad, so I opened up the machine and installed a custom PID boiler temperature controller.
Things were progressing and it was now the lure of a manual Italian espresso machine with an e61 that won me over. I grabbed one of the original ECM Giotto coffee machines. Damn!!! Now this was getting good. Before this changes were steps. The move up from the single boiler coffee machine to an E61 heat exchanger coffee machine was just AMAZING!
cFrom that point onward 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, including some very cool cold drip towers. I also played with dozens of off-the-shelf manual brewing toys including the V60 pourover, Chemex, Aeropress, siphons, cold drip towers and many more.
When it came to Italian coffee machines and grinders I was cycling through them at an alarming rate. I basically upgraded my machine and/or grinder almost annually. I guess I would call this is my coffee gear freak stage. There were no giant leaps here in terms of in the coffee quality in the cup, but I just loved the tech and the experience of driving the very best Italian coffee machines and grinders.
...and then K Bean was born and trying out new gear became part of my "job." Happy days :)