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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have to confess to being an inveterate collector of kitchen gadgets. Cleaning out a musty cupboard yesterday, I came across my collection of coffee making gadgets. Two ibriks, four cafetieres in various states of disrepair, two filter/espresso machines, a percolator, three moka pots with pieces missing....

I currently use a filter/espresso machine and am contemplating the purchase of a grind-the-beans automatic espresso machine. Has anyone had any experience with one of these?
 

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Sorry, I believe in KISS (keep it simple, stupid). The more different things a machine is supposed to do, the more chances there are for something to break and render the whole unusable. I'd put the money the machine costs into buying better coffee beans.

I grind my beans in either a burr-type grinder or a little Braun (the kind that's good for spices, too). Then I either drip in a Melitta, or use a French press. Sometimes a stove-top espresso pot, but that doesn't make real espresso -- can't get enough steam for good crema. The electric espresso machine has long since been packed away, for the same reason.

BTW: What's an ibrik? Please describe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
An Ibrik is small pot with a long handle that is used to brew Middle Eastern-style Turkish or Greek coffee. You add coffee, cold water and sugare and bring to the boil slowly, remove from the heat, bring to the boil again, allow the grounds to settle and the (carefully) pour.
Kiss is all very well, Suzanne, but I do not know of any method to get a good double espresso without finicking with some machine or the other. That is why the automated thingy sounds attractive - less fussing.
 

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Ah, so THAT's the name for that pot. Yes, I've got that too, but haven't used it in a while.

You just made me realize how spoiled I am here. :( As long as I can control my cravings to daytime only, I can take a short walk and get a great espresso -- and NOT at a Starbuck's, you can be sure! :rolleyes:

But to get back to your original question -- I've heard very good reports about the Francis Francis machines. Are they available there? The main necessity, according to an Italian chef I was asked, is the pressure of the steam. You need a really good head of steam (high psi) to extract the best of the coffee AND make a good crema. I just found a clipping from Food and Wine magazine, September 2001, recommending a couple of machines by Gaggia, including their "Synchrony" that does exactly what you're looking for. Steep price, though -- US$1200! What is that in rands??
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
At current Xchange rates around R12000 - pretty steep. I had a demo today on a Saeco machine (around $850) and was hugely impressed - beautiful crema. I live in a small village enclave with a lot of really good cafes within walking distance, so daytime craving is not the problem. I tend to wake up at odd hours - reading at 2am without a really good cuppa just seems to lack something. (With enough caffeine I may even get Faucault's Pendulum finished before I die!:)

I think I am going to go for the Saeco. Tomorrow. Tempus fugit!:D

Thanks for the input Suzanne, I will let you know once I have the beast up and running.
 

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I'm with you, Susanne, except that I like using freshly ground beans in a Chemex (more handsome than Melitta). Personally, I like an occasional espresso - out.

GSquared, how can you poke through FP? It's a marvelous mystery story! Wonderfully intricate. When you do finish it, check out Georges Perec's A Void, another funky mystery story.
 

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I get the best crema from an ibrik, better that any espresso I ever drank in Berkeley and North Beach. With an ibrik the trick is NOT TO BOIL THE MIXTURE. Just heat slowly and gently to allow the crusty head to rise; let it fall and reheat gently to rise again. Then serve. An ibrik is the simplest way to go. The best flavor is achieved using Arabian Mocha Sanani from Peets (NOT Starbucks) ground superfinely with your own Turkish coffee grinder, by hand.
 

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So you like turkish coffee kokopuffs :)

Sorry cchiu but CAPE CHEF did you know that the deposit of turkish coffee is very good " food" for gardenias and the coffee deposit in general is good for flowers that live in pots?
I always keep mine, even from filter coffees.
My flowers are caffeine addicts :):):)

edited to add.

Have you tasted Lebanese coffee??
It's a kind of turkish coffee with cardamom!!
It's the best cofee you make it in a ibrik as well.
 

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Well, A, to be politically correct: It's all middle east style coffee! But I am verrry particular about the beans I buy. They'll make or break the brew.
 

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Dear Athenaues,

Thanks for the coffee tip with gardinias, I have had little to no luck with them flowering..I have to believe they are the most tempermental plant I have ever seen..But the aroma is so worth the effort
BTW...my grinds go in my compost,,works like a charm
 

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Cape Chef gardenias need to grow under the shadow of big trees and they love huge barrels instead of pots.
I have two huge ones and the live hapily in half of a wine barrel each.

As for being moody, I think you are right. I once had the bright idea to change the place of the one of them and place it next to a bigger plant.

I think she thought that I was making a beauty contest or a comparison because the poor thing almost died until I put it back to the previous place...
 

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Thank you Athenaues,

I think that I did not put enough hummis in my soil, I have a perfect place to try a couple, in my back I have a nice mostly shade garden which is flanked by a huge rodi and mountian laural. I think they will enjoy that spot :)
 

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Call me old fashioned, but I prefer coarse ground beans in a French Press. I can really discern the smooth, rounded flavor of coffee steaped in a press. Just my preference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I am abashed, Alexia, at battling with FP, but it sits in a blind spot on my literary taste buds....strange, beacuse I loved the Perec.

Cape Chef - one small tot of gin (mixed with water) per week will see your gardenias right.
 

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For several years I used a press pot to no avail. My results were very inconsistent and the coffee flavorless. So I went back to both my ibrik as well as my Chemex maker which I really like. So I have a plunger pot if anyone's interested. Just email me personally if interested.
 
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