[Homeroast] Saeco Starbucks Barista Espresso

raymanowen at gmail.com raymanowen at gmail.com
Sun Mar 21 02:23:08 CDT 2010

" ...any likelihood that a slow learner could eventually make decent

As the ultimate slow learner- my learning process is called osmosis- I had
completely dismissed the idea that the "espresso" ballyhoo was any more than
a Madison Avenue creation. When my friend/ barista/ Jazz club owner Carole
offered me a shot- "Try this, Ray, you'll like it-"

I had no such affinity for espresso, and that pretty much cinched it. I
forgot having home roasted 20 years before, and didn't realize the total
folly in choosing between the execrable products of a coffee roaster like
Daz Bog. Might as well have Archie Bunker roasting for her...

After seeing the beans and roasts extolled on this list, and Ginnie awaiting
her order of MAO Horse, I thought- "I'll put an end to this form of coffee
waste forever, and post my opinion." First, I'd have to learn from scratch
what's involved in brewing good espresso and try my best to do it right to
make a fair test of it.

Of course, it was going to be a failure. Why buy a Maserati just to go to
the store? A Mr. Coffee steam toy would tell me soon enough if espresso
would be the expected complete waste. After a little stumbling around with
pesky Solis Maestro burrs and accepting that PV=nRT, I made a little
progress. Not as bad as I expected, and I thought I might even do better
with a pump machine.

Mr. Coffee again, but I realized the independent temperature and pressure
could never overcome the grind inconsistency of the Scheiße Maestro Burrs.
The $149 S. Maestro Plus was quickly becoming a $200 POS. miKe had sent me a
pound of his Kona mélange roast, so I had to consummate a deal on a
coffee-grinding fire hydrant. (Mazzer Major- BUFF)

For $285, The beans didn't know from brand-new, with the new burrs from
Espresso Parts. The (likely previous *$) grinders showed up en masse on the
'Bay. The Mazzer burrs still felt wicked sharp, but another new set has made
for better-tasting shots and brews as of a few months ago.

In short,* It's The **Grinder, *if you didn't know already. *$ always knew
how to shoot themselves in the foot, selling adequate inexpensive equipment
in their shops. With a little intuition, you'll soon learn temperature
surfing and be brewing excellent shots on the little machine.

Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!

Got Grinder?

On Sat, Mar 20, 2010 at 1:47 PM, John M. Howison <johnmhowison at gmail.com>wrote:

> For the price a a few mugs of coffee, I picked up a used espresso machine
> which is apparently complete except for a tamper, which I could readily
> fabricate.   From photos on the Barista web site, I believe that it is a
> "Saeco Starbucks Barista Espresso."
> Have long been satisfied with Clever drip, Yama vacuum, aeropress et cetera
> for my morning cafe-au-lait.  Drinking espresso only when a coffee bar
> looks
> promising, I've learned how easy it must be to produce a bad cup.
> Is there any likelihood that a slow learner could eventually make decent
> espresso on such a machine?  I don't need persuading that it would be nice
> to do so.
> Contra muros, mater rubicolla.
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