Espresso Havana for those of you in the states


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I got my first espresso machine about 15 years ago. It's a fine Italian model that for the past 5 years I have had to nurse back to health every espresso season. I have parts readily available so it's not a big deal as they are simple machines. If you know anything about real coffee, you know that after 2 weeks post-roast, you arent making espresso. With that said, I have tried EVERY espresso roast I could find online that roasts fresh to order. I have only found one blend that I absolutely adore... Paradise Roasters Espresso Neuvo. Last week, they re-released their Espresso Havana which is blended specifically to enjoy with cigars. It is getting rated in the mid 90s which is not unusual for Paradise. The Neuvo is a solid 94.

 

If you have a real grinder and a real espresso machine, do yourself a favor and try this blend. I have 5# inbound. If you do not have the equipment, checkout ChrisCoffee. I have the La Spaziale Vivaldi 2 and highly recommend the Dream for someone wanting to get into this craft at a modest price. A capable machine such as the Spaz is nothing without an EXCELLENT grinder. You will want to spend north of $800 with the best deal being a hand grinder for $1000 which is what I use. 30 cranks for 7.6g of fluff. If you dont want to spend that much, stick with Starbucks as you will just be wasting good coffee.

Heres a link to the beans:

https://paradiseroasters.com/collections/espresso/products/espresso-havana

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Finding a quality grinder that is capable to grind in a manner uniform enough to get the most out of a high end espresso machine is a challenge. I would reccomend a niche zero before any hand grinder though. There are a lot of opinions thrown out as facts in your post which is why a few people have been skeptical.

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@Mikeltee you are living life right! I applaud you for being able to have a $1,000 hand grinder. I wish I could pull some shit like that but I don't have the capital or patience. I will never tell anyone how to spend their own money but I have to say I am extremely jealous you got it like that! Until I am able to get to your level I'll have to drink my sad dirt water coffee.

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1 hour ago, Lotusguy said:


What a load of horse manure.

I agree. $1K for espresso, sure. I worked at a coffee shop for a while and the commercial grinder they had, able to crank beans all day was about 1300.00. I have my Baratza precise, 300.00 and it has been consistent for 8 years with good maintenance. 

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Oooops sorry, I am out the door again -
I thought this was about a quick back & forth trip to Havana from the US, express like ... not espresso cafe.
 
Me too, but it could be if we hijack the thread and start taking about passport control officers...

Sent from 47171 Lempo 

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1 hour ago, Wailbait said:

There is no coffee grinder sub 800$ that makes coffee beans taste as they should?  

Not that I have found. My first was $600... it was night and day to my hand grinder for 40% more. Its better to splurge on the grind than it is the brew system. Some get by on a $1000 setup with a bunch of hacks and mods... rocky rancillio system. Do yourself a favor and do it right the first time. Buy it cheap buy it twice... I am just trying to save you money and frustration. 

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44 minutes ago, prodigy said:

Finding a quality grinder that is capable to grind in a manner uniform enough to get the most out of a high end espresso machine is a challenge. I would reccomend a niche zero before any hand grinder though. There are a lot of opinions thrown out as facts in your post which is why a few people have been skeptical.

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Here is my grinder. It is the HG-one. The grind is comparable to $2500+ grinders. I just have to put some effort behind it for half as much. The only reason I would upgrade is if I was serving more than myself. Good luck finding one...HG_one_grinder-2-610x610.jpg.bfe31da217d22b86673cf4bf897a57f6.jpg

 

 

Sure you can spend $200 on craigslist for an automatic espresso machine. You can also smoke black and mild. To each there own. Why buy a grinder anyways when you can get beans pre-ground in aisle 17 and it's even 2 years aged... 

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35 minutes ago, Mikeltee said:

Here is my grinder. It is the HG-one. The grind is comparable to $2500+ grinders. I just have to put some effort behind it for half as much. The only reason I would upgrade is if I was serving more than myself. Good luck finding one...HG_one_grinder-2-610x610.jpg.bfe31da217d22b86673cf4bf897a57f6.jpg

 

 

Sure you can spend $200 on craigslist for an automatic espresso machine. You can also smoke black and mild. To each there own. Why buy a grinder anyways when you can get beans pre-ground in aisle 17 and it's even 2 years aged... 

If you've got that kind of set-up the next step is to verify what you got:

https://www.microtrac.com/products/particle-size-shape-analysis/dynamic-image-analysis/camsizer-p4/function-features/

One could argue you aren't serious about espresso until you're taking a photograph of every coffee ground and analyzing its shape....

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Not that I have found. My first was $600... it was night and day to my hand grinder for 40% more. Its better to splurge on the grind than it is the brew system. Some get by on a $1000 setup with a bunch of hacks and mods... rocky rancillio system. Do yourself a favor and do it right the first time. Buy it cheap buy it twice... I am just trying to save you money and frustration. 

My current set up is an ecm synchronika and a mahlkonig k30 vario. I'll probably upgrade my grinder for a kafatek monolith flat. If I win the lottery, a flat max. (The actual lottery, not the lottery to get on the list to be able to buy one haha). I love espresso almost more than cigars.

 

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dc60ac545f9859ee23a812009498b816.jpg

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What it boils down to is God shots. If you don't know what this is YouTube it. I pour 1 in 10. Are you pouring consistent shots? Maybe... what's your percentage of God shots?

There are lots of coffee shop owners around here. They spend 100k on their fancy automatic machines and they wouldnt know a God shot if it bit them. When I ask them if I could buy a # of coffee and they say sure that will be $20 and I see a roast date of 3 months ago I say no thanks I will take a carmel macchiato. Yes... I am not too good for a black and mild.

Is your blend 5 days post roast and less than 2 weeks old? You got a shot at a God shot. Anything else you probably arent even pouring espresso.

Can your machine dial in temps and pressure at each stage for each individual blend? Do you spend pounds and pounds and hours and hours dialing each blend in? No? You might get lucky at a God shot.

Is your grinder setup to perform uniform, fluffy grinds without holding on to any from the last batch ground from static electricity? No? You arent getting a God shot, but you got a chance at pouring espresso...

 

Just like anything else in this world... true espresso is an art. Some study years to prepare the perfect shot. 15 years for me and I am lucky to get 10% perfection. Anything else is cut with milk. Some appreciate this art and I guarantee anyone here that can poetically express the subtle nuances of the cigar they are smoking can appreciate a properly poured shot of espresso. That is why I started this thread. If you are happy with your Starbucks and you think that is espresso than this thread is not for you.

 

10 hours ago, Wailbait said:

Good to know.  I don’t claim to be any sort of expert in the matter, but I wonder why quality can’t lie on a continuum.  If one isn’t using a 1k grinder with a 2k machine then they are “smoking black and milds?”  
 

For example, I own a coffee shop.  We use a Marzocco GB/5 and a Mazzer Kony.  Neither of them are the “best” in class.  (Read: most expensive) But when I tried the Strada, for example, I didn’t taste any huge benefits.  (Although it did look cool.)  

I guess I (possibly) erroneously assumed that when it came to home gear, there were good pieces and values at a variety of prices.   It’s sort of a continuum.  I assumed that one could have a 150$ grinder that doesn’t mean you are drinking plonk.  

May I suggest a Slayer? :)

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9 hours ago, VKUTT said:

I roast my own coffee beans. I do pour over coffee in a cotton filter, French press in my Gator, or espresso in my awesome Breville. And I use a 90 dollar grinder that grinds them wonderfully, uniformly coarse for French press and into a fine powder for espresso. And everyone RAVES about my coffee. 

$1000+ coffee grinder ???

Even if I COULD afford to buy a $1000 grinder, I wouldnt. I cant see that it would grind my coffee any better than what I'm using. Its either uniform, or it isnt. And mine is. To each their own!

 

Mmmmmmm roasted beans... now that is the subject for another thread. That is something I started dabbling with a couple years ago. You think your significant other doesnt like you smoking cigars? Start roasting coffee... she will buy you a couple boxes of cigars. Be prepared to pull your smoke detectors.... I'd learn to pour a perfect shot, or a perfect cup before I would consider this feat. A perfect cup of coffee can be poured with little investment. It's all about technique. 

 

8 hours ago, VKUTT said:

IN NO WAY do you need a $1000 grinder to make great coffee. ?

Great coffee? That's not the subject. Espresso is. What you are making at home is coffee and I have no doubt that it is to die for. What you are considering espresso is no more than a dark roasted COFFEE, which I also have no doubt in my mind is to die for. 

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Where are you guys at on the scientific study regarding the perfect espresso grind? It made pretty big news a few weeks back. Is it like the study "proving" curveballs don't curve, or is there real substance to it?

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9 hours ago, prodigy said:

My current set up is an ecm synchronika and a mahlkonig k30 vario. I'll probably upgrade my grinder for a kafatek monolith flat. If I win the lottery, a flat max. (The actual lottery, not the lottery to get on the list to be able to buy one haha). I love espresso almost more than cigars.

Let me know what you think of the roast...

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8 hours ago, Mikeltee said:
Let me know what you think of the roast...

I'm sure the roast is good. I've heard it mentioned before. I've been focusing on local single origins, when I'm ready for something new I'll definitely check it out. I have counter culture and black and white roasters, among a few other smaller ones, right in my back yard. This one has been blowing my mind recently. Roasted 1/27, waiting for me on my porch 1/29.

24a3a6d7463149ec42b0655eeb2f7c45.jpg6806a34c11097366606f39dd7469b893.jpg

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27 minutes ago, VKUTT said:

Didnt see that. Where? 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2020/01/22/ending-daily-grind-science-perfect-espresso-uncovered/

See if this works. I'm crap at posting links. If not, just google "perfect grind science."

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I just ordered a 5# bag. I have been drinking light roasts for a while, so I hope it's something I enjoy.

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On 2/8/2020 at 1:30 PM, VKUTT said:
Do u notice that the lighter roasts have more caffeine, more 'zing'? Ive heard people say that the darker the roast, the less caffeine because it 'roast out', but I dont know if that's true. 
I do know that the decaf green coffee beans I have bought seem to be slightly roasted already. 

I think caffeine content has more to do with the varietal/location/processing method than with roast. I've had low and high content caffeine from both light and dark roasts. I have heard lighter roasts retain more caffeine.

On 2/3/2020 at 8:36 AM, Bram Smoker said:
[mention=34562]Mikeltee[/mention] you are living life right! I applaud you for being able to have a $1,000 hand grinder. I wish I could pull something like that but I don't have the capital or patience. I will never tell anyone how to spend their own money but I have to say I am extremely jealous you got it like that! Until I am able to get to your level I'll have to drink my sad dirt water coffee.

Like most hobbies, coffee is a rabbit hole that can lead to very expensive toys. My dream set up would set me back about 14,000. My wife would never let that happen, I'm lucky to have what I have now haha.

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