Oh, this thread is just for me.
Espresso is really nice but i really can't afford a proper machine as of now, and don't want to settle for a subpar capsule machine or a cheap plastic delonghi i'd regret buying anyway.
I'm saving up for a gaggia classic though! The newest model has a nice steel boiler and still can be modded with a rancilio pannarello, making it a very solid choice against a Silvia.
I'm still on french press, though. The hario mini mill is a great grinder for that, but if i want to make moka or aeropress i'd need to use a better grinder since the ceramic burrs aren't very stable without modding and even so they tend to rub against each other on a fine setting. Turns out i can make consistent and fine grinds on a cheap manual burr i bought from a coffeeshop from colombia.
I also have experience with a baratza encore, it's really great for its price and probably more cost effective than the more expensive proposals the brand has, although i'd still prefer something better if i were to get into espresso since it still struggles with consistent fines.
There was an interesting manual conic burr grinder on kickstarter a while ago, but i'm still waiting for opiions on that. The creator claims it can outperform a Vario at half the price with the option of ceramic burrs, but i don't buy it yet.>>77
You'd be surprised at how poorly made espresso is when you can't control its really precise and unforgiving brewing variables. Most bars in italy can't make espresso for shit even though everybody drinks it. Water temperature, pre-infusion, grind consistency and size, grain amount, tamping pressure on an even coating and extraction times are usually all eyeballed, and while it sounds extremely pretentious, it all gives very much noticeable results. Most coffeeshops don't even clean their grinders, grind their coffee fresh or use decent blends. It's rather surprising given its popularity.
Can we talk about other brew methods besides espresso here? I am really aching to get a hario siphon extractor, since i ever managed to try some coffee from one i've fallen in love with its product!