New toys for god-shot-ness pleasure!

For generic information on making espresso alt.coffee, coffee geek, Sweet Maria's web site and many others excel at this tutorial level of information. However, if you've been there and done that but have specific questions and concerns about getting the best espresso on the S1/VII/Mini-VII/Dream/Dream T, post those topics here.
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Jesse

New toys for god-shot-ness pleasure!

Post by Jesse » Thu May 17, 2007 4:50 pm

Today was my best coffee experience yet with the little Viv, and it is due not to a change with the machine but to a change in accessories. Buying a crotchless porta-filter for a friend, I also used the free shipping opportunity to buy a few of Chris Coffee

Niko

Post by Niko » Thu May 17, 2007 5:38 pm

Nice to hear from you again Jesse and thanks for another wonderful write-up on your newly acquired goodies. I also have some of the Bumper products, the knockbox and PF stand/holder. They work great and I'm especially impressed with the knockbox (of all things) because it's the most overlooked accessory, IMO. The damn thing fits 44 (double) pucks! I have an Espro that I use about once a month to keep my tamping pressure in check, but my favorite tampers have a curve on them. Flat works but I get better results with convex like you mentioned. I've never seen a Bumper tamper in person so I can't judge on the build quality.

Oh, almost forgot...wanted to mention that I have a Bumper steaming pitcher on order. I'll report back what I think of it. It would be nice to find a nice steaming pitcher for under $85.

Jesse

Post by Jesse » Thu May 17, 2007 6:41 pm

Hey Niko, I've stopped contributing since I cannot consistently reply to posts from any of my computers here or at work... which stinks. Currently I am getting Invalid Session errors when I try to send in this post. Sadness.

At any rate, did you get the .6l pitcher also?

I've been using a 12 oz Ibrik for the most part because it has the perfect balance of thin walls (for easy heat transfer) and good size (3 oz of milk is deep, making for great lush microfoam). Mark and I had been using 24 oz pitchers but on the recommendation of one of the baristii at an SCAA event, we went smaller since the milk wasn't quite right. Been happy since.

The only problem is that the lack of a nice pouring lip makes for a disappointingly wide pouring arc and the art, well, it isn't as defined as I'd like. In my two brief stints with the Bumper I am really pleased with how defined the point of milk is and how I can drag it around to do fun patterns.

The pic Chris has on the site is lousy since it doesn't really show off the most impressive part of the pitcher--its great, deep lip.

Ciao

Niko

Post by Niko » Thu May 17, 2007 7:01 pm

I did get the .6L pitcher, it hasn't arrived yet. I had to order some parts from Chris earlier this week and I had them throw that pitcher in there as well so I can try it out. I've been using the Alessi pitchers but those things are around $100 each, they're simply the best in the world and they know it by the price they demand. I have 4 of them, if I buy anymore I would reach the price of a nice home espresso machine! I have two 25 oz and two 17 oz jugs and I absolutely love the 17's, I use the two smaller ones everyday and I wouldn't trade them for anything. I'm looking forward to giving the Bumper pitcher a whirl (or should I say, swirl)...
Anyways, nice to hear good things about the Bumper pitcher and that's a bummer that you can't always reply to the forums, I hope you can sort that out soon.

Jesse

Post by Jesse » Thu May 17, 2007 7:59 pm

Yeah, tiz a bummer on the posts--I wonder if this one will go through (on a powerbook right now, as opposed to pc earlier)...

The Alessi pitchers are GORGEOUS and I love them--but I refuse to spend $100 on something just so, um, rediculously expensive for what it is (note: this is possibly not a logical arguement in a forum dedicated to $2000 home espresso machines). I've used them in the past (an S.O. collects Alessi, you see...) and they rock. Thus, I've been on a quest to get close for 1/5 the price.

And I have.

The Bumper is a fairly stout, well made, and handsome pitcher. The key feature though is that spout. It doesn't have the "mid-funnel" section of the Alessi's, but it does have a similar enough finish spout. It's great.

I've got pix and commentary below.

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This is my best shot of the spout. It has a modest mid-funnel.

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This shot shows the finish on the Bumper tamp pretty well. It is certaily adequate, but not magnificant like the Espro. That said, the actual metal tamp puck IS magnificant (below).

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Niko

Post by Niko » Thu May 17, 2007 8:37 pm

Nice shots, I think I'm going to like that pitcher.
The Alessi is a REALLY HEAVY pitcher, the little 17 oz'r weighs in at 300 grams!
And 17 oz's is not very big for a pitcher, considering most people use 20 or bigger. I also agree with Jesse that a smaller pitcher is in order most of the time.
Here's the Alessi, notice the inside walls, how beautiful the finish is without that "machined" look because they're hand made with the extra thick stainless.
Of course the spout is to die for!
Sorry my pitcher (below) is a little dirty but when they're clean you can blind someone from 20 miles away if the sun hits it just right, they're the shiniest in the business.
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