Over the last few days, I have went back to brewing filter coffee using my usual brewing devices. And I also brewed an Aeropress at the local park, which was a fun activity. I decided to go back to filter brewing because after a lot of trial and error I was not able to get to an espresso shot that I was particularly proud of using the Flair Espresso brewing device. I tried different doses and grind sizes, developed a consistent distribution technique, but although my shots got better I got to a point where I had tried to many variables that I could not avoid the elephant in the room: my grinder.
So I am waiting for my REMI hand grinder to be delivered from Option O. The grinder is coming through an international delivery so it may be a few more days before it arrives at my door. Nevertheless, I would prefer to wait than to fidget around with my current grinder more than I have done at the moment.
I have heard that working with the wrong equipment is a popular point of frustration when it comes to espresso. While I had hopes that my Encore would be able to live up to the challenge of home espresso, I realised that the best option would be to choose a grinder that was built for espresso; one that would give me the options and grind specifications I needed to brew better home .
Having a quality grinder appears to be just as, if not more important, than the machine you have. My grinder is not built for espresso and so even if I had a fancy electric espresso machine I would probably still face most of the issues I am experiencing at the moment. But now I know this so I can wait for my new grinder without getting more frustrated at my espresso.
I do realise some people will be able to dial in with the Encore and I have heard some positive results from people who have replaced the burrs in the Encore. But from my own experience I feel it would be easier to upgrade to a proper espresso grinder.
So while I wait, I thought I would share some interesting espresso resources I have come across lately:
- espressomyespresso.com: An internet "novelette" that has been in the works since 2000. I have glanced over a few articles and read one or two others and I really enjoy the writing style of the author.
- James Hoffman Discord: The James Hoffman Discord, available to patrons on the Patreon page, is a great community to ask questions about coffee, from filter brewing to espresso to milk for coffee.
- Home Barista Newbie Introduction to Espresso: I have watched quite a few of the Home Barista Introduction Guide to Espresso videos. The videos were part entertainment and part learning and cover topics like lever espresso machines, grinders, and more.
- Espresso Aficionados: I am unsure if this Discord advertises but I do know it's a good resource for learning about espresso. The people in this community have helped me out while dialling in my Flair and also helped me answer some of my grinder questions. This community is active and has very knowledgeable participants. If you are interested in an invitation, please do send me an email.
I plan to continue writing about espresso as soon as my new grinder arrives and I have the opportunity to dial in and start pulling shots with the new grinder. I will be keeping my Encore for filter coffees and cupping but the REMI will become my go-to for espresso. With stepless adjustments, TiN-coated burrs, and a sleek design, I am happy with my choice of a hand espresso grinder. Now I just have to wait for delivery before I can get back to espresso making.
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