My new coffee timer scale has exposed one flaw of my otherwise trusty and reliable electric burr grinder — widely inconsistent amount of coffee grounds, ranging from -8.4% to +12.1% from an average of 29.3 gm across 24 samples.
The swirling from using the Hoffmann V60 technique has also highlighted the large amount of fines produced by the DeLonghi, which is not ideal, and probably contributing to my rather long drawdown times.
In addition, a closer inspection reveals inconsistent grind sizes for any one specific setting, which will result in uneven extraction.
So, long story short, looks like it’s time to get a better grinder.
After doing some online research including recommendations from my Facebook pour over coffee group, I’ve decided on the 1Zpresso JX-Pro (US$159 incl. shipping ~S$215) which is proudly made in Taiwan. Even though it’s a manual grinder, its 48 mm stainless steel burrs should be able to chomp through 30 gm of beans within a minute.
I was also considering the slightly cheaper 1Zpresso JX (US$129 incl. shipping ~S$174) model, but the top dial adjustment (vs bottom burr adjustment) of the JX-Pro swung my decision.
The trouble with buying new coffee gear is the chance of a snowball effect, leading to buying of more coffee gear which leads to, you guessed it, buying even more gear. The next purchase I’m considering is the Fellow Stagg EKG (S$239 incl. shipping) temperature-controlled electric gooseneck kettle.
Everyone and their dog seems to own one and online reviews are good. It seems to have successfully hit the sweet spot between form and function, providing useful features while looking good at the same time. The only drawback is the price, because spending more than S$200 on a kettle seems a bit excessive.
I did more searching and found a kettle with similar functionality but at almost half the price. The Timemore Fish Smart Kettle (S$130 incl. shipping) has temperature control functionality, a gooseneck spout and also looks good. In addition, it offers a 600ml version, which is just the right size for me, whereas the Stagg EKG has Singapore-voltage compatibility (230V, 50Hz) only for its 900ml version. So, I’ll most likely be choosing the Timemore over the Stagg.
My numerous work trips to Sydney and Melbourne in the past resulted in a temporary addiction to espresso-based milk drinks, especially flat whites. I’ve gotten over that phase and have moved on to pour over coffee, but I still enjoy an occasional flat white at a nice Singapore café.
I used to own a Nespresso Citiz with Milk machine, which made a decent cup of espresso with milk, but didn’t have a proper milk foaming wand to make latté art. And while latté art in itself is very pretty, I feel that its main purpose is to indicate the presence of microfoam, necessary for the rich, creamy mouthfeel of a good flat white.
I did toy with the idea of getting a home espresso machine like the Rancilio Silvia and going down the espresso rabbit hole, but eventually decided against it. It’s tiring, not to mention really expensive, to go down too many rabbit holes.
I recently noticed that Nespresso has come up with a machine that can finally foam milk suitable for latté art with minimal effort. Foaming the milk that is, not the actual making of latté art, which will surely take time to perfect.
The Nespresso Creatista Plus (S$748 incl. shipping) is now officially on my shopping list. Not something for the immediate future, but if a good price (in the range of S$500-600) pops up during one of the major online sales like 6.18, 9.9, 11.11 or Black Friday, I’ll probably pull the trigger. I may even try contacting Nespresso to see if they’d offer a trade-in discount for my old Citiz with Milk currently sitting in its box in the storeroom.
The challenge with going down a slippery slope is to not fall too far, too fast. Easy to say but hard to do, although with a bit of discipline, I should be able to pace myself.
Featured image credit: 1Zpresso
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