Last week my wife and I visited my brother Aaron and family in Ann Arbor. He was the one that introduced me to espresso and espresso making and got me drinking the disgusting stuff! : ) I’m sort of a health nut and have tried to avoid coffee and alcohol for most of my life but my brother’s relentless enthusiasm and my wife’s coffee habit finally convinced me that it would probably be more productive to make her coffee than to keep driving to Starbucks or whatever coffee vendor she favored at the time.
For me, coffee making began with a French press and a $30 blade grinder. Almost immediately, my wife felt that the coffee that I made was better than most places that she bought it from.
I think it was a year or so later that my brother gave me his first Espresso machine. A Gran Gaggia that his father in law had given him. Soon after that, I bought a Rocky Rancilio since an espresso machine is only as good as the grind that you feed it and the Rocky is the best cheapest, machine for the task. That was the beginning of my recreational espresso making career. Again, my wife said that the lattes I made with that machine were better than most of the ones she had bought out.
Finally the Gaggia broke and we decided to buy a Rancilio Silvia, the machine I’m using now. I’ve now had the Silvia for almost two years and it’s probably been five years or more since I began making espresso and four or more years since I began making Lattes.
Learning to make espresso and espresso beverages is a long process and both Aaron and I are avid learners. We had a great time at his place playing with shots and roasts and microfoam. He has a Quickmill Andreja with an E6 grouphead, a heat exchanger (HX) machine. Although I’ve seen it in the past, my knowledge and interest weren’t up to exploring it, but this time I was and it was a great experience.