Thursday, October 26, 2006

#402 - Random Updates

Ok, exammin' it up, but, nonetheless, cool coffee-related stuff keeps on happening:

(a) IT IS HERE!!!!!!!

Ok, that's not actually a photo of our FB-80 - it's actually one from Cafe Grumpy's training room (in NY) that I flickr'd up. But that's not the point.

The point is that what I'm pretty sure is Australia's only new-generation La Marzocco machine, FB-80 #402, is being installed at my new place of work.

I love the semi-automatic keypad, just like Grumpy's. Allpress doesn't import them, so it had to be special order ... which it had to be anyway, to get the custom body colour and built-in spotlights for espresso extractions (you heard right). Unfortunately, for some beaurocratic reason the spotlights couldn't be installed (need Australian planning approval or some shit), so, as one would expect, we're getting the parts sent over from LM and we'll hotrod it ourselves ;P

One really nice thing about the FB-80 is that the steam knob only twists around half a revolution - none of the useless free play that the Linea knobs have. Hey, who knows; when we actually plumb it in and turn it on, I might actually even like the 'spro that it makes!

(b) Random 'Spro

*Mountain Top Boomerang Washed is in the hopper at home at the moment. I haven't really taken any notes for it ... not terriffically impressed, but it's not a fair trial, as I think that last week's heat might have killed it.

*Trying random blends at the big V. Damn I love Yauco Selecto!

*Currently have a blend of HAB's Grade 2 Yirgacheffe, from GreenGuys, and some Daterra Peaberry degassing. The theory is that I can kinda emulate the crispness and sweetness of Klaus' WBC blend. We'll find out next week.

(c) Reporters

Rumor has it that Leanne Tolra - The Age's coffee reporter - has been visiting some friends of mine. Well, not actually rumor, so much as them straight-out telling me.

(d) Vac Pots

There are now no more Hario Deco vac pots in the country. More details later.

(e) Birthday Dinner

Only vaguely coffee-related, but 'shmeh ...

I decided that I needed to get my cullinary dabblings outta my system in order to be able to focus on my upcoming exams. Here's the menu for both of the dinners that I cooked for my friends to celebrate my birthday:
  • Tomato and tea consomme
  • Andrew's salad with marinated octopus
  • Salmon agnolotti with soy verjuice butter sauce
  • Master stocked pork belly/hock with star anise caramel, coconut rice and pickled veg
  • Calpis sorbet
  • Lemon tart
  • Chocolate souffle (the inniskillin icewine that Nim brought over stole the show here)

And, yeah, we finished off with coffee. Sihereni through the vac pot. Yum! Thanks, Toshi!

Glad that I got that outta my system ...



At 2:59 AM, Blogger cafegrumpy said...

We wish we had that FB-80 in the training room!

But alas...that machine is actually at Counter Culture's training facility in NC - Daniel took a picture of it during one of his visits down there.

At 1:15 PM, Blogger Luca said...

Hehehe ... yeah, guess a FB-80 in a cafe training room is a big call. Most cafes would be lucky to even have a training room!

Any tips for setting ours up or using it?



At 7:01 PM, Anonymous Lee said...

my jaw literally dropped.

You lucky, lucky so and so :)

I have to get up there to check out the cafe one day very soon.

At 9:53 PM, Blogger Luca said...

We're not set up quite yet, Lee, but I think that we're looking at something like this, machine-wise:


Custom BFC

Training Room:

ECM Veneziano
Maybe something else

Domestic Demo:

Maver Marte "Makin Espresso"
... and then we've got to decide if we're going to have any expobars or ECMs set up on display. We've got a busted pulser control that I would like to rip apart to have as a demo aid, if the guys don't have another use for it, and Dave still has that Giotto that he won at the ABC, so we might set that up as well.

No idea which grinders are going where at the moment. We've got the Kony, Brasilia Competition, BNZ Conical, Mahlkoenig K30ES and a bunch of other grinders sitting around. I reckon that what will happen is that Cassie will choose the grinder that she likes best for the FB-80, then when I'm working I'll move it and put whatever I'm in the mood for there!

Shouldn't be too long until we open now ... I'll do a blog posting when my new digital camera arrives ...



At 10:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's a sweet looking machine. pimp my grind. good to see you're keeping well - and that your birthday dinner looked like a 3 star restaurant menu!


At 2:50 AM, Blogger Mike White said...

i have a suggestion from my experience on our GB5. don't keep your shot timer there. the magnet will scratch the surface of the machine! yes it's convenient but better placed on the counter instead.

At 12:06 PM, Blogger Luca said...

Thanks for that, Mike. Lovely to have an espresso legend posting here. The FB-80 pictured in this post is actually Counter Culture's, so you might want to pass that suggestion on to them!

I'll keep it in mind, though. I think that our timers are actually sitting on top, so it should be good.

Hey ... I thought that you were using a Cyncra?



At 11:02 PM, Blogger rice said...

"One really nice thing about the FB-80 is that the steam knob only twists around half a revolution - none of the useless free play that the Linea knobs have..."

Or Expobar's multi-twirl knob.
Tried the FB80 steam today and the way the steam is actuated rocks! It has demoted my Minore from 'Steam Stallion' to 'Steam Pony'. The Nemox still retains 'Steam Donkey' status... :p

I've never tried the Synesso... the boat style throttle looks cool and, more importantly, swift!

At 6:45 PM, Blogger rice said...

"(c) Reporters"
Have done a great job with the article IMO. A refreshing change to some of the things seen recently in the large papers.,,20588792-5004581,00.html

Another rare goodie, not usually the norm


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