CI comes clean

April 15, 2008 – 11:04 am

hoffmann forces our hand with his blasted gentillesse

until those anfim grinders went all messianic, we’d been so proud of our mazzer major. it’s a big as the spro box! the same burly grinder the big boys use! thwacks like a pro!

truth is, it was supposed to have had slicey new grinding burrs when we picked it up on ebay lo these three years ago, and we’d only just begun to think about replacing the knives again. they’ll go 800 pounds of beanage, right? we weren’t even close.

then the world barista champion came around with all his insufferable knowledge and taste and stuff, and told us gently on an atlanta bar stool that maybe his trouble on our home bar the day before was the fault of our grinder burrs. hmpf. the poor, straw-grasping excuse-monger.

herm, yes. we removed the suckers anyway and found ourselves TOTALLY STUMPED at what this strange string of numbers might mean:


but it seems sort of humiliating! which is why we haven’t been blogging much. nightmares and such. in which this blog is publicly shamed by moaning taste judges whose gnashing teeth are covered with our espresso grit and who buff their nails with our benign, impotent burr surfaces. they force us to pull shots shirtless. with whips.


it’s amazing what a new grinder burr set will do for you. old mazzer: chew, chew, chew, spit. new mazzer: ptui. it’s 17 grams of coffee so fast, there’s no time to gasp. “aaauuugggh! thwack thwack! wait, no! thwack, thwack, thwack thwackthwack! no more coffee! thwack! stop! thwack!” suddenly, 15 grams looks like a fluffy 17 in the espresso basket. our ability to eyeball the dose is now bunk. was there that much space before? from clumping? seriously?

so we come clean, having inexcusably forced the world champeen to eat from our dog bowl of a home bar and play nice about it on his blog. we also take this opportunity to note the limits of home-junkie-ism — our experience on other people’s mazzers is unavoidably thin. turns out our own grinder struggles were, in the end, astoundingly needless. nothing like having a brain surgeon diagnose your sniffles.

/end public self-flagellation. which is, alas, probably the most important public service this blog performs. dust and ashes. zut alors.

UPDATE: james says the soothing, huggy words this blog is unlikely to ever hear again from a barista of repute: “You were pulling much better shots than me.”

it could be true!