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Brands and Stuff That You Love (Emphasis on Quality)

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  • PeaceBell
    replied
    Originally posted by autolycus View Post
    What’s the General fit/ shape of Scarpa shoes? I’ve got a high instep and need shoes with a wide toe box. Always on the look out for other shoe brands that will work for me. For hiking shoes and boots, I’ve had good luck with Keen, but their lighter sneaker(-like) designs lately have been narrower and less forgiving of my instep.

    Merrells don’t work for me at all. I even have a pair of Moabs in their wide size, and they’re too narrow for anything but thin socks.
    I have wide feet too (US 7.5/2E) and it's difficult to find shoes that are wide enough and have wiggle room for my toes. I found DB Wider Fit shoes last year and they have been a game changer - their shoes accommodate width of 4E and beyond, and are orthotic-friendly. I also find Birkenstock sandals and shoes in regular/wide width work well. The quality of these shoes seem very high and I definitely love them.

    Some of the other items/brands I like:
    • Simpsons shaving brushes - the Wee Scot is perfect for travel and everyday use
    • PHD (Peter Hutchinson Designs) - a small company specialising in high quality, lightweight, custom-sized down clothing and sleep systems
    • James Smith & Sons umbrellas - the solid sticks last a really long time with proper care, free polishing service in the London shop, and can be 're-covered' (the canopy can be replaced)
    • Brooks leather saddles - get better with use, last a long time with proper care
    • Tilley hats - I like the cotton duck T3 - can be washed, hidden pocket and ingenious wind cord arrangement

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  • backpack
    replied
    Originally posted by Darcy View Post

    Garden hat = a straw hat that made its way back with me from Hawaii. I don't think the brand tag is on it anymore, darn it. I like it because it's a simple straw hat, but the brim is very wide.

    For shoes, I wear my Chaco sandals or Le Chameau rain boots. Or sometimes go barefoot if conditions allow!
    Thank you Darcy, so lovely to hear from you!

    More Thank Yous for bringing back the Yeoman Duffel, I realize it should go on the about bags, thread.

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  • Darcy
    replied
    Originally posted by backpack View Post
    What about hats and garden shoes?
    Garden hat = a straw hat that made its way back with me from Hawaii. I don't think the brand tag is on it anymore, darn it. I like it because it's a simple straw hat, but the brim is very wide.

    For shoes, I wear my Chaco sandals or Le Chameau rain boots. Or sometimes go barefoot if conditions allow!
    Last edited by Darcy; 06-01-2021, 06:59 PM.

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  • backpack
    replied
    What about hats and garden shoes?

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  • GrussGott
    replied
    Originally posted by backpack View Post
    On this forum, the Breville and Vitamix brands have been mentioned, do they make coffee grinders?
    Well, before I spent a lot I'd definitely try the Baratza - I have both the Vario (mostly all? espresso roast) & virtuoso and I use the latter for dark de-caf my wife likes and it's fine ... I would just say that ANY type of device will have a problem if the beans clump together and don't go down the chute, but if you keep the hopper clean (hot soapy water to clean off the oil) and grinder blades clean (w/ grindz, then one pass of old beans) you'll probably do great.

    As a side note, when/if you use oily beans it's a great idea to keep it clean anyway as the oil goes rancid and you probably don't want your SO drinking that!

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  • backpack
    replied


    The Kitchen Aid I have was bought at the latest 10 years ago or at the earliest 15 years ago. It is very simple, a shallow bowl with a grinding wheel on top of body that hides the motor and operates by simply pressing the lid.

    It has handled all kind of roasted beans without problem, until now.

    Simply engineered coffee grinders like the one I have, and I think ones made by Krupp around that time, are still available but have awful reviews on all kind of retailers' sites.

    From motor failures after a month of use, to breaking blades (which are such a really horrible safety hazard, you'll think the products would have been taken off the market), I don't really know where to turn to get a good simple grinder that will give me a powdery dark roast.

    On this forum, the Breville and Vitamix brands have been mentioned, do they make coffee grinders?
    Last edited by backpack; 06-01-2021, 09:56 AM.

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  • GrussGott
    replied
    Originally posted by backpack View Post
    GrussGott said: " the removable hopper has a gate and medium roast occasionally get stuck there so I'm guessing dark for sure would".
    sorry! To be clear that's my much more spendy Compak grinder - I was just making the point that oily beans will be tough for any grinder no matter the price / quality.

    The Baratza will be fine and NWhikergal has it exactly right:

    You have to use Grindz to clean the machine every month or so depending on how many beans you run through it - though that only cleans the grinding part and the hopper will need to be hand cleaned to get the oil residue off - ideally I'd wipe it down the inside of the hopper with hot water on a clean cloth & then dry after every use (i.e., store your beans in the freezer and only grind as many as you need for each batch of coffee)

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  • NWhikergal
    replied
    backpack, I totally understand! After using various brewing methods from Aeropress to others, I finally decided to make it easier for myself and got a Bonavita Metropolitan coffee maker around the same time I got the Baratza Encore. The ideal grind for that is less fine than it sounds like you would be seeking. Enjoy your coffee, however you decide to prepare it.

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  • backpack
    replied
    Originally posted by NWhikergal View Post

    A belated response for you, but I have not had any issues with jams in the one I have owned for 2.5 years and depending on the season I range from medium to dark roast. I do keep the grind in the mid range though around 20. When I purchased mine, one item the shop recommended if I needed to clean it was Grindz Coffee Cleaner, which you run through the machine.
    Thank you so much!

    I grind French roasts, exclusively and I make a powdery grind, and I pack it tightly.

    I don't drink coffee but my husband like his, really dark and strong, I can only get that with French roasts, which tend to be very oily.


    So I hesitate to invest in a machine that will be bothersome to work with, I'd rather buy ground coffee.
    Last edited by backpack; 06-01-2021, 09:55 AM.

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  • NWhikergal
    replied
    Originally posted by backpack View Post
    Numerous reviews, on retailer's sites, say that the Baratza grinder has a tendancy to jam. Baratza has even videos about that problem.
    Do Baratza owners have that problem?
    A belated response for you, but I have not had any issues with jams in the one I have owned for 2.5 years and depending on the season I range from medium to dark roast. I do keep the grind in the mid range though around 20. When I purchased mine, one item the shop recommended if I needed to clean it was Grindz Coffee Cleaner, which you run through the machine.

    Leave a comment:


  • GrussGott
    replied
    Originally posted by backpack View Post
    Numerous reviews, on retailer's sites, say that the Baratza grinder has a tendancy to jam. Baratza has even videos about that problem.
    Do Baratza owners have that problem?
    Tricky question & issue - IME "jams" will happen to any lower priced grinder if you put older oily/sticky beans through it ... and maybe not jam as much as just not be able to grab the beans as they stick to each other and can clog the shoot. IMO this has more to do with the beans than the grinder.

    Said differently, my big grinder wouldn't jam even if you put a fork in it (I'm guessing ), but the removable hopper has a gate and medium roast occasionally get stuck there so I'm guessing dark for sure would - I don't ever use dark roast (i.e., "2nd crack roast" which will get oily) so I don't know.

    Another related thing I've seen happen is the Baratza grind size is adjusted by twisting the hopper - if you have it set to the largest setting (for, say, cold brew) the grinding vibration can rotate the hopper one more notch which triggers the safe off. I've seen people thinking their grinder is jammed or broken, but all they have to do is turn the grinder hopper one notch back. BTW, by "people" I mean me


    In summary I'd say if one uses primarily espresso roast (i.e, medium, light, or 1st crack roast) there won't be a problem with most grinders, but if one favors dark roasts, then the oily beans can cause more challenges.

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  • ayazgood
    replied
    No jams in 1st 6 months of Baratza Virtuoso. In any case, it's designed to be easily cleaned and repaired, unlike most of the other brands. And Baratza has an excellent customer service reputation. When I was researching grinders, there were not any on the market that did not have at least some negative reviews re jamming or other issues. Seems to be the nature of the beast.

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  • backpack
    replied
    Numerous reviews, on retailer's sites, say that the Baratza grinder has a tendancy to jam. Baratza has even videos about that problem.
    Do Baratza owners have that problem?

    Leave a comment:


  • Darcy
    replied
    Coffee update! My Baratza grinder arrived and it's perfect. Still loving the Cafelat Robot.

    Originally posted by John1970 View Post

    Thanks for turning us on to Birds & Beans a few years ago. I don't drink coffee, but I like birds, and my wife isn't much of a birder, but she loves coffee and Birds & Beans in particular. I'll have her try Fulcrum as well.
    That sounds like it works out perfectly Glad you're both enjoying B&B coffee, each in your own way!

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  • John1970
    replied
    Originally posted by Darcy View Post
    Super helpful NWhikergal k_p GrussGott ayazgood -- thank you! Baratza it is.

    GrussGott I was given a very old, large and broken-ish Wega machine, which is what got me going on the whole home espresso journey. I love(d) that machine but it went from broken-ish to broken, and it's been tough to find someone who can repair it. I haven't given up hope -- I think that machine is quite something and deserves another shot (ha ha) -- but I'm really loving the Cafelat. It's fun to use and pretty cool looking to boot.

    As long as we're on the coffee topic, let's talk beans: in addition Birds & Beans I'll give shout outs to Fulcrum (our neighbors!) as well as Haiti.


    Thanks for turning us on to Birds & Beans a few years ago. I don't drink coffee, but I like birds, and my wife isn't much of a birder, but she loves coffee and Birds & Beans in particular. I'll have her try Fulcrum as well.

    Leave a comment:

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