March 2003 Newsletter
Equipment supply problems are really getting
serious! A glance at the Espresso machine page of my website will
confirm this, as I'm out of stock of EVERYTHING Quaha except the Lux
grinders. The last shipment of these grinders has arrived but the
container has not yet cleared customs, so I hope to finally have
some Lux grinders by Friday 07/03.
The reason that there won't be any more Quaha
grinders, or espresso machines, is that Quaha no longer exists as a
separate company. Long-term shareholder ILLYCAFE has taken over the
whole lot and will now use the facilities to make the
Francis!Francis range of machines, www.francisfrancis.com . In fact, the FF Espresso range has been made at Quaha
for the last few years, but Illy has apparently decided to
substantially increase the production. This doesn't mean the end of
the supply of Napoletanas, Juniors and Lux, but the production of
these machines has moved from Trieste to the Breschia area of Italy,
under the supervision of IMAT, the original designers. All this
to-ing and fro-ing has resulted in substantial production delays,
with several promised shipping dates simply not being
So I will still get machines, but the existing
shortage will continue until at least early April. Once the pipeline
is up and running again things should even out, but in the meantime
I just have to put up with it!
Things on the Rancilio front are much smoother.
I now have the Stainless steel bases available to match the
Silvia/Rocky set. The Bases have a “knockout” drawer and an
accessories drawer, and will be $143.00 including GST. Stocks of
Silvias and Rockys are pretty good as well; there may be one or two
weeks when I'm out of stock between shipments, but that should be
all. Those customers who want to buy the whole stainless steel set
can do so at a total cost of $1287.00 inc. GST (plus delivery.) If
you’ve already bought the Silvia and Rocky from me and would like
the base, contact me for a deal.
Some more good news is the return of the 58mm
blind filter and espresso machine detergent offer for $11.00 inc.
GST with any coffee order, I managed to get 30 blind filters so they
shouldn't run out as fast as they did last time.
I've just finished checking out the Expobar
Office Control heat exchanger machine. This unit is meant as a
single group machine for small deli or office use, and is pretty
cheap as such things go ($1700.00.) However, I wasn't that impressed
with it; it lacks several major features compared to its higher end
and slightly more expensive cousins, and doesn't pull significantly
better shots than a Silvia.
Having finally caught up with my backlog, I hope
to evaluate a couple of the competing machines this month, with a
round-up in April or May. I won't be going to this year's SCAA
conference in Boston, so I should be able to find the
To continue with the machine related theme, I
managed to squeeze out an article for Coffeegeek last month about
small "tweaks" for large results with espressos. You can find it at
And now to the important bit, this month's
special. I promised something really good for March, and indeed it
KENYA AA PEABERRY
At a time when it's getting increasingly
difficult to find superb coffees, one like this comes along. It has
the typical Kenyan "blackcurrant" aroma, but (unlike standard Kenya
AA with its prominent acidity) this coffee caresses the palate with
a rich, buttery mouthfeel, with the mild acidity just sufficient to
cleanse the palate for the next sip. It is absolutely smooth, with
no hint of bitterness or off flavours in the aftertaste.
For the small but dedicated band of home
roasters out there, yes, the Kenya Peaberry will be available as
green beans. My recommendation for roasting would be to take it
about 10 seconds into 2nd crack but no further. The beans should be
dark but without visible oil spots when just roasted.
Until next month,