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Medium Format and Coffee

Shashin

Well-known member
Just to add to Dave's wonderful post. The latest craze is "raw" water, which is unfiltered and untreated surface spring water or simply runoff. It even comes with an expiration date--it will turn green after that. You are taking your life in your hands with that. It might be safe as a vodka mixer, but even then...

Just like cameras, there is no "best." I will separate bottled water into four categories:

Spring Water: spring water is ground water that flows naturally to the Earth's surface / on the ground. It has some hardness minerals in it like calcium and magnesium, plus sodium, carbonates, and other elements naturally found in ground water. Spring water is usually preferred by folks who are more "taste aware," so it is generally considered the best tasting. Spring water always fascinated me because the only difference between well water and spring water is that well water has to be pumped; spring water flows naturally out of the ground. That's really the only difference, yet well water gets a bad rap while spring water is coveted. Marketing is a wonderful thing, eh?

That's not quite fair, because spring water that is bottled comes from select springs that don't have some of the troublesome contaminants like iron, manganese or sulfur. Those troublesome contaminants taste and smell bad. Some spring waters have those contaminants just like some well waters, but no one would bother bottling and selling water from those springs because, well, no one would buy it! When you build a house and dig a well, you are kinda stuck with whatever water is in the water table under the property. That's why well water gets a bad rap.

Anyway, spring water is usually considered the best tasting, but from a "safety" standpoint it is no better than city water. In fact, city water is monitored, tested and regulated more than bottled water. Anyone who thinks spring water is generally "safer" than city water is misled. There are always exceptions...

Purified Water: usually this is city water run through a combination of water treatment unit operations like backwashing filters, softening, reverse osmosis (RO) nano filtration (NF) and ultraviolet light (UV). If "safety" is your main concern, and/or you want the lowest level of contaminants in your water, then this is the bottled water I would recommend. Dasani (Coke) and Aquafina (Pepsi) both fall into this category, although Dasani adds back some minerals. I constantly put the word safety in quotes because here in the US, most water is quite safe. Even the lead fiasco in Flint wasn't that bad compared to some parts of the world where people die every day from waterborne illnesses. [please don't read that to mean our water infrastructure is fine; it needs serious attention and funding]

Distilled Water: distilled water is boiled water. This is what most people put in their irons to keep them clean. Some people say you shouldn't drink distilled water, thinking it will suck out the minerals from your body. It really is fine, just a waste of money to drink it. RO treated water (purified water) is pretty close to distilled water quality (and better in some respects). No point in drinking distilled water, but it really won't harm you.

Flavored Water: Starts out as purified water or spring water, then sugar and/or other stuff is added. Yeah, whatever...

_______

It really comes down to what water you think tastes the best; the world is your oyster! They are all essentially just as "safe"; the safety differences (including city water) are marginal at best, and "safe" relative to what and which contaminants? As far as nutrients go, even if you drink the recommended 8 glasses of water a day, the amount of nutrients you get from water is inconsequential compared to food or one glass of milk. Literally milligrams instead of grams. Drinking one type of water over another for the nutrient benefit is like hand-holding a 10-minute exposure with IBIS activated. I just isn't going to matter.
:lecture:

Dave
 

MartinN

Active member
Another correlation with medium format photography... taste! We, the discriminating connoisseurs of both vision and taste must continue the pursuit of excellence according to our preferences.:)
Don't forget the hearing sense. I think many MF photographers enjoy listening to good music in a way or another.
But that's one completely new thread topic.:grin:
 

MrSmith

Member
Well, catastrophe averted somewhat.:)

In order to provide the coffee experience for the two of us, I decided to initially get the Keurig simply because the coffee(s) I like are too strong for my bride and I can pick up the Bialetti this weekend.

Compromise and caffeine fixed.

Now, I have been reading, and I noticed that no one mentioned the importance of water! I do not trust tap water... perhaps because of my civil engineering background. We have used bottled water for a long time around the house. But now... microplastics! What to do?

Filtered water?:facesmack:
In the U.K coffee aficionados use Tesco’s (like your Walmart) Ashbeck spring water.
It’s actually tap water put through an industrial RO system and has an ideal PH and 120 TDS.
Most people don’t realise that it isn’t from an underground spring.
It’s cheap and better tasing that filtered or tap water.
 

Chapel

Member
Astoria.jpgDrips.jpg

This is my setup. Astoria Gloria propane and electric espresso machine and our SonoFresco coffee roaster in the background. And our Coffee Truck. Which is my semi-retirement.
Greg
 

Godfrey

Well-known member
..
Now, I have been reading, and I noticed that no one mentioned the importance of water! I do not trust tap water... perhaps because of my civil engineering background. We have used bottled water for a long time around the house. ..
Our water here in Santa Clara, while perfectly clean and safe, is very hard and not particularly pleasant tasting. So we've been drinking, cooking, and making coffee or tea with an excellent bottled water exclusively for the past decade. Low mineral content, neutral Ph, low particulates, and a nice sweet clean flavor.

That's why I never mention water. :D

G
 

MrSmith

Member
Nice lever set-up:thumbs:
I did some work for a lever manufacturer called Londinium, lovely machines but I didn’t have the counter space and a bit overkill to have the big boiler warm up for 1 coffee in the morning. They are supposed to be bringing out a smaller lever machine for the home soon so I might give it a try, at least it will be thermally stable unlike the LaPavoni
 

Chapel

Member
Nice lever set-up:thumbs:
I did some work for a lever manufacturer called Londinium, lovely machines but I didn’t have the counter space and a bit overkill to have the big boiler warm up for 1 coffee in the morning. They are supposed to be bringing out a smaller lever machine for the home soon so I might give it a try, at least it will be thermally stable unlike the LaPavoni
We went with the lever to eliminate the pump and as much electrical stuff as possible inside the machine for sake of reliability. I was worried about all the vibrations from driving. I takes about one hour on propane to heat and get up to pressure and about 20 minutes using both gas and electric.

Greg
 

Maikol

New member
More espresso machine porn though not an especially high-end machine. Snaphot with an XF / IQ4 150.
Hi everyone !

Long time lurker in this Inferno, but this subject had me register and post my first message ! :D

Especially since my espresso machine happens to be a close cousin to yours Craig, I had to chime in :

IMG_4323.JPG

(sorry it's a crappy iphone pic)


A lot of very good advice for great coffee has already been given here, but as any coffee geek would do, I will add my 2 cents :lecture: :eek: :

- Water quality is very important. I use this filtration system, which also makes great water to drink, and as it's able to filter 1000's of litres, I just added a dedicated tap for it on my kitchen sink for drinking water.

- I'm only making strong double ristretto here, but for someone not ready to cope with the room and money such a big setup asks for, and/or looking for lighter shots, I would recommend trying the Bialetti Brikka, which is a moka pot with a clever pressure holding device that only allows brewing when the 9 bar required pressure for espresso is attained. It won't make the dark, rich and creamy shots a big espresso machine can produce, but it will brew descent lighter espresso like cups, and it's quite cheap and super easy to use and clean.

- But of course that will only happen with good quality freshly roasted and freshly ground beans (and yes get the best grinder you can afford).

- Oh and don't believe old sayings like 'never clean your moka pot', it's not true. For me, great coffee always comes from a greatly maintained and clean machine/pot, otherwise you're just tasting some rancid/burnt oils. BTW machine maintenance is one of the 5 M's from the Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano (yeah of course they have an official national institute for this ! :grin: )

Happy to now be a poster here, now I need to get confident enough with the pictures I'll make with my IQ140 setup, so I can post some in the dedicated subject ! :p
 

Maikol

New member
More espresso machine porn though not an especially high-end machine. Snaphot with an XF / IQ4 150.
Hi everyone !

Long time lurker in this Inferno, but this subject had me register and post my first message ! :D

Especially since my espresso machine happens to be a close cousin to yours Craig, I had to chime in :

IMG_4323.JPG

(sorry it's a crappy iphone pic)


A lot of very good advice for great coffee has already been given here, but as any coffee geek would do, I will add my 2 cents :lecture: :eek: :

- Water quality is very important. I use this filtration system, which also makes great water to drink, and as it's able to filter 1000's of litres, I just added a dedicated tap for it on my kitchen sink for drinking water.

- I'm only making strong double ristretto here, but for someone not ready to cope with the room and money such a big setup asks for, and/or looking for lighter shots, I would recommend trying the Bialetti Brikka, which is a moka pot with a clever pressure holding device that only allows brewing when the 9 bar required pressure for espresso is attained. It won't make the dark, rich and creamy shots a big espresso machine can produce, but it will brew descent lighter espresso like cups, and it's quite cheap and super easy to use and clean.

- But of course that will only happen with good quality freshly roasted and freshly ground beans (and yes get the best grinder you can afford).

- Oh and don't believe old sayings like 'never clean your moka pot', it's not true. For me, great coffee always comes from a greatly maintained and clean machine/pot, otherwise you're just tasting some rancid/burnt oils. BTW machine maintenance is one of the 5 M's from the Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano (yeah of course they have an official national institute for this ! :grin: )

Happy to now be a poster here, now I need to get confident enough with the pictures I'll make with my IQ140 setup, so I can post some in the dedicated subject ! :p
 

dave.gt

Well-known member
Arrgghhh.. coffee should not be full of stress! Caffeine, yes. But not stress!

At the moment, I am sated with my drip coffee maker in the landfill via the local waste management company. The solution for one cup of coffee has been a pedestrian Keurig mini. It is all I really need to make a single cup of coffee. It cost me $40 after using the $10 gift card attached to the coffee maker. Yes, it is like buying a Polaroid SX70 instead of a Medium Format camera, but it is all I need. :thumbup:

Now the problem of which coffee maker for a more, ahem, sophisticated coffee. Cappuccino, macchiato, mocha... etc...etc. !!!!!! ....excuse me? The unwashed, uneducated, simple-minded, practical me only wants a simple espresso similar to what I can get at any of the Starbucks within 5 minutes of home. I love the high-end tech cams, P1 backs, and large format cameras but, seriously, they are not for me at any price. I prefer a simple kit. There is no future for me in the amazing world of the ever expanding high-tech world. I have a comfort zone in everything and the more simple the gadget/car/appliance/home/lifestyle, the happier I am and that is huge!

So, I will forego the stovetop Bialetti for now... it is a bit more work than I can be bothered with at 4am. As far as the beautiful machines above... I love them! Yet I will continue to admire from afar. I simply want a simple espresso. But which machine... simple, right?

I hate you, Dante!:ROTFL:
 

MrSmith

Member
Some recent editorial images for a cover and feature on CBD oil
coffee.
had to shoot on location as the hemp plants were not legally allowed off the farm even though they contain very little THC.

cambo actus/digitar 80mm/Sony A7rII stitched with a bit of rise (fall on the actus) for extra canvas to allow for type/masthead. though thees are cropped square for instagram.

for those who wish to point out what this is doing in MF section, the stitched file ends up being the same size as the 50/100mp bigger sensors, i’m using the same camera/lens tech and started my career with 10x8 and 5x4 and think my work belongs here. it’s a state of mind.:thumbup:

CBD-3insta.jpgCBD-2insta.jpgCBD-1insta.jpg
 
Can you please come make me an espresso!!! :p

I'm Italian, thus for me it is always and only "espresso". ;)

This little machine accompanied me for the last 15 years now, without any failure or special maintenance. It is nothing special, but after all those years I know how to squeeze the maximum IQ out of it.
The coffee powder is freshly ground for each cup. The fine-coarse setup is changed according to the current weather humidity and pressure. I had to customize the grinder a little bit in order to have more reach to the "fine" levels.
A good cup of espresso must have a dense gold-cream on the surface, and the poured sugar (if any) must stay for a couple of seconds on the surface before sinking down.

Now I'm thinking of moving a step further by getting a coffee roaster, in order to personally curate that step as well.

You know what? It is time for a cup of coffee! :D

 
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