Were you surprised to find out that the Otto is made in China?
No, I wasn't. To be price competetive these days you've got to do it offshore. I know our company has had to do the same with any heavy duty manufacture. It looks like they've found some really good quality manafacturer there though (I'm no expert).
I took delivery of the Otto today! I've only had time to do the two test cycles to wash the gunk out of the machinery. Already I'm amazed. Even though I didn't taste the coffee it looked and smelled amazing. Great crema. Actually, I did take a little taste and it lingered in my mouth for a long time.
I think I fluked the first one because on the second one I lost the crema- I think it's because I left it too long and it overheated a bit.
It will take time to get used to it
It does get HOT! Even the handle on the coffee jug was hot. Did I do something wrong?
The grind needs to be very fine. I can't believe it but my grinder packed it in 2 days ago and I don't have any grounds left.
Can anyone recommend a good grinder that won't break the bank??
It's going to be good! It's going to be very good!
I guess it just proves that good things do come to those who wait. Thanks for being so patient. Great reading how happy you are.
The crema you saw on your first cycle is how OTTO will perform as long as you start with the unit at room temperature. If you run OTTO hot, ie, straight into a second cycle you will definitely not get the same result, the temperature at the head will be way too high.
Off the record..... carefully get OTTO into the sink, open the steam knob and run cold water over the steel. it'll cool down quickly. Get the filler cap open too and flush the hot water out of the boiler. Now you'll see that crema again just like the first cycle.
We've spent hours pouring thermal dynamics and everything inside is carefully calibrated to start at room temp, the only way to get great coffee.
On the question of the hot coffee jug handle, the silicon mat will insulate that, it's designed to overhang between the top of the boiler and the bottom of the jug. That'll deflect excess heat and keep that handle comfortable for you. If you're using gas this is pretty important.
On the grinder front, no doubt there'll be a host of people more qualified to answer this question. Can someone dive in here and give Eamonn a hand.
Different people have different 'banks,' so the break point varies. My next grinder will undoubtedly be the Vario from Baratza - they run around $450 from espressotec in Richmond, BC. If you need to cut that in half, I believe you would be very happy with the performance and quality of the Virtuoso, also by Baratza (my current grinder), sells for ~ $210.
If Otto will be your primary extraction method, you needn't scour the earth for the best espresso grinder (occasionally, one finds a used Mazzer Super Jolly or Mini on craigslist or eBay). You won't need to get particularly fine, but will definitely want consistency of particle sizes and a conical (or flat if you have the $) ceramic burr, so as not to heat your beans while grinding.