June 12, 2015

Just got the HG-One delivered here in Vienna. A quick first impression: Packing was excellent, setup took around 5 minutes (most of which was just admiration). Turned in the recommended starting position and tried my Yirgacheffe city home roast with 9 grams in the single basket La Pavoni. 9.1 grams went in and surprisingly 9.1 grams came out. I did add two drops of water off my fingertip just to be sure (I’ll check later if really necessary). Grinding starts with a strong push-pull and then turning can be done with two fingers, so took off the extension bar on the flywheel and put the handle on directly. Grinds look a lot different from my Mignon, fluffier. A quick stir and into the basket seems to be all that’s needed. I’m going to try to cut down on all the strange rituals I developed through time. Naked PF showed perfect pour, slightly fast. Next try notch tighter. Bingo. I was hoping for a big improvement in taste, but have always been skeptical, because I’ve been disappointed a lot in the past with my audiophile hobby where people claim night and day differences in certain gear and in the end a blind test shows BS. But I have to say everybody here on HB has been right, big conicals are awesome. I believe it can be described as having ‘more layers’. A spicy undertone I have never gotten out of this bean, no matter what I tried and an aftertaste lasting much longer than I’m used to are some of the differences. Of course I can be influenced by the money I invested and the beauty of the machine, but there are cues that something really changed, for the better. First off, dialing in is a breeze now, the initial setting is always in the ballpark, with hardly any change between different beans and roasts. Second, the flow from my naked PF is just perfect, out of the book, without WDT. I used to have spritzers often, no matter how much WDT I applied. Third, I haven’t had a too sour or too bitter shot today, and before with my Mignon 2-3 out of 10 were sink shots. Today, none. Coincidence? And I haven’t even seasoned the burrs. Upon buying the HG-One I found a way to convince my spouse it was worth a thousand bucks: see it as a piece of art, like a painting on the wall or a marble torso by Rodin. That stuff can cost more than a thousand. The HG-One will last just as long, is just as beautiful and in addition to that it can do a trick: grind coffee! Well, after the tasting of today, she said that even if it was ugly as a toad it would’ve still been worth the money :DSince my spouse prefers darker roasts and I prefer lighter SO’s and we have some decafs in between, I really like the zero retention. I’m getting closer to being cured of upgraditis.

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