Older thread, but also seems to be the only one on 9Barista. I’ll also say up front that I know I’m a bit of an edge case when it comes to espresso making.
Our situation is that we have limited space in our kitchen and we could use more electrical outlets, which is why I picked up a 9Barista. I’ve used the 9Barista daily since the beginning of the year. By my count, that’s over 200 espressos I’ve made with it, so I think I have a pretty good handle on how to make adjustments.
In my hands, I can make espresso with the 9Barista that is better than any coffee shop in my area (I live in the US, so I realize that may be a pretty low bar 😉), and that matches the best espresso I can remember having, which was in Europe.
I can’t do any comparisons, as this is the only method of making espresso I’ve ever used. I also don’t claim to have a whole lot of experience with espresso as well. But here’s what I would consider, looking back on my experience.
- With the 9Barista, the only way of controlling how your espresso turns out is with grind and dose. I’ve been told by folks who have more sophisticated set ups than I do that the 9Barista gives no control over pressure and what happens during the actual extraction. But what I know is that what I get is terrific, and that the people who tell me this also can’t tell me what I’m missing by not having control over those factors. (If you know what I’m missing, I’m all ears. Always more to learn.)
- There is a learning curve to the 9Barista, but I imagine that there’s a learning curve for any method of making espresso. My experience is that starting from a point of not having ever made espresso, it took a few tries the first time before I was able to get an espresso that tasted good, and about three days, making espresso once a day in the morning, before I felt confident in knowing how adjustments in grind and dose would affect the espresso. That seems pretty good to me.
- The 9Barista is slower than a conventional espresso machine, especially if you’re making more than one. This will be an issue if you want to make multiple espressos. I can pour a completed espresso shot, cool down and wash out the 9Barista, prep it for the second shot, and pour the second one in about 8 minutes. That may be too slow for you, but for my wife and I, it’s fine.
- This discussion is in the context of using the 9Barista when camping. I assume that means that you all have other ways of making espresso at home. I would suggest that you use the 9Barista at home every day for at least a few days, maybe a week before going camping so you have an idea of how it will work at the campsite.
- On the other hand, less than perfect espresso while camping might be a better option than no espresso. 😉
- 9Barista customer service is fantastic. I’ve asked the folks there a bunch of questions before and since getting mine, and they’ve been very responsive and friendly.
Don’t get me wrong — if we didn’t have our space issues in our kitchen, we most likely would have wound up with a more conventional espresso machine instead of the 9Barista. But having a 9Barista as our only method of making espresso has been great.
So I think the 9Barista is definitely more than a fancy moka pot, and I think you’ll like it for camping.