After the epic with the electrician, Kyle from Ritual was kind enough to assist with an install last night -- which turned out to be a good thing given some complications in programming the controller.
So this morning I (finally) had a chance to make espresso with the machine. I will write up more complete thoughts next week after I live with the machine a bit more - and have some photos to share - but I thought I'd share initial impressions now.
First -- I truly do have the dream home setup. It's insane and unbelievable and I have to periodically shake my head. My luck... it's ridiculous. I'm undeserving. Truly.
Second -- I'm having to remember how to make espresso on a commercial machine. For all of this being a smaller one-group machine, it's still a true commercial piece of equipment.
Third -- I had one of the best shots of Stumptown Hairbender I've had in a very long time. Incredible coating and viscous mouthfeel, lovely cherry chocolate stonefruit flavours. Stunning finish and aftertaste.
Fourth -- there are some things that the Italians do very well - and this machine demonstrates that. Producing very high quality espresso is dramatically easier than it was with the Monster Mia (which was one of the easier machines to work on already).
Fifth -- there are some things that Italians are mystifyingly bad at. Why the hot water spout is out to the side of the machine (where it doesn't drain into the drip tray) is truly bizarre. And steaming milk with this wand is both challenging and exciting.
Sixth -- goddamn do Terry Z and his Espressoparts crew do a good job. While this GS is an "authentic" piece of gear, it's so cleverly updated and restored that it keeps all this was good and wonderful while modernizing what needs to be improved -- and does so in a manner that is cool, functional and gorgeous all at once.
I think I'm in love.