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  • Topics

  • Posts

    • I weigh before & after grinding...always... but that’s just cuz I like to, not because it is necessary. ☺️ However, after cleaning the niche grinder, then I really do need to weigh the first few doses, just until the “non-retention”😉 grinder retains the consistent wee bit from dose to dose, otherwise weight will vary.
    • @lake_m, was this the guy (Dritan Alsela)?   www.youtube.com/watch?v=hywbrms5B1k www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgoddLi_mRo  
    • I’m a great believer in manually frothed milk. It can take a bit of practice to get the micro foam/wet paint consistency you want, but is very achievable, as is detailed latte art. (It’s also the fastest route to microfoam of all the options you are considering... unless you also have access to an espresso machine steam wand.) Some rules: Never, ever, microwave milk, do heat it gently (& the best way is to gently heat in a water bath), never exceed 65C (aim for 60C) for the sweetest milk taste, don’t over froth, froth just until you feel the texture change from thin liquid to a liquid with body, don’t create unnecessary & large air bubbles with vigorous pumping, use very fresh milk (whole milk froths beautifully & is velvety & rewarding in a cappuccino). Practice. Some milk can still be drinkable (not sour) but still be too poor for frothing; try brands that are reliably fresh, and buy in *small* containers. (Reopening large milk jugs & exposing milk to air numerous times can stales the milk more quickly & therefore reduces its ability to thicken easily... just like air stales coffee beans.) It should only take 10 to 15 pumps to create micro foam with good milk (& it is faster & easier to froth *cold* milk than hot), then heat milk to 60C, keeping it in water bath for a minute or two; when your coffee/espresso is ready, give the milk a couple of pumps to even it out (& you can also pour it back & forth between frothing jug & latte art jug, to get an even texture if you find it beginning to separate or it it is just a bit too thick for your purposes). It can be the equal of milk steamed & textured in an espresso machine (or a Bellman) if/when you become good at it.  The Bellman is a good option, too, but much more costly & very s-l-o-w. (It, too, can take a lot of practice.) I’ve had both over the years and prefer manual frothing to Bellman, but that is just my personal preference speaking.   (My favoured frothing jug was/is stainless steel not the glass bodum style)  
    • Actually it's possible to tamp the edge with the standard diameter tampers, Use it as normal and then firmly polish keeping the edge of the tamper against the side of the basket.  It's very easy to do with a bit of practice. Switching to an over sized one doesn't really make any difference. Use of a calibrated tamper can improve thing as can levelling tool. Those help to get a level tamp but if set to go too deep may interfere with the normal tamp. The chisel tools can tamp all on their own to enormous levels so best to keep and eye on that. I look for at least 1mm of movement when the actual tamper is used. I have done a fair amount of grinding into a cup and eventually gave it up as there were far too many instances of peculiar channelling. I suppose people could stir grinds to help with that but with some beans it will cause more problems than just using them as the come even if there are clumps. When it comes to  consistency it's best to remember that the BE is volumetric. That's what a programmed button does - sets the volume of the output. Once things are sorted there isn't much variation - the shot time will vary a bit. This applies through out the blue sector on the dial and a little way past it. Past that the OPV opens and providing little brew water goes that way it still tends to be ok. Like most things though it isn't totally accurate so poor prep can still cause more variation than normal. Some one said that the Sage tamper is like marmite. Some like it some don't. One thing I found with is the ease of actually checking that the tamp is level. Best thing to do if it isn't is to correct it what ever tamper is being used. John -
    • Just answered with the below on your other thread. I think it's a bit OTT for most (even on here!)  I would be interested in seeing such a machine though! Personally, I'd buy up a few old used classics and modify them to 9 Bar, install a pressure gauge, install a Rancilio Wand, install a PID, put the brass shower head on.  3D print the thinner drip tray and essentially sell the 'perfect' starter machine. Get a good rep for doing this and you'd likely become the 'go to' guy when people ask for a starter machine. When I did my reading, it appeared the Gaggia Classic with 9 Bar and PID was the ideal machine, but there was none available at the 'for sale' section and there was no real go to guy.  I reached out to GaggiaManualService and he couldn't help with PID.   I paid approx £340 for a Classic with PID, Pressure Gauge and Rancilio Wand. I don't know your margins but I reckon people might pay £380-£400 for the 'ultimate' Gaggia Classic.  I guess you'd make it work by buying broken machines for about £50-£70 on Gumtree etc as the base?
    • I think it's a bit OTT for most (even on here!)  I would be interested in seeing such a machine though! Personally, I'd buy up a few old used classics and modify them to 9 Bar, install a pressure gauge, install a PID, put the brass shower head on.  3D print the thinner drip tray and essentially sell the 'perfect' starter machine. Get a good rep for doing this and you'd likely become the 'go to' guy when people ask for a starter machine. When I did my reading, it appeared the Gaggia Classic with 9 Bar and PID was the ideal machine, but there was none available at the 'for sale' section and there was no real go to guy.  I reached out to GaggiaManualService and he couldn't help with PID. Just my opinion though - personally, I hope you do make the machine you mentioned.  I'm also keen on seeing you develop the Dual Boiler Gaggia/KitchenAid!  
    • Yep! I found that the milk was better with a smaller bodum (500ml) than a bigger one (1L) I had, Sainsbury’s brand.
    • 1) No - sadly 2) I use a dosing funnel which I sourced off eBay fits very nicely within the double basket. I grind my beans into a cup first then pour into the basket via the funnel. Cleaned my workflow up a lot. https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F273873965385 3) I originally thought the tamper was good until I attended a barista course. I now use a 53mm Motta tamper which you can get from Bella Barista, 200 Degrees Coffee or elsewhere. Slight bit of room around the edge however once I tamp I give the basket a gentle knock with the tamper and it knocks any small loose bits off into the puck ready for a final more gentle tamp. Hope this helps.
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