PDA

View Full Version : Just had a Fracino Cherub and need advice please.



El Cabron
23-11-13, 06:14
Hello folks, i have owned an ascasso espresso machine (the Arc model i think) for a couple of years and although it made decent coffee, there was something missing when compared to my favourite cafe's latte's, and also the milk would microfoam up quite nicely but i could never get the consistency to pour nice latte art patterns properly.
Realising that i could never be able to spend £thousands on a proper barista machine, i came across these Fracino machines for around £660 which i enquired about at fracinoshop.com and the guy there told me that they produce barista quality coffee which sounded good to me but still a lot of money....so i thought about it and bit the bullet and went back to him and bought the Cherub model which was delivered yesterday, and after the age it took to peel off all the film from the chrome my thoughts were this is a nice solid (and heavy) machine that dwarfs my ascasso machine and looks nice.
After a few practise shots to get the correct grind for this machine i was duly impressed by the quality of the coffee extraction, 27 seconds double espresso with tons of rich crema....but.....when i came to froth the milk my attempt ended with milk everywhere (it is awkward for a left hander to use the steamer).
A few attempts later the steamer is very powerful, maybe too powerful for 1 latte or cappuccino, and not much microfoam. So reading around, i discover that people are buying different steam wand tips to improve this and would like to get maybe a 2 x 1mm holed tip and a 4 x 1mm tip so i can practise getting better foam for good latte art. My 1st question is how on earth do you change the tip,what size,the best ones to get? I would hate to break the wand and have tried doing it by hand but it won't budge.
My 2nd question is, i also read about these VST filter baskets i might invest in but there are so many sizes to choose from i'm not sure which size would be a perfect size to swap for the larger basket that comes with the Cherub... has anybody bought 1? Are VST baskets the same diameter as the stock basket? Did you notice any difference in the coffee compared to the stock basket? I am quite happy with the coffee i pull with the stock equipment but i may as well improve if that's what they do, especially as xmas is coming and i am quite into making coffee and would love a nice microfoam on my milk, and while the Cherub gives tons of steam,i feel that the wand tip lets the machine down on that count. My Ascasso had the tube with the hole in the side on the steamer and found that you could get good microfoam but wasn't quite good enough for latte art pouring. Still, for £160 i found it to be a reasonable home espresso machine, but you know how it is when you get the bug and want to improve on the coffee you make.
Sorry that my post is so long and hopefully you didn't fall asleep reading it but this Fracino machine is a different ball game to what i am used to.
Thanks for reading, Azza.

Wobin19
23-11-13, 06:47
Sounds like you are making great progress! I have a Cherub and would suggest you get yourself a 4 x 1mm tip which is a bit more controllable and an 18g VST basket.<object type="cosymantecnisbfw" cotype="cs" id="SILOBFWOBJECTID" style="width: 0px; height: 0px; display: block;"></object>

El Cabron
23-11-13, 06:55
Sounds like you are making great progress! I have a Cherub and would suggest you get yourself a 4 x 1mm tip which is a bit more controllable and an 18g VST basket.<object style="width: 0px; height: 0px; display: block;" id="SILOBFWOBJECTID" type="cosymantecnisbfw" cotype="cs"></object>

Thanks for the reply Wobin. How did you remove the original tip from the wand? Also are the VST baskets all the same in diameter, i.e the same as the stock filter basket? I guess i am looking for the most suitable holed tip to facilitate the best latte art so is the 4 x 1mm the best? Where did you buy the tip from?
Sorry for the spanish inquisition.

Wobin19
23-11-13, 09:08
No probs and sorry for my brief reply earlier, I was out and about. You will need a standard VST which is 58.4 on the i.d. That will fit perfectly. I I got my tip from Londonium. It just screws off, you should see some flat faces on your tip where you can get a spanner on if needed. <object type="cosymantecnisbfw" cotype="cs" id="SILOBFWOBJECTID" style="width: 0px; height: 0px; display: block;"></object>

Charliej
23-11-13, 09:12
Thanks for the reply Wobin. How did you remove the original tip from the wand? Also are the VST baskets all the same in diameter, i.e the same as the stock filter basket? I guess i am looking for the most suitable holed tip to facilitate the best latte art so is the 4 x 1mm the best? Where did you buy the tip from?
Sorry for the spanish inquisition.

Although nobody expects a Spanish Inquisition, please don't bring on the comfy chair. Hi and welcome to the forum.

origmarm
23-11-13, 11:10
I also use the 18g VST and 4x1mm tip (though I sometimes swap it out for when I have folk over to steam the bigger jugs). The tip should really unscrew by hand, if not just get a cloth and spanner on it. Overall the 4x1 is the best compromise, the 2x1 is better for beginners to learn initially.

michaelg
24-11-13, 03:38
Agree with all previous advice - the 4x1mm is the one to use. I also have the 2x 1mm and 4z1.2mm and the odd time have put the latter on by accident following a cleaning session and found my milk boiled before I even for started. S

Have the 17g LM equivalent - only complaint is I like ridgeless for weighing purposes.

El Cabron
26-11-13, 12:56
Although nobody expects a Spanish Inquisition, please don't bring on the comfy chair. Hi and welcome to the forum.

Thanks charliej

El Cabron
26-11-13, 01:00
Agree with all previous advice - the 4x1mm is the one to use. I also have the 2x 1mm and 4z1.2mm and the odd time have put the latter on by accident following a cleaning session and found my milk boiled before I even for started. S

Have the 17g LM equivalent - only complaint is I like ridgeless for weighing purposes.
I know what you mean about the milk boiling before you can froth...Fred Dibnah would have been impressed with the steam capability of the Cherub !!
Thanks to everybody for your advice :-) tips ordered.