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About Markk

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  1. Hi, That's an interesting question but you might be better off putting it on one of the more general (less machine specific) sub-forums as it's relevant to all E61 group machines and you would be likely to get many more views. I think that opinions on this subject vary widely. There are factors which will effect the rate at which the coffee oils and other contaminants build up. For example, the type of coffee you are using, the frequency of use, hardness of water etc. I have a Verona (so also an E61 lever machine) and pull about 3 to 6 double shots on it on an average day. I guess that I back flush with detergent every two to three months and find that to be plenty. I once left it much longer but became aware that there was a significant reduction in the quality of the taste and crema of the coffee I was brewing. The subsequent clean out resolved that immediately. The key thing is that it is absolutely critical that you re-lubricate the cam and valve pin ends after every detergent back flush. Not doing so will lead to rapid wear of the valve pin ends which will cease to be 'square' against the cam and that will cause the group to stop functioning properly. Dave Corby has written an excellent guide on how to do that but I'm not sure if it's on this Forum (although I would have thought it should be). However, although it's not difficult to do, you certainly wouldn't want to be doing it every day ! Hope that’s of some help.
  2. Now that it's become super easy to insert those photos !
  3. My first time staying in Marseille and I just had the morning free to do a bit of exploring. I found the coffee shop 'Deep' on the Rue Glandeves near the South Eastern corner of the Old Port. It's a relatively new looking place with some comfortable seating by the window. They are running a two group La Marzocco together with a Mythos and also have some other brewing methods available. The back half of the shop was filled by a large commercial roaster and lots of sacks of beans. Everything was crisp and clean. To go with the coffee, they had a small selection of home made cakes and cookies which looked really good. A variety of associated gear (filter, aeropress, scales etc) was also available together with, of course, lots of shop roasted beans of various origins. When I arrived the Barista was busy bagging up some Columbian beans. I had an Americano with a dash of milk. It was made with great care (OCD prior to tamping, weighed in and out) and was really excellent. Apparently it was a Brazilian origin natural process. It had a pretty (what I call) traditional flavour but with just a touch of citrus finish. The chocolate chip cookie I had to go with it was also very good. Best of all was the very friendly and knowledgeable Barista. She was telling me about the growing coffee scene in Marseille and how they are trying to teach their commercial clients (restaurants etc) about brewing ratios and techniques. Definitely worth a try if you are in Marseille. (would love to include a couple of photos but I can't, for the life of me, seem to upload them the right way up !)
  4. Thank you Glenn and great to meet you the other day. Won't be able to do that this weekend but hopefully the following one, if you'll be pulling shots then ?
  5. Welcome to the UK ! Chester should be a great place to live. I agree that the Mignon should work well for your needs. I have had one for quite a few years now and love it. Although it is no longer my espresso grinder (that job has been taken over by a bigger grinder) it still sits on my counter, dialled in for filter coffee use. With regard to roasting, I think you might be surprised by the vast number and quality of independent coffee suppliers in the UK. Just take a look at the 'UK Based Roasters' thread on the 'Beans' forum to see what I mean. Many of these roasters are mail order only services but many also have options to go and buy (and sometimes try) from a shop or their unit.
  6. Good find, thanks for the review. My first proper job was just a little way up the road from here and I used to know the area quite well, but that was many years ago, possibly even BCE (before coffee era). Let us know what the place on the opposite corner is like (Bites ?) if you get a chance ?
  7. An absolute bargain and a great machine ! Unfortunately I don't think I can justify having a second one (but if I could....). We used to live just by the Malt Shovel on the Grand Union years ago. Is that where you are ?
  8. For many years now I have used the 3 cup Alessi 9090 (the Richard Sapper design). They are stupidly expensive now but, in my opinion, the most perfectly designed Moka pot available. The top clamps to the bottom using an over centre lever which is also the handle. As there is no screw down motion, the seal just never seems to wear out (I do have a spare but have not yet needed it). The spout does not drip even though it looks like it should. The flared out bottom 'collects' the stove heat more efficiently relative to the pots size and the contours on the bottom also increase the efficiency while preventing it from rattling if any water gets trapped underneath. It's stainless steel of course so none of the aluminium problems. The handle never gets more than warm. Every aspect seems to have been thought through perfectly. The only problem is that it's so pretty that you might be reluctant to use it and I suspect many of them do just end up sitting on display rather than making coffee. If you can afford one, it's what I would recommend and it should last a lifetime but, as I said, crazy price.
  9. Hi Tony, I also use the Brewista scales and like them very much. I keep intending to try using the integrated timer. I suspect there could be a benefit in timing the actual length of the pour as against the length of time the pump is running (with the machine's timer). The latter also includes the pre-infusion time and I'm not sure if that's a good thing as it can be quite variable. The main other machine on my 'short list', at the time, was the Profitec (600 ?). In the end it seemed to me that its only significant advantage over the Verona was its stainless steel boilers but I decided that, on balance, the features and build quality of the Quick Mill outweighed that feature. Discovering (very shortly after making my decision) that the Verona now also had the stainless boilers, really made my day ! It could be a false memory but I think that the technician thought that the two companies were buying their boilers from the same manufacturer. It is a great machine and I think that we largely have DaveUK to thank for that. It was his input, tweaking and attention to detail that resulted in a machine that was significantly better than the one it was based on and (I think) at the time, was better than any of the rest at around that level. I know what you mean about the water tank. I try to keep it fairly topped up but I have been caught out a couple of times. Mark
  10. Good to hear you've been able to sort out the problem and have your Verona running again. I believe that my one (which is about the same age as yours) also has stainless steel boilers. When I collected it from Bella Barista the first one had a fault (pump timer not working) when they tested it in the showroom. The top was taken off to have a quick look before they decided to abandon that plan and just get me another one off the shelf instead. While we were checking that one, I commented on the boilers to their technician and he said that he thought that QM had gone over to using the SS boilers a little while before. Possibly about the same time that they made a few other enhancements (including the pump timer).
  11. aha...it's working again now. Must have been an interweb glitch or finger trouble (on my part). Thanks for the reply.
  12. Hi, Is there a new code ? The one I have been using until recently seems to have just stopped working. Many thanks.
  13. My old code is no longer valid either. Please could I have the new one ? Many thanks.
  14. Lyon might be the gastronomic capital of France but, until recently, I've struggled to find somewhere good for coffee there. I literally stumbled upon Slake Coffee House on my last but one trip there and tried it again, for a second time, yesterday. They are located very centrally in a narrow street at 9 Rue de l'Ancienne Préfecture. So far I've sampled a couple of really excellent Americanos and a very good Cappuccino. They're running a two group La Marzocco and also have Aeropress, V60 and Chemex available, all served in Loveramics porcelain. Yesterday they were using two Ethiopian beans from Bocca (roasters in the Netherlands), a Sidamo for the espresso, which I really liked, and a Yirgacheffe for filter. They also have a light menu for lunch and some very nice homemade cakes, cookies and brownies. Their vanilla cheesecake was exceptional ! Staff were friendly and knowledgeable. Very pleasant and relaxed ambience. I would certainly recommend you give it a try if you find yourself in Lyon.
  15. likewise....it looks like the online shop is mainly for coffee and tea related stuff. The shops are still a common sight in much of Europe but I can't remember seeing these containers on the shelves when I've popped in for a quick browse in the past. Now thinking I might try one for myself as they do look rather well thought out.
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