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About CardinalBiggles

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    Portafilter pro

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    Retired Associate Dean, University

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  1. Now THAT upgrade can be the most expensive upgrade of all!
  2. I did consider the Fracino range. Very well established, made in Brum iirc, service and spares network, and very affordable. Good luck with your new stup.
  3. I have had several conversations with Caffè Italia, and they didn't impress me. They give me the impression of being a family business café with a back room internet sales. They didn't officially do the ECM range, which was my first red light, as imho ECM are very choosey when it comes to suppliers. They did the Profitec 700 though, but, for ECM, iirc it was a private email with prices they would not publish on the web. Pretty sure that would have been a machine from his brother-in-law's shop in Naples or wherever! �� I suspect they had the Quickmill in stock, though, as they were pushing that one very hard. But checking it out it was a previous model! The BB Verona was not only better specc'd but also cheaper than the CI price. The same with the Izzo Alessi - the only machine that made me think twice about ECM - they only had the old version with the poor cup height. BB had the full height version, and again, cheaper than CI. There is a lot of money spent by individuals in this hobby, and it's exactly like a buying from a network of used car dealers. There are no bargains. You get exactly what you pay for. If something looks too good or very cheap there is a reason for it. Always. It's not made easier by the pound dropping quicker than Lucy Lastic's rip-cord operated drawers..... There are some good guys, of course, and I would definitely put BB in that very small group of suppliers. I wasn't able to get to Northants, so I took my time and checked everything I was told (by everyone who quoted for my business) for independent confirmation. BB got 10/10. And yes, I'm very happy with my set up. If it wasn't so fekkin heavy I'd be cuddling my ECM upstairs in bed at nights..... ��
  4. I think these box shifter offerings are just grey imports direct from Italy. No support from the box shifters and send them back to Italy at your own risk and cost for repairs. There is a firm in Düsseldorf advertises the Bezerra and others on Ebay, but again, it's send the machine back by courier if it needs servicing. Italian Engineering. Italian electronics. All next to Heat and Water! What could possibly go wrong! . (These Jerries were the dudes advertising those Rocket 58 V2s as "new" btw. Imho they had to be a good 7 years old....)
  5. I was looking at that, but is it worth £50 plus postage ? The OE one is bad enough at £22!
  6. WOW! I'm surprised about the 300 going South at BB. They are very enthusiastic about the Heidelberger machines. (is there a new model on the way?) If money really really is a limit, then imho the Expobar is a good honest machine at a really honest price. You won't be able to run Latte after latte at your next coffee party, but it IS dual boiler, IS priced for you, IS a very established brand, well supported in the UK by several suppliers, and I haven't heard an owner say a bad word about them. You gotta pay fir dem Double-D size Rocket dials, dude! ?
  7. I do like Bezzera; the Ferrari/Alfa of coffee machines! ? but as an organisation they just aren't into the UK. They are much more geared up to the Continent imho, and tge Middle Eadt! Look at their Italian web pages!! ?. I crossed them off my own list after researching servicing and repairs. And I would probably have had to order from the Continent.
  8. I started off my addiction when I noticed the Sage wotsit had come down in price. One look at the Apartamento, though, and the build quality of the R2D2/Dalek technology coffee makers and I was off. It was a close call. An Apartamento with a Mignon grinder is a very tempting combination for sensible money. But for just a little bit more money, one gets quite a lot more machine. I soon decided that an insulated boiler would be worth while, both in terms of running costs and also the amount of heat being spread around all the electrics inside that small interior space. I knew I would be upgrading within the year. Hassle, and dead money on the Appartemento. If you go for a second hand V58, go for V. 3. That has quite a few improvements over the V. 2, including insulated boiler. The V. 2. was replaced years ago yet are still being advertised as a new machine! Where have they had that stuff hidden!? I loved the style of the Rocket. And owners on here are happy with them. I eventually bought an ECM. I felt the engineering integrity was higher than on the equivalent Rocket. The Profitec 300/500 might well be worth having a think about. The 300 is a great entry machine, with its dual boiler giving maximum benefit of having a PID. The 500 is more powerful, of course, and more traditional in looks. Good luck with your adventure!
  9. I checked out Modern Standard's online shop. In Sainsbury's, it's a reasonable £18 a kilo. Direct from MS it's £30 a kilo, plus postage iirc. Ouchy!
  10. Can anyone tell me what's going on here please? I put 17gm in the PF The first tail of coffee arrives in 3 or 4 seconds. 34 gms output reached at 25/26 seconds, by which time I suspect overextraction has begun. Where is this going wrong? Thanks in anticipation
  11. I ordered an after - lunch double espresso in the Rockefeller Centre bistro in New York recently. The waiter looked a bit surprised but sure enough it arrived moments later..... In a half pint mug! There's no such thing as "small" in America.....
  12. I wanted this to try, but the roasting date of the last two packs left was early July.....your luck might be better though. https://www.sainsburys.co.uk/shop/gb/groceries/coffee-beans/modern-standard-guatemala-beans-227g Modern Standard look as though they care about coffee, so well done Sainsbury's. Of course, you can also buy loads of Taylors of Harrogate rubbish with their "Amateur Hour" marketing efforts.....
  13. The Bella Barista beans that came with my machine are very good for a drink with milk in, but both of us here at Biggles Towers found it to be a bit explosive when used purely for espresso. Even when thinned down to Americano..... >So I was quite pleasantly surprised to find that Sainsbury's are doing some nice single origin coffees now, among a range of very selective small roasteries. I got this one (pic) to try out. £4.50, 227gms. A nice description, but I particularly liked that the roasting date was shown. It's a nice drink too. Not as big a hitter as the sledgehammer BB beans, but makes a nice, smooth silky cappuccino with a good taste profile that lingers in the mouth. As an espresso it's even better. Worth checking out in case of emergency needs for supplies! ? I also notice that I am drinking less coffee now. I was always throwing a bean to cup coffee down my neck, several every day; but I find that a really decent coffee satisfies me so much more, and lingers so much longer, that just 2 shots a day is keeping me happy. Quality vs quantity I guess.
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