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About u2jewel

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    Hanoi Vietnam
  • Interests
    Poker, caffeine, food
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  1. u2jewel


    (pretext : wife's birthday today, I promised her to proper lunch, that we can enjoy while the kids are at school) Wife : "come on. Hurry.. We're running late" Me : "just one minute.." Getting cocky with my uber barista skills, I decided that I wanted a shot of espresso just before leaving. I dose the grinder, grind and then groan when I see that I had forgotten to shift the dial back from V60 setting. Sadly, perfectly good coffee dumped into the knock drawer, I readjust the setting, dose and then grind. "faaaak..." I mutter. Either the pressure of my wife waiting for me by the front door, ready to go, or the lack of caffeine made me adjust the opposite way, giving me what resembled French press. Into the knock drawer.. "must you, really?..." she says, to which I reply confidently that espresso means quick in Italian [emoji23] Fully focused now, in double-speed I check the grind setting, dose, grind, wdt, tamp and lock in pf, then... Success! One of those beautiful shots you wish you were filming! While basking in the glory, as I was admiring and swirling the crema, wife yells "espresso!!" so in an instant I swig it like a vodka shot. Burnt my mouth. And throat. "Faaaak..." Fast forward 20 minutes, uber driver was helpful when I told him we're running late. Espresso Zigzag through the town.. Nice guy, but his car stank like a big fart. Anyway, unappetised, We get there... ... Just to miss the last order of the restaurant we wanted to go to. "I hope you enjoyed that un-espresso" she says, to which I could not retaliate. Telling her I burnt myself because of that would only serve to make her happier... The part of town we were in, and with the time constraint to pick up the kids... really, the only option left for us was the newly opened McDonald's nearby (opened in Hanoi couple of months ago). Kinda uneasy silence during the gourmet lunch; with every swallow of the Big Mac painfully reminding me of the earlier Muppetry, I mutter "yay, McDonald's birthday party [emoji23]". No response.. then she ate the last nugget without asking. I'm sure it was mine. Communal 6 pack. 3 me, 3 you... No?
  2. Cagey might correct me, but I think it's the h28.5 I'm just going by the looks of the basket. And if it is that, then yeah, at the current grind size, needs quite a bit more. Like 20g and over. But only if it is the basket I think it is. There is laser inscription on the side [emoji6] If the basket is h28.5, it's supposed to take anything from 18g to 22g.
  3. Yeah... I was kinda stuck with what to do.. I bought it from Bella Barista, and asked them to FedEx it, along with other supplies. There was a mistake with one of the IMS baskets (they sent me Gaggia one, not E61) but I couldn't justify spending nearly at much on shipping just to get it changed. Then this flaking.. Pesado do those ims nano Coated baskets. Anyone got them? How do they hold up? I still don't know if hot cafiza water + nano coating =NG, or mine was defective... Or coating in general sucks...
  4. Talking of those nano coatings..(sorry, bit off topic) For baskets, while the coating is intact, I'm sure they would do wonders. But I have to question their longevity. A couple of months ago, I got the IMS shower screen with the nano coating. Paid like ten quid extra over the regular ims screen. The one that looks rainbow-ish. First few days were excellent. Not a spec of poop on the screen. Until... The first time I removed it for grouphead cleaning, I gave it a light rinse, then put it in hot water cafiza solution to give it a soak (along with my baskets) I couldn't believe it when nearly a third had flaked off! The very first time I cleaned them. I just soaked them. It's not as if I scrubbed with a wire brush... It still functions as a shower screen, but after every shot, I look up at the shower screen and I see Italy. On the same space, in the centre where the coating is gone, there's always a brown patch in the shape of Italy... Further south, I see a banana everyday too... So my point is, baskets are more prone to contact with metal Tampers, plus the abrasion from grinds being compacted.. To me, unless I had a defective unit, it tells me to stay away from them..
  5. It seems the post I made earlier disappeared.. Anyway, just in case you weren't aware, Nuovo Simonelli and the likes are 58mm and do fit, but their ears are at 2 o'clock and 7 o'clock (we belong to the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock). Gaggia the same? Unless you don't mind the handle not locking at 6 o'clock... You know which ones to avoid!
  6. It seems your skills are up there to get along well with the vst. I hear many people say 18g is forgiving, 15g vst is the devil. I've never used the 15g so can't speak for sure, but my 18g VST, if anything, is more forgiving than my stock double basket (which I really, honestly believe is as good as the vst). I guess smaller the dose, less margin of error affordable for puck prep..
  7. [emoji4] Do keep regular posts coming, be it reports, questions or discussions. If you are OCD (I classify myself as one [emoji23]) then you've stepped into a dangerously deep pool! So much to learn, perhaps a never ending quest. One thing I need to keep telling myself is that I should try to enjoy the coffee as much as the process of making espressos. Or V60.. After all, if you have an analytical mind, it's hard to overcome the confirmation bias, so let your tongue do the talking (as in tasting) and don't assume 'non picture perfect' shots are automatically bad! Your first tool. Naked portafilter. Very good tool to analyse extraction. Nowadays, I don't use spouted pf.. More hassle to clean. Unless my kids and wife are sharing a shot..
  8. As Stanic says, if you keep your current dose, grind finer. WDT will for sure help. Whatever tool is of your choice, with it give all coffee grinds in the basket equal stirring. You may choose to WDT or no-WDT. Try both and compare to see for yourself. I personally think, the most important part is to make sure that pre-tamp, your grinds inside the basket is as level and flat as possible. When doing wdt, you can devise a way to achieve this as part of wdt. If no wdt, then achieve the flat bed by redistributing the grinds around by shuffling the portafilter or tapping the sides of it. Then collapse the fluffy coffee bed, and remove air pockets buried and hidden by knocking /tapping the pf down against something. If the (above mentioned) wdt or redistribution by tapping was done well, this collapsing should still maintain that level, flat surface. Then proceed to tamp, making sure it's level. From the YouTube, it seems you are doing this well already. What I also suspect from the YouTube is that maybe you have under-dosed. Isn't that the IMS h28. 5? How many grams is your dose?
  9. Also, not all oem (one supplied with the machine) baskets are made equal in quality. LM users get better stock baskets than others. My ECM came with a very good stock basket.
  10. @db8000 Yes, very normal. My Sync does exactly the same, and as MRS says, that's what's happening. After the machine has fully warmed up, it stops. Then after a while of idling, as it cools down and needs to be brought up to temp again, you might see further few drops.
  11. Hehe.. If you did somehow, it would be identical internally to T64[emoji3]
  12. @Tanax I saw that one on kafatek Instagram Was yours [emoji1] Special order?
  13. Ooohh.. I do like the red version. I thought black and yellow went well, but seems red does too. I'm quite fond of the frog green and black combo also... Reminds me of Kawasaki ninja bikes..
  14. Thank you all. Covering up with that chunky rubber mat seems like a no-go. I guess optimistically I was hoping for a reply on the lines of "oh.. No problem. My great grandfather's machine covered up like that has been passed down the generations, not a single hiccup.." Back to my anti-slip mat it is then.. It stops any potential sliding or rattling of cups, allows ventilation too. I just wanted a place where I can put lots of wet cups, without having to worry about large amounts of water dripping down into the machine.. My machine is far away from the kitchen. .
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