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About les24preludes

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  • Rank
    Coffee Legend

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  • Location
    Kensington, London
  • Interests
    Designing and making things
  • Occupation
    Performance psychologist, writer, musician
  1. I should have followed you guys with the recommendation. I lazily got some Horsham Columbian Sugarcane, which is pretty bland. A lighter brown roast. Price was just over £17 delivered, but it was a mistake nevertheless. I'll try and mix it with some Waitrose Peru beans which are darker.......... Result: A bit more flavour, but not great.
  2. Recently I've got into the habit of pressing the Pour button on my Gaggia Baby (older version) just after frothing. This sends a burst of steam through the group head. Seems to me this helps clean the shower screen. Is this recommended or what?
  3. My nomination for best value - Waitrose Peru Decaf beans. On offer at £2.62 a bag in my local. Can't beat that. Coffee is OK enough at that price.
  4. Ah - some great feedback here. I didn't realise it was a good idea to backflush with water as well as Cafiza. I'll do that now. The Baby I have is lighter, but more awkward than my previous Classics. Quite a knack to get the water reservoir out. But yes, I should clean the whole group head once in a while. I do drop out the shower screen and clean it. I haven't yet found the right tool or cleaning product to get at the fine mesh inside my IMS screen. Any recommendations?
  5. I have a couple of earlier Baby Gaggias with the 3-way valve, so backflushing needs to be done. I clearly left it too long because - quite a lot of water was spritzing out of the top of the PF on pulling a shot - the PF wouldn't go all the way round and sit properly - obviously the coffee wasn't very good Having left it for too long, I had to do quite a bit of backflushing before all these issues cleared. Now the PF goes all the way round as usual and is watertight. Coffee tastes good again. So questions are: - how often to backflush if you make 3 cups per day? - are these extreme symptoms pretty typical?
  6. I've been regrinding for maybe 6 months with no problems I can see. I only do 18g at a time, and this literally shoots out in seconds. I then brush the burrs twice, giving the motor a quick start after, to clear all the residue. Given the tiny amount being ground each time I don't see that clogging is possible. Maybe if you were grinding a kilo at a time this might be an issue, but for 18g you're basically just starting and stopping the motor in seconds. Thanks for the information, though, I'll give it a look.
  7. I'd like to think that a product as robust as a Mazzer would be designed to run empty - wouldn't they have incorporated that into the testing procedures somewhere in the development stage? I'm only grinding 18g at a time, so it doesn't get hot - that's not an issue. Just takes seconds. As stated, 250g of beans off the Net costs me around £8. M&S is actually pure Columbian and costs me £3.50, no shipping since I buy from the store. As Dacia says "you do the math".
  8. Why not? You know about these things. Is there any impediment? Been doing it for months and months. Tell me if there's something I should know.
  9. If you want a cheap and very good alternative to beans, try the M&S Decaf in the blue packet, £3.50. It's ready ground, but not very fine and I grind it finer in my Major. Its pure Columbian and I really like the taste. I buy 8 packets at a time - go through loads of the stuff. I prefer it to Illy ground decaf. Haven't tried Illy decaf beans, if they exist. The Waitrose Peru decaf beans aren't as good as the M&S.
  10. Just opening my 20th successive bag of M&S Decaf. It's Columbian, I love it, and it's all I drink, and for £3.50 a bag that suits me. Always 18g in to my Baby Gaggia and 40g in the cup, then add 125ml frothed milk. The coffee is already ground, but I grind it finer in my Mazzer Major. At this point I've no idea if I'm going to go online and buy anything else. It would be over twice the price including delivery. Maybe I'll cave in at some point. I'm astonished at how much I've dropped into a routine after having experimented so much with grinders, making DIY doserless conversions, and everything else. I mean - 20 successive bags of the same coffee can't be normal on this forum!
  11. I have a similar funnel on my Major, and the absolute best solution for retention is a camera lens puffer. You blow into the burr chamber while the grinder is running. Then turn it off and puff out the chute. For sticky bean grinds which stick to the walls of the chute I additionally use a brush with a long handle. Cleans the chute completely. Then I give the funnel a sharp knock with the handle of the brush to dislodge any grinds in the funnel. I don't use any tube in the throat to go with a tamper as weight. I leave the top flat and put my palm over it. This allows me to get the puffer further down into the throat of the burr chamber.
  12. I'm still going through bag after bag of Marks and Spencer House Decaf, pure Columbian - comes up a charm in my Mazzer Major. It shouldn't be this good for £3.50 but it is. I had the Guatemalan Jalapa from James Gourmet and that was one of my favourites.
  13. So how do you fit a subcutaneous thermostat in your average baby? Does it require an general anaesthetic or just something local?
  14. All this coffee making is an obsession, right? And obsessions can burn out. When you're fresh into an obsession you're - well - obsessed. The joys of discovery, all those humiliating mistakes and getting to know a new community. In my case the obsession lasted 6 months, and now I have all the hardware and knowledge I need to just enjoy my coffee. So now I'm on to double edge razors, DIY handles, razorblade shootouts, artisan soaps and Yaqi synthetic brushes.......
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