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About Hexagram

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    Brewing Nicely

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  1. Working my way through a kilo of Las Orquideas from The Barn, another kilo of beans arriving from Gardelli today. I think half of it is the espresso blend, the other half I think is La Cristalina. Given the rate I’m going through them at the moment I’ll probably get another order in somewhere later in the week. Recommendations for espresso anyone?
  2. Hexagram

    My new Mara

    I feel like I’m now starting to get to grips with my setup and I’m getting some nice results even if I feel like I’m more stumbling upon being dialled in. I got one batch of beans to a good place, but it took me a while and I didn’t have that much left to really enjoy it, then I loaded up with a new batch from The Barn and the same settings were pretty awful. I spent a morning fiddling around and just couldn’t get it right, then later that day a naked portafilter I had ordered turned up. I used it this morning without making any changes other to my grinder, but I was also using a VST basket for the first time (it had been waiting as it wouldn’t fit in the portafilter I was originally using) and instantly the results were tasting pretty much spot on. 20g coffee, produced 40g espresso in about 28 seconds when I timed it.
  3. Hexagram

    My new Mara

    Anyone got any tips on maintaining? I've now had it a week, I do want to really keep on top of it and if that means weekly cleaning of shower screen or whatever, then I'm all in.
  4. Hexagram

    My new Mara

    Updated setup!
  5. Arrived safe and sound, thank you sir!
  6. Hexagram

    My new Mara

    I have the same issue with water. I live in Aylesbury, so we have the Chilterns to contend with so I’m using volvic. I have read through Dave’s reviews of the machine, I’ll probably study some more this evening. May steal that smart plug idea too!! Django is a good shout, had some of their beans in the past and they were great.
  7. Hexagram

    My new Mara

    Best I managed before was a shot which took around 35 seconds. Taste wasn’t great, so there’s definitely work to do. I’m also using 18g, I’ve got myself some Acaia scales to make sure I’m right on that. Milk drinks will follow, that’s my wife’s preference. This weekend I’ll be working on that, it’s tough at the moment because my wife is working from home and I’m off this week while some contractual stuff is sorted at work (I’m a contractor who is currently in the process of frantically renegotiating an extension in light of IR35 being kicked down the road) which means I have my one year old boy running around my feet - not ideal when trying to geek out over my new toy!!
  8. Hexagram

    My new Mara

    On Monday I pulled the trigger on the wood trimmed Mara that BB had on their website, along with all sorts of other goodies. I’ve long owned a Gaggia Classic and thought that it was about time for an upgrade. David at BB was super efficient getting it sent via next day delivery even though I was 5 minutes over the 1pm cut off. He knocked a little off the price because there was a little scuffing on the casing which I’m not at all fussed about, he was even kind enough to chuck in some free beans! The machine is beautiful, really happy with it. I’m now waiting for a grinder to arrive, I picked up a Mignon that someone was selling on this forum. I attempted a few shots myself with my Knock hand grinder, mixed results to be quite honest, but that was expected. Now I just have to hone my skills! If anyone has any useful tips on getting the best out of my machine I’d love to know.
  9. I’ll take for 280 posted if you’re ok with that good sir!
  10. I can post, I need time to get it together. I work long hours during the week and next weekend I have my son’s first birthday to organise, so it could be the following week before I can make it work.
  11. Few pics here, please let me know if you need any more.
  12. Hey guys Sorry I disappeared off the radar, l've had a lot on recently :/ Forgive my ignorance, I thought all of these guys had the solenoid? Mine does, I know that much. I haven't adjusted the pressure at all, no idea if a previous owner had. Pics I promise will come tonight and I will be regularly logging in to check for responses.
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