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About awholelatteproblems

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    Lightly Roasted
  1. I don't know if I was just unlucky, but the Brickwood that I tried by Clapham Common was terrible. Tasted like the beans hadn't been properly tamped, or were too coarse, really bad. With the thought of "life is too short for bad coffee" I went just next door to Black Lab and had an excellent coffee. Never went back to Brickwood again. Will check out the other SW London one's you've mentioned. Taylor St Barista's are always a solid choice for the city, first came across them in Richmond.
  2. It's a nice idea, the PID seems to allow for a maximum of 140° though. Certainly the steaming controls on the PID are much less refined than for the brew! Simply a temperature to set, and an on / off functioning of the boiler on the way to attaining that temperature! Interestingly in the app, the default for that is 125° - will be interested to hear what @Stanic has his set at.
  3. Given you're running the same setup with the meCoffee PID, could I ask what you have your steam temperature set at with the meCoffee?
  4. This made it very clear what my issue was (perhaps, in my occasional dalliances with steaming I should have given it more than a cursory consideration - I tend to largely drink espresso / long black as mentioned)... I had the pump running while steaming. Happy to take some flak for this - seems rather obvious in retrospect. I had wondered at the big problems. In any case, just steamed some milk very successfully, thank you. A picture speaks a thousand word, a video with the exact machine and what you should be doing (not foolishly turning on the pump), many many more so! Thanks.
  5. Can I ask what size jug you're using, out of interest? Also are you running a PID, and if so what temperature do you have your steam set to? I went through about 2 litres of milk initially, attempting to nail it, but the biggest problem I was running up against was that it starts spurting hot water, rather than steam, into the milk. Hence my question of whether it's ever really going to be viable. I've used a proper HX machine a couple of times and haven't had nearly as much of a problem in getting my milk moving well, and my air incorporated fully. That was with a bigger jug - say a 500ml one.
  6. The Black Lab by Clapham Common is excellent! Always have a variety of beans on, including decaff if that's your thing. I happened across it years back, now I'll gladly make a detour if I'm around those parts.
  7. Slightly off topic, but I'm interested, what don't you like about Monmouth's beans? I can't say I'm that taken with their espresso blend, but they have so much else on offer on the lighter roasted side of things, that it's been rare not to find something I like as an espresso after trying say 3 with them. Even though the stuff they have ready to taste is all filter, they're usually pretty good about making them up for espresso, and will steer you clear of the stuff that's a bit more astringent as espresso (some of the stuff that's lovely as filter is horrid as espresso!)
  8. I'm pretty happy with my setup for espresso making - my Silvia has the meCoffee PID, and after various amounts of adjustment, I have a consistent brew temperature. Where I'm struggling is with milk steaming. I'm very happy drinking espresso, or a long black, so it's not the end of the world. In fact, if I got good at steaming maybe my consumption of milk wouldn't be so good! Having said that, I'd like it at least to be a viable option. My overarching question is, is it ever really going to be a viable option with the Silvia? I've bought a 330ml jug, but even with that I get to the point of water running through the wand more quickly than I'm able to get enough air incorporated. I have my boiler set to 140C as I found that helped some, at least with having a little more steam. One thing I'm considering is this jug that encourages a toroidal flow - if anyone has any experience with them, I'd appreciate any feedback (as a newbie I'm not sure I should be posting links as yet, but it's called an Espro Toroid. Seems like a lot of money for a milk jug though! Thanks in advance for any help and advice
  9. I was surprised at just how fine I had to go to start getting decent length extractions. Since purchasing a Mazzer Royal second hand, it's made a world of difference. It took me a month or two from purchasing my Silvia to realise, but to get shop-quality espresso extraction, the fineness and consistency of the grind is crucial, and only seems achievable with a decent burr. This is after only playing with dialling in the Mazzer for a day (it was delivered yesterday). The difference is huge!
  10. Mine took me no longer than 40 minutes. Though I was confident enough to go from start to end with all the cabling, rather than pausing for each of the checks recommended on the installation video - which I completely understand the utility of for people not familiar / confident with wiring. Just to note that I didn't install the timer mod (yet!)
  11. I'd like to thank everyone who's provided the wealth of information that's prompted me to join this site to take fuller advantage of the knowledge you can provide. Thanks to some of the tips I've read on the site, I've so far managed to acquire myself a second-hand Rancilio Silvia, as well as a slightly older model of the meCoffee PID which I've got really dialled in after a little experimentation. Having made the realisation that the shop-bought (Monmouth) espresso grind wasn't really cutting it, I just yesterday took delivery of a second-hand Mazzer Royal. I managed to pick one up for a steal on eBay. It was the purchase of this that prompted me to join - so I could see the images from jimbojohn55's tear-down, and a little more about how to modify it for single-dosing. I won't go into too many details here in this intro thread about my coffee journey, or ask for advice, but I'm looking forward to participating in the community, and getting some more interactive help on my setup.
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