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About CoolingFlush

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    Portafilter pro

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    North East
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    Cycling, NBA Basketball, Gym, espresso, pour-over

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  1. So much good information to digest here. It's difficult to break it down into meaningful generalisations, but here we go: * Your watch can probably either please you, or please a watch collector, but doing both might be difficult! * The floor price for a "lifetime watch" is pretty high. I'm not looking for that right now, but I think I will be in maybe 10 years time. * Ok quality, budget Automatic watches are available, and collectors will either respect them for what they are, or dismiss them for what they are not. * The super low end of the market (£40-80, non-prestige, quartz) seems to have some amazing watches - Casio Duro or Edifice, Citizen's with Sapphire, maybe Timex Weekender. * It seems like Seiko's (SKX etc.) are no longer quite the bargain they once were. I've looked at a few Seiko alternatives, and of you lived in the US, the Long Island Watches Islander, or the Heimdallr SKX would be great value homages, using Seiko cases. Tax & shipping would render these a less good deal on the UK, as they would for any bargains on CreationWatches. Staying on the Seiko theme, I do really like some of the Orient models. The Open Heart version of the Bambino/Esteem really appeals to me a lot (FAG02005W0), but seems more of a dress watch than a daily beater. The same goes for the more expensive Smith's Everest, although it's likely a better quality investment type watch. I did check out a few microbrands, and liked the Phoibos Proteus, but you're probably pushing towards £300 for a watch that still night not be worth servicing in a few years. All of this brings me back to... the humble Invicta Pro Diver! It won't get much admiration from the watch snobs, but at £79 it's somewhere in between a Casio Duro and a Seiko SKX - a solid watch that won't break your heart if it stops working in 7 years time. I actually like the way it looks, as a Submariner homage which isn't actively pretending to be a Rolex! The slight complication here is that my wife has said she's planning to buy me a watch for my birthday (something she's chosen)! I'm more than happy with that - she bought me a beautiful Armani Meccanico watch a decade ago. I am wearing it right now, and even though it's probably a poorly regarded Chinese movement, it's working just fine and still makes me feel good every time I look at it! Thanks for all the opinions so far 👍⌚👍
  2. My go-to resource for all things cocktail is Simon Difford: https://www.diffordsguide.com/cocktails/recipe/725/espresso-martini
  3. CoolingFlush

    Puck prep

    😂😂I love this! Nice succinct summary! I'm sure there is some value in squatting down to gaze breathlessly at a bottomless pour, or closely scrutinising a spent puck of coffee, but if my family caught me doing it they'd think I had lost the plot!
  4. Thanks DavecUK, maybe this pushes me back towards the Orient Mako or Ray models, if I can stay closer to £150 and do without Sapphire - I imagine the mineral crystal will be perfectly fine, and a few scuffs wouldn't bother me on a rugged daily watch. I'd try the Seiko 5 Sports equivalent models, but they seem to come in above the £200 mark, for a diver style. I cad a quick look at this, but felt apprehensive about buying from sellers in Turkey / Spain / Wherever. I assume it's kosher then? Grumble that is a classy time teller!
  5. I am still torn, but enjoying weighing up different options (that's half of the fun isn't it). I can't decide whether the Invictus would be too big for me, and whether I can get away with the engraving on the side of the case. I'm rather taken with some of the Orient dive watches. Their Mako and Ray models look good (circa £160), but if you step up to their Kamasu model you get sapphire glass. These can be had for £200-230, with the RA-AA0004E model my current favourite. Any opinions on the Orient ranges would be welcomed gratefully! I had a brief look at 'grey market' resellers such as Creation Watches, but don't think I could risk the VAT uncertainty and non-existent customer support!
  6. This stuck a chord with me - I do really value the simplicity and reliability of the best Italian beans, both in terms of getting a tasty shot with minimal effort on a Monday at 6AM, and in terms of freeing me from responsibility towards a precious product, like your unique and challenging single malt. I do love to try fresh, high scoring single origins a lot of the time, and I realise that not all of them are necessarily challenging, demanding products, but I appreciate having (the good) Italian beans as a comfortable, familiar destination, to reset my palette and renew my curiosity for something more distinctive. Again, this is all totally subjective personal taste and I'm just diving into this little niche for as long as it feeds my love of coffee. Go for it! I think I have pretty explicitly described what they are, so full disclosure, you will not be detecting any lingering hints of green apple or sea buckthorn! I only got to try them because they have an outlet down the road from me, but I will definitely buy their Black blend again. - No experience of Lucaffe, sorry.
  7. Thanks DavecUK, the Invicta looks incredible for £80, and the Casio Edifice looks like it would go on forever. Given that servicing a sub£200 automatic would not be economical, I might be best off either looking out for one of the cheaper Seiko 5's (they seem to be readily available for £80-120, generally the non-diver ones, without a rotating bezel) or getting an Invictus Pro Dive. I think beyond that it'll just come down to which I prefer the look of🤔💅
  8. Brilliant suggestions guys, really great - I've got some research to do! Had a quick look on TimeZone, clearly an enormous rabbit hole, although again most of it seemed to be US based. I feel fairly sold on the Seiko's (I looked at Orient but they seem to be more dress-y); good quality but affordable enough to actually wear day to day, just need to narrow it down now. I had my eye on a SRPD51K1, but obviously that model is £250, not £90!! BlackCatCoffee thanks, I have been eyeing up the Chocolate Point blend (whilst watching slow motion David Schomer shots😂), it sounds superb. Marginally outside of my Italian-roasted remit for that thread, but I think I might make an exception to try it! Off to Google some of those watch suggestions...
  9. Thanks very much, that's really useful info. Seems fair enough, I thought that might be the consensus. I will have a search around. I'll check that out now! Iwould still consider a non-mechanical option if there was anything that is particularly well-regarded. I appreciate the info, thanks!
  10. Hi, I am thinking of buying a new watch, and wanted to see if anybody with an interest in watches could steer me in the right direction. In the style of somebody looking for a new espresso machine, I am at the budget / entry level end of the watch market, so I would like to know whether there is a Gaggia Classic of the watch world, that's considered a hands down best budget option (or even a La Pavoni, for the more romantically inclined!). Good quality and low cost is what I'd like. I'm after something that is rugged and can be worn without worrying about it, bit if I could get something "nice" it would be a bonus. I like automatic movement but appreciate that quartz is generally more practical and affordable. Would prefer a metal bracelet if possible. Budget uncertain, maybe £50-150. Would consider used, but I'd imagine eBay is an overpriced minefield. So far, I have looked at the Seiko 5, then at a couple of seemingly well-regarded Chinese Rolex Submariner copies, by Pagani Design and Loreo. I'm interested to hear anybody's thoughts on the above, and to get some advice 👍⌚ - Thanks!
  11. It's time I got around to trying some illy. Having watched the famous Illy documentary... ...I had always meant to get some. I've tried some Lavazza Espresso Italiano recently, and was really not impressed by it - dark, dull and flat. Illy seems to view itself as the superior coffee giant, so I was curious. The best roast date I could find was 20/11/19, purchased a mere 7 months later, although I was confident that they'd "behave fresh" for at least the first couple of days. Checking out the beans I was optimistic - matte, mid brown and entirely uniform. No Robusta, and apparently a blend of 9 (NINE!) Arabicas - the good ol' forgotten art of Miscela! After a slightly fast first shot, I soon had a good espresso: Using a recipe somewhere around 16g in 22g out, this stuff is incredibly sweet-tasting. It is a completely different product from the dark roasted Robusta blends I have had previously, and whilst it lacks their voluminous, velvety punch it tastes a lot closer to the fresh, light coffee we know and love. It's a little one dimensional, but this really allows the sweet, balanced, chocolatey taste to shine. I would not hesitate to buy this again, and with people coming over for a socially distanced gathering today, I expect to it to be a crowd pleaser that will be gone before the end of the weekend. At £5/250g on offer, it's just not cheap enough to really tempt any fresh/local devotees away from their regular beans. For anybody interested in 'Traditional Italian' however, it's definitely a cut above the average Bar blend, and I can see why Illy speak so highly of themselves!
  12. There's a great Italian Coffee thread currently going on at Home Barista, about chasing a particular taste: https://www.home-barista.com/coffees/hunt-for-best-italian-roasted-coffee-beans-t64387.html As well as encouraging me to bring the brew ratio even closer to 1:1, it has brought to my attention that most of my recent Italian beans have been from the South of Italy. I'm now really keen to seek out some examples of the Northern Italian style, which the thread seems to broadly describe as more lightly roasted. In particular, some of the Hausbrandt blends are praised. Apart from patchy availability on eBay and Amazon, it can be difficult to source this type of coffee - does anybody know of a particular shop where I can get this sort of coffee? I have looked at Espresso International and they have a wide selection, but the minimum order is £50, and I don't think I could keep 3kg of beans sitting around going stale (or taking up precious real estate in the freezer)!
  13. I think it's just known as a Classic Coffee - someone will be along to confirm. I had one of these for a couple of years, but it was in awful condition, and eventually croaked. The gold finish on yours looks absolutely pristine.
  14. However, on pulling a couple of shots it was clear that they are fresh and of good quality: 20 minutes later, and I can still taste this! I pulled two shots on the Pontevecchio, and settled on 14.5g in / 22g out. So, so strong, but so smooth. Tobacco, figs, treacle. I'm looking forward to a week of drinking this, but it certainly wouldn't convert any modern single origin fans to darker, Italian espresso. Might try their Silver blend next.
  15. I can't say that the appearance of the beans screamed 'quality', although you could say that they've just been taken beyond second crack, and have, well, cracked:
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