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About Bicky

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  1. Yip the Rocket one I got from BB a few months back is unbranded (thankfully, as I got it to go with my MaraX).
  2. The Commandante seemed to be well liked everywhere I've seen/read. Not sure if you need to Red Clix upgrade though, for more control in the espresso range? Worth doing a bit of research.... I've got a 1zpresso JX Pro which is another option - solid, well built, and I've used it to switch between espresso, pour over and french press, with good results. With all these manual grinders you just have to remember the number of clicks or rotations between the different methods, and take a mental note of the last method used so you know where you are the next time! As long as you are comfortable with the effort required, I think a hand grinder is definitely a good shout for your needs.
  3. Peace of mind of a 3 year warranty through a high street retailer, over buying off a random stranger online with potentially no, or much less, warranty or guarantee of how well it's been cared for? Surely you can see why that might appeal to some people. I mean, if the difference in quality is huge, then maybe the point is moot, but is it? 🤔 All these grinders suffer from retention, where some of the coffee you grind stays in the grinder until you grind more through, when the new grinds push out or dislodge the older grinds. Obviously if you're going from espresso to say french press, you don't want some of those old espresso grounds going into your cafetiere, so generally you'd have to adjust your grind for french press then purge some coffee through to get rid of those old espresso grinds, and vice versa. This may be a simplification of what actually happens, but you get the point. I've never owned a Mignon but I believe they all have a stepless grind adjustment which is quite sensitive to change, which is great when you want to accurately dial in for one brew method, but I guess less than ideal if you want to switch back and forth because it could be more difficult to find that exact setting you previously dialled in? On the other hand the SGP has a stepped grind adjustment, so you have much less fine-grained control over the grind, but you'll have numbers that you can use for reference to move back and forth. Neither are ideal for constantly changing.
  4. Buy one from Lakeland and you'll get a 3 year warranty, beyond that, who can say 🤷‍♂️ Many don't agree, but I think it's a decent entry level grinder, and certainly a big step up from buying pre-ground coffee. It does however suffer from retention, so you will have to purge some grounds between grind adjustments, or when switching brew methods. If you are switching between different methods often, it may not be ideal.
  5. Bicky

    Mara X

    Draw your water first, before prepping the coffee, then by the time you pull your shot it will be a more reasonable temperature? The other thing to note, and it's been mentioned a couple of times in this thread, is that the water might not taste as good as freshly boiled water from the kettle.
  6. The Sage won't get much love round these parts, but I'm sure it'll make good espresso and produce nicely textured milk. I'm not sure reliability is a problem, it's more repairability, or lack thereof. If something goes wrong out of warranty, then there's probably a good chance it'll be going to landfill. Compare that to something like the Classic, where parts are readily available and there's so much info online, it's no surprise you see 10, even 20 year old machines still selling second hand. I recently sold my 9 year old Classic, didn't have a single issue with it in that time 🙂. I know which one I prefer 😉 If you like to tinker and mod then I don't think you can go wrong with a Classic or a Rancilio Silvia. I don't think there are many other options in this price range, maybe a second hand HX machine if you push the budget a bit? As for grinder, if you like the Niche, and are comfortable waiting a few months and single dosing, then I don't think you can go wrong with it. It's definitely a favourite here. What hand grinder have you got though? Some of the higher end ones are perfectly good for espresso.
  7. Are you in brew or steam priority mode? I've never seen a resting steam pressure of 1.2 in brew priority, mine usually sits around just below or above 0.5 bar, depending on what temperature setting I'm using ('0' or 'I'). I've never used temperature setting 'II'.
  8. Bicky

    Mara X

    I've found the daily/weekly maintenance to be really quick and easy, it's just become part of my routine. I will however admit to putting off a chemical backflush because the thought of taking tools to my machine to lubricate is scaring the shit out of me 😅
  9. Bicky

    Mara X

    Or get something like this instead! https://www.amazon.co.uk/bar-drinkstuff-Funnel-American-Parties/dp/B00658LUDM 😄
  10. Bicky

    Mara X

    Brilliant! A few of us have put felt pads on the feet, works a treat, can slid it in and out no problem. It is solid, you wouldn't want to be lifting it in and out every day!
  11. Bicky

    Mara X

    That's such a shame you guys are having issues, hope you get it sorted quickly. That leak in particular seems like it could be a really simple fix, how frustrating. Do let us know the outcome, it would be interesting to know how it was resolved in the end!
  12. Sad times that there's only really one single dosing option with a 2k budget. When are the other grinder manufacturers going to catch up?
  13. Bicky

    Mara X

    @calin I put the link to your post here, hope you don't mind! I done so because I found it interesting and I assumed some people here would do also. I think the results mostly validate what we already knew, or assumed, about the machine (as you said in your post), but it's always good to have more solid data to back it up. It looked like a really fun project, and having the tablet beside the machine showing the real time data on your dashboard is pretty damn cool in my book 😎
  14. Bicky

    Mara X

    https://www.reddit.com/r/espresso/comments/hft5zv/data_visualisation_lelit_marax_mod/ Pretty interesting project someone has done to monitor what's going on under the hood of the Mara x. It's basically the same data that you could see in a few of the Lelit Insider videos, but they've built a dashboard with graphs to make the data more digestible, and to track changes over time. Kinda cool.
  15. 1Zpresso JX Pro! Initial impressions are really good, this thing is well built and solid! First go choked the machine, second was pretty much spot on, but third, at the same grind setting, was a good bit quicker. Not sure what happened, possibly just needs more beans put through it? I'll write up some more thoughts once I've used it a bit longer. 😎
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