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Philip HN

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    Cambridge
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    Apart from coffee? Leatherworking, cabinet making, target shooting, photography, cooking
  • Occupation
    Retired, to finally do the above

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  1. 15. @Philip HN Rocket R58
  2. By all means go cautiously but just bear in mind that if you are using the Dezcal (other products might call for different ratios) they are saying that 100ml is needed with a litre to do the business. If you try the weaker solution and don't get a decent amount of crud out of the machine you may need to try upping the dose to see what kind of result you get.
  3. Liquid Dezcal is diluted 1:10 so 100ml (or 100g) per litre of water. On the R58 that means close to double that to fill the reservoir. I also probably went over the top by using only Lockhills for the whole process, using - if I remember rightly - something like ten or twelve litres in total.
  4. Well now, I have just had a look myself (because I was convinced that I had been looking at a dual boiler descaling video) but all I can find is one on descaling a HX machine. Perhaps I followed that. If I did, that was clearly not right but the result still yielded significant amounts of sediment. I need to do some further research. As for how it went, it was a very drawn out process, noisy and best performed in oilskins. That could be describing a number of activities.
  5. I was correctly taken to task by DaveUK and others for not descaling my R58 over a similar period. I also had been undertaking the other maintenance operations, and using Lockhills. Since then I have descaled mine twice using Urnex liquid dezcal (following the guidance posted on the Whole Latte Love YT channel). The first time, what came out of the machine looked like chicken soup. The second time it was much less cloudy. I'm going to keep descaling as part of my routine from now on, but not hugely frequently, perhaps every six to nine months.
  6. Well apologies for the pseudo psychological self help mantra, but self awareness in this instance sounds like 99% of the solution... The other 1% is practice, practice, practice... Try holding the tamper in an unconventional, even uncomfortable way? I was once told (by a barista trainer) to tamp using the tips of thumb and three fingers evenly spaced around the top of the tamper base. I think that made me more aware of the attitude of the tamper. But whatever approach you take, it still sounds like practice.
  7. Certainly sounds like it. If in doubt you can also get into the habit of checking the surface of the puck afterwards to see if there are visible craters/holes/cracks, including around the outside edge. Consistent puck preparation, including even tamping, is as you recognise, key. I am a dosing cup fan, others swear by a variety of distribution tools to achieve an even density of grounds in the basket. I know my tamping can sometimes be a bit iffy so before I tamp I use an inexpensive Motta levelling tool to give me an absolutely flat surface onto which to place my tamper.
  8. Hi, not like me to keep an answer short but no, I've had no issues at all. Let us know how you get on with your deliberations...
  9. I can't help but think this is as much about budget and value for money as it is about a choice of grinders. I really enjoy using my Helios 80 and have written a lot about its qualities on this forum, but when I started on my journey to find a new grinder my budget was very close to the price of the Helios. Now, if my budget had been the equivalent of the price of an EK43, what would I have purchased? I am very, very happy with the Helios but go back in time, remove my knowledge of it, and give me £2500 to buy a grinder... decisions decisions... The EK43 is an incredibly iconic machine, almost a work of art. I have no idea what it is like to own, or what it's strengths or weakness are. But I guess it grinds coffee very well indeed. But then I think the Helios 80 grinds coffee very well too. And I'm not James Hoffman or DavecUK: I do understand the difference between crap espresso and meh espresso and good espresso but I can't write a dissertation on the differences. I think I would have had fun working out what new toys to buy for £1500 and bought the Helios. Probably.
  10. Good luck! Hope the business goes well for you.
  11. When I ordered my Helios it was available only with the hardened steel burrs (now there are two additional options). It would have been tempting to buy more expensive and (so) longer lasting burrs, but for example the standard steel Atom 75e burrs are rated for almost 500 kilos of coffee (about 14 years' use for me, on paper) so it's all a bit academic. I haven't yet seen anything about the lifespan of the Helios burrs. On dealing with new burrs, there's a range of opinions out there about what to do with new machines. Some people will suggest putting 10 lbs of sub-standard beans through a new grinder. Other people (including me) just get on with using their new grinder as per normal and accept that over time the burrs will become more efficient. I get through a couple of kilos of beans every three weeks so whatever was going to happen, happened some time ago.
  12. Hello... Sorry I didn't pick up your questions before now. I am concerned that I may not be able to give you a comprehensive answer because I am not really that experienced, but I will give you my best shot. I have used the Atom 75e during a pre-pandemic afternoon at Bella Barista (I don't know where you are, so BB is one of the UK's leading espresso machine retailers). On the day I preferred the Atom's slightly bigger brother, the Olympus. There wasn't a lot in it, I just preferred the bigger form. I haven't experienced any problems with my Helios 80. I am aware of one owner who I believe is a member of this forum, who tells me that his Helios arrived with a clump crusher that folded (literally) under the pressure of normal use. I understand that, contrary to initial reports, he was not trying to use the Helios as a single doser. He has told me that Eureka have acknowledged the problem. I assume that because my Helios has performed well, and because I have not read multiple reports of issues, then the one case is likely to be from a sub-standard batch of machines. I know that not everyone is interested in acknowledging the impact of the pandemic on the Italian manufacturing industry but my personal view is that this is probably at least part of the answer. Eureka is a long established company with a reputation to maintain so I expect that they will have ensured that there are no further examples of this. None of this answers your broader question about low retention/single dosing. All the grinders I have ever owned have been designed to operate best with a weight of beans above the burrs. Certainly the performance of the Helios (predictability, consistency) falls away if the hopper is allowed to run to empty. I have never attempted to make changes to a grinder to address these issues, but I have seen very many references to that kind of activity on this forum. No doubt someone will attempt a hack the Helios at some point, but it is probably too early days. Also the low retention point is a challenge (apart from what anyone considers to be low retention). Again, the machines I have had have all retained several grams of coffee. The Helios probably retains less than any other grinder I've owned, but it still retains much more than machines aimed at single dosing. The Eureka Zeus looks incredible but I cannot imagine that (given the state of the world) you will see one on a shelf this side of 2022. And of course we do not know how the Zeus will be marketed and who the target customer will be. SIngle dose machines are (I believe) generally not aimed at commercial customers, and the market for really good single dose machines is dominated by some seriously expensive grinders. I'm not sure I will have advanced your thinking much in this answer. There are however people on this forum whose knock boxes I am not worthy of emptying and who I am sure will pick up on your question and offer further thoughts.
  13. Sorry, I am not really a brewed coffee drinker. However I can't think of any reason why a high quality grinder with tried and tested stepless grind adjustment and excellent burrs should not be perfectly capable of delivering whatever is needed... If and when you can I would definitely try to get to play with a Helios if you find a friendly retailer.
  14. Hahaha I just arrived at this string and decided pretty much immediately to give you mine, which since I went over to a dosing cup I never use. Anyway I scrolled and scrolled and scrolled to get to the point where I could say "I've got one you can have" and you've gone and bought the very same one. I thought it was perfectly adequate, hope it helps.
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