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About allikat

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  1. The steam valve is useful for priming and pressure relief, as well as a method for a low pressure preinfusion.
  2. Yeah, the steam valve on my baby was also a pain to remove. With some time and firm attention it did eventually come off. But they are very easy to repair, which is a massive positive for them in my view.
  3. The torx trick worked for my stuck bolt. I tossed all 4 of the boiler bolts and replaced the lot. And cheap torx bits are available in many places. And a torx bit is a low cost for a fixed machine.
  4. I went through the entire retailer reviews forum, and out of the 4 or 5 threads on there previously about our new sponsor, only 2 remain. One of those has the name wrong in the topic, the other has a rare good experience. I'm not saying it's fishy, but I'm getting a hook and rod ready.
  5. Schuko plug is the European plug (Standard in France/Germany/BeNeLux and a few others), northern Italy has a different one which is very different indeed. Let's ignore the fun factor of going to Milan
  6. I would like to thank the folks here for helping me NOT buy from Caffe Italia. If I wanted to buy a machine with an Italian plug on it, I'd drive to Milan and get it there.
  7. Sounds like it may need a good cleaning out. Blocked pipes in the steam and milk system are a common problem, and not just with this machine.
  8. Anyone who has already been to Amsterdam should definitely check out some other places in Netherlands. Haarlem, Utrecht, Den Haag etc. Amsterdam is awesome but I really started to love the Netherlands when I explored other cities outside of the touristy and slightly cliche Amsterdam. Agreed. They have a 54 euro day ticket for the entire Nedelands Spoorwegen (Dutch Rail) network. You can go to all those places so very easily.
  9. Amsterdam is awesome, and if you ever get bored, the Dutch rail network is awesome, and day tickets are great. Example: https://www.ns.nl/producten/en/overige-kaartjes/p/amsterdam-travel-ticket for the Amsterdam region.
  10. And free congestion charge? Also the parking alone would be enough to keep me in coffee for a few weeks.
  11. Like I said, -SOME- people report doing better with stock screens. Your mileage may vary. The stock one is cheap enough, why not pick one up as well as the IMS and see which one suits your setup best?
  12. For those pondering driving down, I recommend finding a tube or rail station in the suburbs close to your route in. Park near that, and use the train/tube to go into the city from there. Your sanity and stress levels will thank you.
  13. Well, with a machine that old, a new dispersion plate will never be a bad idea. I plan on doing that job to mine sometime soon. The old one was nasty, and cleaning it only goes so far in getting rid of a decade or more of coffee oils. I will agree on the dispersion screen, I replaced mine with a stock example. Results from those who chose other options seem a little too variable for my liking.
  14. Well, if you're looking for something that's good and solid pre-owned, there's the old standby of the Gaggia Classic. Parts for those are easily available. They also fall into your price range with well looked after examples from forum users right in that bracket. But if you like your Ascaso, the boiler replacement is half the price of a good used Classic. Then again, if it's not the boiler, that's 80 quid down the drain. The only problem being that diagnosing the issue probably means poking around the insides with a multimeter which is a skill in itself. If you can, or know someone who can, diagnose the fault, then the boiler option certainly isn't a bad one.
  15. allikat

    Gone mad

    Welcome. Nice tip about the reasonably fresh coffee from sainsbugs, I may try there.
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