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Everything posted by TomR

  1. I also did for awhile for similar reasons. I was happy with our pour over/aero press brews for a few months but really missed the intensity and mouthfeel of espresso particularly, as time went by. i’m now heavily back into espresso and loving it. but you certainly have to find a way to enjoy the process as well as drinking the coffee, and some weeks I still find it frustrating and disappointing and back off for a bit. And then it’s all the more joyous when you get back into your groove again I did indeed sell my espresso machine (it was broken anyway) and went on to massively over purchase more equipment six or nine months later
  2. thanks all Rob1, I'm pretty sure that's what happened to me too
  3. I cleaned my niche - which I have done before without problem. The shots after poured terribly - wild channelling, multiple spritzes (hadn't seen one in months), choked then gushing in same shot, undrinkable. Grind adjusting both ways didn't help. Same beans, same puck prep, same machine settings. Grind adjustment ring turned normally, not obviously cross threaded. Took it apart again and re-assembled - seems fine now - phew. Everything seemed fine when I took it apart, but I guess the burrs were somehow wildly misaligned? Crossed threads on the adjuster? Springs not springinging? Plastic upper burr carrier on the wonk?? I didn't spot a problem but Im very glad its better Anyone had a similar experience and any idea what I got wrong during disassembly-ressembly the first time??
  4. If you like chocolate point and similar blends then I think you’ll make better espresso with the robot than with a decent ( from personal experience of both) spend time fiddling with different manual profiles / pre infusions and different beans and grinds et cetera rather than worrying about the machine. Unless you are pursuing very light roasts the robot is actually super good
  5. Agree The biggest improvement in all of my coffee making came from stopping using London tapwater both for espresso and filter coffee
  6. Happy to let you know my brief thoughts although clearly off topic. I had a decent and sold it after year. Denis S has a decent and has decided to buy a large spring lever in addition. I drink darker roasts, I understand Dennis prefers lighter roasts (not my place of course to speak on behalf of someone of his expertise) It seems like, from our very different perspectives, neither of us found the decent to be espresso endgame, whatever that might be The decent was very good. However I and many others found it difficult to get really thick syrupy shots with dark roast beans, even using the lever profile this is quite widely commented on amongst decent owners with much speculation as to why this might be (water debit? Headspace??) when I did use it for light roasts I found it much better than anything else I’ve had for extracting fruity and floral flavours ultimately I think the people who enjoy the decent most of all, at least from my average reading of their online forum, are people who you really enjoy the coding/software aspect of it all, as well as the very detailed analysis I decided I preferred a much more analogue approach to making espresso, excepting that this may be giving up on the last 5% of flavour chasing I also got exhausted after a bit by the constant experimentation that is encouraged by owning the decent. I really miss the very rapid warmup time as well as the community of owners who are largely very honest and reflective and not the fanboys you would maybe expect I now have a large spring lever, very low tech, and I’m loving it but who knows what the future will hold?
  7. TomR

    1 € Espresso

    Italian bar blends - you can only buy big bags, usually several months past roast date. Not to everyones taste for sure, and I have no idea why they don't seem to stale within weeks of roasting, but I have had success using southern Italian brands from local delis, and Cafe Borbone Blue from amazon. A world away from fresh roasted high quality coffees - maybe like Dairy Milk vs high quality single origin dark chocolate. Saka will ship directly from Italy if you buy 2kg, and it will be fresh Rave and similar fresh/ uk / craft roasted Italian- styled blends are good in their own right, but seem to taste and extract very differently from the "real thing".
  8. with larger doses - yes - then the screen will fit in the IMS basket nicely but the basket then won't fit in the group head - that's what I was trying to explain. The group sleeve / circlip / dispersion screen on the LSM group extends very far down into the basket
  9. Interesting idea. Just using a manusl file? Or a dremel? Do you think the mesh will fray rather than cleanly grinding away?
  10. the screen itself seems well made I do not have the tools to measure it accurately this is the basket I am using, to be clear - B662TH26M happy to loan the screen out to anyone in uk with an LSM that wants to try their luck
  11. I found that if you dose high enough (about 13g coffee dependent) so the 55 mm screen sits on top of the coffee without getting jammed against the basket sides, you cannot lock in the portafilter because the screen sits too high in the basket . To be fair to bplus they do not advertise the screen as usable with the LSM group
  12. I have the 26 IMS basket and 55 BPlus and the tapering basket walls means the screen gets wedged in when pushed far enough down into the basket for it to lock in - and it impedes locking in the portafilter as a result. You then have to knock very hard to get the puck plus jammed in screen out. I have found it awkward to use. Its not a dose issue as it happens even with an empty basket.
  13. Puck screens: Using my Alex Leva (LSM group), I still get some visible channelling (micro spatter on cup rim) with finer ground lighter roasts. I wonder if this is the higher pressure ? It is better if I gradually allow the lever to apply full pressure, I guess progressively infusing the puck, rather than slamming it straight up to 10+bar. Darker roasts, no problem. Using a Niche I have installed an IMS screen, leaving me the original screen spare. I tried putting it on top of the puck. There is a 1-2 mm gap at the edges. Surprisingly to me it makes visible channelling and ??taste much better (plus keeps the group head screen v clean). I note the HB thread that found dosing right up to the group head shower screen / circlip effective but messy for the same problem. So I wonder whether a BPlus mesh screen would be a good thing? They make a 55mm one , which would probably (?) fit the IMS basket I have but perhaps not the OEM ones that are a little smaller. Or there is a 53.7 one that would be a little undersized. $60 plus dollars delivered would be an expensive experiment Thoughts??
  14. *Sad face* 😰 *thumbs up*😂😂 still, it’s in my house, not in Italy still… riposte! also: tried the ims screen Does not seem to change extraction but stays cleaner maybe happy pulling everyone
  15. And it doesn't leak although im usually asleep when its warming up
  16. Denis I share your curiosity about brew parameter options - although my tastes are for traditional roasts and i have a alex leva/niche so options perhaps limited anyway too much talk here about long term maintenance- tell me about the espresso, people!! Also interested in what you are hoping a leva can do for you that your de1+ cannot? (I had, liked, but finally sold my de1+ so a similar journey although different tastes)
  17. TomR

    Izzo Alex Lever

    Thats that clears up my understanding considerably alex Leva has a low and a high level probe- presumably the refill duration is not timed, but switched off when the high level probe is covered / i guess refill time very dependent on water line pressure so a single probe timed refill would not work
  18. TomR

    Izzo Alex Lever

    It may be possible to pull up the low level probe so the boiler does not get as empty before refill kicks in
  19. TomR

    Izzo Alex Lever

    Yes very dry pucks. Im finding that duration of pre infusion makes a big difference to both extraction rate and taste - no surprise previously (robot) i ran PI until first drops. This seems to over extract and im running with 10 secs then lever up to try not mess with too many variable i think the higher pressure extraction is very different from 6-8 bar. Easy to over extract darker roasts however i had a 90 second 1:1 ristretto, monsooned malabar, drip drip drip. It was the most delicious espresso i have ever had *shrugs*
  20. TomR

    Izzo Alex Lever

    Same thing with my water tap. I presume once the level in the boiler drops so that the end of the water pipe is near the boiler water surface you get a mixture of water and steam coming through. my solenoid just makes a clear click-clunk when it opens then again to vlose about 30-40? Secs later - boiler Temp then drops about 10 degrees and takes a minute or two to recover could your solenoid be a bit sticky??? im running at 119 with medium/ dark roasts and using a quick flush to warm the group for lighter ones How are your early shots?
  21. Thanks Denis - also very interested in finding effective lower dose baskets I found the 58mm La Marzocco competition 7g basket, within deep central well to maintain puck depth and so integrity(?) to work really well with the DE1+, with a tamper fitted to the central well
  22. I have tried the 12-14g IMS basket on my new Alex leva (lam group) this week or so I use it because the stock baskets are too big (20g, but extracts very well I think, but I'd rather make few, smaller espressos, more fun) or small (7-8g, such a small / thin puck is a bit finicky, sometimes works well, sometimes falls apart / channels +++). I dose 12-13g in the IMS , use the matching IMS tamper, and it all works well If you want to does at 18-21g I think the stock baskets (at least the ones Izzo supplied) are great. Tamper is a bit small but does not seem to really matter Anyone else experimenting with gentle wetting (lever just at the point water enters the group slowly) before pre infusion proper? I have found it maybe helps even extractions with lighter roasts. Ive been getting amazing results with the Columbian Potosi Tres Dragones, a natural processed filter roast from Black Cat. Grind fine, 15-20 sec PI, 3:1.
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