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CocoLoco

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  1. It's really nice! Not dialled in yet, but even with a slightly fast pour you can taste the caramel, biscuit and chocolate in it. Especially the biscuit. @Frustratedcoffee I'm not sure about a latte but can confirm the Coffee Compass Cuba Serrano Altura Superior comes through very well in an Americano with milk.
  2. Coffee Compass Cuba Serrano Altura Superior was recommended to me to cut through milk. You have to call them to order though. I'm opening it tomorrow so can't say if it's good yet.
  3. Thanks for the code @BlackCatCoffee. Have gone for Costa Rica Las Palomas and Chocolate Point. Looking forward to trying them.
  4. I have a very similar piece of oak as my station. Other than that your set up obliterates mine. Looks lovely.
  5. Nothing new, but always good to have explainers and put a human face on these issues. It's one of those things we'll tell our grand kids about 'how it used to be'. Thanks for sharing. More info from Wharton Business School here should anyone want a bit more info on the topic. Link to study in there too. https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/coffee-climate-change/
  6. If those machines worked I'd imagine most people would say the problem is with them themselves. The options I mentioned are where 'real coffee' starts, not bean to cup or pods. They're the entry level to that world. You can get a very drinkable cup out of a Melitta apparently, I've seen forum members talk about those. Maybe use the search function to see what experienced people say about them. If you're in Madrid, yes maybe cost of second machine/grinder negates the saving. Maybe check local sources instead. Or the new options I mentioned.
  7. Cool, give it go tomorrow see what happens. Turn machine on, put pf in it, let it all heat up for 20/25mins, run 4 shots through it (I don't keep pf in for that bit, I think others might, but I don't). That'll mimic what I do. Then do your workflow, see what happens. I'm not saying it'll 100% work but it was the piece of the puzzle I needed, maybe it will be for you too. Regardless, you need to do it to make sure water is properly hot (and pf wants to be too). You can then check that off the list of things it probably 'isn't'.
  8. You haven't been doing that?! That's KEY Wisey! It improves the shot by miles. Well it did for me. The pf/grouphead needs to be hot but it's paramount the water is very hot. Turn the machine on at least 20min beforehand that warms up the pf/grouphead. Then run 3/4 empty shots. (I use this hot water to add to shot afterwards to make Americano). As TomHughes is saying, it is imperative the water is at the right (hot) temperature. In answer to your question, yes it improves the taste. For me, a lot and I'd say getting the water hot was the single 'biggest' piece of advice I received (and it was Tom that told me!).
  9. So you are looking at £500-550 all in? Your main choices are: Second hand Gaggia Classic + Grinder. Classics have gone up in price due to lockdown, but go regularly for £140-200. More likely to get a good one off a forum member. Keep checking for sale section. Grinder can be a second hand flat burr tank like a Mazzer Super Jolly, one is selling new in the for sale section for £290 atm that's a really good deal, they come up reasonably regularly. Or a new Eureka grinder, a Facile or Manuale (one is for filter, one espresso, can't remember which is which, but they're both around £245 and £279) or a Specialita for £350. Eureka is the most popular entry level grinder make. People also use a hand grinders. They are much cheaper but, well it's by hand: https://www.bellabarista.co.uk/espresso-grinders/coffee-grinders/hand-grinders.html If you want new, a Sage Barista Express comes with a built in grinder. That's £550 from John Lewis. Common entry level machine. Those are the two newbies set ups most common I think. Of course with second hand, if you know what to look for and wait, you can get a great deal. Before buying I would read up on this forum about what buying each machine would entail (in fact any machine you buy, read up here on it first). Classic v Barista Express is a very well discussed topic for instance. Both have their pros and cons so you need to decide what is best for you. The grinder - do you want to single dose, what space have you got etc. Don't forget you're going to need about £70-100 for accessories - coffee storage, scales, tamper, milk jug, funnel at minimum. If all this sounds like too much money, hang about for a cheap Classic, nearer the £150 mark and find a second hand grinder in your price range, then check the forum to see what people say about it. EDIT: Also bear in mind you may need to tinker with the Gaggia Classic when you get it. The 'good' ones are older models, not the newer ones and they work best with some mods/upgrades. It may come with them installed, it may not. Check that before moving on it. A forum member is more likely to have upgraded it and looked after it. There's lots of info on this forum about that so have a good read. EDIT2: Sorry, just thought of another newbie option - Sage Duo Temp Pro + Grinder. I see people going for that option. There's regular discussion about the DTP, people have got them for a decent price both from forum and new, then you pair it with a grinder in your price range.
  10. Given your first sentence I would not go for any of the Sage espresso machines. Like any machine they take months to get to grips with, especially for newbies. If your parents don't want to spend a long time learning/be asking questions of you, or trawling forums, I wouldn't go down that route. That's a hobby route.
  11. Interesting thread. I don't have the breadth of knowledge to contribute but as a general thought I find there's a lot of focus on 'high end' (ie: expensive) equipment in the coffee game. I commend a flat burr SD machine for £1k and I understand that is cheap for what it is, but that's because all this stuff is wildly expensive to start with. Is the cost really that high? Or because it's so few are sold and so they need to make money somehow? Or is it like smartphones where the mark up is just huge? Given 'real coffee' starts (new price) at Classic+grinder or Sage, that's £500ish, too much for entry for many. Next 'level' is something like Mara X + grinder, that's about £1350 upwards. Given home espresso has exploded somewhat over the last few years, I would have thought the expandable market would be at that end rather than the rarefied higher end? I imagine OP is doing this for their own enjoyment and interest, I'm not knocking that, a flat burr SD machine for under £1k would be a very welcome edition, I'm just surprised we're not seeing companies target the £500-£1000 all in market more. It won't be, but I like the idea of the ECM Puriskita being cheap to target that gap in the market.
  12. Missed it the first time, completed now. I didn't put in an email but would be interested to know results. I'll PM you as you suggest if that's OK.
  13. If you buy an expensive WDT, three thin prongs seem to be most common. Like the one below, with or without loops. I have switched to a cocktail stick but ideally I'd like 3 prongs of very, very thin wire. https://londiniumespresso.com/store/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=211
  14. I use the methods mentioned above but I've seen baristas (and I imagine many people here) use the 'finger push' method. You just push the grounds from the high side of the pf to the low side. Some do three pushes, these use tool, some don't use tool at all. This guy talks about styles of finger pushing:
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