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IceQubed

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  1. I'd like to hone my latte art / milk frothing technique to go from 'foamy heart' to 'perfect tulip'. Are there any great classes in the Surrey / South Berks / East Hamps / London area? A few hours long is probably ideal. A mixed intermediate class with some other techniques would be fine too as it would be fun to do a proper guided cupping session - but I'd really like to focus on the latte art mostly. I found a few options - any reviews? https://www.prufrockconsulting.com/collections/home-enthusiast-courses/products/introduction-to-latte-art - London, £65, 2.5 hours - but can't find any available dates https://www.winchestercoffeeschool.co.uk/product/latte-art/ - Winchester, £75, 2 hours https://bookings.kimbo.co.uk/latte-art-training/ - Brentford, £75, 3 hours
  2. Thanks for the interesting video @CocoLoco I'd be interested in the major differences between tamped, 'OCD distributed' + tamped, and 'OCD distributed' on its own.
  3. Interestingly (and on a somewhat different topic) while I was looking around on aliexpress I also found a few stores selling this rather expensive 'needle distributor' tool https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001201061772.html The needle distributor probably works quite well, though I'm not sure about spending £80 on something I can replicate with a pin stuck into a cork... I suppose the tool has better repeatability / ease of use for those in cafes.
  4. These are a few of the type I mean: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001316434373.html https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001261161364.html https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32986349123.html All appear very similar, some have a flat ''tamp' side on the other side too. Probably mostly out of the same factory.
  5. Has anyone got one of those £14 aliexpress OCD-lookalike adjustable distributors? Would you recommend it? What's the big difference between one of those and the £140 OCD (other than the whole 'totally a knockoff' thing)? Also - do these tools actually do much? It looks like they're only going to affect the surface and miss any poorly distributed coffee below the surface.
  6. I've just ordered a white one - on the indiegogo page it is labelled as December shipping. Potentially naïve question- do Niche post updates/status anywhere?
  7. This looks near-identical to the 'Doctor Hetzner' kettle reviewed by @zak_atkinson. I guess it's made in the same factory as a white label product. I'm considering it as it looks good value for money, although I'm not sure how important temperature control is for pourover - don't people usually just go straight off boiling anyway? Does anybody have experience with any of the following cheap stovetop models? Generic 0.7L £11.49 VonShef 1.2L £19.99 Melitta 1.2L £21.99 Uno Casa 1.2L £29.95 Out of the list above I think the Melitta might be the most likely to be good due to actually being a coffee brand though I guess brand isn't everything. Going slightly higher in price there's the Hario options and then all the way up is the expensive but awesome looking Fellow Stagg.
  8. Yes, mine were roasted on the 30th. I thought 6 days rest was normally a pretty good period for beans on the darker side like these? I guess you're probably right though. I expect the harshness is more due to my inexperience rather than a bad batch, I think Extract coffee know more about properly roasted coffee than I do!
  9. I'm also struggling to get it to taste as good as I'd hoped, I'm using 18g in 36g out ~31s on my gaggia classic. It's somehow fairly bitter and fairly sour simultaneously, though that may be my novice taste buds deceiving me. This seems to be a pretty dark roast (compared to what I'm used to with speciality beans) so I will adjust accordingly. I might try grinding slightly coarser to reduce the brew time for the same in:out ratio. This should reduce the extraction a little and take an edge off the bitter harshness.
  10. Decided to buy in to the hype and ordered the Dr Strangelove - code still works!
  11. Inspired by Chris Morocco, I'm interested in finding a bean with sweet blueberry notes. From the packaging, it looks like his beans are from Counter Culture coffee, but I'd like to get hold of some from a UK roaster. Any leads? Also would you expect to only get these notes on a pourover or would they be equally prevalent/delicious in an espresso?
  12. Coming from a PCB design background these look similar to the 'mouse bites' you see on the edges of some PCBs. They are there to hold the piece together while it is being manufactured, but allow it to be easily removed. We can make some assumptions about the production process- imagine the metal starts its life as a metal sheet (perhaps even a reel). The small holes are then drilled then the piece is stamped out into its circular shape and pressed to form the central dome. The mouse bites on the edges keep the screen in place on the metal stock during these processes before it is finally removed and any last checks / polishes are completed. So it's just a result of the manufacturing process and isn't a defect. Here's an example image:
  13. Thanks for the advice MWJB and Mrboots2u. I've just ordered a 0.1g micro scale which will hopefully fit on my drip tray - the gaggia classic drip tray is pretty small and I can't fit my normal scales under it. This will allow me to dose by weight instead of time, however I will still have the same shot speed inconsistency issue. Hopefully as the beans get a little older they will calm down. ? I guess this is my life now, always reaching towards the perfect shot, never quite getting there...
  14. I am using a Gaggia Classic with PID mod, OPV mod, bottomless portafilter, upgraded steam wand and a recent descale. My grinder is an aergrind manual grinder. I've recorded the shots I've pulled in a spreadsheet ? Even though I am careful to measure the weight and shot time of each shot, I don't have very repeatable results - they are all over the place. I've managed to dial in the Aergrind to get shots in the right ballpark, though I'm still having trouble. I use a timer to time the shots to 28-32s depending on how it's pouring, then weigh the shot once it's done. I even distribute the coffee in the basket with a toothpick for consistency and lump breakup! Note that in the spreadsheet where I record the grind setting, the first number before the dot is a complete turn, the second number is the number on the dial past the complete turn, and the third number is 0-9 for the distance between the numbers on the dial. Pretty much this system but with another level of precision. Ideas I've had: Perhaps some difference is due to the amount of time I'm pre heating the gaggia and basket? Perhaps the fact that I'm using beans that are too fresh means that they'll be all over the place until they mature? Why is my grinder giving me completely different results to the manual for it? The recommended espresso grind is 1.2 but I'm up at 1.8?! Why is a very tiny change in grind setting giving me wildly different results? Maybe the grind is coarse but there's another factor making some shots slow? Maybe I need to soak the dispersion block in puly caff or something? Could my tamping be rubbish? I apply firm pressure with a slight twist and press until the coffee is compressed. The grinder has some good reviews for being capable of espresso, so I don't think it's the primary cause though it may be a factor. Any advice is appreciated!
  15. Thanks, that makes much more sense! ? Must be my lack of sleep... I'll edit my post above to clarify! It was a fun build!
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