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About xiuxiuejar

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    Senior Member

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  • Location
    Usually Barcelona, sometimes London
  • Interests
    Coffee, football and computers
  • Occupation
    Marketing and logistics

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  1. Never put anything in coffee but in Ouzo I'd put in cardamom. I am just bias as I am originally from Kyrenia in northern Cyprus ... until the Turks stole our land and forced us out ... but no room for politics here. Sometimes national pride takes over so I am not going to overstate my defence of the coffee!
  2. Thanks for reminding me Hotmetal. Off to dig out some Greek Coffee in the kitchen and maybe have an Ouzo afterwards. It's an acquired taste, but Greek coffee done well is delicious. The dregs usually sit at the bottom after about 30 seconds and if you wait 30 seconds before pouring it once it's been made on the stove you get very few dregs in the cup any way.
  3. We call it Greek coffee in my house and it is delicious. Put less sugar and don't drink the dregs.
  4. I have always found that a good quality "normal" basket is the best way to go. I have some nice Gaggia baskets an Italian friend gave me a good few years ago and I have always found them very good. I have a couple of VST baskets but have never found them as great as people say. What is important is to use a good quality basket imo.
  5. I would like to add my bit to this. I have the Expobar and I am delighted with it. All of this mouthfeel and clarity thing is a just down to individual tastes. My story is strange as it took me an age to source a seller of the Expobar here despite the fact that it is made just a few hundred kilometres away. In fact, I am lucky enough to have visited the factory in Gandia where they make the Expobars and the beauty of the machine is that it is a commercial machine. They basically explained that they do not make domestic machines. They have three or four lines which offer slightly differen
  6. I loved Scramble on the ZX81 as well as the original Football Manager games. Then Deathchase, Eric and the Floaters, Daley Thompson and Match Day on the Spectrum.
  7. You'll find a few places in Madrid to buy decent enough coffee and by post you can get anything but you'll also find that despite their protests, coffee in Spain, and coffee culture for good quality product is worse than in the UK. However, you are lucky you live in or near the city and can find nearly everything. Hope you settle in well and enjoy it. My tip is to integrate with the people, learn the language and not just mix with English people, you'll enjoy it a lot more. (that's me - maybe quite wrongly - supposing you are English and not Spanish).
  8. When did you go to Madrid? The water in the city was even softer than the mineral water in the bottles last time I was in Madrid. Here is Barcelona we have huge Calcium deposits in our water - solids reaching 580 ppm when I was monitoring last year. I use a bottled water containing 130 ppm as any less leaves my coffee tasting lifeless.
  9. Congratulations! The secret of the Classic is to find a technique that works and stick to it. Warming the machine and flushing water through are essential. You basically repeated what used to be my technique with the Classic and I was always very happy with the coffee it produced. There's no going back now!!!
  10. The Gaggia is what it is ... which is basically a very affordable way of making very reasonable espresso. However, it is a very simple machine and requires a very strict regime and lots of practice in order to produce consistently good coffee - but for the money it cannot be beaten - in fact nothing really comes near. What generally happens is that people will do one of three things after experiencing the Gaggia. First - a few will decide they really don't care about coffee enough for the hassle. They like the idea of espresso but not the work and fuss. These move to the Nespresso machine
  11. I always thought the MDF was underrated as a grinder. I still have one out the back somewhere and it served me well as a beginner. Once you do the stepless mod it's very good as a starter grinder.
  12. Try warming your Gaggia up a minimum of 20 minutes. Make sure everything is warm and dry (cups, portafilter). Then once you have coffee in the portafilter, flush a few seconds of water out of the boiler. Place the portafilter into the head and as soon as the light flicks on pour your coffee. The next time you order beans, order from Rave or Has Bean or one of those roasters as the coffee will be much fresher and roasted to order more or less. Most "problems" with the Gaggia are from incorrect temperature (or bad coffee) in my experience. I used to go through this process all the time an
  13. timer has a round switch which you turn (like an old egg timer) that grinds for a certain amount of time. The other has a switch. It's really easy to change the timer for a switch if you really want. Remember that these machines are made for bars and the idea is to grind beans for a few coffee while doing other tasks.
  14. I don't know what all the fuss is with OD. If you go for an expensive grinder, then OD is a good option but I've never had problems with a doser - in fact, quite the opposite, the doser is an effective way of delivering clump free, non static, well distributed grinds to the portafilter. ALWAYS grind for each coffee though and NEVER leave ground coffee in the doser as it starts deteriorating almost straight away. I would suggest that you don't even leave the unground beans in the hopper either. If you spend money on a good grinder and then good, nicely freshly roasted beans, it's worth keeping
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