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About chequ3r

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    Brewing Nicely
  1. Bit late but I'm sure the manual timer one would do you fine
  2. I always grind per shot - I just pop my tamper in the top of my SJ to to stop the beans from popcorning everywhere. Leaving your beans in the light and with access to air for any amount of time over 5-10 minutes will cause them to start loosing their freshness. I've started using a friis coffee canister recently with a one-way CO2 valve on it . Very easy to open when I weight out my beans and keeps them realllllyyyy fresh
  3. I've spent the afternoon playing about with a Mocha Guatemala blend from coffeebeanshop.co.uk and I'm very impressed by it! Dialled in a double with an 18.2g dose, can't quite decide between an extraction temp of 94C or 95C. The lower temperature was bringing out much more of the fruity notes but the higher temperature extraction was much smoother with a stronger 'chocolatey kick'. Absolutely wonderful as straight up espresso, now to go and try it with some milk
  4. I'm torn between two options myself: 1) Working as a barista in a commercial environment for nearly a year and just getting so much practice at pulling shots. 2) Upgrading my home grinder (from a Vario to a Mazzer SJ).
  5. As Mike said, as long as what you're extracting tastes ok, don't worry about slightly soggy / crumbly pucks! It's what ends up in the cup that counts eh.
  6. chequ3r

    Free beans

    Oooh thanks Pah, don't knock yourself down
  7. The Costa chain offers a starting wage of £6.10 an hour for a team member / barista. You should receive periodical performance reviews and if you're doing well, you should get a pay rise. On completion of the Barista Maestro course ('advanced' barista / team leader course), your pay rises to £6.45 an hour. Assistant managers earn £6.80 an hour. Store managers are paid a salary which is about £16k (with the potential of a decent bonus... I forget the percentage) afaik.
  8. chequ3r

    Free beans

    I would absolutely love to give them a try
  9. I found it on the Rave Coffee website.
  10. I met Liz (the owner of this business) quite a few times when I was living in Ashford last year. Lovely lady who was always more than happy to share her knowledge of coffee / roasting with me (it's partly down to her why I now realise the importance of amazing quality coffee beans when making any coffee drinks). She had 1 huge and 2 smaller 'traditional' german roasters - I always thought helping with roasting batches of beans was an amazing experience. I tried most of her blends and found the everyday espresso blend to be quite pleasant to be drank straight but found that it didn't quite cut through milk as I like. The old brown java and monsoon malaba were amazing when brewed in a press!
  11. I suppose you could call it a Costa mod I scalpeled out the bottom from a small cup, stuck it where the hopper would have gone and chucked a lid on top. I must admit I did get the idea from a video I'd seen on YouTube. It was indeed a new SJ - £399 delivered next day with 500g of beans thrown in. Bargain! The disposables from work do come in handy And thanks.
  12. So after 7 months of my machine just sitting there not being used, I finally decided that it needed to be fired up again! All I had been lacking was a grinder, so, after much deliberation, I bit the bullet and went for a Mazzer Super Jolly. The fact that mazzers are built like tanks, the 64mm burrs and the decent motor behind them is what swayed me towards this grinder. It only cost me 9 quid more than the mini would have, well worth it. I'm hopefully going to get some more space on the table soon enough: The first drink I poured after setting the grind:
  13. I currently work as a full time barista at Costa. I also do quite a bit of summer event work for a private ambulance service (I'm a qualified emergency care assistant, bit like a low level paramedic). I'm hoping to get back into an NHS ambulance service within the next 5 or so years.
  14. I'm pretty sure it is indeed in the coffee skills workbook / barista core skills book / COSM. I get why your SM / ASM might tell you off for doing something which isn't a brand standard but seriously they shouldn't tell you off for cleaning the doser. I mean you can lose marks on a COStA check if it's not clean. You could always send an anonymous message to your RDM saying that those bits aren't getting done / the service is overdue. Don't know if you'd be shooting yourself in the foot if you did that though. Sorry but it annoys me that you get treated like this
  15. Time to give maintenance a ring and get a service booked I think It does sound like your group gaskets have gone. We have a similar kind of problem with our Lisa (you can now just pick away at them with your finger, quite horrible really). Are the black lumps coming out of the drain valve or just from around the actual seal itself?
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