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About CoffeePhilE

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    Brewing Nicely

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  1. @Rumpelstiltskin I feel where you're coming from, there. I've shared some of the journey, the notable exception being the first (and in my case, only) wife. Whether through luck or judgement (I, naturally, prefer to believe it's the latter) I managed to pick an utter angel. But the rest, well, I guess we could say all of life is a learning experience. It's what "growing" is, Sometimes it's more painful than others, and the painful bits can lead to scepticism or even cynicism. An old adage, very familiar to sceptics/cynics, is that cynicism is merely realism borne of experience ... but it'
  2. If you're used to it, then I guess you know how to look at the occasional burning philosophically, and put it in the context of the bargains that worked. I'm more of the hassle-avoidance type myself. I got mucked about years ago on eBay, surprisingly perhaps not by a chancer but by a world famous multinational corporate. It got sorted in the end but was enough of a pain in the rear for me to decide I couldn't be bothered with the hassle. I closed my account and haven'tused it since. These days I buy new, and from reputable sellers only .... and even that isn't guaranteed to avoid hassle b
  3. indeed. I'm sufficiently new here to not feel comfortable recommending that, but I does meet (with a little caution still) my expectation. Usually, on most decent forums, people with a substantial history can be trusted, at least up to a point, because doing otherwise puts their reputation at risk. BUT ... I have, on other forums, seen that general principle come unstuck, and seen people I would not have expected it of pull some atrocious stunts. Two things come to mind. You never know what's going on in someone's real life and there's always the chance that someone really up against it
  4. @Rumple, Sorry, just seen the post about eBay/auctions. I haven't used eBay in, oh, years now but, when I did, my strategy was much like yours. Central was avoiding thinking "If I can get this for £x, do I want it?" and slowly increasing £x. Instead, I used to try to decide, if I can buy this, right now, what's the highest price I'll be happy paying. The highest price I'm happy to pay, not the lowest I think I can get away with. Then I either offer BuyitNow, or more likely, just bid that now. I'd only use the first if I really wanted it, didn't want to risk losing it, an
  5. i'd say that's a very sound strategy, Dag .... provided you're cautious and careful about what you buy second-hand, and that also implies a degree of caution about who you buy it from. Like almost anything, be it cars, cameras, hifi, phones, whatever, there's people doing what you're doing but one step ahead, selling perfectly good used kit at reasonable prices. Sadly, there's also less reputable individuals selling gear they know has problems, looking for some unsuspecting novice green enough to fall for it. It can be tricky picking between the two. And of course, you could really step o
  6. That £95 (or Euros) is labour (inc call-out) only, though. It does say "plus the cost of any replacement spare parts required to repair the appliance.", which leaves the final bill rather wide-open.
  7. In theory, you can use a non-pressurised basket but the odds are it's not going to work well, especially with pre-ground coffee. It's all about what gets extracted. That is, what the coffee tastes like. Easpresso extraction is done under pressure. Something has to hold the grounds in the water for the requisite length of time, not too much and not too little. With a non-pressurised basket, what does that is essentially the combination of a correctly dialled in grind of coffee, and correct tamping. Get either of those wrong, and you end up either with under-extraction or over-extracti
  8. I think that those are good examples of summing up my views. The Chinese are perfectly capable of very high quality manufacturing, but are also capable of (and commonly do) produce cheap garbage that either rips off expensive brands, or completely abuses trademark and even product safety laws. Or both And frankly, we rather get what we deserve. I once made a mistake buying a "cheap" cradle for a handheld computer. It worked briefly, then fried the computer. Fortunately, it was about 3 years old (the computer, not the cradle) and due for replacement anyway. Unlike a friend who had his three gr
  9. In a way, you've answered your own question. Yes, you could just use a mug but there's two or three issues with doing that. Firstly, steaming is largely about getting a vortex going with the milk. That is, getting it circulating round and round, so that the milk heats evenly. Cups and mugs come in all shapes and some will do that better than others. Jugs tend to be a shape that works well. Secondly, how do you know it's hot enough? Well, with a jug, which is usually stainless steel, it's a pretty good conductor of heat. So if you hold the jug cupped in your hand, i.e. at an angl
  10. It depends what you mean by "hot" and "very hot" milk. If you go much above about 70C {158F), chemical changes start to occur in milk, and I doubt you'll find any domestic market machines designed to do that because it is regarded as causing at least unpleasant changes to taste and/or texture, if not safety. Even pasteurisation occurs at (approximately) that temperature. Some recipes do call for "scalded" milk, but mostly even those are based on old recipes not accounting for modern pre-consumer milk processing, and, of course, you can still find recipes to do with yoghurt making, and mixing
  11. Nor me. It just seemed to imply something of that type in that video. It's not the clearest instruction video, though.
  12. This is just a guess, but it sounded to me as if they were suggesting that if aiming to hit 202F (94.4C) you set the temp to 192F, presumably because it then cuts heater power but water temp will continue to rise for a bit because of residual heat in the heater element. If that is the offset you meant, then that is what I would assume,,too. But it is a guess.
  13. That's always the case on any well-run and well-mannered forum. Getting things to appear smooth, calm and gliding along with swan-like serenity on the surface, always relies on frantic paddling activity below the surface where it's safely out of sight.
  14. I've only been here a week or so, so way after you joined, which means me saying "welcome" seems a bit strange. Nonetheless, welcome. I'm surprised at the lack of welcome, though. As a newbie, I got a pretty warm reception. Mostly. As for "sub-par", it seems to me that it doesn't much better what others think of your coffee preferences. They aren't the ones drinking it. You are. I have the same attitude. I don't give a hoot if a coffee is supposedly good or not, or for that matter, whether someone else likes it or thinks it rubbish. If I like it, I like it. I'm old enough and cantankerous
  15. Y'know, I was beginning to wonder that myself. Still, that's easy enough to fix.
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