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jimmyuk81

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    Macclesfield
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    Coffee (Obviously), Beer, Windsurfing, MTB, Hillwalking

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  1. I believe the grind dial and single/double grind selector are essentially a fancy way of adjusting the grind time. Pretty weird if adjusting these genuinely makes no difference - have you tried going from minimum - single grind & lowest on the dial - to maximum, double grind & highest on the dial and weighing the comparative output? Iโ€™d wholly believe clicking the dial a few notches up or down could give the same dose - itโ€™s not very accurate ๐Ÿ™‚ - but going from min/single to max/double should show a fair few grams difference. If it really is the same then I can only assume somethingโ€™s gone tits up with its internal electronics. Probably a warranty job if still under warranty? Alternatively similar to @MWJBโ€™s suggestions, get some cheap precision scales and either weigh the beans before grinding manually - essentially using it as a single dose grinder - or weigh the dose into a cup instead of the portafilter. I do the former when making a quick espresso with my BE and itโ€™s not too bad - there is quite a bit of retention in the BE grinder, but itโ€™s consistent enough for everyday coffee. I gave up on using the grind presets a while ago as theyโ€™re just too inaccurate - made it almost impossible to dial in reliably.
  2. Well Iโ€™m pretty pleased with this little 300ml jug so far ๐Ÿ™‚ Hereโ€™s a couple of photos comparing it to the Sage jug - pint glass included for scale! As youโ€™d expect from it being smaller, the Ilsa jug is shorter in height and narrower in diameter at the base. This makes it easier to get the steam wand in and gives more depth of milk to play with. Thatโ€™s with the steam wand all the way to the bottom - obviously wouldnโ€™t put it that far down if steaming for real! ๐Ÿ™‚ And hereโ€™s the outcome - forgive the total lack of latte art, more practice definitely needed. But all in all a very satisfactory flat white none the less! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Would definitely recommend a 300ml jug for anyone who makes a lot of single small milky drinks like flat whites, espresso macchiatos or cortados. Itโ€™s a nice size and a very worthwhile upgrade from the Sage jug.
  3. It's one of the downsides to going down the speciality coffee rabbit hole... If you're just out and about and want a quick coffee then you're bound to be disappointed! ๐Ÿ˜‚ My preferred drink is the flat white which is a bit more forgiving of poor quality than black coffees, espressos in particular - there's nowhere to hide with a rubbish shot straight. A flat white from Costa, Starbucks or Cafรฉ Nero is just about acceptable for me, still better than no coffee at all. ๐Ÿ™‚ Costa's flat white used to be ridiculously big and too milky, but you can now get the mini size cup which gives a much better espresso to milk ratio.
  4. Just as a follow-up to this, after honestly far too much time researching jugs on the internet (so to speak!) I discovered that Ilsa make a 300ml non-stick version that looks like the perfect compromise. Mine arrived this morning from Maxicoffee - I've only used it so far to warm up a tiny volume of milk for an espresso macchiato but its small size was a huge improvement over the Sage jug. ๐Ÿ™‚ I'll report back with some photos once I've had a go at a flat white with it.
  5. Thanks @SlightlyCaffinated and @CoffeeTim for your helpful replies! I'm going to try setting the program today & will report back. ๐Ÿ™‚ @CoffeeTim - how tricky is it to get at the OPV on these machines? I have been wondering about adjusting it, but a bit nervous as it's still under warranty and I'm a total newbie when it comes to exploring the innards of coffee machines. If you're aware of any how-to articles that would be appreciated... I'm not sure about going in blind! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ
  6. Cool! I hope you enjoy it - I'm certainly enjoying mine. ๐Ÿ™‚ My wife, who is also from the North - albeit the other side of the Pennines - has similar views on spending that much money on coffee kit. I tried explaining how it's actually very reasonable if you compare it to, say, Weber grinders, but I don't think it got me very far... ๐Ÿ˜‚
  7. Really enjoyed catching up on all these suggestions, not been into central Manchester for over a year โ€˜cos COVID but looking forward to trying some of them when I can! ๐Ÿ™‚ In the meantime further afield I can highly recommend Feed General Store in Heaton Chapel. Had a fantastic flat white from there a few weeks back.
  8. Funnily enough I had a flat white from there on Sunday. Pretty good!
  9. I'm hoping there might be some other Barista Express users out there who can give me some pointers on custom programming ๐Ÿ™‚ Background - I got frustrated a little while ago with the ratio of extraction from the default programming, approx 1:3.3 to give 60ml of coffee from an 18g dose. This was far too long an extraction for the beans we're using and produced a weak and insipid shot. I've since gone down a bit of a rabbit hole of improving my espressos, invested in a good hand grinder (1ZPresso JX Pro), some scales and a timer and now using the full manual control for my shots. It's a huge improvement and I'm now consistently getting a nice ~1:2 ratio producing 40g shots with great flavour & mouthfeel. However! My wife is less than impressed with all this, she just wants to press a button and get reasonable coffee. ๐Ÿ˜‚ She drinks hers as a black Americano with quite a bit of water, and to be honest she didn't really notice anything wrong with the previous 1:3 ratio drinks made like that. However, she has commented on how nice the coffees are that I'm making her using the manual method... I'm now thinking of trying to set the custom program to produce something a bit more like the 40g output. I've read the manual and I'm a bit confused about the process. The manual says: Now, normally with the automatic double shot programme there's approx. 10s of pre-infusion before the start of the regular extraction. Similarly when using manual control, I'm holding the button down for ~6s for preinfusion before releasing the button to extract the shot, then pressing it again to stop. I've no idea whether I should do this or not to set up a preinfusion for the custom program. Does anyone know? Would also appreciate any other comments or suggestions on setting the custom programs on the BE, if anyone has had success with this. ๐Ÿ™‚
  10. Really easy ๐Ÿ™‚ As I mentioned upthread, at first I was a bit confused as wasn't used to such a fine degree of precision and not being able to judge immediately what grind size it was set to. But even then, it only takes a couple of seconds to wind it all the way to fully shut and then back out to your desired setting. Now though I'm keeping track of the setting I've just used it on - I don't know if there's a standard way to write it but I'm noting 1.5.2 for example to mean 1 full rotation, clicked up to number 5 on the dial, then 2 clicks past 5. (You could equally call it 1.22 as there are 4 clicks for every number on the dial). So I know I last had it set for espresso at 1.5.2, and it needs to be on 2.6.0 for Aeropress. So I just turn it another full rotation to get to 2.5.2, and another 2 clicks to get to 2.6.0. Very quick and simple. Does that make the slightest sense? I don't know if I've explained it very well but it's easier in practice, I promise! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I also used the method showed in this video to calibrate the dial so that it's at zero when tightened up fully. It's a bit fiddly and not entirely essential - if you can cope with the "zero point" being in fact 4.2 or something, and working out the offset in your head, then no worries. But it helped me a bit.
  11. I knew there would be a good explanation! Thanks. ๐Ÿ™‚
  12. One thing I was wondering about... Does anyone know the reasoning behind the crank arm being angled down? Probably best shown in this photo: This makes it more or less impossible to attach the crank arm to the grinder body for travel - I was trying this out in the travel case to see what else I could fit in there. ๐Ÿ™‚ It just seems a slightly odd design decision - unless there's some advantage to the motion of grinding by having the handle a bit lower? A straight crank arm would be simpler to manufacture surely... Curious if anyone knows if there's a functional reason for this, or if 1ZPresso just decided it looks cooler this way!
  13. I've contemplated trying this just for fun, but honestly for the number of coffees a day I drink I can totally accept a bit of exercise hand grinding ๐Ÿ™‚ Plus I don't think my wife would be too happy about my battered DeWalt drill driver taking up permanent residence in the kitchen! ๐Ÿ˜‚
  14. Thanks for the tips and info on RDT! I've given it a try - using a spoon as I don't have an atomiser - and it's certainly helped. Interestingly my last shot was with a brand new bag of beans and static was much worse - is that normal? As a general update I'm getting there with dialling it in now and the last few espressos & flat whites are for sure the best I've ever made (even if I do say so myself โ˜บ๏ธ). It's amazing the difference the grinder makes! The only downside is my initial idea was to keep using the built-in grinder on my Sage BE for decaf and keep the JX Pro for regular. But it's so much nicer to use - even with the effort of hand grinding! - that I'm now using it for both. Oh well, there are worse problems... ๐Ÿ™‚
  15. Thanks for this! Yes I guess it must be static - I will give the droplet technique a go. ๐Ÿ™‚ Assuming it really should use only a very minimal spray?
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