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About RikA

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  1. Yes, I'd be OK to meet somewhere suitable in Devizes.
  2. I recall being very confused about the size of the connectors, and what adapters would be required to fit. The product page says "The connection at the back is 3/8, as well as the steam / water pipe. Do you want to mount this tap on your semi professional espresso machine? Then order the lever tap conversion kit.". (https://www.drtradingshop.nl/en_GB/a-59807930/steam-taps-and-attachments/conversion-kit-lever-tap/) I ordered a demo set, which luckily seemed to include all the right pieces. I /think/ @El carajillo is right, though - the item labelled '2' in your picture does look like one o
  3. Dropping price to £150. Also, apologies for the doser being a bit dirty in the above picture, it will be cleaned!
  4. Mazzer Super Jolly coffee grinder, in used but good condition. I have a Royal, and have kept this around for a while thinking I could use it for pour-over or decaf, but this now seems unlikely and I could use the space! Some nicks to the paintwork (see photos) but as most people know these things are built like tanks, so I'm sure this has many years of life left in it. Includes the small hopper pictured, and the doser has the usual mods (clean sweep, auto-switch removed). The serial number starts '09', so I believe this is a 2009 model. Happy to answer questions, of course.
  5. It's a while ago since I switched, but from memory, I felt there was a 'fuller' flavour - maybe this is what 'mouthfeel' is? Of course, there's at least some chance this is a placebo effect! I would not put money on my ability to tell the difference in a blind test. To be clear, to me it only looked like the VSTs were less forgiving - I certainly had more 'ugly' pours, but they often still tasted good. I felt that this essentially amounted to better feedback.
  6. I replaced my IMS baskets with VST ones (at least a year ago), and I'm happy I did - though I don't recall the difference being huge. The VST baskets appear to be less forgiving, in that shots (using a bottomless portafilter) can often look more 'messy', but this doesn't always translate to a poor tasting shot. Do you have different size IMS baskets, or only the 17g one? IMO, it might be worth getting a 15g VST or 20g VST so you have a different 'size' option as well as a chance to try and compare the VST to the IMS. It's not an expensive upgrade, so worth a try.
  7. Another Dog and Hat subscriber here - I like the variety, and the little 'Dialled In' pamphlet that comes with the beans.
  8. Yes - exactly so, the original wands but in the nuts that were supplied with the order, and using the longer springs (included with my 'demo kit' order). They move about the same as before, maybe slightly easier. However, there's a nut above the tapered nut which tightens down to secure it in place. I haven't played with this much, but I think this means you can adjust the ease of movement to some degree by setting both nuts a bit lower (i.e. less downward pressure from the spring).
  9. My joystick parts arrived yesterday from drtradingshop.nl. I managed to get a 'demo' set (so slightly used but obviously in excellent condition) for just over £85 delivered. I got a bit anxious because I noticed (after I ordered!) that the specification and description of the parts seem to differ if you view the website in Dutch (translated to English by Google) or English (chosen on the website directly). So, it may be worth contacting them if you are thinking of ordering. However, all installed and tested - looks and works great. Thanks for all the information on this thread!
  10. Firstly - thanks! I started from a point of lots of water coming out of that vale, so assumed the goal was 'no water', but good to know that this is now basically normal. I wondered about the black tip too. I do periodically drain the boiler (say, once a month or two) but maybe that's not often enough. My machine is mostly used at the weekends, so maybe stagnant water during the week is causing some sort of build up?
  11. Thanks - I think it has improved a lot since I removed and cleaned the probe as it was spraying out a *lot* of water yesterday. Presumably, the water that does escape will just boil off at some point.
  12. Thanks - I've asked Bella Barista how long the probe they sell is. Should the breaker be engaging sooner than it is in the video, or it that working fine - meaning the issue is solely the level of the water in the boiler? Is it worth replacing anyway? The water in our area is very hard, so I use bottled water (Ashbeck or, more recently, Waitrose Essentials).
  13. Sorry, I didn't describe it very well, so I've just recorded a video. You can hear the water boiling gently for the first 30 seconds, then more vigorously. At about 40 seconds, you can see water spraying out for about 10 seconds before the vacuum relief valve finally kicks in and closes.
  14. Quick update - I reinstalled the cleaned up probe and vacuum relief valve this morning, and siphoned out some water from the boiler so it would refill to the correct level. Sadly, the problem persists - as the water boils, it (still) starts to sputter out of the vacuum relief valve, so I will order a replacement and see if that fixes it.
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