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About series530

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  • Location
    Camberley, Surrey
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    Cars, coffee, DIY, technology,
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    Small business owner
  1. OK- a few things to be aware of: Most of us buy coffee in bean form and grind it down just before we use it. You need a decent grinder to do this, either a powered one or done decently with a hand grinder. The coffee is then put into a porta filter, tamped down and then espressed. Why all these steps and what's important about them? : 1. In whole bean form it lasts for longer. By then grinding it you expose the internal surface and can extract the coffee prior to oxidation from the atmosphere. You can buy pre ground coffee but you need to be very careful to not let it be exposed to the air. Pre ground often comes in a nitrogen container or vacuum packed. If you buy pre ground make sure it is ground for an espresso machine and not for, say, a caffetierre. The grinding is very different. 2. If you grind coffee it is very important to grind it to the correct consistency. Not enough and it will espress too quickly and the flavour wont come through. Too much and you wont get any coffee because no liquid will get through. Typically, a double espresso will fill a pair of shot glasses in about 25 seconds or so. Much more or much less and it becomes a big compromise. 3. You really must tamp the coffee down. If you simply pour some coffee into the porta filter it will leave loads of air pockets. These allow what is called channelling and allows the water to quickly pass through the coffee in certain areas without extraction of the flavour - 6-7 seconds is way too quick and is probably because the tamping was not done. If you got your coffee in 6-7 seconds and it was nicer than instant then prepared to have your socks blown off when you get it precisely right!
  2. Indeed, virtually anything at a supermarket should be avoided. I agree that blends are a good idea. I've been directed to Compass Coffee recently and am really enjoying The Brighton Lanes http://www.coffeecompass.co.uk/shop/espresso-range/espresso-selection.html Basically, pick three 500g packs from what is available in the list and see what you like. They will deliver to NI as well.
  3. Many VAG customers don't really understand the implications of the resent fiasco and are simply waiting to see what VAG will seduce them with in order to re-establish good will. I doubt that, unless pushed by legislation, VAG will offer a settlement to every customer. Much better, I imagine, for them to offer incentives against a future vehicle purchase. VAG may also have to adjust pricing so as to draw in customers from other brands. Quality perception has suffered and with that, quite likely, some of the premium pricing that the brand was able to establish over the years. VAG are seen to be publicly shaming themselves. Many customers will be happy with that, and a bung of cash in some form. The biggest problem, I feel, is in fines imposed by a country or on a continental basis - a great opportunity to line the coffers of a nation or to prop up the failing national car making brand (or brands). Is everybody dodging emissions testing? hard to say - the thing is VAG were caught with their hands in the sweetie jar while others were not, at least for now. And as I type this there could be several software teams around the world hurriedly undoing software code in fortified research and development labs. Would it put me off buying VAG ? - probably not (not that I have a VAG product).
  4. The gesture is certainly very much appreciated. I'll glad I raised the question!
  5. Firstly, I would like to thank Jeremy for explaining, at length, what has happened and for being honest enough to admit that the timing was less than perfect. Slightly under two years ago my wife and I gave up our jobs and started our own business. It was successful immediately and continues to be so to this day - keeping us very busy and very driven. It's the main reason why my posting on this forum has been so little recently - I simply haven't had much down time. Anyway, going into business for the first time has taught me many things and I can totally sympathise with Jeremy when it comes to balancing the needs of suppliers and customers. Some supply chains squeeze the very last penny at every opportunity so as to maximise margin. We prefer to be fair to everyone - I prefer to sleep soundly with a feeling that we didn't extort a fortune for our customers under duress and that our suppliers will still want and be in a position to work with us tomorrow, next week and next month. I know that buying coffee in 1Kg bags isn't the best approach from a freshness standpoint. I make it a mission to have a double shot in a cappuccino each morning as I start my working day. Buying a kilo is something I do once a month or so and it is more convenient than ideal. It's a tough pill to swallow when your favourite coffee, delivered to you door step increases in price from £23.45 to £29.40. Psychologically, it feels worse to me in discovering this almost by accident and then finding that the smaller sized bags are now even smaller and that the website is bolder and better. Cynically it makes me think that what I am paying for is the cost of rebuilding the website and a degree of company re-branding. While this may not be the case, as Jeremy has suggested, the whole thing doesn't sit comfortably with me. I feel heavily let down as a customer. Most people accept that prices have to rise every now and again and, particularly in developing worlds, conducting ethical business means that costs probably increase more than in more established countries such as the UK. We've increased our prices a number of times as our business has established itself. As with everyone, we need a comfortable margin to as to make the business sustainable and to give us an income. Most of our customers have followed us along this journey and accepted that a quality product doesn't come dirt cheap. However, if I was to increase my price by 25% overnight I doubt that many would still follow the road with me. Had I increased my prices incrementally by, say 10% a year, I suspect that most would have done so. Perhaps I am the most unlucky customer in wanting Revelation in 1kg bags. Had I preferred something else, perhaps I may have even seen a price reduction. It isn't my intention to try to lever the price back down again. I accept that the price is the price and that some discount may be offered to forum members. I will have to think long and hard though, before I order another bag of revelation.
  6. Last time I bought (a month or so ago) the price excluding delivery for a 1kg bag was £18.95. If I place an order today the cost is £24.90 plus delivery. My original calculation took delivery into account. If I separate the delivery the hike is even higher than 25%
  7. Thanks Glenn, that's much appreciated. I would like to stay with Union as I like Revelation blend in my cappuccino and my grinder is set up nicely. However, that sort of hike hurts the wallet too much and demands either an answer or choosing a different supplier. Out of interest, what is the recommendation for a robust bean that doesn't get drowned when used with milk in a cappuccino?
  8. No, it's 1Kg vs. 1Kg .. so the same.
  9. Over the past year or so I've purchased Revelation blend every month or so from Union Roasted. I went to buy a kilo yesterday and noticed a 25% increase in the price compared to my last purchase. I've sent a mail to Union asking what has caused the price rise but am keen to know if others have noticed similar with this or any other coffee and know why it has happened. thanks
  10. Much as I am pleased that Lewis has increased the gap between himself and Nico the crash and injury suffered by Jules saddens the whole event. Although motor racing is a dangerous sport we have become used to seeing drivers exit crashed F1 cars with little or no injury because of improvements in safety. When something like this happens it highlights that safety improvements cannot cover every eventuality and that, sooner or later, something like this is inevitable.
  11. If you feel the need to add something then do so. Personally, I add milk to mine as I find a cup of just espresso, especially a dark roast, just too much. I had to laugh at my dad.. I made what I considered to be a thoroughly decent Cappuccino for him and the first thing he did was to stir it all up with a spoon and then dump two spoon fulls of white sugar in it. Then he took his first sip. His choice, but I almost cried!
  12. Races from Hungary are almost a waste watching as the whole thing is a procession. I have no nails left... that about sums it all up. Great result for Lewis but I'd hate to be him in the team debriefing when that happens.
  13. not sure how much the Eureka Mignon is now. It's certainly small and seems to work nicely with my Cherub.
  14. I leave mine to heat up for at least 30 mins and I have no complaints.
  15. Maybe his brother in law is in the coffee business. If he isn't it may be something of a stretch. Certainly wouldn't try pushing it through my business like that !
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