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mwardm

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About mwardm

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    Brewing Nicely
  1. Hi Foxy, That's a bit less than I wanted with a collection a bit later than the wife would like - and since the post has only been up a few hours I'll respectfully decline your offer for now. I might be more open to negotiation later in the week though! Cheers, Mike.
  2. (More photos in that photobucket album, hopefully visible if you click through.) Hi all, Due to downgraditis (discussed in another thread) I’m selling an old modded Gaggia Classic and a much more recent (European) Eureka Mignon, and basically all the other bits you need to get started except for the cheap eBay scales. (I’m keeping my scales, which are both a bit too soggy and too useful to let go.) About the Classic: 2004 Bought refurbished and already modded from MartinB back in June 2015 ( http://coffeeforums.co.uk/showthread.php?24300-Sold-Gaggia-Classic-Boxed-New-seals-descaled-OPV-mod-Rancilio-wand ); Has a Rancilio wand and is set at 10 static bar; Has 2 bolts “underneath” by the group-head where the spot-welds had gone; Condition is used but not abused – it’s a 12-year-old machine now. The bad stuff: Steam knob is scratched as per MartinB’s previous pics; the legends on the switches are part-worn; the grid is well used and there are surface scratches on the cup-warmer top and also on the plastic portafilter handle. There are also some minor rust markings on the steam wand side of the machine. I’ve basically tried to capture all the bad stuff in the pics so you won’t be disappointed. I’ll never make a great salesman. Used for about year with hard tap water, descaled a couple of times, frequently back-flushed with water and Dusty (Puly) Caff; I replaced the steam valve near the end of my year. (This was to try to stop a bit of dripping from the wand after use, though I think I only proved that the original was fine and it’s normal Classic behaviour. I suspect the dripping was simply water left in the wand bubbling out – I mostly drink long coffees so used the wand more for water than steam.); Comes in its original box (that was once temporarily used for holding a kettle and a toaster if you believe the writing on the top). About the Mignon: Gloss black mk2 with the timer (and the smaller hopper of two available, if I recall); Ordered new by me from Elektros.it in June 2015 (and I think I posted about it in threads here at the time), so it has a European Schuko plug on it. I’m including the (earthed) adapter in the sale, of course. Very good condition. There seems to be a tiny little dot of a chip in the black paint on the front-left leg that I didn’t actually noticed until I gave the thing a recent wipe-over – I can only guess it must have had a single coffee-ground covering it. I’ve found there are a couple of small part-cracks hidden inside the stem of the hopper where it slots into the grinder - something to do with tightening the securing screw or removing the hopper I guess, though I don’t remember having been violent. I ground my coffee into a plastic pot rather than a portafilter so I haven’t scratched up any of the metal surfaces and they’re basically about as good as they were when they were new. Was used for about 12 months and my coffee order history suggests it’s had about 20kg through it. Comes in its original box (but don’t get excited - it’s just a brown cardboard one with Eureka printed on it). About the “necessaries”: Comes also with a hardly-used unpressurised single basket, a well-used unpressurised double, a blind basket for back-flushing, a scruffy nylon group-head brush and… A nice black plastic knock box (knock bin, really); A hefty tamper, slightly curved base, slightly smaller diameter than the baskets. (It was billed as a 58mm so I guess it’s really a 57-point-something – don’t have anything to measure it that accurately); Half of a large tub of Dusty (Puly) Caff. I think that's covered everything. Hopefully this set will suit someone with more refined tastebuds than mine. £280 on collection from the Camberley / Bracknell area. I’m not currently considering posting. Cheers, Mike.
  3. mwardm

    Downgraditis!

    Thanks for those comforting words, Dave :-) I was reasonably diligent on the cleaning, actually (though never noticed much difference - maybe I needed to let the machine get dirtier!). I also compared tap v. bottled water. I just couldn't notice enough (or any) difference myself to make it worth the extra effort. Hmmm. Perhaps I should save up for some proper high-end gear..... ;-) Cheers.
  4. Or is it downgradeitis? It's not a word you see written here often! When my old bean-to-cup died I got a Gaggia Classic and (European) Eureka Mignon so I could make myself some proper espresso shots. Unfortunately, after experimenting for about a year I've decided (a) my taste buds aren't good enough to taste much difference, and (b) doing it properly is a messy old faff! My wife was getting fed up with the mess (I work from home a fair bit so I felt that, especially having spent longer making the coffee in the first place, it was my duty not to waste much time at all cleaning up!) and despite both deliberately and (I'm sure) accidentally introducing variation into my shot-making, all my americanos tasted pretty much the same... so I figured it was probably time to move on. Backwards. I got a hold of a nearly-new DeLonghi Magnifica. I ran a quick taste comparison and - yep - tastes the same to me! Though with a fraction of the effort and all the mess hidden for at least 10 shots. Your mileage most definitely might vary. (In my thirties I used to love red wine but in my forties it's nearly all got a nasty taste as an overtone. I figure some of my taste buds aren't working like they used to.) I can still taste a difference between beans, mostly, but no real difference to worry about within differently made shots. (I'm mostly preferring medium roast, which I'm buying from Redber. I know I've still got some taste buds functioning because I had a coffee emergency once and bought a bag of Sumatra Mandheling from Waitrose. Or at least I know I had some taste buds working before I bought those.) When I finally get around to cleaning them up properly, there'll be a something-hand Gaggia Classic and a near immaculate European (sic) Mignon making an appearance in the for-sale section... (Near Sandhurst, Berkshire.) My name's Mike, and I'm a bean-to-cup user.
  5. Great - now I've got to check mine! I just ran the pump for 30 seconds and got about 300ml out, so that seems to match what's being said. However I don't get anything like the "shower" in KarlM's vid. The water very quickly pulls together into two central streams (which makes a bit of sense to me given that I think I've seen two holes when I've taken off the shower screen.) Still, I'm able to make coffee and drink it, so...
  6. Certainly looks much (much) faster than mine (which I bought second hand and pre-adjusted to 10 bar off MartinB).
  7. BClarke - PM sent. The multibuy isn't all encompassing, but have a look under the gifts section of the site. Primarily, it's 3 x 500g from most of their espresso range for £22 Cheers, Mike.
  8. PM sent. I've just tried on their site: the case doesn't matter. Just don't include any spaces anywhere. Let's just say that you'll be paying 90% of full price. Cheers, Mike.
  9. mwardm

    Greetings

    Welcome, Oli. Whereabouts are you in the country, if you don't mind wasting a post?
  10. Does anyone still use Rough Guide? I did when I went but that was back in 2005 or 2006. Back then, it said to only take a Gondola trip from a main Gondola "station" or you'll get (even more) ripped off. I couldn't even get near to a main Gondola point (our nearest was on the east side of the Grand Canal, heading south from the Rialto Bridge) before my good lady had got carried away by the romance of the place and had "negotiated" with a Gondolier who was hanging around on a back-canal. Luckily he offered a "long" trip, so we probably got about 10 minutes round the block for 120 Euros. Still, if we'd been less ripped off then perhaps I wouldn't have had this abiding memory Other memories that remain: Good move on booking the (I'm guessing proper-wooden-boat-whose-name-I'm-sure-I-used-to-know water) taxi from the airport - I'd have recommended it if you hadn't already. Looks like your route will take you straight down the Grand Canal (assuming they haven't pedestrianised it in the intervening years), which should be a nice way to arrive. The walking all adds up. When your wife asks you which shoes look best, pick the most comfortable ones. I'm 99% sure I booked us a table at "Da Fiore", which I'd probably read was where the film-stars went when they were in town. It still seems to be going (though it was the one over in San Polo, not the Trattoria version in San Marco) and while I have vague memories of the food being nice, and expensive, my overriding one is that a low-ceilinged room with poor or no air-conditioning was an uncomfortable place to eat in a mini-heatwave. (It was also a decent walk from where we were staying.) YMMV. We didn't manage to find a restaurant that served meat. One day we took the Vaporetto (No 1, I'm pretty sure) across the lagoon to the Lido, and followed people who looked like they knew where they were going across the island. There we found a beach (with poor quality sand and lots of umbrellas arranged in rows) and an (al fresco) beach bar that was too cool for us. (It had a bed.) It served fizzy white wine out of a coke-hose, and a glass of that and a beer was about a tenth the price of anything we'd bought back in Venice proper, so we sat there all afternoon. In chairs. Enjoy - I'm sure you'll have a great time whatever you get up to. (Hmmm. I wonder: Does anyone know anyone who's come back from Venice and said, "Actually, I thought it was a bit [rubbish].")
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