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zoglet

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  1. Sorry all for the delay in responding, haven't been very well over the last weeks. The cuba serrano I buy is roasted on site, so cuban preferences aren't a factor. Also there are no tasting notes, I just happened across it and liked it. I've been drinking coffee for twenty five years and working on the principle of 'try ones that have a similar flavour profile to that which you like". I was just wondering if there was something more empirical out there. Nonetheless, thanks everyone for their comments.
  2. I have a question for you all on here. Although I'm a coffee lover, I'm certainly no expert in any way, but pretty fussy about flavour and find that a great many beans/blends/roasts just aren't to my taste. I have always tended towards the slightly milder, less bitter, more 'chocolatey' stuff. I would usually find myself settling with something 'colombian', although I would previously always buy locally, not from specialist distributors. I'm currently living in Germany and by accident, shopping in a nearby boutique supermarket, came across a blend I adore, "Espresso Cuba Serrano". The problem is although so labelled, they roast in-house and sell under their own label, so I couldn't say if it is the same as, or how it would compare with other 'Cuba Serrano' blend on the market. At one point they told me they were no longer going to supply it and I nerly had a heart attack. Fortunately, their suppliers got more in so it's still around, but it will be a dark day when/if it ever runs out again. So here's the question. As you can with wine or music, how would you go about choosing or trying a new bean or blend, based on knowing what you like? I've often found that most shops, with greatest of respect, probably have less knowledge tham you would like, or are obviously influenced by their own subjective experiences or preferences. I drink double espresso, with some foamed milk in the mroning and on it's own during the day (if I have time) and although like my coffee strong, I don't like the really bitter astringent stuff most of the people in the shops want to sell me when I say I am looking for a strong smooth espresso. Other than 'just keep trying and find what you like', which can be expensive and tiresome, what advice would you give to someone who wants to branch out and try other varieties, whilst still staying within a ball park of what they like, or to find a suitable alternative to something they can no longer get? Are there coffee someliers? Is there some kind of comparison site? Thanks in advance ?
  3. I can't comment on the quality of the Graef cm80 but it's true that I noticed a big difference from changing from the MDF to a Eureka Mignon. If you do consider a new grinder, what I did learn from here (thanks all) is to go for one with stepless grind settings, and one that doesn't tend to clump on the finer espresso end. Additionally, try to find out how much the grinder holds back in the mechanism. Less of an issue for you if you are drinking more cups a day but as I would generally only be drinking one double in the morning, always having some of yesterday's beans in todays portafilter probably worked towards swaying consistency. I have to say though that since upscaling my kit, I also spend more time focusing on a good distribution in the PF and even tamp, which I never used to, so perhaps some of these things, if you're not doing them already, would also make a difference you would notice or appreciate.
  4. Regarding age, I had my Classic for twenty plus years and it still works fine. Had a couple of descale overhauls but nothing ever failed. A couple of years ago, I bought a Brass shower plate holder to help with temp stability. I also got one of these laser cut shower plates to improve dispersion but I can't really say that I noticed all that much difference. The difference in weight between the original and the brass is ridicuous, so once up to temperature, any water that's lost a little heat running through the boiler will (hopefully) be stabilised through the brass. I also went the PID route with Mr Shades' kit, which I can't fault. I do wish that someone 3D printed a PID holder/half width top for the Classic so the PID could sit nice and snug on the top rather than wierdly on the side. I also bought a pressure gauge so I could adjust the valve inside. The real issue is that the Gaggia Classic, when running nicely, is not a bad little machine at all. After pimping it up and getting to know it, it will actually cost you a fair amount to match or out-do it. A friend recently bought a little Bezzera new for €750, maybe second hand versions of things like that would come up in your budget? Or keep your fingers crossed and eyes open for something getting shot of something with a Faema e61 grouphead. That will definitely be a step up. The main thing I noticed since upgrading is that I don't have to work to get a consistently great coffee. With the Gaggia, there was always a bit of 'here or there'. I'm sure other people have different experiences and opinions, I'm no expert and my views are purely subjective. With that in mind, I would say that if you believe that you would continue to be happy with your Gaggia for a while, consider the pimping route. If your budget is 300, I reckon 150 of that would go further on the Gaggia than 300 starting outright with something else. If however you are reading this forum and getting the 'upgrade itch', maybe hold off spending out further on the Gaggia and decide how much your wallet may be able to scratch that itch. A little over 300 and a bit of luck and good timing will get you something second hand that will be a step up. Maybe wait to see what people are getting rid of in the New Year once all Christmas upgrades are in. Even consider posting a "Wanted - Your old machine" post to get people thinking. Best of luck either way ?
  5. I'm not an expert but I suspect that part of your problem is using not enough milk. Getting the right texture requires the right amount of air introduced and then the microfilm developed through swirling. If you use only one cups worth of milk, it will be hard to do this before the milk overheats. Overheating the milk will also impair the flavour and texture. I'm not sure if this forum has a policy on adding other URLs but but hope I am forgiven for suggesting search youtube for whole latte love milk frothing, which I found really useful. I also appreciate that you may have personal preferences, but if you aren't happy with your current results, I suggest you start with the given recommendations to at least establish if you can get the results expected before introducing variance. I fill my jug to just below the start of the spout (about half full) and judge temperature as they suggest by holding the jug, stopping as it starts to get too hot to hold. Best of luck.
  6. If I can add to the mix also as el carajillo said, remember changing grinder settings isn't instant, it takes a while for the grinds to get through, so the changes you make will likely not be noticeable until a grind or two AFTER you changed the setting. If the iberital holds its grind setting on empty, run through only one PF-full at a time rather than work with a full hopper. Don't tamp too hard, more important to be consistent. You need to be changing only one variable. Also, as ashcroc mentioned, the Gaggia portafilter is a little smaller than many, so don't overfill as this will mess up your results. If you can see an imprint of the showered on the top of the grounds you have overfilled. Also what will happen, is all your efforts to tamp nicely will be messed up when the grinds get mashed up into the shower head. Also recognise that the make and age of beans also can affect the grind. Ie if you buy some cheap beans to test with and switch after, you might find you will have to redial the grind for the new beans (You will likely still be in the right ballpark though). As a final thought from my own experience, don't get too worried about it. You have a nice set up, recognise that you will waste some beans in the beginning to get yourself dialled in and accept it. It's much better to do this than to stress with each grind that you're wasting money and end up not doing the dial in right. It's all part and parcel of the learning process and the whole process is still costing you less than two cups at costa ;-)
  7. Lol, thanks mate. I try to be honest on here as I can imagine there are some that wince at the thought. I'm aware that I'm likely far away from the perfect barista cup but I've got to a nice quality/effort balance point where I'm happy with the outcome. I do have the occasional guilty thoughts that I should be trying harder. My cappuccinos have a face only their father can love as any 'latte art', when attempted, looks at best like a myopic pygmy hippo pooped froth in my cup from the top of a ladder. I found it was easier to appreciate my latte art as more Pollock than Escher. "Slop it in and slug it daaaaaan" Happy days ;-)
  8. Hi all So I've had my e37J grinder a while now and although it's great at grinding, I'm constantly annoyed at the grind distribution, which is a bit messy at best. I saw that the e37T had this specially designed metal guard they call a shuffle snoot that redirects the grinds straight down and although I tried getting one through ceado, they just redirected me to my dealer. The dealer was then told by them on enquiry that they wouldn't supply one for my grinder (e37j) because it wasn't an e37T Now frankly I don't give a fork, I'm happy to pay for it and adapt but apparently "computer says no". Now I see that the new e37SL comes with a newly designed shorter version so again I ask, if they have a improved solution for what appears to be a known design 'flaw', why can't I buy it for my grinder? Part of the problem is my currently living in Germany where logic dictates all and wanting a spare part for something you don't have is considered socially unacceptable. Don't ask. I've tried. What I'm hoping is that someone in the UK (or some crazy subculture revolutionaries in Germany) may be able and willing to take my money and sell me the part I want so I can fit it on my machine and die happy. And yes, the chute on mine is the same as those with a snoot and yes it has the holes drilled for the part already. I'm not looking to get into a lengthy discussion on where/why/how/ifs, I just want one of these things and am happy to pay lol. Link to the new gizmo with aforementioned thingummy here: https://www.ceado.com/en/product/83.html Ta :-)
  9. Love my Mechanika Slim. Cost more than I planned to spend but I don’t regret it. Performance is fantastic and the build quality is superb. Add that it has the small footprint, critical on my kitchen space, nothing else would have come close.
  10. Yes I did, and absolutely love everything about it. Cofee is now next level. Everything I did previously was to compensate for limitations of my previous well machine. Great though it was and served me well many years. The main difference I have noticed is consistency seems to come easily now. An off shot is very very rare. I must say you pay a premium but for me, table top space is a big issue and there’s few of that spec in that size. The build quality is great too. Can’t be happier.
  11. lack of plumbing not an issue. it’s not how I would use it anyway. I must say I liked the joysticks but apparently the knobs give better control. six of on, half a dozen of the other. build quality is wonderful but price is pretty high. then again space is a significant factor, hence the consideration. was initially looking at their basic model but as ai have a pimped out gaggia classic, i wanted a step up, so the benefits of a heat index xchanger for milk foaming, although not often used, is there, and the temperature stability of the big boiler and e61 head is the main driver. thanks for your thoughts everyone. Reckon it’s soon on the cards ;-)
  12. 1450 is a mad price. Get me one too! They’re 1750 in Germany where they make em!
  13. I'm torn between 'Ooooh', 'Gimme gimme', 'Yikes', 'How much???' and 'You don't f...g need it'. Linky Anyone have first hand experience? To avoid straying too far off topic, I've seen lots of videos on YouTube for ECM, yes I know ECM are generally pimped profitec and I know there's a lot of discussion on Profitec and the Mechanika IV before it, but I'd be keen to hear from anyone regarding this particular machine, who has actually used, bought, or compared against something else. The smaller footprint is relevant to me. Thanks in advance
  14. Looks like I got in just in time Oh by the way, my latest 'pimp' addition to your drip tray was delivered and completed today. Laser cut mirror finish stainless. Now I have the best of both worlds Likey?
  15. Might be worth having a chat with tcw, who I got a great 3D printed shallow drip tray from. I wonder what 3D printed magnificent housing solutions could be produced with a bit of collaborative thinking. I'd definitely be on the list to buy one!
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