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Found 7 results

  1. Hi all, so a little background to me joining here and apologies for such a long post - feel free to ignore it. I've lurked for a few months now and finally felt it was time to pull the trigger and join. I've been a long time (good) coffee lover and it seems each day I get taken further down the rabbit hole and now it's snowballing! There's so much to learn and its really got me excited. The more I read and learn the more I realise how little I know! I recently did a home barista course at Extract Coffee in Bristol which I would absolutely recommend if you're pretty new to all this - though I warn you it will make you spend more money on coffee and equipment! My long term goal is to start my own roastery - I know big ideas but you've got to start somewhere right? (oi! no eye rolling!) I have worked in the wine trade now for over 20 years and the more I delve into coffee and the industry around it the more I see how strong the similarities are to wine: flavour profiles, climate, altitude, cupping, processing etc. Which is great as it makes me feel pretty much at home already. Wine is also getting squeezed more and more by price increases from duty and currency fluctuations, (dare I mention Brexit?!?) health scares, Dry January and just far more choice – Gin, craft beer etc. So it seems time to dip my toe. This is going to be a gradual move - I'm not going crazy and buying a 30kg Probat - yet! Baby steps. I've got so much to learn and it seems there's a lot of knowledgeable people on this forum that could hopefully help me with advice. Soooo, finally to the point of this ramble - I'm looking for some advice on equipment, specifically espresso machines. Along with a V60 I have a Breville Cafe series (I'm guessing this is the older version of the Sage Duo Temp?) and until recently I had a Delonghi conical grinder hacked to grind fine enough for espresso. This was ok but its evenness of grind was not great and I'm now the very happy owner of the Niche Zero. And wow the difference is night and day with the V60, but of course - you guessed it - now my Breville is not up to the job and I'm really noticing its limits. I need a dual boiler with a PID that would see me for a good few years to come. I need to learn to make better espresso based coffee as I am now starting to understand that having a successful roastery is about far, far more than just roasting great coffee. It will be used at home for now but will possibly go into the roastery if/when I get it off the ground so could be used to showcase my coffee to prospective customers. How much it costs will depend on when I can get it, I don’t have loads of cash lying around but I’m not in a massive rush – I want to do this right. The ACS Minima or Expobar Leva both seem like a good start but would I outgrow them in a few years? Or how about something like the Profitech 700 or ECM Synchronika? They seem very good technically proficient machines. Then there’s the Lelit Bianca. (you can see who's reviews I've been reading!) this pulls at my heart strings more than any of the others. Would this actually help me with my end goal though? I need to produce consistent shots to show off the bean to its fullest with the minimum of fuss. Well that’s me. A lot of me – perhaps I’ve had a bit too much coffee today! Any advice more than welcome.
  2. So I have tentative upgrade permission from the boss.... she started it (honest) with a 'would a bigger machine be faster?' after the usual 20+ mins to make 4 single and 1 double latte with my Sage DTP. 'Yes' says I 'a dual boiler would be much faster..... but a better grinder would taste better' (we both like the workmanlike styling of our Santos 4) Hence our dilemma - the Sage Dual Boiler would be an obvious upgrade from the DTP, but longevity seems a bit suspect. The new ACS Minima looks brilliant. Or do we stick with the DTP and buy a Niche? Or will we need to upgrade both (will the Sage hold back a Niche, would the Santos hold back the ACS) We only ever drink Lattes, my wife likes them made with a single shot, I don't mind singles or doubles. Usually one each per day, sometimes two. And most Sundays I need to make drinks for 5 - we usually split 2 doubles but thats partly to save time. Let the suggestions commence (leave alone and go on holiday is an acceptable suggestion by the way....)
  3. Apart from the ACS Minima are there any other DB machines which won't hog too much space on our limited kitchen work surface? Cheers
  4. The ACS Minima Beta is over, the thread has been read by ACS and various changes made to the final production machine. The factory were going to take this one back and repurpose it for trade shows, but I pointed out the expense of doing so and breaking something up that works perfectly well seems daft to me and I hope to others. It's not great for the environment as many of it's parts will be wasted. I suggested that it might be better selling this to the "right" person on the forum. It's been my "go to" machine for a while now. So, an opportunity to buy the beta test machine. It works really well. It's a beta so there are a few small issues The brew pressure needle started flickering after 3 weeks, I think because capillary tube is short and all the air finally bled out but I don't know that's life. It's been used on totally machine safe water as all my test machines are. The front panel is slightly imperfect (I don't always get perfect machines, such is the life of a tester). You will get a user guide for it...when I find the file 1. Blemished front panel to right side and upper area of brew switch 2. Brew Needle vibrates around setting (but I wouldn't worry about it) 3. Still has software bug for steam (service boiler), temperature display, which shows a temperature 3C lower than that actually in the boiler...but no worries, you can see the correct pressure on the pressure gauge and it's capable of reaching the max design temperature of 130C no problem (or about 1.7 bar). It can be reprogrammed, but I can't be arsed to remove the Gicar box and do it as it has no effect except cosmetic (if the purchaser wants to remove the Gicar box and have it reflashed, I can do that for them in the future...well I should be able to, no guarantees ). You usually see carefully used for 4 shots per week, well this has been extensively used as I always do when testing and produces great shots. try to see it as being extensively PDied (pre delivery tested). It's about 3 months old. For people who know me, they know that functionally it's going to be perfect, clean and well looked after. The price, it's a very reasonable £450 with 1 year parts only warranty from the ACS factory....it's exceptional value for a 3 month old dual boiler machine. The machine is pick up only (no shipping, you have to come and get it/see it) but I do have the original packaging...ACS will invoice for the money prior to pickup. This money is not going to me (I make nothing from this), but direct to ACS. Availability is after I get the final Minima Retail machine for review (about 10 days time). The actual machine and accessories here (in fact in the front photo you can just see the blemish near the top left hand brew switch. This is a review of the beta and will be superseded by a review of the retail machine. The extra steam tip won't be included (it's mine), you get just the standard one. https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/2018/08/04/acs-minima/ This is the machine in the Videos here. P.S. If you want to come and see it, that's fine pm me and you can come and try it. However, only offers made by the thread will be valid and it will be first come first served. So if you opt to come and try it, someone else can still buy it whilst you are looking at it!
  5. The ACS Minima is in Alpha and I will be getting one to test and review in a about a week. It is a very small footprint dual boiler machine (but large boilers), brew boiler 800ml, the service boiler which does steam and hot water is a huge 2.3 litres which for this class of machine is VERY large. Boilers are as usual stainless like the Vesuvius, Vibration pump, internal tank, stainless steel, full E61 groupsolenoid (less maintenance), steam and water wands, PID with countdown timer etc.. I've suggested to them that prior to launching to dealerships a softer launch to real people as beta testers might be a good idea, because retailers are not great at this unless they send it to me. The process will use the following stages: I will get an Alpha machine - effectively pre production, so mine won't have as good a finish as the production machines I identify any issues, potential improvements (desirable) Check operation, temperature, PID tuning Soak test it and pull lots of shots, take photos Write report Production quality machines are made (with any alpha test changes) and offered to beta testers who expressed an interest Beta testing ensures that in a wide range of users situations Beta testers would be expected to fit minor modifications if it proves necessary (it would be in your own interest anyway) The machines will not be free, but they will be significantly cheaper than retail, because they will be factory gate pricing. It is envisaged there will be approximately 8 machines available for beta testing, so please put your name down on the thread if you are interested. Timescales will depend upon the performance of the minima in the Alpha test. Note, it's not envisaged that new people looking for their 1st ever machine would be suitable, but ACS may want one "greenhorn" to see how it performs in the hands of the very inexperienced. Below is a photo of the part finished Alpha Machine. please bear in mind it is an Alpha machine and is not looking it's best at the moment. Things like labels, covered in bits of laser film, chrome caps etc.. etc.. none of it is done...but it gives you a general idea of the shape. So let's hope it gets here intact and undamaged!
  6. Started life with a Gaggia Classic which I modified to death (PID, Pressure modif, Brass Diffuser, Rancilio Wand etc...) on the basis of great advice from the forum and then got a Niche Zero as a solid investment (made a huge difference), before the inevitable onset of upgraditis. Had my sights set on an ACS minima. While waiting for it to be restocked, I've come across the Lelit Bianca and am thinking of this on the basis that its a machine from which I am unlikely to upgrade and so might be worth forking out the extra £££ now 😮. I like the idea of fine-tuning the brew pressure but am not sure if the pre-infusion capability is that useful, having read DaveC's very thorough review. Is the Bianca worth it, or is there a middle ground with another machine to potentially cure my affliction? What are peoples thoughts?
  7. I've had upgraditis for a long time now with my Gaggia Classic (old version) and Iberital MC2 out performing and out lasting all my expectations for the last 10 years + Following lots and lots of research and agonising over HX vs DB and Rocket vs Lelit etc. I finally came across the YouTube content on the ACS Minima courtesy of DaveC. A full E61, dual boiler machine, made in Italy with great specs for £1199 at Bella Barista. Read every word there is to read and decided that Dave seems like a stand up guy and BB wouldnt retail it if it had nothing going for it. Arrived today and I could not be happier. Easy to set up, more beautiful in the flesh and the whole thing just has a great sense of quality to it. Fair enough I've only made one flat white so lots to learn but so far I'm smiling ear to ear. I've got it set up on a smart timer switch to come on for my morning and then lunch time coffees. Also got a niche grinder on order although James Hoffman's plug may have set delivery date back a bit! "Shipping August".
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