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  1. Hi everyone. I’m looking to upgrade. I had a Francis Francis x1, then Nespresso when we had twins for the ease. It’s now time to get something decent. I was going to buy the sage barista express but I’m now tempted by the lelit anita. Any advice? My budget is around £500. I’d love a La Pavoni but I’m not sure I can commit the time and am a bit worried about small children being burnt. Any help greatly appreciated.
  2. Hello fellow coffee addicts, My first post on here. Ive spent the last couple of weeks exploring the forum for as much info as I can possibly gather and thought I should probably sign up and introduce myself! I've been a Nespresso user for the last 4 years or so (mainly due to convenience), and I'm yearning for more control over my coffee. I have a feeling I have opened up a can of worms with this coffee malarkey. Im an obsessive, perfectionist by nature. Combined with a love of good coffee, I sense this will become both time consuming and expensive! I wonder if anyone might be able to offer some advice. For my first setup im fairly set on the Niche Zero as my grinder (I've seen excellent reports on here and my local coffee shop recently acquired one and has nothing but great things to say about it) but im stuck on the machine itself. I’m juggling between the Sage Bambino Plus, it seems to tick many of the boxes as well as being compact. Having said that; I cant seem to see many reviews and the 54mm PF concerns me as I'd like to easily source a bottomless PF (so I'm better able to see where I might be going wrong as I learn). On the other hand, I'd quite like to be able to steam milk and brew simultaneously so I've been looking at other HX and DB machines. Again, I like the convenience that Sage seem to provide so potentially the Sage dual boiler is an option, but clearly a big step up in price! Really I just want to be sure that im not going to be too limited by the coffee machine itself but rather my own Barista skills (or lack therof). Will the Sage DB produce a far superior coffee to other cheaper options? Or are there any machines I should definitely be looking at in this price bracket? Help! I look forward to becomming part of this obviously thriving community of coffee lovers and learning from the wealth of experience! Cheers, Josh
  3. Hi folks, I'm new to the forum. The first coffee forum I have ever registered. Really love good coffee. (Fav: 1. flat white 2. latte) I bought my Oracle in April 2016. Still excited about it. I use it every day. (still, I would still consider myself the worst Barista ever, but that's for another day...) Question: I had to buy a single filter basket from Sage for my Oracle. Back when I bought the Oracle, the single filter basket didn't exist. So, I bought one and I couldn't be any more disappointed with it. Same settings, but results are so much worse. I get more than double the amount of espresso within the same extraction time. For example: double filter basket: 30 seconds - 60 ml of espresso single filter basket: 30 seconds - again 60 ml of espresso (sometimes even more!) Hope you Baristas can give me some advice. I know of course I could try different brand of coffee, etc. .... I tried - same weird result. Thanks a lot.
  4. Hi there I'm buying a Vesuvius on the ACS Christmas deal, which I'm incredibly excited about! I have a question about the steam arm, which usually comes on the left hand side. It is possible to swap it with the hot water and put it on the right hand side, which I'm tempted to do as I'm right handed and previous experience with a steam arm on the right hand side has felt intuitively correct. However, I notice in a Bellabarista document from way back when a prototype was tested that the steam wand was initially on the right hand side but its position was reversed. So - does anyone know of any reason why these were changed over; is there any reason why I shouldn't swap them over? And - more generally, does it make any difference which side the steam wand is on, if you're right-handed? I'm wondering if I'm just more comfortable with the RHS because I've been used to it before. And what motivates espresso machine designers to put them on one side or another? Any thoughts gratefully received! Thanks
  5. Hello everyone, As a complete beginner looking to buy a machine I wondered if anyone could put up there espresso/flat white making process, Such as how long you warm your machine up for, Do you grind your beans just before you pull a shot. I'm trying to work out how much time I'll be devoting to the obsession of decent coffee! I wasn't too sure what forum section to put it in.
  6. Hey Guys, I've recently fixed up two la pavoni's I've bought on Ebay. The idea was to kinda fix up and learn about Lever Machines as I'm used to a Rancilio Silvia, and sell off the machines I no longer use. After much more repair that I had anticipated, I have gotten them both working, one is a Post-Millennium and another is a Pre-Millennium machine. The Post-Millenium machine I have works beautifully. After a short while I was making what I considered better coffee than my Silvia. It's easier to adjust the slightly course/fine grind with the pressure you manually apply with this machine. The Pre-Millenium I've tried to use but have failed to get a decent shot from. I know these machines are different to operate, and after having another go today trying to ready guides about how to pull espresso from this one I am still failing. I think it's overheating, but I know we can't adjust the temperature on these machines, only the pressure gauge (which I assume is the pressure of the boiler, not the temperature). I've tried pulling a shot after turning on from cold, heating once, easing out some water, it quickly re-heats and then I go for the shot. I have also tried a cold flannel to cool down the grouphead, then pull a shot with similar results. The coffee generally tastes very bitter and has lots of tannin (like a dry red wine), and always tastes poor. I usually aim to overextact my coffee rather then underextract as I have it with milk. This generally ends with a nice sharp espresso taste which is toned down by the milk. With the pre-millenium I'm getting bitter burnt. If I go to extract normally, it's just bitter and bland/slightly watery. I've noticed a couple of differences with my machines on how they operate, I'm not sure if this is common for these machines: The post-millenium (good coffee) takes ages to re-heat the boiler after use or opening the steam value, usually after about 30-60 seconds of the value open it kicks in. The pre-millenium (bad coffee) is very very quick to get to temperature, after you pull any water it reheats about 5-10 seconds later for a few seconds and is up to temp again. Another thing about the coffee I'm producing, sometime I get islands of crema from the pre-millenium machine which break apart and float around. It breaks apart like something bad is floating of the surface and doesn't look appetising in the slightest, hard to see in a static shot but it all moves around like little pieces: Any help would be greatly appreciated on how to get good coffee from this machine. Do you think it's user error or my repair error? Thanks for reading! - James
  7. Coffee drinker for some time now. Europiccola and Ascaso grinder. Espresso machine in pieces and here looking for advice.
  8. Hi All, It has been just over 12 months since I last posted here and whilst I have been lurking, I've found my interest in coffee has dwindled. I have reached a point where I am no longer sure that the equipment I have is right for me and generally just need to decide on a direction to go in. Owing to the amount of money I have invested in this (which is nothing compared to some of you!), I'm hesitant to make any rush decisions without first seeking advice. Rewind back to 2015, having moved from the good ol' cafetiere to a Hario V60 dripper and Mini-mill, something possessed me to purchase a consumer 'espresso' machine. Looking back, I can now confirm that it was a horrendous machine and a waste of money. This eventual realisation at the end of 2015 was what led me to look for a better espresso machine to complement our pour-over. At the start of 2016, I discovered the Oscar 2 was set to launch. Based on the reputation of the original Oscar, I took the plunge and managed to secure one of the first units. Last time I was posting here was during my quest to find an appropriate grinder, which, after a bit of trial and error, and with the help of a few chaps, ended up being a second hand Brasillia RR55. We have been running the Oscar 2 (with a VST basket) and RR55 combo at home for the past year or so and to be frank, have scarcely enjoyed making coffee on it. Predominantly, the main reason that we have not enjoyed the machine is that things seem to go wrong more often than they go right. I genuinely believe that we have dumped more shots than we have ever enjoyed from this equipment. Don't get me wrong, when it goes right, this is a very capable machine, but for us, these instances are few and far between. We typically find ourselves going through a 250g bag of freshly roasted (3-5 days after roast) coffee in less than a week, so the beans tends to quite fresh, we buy from reputable roasters who are mentioned across this forum. I do realise that during the life of a bag, the recipe and grinder settings will have to change slightly, but the issue we find ourselves having on a regular basis is that we will dial the machine in, dumping one or two shots in the process, then pull a good shot (which tastes okay), but when it comes to the next shot moments later, the machine either chokes or the shot runs through in seconds. Obviously, there are so many different variables at play which could cause/affect this, but I constantly feel as though something is changing that I have no control over. I have tried on so many occasions to nail the repeatability when preparing and pulling a shot to no avail. Without waffling on for too much longer, I'm now in a position where I'm looking at an expensive, under-utilised piece of equipment and wanting to get the best from it. I need to determine whether the issue we are facing rests with a component of my set-up, or if I am the issue. Should the latter be the case, there are many merits to downsizing and returning to pour-over, I just worry that in 6 months, I'll want to have another go and will end up buying another machine and grinder. Fundamentally, I want to be able to make great coffee at home. I know I can do this with a V60, but also really enjoy an espresso based drink when everything goes well, I just can't justify the time and money for coffee that gets wasted when things go wrong (not to mention the anger that follows). I'm interested to get some opinions from others who have used this machine as I don't think that the problem is me, but I don't have enough experience to tell. I've also been reading about some people have an OPV fitted, which I don't believe I have. Would this make it more forgiving when pulling a shot? Could my grinder be at fault? Any advice welcome! Joe
  9. I've been gradually getting more and more into coffee over the past 3 years from when I bought my first espresso machine (delonghi dedica). I'm currently using a hario skerton as my grinder. I feel as though my current setup is giving little consistency and that I could get more out of my beans with better equipment! I'm just a little confused as to the best way forward.. I consistently read that the grinder is perhaps the most important part of the process and so am thinking of going for something like the sage smart grinder Pro. I know it isn't the best grinder but I really don't want to shell out more than £200. Then, as far as the machine goes, the lelit anna/gilda ranges (with PID) seem good and in my budget of around £400-500. I drink milk-based coffee drinks and know that a single boiler creates problems, but cannoy afford a dual boiler option (briefly looked at the sage dual boiler). Do these seem like sensible options and is upgrading the grinder and then the machine the best way forward? (I can't afford to upgrade both at once)
  10. Hi, I have just bought a Delonghi scultura ECZ351 coffee machine, up to now it’s not been going too bad with limited knowledge of using these machines, i had a tassimo prior. I have 2 different coffees for it at the moment which is starbucks house blend and Illy coffee medium ground. A couple of basic questions i have is: If i want to make the coffee stronger would i be best changing the filter holder to the 2 cup one that you can add 2 scoops of coffee into, as i cannot see any other way to change the strength or flow of coffee, i have tried pressing down harder on the tamper but doesn't seem to be making it any stronger, i think i read it should if you make tamper it more? Or am i missing something and you do that another way? Also, when using the milk wand, how do i know how much milk i will need each time with different size glasses or do i just guess at that with experience, at the moment i have been using around 150ml of milk, although i have been using a milk thermometer and it’s been reaching the temperature before i feel its frothed enough but then don’t want to go past the recommended temperature on the thermometer cause i don’t want to burn the milk. From what i have read i just keep the end a few millimetres into the milk don’t i, not fully submerge the milk wand? Regards James
  11. Hi i'm James from Liverpool, new on here. Just bought this new machine and thought I’d try and get some opinions on the machine or coffee's in general before i delve into using it. I bought the machine because i do really love a nice coffee, i did have a tassimo machine which is ok but it’s hard to find something you really like and then you can't change it how you would like it either. Anyway, i now have this Delonghi machine, seems to get decent reviews given its price, seems to be one of the better machines in its price range, so seems pretty good. I've not actually set it up yet as was waiting for some other things to be delivered that i have ordered, so thought I’d see if anyone can give me any tips for using it or just making coffee's in general. I probably won't be making just a standard black coffee or espresso, i generally like latte's, cappuccino's and flat whites. I'd also maybe like to learn how to do a mocha. I have ordered a thermometer for the milk frother, some espresso glasses and a milk pitcher and 2 different coffee's starbucks house blend and illy coffee. I ordered the thermometer because i read that it’s easy to burn the froth and it can take a bit of time to know by feel when it’s right. Also i ordered the espresso glasses because i had read that the machine i bought doesn't have much room between the filter and the base and my glasses probably wouldn't fit. So i will be using them espresso glasses to just transfer the coffee. I guess one question i have straight off is when coffee places usually put 'one or two' shots in a latte for example, i am assuming that is the equivalent of one espresso glass? The glasses i have bought say they are 80ml would i fill one of them so have what i would class as one shot? Thanks for any help, James.
  12. Hi all... I've painted all my life and within the past year decided to pluck up the courage to set up my own online shop to sell my watercolour paintings and prints, i've exhibited but I'm trying to think of new ways to push myself and get my work out there.. I was wondering about coffee shop wall art? Do you ( or anybody you know) display artists work for sale? Do you think my work would fit into a coffee shop vibe?? which prints? I thought i'd ask around relevant places online first before going into my local coffee shops ( i'm nervous!) Any advice much appreciated. Don't want to offend anyone through posting links, but if you're interested in having a look at my online portfolio i've attached it. https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/inkinfusions Take care Lauren x
  13. Hi All, Hoping for some advice with a new grinder for the home setup. Currently have Compak K6 for espresso with my Gaggia Classic, but she's a little on the larger size* and I'm keen to reclaim some space in the kitchen. I'm looking for a grinder with a smaller footprint and can fit under my counter top, so around 400mm in max height. I don't use it heavily, perhaps 5-8 doubles a week and single dose preferable. Price range ideally around the £150-£300 bracket, but I've some flex in there. Definitely more interested in the quality of what it produces over the looks. From what I can see, Eureka Mignon and Mazzer SJ seem to fit that criteria, but really open to any advice. What would you pick if you were in my shoes? Cheers! *the grinder, not my better half.
  14. Looking for an upgrade from a MK Vario for espresso, ideally around £600 and happy with used. I get a bit lost reading grinder reviews because there's lots of text about ease of use, retention, speed, etc, but very little about grind quality – which I understand because it's harder to quantify objectively. The best espresso I ever had was from an EK43 and the shop aimed for high extraction. I know it's not that simple in practice, but say that's my metric. Given that I can't afford an EK43, what's my best option for getting high extraction out of the common 65mm+ grinders? How do the Eureka E65, Rocket Fausto, ECM S-Automatik, etc compare in terms of quality, is there a clear winner or is it all about the same and the other features are the ones to look for? Should I just rearrange my kitchen to make room for a used K30? (It might fit... just...)
  15. A couple of weeks ago my Krups Novo 2300 died on me. I know its not the machine of choice, but when I got it 18 years ago I was very happy with it as a huge step up from just having a cafetiere and who fanatasied about being able to have a tasty espresso at home! After a very short period of research, a 2nd hand Gaggic Classic seemed a decent bet, and when one turned up on Ebay in my locality and including a MM grinder too I was keen to buy and now have it sitting in my kitchen. I've been using it for a week or so and (for me) am perfectly happy with what I'm getting out of it at the moment, though I will admit I'm just relying on pre-ground Lavazza stuff at the moment for convenience. I'm hopeful that I can get the MM to provide me with some passable fresh grinds, though I am well aware of its limitations and have relatively little cash-appetite for spending any more money on coffee at the moment! But I do have some queries in the meanwhile. The model I have is an August 2006 one, "made in Italy" on the label and quoted as 1300W. I've honestly no idea of how / if it's been serviced over the years, but it's lived in a soft water area. Cleaning materials - I've seen videos with PulyCaff online, I presume there's unlikely to be anything in my kitchen already that could replace the branded cleaning materials? Backflushing - there was no backflushing disc with the machine, are the silicone inserts that you can pick up from Ebay broadly as effective as the full on backflushing metal disk? They are a lot cheaper... Tamper - the plastic one that comes with the machine is a few MM short on the diameter, I presume the more expensive ones fit the PF basket accurately? Volume of grinds to use - I'm mostly using the double basket, but I've found if I fill that right up to the top and then tamp down I sometimes struggle to get the PF into the machine, and can see the screw head imprinted on the grinds. I'm guessing that implies I'm using too much or not tamping hard enough? Also it comes with a tapered single basket, but I'm conscious that apparently there are different types around. How would I go about identifying the basket that I've got? It seems a looser fit than the double (it has a tendency to come out of the PF when I'm emptying the puck) and I struggle even more to get what I would expect to be a sensible amount of grinds into that one and still have it fit into the machine. Temp lights - without getting too technical about temp surfing and other stuff that I've read a little about, am I right in thinking that providing the machine has had a decent warm up period, the light on the switch which starts to pull the espresso isn't a binary "do use" or "do not use"? On the Krups that I'm used to (which I suspect had a very small boiler, if it had one at all) the instructions were to only pull the espresso when the light was on. So it doesn't matter hugely whether the light is on or off? I'm sure I will have missed some questions here, hopefully you can help me with some useful answers! I have been trawling through the forum a little, but if I'm missed an obvious place that answers all these, please feel free to point me in the right direction - I won't be offended!!
  16. Speciality Barista based in Worcester, working in a cafe in the Cotswolds. Brew enthusiast, proud owner of a lot of coffee gear! Would like to experience working in a Roastery. So learning as much as I can on that front. Active on Reddit in r/coffee and r/barista; people seem to like my advice there. Hoping I can shed some light on some products that I haven't seen reviewed here. If anyone can Direct me to a Review forum on here (if one exists), that would be great, I can't find one haha! Looking forward to learn a lot from everyone, and do my part in helping others as well. Cheers!
  17. Hi All, Having got myself a ECM Sykronika, I have discovered my current grinder is not meeting my expectations ( an 8 yr old Mignon with Doser ). I am looking at the following as options, but am keen to try and get to a 65mm burr size if I can. I also have a height restriction of 50cm ( total height ) so would be looking at a smaller hopper so as to help with access to refill. I am keen on doserless, on demand grinder. Timer preferred and weight dispensed would be amazing. Budget sub £600 Options I have thought of; Eureka Atom Eureka Atom 65 Eureka Zenith 65 Firenzato F4 Firenzato F64 Ceado E37j Compak C5 ( not 65mm I am aware but BB love it ) ECM S Automatic 64 Any thoughts or comments would be much appreciated.
  18. Anyone recommend a metal filter to fit V60-02? This won't replace paper filters for my daily, but I would like to have one for experimentation/the occasional cup. Does this fit in V60-02?: I know it's designed for Kinto's own brewers. https://coffeetastingclub.com/accessories/kinto-scs-02-sf-stainless-steel-filters-2cups/ I have no budget. Thanks.
  19. My current pour over methods are Chemex, V60, Kalita Wave 155 and GINA by Goat Story. Is the Kalita 101/102 worth adding to my gear? How does it compare to other methods? Any insight is appreciated. Thanks.
  20. I have just been informed that I am wrong and it's a failure to properly follow manufacturer instructions. As I don't own a Sage I figured it might be best to edit my post (to remove the inaccuracies), I don't want to give poor/incorrect advice on the forum, especially where it might develop into a discussion intended help owners keep their machines in good shape for longer based on an erroneous starting premise. In this case it would achieve the opposite effect and would not be something I want. Thanks to @Blue_Cafe for posting the info
  21. Hi All, I am now looking to upgrade our coffee experience from a Tassimo, French Press and Instant Coffee to a Bean to Cup or Espresso Machine. I've sampled some great espresso's in Spain/Italy/Greece and I would love recreate that on a daily basis (probably a couple of times a day!). Myself, I like my coffee black and strong so I would be using it for espresso's (and double espresso's) and tall strong black coffees, same for my dad, however my mum prefers cappuccinos, latte's etc. We have a £100 John Lewis gift card so that instantly pushes us towards the options that John Lewis have. We are looking at spending around £300-£350 and including the voucher in that figure, so cash wise around £200-£250. The De'Longhi Esam3000.B Magnifica seemed to fit the bill in terms of budget and reviews at £329. I have just seen a couple of things which suggest you get much better quality using a traditional Espresso machine and a separate grinder rather than an entry level bean to cup machine. I'm not quite sure why this is, if anyone could simply explain for me that would be great! There are traditional pump machines on JL which are within budget (Around £100-£200) and we could then also buy a separate grinder from elsewhere because I believe these aren't too expensive. This is the bean to cup we were looking at - http://www.johnlewis.com/de'longhi-esam3000-b-magnifica-bean-to-cup-coffee-machine-black/p1547072 And these are the pump options available - http://www.johnlewis.com/browse/electricals/coffee-machines/all-coffee-machines/traditional-pump/_/N-afuZ1z0g55p?intcmp=EHT_coffeegrid_Trad
  22. New coffee shop, 1500 quid budget 2 grinders 1 for house espresso 1 for decaf or maybe guest espresso what grinder combo would you go for ?
  23. Hi, I am a new owner of Sage Dual Boiler and wanted to ask a few questions on how to use it properly. I am using it with stock settings except for the water hardness (bumped up to 4). As I'm waiting for the free Sage Smart Grinder to arrive, I am using pre-ground coffee from Waitrose (I know!) with the dual-wall filter. The coffee I get from 2 Cup button on my Sage is good, but it's too thin - I would prefer to have less water and thicker espresso. Before I get my grinder, what can I do to have better coffee? 1. change the extraction time from 30s to something shorter? 2. change the extraction volume? 3. use manual button? 4. use more coffee and tamp it harder? Thanks for all advice in advance.
  24. I am living in Singapore which has very few options for buying espresso machines and I am heading back to the UK for xmas and was considering buying an espresso machine to bring back. I drink espresso, may make the occasional cappuccino for friends but rarely and I have a Eureka Mignon Mk 2 grinder which I currently use for machine press or filter coffee. I am considering a Rancilio Silvia or a refurbed Gaggia classic but veering towards the Rancilio because I do not like the idea of the aluminium boiler. Is there anything else in a similar price range and size I should be considering. Also where is the best place for a good deal Bella Barista seems well liked. Last question anything I really should buy with the new machine, so I don't kick myself and pay horrible shipping fees later? Thanks, Jay
  25. Hello. I'm looking to upgrade from my Hario hand grinder to something a bit more serious. I've got a budget of about £100-£150 and the grinder will be mostly used for filter/drip coffee like aeropress and cafetiere. I saw an Iberital grinder on eBay, http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Iberital-coffee-grinder-with-Dropbox-/321950951935?hash=item4af5c5a9ff:g:M-MAAOSw5IJWcay9. Does anyone have any experience of this grinder? Is it worth the listed price? If not do you have any recommendations of grinders to look at in this price range? Thanks!
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