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  1. I'm a total novice to this, so please excuse basic questions which I'll probably ask on this thread. First one of which is: Pressurised basket or standard? When using the pressurised basket I am having to grind no lower than 27 in order to get a proper result. This is well outside of the 'espresso' range on the grinder. Anything near the suggested espresso range completely chokes the machine. I can only assume this is because I am using the pressurised basket? Should I be switching to the standard basket and grinding finer? Does it make a material difference? I am obviously going to continue experimenting, but just wanted to put a thread out there as I am bound to have more questions as I go, and would appreciate drawing on the experience of those with far greater experience than I... Thanks in advance.
  2. At 32yo I figured it was about time I gave coffee a proper chance. Having turned my nose up in the past at coffee confectionary/desserts I'd jumped to the conclusion I don't like coffee. I decided last night to purchase an AeroPress and now need to decide which beans to buy. I've read reading online but there's a whole world of information that ends up being mind boggling. I had a look for small sample bags thinking it could be good to try lots of different ones to gain comparison/understanding without having to buy 250 grams worth, but I've not been successful in finding anything. I'm guessing I should start with something mild? Can anyone provide any advise/recommendations? Thanks, James
  3. Hi guys, I've spent most of the morning lurking through different threads from people looking to up there coffee again and I'm sure you guys are sick of it at this point but just want some help on first steps. Living in Nottingham means in recent years with all the new cafes popping up that serve some pretty superb coffee has mad my old tassimo and cafetiere dull to me now, so want to upgrade, budget I basically just want to start out and slowly upgrade over time. I don't drink a massive amount so have been looking at hand burr grinders mainly a Hario Mini, any other recommendations for this price range. Now when it comes to machine Im a bit stumped, I'll go second hand as to get more bang for buck but Was looking at a Delonghi Dedica as Gaggia Classic is a little bit out of range too how much I want to spend to start out. My main question is at the price am i better off with a machine or just getting and aeropress and something else like a v60 or chemex?
  4. Selling my Mazzer Super Jolly Timer. Selling it due to not drinking much filter coffee anymore, originally bought it as a secondary grinder. Mazzer Super Jolly Timer. Lens Hood hopper. Recently Stripped and cleaned. Burrs have done under 10kg of coffee. Paint work is in good condition, there a couple of small marks but nothing major. £190. Located in Aberdeenshire. Would prefer not to ship but could be arranged. I am going to be in Edinburgh for a couple of days at the end of May so this could also be an option for delivery/collection.
  5. I was bought a nespresso, but am looking to take it back and change to a 2nd hand manual machine, with a budget of around £150. After reading it seems that Gaggia Classic is a good entry level machine, What price would you recommend paying for this as I'm very new to the coffee world. Also I've heard the older models are superior the the 2015 edition, do the machines stand the test of time well? Sorry if you've answered this question a hundred times before
  6. Had a great visit to Workshop Coffee @ Holbourn viaduct Saturday for an Espresso Masterclass, a Christmas present from my wife. Following is a brief overview of the morning. Turned up at 10.00am and was met by Sam from the Firzrovia branch who ran the course. The course was scheduled for 2.5 hours and was attended by 5 other people, two couples myself and another guy who left early as he had an appointment??. Sam started by giving us a 1/2 hour overview of coffee, bean types, countries of origin and coffee seasons before discussing the importance of having a recipe for your espresso; how to weigh your beans in and volume out, timing shots and the importance of water (Sam recommended Tesco Ashbeck water). We then moved on to using the actual shop equipment. We were using the store beans, Kasgwa from Rwanda which were already loaded into their Mazzer Major grinders. Sam started off by showing us how to weigh shots straight into the portafilter followed by giving it a light tap then showed how to gently smooth off the top removing the excess grinds until you get the correct weight. He then spent a while showing how he tamps and giving us general on tamping. Then we all had a go at loading a naked portafilter which we used to pull shots on one of their two La Marzocco machines (which are plumbed in to a reverse osmosis water system). We all tried our shots and asked to discuss the taste. Once we had tasted and discussed our shots Sam moved on to pulling shorter and longer timed shots so we could taste the difference so that we could understand the importance of the time of the shot and how that can influence taste. Next on the agenda was texturing milk and the difference in textures for different types of drink; flat white, latte etc. Again we all had a go at steaming on the shop equipment. Sam then showed us how to pour the milk into the shot, his technique was to small amount into the middle then swirl (to combine the lipids?) before pouring straight into the middle and finishing with an artistic flourish. The milk session was definitely interesting, I had no real idea of how to do this before the session and managed to at least get some patterns on the top (pretty naff ones but a start). The Session finished with us getting to choose a free bag off coffee from the shop (I went for Cult of Done) and Sam giving us his contact details if we had any questions going forwards. Really enjoyed the session which overran by about 45 minutes which was nice as there was no rush at all to get us out. I would recommend to anyone who is not as experienced with espresso or has recently started with their own kit. Talking to the other people there it also highlighted what an advantage finding a forum like CFUK is as they had no idea about weighing shots, keeping beans fresh, having your own grinder etc, all the tips that forum members here share to give you a good head start.
  7. Oliver

    Acidity problems

    I have found a preground supermarket coffee I really like; it's rich, smooth and fragrant - but in the interests of expanding my pallette, from time to time I experiment with other coffees. I cannot however seem to find a coffee that isn't an acidic mess with very little aroma. i have historically used a pour over method with 90'c water, but recently inherited a fairly low-end espresso machine (Gaggia Cubika). I had hoped I'd find myself suddenly able to choose all manner of great coffees and drink them with gusto - far from it. All but my trusty supermarket blend (M&S espresso) hits first with massive acidity and has so far not followed up with much I like by way of flavour. ive tried a variety of beans from my local roasters, as well as some pricier ground coffees from small producers - few have been drinkable. I rarely get an espresso from the high street that tastes so acidic, so what am I doing wrong? Am I just destined to only enjoy this M&S blend and little else? I do like Nero espresso, and will happily drink americanos from Costa. I drink my coffee black and with no sweetener. I will also add that I am quite discerning in my taste for other consumables too! thanks in advance.
  8. Yeah I know I do not have the hang of it yet but I am trying. Any ways I rather like the outcome of the design so I am passing it off as an abstract tulip. .
  9. Hi, Forgive me if this thread is in the wrong place. A friend of mine has been using a nespresso machine for a couple of years but would now like to try something more 'serious' without spending the earth. He drinks mainly espresso or Americano, so steaming milk is not a real requirement. I have a Rocket machine myself and doesn't want to pay those prices. So a small reliable machine and grinder is needed. I thought about the Gaggia classic or Rancilio Silvia? Gaggia machines don't seem to be as well made now Philips have taken them over but I'm not sure. Possibly a Sage barista express? Any suggestions would be welcome
  10. I recently got a second hand Classic with a view to making artisan coffee shop quality stuff, and despite my best efforts I feel like the end result (flat white) is too watery and has no kick. Seeking some really full-bodied, creamy stuff! What am I doing wrong? Got pre-ground has bean coffee from local shop to start with (yet to get grinder). My guess is that maybe this is ground too coarsely - could that be? Whats the leftovers supposed to look like in the portafilter after pulling the shot? Any hints appreciated!
  11. Hi all, just looking for for some advice you all you Gaggia experts. Tomorrow I'm taking delivery of my first grown up coffee machine after years of cafetières and distinctly average coffee making devices! It's a Gaggia Classic bought from a member here. The machine seems in great condition which is a good start. After doing lots of research, I know I need to buy a good grinder but at the moment I have other financial priorities, at least for the next month or so. So, what's the best easily available off the shelf ground coffee out there? I know I need a tonne of things to make a truly great coffee and I'll get all of this in due course, but I just want to be able to make a decent coffee pretty quickly out of the box that at least matches my current Nespresso. Is that being a bit optimistic? Thanks ?
  12. Evening everyone I'm wondering if someone might be able to point me in the right direction. over the last few weeks ive been trying to set up and learn the settings on my sage DB before my white glove visit next week. ive read a great article on here for beginners about dosing shots by weight / brew ratios written by mrboots2u , so thought I'd buy some scales and give it a go. ive set my machine up using volume rather than time. im currently weighing 18g of fresh beans, ground on the finest setting ( setting 1) and I'm getting between 36-38g out. I've compacted the grounds with the tamping tool as hard as I can. The problem is its seeming to only take between 21-25 seconds to extract including 7 sec pre infusion time. Taste wise if say it tastes a bit sour if that's the right word , however I'm far from a expert. I'm happy to wait until my visit , but if there Is anything anyone can recommend in the meantime I'm all ears cheers
  13. Hey guys I'm looking at getting into espresso a little bit. I'll be getting my hands on a machine and a grinder soon and just wanted a run through of the basics. Things like how much coffee for a single, and a double, how much beverage should come from each, how long it should take. How hard to tamp etc. Just the very basics Thanks, James
  14. Hi, Hope you can help with a dilemma. I have a krups XP520 but I'm finding the coffee a bit bitter (compared to my old Aldi £40 machine). To try to improve things I was wondering if I should buy just a grinder (thinking iberital MC2 if this is still the best beginner grinder?) or if I should ditch the krups and buy both gaggia classic and the iberital (or any other suggestions if these are now out of date recommendations)? Alternatively I'm also sort of considering a delonghi bean to cup...less mess and more consistency. Are they really that much worse than the "seperates" (I'm happy with music from my radio and a £8 red wine eg Wolf Blass yellow label on offer if this gives a guide to my pickiness in tastes ie I don't need a £60 bottle and a £2000 music system to enjoy them ) Any help much appreciated! Thanks, Dom.
  15. Hi all, I have been lurking for around 6 months and joined a couple of months ago so thought I should say hello. I have resisted asking a series of questions whilst buying my kit, learning how to use it and making good coffee. I have to say I have found this forum an invaluable resource throughout, and have found answers to all of my questions here so thank you all for your help! After a lot of research, I have ventured into entry level machines after never having owned/ used one, and bought a Silvia v4 and a Eureka Mignon grinder. Shout out to Bella Barista - very glad I chose them to purchase from, spoke to me for about 30minutes before my purchase and were exceptionally helpful. I probably could have saved about £30 shopping around elsewhere but they gave me a lot of confidence spending a wedge of money with them, and having all spare parts on site and their 2 year guarantee is great. I think it has taken me about 6 weeks to finally make decent espresso. I think grind fineness and just how little of a rotation on the mignon setting makes such a big difference. i found the mignon a little confusing as when u first set it, it doesnt 'stop' at its finest - you have to just keep going until it won't grind the beans it seems. Areas i still need to improve/ things i need to iron out include the clumping of the grind - i know there are techniques to eliminate this but I havent so far, and i wonder how much difference it actually makes. Also, I think i may need to buy a bigger basket than the stock 14g silvia as if i put any more than 12g in, it has trouble locking in/ there is no headroom between coffee and shower screen at all. I imagine i will get something like an 18g VST and dose around 16g next. at the moment it seems as though to put enough coffee in the basket to be able to level it off, after tamping, still leaves too much coffee to leave some headroom. Also, quite often, one spout delivers coffee first and the other one just drips before turning into a full stream, with the faster one a darker colour, the other lighter. I guess this is an issue with the distribution pre-tamp. As far as buying a PID, i think the surfing techniques are pretty simple, though can take more time + it would be nice to electronically guarantee I am at the correct temperature and remove that variable as something to worry about. Other purchases include some really nice, heavy, thick Ionia coffee cups from a ionia distributor in scotland - very happy with them. I will probably buy a new basket and perhaps a bottomless PF next, to check my distribution - I also hear that a bottomless PF may produce better crema too which would be good. Any advice on the basket/ PF situation would be appreciated. In terms of buying beans, I have been going to Workshop in Clerkenwell and Holborn to buy freshly roasted bags. I find it useful to have an espresso at the shop and then go use the same beans and home to try and get as close to how it was in Workshop at home. really nice place. I also have just had a coffee and bought freshly roasted beans from Chairs and Coffee in Fulham - really nice place, friendly, good coffee and they are just ramping up their roasting operation so would recommend checking them out if you are in the area. Think thats probably enough of an essay for now, so hello again and glad to be a member. Cheers Oli
  16. Hi, I'm looking to buy a grinder to use for V60 and espresso and I would really like some advice, it's a bit overwhelming when reading through the forums! This would be my first grinder and right now I use pre-ground beans usually from independent coffee shops in Manchester. Ideally I'd like to spend £150 but I can stretch to £200. I've got Amazon vouchers so if they stock it its perfect. I'd narrowed down a short list to: - Baratza Encore - Baratza Precio (is this really worth the extra cash and waiting?) - CM2 - Graef CM80 - Sage Smart Grinder If anyone can help I'd be very grateful.
  17. Hi just bought a 6 month old r18161 Classic with 6 months warranty off ebay - (was planning on buying a aeropress !) Where should I be checking for leaks ( I've try to follow coffee geeks Gaggia start up guide) I'm a bit confused by differences with pre and post Philips etc ( obv this is post) opv's ,3 way larger solonoids ,etc so:- should I be back flushing this model and if so how often ? so Should I get/ borrow the mod Portafilter pressure gauge ( if so is this to downgrade the pressure to 9barrs)? can this model have a pid fitted ( obviously from my lack of knowledge shown above not by me) Ifso the American kit seems to retail for $200 but put together kits Seem off ebay etc to be £40? idiots or video guide for buying and fitted recommend ? whats a vst? we have very hard water with separate cartridge attached to drinking tap in kitchen should I go for bottled water if so any recomdations All help appreciated there will be more questions to follow just thought I try and play with machine and digest responses for now alan
  18. Hi all, hope everyone is enjoying some good weather this weekend in the UK! To build up a bit of enthusiasm for the inevitable frustration and steep learning curve that I am about to embark upon I thought I would post about my new purchases and maybe some of you would be good enough to make some helpful comments etc... and maybe share some of your own experiences when you started out. This would not only be interesting and helpful to myself but would also help to make my time working away from home go a bit faster by giving me something to read while im on off shift! The downside is that I may not be home until around the middle of next month and my new gear should arrive next week! I currently have a Delonghi espresso machine which produced some 'resonable' coffee, I used store coffee in the beginning but whilst lurking about on here (a good while before I bacame a member) I started using fresher coffee from a shop in Edinburgh. What I produced was quite hit and miss at times and being of an engineering background I didn't like that I couldn't check on the main variables such as pressure and temperature easily, I like to have numbers and such to follow and take into consideration! This led me on to buying and Aeropress and the Delonghi has languished in the kitchen corner ever since. Even the worst coffee I made with the Aeropress was keeping me happy and it seemed much more consistent. Anyway, I have been in discussions with Rodney B at BB over the last couple of days and I have decided upon an Expobar Leva DB and Eureka 65E, I have also asked for a few accessories such as a knock box, tamper + stand (Old tamper is too small), some cappuccino cups, espresso cups, and a thermometer... He has recommended a spare Portafilter so I don't have to fiddle with baskets etc... which I feel is not a bad idea. *I would also like to point out that So far the service from BB has been exceptional, Rodney even emailed me on a Saturday which I very much appreciate as that should be his time off! If the items arrive in sound condition it will be some of the best service I have had from any company.* I was in two minds about making this post, I don't like announcing new gear as I am normally quite modest and I feel like I am bragging (I'm not, I've waited for ages for the opportunity to buy new gear - didn't want to buy umpteen machines, bits and bobs so I have tried to go to what I perceive to be my expence/value limit rather than spending more and getting only slightly better results or results that would be wasted on me!) But at the same time I'm excited and also daunted at the thought of having to spend a long time trying to learn to set a grinder up, getting the temperature and pressures right along with tamping etc... So please please!!! indulge me with some positive replies to keep me going! At least now I have a better reason to use the forums as well as previously I have just been reading other peoples posts. Thanks Guys
  19. Started with this machine new about 6-7 weeks ago and was getting good froth however I believe the air holes in the plastic wand head have been blocked and i now get froth at the top of the milk jug but non frothy milk underneath. I would appreciate some advice about a) unblocking and b) preventing this recurring. Thank you Jamie
  20. Hi Guys, Long-time coffee fan, finally getting into the espresso game properly after always wondering why my homemade americanos tasted so mediocre. Did some Googling, found this forum and then realised the many errors I'd been making. My current "setup", if you can even call it that: Dualit Espressivo, Krups blade grinder (I know, I know) and a Bialetti stove top. The Bialetti produces marginally better coffee, I assume because it's more tolerant of a poor consistency grind. I know that properly made espresso doesn't come cheap but, since my budget isn't infinite, I'm going to have to look at making my upgrades one at a time. From the lurking I've done here, it seems like the grinder is the best place to start, especially as I can make things slightly better with my Dualit by buying a non-pressurised basket, even if the water temperature isn't quite high enough. As I'll be only be making a small quantity of coffee, I was considering a high-quality hand grinder like the Feld47, saving a bit of money by buying a cosmetic 2nd. What do people think? Am I better off spending the same amount of money on a second-hand electric grinder? If so, what would be the best one to go for? I'm a few posts short of being able to view the for sale section on the forum. Many thanks in advance, Baristapprentice
  21. Hi everyone! I am completely new to (making) espresso and after searching the whole Internet I found a lot of great advice on this forum. I recently bought a refurbished Gaggia Classic (pre 2015) which I am trying to master. Making a lot of mistakes so far but I guess that is part of the process.. I have bought a 'few' accessories as well that ended up costing a fortune; bottomless portafilter, IMS basket and shower plate, Silvia wand, tamper and distributor, Feldgrind 2 etc. Hoping to learn a lot here and exchange ideas. Cheers
  22. Hi, I'm a "proper" coffee machine newbie (I have a Tassimo and an Aeropress), and am considering treating myself to a Gaggia Classic + grinder. This forum looks to be an excellent source if invaluable information, and the clientele look to be friendly! Mark ====
  23. Hello, Up until a few years ago, I was mostly a tea drinker with the occasional 'instant' coffee (and I always preferred white wine over red). Then, my tastes seemed to change and I started preferring coffee over tea (and red wine over white). However, until recently I didn't realise that I'd never actually had 'decent' coffee - I'm still not sure I have, but I'm realising a lot more than I ever new. My current 'experience' is French Press at the parents - generally Machu Picchu hailed as being the best thing ever and brewed for between 5 and 10 minutes - with a poor attempt by myself, a couple of moka pot attempts (badly burnt I suspect) and more recently borrowing a Nespresso machine from a friend. I've obviously consumed some Starbucks coffees at times, and had some filter 'drip' at work (which has seriously awful quality water). I realise I'm probably not doing this right, and I'm determined to set the record straight, but I'm not sure where to go next... I'm definitely going to get some fresh ground coffee (with the intention of moving on to beans and hand-grinding them in a few months) and I think I want to start with the 'filter' style - I like French Press the most from everything I've had, but don't like the 'mud'. With that in mind, I was considering a Clever Coffee Dripper, or a Chemex - the CCD seems to be perfect but there seems much less talk about it than the Chemex. I dislike the 'espresso' that the Nespresso gives out - it tasted pretty 'wooly' (I'm terrible with describing tastes) and so I don't know whether I like espresso or not - if anyone can recommend anywhere that can pull a decent shot in Plymouth I'll try that - and my normal drink is a 'mug', either black or with soya milk (which goes very odd in instant, so not often used at the moment)... I'd happily go for a decent espresso machine if I like 'the real thing' and/or people think a double-shot long-black is a better option than a chemex/etc brew overall, but I need to be sure what I actually enjoy most. All help and suggestions are welcomed, and I'm glad to have found the forum Thanks. (I've posted a similar message on another forum, so if you recognise me - Hi !)
  24. ok my first post was a bit lengthy and general so i'm just after some straight up advise on these two. i'm buying a machine as a present so i've decided i want something new with some kind of warranty. my absolute top budget is £250 and so i've narrowed it down a bit. at first i was almost set on a delonghi Eco310 which seems pretty good value but i thought i'd splash out a bit more - so starbucks is coming in at £225, Arc £249, and Pablo £199. Am i right in thinking the Starbucks barrista is basically a saeco aroma with a different shell? these machines have really good reviews esp on the american sites. does anyone have any experience with either these or the Ascaso machines? any top tips or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!
  25. I'm a first time coffee machine buyer, and am looking for a coffee machine in the price range of £60-£80. I'm an espresso man but occasionally like the odd americano. What advice would you give me as to what to buy? I'm considering a nespresso but it seems expensive to buy the little nespresso pods. Any advice would be gladly taken. Thanks.
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