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Found 18 results

  1. Hi All: after a while lurking I've finally taken the plunge and joined. My name's Geoff and I'm from the North-East coast of England. I've been seriously into coffee for just over a year - prior to that I just enjoyed it! I've got a Pavoni Pro that I bought way back in 1995. Sad to say, until just over a year ago I seldom used it, as the espresso that I got from it didn't seem worth the hassle. But, of course, no-one had told me how essential it was to but fresh beans and grind them on the spot to make decent espresso - and that Illy or Lavazza pre gound just wouldn't cut the mustard. So - once I'd made this discovery I treated myself to an Iberital MC2 and the rest, as they say, is history! When I'm in a real hurry I still use a stove top now and again - I've got one of the Bialetti Brikkas, which imho turns out better coffee than any other stovetop I've ever owned. And in work I've got an Aeropress - which makes surprisingly good coffee. I'm an ex-civil servant - spending 38 years with the DWP and it's predecessor departments before taking early retirement. In that time I did everything from benefit fraud investigation to answering Parliamentary questions - taking in time as a computer trainer and six years as a full time union rep. Before I left I was working in HR. After a year off I'm now back in work doing job evaluation for a local authority. Other interests include good cigars - I'm a regular contributor to a UK forum - and food and drink. Also spend a lot of time with our dog, an Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier - quite a rare breed. My wife and I both share a love of Italy. We have friends who live in Milan and some in Trento, but Venice is our destination of choice! We try to get over at least 3 times a year. Looking forward to spending some time in here.
  2. brun

    Illy

    I've been visiting Patisserie Valerie outlets lately quite a bit, best cakes ever, but I've got a question for you guys as you seem to know everything, I've really enjoyed the americano coffee I've had there and I'm wondering what kind of similar coffee is out there for me to make at home, all the beans are always described in weird and wonderful ways, lots of adjectives and food stuff comparisons, but at the moment as I'm new to this I've no idea what the illy 'flavour type' is To the best of my knowledge all the ones I've had have been made from beans, not pre ground from the tins you get at the supermarket I've only ever seen illy beans in cafes, never a shop
  3. Hi all , I've just bought Francis Francis X1 on eBay but it cannot make an espresso well so I am considering repair service for it. Could anyone recommend a repair centre near Manchester or tips for my machine? It looks like a classic first generation, so it looks already out of warranty. The problem is on its 'group head part' (or more inside?). When I turn it on and try to make an espresso, water is just dripping down from group head. Other part is well operated so i think i can repair to use it, not refund on eBay again. This is the first time to buy home espresso machine, and second-hand off, so I don't know what to do.. Is it possible that if i descale it, could the machine make a normal espresso? Or is it totally out of order?
  4. Competitive Salary + vehicle We are a leading supplier of high quality coffee to restaurants, hotels and coffee shops. Due to our continued success we are looking to appoint a Quality Audit for the Cambridgeshire area. The successful candidate will be enthusiastic and self-motivated with excellent planning and organisational skills. The position will involve maintaining and increasing our customer base. A knowledge of the industry would be an advantage. And a love of coffee is essential!! I look forward to hearing from you!
  5. TheCoffeeTweet: very entertaining talk from Illy at Allegra. Contentious too! More...
  6. Hi all, As I read about coffee I constantly hear about Lavazza and Illy as being good examples of coffees. I have tried both of these over the last few years from my local supermarket etc. Are these the same packets of coffee that people refer to when prasing these coffees? or do people find a way of sourcing freshly roasted Lavazza and Illy? Are the supermarket packets of Lavazza and Illy worth the money, or am I better off finding an alternative, similar blend to try? Many Thanks, Sammy
  7. Lennyz

    Hiya

    Hi there, my name is Paul, I am from Cheshire and I have had a gaggia classic for about 7 months. Not taken the plunge into getting myself a grinder but I do try and get decent ready ground currently using illy medium roast. Is it really the best idea getting your own grinder? my machine was off eBay and came with a commercial portafilter with a standard double basket and already had the rancillio steam wand mod. I am chuffed with the gaggia and save myself a fortune on buying drinks from town now... always trying to learn new tricks and am interested to read other peoples recommendations and suggestions. ta.
  8. Now sold, please delete ad Thanks Richard I'm selling all my Francis Francis parts & spares as am no longer repairing them. The whole lot is for sale in one go - please don't ask for individual items as not worth the trouble. The pile of bits includes shrouds, elements, brass boilers, sensors, switches, wiring, control boards (in various working / non working states), pipes, gaskets, o rings, coffee handles, pumps (also in various states) filters. Everything in the photo. Essentially most of the parts for the X1 - 1st, 2nd & 3rd generation models. Looking for £50 for the lot collected which is a bargain. Am not able to post as it's a heavy box of stuff and would cost a fortune. I drive to Hadleigh in Suffolk once a week so could bring the box full & meet a buyer there during my lunch hour or drop off at a location en route if of interest. I'm in a place called Topcroft near Long Stratton in Norfolk Richard
  9. I've not done any cupping so I'm not familiar with the terms people use to describe taste. I do know that I like Illy beans, which I gather are a 'dark roast'. Can anyone suggest others to try? This is for use with a Classic and MC2.
  10. I need a coffee enthusiast for a national coffee company. You must enjoy coffee and drinking it will be part of your job..... This position is for a Sales and Service executive in the East Anglia region. You will be required to look after our existing customers and also grow our customer base. Car, phone and iPad is included. Any questions, please let me know. Thanks Robin
  11. its looking like ill have a Vario on the way soon, so i need to get some beans on order tomorrow, i dont know what to choose though ! i need something that isnt fussy, something a newb to grinders can get dialled in reasonably easy, also how much should i order, would 1kg be overkil for someone who doesnt go through a lot of coffee, i was thinking 2 x 250g bags of something at the moment it will be used to make americanos, and taste wise, i like the Illy served in Patisserie Valerie cafes, and probably the best coffee ive ever had was in Paris in Dalloyau, ive no idea what it was but it was strong/dark and full of flavour i need to order these tomorrow so quick responses appreciated
  12. Morning, After lurking on here for ages I thought it was about time I actually registered - so here goes! I'm an ethusiastic coffee consumer / home would-be-barista, I'd rather die of thirst than drink instant coffee... I've had a Gaggia Classic at home for some years now (probably about 8 or 10), and with daily use (OK, multiple daily uses normally) it's going strong still with fairly regular maintenance and a couple of common mods: Silvia steam wand, pressure reduction and naked PF (though to be honest, as it can make a mess I tend to use the standard PF much of the time!) However - and here's the confession - I have, for all of that time, been using illy pre-ground. It's been good, and I enjoy the results - mainly as I manage to get through about a tin a week so it stays relatively fresh and gives reasonably good results. I've been sourcing my illy from Costco (about half the price of Sainsbury) but recently they seem to have stopped stocking it and my personal stock is running low.... So - yesterday I took the plunge and purchased a used Mazzer Super Jolly! I was adamant that I wasn't going to buy "any" grinder, I wanted a Mazzer... but being unemployed right now (made redundant in April) this was a major purchasing decision. Anyway, job done and I should have it next week - can't wait. So the quest for good beans starts now..... hence I'm reading up on here again. Anyway - enough about me, I've waffled on far too much... Anyone tried any beans from Costco? (OK, shoot me... ;-) ) Shades
  13. I have decided to take the plunge and finally buy an espresso machine. Having used a moka pot, cafetiere, drip filter and various other contraptions, I've decided it is time to furnish the kitchen with some eye candy coffee-making equipment. As always, budget is a barrier. If it weren't, I'd by a Rancilio Silvia as what I want is a well-built machine that won't need replacing in a year or two. The Silvia looks brilliant. However I am unable to spend more than £150 (well, maybe a little more), therefore I have narrowed it down to: Dualit Espressivo Magimix L'Expresso DeLonghi Icona I have noticed a few other deals, reconditioned Gaggias and so on, but the three above are the most widely available and viable options to me. I think the Dualit looks the most sturdy (I studied it in the shop today), but the Magimix has 19 bar pressure and an in-built filter which I thought was pretty neat. The DeLonghi I'm just not sure about at all but I found a decent deal on it so it's up for consideration. I usually drink espresso or Americano so the frother is of secondary importance. I'm not convinced I need to spend a fortune on a grinder so I'll stick with Illy and Lavazza ground beans most of the time. Can anyone help me out with my decision?
  14. Ok - first of all some apologies. I've done searches and haven't found the answer somewhere else on the site - but that doesn't mean there isn't one lurking somewhere. Secondly, this may all seem a bit basic to many of you. Third - it's a bit on the long side. So, I'm new to this site after 45+ years drinking coffee, 35 of which will have been drip and french press and the last 10 which have mainly been moka pots. In cafes I mainly drink americanos, a cortado if I find myself in costa, and a flat white if I'm somewhere where I've spotted what looks to be a good one being made for another customer. In all of this time I've never really paid any significant attention to the amount of coffee I'm putting in my pot or press. In the case of a moka pot just filled the basket and levelled off and in a french press (confusingly described as 3 cup when in reality it's really only 1) added a heaped spoonful using the plastic spoon provided which I've just seen is marked at 7.5g. It's always worked for me and in the case of the french press sometimes I've added more sometimes less depending on the strength of the coffee. Then a month ago I bought an aeropress,swiftly followed by a hario skerton grinder and today some digital scales - even though I have to admit I laughed at people on youtube making coffee and weighing the dose and the water and swearing I never would - damn it's an addictive interest. So with that I discovered that aeropress said use 15-17g of coffee for 220ml of water. I didn't think twice - just followed the instructions. It was only when I started to notice that I was very buzzed after the second aeropress of coffee at breakfast that i realised I was using much more coffee than I'd been used to. Bodum and Illy say to use 7-9g of coffee and 200-220ml of water for a 3 cup french press - presumably the moka pot was using a similar amount of coffee albeit with less water, obviously depending on the size of pot. I checked out various coffee pods in Waitrose today and they seem to use between 5-7g depending on the brand. So, why is it that all the recipes I've looked at for aeropress and french press use much higher concentrations - typically 75g per litre of water? And if that's correct, don't pods produce a very weak coffee - so why do people use them? And what's with the advice given by Illy and Bodum - to name but two - recommending a dose that until now has always been acceptable to me but now looks on the low side. Any thoughts? Thanks Tim
  15. Hi all, I live in the UK. South east London. Does anyone know where I can get freshly roasted Illy beans from for expresso making? I recently got a Silvia and am now looking for a staple bean and supplier to subscribe to. I have tried just two verities at the moment but they are all fancy flavours, I kind of think I prefer more standard flavors if that makes sense Thanks
  16. Having recently bought my Gaggia here, I can say that I am very pleased with how it performs. Before I get shot, I have been experimenting with stale illy dark roast. I personally feel that the results are better than I expected. Although I do anticipate on buying a decent SJ when I see one, or another suitable alternative.
  17. Hi there I've not long started my home coffee journey after spending £20 a week at costa I bought a Delonghi EC 820 like new second hand i started off with Illy and Lavazza pre ground and thought that was great but noticed after a day the coffee didn't taste as fresh so did a bit of research on fresh coffee beans and found quite a few on here recommend has bean so went for there espresso starter pack with porlex grinder that's when I really noticed a difference so I started looking for a gaggia classic and have just found a little used one of Gumtree Came with 3 un pressurized baskets 4 new gaggia cups and saucers gaggia milk jug and thermometer and a brand new Russell hobs burr grinder which Is useless lol ive done the OPV and the Silvia wand mod have been having a good play around with it and it's taken a bit of getting used too getting the espresso grind and tamp right it's a lot more fussy than the delonghi or maybe I was more used to that machine but I'm managing to pull 55 to 60 grams in 27 seconds is that about right ? I only drink milk based drinks and found steam a bit weak until I found out about the 25 second trick now I just need plenty of practice getting the milk perfect thanks all jim bean \ }
  18. OK - to start off with, I'm married, so that takes care of the "I have no accessories" issue but I'm having real trouble with consistency. I've got a Gaggia Classic and, whilst I'm learning, some Taylors ground coffee from the supermarket. I know this combination is never going to give me great results but it's not going to cost me the earth so SWMBO is happy(ish). My routine is to decant some coffee into a small bowl, use a paperclip to loosen the grounds before spooning (using a teaspoon) into the thingy with the handle I use the back of a knife and level off the coffee over the bowl and then tamp using the cheap plastic tamper supplied and brush off the spare grounds with my finger. Now I completely understand that I should be grinding my own beans and using a fancy tamper (convex base or flat?) but even using bathroom scales to get a precise 30lb tamp I'm getting varied amounts of espresso with a 25 second brew time (after priming pumps and steam wands etc). It's not all failure though. I seem to have mastered steaming the milk very well, albeit using a mug, and can produce some great latte's and hot chocolate for the kids. I suppose the main problem is a wet puck - not so much wet as soaking. When I remove the portafilter there's about 2-3mm of water on top. When I switch off the brew switch there's about 5-6 seconds worth of dripping espresso despite the three way solenoid doing its stuff. I have tried using less coffee, more coffee and tamping harder/softer but with each permutation there's no consistency. Does anybody have any ideas what I'm doing wrong or have any suggestions to help me improve? There are 29 pages of threads in the 'Coffee Lounge', 19 pages in the 'Gaggia Forum', 9 pages in the 'How To's' forum and 6 pages in the 'Barista Home Skills' forum and whilst I confess to missing out a few threads, I've pretty much spent 3 days reading them all and that doesn't include custom searches. I said at the start that I need accessories and, grinders aside for the moment, here's what I think I need: Scales - 0.1 sensitivity Tamper - convex or flat (jury seems out on that one). I know I'm pushing much cheapness but is there that much of a difference between this cheap tamper and this slightly more expensive one Shot glasses - with markings for reasonably accurate measurement Milk pitcher - size for a Classic - 12oz or 20oz ? Cups and saucers. Finally, the basket that came with the Classic - is it suitable? Thanks for looking. Al
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