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Found 12 results

  1. Hi all, After getting the help of the community on here I decided to plump for an ACS Minima as my first serious espresso machine, which should be with me tomorrow, and I've already got the Niche ready to go, so I'd love to hear some recommendations for the first beans I should use with it.
  2. I thought it worth starting a thread for the production machine as I think any more posts on the old beta thread is not hugely helpful. I am trying to complete the review and update the beta user guide to a final version as quickly as possible. I will try in the review to list many of the changed areas...or as many as is relevant and that I can remember. I think it's great that Bella Barista are carrying the machine and it seems to be proving popular already even though they were not sure about it's looks. Personally i think it's nice not to have the usual rectangular steel box. Here is the first video of a shot from the production Minima. [video=youtube_share;f5GsCetwYxA]
  3. 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!
  4. I have a US spec Minima beta machine. Appreciate all the help I've received from members with the machine. I have a few other observations with the machine and would appreciate member feedback. My machine stays on 8 hours or so a day. During that time the pump will come on periodically for a few seconds. This happens several times an hour or more. I recently noticed the machine "uses" water when it's idling. The water in the reservoir dropped about 1 cm in a 4 hour period. I also notice the cups sitting inverted on top of the machine are wet on the inside and there can be a bit of moisture accumulating on top of the machine. My Mini Vivaldi does not do this. Would this be considered normal? What would be the source of water evaporation? I use a quality medium grind coffee from a local roaster. The pucks are wet, sometimes stick to the screen and rarely come out intact. Is there a cure for this. Again, not the case with the Vivaldi. Finally, the OPV after much adjusting and tinkering is still screaming at me. Is there a replacement that would be perhaps higher quality and externally adjustable? Thanks for any help or advice.
  5. I have had my new Minima for around 3 weeks now. For context, prior to buying a Minima, I have owned: Gaggia Classic Bezzera Mitica Top Rocket Giotto Evolution ECM Mechanika Profi NS Oscar II Sage Dual Boiler Sage Oracle As you can see, I started out with HX machines and often spent the extra on things like build and a Rotary pump. The Oscar was me wanting to see what a lower budget would get, and the Sage machines were my first foray into Dual boiler setups. I really liked the Sage machines for the quick startup times and ease of use, but I always felt that I wanted to get a more traditional machine, made of metal and with an E61. This was for a number of reasons: Ease of maintenance Availability of parts Repeatability It just looked nicer I held off buying a machine for a few months after selling the Oracle. I looked at the Lelit Mara and Bianca. I looked at a Vesuvius. What I decided after lots of help and debate was that there wasn’t much point buying a HX mara when for not much more I could get the Dual Boiler Minima. I decided that while I would enjoy the Bianca paddle and playing with that, I didn’t feel that I would personally benefit from the extra £650 spent on the machine. I felt that the Minima would tick all the boxes for me and it would save me some money. It arrived and I have to see it looks much better in the flesh than on photos. It is well built, and the user manual by Dave C makes it very easy to set up the machine when it arrives. It slots in nicely in the corner of the worktop and looks really smart. It comes with pads for the feet (nice touch) and a stand for the drip tray along with a couple of portafilters and spare group gaskets (nice touch again). I adjusted the offset on the PID to 17 per Dave Cs instructions and set the Brew boiler to 93. Mine arrived with the Service boiler at 110 for some reason and also no offset set, and it caused some confusion with steaming until I realised it needed to be set to 125. I should have read the manual but I also sent a note to BB as I feel they should have made sure it was set up when they bench tested. The vibe pump is pretty quiet in my view, and I can make drinks and not disturb anyone. The slow ramp up in pressure produces wonderfully sweet shots of espresso and I have been finding that following my routine produces great shots: 5 second flush to warm group 18g in 36g out in 32 seconds I found that my technique needs to be improved as the bottomless portafilter I am using is showing channelling and that’s something where I know it can only get better! I am using a Mignon specialita and also a Niche Zero. The Niche has been getting the most use as I love the workflow and lack of mess, and the grind quality is very good. Milk steaming is exceptional. Its fast, so you need to adjust if you have been used to a slower time to stretch and swirl, but with this its just a few seconds stretching the milk and the rest of the time swirling. Great milk, every time. I like the milk extra hot which has been easy to achieve on this machine. All in all, I would say that for £1200 this cant be beaten. In fact, looking at the market right now, for £1500 this couldn’t be beaten for value/features. The next logical purchase from a retailer would be a Bianca, and then beyond that a Vesuvius but that would not be from BB. I would say if you are on the fence, I would go for it. I haven’t looked back since I got it and I wouldn’t get anything else. I honestly feel that my time experimenting is over and that I am going to be very happy with the great shots the Niche and the Minima produce, and just work on my consistency.
  6. What pressure should I be reading on the brew head pressure gauge on my Minma? I think it might be a bit high at 9 bar. Where is the OVP and how it it best accessed if I need or want to adjust the pressure. These are probably rather naive questions, but this being my 4th express machine but first E61. I'm loving it and producing great espresso, but there was and is a learning curve. I think the arrival of a Niche in (hopefully) February will be a welcome grinder upgrade.
  7. Eyedee

    ACS Minima

    Does anyone know when this machine is likely to be on sale in the UK, I guess BB will be the favoured stockist. Ian
  8. Hi all, I’m relatively new to this game, but have owned a Gaggia Classic in the past, and have just done the barista training with the wonderful Tracy at Pollards in Sheffield, and now I’m looking to get my first ‘proper’ machine. I’ve pretty much settled on either the Sage Dual Boiler or the ACS Minima, but keep going backwards and forwards between them. The Minima is an E61 machine, much better looking (although subjective I know), powerful steam delivery, probably longer lasting. The Sage has a lot more functionality and room for experimentation, although that may be dangerous for someone at my level, and has a lot of generally nice features such as the auto on/off function, the programmable front volumetric buttons, easy to descale, but of course there’s the fear over longevity. So I’m hoping the experts on here might be able to help me make my mind up. Thanks in advance.
  9. Hi All, Been reading the forum for a while, and just bought an ACS Minima from Bella Barista, mainly due to the great reviews. The machine arrived today, but unfortunately, it isn't working properly. I followed the instructions and filled the boilers with the elements turned off, and water flows from the group with no problems. I then turned the boilers to heat, and the brew boiler reaches 70-77 degrees C and then trips the RCD circuit breaker for the whole flat. I then couldn't turn the machine back on without it tripping again. After 10-15 minutes, it cooled down a bit and it did turn back on, but again, once it reaches around 75 degrees, it trips the RCD. It does this if I just turn on the brew boiler and if I have both boilers turned on. Does anyone have any idea on what could be the problem? Could be be something simple or am I going to have to return the machine to be fixed? Many thanks James
  10. After missing out on a couple of good used machines due to procrastination on my part, I’ve come to thinking a new Mara or Minima might suit me, both get great reviews from Dave, and the Mara is about 250 quid cheaper, I only make espresso, no milk drinks, so which would you go for?
  11. This post is on behalf of ACS. I was going to use the for sale thread, but I realise this thread will do. The development costs for the Minima have been significant and Beta machines are priced purely to recover a small portion of these costs. Retail prices will be significantly higher, so this is a one time shot. There are only 10 machines available. The cost of a Beta unit will be £849 plus £20 contribution for airfreight to you (this may increase if your location has higher costs than normal UK locations). These costs all include VAT and are not negotiable. The warranty will be 2 years parts only. There is a thread on the Minima https://coffeeforums.co.uk/showthread.php?43909-Beta-Testers-wanted-for-Minima it's a long thread and people have been expressing interest from quite early on. I have tried to keep track of those people, but the time has come to draw up a list of those who definitely wish to participate. The small software bug on steam temperature in the Gicar will be rectified, so the machines delivered should not have this bug....however, at this time consider the review information as something to base your decision on and I urge you to read it carefully. https://wp.me/p7LpqI-6Z If you want to participate please request it on this thread...I will draw up a short-list and contact you via pm with the information I need to forward to ACS....there is no rush to be first on this list the decision will be made based on the above "beta testers wanted for Minima thread" and your post on there. Just your forum name is required, do not post any personal information on this thread. It is expected that beta testers will be willing to give feedback on the machine (good or bad), as people just trying to snag a cheap machine are not helping the development process. An area will be available on the ACS support forum for Beta testers to post about the machine and allow the designer to see how it is being received and ask questions of the beta testers, this area will be publicly viewable (not hidden) and you are welcome to cross post on here if you wish to. P.S. If you have questions ask them on this https://coffeeforums.co.uk/showthread.php?43909-Beta-Testers-wanted-for-Minima thread not here. I will ask moderators to remove any posts here that are not people who wish to participate.
  12. I first heard about the forums from a friend at the climbing centre, talking about his new setup - in which he recommended I check out the forums for some reseach of my own. Previously, I owned a Delonghi EC860M - a simple pressurised basked thermoblock. It lasted a good three years and I loved it at the time! I had put a 16g unpressurised basket, modded the automatic wand with that of a Silvia - and it did great paired with my Sage Smart grinder! Until it died of some mysterious electrical fault... Anyway, months of brewing with a mix of Aeropress, V60, Chemex, Moka, and Turkish/Arabic coffee and I was really really craving a flat white. I had done plenty of research and of course, ended up at the top end of my budget with a gorgeous new machine! I am now the proud owner of a very shiny ACS Minima. I already have a VST basket on order (and a home made WDT tool currently drying in the garage!). Yes, I would like a new grinder to pair it with in the future... I am absolutely loving it, having the control over variables I didn't even consider before! My palate seems to have improved and I am detecting the more subtle flavours and tones in a coffee. I am still getting used to the insane steam power (compared to my old machine!). But practice makes perfect! If anyone has any recommendations for decent decaf beans to try (so that I can indulge in my hobby/addiction and have more than two cups a day!) I'd appreciate it. Thanks for a great place to learn!
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