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Welcome fellow forum buddies. This is my first post on the site having just registered.

 

I am a coffee newbie, well, brand new to making espresso based drinks that is. I've sat and done too much research, watched too many videos then finally made a few purchases including a second-hand Gaggia Baby Twin with Silvia V1/2 steam wand mod and more than enough accessories. Only thing left is to buy a good grinder, oh and some coffee might help too!

 

I'll try and keep posts in their relevant forum, so will go off and post something in the Gaggia forum for tips my machine and in the grinder and wanted forums too as I am looking for a good second-hand grinder, which just leaves the coffee, any pointers gratefully received...

 

Hope you're all having a good day.

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Hi Limes,

I'm new here too, but as you have a similar setup to me thought I'd stick me two pennies-worth in.

I also have a Gaggia (a Classic though) and have today managed to pull my first ultra-smooth, mottled-crema double. It was heaven! (damn, shoulda taken a pic!).

It's taken me three months to pull it off though and I bought a Mazzer Super Jolly off Gumtree for £175 before I got my Gaggia.

There are SO many variables it's rediculous and you can only progress successfully if you're hell-bent on success - cos there'll be loads of things that go wrong and don't make sesnse. BUT don't let that put you off! I got there and so can you...

Biggest tip I can give you to start with that made the biggest difference with my Gaggia was finding out at what temp it brews the shot. I'm not sure about your model but I'm sure it's v. similar to mine insofar as you have to flush water and wait for the ready light to come back on. I did this but my shots were coming out too sour with a light, one coloured crema indicating a too cool brew.

So, get yourself a styrofoam cup and a (food) probe thermometer and measure the temp of the water coming out of the brewhead.

Anyway, I'm babbling now but I've got loadsa other tips for you if you need...

Good luck for now.

M.

p.s. Most roasters offer a postal service if there are not any in Winchester (I was there only yesterday, what a lovely place!). I get my coffe from a Greek fella in Camden who's ben roasting from the same tiny shop for 37 years! His coffee is great and cheaper than all the big boys. If you really want I could sort you out when I'm buying my stash...

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Thanks Milanski, really appreciated your words of wisdom and encouragement, I think this is what is going to get me through to the first decent drink. Been getting obsessed with grinders and came to the conclusion the a Mazzer would be good, but keep staring at the kitchen to work out how to fit one in there.... I guess £175 is a very good price? Thanks for the info on the temp, I'll rig something up when I get the machine to check my temp. I think I am going to try and find and stick to one coffee for a while, so I can reduce the variables by one, so will try to find something local first, thank for the offer of a supply, lucky to live that way, fresh roasted coffee in Winchester area has yet to be discovered.

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Good price on the Mazzer SJ. A grinder for espresso is absolutely key. You can look at taking off the hopper and replacing with a micro hopper / camera hood. This won't do anything about the depth of the grinder, but the ex commercial grinder are a great grinder.

 

Alternatively for a bit over £200 you could look at getting a used Eureka Mignon. They are in my opinion the one of the best compact grinders. There's one up for sale in the used section at the moment, they tend to go fairly quickly when they come up usually for between £200-£220.

 

Or alternatively for an entry level grinder you could look at the MC2 used for approx £85.

 

Both of these you can resell for approx the same price if you later want to move onto an ex commercial grinder.

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Super Jollys do come up fairly often for £175. I've seen three since I got mine.

I use my SJ without a hopper. It looks much better without IMO anyway and if you're weighing every shot like I do, you don't need a hopper at all (I hate watching the beans go stale!).

While I'm grinding, I gently lay my tamper (a good fit at 58mm) on top of the beans to stop them jumping out and remove it when done. Without the hopper you also have clearance from overhead cabinets. Bargain!

Sticking to one bean is def recommended limes, as you say, one less variable.

I started on the lightest roast available from my guy. It's a single origin Costa Rica. I like it so much I'm staying put for now, though the Allpress Redchurch blend is temping me...(it's just quite expensive to learn on I would say).

Also, while we're on the subject, I believe I'm correct in saying that blends tend to be a little more forgiving to variances in temperature where some single origins are not. So my advice is start with a blend (or the same Costa Rica from my guy as he's cheaper). Otherwise, I highly recommend the Redchurch. It's a 'comfort blend' not one of these third-wave tangy blends that could confuse your palate. They do mail order, and you can always deep freeze in an airless jar to maintain freshness.

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Super Jollys do come up fairly often for £175. I've seen three since I got mine.

I use my SJ without a hopper. It looks much better without IMO anyway and if you're weighing every shot like I do, you don't need a hopper at all (I hate watching the beans go stale!).

While I'm grinding, I gently lay my tamper (a good fit at 58mm) on top of the beans to stop them jumping out and remove it when done. Without the hopper you also have clearance from overhead cabinets. Bargain!

Sticking to one bean is def recommended limes, as you say, one less variable.

I started on the lightest roast available from my guy. It's a single origin Costa Rica. I like it so much I'm staying put for now, though the Allpress Redchurch blend is temping me...(it's just quite expensive to learn on I would say).

Also, while we're on the subject, I believe I'm correct in saying that blends tend to be a little more forgiving to variances in temperature where some single origins are not. So my advice is start with a blend (or the same Costa Rica from my guy as he's cheaper). Otherwise, I highly recommend the Redchurch. It's a 'comfort blend' not one of these third-wave tangy blends that could confuse your palate. They do mail order, and you can always deep freeze in an airless jar to maintain freshness.

 

Thanks for the encouragement. I ended up taking a punt and buying a used commercial grinder and it turned out to be a Brasilia RR45, so looking forward to getting it.

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Good price on the Mazzer SJ. A grinder for espresso is absolutely key. You can look at taking off the hopper and replacing with a micro hopper / camera hood. This won't do anything about the depth of the grinder, but the ex commercial grinder are a great grinder.

 

Alternatively for a bit over £200 you could look at getting a used Eureka Mignon. They are in my opinion the one of the best compact grinders. There's one up for sale in the used section at the moment, they tend to go fairly quickly when they come up usually for between £200-£220.

 

Or alternatively for an entry level grinder you could look at the MC2 used for approx £85.

 

Both of these you can resell for approx the same price if you later want to move onto an ex commercial grinder.

 

Thanks for all the opinions, with some many people saying commercial is a good option, I've thrown caution to the wind and bought an ex commercial Brasilia RR45 to mod small enough to not look silly.

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Thanks for all the opinions, with some many people saying commercial is a good option, I've thrown caution to the wind and bought an ex commercial Brasilia RR45 to mod small enough to not look silly.

 

Ex commercial excellent choice.

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