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Alreet guys n gals

 

Ive drank and loved drinking coffee for years most notably on my many spanish holiday trips, but recently thought I'd like to have a go myself and set about getting some gear (on a meagre budget!).

 

Like many others I guess, I have gone for what appears to be a decent entry level machine - the Gaggia Classic. I got it for 89 quid off ebay and I'm (impatiently) waiting for DHL to deliver it through all the snow we have in Durham. Its got a plastic steam wand but I really want it for espresso, although our lass will like it with milk.

 

Ive also scored for a grinder bought off a local cafe which was selling its equipment off - I bought a Cunill Space (branded Fracino) for £80. Its a doser and aye its got static but I can live with that. Its also got a huge hopper (which is too big for me so Im not planning on using it - grinding only when needed seems best).

 

Finally, I'm also waiting for a delivery from happydonkey with a couple of measured shot glasses, tamper, descaler, general machine cleaner (for backflushing), blank PF basket, and new head gasket. From reading the forums, including this one which has been really helpful, I will probably need most of this to get me going.

 

The question is what should I do when the machine eventually arrives or what would you check on a machine for which you have no idea about its history? Also what is your advice about buying beans, little and often, buy local, online, storing them etc...?

 

Any help would be great as I really dont know much about this game yet!

 

Cheers

 

Scott :)

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Welcome Scott

 

Not a bad setup for under £200 - well done!

 

When you receive the machine pull a shot (and discard) for proof that it works, then turn the machine off.

 

Remove the shower screen and give the area a good clean

Check the gaskets (if okay and no water spraying from around the top of the portafilter then leave for the time being)

 

Run descaler through the machine (from cold) and then after flushing out with plenty of cold water let the machine heat up, pull a shot and discard

 

Next, backflush the machine (after reassembling the shower screen)

 

Pull a shot and discard

 

Then, pull a shot and taste

 

Re: Beans

Buy freshly roasted beans - online is usually better than local shops have unless you have a local roaster

Store in a cool dry place in their bag with a one-way valve and ensure no air gets into them.

 

I'm sure there will be more advice coming along soon


Home Barista Training - contact me to discuss your requirements

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Welcome Scott, nice to have another from the North-East on the forum.

 

In terms of beans, before I started roasting at home, I found HasBean to be a great supplier. Roasted on day of posting, in vented bags, great variety and good prices.

 

But there are many other good suppliers, and I'm sure others will chip in.

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Thanks fellas, this is sort of practical advice I was after, champion.

 

btw vintagecigarman I work in Newcastle everyday and have access to Pumphreys coffee roasters in the Grainger Market - have you (or anyone else) any experience of them?

 

Cheers guys

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Pop in and see Stuart at Pumphreys. He'll look after you. Tell him you are a Coffee Forums UK member too


Home Barista Training - contact me to discuss your requirements

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Great start there Scott, a bit of fettling as Glenn suggests and you will be away. Pumphrey`s are a coffee roaster so should be selling nice fresh beans.


ECM Barista, Mazzer Royal, Bialetti Brikka, Aeropress, Reverse osmosis water system, home made Vanilla Syrup, Espresso Gear Barista tamper.

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Welcome to Coffee Forums Scott, when your kit is set up don't forget to post pics


Fracino Cherub, Malhkonig Vario, Espro calibrated 58mm tamper, Espro jug, ACF cups and Costa lover.

Twitter @MrsSKRobinson

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Well it arrived today!

 

utf-8BSU1BRzAxOTUuanBn.jpg

 

BUT it leaks from the boiler. Gutted!

 

utf-8BSU1BRzAxOTEuanBn.jpg

 

utf-8BSU1BRzAxOTMuanBn.jpg

 

Ive spoken to the ebay seller (nice guy) who is gonna send me another boiler and some extra spares which he has (he thinks its the same type). It looks a relatively easy job to swap them out. One step forward and all that...!

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Shame. At least you can see some light at the end of the tunnel.


Still learning on... Gaggia TS, Cunill Tauro, PTM Tamper, Motta Tamping Stand and Knock Box, Gaggia Milk Jug and fresh beans!

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That's frustrating. Finger's crossed the parts arrive soon.


Fracino Cherub, Malhkonig Vario, Espro calibrated 58mm tamper, Espro jug, ACF cups and Costa lover.

Twitter @MrsSKRobinson

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stripped it down last night in readiness for the replacement boiler coming. It was pretty scaled up and I had to go in the workshop and improvise to get the various parts apart!

 

utf-8BSU1BRzAyMDQuanBn.jpg

 

Anyway I got it all apart and took the boiler out to find this (see if you can spot the problem):

 

utf-8BSU1BRzAyMDUuanBn.jpg

 

That will be the problem then! At least its give me a chance to give it a proper service and replace all the gaskets etc... Boiler replacement in the post so Im told so hopefully I will get it this weekend and get brewin. Bought some Has Bean xmas blend today from a great little coffee shop in the Grainger Mkt (Piccolo) and it needs grindin!

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Go on fella, love the get in there and sort it approach. That is one helluva crack in that boiler, hope you get the little beauty fettled. We will have to change your forum handle to "Gaggia Ninja" when it`s done

 

Don


ECM Barista, Mazzer Royal, Bialetti Brikka, Aeropress, Reverse osmosis water system, home made Vanilla Syrup, Espresso Gear Barista tamper.

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hehe Cheers for the encouragement Don!

 

Cleaning continued with a spare hour tonight. Group was pretty cruddy when I got it:

 

utf-8BSU1BRzAxODguanBn.jpg

 

So cleaned it up, stuck new main seal in and re-assembled ready for new boiler top:

 

utf-8BSU1BRzAyMDguanBn.jpg

 

utf-8BSU1BRzAyMTAuanBn.jpg

 

utf-8BSU1BRzAyMTEuanBn.jpg

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lovin the improv work in your workshop.

I know its a bit off toppic but what are the hubcaps off anything nice?

 

old cars a coffee love them both!

 

Me too. They come off either this one:

 

DSC00177.jpg

 

or this one:

 

DSCF0362.jpg

 

now, back to the coffee!:)

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loving this thread please keep it updated :)

 

would love to mate - but royal mail are STILL delivering my replacement boiler according to their tracking service - it was posted on the 9th!

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Its here!!!

 

utf-8BSU1BRzAyMTUuanBn.jpg

 

The boiler arrived today so when I got in tonight from work I unpacked it and stuck it to work! The seller had included the group head too, plus a spare solenoid valve, t-stats and few other bits - so a nice few spares on the shelf already.

 

I descaled it out of the machine first then using a bit of 400 flatted the mating surface down a tad to ensure a good seal, threw another o ring in, and bolted her in.

 

utf-8BSU1BRzAyMTYuanBn.jpg

 

a quick backflush later and my first ever 23 second home brewed espresso:)

 

utf-8BSU1BRzAyMTguanBn.jpg

 

Come to daddy! Now the hard work starts!!!

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Good work dude, into the unknown now - bean selecting, grinding, dosing, tamping, pouring and most importantly savouring


ECM Barista, Mazzer Royal, Bialetti Brikka, Aeropress, Reverse osmosis water system, home made Vanilla Syrup, Espresso Gear Barista tamper.

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Thanks for the photos and workflow

 

Try grinding a little finer as the crema looks a bit thin (it could also have been a relatively cool shot, if the machine wasn't left to warm up that will have this effect too)

 

I can only echo what Don says and look forward to following your journey


Home Barista Training - contact me to discuss your requirements

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Good work dude, into the unknown now - bean selecting, grinding, dosing, tamping, pouring and most importantly savouring

 

you know how it is Don.

 

Cant stop playing with it now!

 

utf-8BSU1BRzAyMjAuanBn.jpg

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Thanks for the photos and workflow

 

Try grinding a little finer as the crema looks a bit thin (it could also have been a relatively cool shot, if the machine wasn't left to warm up that will have this effect too)

 

I can only echo what Don says and look forward to following your journey

 

Thanks for the tip Glenn, I agree the crema was thin on the first one, the second was however better when we had warmed up, and the difference between beans was staggering actually, even on same grind setting and tamp pressure the shots took totally different length of time - so lots of variables to play with.

 

I will no doubt be coming back for more helpful advice - thanks all.

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