Jump to content
jt196

My new setup: Gaggia Classic, Niche Zero, Europiccola

Recommended Posts

Coffee Setup.jpg

 

Been trying to take my coffee to the next level since I started roasting my own beans (Gene Cafe out of shot), so with a bit of research I've made a few changes to my setup.

 

Pictured are a Gaggia Classic (Mr Shades PID, OPV manometer mod, temp strip, Rocky wand, VST basket/screen/brass group head), Niche Zero and La Pavoni Europiccola (Manometer, VST basket/screen, single hole wand, temp strips).

 

Best bang for buck upgrade is the Niche Zero without a doubt. I was using a Cimbali Max grinder and while the results were acceptable, I'd always have issues with grind consistency as we'd not totally fill the hopper. Dosing every time is incredibly simple and it makes dialing in your grind so much easier. Very happy with this, and for the first time in a month I've roasted - now have 4 different types of beans to try (Vietnamese peaberry, Colombian, Honduras, Lavazza red - GF is Italian and loves the stuff).

 

Having a good grinder definitely helped, but reading about grind distribution and levelling has also helped. I was previously using the Happy Donkey tamp for the GC, since changing to a 58.4mm flat Motta competition tamp, things improved considerably.

 

Was looking around for better machines, but there's quite a leap between the GC and a decent dual boiler machine price-wise, so I've held off on that investment purchase for a while. Especially since the Niche was ordered back in December (arrived a week or two ago) and I thought I'd see how well it could perform with the Niche. My other qualm is that we only drink a couple of times a day and having a HUGE boiler machine might be a bit overkill for our needs - energy, counterspace and warm up time all issues.

 

While I was looking around just before Xmas, I stumbled across a La Pav Europiccola and since then have been playing around with it. Levelling the grinds, mixing them properly, tamping with a 52mm tamp instead of 51mm have all made a difference, but the Niche made the biggest effect on the coffee - this is also evident with the bottomless portafilter - before it was coming out only in a few places, now a nice even pour. We've just been using Lavazza for trials currently but the coffee has been totally transformed by it. Wow. Can't wait to crack on with these other beans.

 

Thanks for all the advice here anyway. Sure it won't be long till I take the plunge down the DB or Londinium route... for now, I've enough to keep me busy, so I think I'll just bide my time with more research and wait for something decent second hand to come on the market.

 

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi what are the OPV manometer mod, temp strip mod for the GC??

 

Setup looks awesome btw.

 

I'm in 2 minds re doing the PID mod on my classic?

 

Mo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well done James 'A spoilt for choice' set up and looking cosy.

 

Jon.


One Life this is it, it's not a rehearsal so enjoy it best you can - Have some fun, buy a coffee machine.;)

 

ECM Synchronika - ECM V-Titan 64 Grinder - EXPOBAR MEGGACREM 2 Group - MAZZER Super Jolly grinder with doser -  AMIR Scales and they work fine - 15-18-20-22-25g VST Filter Baskets - Several MOTTA Jugs and a Home Made Knock Box. - Useful contributions from the Family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi what are the OPV manometer mod, temp strip mod for the GC??

 

Setup looks awesome btw.

 

I'm in 2 minds re doing the PID mod on my classic?

 

Mo

I assume from the lack of an inbuilt manometer on the front of the machine, the OPV manometer mod is just turning the OPV down to 9 bar (10 bar static) with a portafilter mounted gauge.

You can just see the temp strip on the grouphead in the photo.

 

Laissez les bons temps rouler


Laissez les bons temps rouler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adjusting the OPV valve inside using a manometer that's attached to the bottom of the portafilter holder. The manometer gives you the pressure that the pump is set at, the OPV valve adjusts the max pressure. IIRC it's set a little high and you need to drop it a bit.

 

As I had some temp strips left over from buying them in a 10 pack at RS Components (used 1 for the LP and 2 for a couple of milk jugs) I thought I'd chuck one on the GC head, you can just about see it. TBH I haven't really used it that much, but it won't do much harm there.

 

As I think most folks have said, the PID mod is probably the best upgrade you can do to the Gaggia. Thermal stability seems to be one of the big things that the bigger machines really benefit from, better control on that means better coffee from what I understand. Most of the complaints about the LP are normally about thermal stability. With the temp strips on there I find it pretty easy to maintain 90C for a couple of shots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I assume from the lack of an inbuilt manometer on the front of the machine, the OPV manometer mod is just turning the OPV down to 9 bar (10 bar static) with a portafilter mounted gauge.

You can just see the temp strip on the grouphead in the photo.

 

Laissez les bons temps rouler

 

Yep, wasn't sure the exact term but this seemed the most succinct way of putting it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm. Got a GC and was thinking about swapping to a La Pav, but having seen your deal I now think "why switch? - keep!"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just seen your thread, interesting as you have a similar set up to me, except the grinder.

I've just replaced my old scaled up GC with a new 2019 model and picked up an old Europiccola at the same time.

I think I will need a new grinder, as I don't think my Iberital MC2 will be up to the job of the La Pav.  The niche does look a good option.


Gear:   Gaggia Classic, La Pavoni Europiccola, Niche zero.

At work:  Aeropress, Porlex mini.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice grinder. 

 

At the moment i use iberital mc2 grinder for my GC. Happy with that. Sometime make mess after grind. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • About:

    Coffee Forums UK is the UK's premier coffee forum Started in June 2008 by Glenn Watson, we now have more than 22000 mainly UK based members, and welcome more than 3000 members and visitors from around the world each day! With strategic investment and digital expertise from the Jackson Lockhart team (Tait Pollack and Adam Bateman), we are taking Coffee Forums UK to the next level, and are delighted to share the journey with you.

    New Members:

    We are often referred to as the friendliest forum on the web and we look forward to welcoming you onboard.

    Terms of Use

    Advertising

    Coffee Forums Media Kit

    Buy Advertising Space

    Donate

    Get Your Supporter Badge (per year)

×
×
  • Create New...