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I notice, @MWJB, you say you set the Motta 53mm to the depth of the razor tool, how do you manage to screw in the Motta to be that low, using my fingers I can't get near that. Using a grip for opening jars I can get an extra millimetre but I'm still, as I've said, 2mm shy of the razor tool depth.

I'm measuring from the black plastic motta cap to the high point on the clover, since that's the depth, sorry to state the obvious 🙂

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I have a  different manufacture tool, if that's the shallowest you can get then that's what you will have to use, with a little less coffee dose.


“Coffee evokes the most insane reactions in people”, Rene Redzepi.

 

https://markwjburness.wordpress.com/

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So just had a measure and from the black edge to the highest point on the polished metal its 8mm on my setup. I use 17g of coffee beans for reference however this chases depending on what beans I have on the go.  Hope this helps.

 

I quickly stopped following what Sage advised with the razor tool height.


Sage Barista Express | Acaia Lunar | 200 Degrees ‘Brazilian Love Affair’ | Motta 53mm Leveller & Tamper 

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THR_Crema, how do you find the integrated grinder? I read a lot of places saying not to use an integrated grinder but, for me just about to start up and not wanting to sell the house to do so, am hoping that it is sufficient to get a decent grind (maybe not the best but I doubt my immature palette would taste the difference). I'm currently looking at the Sage Barista Pro. Similar to the express but with LCD panel and quicker heat up times.

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On 19/07/2019 at 06:48, AlanB1976 said:

THR_Crema, how do you find the integrated grinder? I read a lot of places saying not to use an integrated grinder but, for me just about to start up and not wanting to sell the house to do so, am hoping that it is sufficient to get a decent grind (maybe not the best but I doubt my immature palette would taste the difference). I'm currently looking at the Sage Barista Pro. Similar to the express but with LCD panel and quicker heat up times.

Breville has stated: the “integrated grinder”, the “Smart Grinder Pro”, and the “Dose Control Pro” all have the same grind capabilities, same burrs, same degrees of setting. Grinding performance is the same, regardless of the different features (&/or amounts of plastic) in the three grinder models.

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Ok. Thanks for the info. 

However, not having used any of them..... Would they do fine for a non-connoisseur palette or would I get frustrated quickly (i.e. Can they do a good shot - not the best - but good) ? 

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On 19/07/2019 at 10:48, AlanB1976 said:

THR_Crema, how do you find the integrated grinder? I read a lot of places saying not to use an integrated grinder but, for me just about to start up and not wanting to sell the house to do so, am hoping that it is sufficient to get a decent grind (maybe not the best but I doubt my immature palette would taste the difference). I'm currently looking at the Sage Barista Pro. Similar to the express but with LCD panel and quicker heat up times.

I’ve had the machine just over two years and think it’s the best in class for price and features. The grinder suffers from a little retention however not much.  It grinds very well and if you spend the time learning to dial in the beans you’ll make a great espresso.

I found it very frustrating making coffee at first but over time I’ve learnt how the machine performs and what to change.

I fully recommend it and going on a Barista course. Loads of useful information on here. 

What do you want from a coffee machine? What’s your budget? 


Sage Barista Express | Acaia Lunar | 200 Degrees ‘Brazilian Love Affair’ | Motta 53mm Leveller & Tamper 

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3 hours ago, THR_Crema said:

What do you want from a coffee machine? What’s your budget?

Part of the problem, I don't really know. 🙄 I know I want coffee shop tasting drinks (at least close to). I know I'm interested in learning more about making coffees but I don't know if that is just because it's interesting now that it's new or if it will be something that will last. So I want something that I can learn and play with but will also cover the grounds of being simple enough and not overly expensive to warrant if I lose the interest in exploring the brewing world but still want to make good coffees without too much hassle.....hence looking at the sage machines cause they are in the affordable range and are semi-auto. 

My budget is 800, which I know isn't that much in the espresso world but I'll have to make it work. If the bug hits, I'll look at saving up for an upgrade. 

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2 hours ago, AlanB1976 said:

Part of the problem, I don't really know. 🙄 I know I want coffee shop tasting drinks (at least close to). I know I'm interested in learning more about making coffees but I don't know if that is just because it's interesting now that it's new or if it will be something that will last. So I want something that I can learn and play with but will also cover the grounds of being simple enough and not overly expensive to warrant if I lose the interest in exploring the brewing world but still want to make good coffees without too much hassle.....hence looking at the sage machines cause they are in the affordable range and are semi-auto. 

My budget is 800, which I know isn't that much in the espresso world but I'll have to make it work. If the bug hits, I'll look at saving up for an upgrade. 

It certainly sounds like you are on the right track with a Sage, when I read your comments.

However, that said, also within your budget is the possibility of a manual espresso maker. Is that something you’d be interested in? A well-made & well-regarded manual device (e.g., Cafelat Robot or Flair Espresso lever devices) will cost you less and might also have better resale value than the used Barista, should you decide (after a bit of brewing) you really don’t want to pursue the espresso path. With a good handgrinder (MBK) and a Robot or Flair, you are looking at maybe £300 (to £400) for everything you need. Add a cheap scale for weighing your beans and your shot, you are well set up for a very tasty espresso.

A manual espresso maker, with a pressure gauge, is an excellent way to learn how to play with pressure and temperature (as well as brew ratios & extraction timing & “dialling in”). It gives you a great understanding of all aspects of espresso brewing.

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I find the manual machines a bit intimidating. Also don't look the part in my mind. But thanks for the suggestions. It's really good to know what else is out there that the more experienced recommend. 

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9 hours ago, AlanB1976 said:

Part of the problem, I don't really know. 🙄 I know I want coffee shop tasting drinks (at least close to). I know I'm interested in learning more about making coffees but I don't know if that is just because it's interesting now that it's new or if it will be something that will last. So I want something that I can learn and play with but will also cover the grounds of being simple enough and not overly expensive to warrant if I lose the interest in exploring the brewing world but still want to make good coffees without too much hassle.....hence looking at the sage machines cause they are in the affordable range and are semi-auto. 

My budget is 800, which I know isn't that much in the espresso world but I'll have to make it work. If the bug hits, I'll look at saving up for an upgrade. 

Do you live near to Bella Barista in Northampton? They will take the time to show you all the different types of machines and match you to one (they don’t stock Sage). 

 

£800 is more than enough if you want the Sage Barista Express (Do you want the previous model with the espresso pressure dial?).

Get a decent set of scales - I went for the Acaia Lunar. If you then choose to sell everything you won’t lose much on these scales & your machine will still fetch a decent price.

Keep us posted on your decision(s). You’ll build your setup over time so don’t worry too much about trying to get everything straight away. 


Sage Barista Express | Acaia Lunar | 200 Degrees ‘Brazilian Love Affair’ | Motta 53mm Leveller & Tamper 

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Unfortunately not close. I'm Bristol side. I have emailed sage to find out anywhere local I can go to see their models. I'm not sure of any other places I can go to see other models. I suppose something Google can help me with. 

At ecookshop the sage barista pro, touch and dual boiler are all £700 (one of my other posts in the machines section) so within price range. I'm trying to find out what makes the dual boiler so good, apart from being able to brew and steam at the same time as, with the others amazing switch times, it's not something that would really make a difference to me and I would prefer to save the money I would need on an additional grinder if that is the only difference. So, now leaning to a touch as I believe it can do everything the express/Pro can do plus have auto frothing wand in case I'm being lazy. 

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3 hours ago, AlanB1976 said:

Unfortunately not close. I'm Bristol side. I have emailed sage to find out anywhere local I can go to see their models. I'm not sure of any other places I can go to see other models. I suppose something Google can help me with. 

At ecookshop the sage barista pro, touch and dual boiler are all £700 (one of my other posts in the machines section) so within price range. I'm trying to find out what makes the dual boiler so good, apart from being able to brew and steam at the same time as, with the others amazing switch times, it's not something that would really make a difference to me and I would prefer to save the money I would need on an additional grinder if that is the only difference. So, now leaning to a touch as I believe it can do everything the express/Pro can do plus have auto frothing wand in case I'm being lazy. 

John Lewis stock Sage and sometimes they have someone making coffee’s with different machines.

I personally prefer the analogue look of the pressure dial compared to the updated touch screen.

If you look on YouTube there are some very good videos looking at both machines. The auto milk is good however it won’t get it textured how you want it for latte art.

I quite like Seattle Coffee Gear reviews and they love the Sage BE. Another good one is Whole Latte Love (All in my opinion).

The next level up machine, as you say has the dual boiler, so the benefit of extracting and steaming at the same time - I think the steam is a bit more powerful as well.

I love my machine and managed, through having a good setup, to make 3 latte’s this morning taking roughly 10mins. While I extract it gives me time to clean up and prepare my next portafilter (I bought a second one recently and this has massively helped speed up my process).


Sage Barista Express | Acaia Lunar | 200 Degrees ‘Brazilian Love Affair’ | Motta 53mm Leveller & Tamper 

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