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Hello, Costa Waffle and My Astoria Valina (Plus4You) Needing a Technical Manual


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Hello Coffee Lovers,

New to this forum but looking forward to getting involved in the community.

To get started I have an Astoria Valina (Plus4You) 2 Group machine, which I've had for a number of years. Serviced every year and plumbed into a water feed with a Brita Professional C50 Fresh water filter changed regularly. That coupled with a Mazzer Major Commercial Grinder.

I like all types of coffee but my real go to is latte. Whole milk with a touch of caramel syrup, the arteries love it!  

I try many different brands of coffee from mainstream to independents and they are ok, some better than others, but i still haven't found a coffee that goes well with a caramel syrup (Monin to be specific) as well as Costa coffee (Sorry don't hate me).

To that end I purchase Costa beans trying to replicate the taste to no avail. I cannot for the life of me get the taste close enough with the strong but smooth after taste. I purchased a 5kg bag dated within 2 months of roast, opened it and separated it into 20 x 250g black gas valve zip lock bags, and heat sealed each bag for dark storage.... Waste of time!... I just cannot get the taste right, why??? Well maybe I did once but that was a fluke as the next didn't taste close even though everything was the same. 

I've changed the grind with so many variants and cannot get it, milk is steamed to around 65 deg with a perfect gloss paint finish every time.

Apart from the initial taste, i think its the after taste that i really enjoy, it sits on your tongue for a while and its pleasant when the caramel and milk balance are right.

If anyone has similar experiences or anything they can impart, I would be interested to hear them, along with recommendations of similar tasting coffee that i could try from an independent maybe?

That aside, In my aim for the perfect coffee, I have recently started looking at the water and group temperatures but I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing. It's made even more complicated when i watch videos such as the below, and I'm told to put the temperature 10 deg below the required temperature?!? Huh!

Does anyone have access to a technical manual for this machine that they would be kind enough to send me? On top of that does anyone have any wisdom they can impart, so i can ensure the machine is in the right ball park where temperatures are concerned and I'm not mis-setting by 10 deg as this video suggests?

Thanks.

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  • 1 year later...

Over a year and not even a hello or welcome 🥺

Sorry to those who consider Costa to be a sub-par coffee, it just happens to work for me in a milky latte with monin caramel syrup (never had it any other way). For me I pick out the taste notes of caramel and nuttiness with a lasting but pleasant flavour on the tongue.

I've easily spent over £5000 on beans from all over the web and on my travels, via independent and specialty roasters. A lot of them are nice and have their own characteristics that I like, but don't quite reach the same satisfaction level that would have made me continue coming back for the same beans.

I would love to hear from anyone who can recommendation roasters/beans that may give a similar taste in a latte/syrup combo.

Thanks in Advance.

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4 hours ago, CostaGuy said:

Over a year and not even a hello or welcome 🥺

Sorry to those who consider Costa to be a sub-par coffee, it just happens to work for me in a milky latte with monin caramel syrup (never had it any other way). For me I pick out the taste notes of caramel and nuttiness with a lasting but pleasant flavour on the tongue.

....

I've only been here a week or so, so way after you joined, which means me saying "welcome" seems a bit strange. Nonetheless, welcome. I'm surprised at the lack of welcome, though. As a newbie, I got a pretty warm reception. Mostly.

As for "sub-par", it seems to me that it doesn't much better what others think of your coffee preferences. They aren't the ones drinking it. You are. I have the same attitude. I don't give a hoot if a coffee is supposedly good or not, or for that matter, whether someone else likes it or thinks it rubbish. If I like it, I like it. I'm old enough and cantankerous enough to not give a damn what anyone else thinks .... which would be perfectly obvious to anyone that saw my fashion sense. Or complete absence thereof.

Anyway .....belated welcome.

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Hi and welcome to the forum....i wasn't a member a year ago either; chances are i'd have said hello. Try not to read into it; my 1st "Hello" post also went un-answered, it didn't stop me though, i plodded on regardless. Fora are a strange beast and they are all likeable/annoying to some degree. I suppose it depends on what you want out of a forum that dictates your level of interaction/lack of. Some come and are "read-only" and some are "read-write"; some stay for a short while/purpose whilst others become part of the furniture. Fora i've also found contain one of the following or a combo :- someone with balls, an owl, a mouse, a growling-dog or a sheep.

Enjoy your stay...CYA...and don't let the dog's bite you :classic_wink:

Edited by Rumpelstiltskin
swpped barking for growling
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Fides Nemo

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Look at some of the mahogany roasts from coffee compass, and when you do also grab a bag of their cherry cherry which may just convert you! Most of the roasters around the forum roast lighter. CC will give you that depth of hit through the milk. 

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What has been the best beans you have tried so far and what sort of ratio are you using for your espresso? I would definitely recommend a 70/30 arabica robusta blend if you are looking to emulate that style. Also how much syrup are you using per drink and what quantity of milk

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Welcome to the forum...The bit about brew temperature is odd, I wonder if they actually mean 10 degrees hotter because there is no offset calculation?

Edited by DavecUK
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Nothing here...

 

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Thanks @Rumpelstiltskin @CoffeePhilE, much appreciated. Looking forward to being part of the forum and contributing where I can.

8 hours ago, Missy said:

Look at some of the mahogany roasts from coffee compass, and when you do also grab a bag of their cherry cherry which may just convert you! Most of the roasters around the forum roast lighter. CC will give you that depth of hit through the milk. 

Thanks @Missy, I'll have a few different bags on order this evening from CC. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes once I've experienced them.

5 hours ago, InfamousTuba said:

What has been the best beans you have tried so far and what sort of ratio are you using for your espresso? I would definitely recommend a 70/30 arabica robusta blend if you are looking to emulate that style. Also how much syrup are you using per drink and what quantity of milk

Thanks @InfamousTuba, The best types of beans so far although not giving the same flavour profile as mentioned, have been the darker roasts that have a rich and deep caramel flavour. This is likely because they punch through the milk better and the flavours match well with milk. I haven't yet found one that comes close using robusta as Costa. That's not to say as black or americanos they haven't been nice because they have been but just not my go to.

I generally go with 20g ground coffee beans, using a 20g VST coffee basket (bottomless portafiltre), looking for a 2:1 ratio of 40g liquid coffee out in 25 - 30 seconds with 94deg Brita Purity C filtered water. This is then usually added to 300ml of steamed milk and 10-15ml of syrup. Happy to be schooled if I'm going wrong anywhere here.

5 hours ago, DavecUK said:

Welcome to the forum...The bit about brew temperature is odd, I wonder if they actually mean 10 degrees hotter because there is no offset calculation?

Thanks @DavecUK, I have tried taking the temp. higher but as you approach 99deg on the settings the water comes out boiling, which leads to to believe that the settings are correct and the video statement should be disregarded although I question its existence. I just wondered if anyone had experience with this particular machine and knew what they were getting at. Strange.

Thanks again all. See you around.

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1 hour ago, CostaGuy said:

I generally go with 20g ground coffee beans, using a 20g VST coffee basket (bottomless portafiltre), looking for a 2:1 ratio of 40g liquid coffee out in 25 - 30 seconds with 94deg Brita Purity C filtered water. This is then usually added to 300ml of steamed milk and 10-15ml of syrup. Happy to be schooled if I'm going wrong anywhere here.

Ok so I can be of some use then, if you want to copy the way it is done in costa the syrup and milk are pretty much right but the espresso ratio used is different from the more usual 2:1. The ratio used in costa is 14g -> 60g in ~25 seconds, which is closer to a 4:1 ratio. It may be worth experimenting with higher ratios like 3:1 or more with robusta blends and seeing if that gets you closer to what you are looking for

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2 hours ago, InfamousTuba said:

Ok so I can be of some use then, if you want to copy the way it is done in costa the syrup and milk are pretty much right but the espresso ratio used is different from the more usual 2:1. The ratio used in costa is 14g -> 60g in ~25 seconds, which is closer to a 4:1 ratio. It may be worth experimenting with higher ratios like 3:1 or more with robusta blends and seeing if that gets you closer to what you are looking for

Interesting that , as its a longer ratio , but on the shorter side timewise , as i always thought of the Costa coffee as quite bitter/burnt , which me had me thinking it wa an over extracted taste.

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10 hours ago, DavecUK said:

Welcome to the forum...The bit about brew temperature is odd, I wonder if they actually mean 10 degrees hotter because there is no offset calculation?

This is just a guess, but it sounded to me as if they were suggesting that if aiming to hit 202F (94.4C) you set the temp to 192F, presumably because it then cuts heater power but water temp will continue to rise for a bit because of residual heat in the heater element. If that is the offset you meant, then that is what I would assume,,too. But it is a guess.  

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