Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
mho

What is your coffee workflow?

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I have been a lurker on here for many years and now due planning a new kitchen I am close to having a new coffee brewing set up. It has got me thinking about the coffee making process at home and how it can be as streamlined and pleasurable as possible. I apologise for the long post but would really appreciate your opinion and would like to learn about how you are making coffee at home. 

My wife and I are keen coffee drinkers and I would like to have a 'proper' coffee set up in our home. As we are going to have a new kitchen put in I wanted to make sure it is designed to incorporate our new coffee station. From reading lots of information on this forum I think I have decided on my ideal combination:

Machine: Lelit Mara PL62 - for the small footprint and to be able to steam milk and brew espresso at the same time.

Grinder: Niche grinder - I like the concept and it is aesthetically pleasing, seems to have got loads of good reviews.

Thinking that this was all I needed to decide upon I have now come across the topic of having the right water for it! I live in London so the water is very hard. I don't drink bottled mineral water at home (I drink tap water) and I wouldn't like to buy bottled mineral water because that is a lot of plastic to add into my life and also I'd need to find space to store it. I then read about the Osmio Zero which actually sounded like a great product, can get drinking water from it, hot water and boiling water. I am thinking of getting a Quooker boiling water tap and was thinking that this Osmio Zero could replace it, but thinking about it more I don't think that it would. I'd need to have more boiling water for cooking than the Osmio can provide at one time, and I was also thinking about how to fill the coffee machine. The coffee machine has a 2.5L water tank, if using the Osmio Zero to fill up there would be a bit of waiting time as it can only dispense approx 1.2L at a time before it needs to filter more. The quooker taps have an option to add a filter to it, but is this good enough? How do you supply your machine with the right water?

In the morning I like to have an espresso before work. I've read that these coffee machines can take approximately 30 minutes to get up to temperature, how do you manage your first coffee in the morning? I was thinking that I could connect the machine to a smart plug and tell the plug to turn on 30 mins before I wake up, would that work? I usually have an espresso in the morning and my wife have a latte. If we do not have any guests over then there may be a second coffee early afternoon, do you turn off your machine in between or do you keep it on? If it is kept on then does the coffee machine use a lot of energy to keep warm?

I am excited at having a new set up but now also thinking if it is worth all of the hassle (and money). We had a nespresso machine, start up time and ease of use was amazing but I do want a better coffee at home and have more choice in the beans that I can use.

Look forward to your responses.

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 09/11/2019 at 23:42, mho said:

Hi all,

I have been a lurker on here for many years and now due planning a new kitchen I am close to having a new coffee brewing set up. It has got me thinking about the coffee making process at home and how it can be as streamlined and pleasurable as possible. I apologise for the long post but would really appreciate your opinion and would like to learn about how you are making coffee at home. 

My wife and I are keen coffee drinkers and I would like to have a 'proper' coffee set up in our home. As we are going to have a new kitchen put in I wanted to make sure it is designed to incorporate our new coffee station. From reading lots of information on this forum I think I have decided on my ideal combination:

Machine: Lelit Mara PL62 - for the small footprint and to be able to steam milk and brew espresso at the same time.

Grinder: Niche grinder - I like the concept and it is aesthetically pleasing, seems to have got loads of good reviews.

Thinking that this was all I needed to decide upon I have now come across the topic of having the right water for it! I live in London so the water is very hard. I don't drink bottled mineral water at home (I drink tap water) and I wouldn't like to buy bottled mineral water because that is a lot of plastic to add into my life and also I'd need to find space to store it. I then read about the Osmio Zero which actually sounded like a great product, can get drinking water from it, hot water and boiling water. I am thinking of getting a Quooker boiling water tap and was thinking that this Osmio Zero could replace it, but thinking about it more I don't think that it would. I'd need to have more boiling water for cooking than the Osmio can provide at one time, and I was also thinking about how to fill the coffee machine. The coffee machine has a 2.5L water tank, if using the Osmio Zero to fill up there would be a bit of waiting time as it can only dispense approx 1.2L at a time before it needs to filter more. The quooker taps have an option to add a filter to it, but is this good enough? How do you supply your machine with the right water?

In the morning I like to have an espresso before work. I've read that these coffee machines can take approximately 30 minutes to get up to temperature, how do you manage your first coffee in the morning? I was thinking that I could connect the machine to a smart plug and tell the plug to turn on 30 mins before I wake up, would that work? I usually have an espresso in the morning and my wife have a latte. If we do not have any guests over then there may be a second coffee early afternoon, do you turn off your machine in between or do you keep it on? If it is kept on then does the coffee machine use a lot of energy to keep warm?

I am excited at having a new set up but now also thinking if it is worth all of the hassle (and money). We had a nespresso machine, start up time and ease of use was amazing but I do want a better coffee at home and have more choice in the beans that I can use.

Look forward to your responses.

Michael

1. Machine: Looks good enough. It's an HX and easier to descale than a DB but it's worth reading up on the machine more to make sure it's what you want. Steaming milk and pulling a shot at the same time is not really necessary. I've got a Minima and it takes about 15 seconds to steam enough milk for one flat white. With a flow control valve added to the group as an upgrade in the future you'd be spending your time managing the pressure rather than steaming milk anyway and even if you don't go that route you'll probably want to be watching flow rate/looking at the bottom of the basket through a bottomless portafilter at least when you first start out.

2. Grinder is good especially for medium-darker roasts if that's your taste.

3. Water: For good coffee you need good water and to take care of your machine you need to avoid sulphates, chlorides, and a build up of carbonate scale (either Magnesium or Calcium). Most people use bottled water. Some use RO (reverse osmosis) even fewer use DI (distilled). With bottled water you just put it in your machine but you will be adding carbonate hardness and very likely sulphates and chlorides (how much of a corrosion concern the latter two are depends on the material of your boiler and pipes). With RO and DI you'll be adding absolutely nothing except for whatever you remineralise with. Again, most people (i think) just use sodium bicarbonate to bring alkalinity to 40mg/l as CaCO3 (which is 50mg/l bicarbonate). Sodium bicarbonate is readily available and cheap, potassium bicarbonate less available and probably very slightly more expensive but you'll use so little each time it's not really an issue. You can also cut tap water with DI or RO water to get a desired TDS. You won't know what you're putting in your machine unless you find a report from your water company for your area and again you'll likely be adding sulphates and chlorides + trace amounts of a bunch of other stuff. I have just started remineralising DI water with sodium bicarbonate and magnesium bicarbonate. Mg bicarb is formed when Mg Hydroxide is suspended in water and exposed to CO2 (in other words added to carbonated water) if you have a sodastream or ISI whipper doing this is easy but requires some calculations. 

tl/dr: Water is very important. If not using bottled water then the Osmio zero is what I would use if I were starting out. Making concentrates of stuff to remineralise is nice and allows you to precisely control things but cutting tap water might be good enough for you. Whatever you do you'll need to be mindful of boiler health and you'll want to drain and replenish with fresh water every couple of weeks. I put distilled water in the service boiler and after two or three weeks it'll be up to the same concentration of minerals as the feed water. If you allow minerals to build up you get higher alkalinity, higher scaling potential, and higher risk of corrosion. With a stainless steel boiler you can use pure water but I don't think you should with a copper/brass boiler.

4. Putting the machine on a time will work if it doesn't have a soft switch. Most people just leave their machines on for a set period of time or all day. It doesn't cost a lot to run them. It is always cheaper to turn off and then on again later than to keep it running. If you know there are certain times you'll want to use it you can put it on a time to come on and off multiple times a day.

Getting good espresso at home requires you to learn a new skill and spend a lot of money on equipment (most you've listed). You'll need scales to weigh your dose, and your output of espresso, something to clean the group with, and then you'll probably want VST or IMS baskets and a tamper to fit them. It isn't a hassle once you've learned how to make good coffee and good equipment will make it a lot easier. Economically a good espresso machine and grinder costing about 1.5k combined will work out cheaper over 10 years than a new toy espresso machine (delonghi etc) every one or two years or nespresso with capsules and you'll get much much better results.

 

  • Like 2

ACS Minima (Beta) -- Reskinned Ceado E8, Niche Zero --- Gene Cafe CBR101 with Dimmer Mod and Bean Mass Probe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't got an Osmio so don't know much about that. Though you won't be filling an empty water tank each time - so the concern of a 1.2litre dispense from osmio is a non-issue. You can refill the tank occasionally and even if you wanted to fill the whole tank, I imagine you'd plan when you were emptying it completely perhaps as part of a cleaning routine. 

Edited by jlarkin

Everything my heart could desire (more or less). . .

 

https://cupperjoe.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the replies.

I always thought that you shouldn't let water stand for too long, when I had the nespresso I always spilt out any unused water first thing in the morning and then replaced it with new water for that day. Do you not need to do this?

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.

Sign in to follow this  

  • 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...