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My new Mara

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On Monday I pulled the trigger on the wood trimmed Mara that BB had on their website, along with all sorts of other goodies. I’ve long owned a Gaggia Classic and thought that it was about time for an upgrade. David at BB was super efficient getting it sent via next day delivery even though I was 5 minutes over the 1pm cut off. He knocked a little off the price because there was a little scuffing on the casing which I’m not at all fussed about, he was even kind enough to chuck in some free beans! 
 

The machine is beautiful, really happy with it. I’m now waiting for a grinder to arrive, I picked up a Mignon that someone was selling on this forum. I attempted a few shots myself with my Knock hand grinder, mixed results to be quite honest, but that was expected.

Now I just have to hone my skills! If anyone has any useful tips on getting the best out of my machine I’d love to know.

36CE2AA2-8C0D-48FE-88B3-6C77B9CC5E1F.jpeg

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Which Knock Grinder I have a Feld 2 it's fine for espresso, nice set up.


SAGE IS NOT A UPGRADE

 

 

:)

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Well done, good decision and lovely machine. I made the same transition from Classic to Mara last summer but mine doesn't have the nice wooden handles. I'm no expert, and the guide they include in the box will tell you more than I can, but I have few observations:
- Once you've dialled in the grinder to get the pressure up or down to around 9 bar, the extraction seems to automatically revert to around the desired 25 seconds. (These approximations are good enough for me).Remember your Mignon will retain some beans so changes will affect the shot after next.
- Trying to estimate the weight of the ground coffee by eye or relying on the timer on your Mignon leads to wide variations in my experience. Your eye may be better, but I use a scale (you may be doing this already).
- I don't weigh the liquid shot, bc my nose and taste buds aren't refined enough to tell the difference.
- If you like milk drinks, the Mara is much quicker than the Classic, so I use a stick-on thermometer on my milk jug to avoid overheating.
- If for reasons beyond our scope, you're temporarily reducing all transactions and you have to use supermarket beans, the common standard of 18g of ground coffee is much too much for these beans imo.

Obviously, all this advice is from a non-expert, so if they don't suit you that's fine. I hope you continue to enjoy your lovely machine!

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk


Gaggia Classic (reconditioned pre-Phillips) with Rancilio wand, OPV mod., Auber PID with steam control and pre-infusion, brass dispersion plate, ims shower screen, Eureka Mignon, Hario Skerton that I'm not sure what to do with, Happy Donkey tamper, Sainsbury's jcloths

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Posted (edited)

I have been using mine for just over a month and love it

Really easy to use especially if you follow the guide from #davecuk. 

Shower screen was hard to get out first time but after that no problem and it’s cleaned weekly

I have it on a smart plug so it’s ready when I get up in the mornings 

Im running it in bottled water as I’m in a hard water area and that’s my only concern.  I have about 6 weeks supply at the moment and may switch to a Zero Water jug mixed with tap as it runs out  On average I am using about 1 to 1.5 litres per day with six usually milky drinks
 

I have tried quite a few beans the only ones I did not like were supermarket beans bought as I ran out.  Have a look at a sub from Django every one has been superb to my novice tastes and very reasonably priced

Superb machine I think
 

no idea why the picture is upside down or how to correct it sorry 

30824F12-0072-49F9-9DBF-93C188E54906.jpeg

Edited by Mark70

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4 hours ago, bronterre said:

Well done, good decision and lovely machine. I made the same transition from Classic to Mara last summer but mine doesn't have the nice wooden handles. I'm no expert, and the guide they include in the box will tell you more than I can, but I have few observations:
- Once you've dialled in the grinder to get the pressure up or down to around 9 bar, the extraction seems to automatically revert to around the desired 25 seconds. (These approximations are good enough for me).Remember your Mignon will retain some beans so changes will affect the shot after next.
- Trying to estimate the weight of the ground coffee by eye or relying on the timer on your Mignon leads to wide variations in my experience. Your eye may be better, but I use a scale (you may be doing this already).
- I don't weigh the liquid shot, bc my nose and taste buds aren't refined enough to tell the difference.
- If you like milk drinks, the Mara is much quicker than the Classic, so I use a stick-on thermometer on my milk jug to avoid overheating.
- If for reasons beyond our scope, you're temporarily reducing all transactions and you have to use supermarket beans, the common standard of 18g of ground coffee is much too much for these beans imo.

Obviously, all this advice is from a non-expert, so if they don't suit you that's fine. I hope you continue to enjoy your lovely machine!

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 

Best I managed before was a shot which took around 35 seconds. Taste wasn’t great, so there’s definitely work to do. I’m also using 18g, I’ve got myself some Acaia scales to make sure I’m right on that. Milk drinks will follow, that’s my wife’s preference. This weekend I’ll be working on that, it’s tough at the moment because my wife is working from home and I’m off this week while some contractual stuff is sorted at work (I’m a contractor who is currently in the process of frantically renegotiating an extension in light of IR35 being kicked down the road) which means I have my one year old boy running around my feet - not ideal when trying to geek out over my new toy!!

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2 hours ago, Mark70 said:

I have been using mine for just over a month and love it

Really easy to use especially if you follow the guide from #davecuk. 

Shower screen was hard to get out first time but after that no problem and it’s cleaned weekly

I have it on a smart plug so it’s ready when I get up in the mornings 

Im running it in bottled water as I’m in a hard water area and that’s my only concern.  I have about 6 weeks supply at the moment and may switch to a Zero Water jug mixed with tap as it runs out  On average I am using about 1 to 1.5 litres per day with six usually milky drinks
 

I have tried quite a few beans the only ones I did not like were supermarket beans bought as I ran out.  Have a look at a sub from Django every one has been superb to my novice tastes and very reasonably priced

Superb machine I think
 

no idea why the picture is upside down or how to correct it sorry 

30824F12-0072-49F9-9DBF-93C188E54906.jpeg

I have the same issue with water. I live in Aylesbury, so we have the Chilterns to contend with so I’m using volvic. I have read through Dave’s reviews of the machine, I’ll probably study some more this evening. May steal that smart plug idea too!! Django is a good shout, had some of their beans in the past and they were great.

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Posted (edited)
On 24/03/2020 at 16:14, Mark70 said:

Really easy to use especially if you follow the guide from #davecuk. 

I have it on a smart plug so it’s ready when I get up in the mornings 

Im running it in bottled water as I’m in a hard water area and that’s my only concern.  I have about 6 weeks supply at the moment and may switch to a Zero Water jug mixed with tap as it runs out  On average I am using about 1 to 1.5 litres per day with six usually milky drinks

no idea why the picture is upside down or how to correct it sorry - 🙂

 

Agree with Dave's guide, also have mine on a smart plug and it's great to turn it on remotely from where ever you are.

I used bottled water for the first month, but moved onto the Osmio, not looked back since.

(your picture corrected)

30824F12-0072-49F9-9DBF-93C188E54906.jpeg.589975fc70497d3695856f45047aa7d0.jpeg

Edited by hubcap

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Anyone got any tips on maintaining? I've now had it a week, I do want to really keep on top of it and if that means weekly cleaning of shower screen or whatever, then I'm all in. 

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I'm gonna have to reread this guide....can't remember what I wrote now. Can't even remember if it's the updated version using weights rather than volumes for the espresso shots.

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I feel like I’m now starting to get to grips with my setup and I’m getting some nice results even if I feel like I’m more stumbling upon being dialled in. I got one batch of beans to a good place, but it took me a while and I didn’t have that much left to really enjoy it, then I loaded up with a new batch from The Barn and the same settings were pretty awful. I spent a morning fiddling around and just couldn’t get it right, then later that day a naked portafilter I had ordered turned up. I used it this morning without making any changes other to my grinder, but I was also using a VST basket for the first time (it had been waiting as it wouldn’t fit in the portafilter I was originally using) and instantly the results were tasting pretty much spot on. 20g coffee, produced 40g espresso in about 28 seconds when I timed it. 

Edited by Hexagram
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