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Don't be put off making espresso at home because a man on youtube says so!

I've got a Gaggia Baby Classic which I picked up for £40 and a Gaggia Grinder which I was given and I can make espresso which tastes, to me, better than I'd get from Costa or Starbucks.

But then, that's because I'm selecting beans, taking time and care to prepare it and dialling it in to my exact tastes.

Yeah, It's not going to be amazing for someone who is used to putting that same time and effort in with the freshest beans and the most expensive equipment but it's still a world away from an aeropress or a mokka pot because it's a different method and produces a more intense coffee.

It's not as good as an average train station espresso in Italy, but it's good, and once you've added milk you're not going to be missing much.

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1 hour ago, HarryBizzle said:

It’s fairly telling that he doesn’t do espresso at home himself. 

It's kinda weird for a world barista champion, or perhaps not. Maybe it's the last thing he wants to do after having spent so much time perfecting it. Still weird. 

 

1 hour ago, HarryBizzle said:

It’s fairly telling that he doesn’t do espresso at home himself. 
 

But if you really want a good Americano, why not go down the filter route instead? A clever dripper or V60 will produce a slightly cleaner cup than your Aeropress and I think the clever might be close to the perfect way to brew non-espresso coffee. 

I came from a variety of filter devices prior to the Aeropress and thought the Aeropress coffee was a significant improvement, but who knows. Haven't tried the clever dripper though, are you liking it? What else do you use? I'll see what this bean to cup gives me and go from there.

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I imagine he has access to espresso stuff at pretty much any of his places of work, so maybe not that odd to not have it at home. He’s also mentioned something about wanting to be able to test the coffee they roast on big standard equipment - I think he quite happily used the Wilfa grinder at home for ages. 
 

As for coffee stuff, I’ve got an Aeropress, V60 and Clever. I bought the Clever because I thought it would be easier to use without a scale than the aeropress. I’m not a huge fan of the V60 as it’s a bit fiddly to brew. 
 

The Clever is good. Quite a forgiving brewer and produces a very clean cup. But I think the advantages over an inverted Aeropress method are pretty slim - mainly just the cleaner cup and that it’s a bit more forgiving. 

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Well, wasn't expecting that. I'm genuinely shocked at the quality of the coffee from this DeLonghi bean to cup machine. Chucked in some of my favourite Algerian Coffee Stores beans, pressed a button and wham! Stunning coffee. Can't recommend it enough. I can't even understand why there was zero silt at the bottom of the cup.

 

DeLonghi.thumb.jpg.51a325825d2648f56b72fdcee6d661f3.jpg

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I thought I'd shook off the coffee bug/phase years ago having bought a Sage Dual Boiler (which I fairly quickly sold on) and getting obsessed with espresso for a bit, but damn it Hoffman has been tempting me for months to get some gear and give up my simple life of Nespresso pods, finally he's won. 

 

Got a clever dripper as seemed a good compromise of price/space taken up and not needing to be super obsessive about things. Have an American press I really like the coffee from but again its a little bit of faff to use and get the grounds at the optimal size. Clever dripper and papers seemed more forgiving.

 

Makes a delicious brew using his method of water first then lob the coffee in - so clean. 

 

I've been using some Union House Blend ground for cafetière, not going to be self grinding. Any recomendations for excellent smooth all round blends like this - I always think blends are safer and I don't end up with loads of packs of barely used coffee. My dad always said that with whiskey, but he settled on Jonnie Walker Blue so wasn't exactly slumming it with Bells.

 

I'd say I don't like over floral (like Ethiopian beans have tasted to me in the past) or overly roasted car tyre tasting brews so be grateful for any recommendations.

 

Bonus too as I was looking round upstairs as thought I had an unused coffee scale, turns out I'd really gone all in and had a boxed fresh totally unused Acaia Pearl scales, which seem to go for about £170 !

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1 hour ago, Gotters said:

I thought I'd shook off the coffee bug/phase years ago having bought a Sage Dual Boiler (which I fairly quickly sold on) and getting obsessed with espresso for a bit, but damn it Hoffman has been tempting me for months to get some gear and give up my simple life of Nespresso pods, finally he's won. 

 

Got a clever dripper as seemed a good compromise of price/space taken up and not needing to be super obsessive about things. Have an American press I really like the coffee from but again its a little bit of faff to use and get the grounds at the optimal size. Clever dripper and papers seemed more forgiving.

 

Makes a delicious brew using his method of water first then lob the coffee in - so clean. 

 

I've been using some Union House Blend ground for cafetière, not going to be self grinding. Any recomendations for excellent smooth all round blends like this - I always think blends are safer and I don't end up with loads of packs of barely used coffee. My dad always said that with whiskey, but he settled on Jonnie Walker Blue so wasn't exactly slumming it with Bells.

 

I'd say I don't like over floral (like Ethiopian beans have tasted to me in the past) or overly roasted car tyre tasting brews so be grateful for any recommendations.

 

Bonus too as I was looking round upstairs as thought I had an unused coffee scale, turns out I'd really gone all in and had a boxed fresh totally unused Acaia Pearl scales, which seem to go for about £170 !

 

 

It's not a blend, but Pact's most popular coffee is Planalto and it really is very good. Pretty much exactly what I think of when I think of a classical cup of good coffee. Really well rounded. I like trying different coffees with every bag, but it's a coffee I could drink it forever if I wanted to stick to just one.

 

I think they're still doing £5 off your first bag with a referral code if you're interested, which makes a bag about £3.

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Square Mile, all the way. While I've not spent a lot of time shopping around whenever I have gotten any coffee that wasn't Square Mile beans they've never been quite as good to my tastes. 

 

They don't hold roasted stock as far as I'm aware, because they roast as they receive orders. I'm sure other companies can say the same of course but that is an important thing. I'm sure fancy supermarket beans probably wouldn't be bad if not for the fact that they probably got roasted months ago.  It really does make a difference.

 

 My old company has Square Mile as a client so I'm a little biased but they were always a lovely bunch of people. They are expensive though.

 

I don't know that they're the best, I don't know that cheaper alternatives aren't as good quality or taste as good but they're certainly worth trying.

 

They recently changed to letterbox sized packaging. Which is fine, but I actually miss the old boxes (they're so useful for things like batteries and bits and bobs) they used to ship in - especially considering I'm in all the time. I expect my postie prefers this though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’ve bought an aeropress. Flippin’ hell it’s brilliant. I’d heard great things, I’m really enjoying experimenting with it. No idea what I’m doing and I can’t have more than two coffees before I start to shake like a shitting dog, but none the less. Great stuff. 
 

I just made this flat white sort of thing. I don’t know what it is. T’was nice though. 

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@Spoonman Did you manage to find a replacement for your Sette? I broke the hopper on my grinder and until I found the replacement part, was talking myself into spending far too much on a Niche Zero.

 

I was also looking at this: https://www.bellabarista.co.uk/the-solo-single-dose-grinder-metallic-black.html

 

But they've jumped the price up by 100 quid, probably off the back of James Hoffmann saying he's reviewing it, and it's nowhere near as aesthetically pleasing as the Niche.

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32 minutes ago, HarryBizzle said:

@Spoonman Did you manage to find a replacement for your Sette? I broke the hopper on my grinder and until I found the replacement part, was talking myself into spending far too much on a Niche Zero.

 

I was also looking at this: https://www.bellabarista.co.uk/the-solo-single-dose-grinder-metallic-black.html

 

But they've jumped the price up by 100 quid, probably off the back of James Hoffmann saying he's reviewing it, and it's nowhere near as aesthetically pleasing as the Niche.

 

After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing, I managed to get a "free" gearbox from Baratza (actually, in Germany, their distributor sent me a gearbox for free, after i had to make a song and dance, but charged me 5 euro postage). The gearbox is about 40 euros. Replacement was easy, and the machine was quieter than ever, and worked great.

 

However, I listed it on the local small ads immediately, and within days had a buyer. Being as it has a new gearbox, I am sure the new buyer will have many years of trouble free use, and I said that if there's a problem in the first year, just let me know.

 

The instant that money was in my paypal, I ordered my new grinder. It was with me within 2 days, shipped directly from Italy.

 

TQk5yr1.jpg Tk6I54E.jpeg

 

It takes twice as long, but is ridiculously quiet, and makes great coffee from beans that really always proved a real hassle with the Sette (resulting in a bitter coffee).

 

I couldn't wait for a niche, maybe one day in the future. Until then, the Eureka Mignon is serving me very well. In fact, off to use it now!

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I’m using the method James Hoffman highlighted as his preferred method for the clever dripper and its been a revelation

 

Only used Union House blend so far but I can’t drink a nespresso pod now and my morning tea tastes like shite too - the coffee is just so flavour packed and clean - closest I’ve ever got to the taste being as good as the smell.

 

Got some posher grounds coming with the Pact recommended above and a couple of brews from Spiller & Tait. Looked at Square Mile but seems they’re whole bean only

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I think it's great that jimmbob got an Aeropress and is enjoying it but they should stop drinking out of jam jars. 

 

 

Moving on, what's the correct temperature for foaming milk? I bought a foamer and I just assumed pressing go on the foaming programme would be fine but it's got a second layer of settings for temperature. 

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7 minutes ago, bear said:

I think it's great that jimmbob got an Aeropress and is enjoying it but they should stop drinking out of jam jars. 

 

 You are of course absolutely right. :lol:  

 In my defence I wanted to see what was going on when you “plunged”.
Plus it’s a perfect size, and, unlike every other cup in the house it isn’t on the floor of my daughter’s bedroom creating it’s own eco system. But yes, lesson learned. 


 

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5 hours ago, HarryBizzle said:

Very nice. Is that 12.0 on the display grams or seconds?

 

12 seconds. i did measure the grams but forget. about 14 i guess. the Sette was about twice as fast, but over twice as loud, it grinds you down each morning for 2 years, excuse the pun.

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2 hours ago, bear said:

Moving on, what's the correct temperature for foaming milk? I bought a foamer and I just assumed pressing go on the foaming programme would be fine but it's got a second layer of settings for temperature. 

 

I've read 55 - 62C.

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So I got a Mara X. I feel a bit like I have taken a leave of my senses buying such an expensive machine. This hit home when my dad said to me "So what does it actually do?" and all I could say was "make coffee and heat milk".

 

Still it's a nice treat after a stressful house move. It looks great on the counter and has made some great coffee. The flat whites come out as good as any local coffee shop is doing. I need to practice doing the milk and getting latte art but it's tasting great. I also need to spend a bit more time trying different grinds and weights. The thing just pours hot water until you pull the lever back down, so I'm weighing the espresso but I rather like the manual approach. It's a joy to use.

 

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Not feeling the Pact Planalto yet - it seems very 'thin' and despite ordering the coarse grind for the clever dripper as recommended it clogs on the brew every time (I'm not convinced they've got the grind right, it looks quite small), I'm doing the standard Hoffman ratios of 250ml to 15g of coffee so not piling loads in. 

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On 25/03/2021 at 11:07, HarryBizzle said:

You can't really fault him.

Except for his American Press review, where he didn't read the instructions or watch any of the official videos, tried to guess how to use it ("I guess I push this down?"), made two cups of weak coffee and declared the thing a dud. First video of his I saw, and as someone enjoying using an American Press correctly, it put me off his channel for life.

 

On a good coffee groove at the moment. Getting York Coffee Emporium's The Ninth blend as beans, and using my old Kyocera CM-45 hand-grinder to take it to french-press levels of coarseness. Two bodum scoops of beans is just right for one big mug of coffee done in the American Press, and with the relatively coarse grind can be done in about a minute. I was drinking pre-ground black previously, but this blend seems better with milk.

 

Just to prove I'm on a good groove, I used my last two scoops of beans this morning, and my new 500g bag arrived just before lunch. Aw yeah.

 

Our cheap kettle just packed up, so we've ordered a fancy Bosch one with selectable temperature, looking forward to finding the sweet spot for my coffee.

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4 hours ago, HarryBizzle said:

If it doesn't taste bitter (over extracted) or sour (under), then the issue might be the dose. I normally use about 16g or 17g of it for 250mL.

 

The other thing will be to check how they brew their Clever, as their grind size will fit their brew method:

 

https://www.pactcoffee.com/brew-guides/cleverdripper

 

Having a quick look at that, they seem to do 3 mins.

 

ta, don't think a gram or so will make that much difference, and they say in that link that 500ml will take a minute to drain thru, I'm seeing it stall and plug up at about 1m 30s so convinced the grind is wrong. Only thing I do different is the Hoffman technique of going water/coffee which he says makes it drain faster.

 

@Alexlotl totally agreed that Hoffman screwed up the American Press review - he assumed he knew how to use it and didn't. 

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I don’t think he’s never wrong, just that his videos are generally good and despite the monetisation, he doesn’t feel like he’s trying to sell you something, like pretty much every other YouTuber out there. I think he completely missed the point of the Aeropress Go, too. 

 

@Gotters You might be surprised how much a gram here or there can increase the strength of a cup. And the grind might be wrong, but you've got no way to change it, so you're limited to playing with other variables. Is your water straight off the boil? Hotter water tends to lead to a quicker draw down.

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thread's got me thinking about briping again. God, just picturing the look on friends' faces if you casually got that shit out and started boiling it up with the massive lighter. $60 + shipping is really quite a lot of money for a joke though, even if it is a hilarious one.

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On 15/04/2021 at 16:16, HarryBizzle said:

 

@Gotters You might be surprised how much a gram here or there can increase the strength of a cup. And the grind might be wrong, but you've got no way to change it, so you're limited to playing with other variables. Is your water straight off the boil? Hotter water tends to lead to a quicker draw down.

 

I compared the PACT stuff visually to other cafetière packs I have and its deffo too fine, looks like espresso to me. That plus the fact I consistently get 1m drawdown brews from everything else and this clogs at around the 1m30s mark - PACT were very good and sending out a replacement straight away.

 

The Spiller & Tait house blend was very good - need to tweak a little as its quite strong but lovely flavour and mouthfeel from the first cup. 

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On 15/04/2021 at 13:20, Alexlotl said:

Our cheap kettle just packed up, so we've ordered a fancy Bosch one with selectable temperature

 

Do you have a link? I use a Bosch one that does 70, 80, 90C and boil obv. I really like it and it's super quick but I find myself wanting 85C (:rolleyes: I know) so just wondering if the one you've ordered has more choice.

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On 11/04/2021 at 15:02, Blue said:

 

I've read 55 - 62C.

Cheers. It defaults to 65⁰C but the results were a bit lacking at that temp. Dropping it to down to 60⁰C worked noticeably better. 

 

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23 hours ago, Blue said:

 

Do you have a link? I use a Bosch one that does 70, 80, 90C and boil obv. I really like it and it's super quick but I find myself wanting 85C (:rolleyes: I know) so just wondering if the one you've ordered has more choice.

Nope, I think my new one is probably the same as the one you already have. 

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