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On 15/07/2022 at 20:17, Mike said:

Hello

My anniversary is coming up, my partner and I have decided that rather than get each other things we might not want, we’re going to get ourselves a bean to cup coffee machine.  Having just moved house, we’re on a bit of a budget.

Been looking at This one on Amazon but was wondering if there is one recommended at around that price (currently on sale for £300.

Would want a steam arm on it too.

That machine is not really what I would call true "bean to cup" as its not fully automated.  It's really a grinder and an espresso machine combined in the one package and you need to manually transfer the portafilter between the '2 halves' and tamp the coffee each time.  There's nothing wrong with that, it's just more work but also more flexibility/ control than a fully automated bean to cup. More scope to make a great cup but also to make a duff one! 😆

No experience of the specific machine you link to but it's probably fine.

 

In terms of other suggestions, I have the De'Longhi Magnifica: https://www.amazon.co.uk/DeLonghi-Magnifica-ESAM-4200-S-Silver/dp/B001EOMZ5E which seems to be a very popular/ common entry level fully automated bean to cup.  It's been going strong for almost 8 years now with daily use.  I do maintain it periodically with descaling, regreasing etc.  I almost never use the steam wand but as its straight it probably is a little less convenient to use than the angled one on machines like the one you linked to.  For steaming you'll want to buy a metal jug and milk thermometer too, cheap ones will be absolutely fine

The current Amazon price on the De'Longhi seems a little high as its typically been available around the £275 mark.

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On 18/07/2022 at 16:55, HarryBizzle said:

Anyone making iced coffee at the mo? I’m doing 22g/200g/100g of coffee/water/ice and brewing in a clever, a few clicks finer than I would normally would. I don’t think the Clever is well suited to brewing with less water, though, and might switch to the aeropress. 
 

But I’m getting good results. Have also started adding a teaspoon of sugar and it’s really quite tasty. 

 

I've been cold-brewing in one of these things

https://www.rivers.co.jp/en/product/wallmug-bearl-cold-brew/

 

I pretty much freestyle an amount of coffee into it (probably a bit less than a portafilter's worth usually) and then fill with water and stick it in the fridge. Chuck the results over some ice and it's always good - I've started adding a splash of milk sometimes but no sugar.

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I've not tried any coldbrew myself - main reason is I don't have room in the fridge, but also I find coldbrew often ends up tasting the same - which is a good thing in many ways, but brewing fresh onto ice retains a lot of a coffee's character so I generally prefer it.

 

I didn't even want the kettle on yesterday, but will probably give the aeropress a go today, probably a similar 200mL onto 100g ice.

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ha, I could mess with going fresh I suppose but the lack of variation is a plus for me at the moment. Everything so much effort in this heat. Maybe soon!

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I've got a hario cold brewer that I bought ages ago and have probably only used 2 or 3 times. 😆

51n+avVSKPL._AC_SX679_.jpg

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00IJ3O0Y2

 

The coffee was ok and seemed smoother than my usual espresso or aeropress based drinks but it uses masses more coffee and the output wasn't 'special' enough to bother with the time taken and fridge space & extra beans used.

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James Hoffmann has a pretty good video guide to iced coffee, but if you have something to make filter with, like the aeropress, I'd definitely give it a go. Very different to cold brew.

 

Basically you want about 30 or 40% of the final brew as ice which you brew onto. You want to grind a bit more coffee (because cold mutes flavour and when you add more ice it will dilute it a bit), grind a bit finer (because you're using less water) and that's about it.

 

The "brew ice" melts when you brew the hot coffee onto it and then you chuck some more ice in to get it super cold and you're good to go.

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So today the doctor gave me the news no one wants to hear…. I have to cut out caffeine for 2 weeks :o

 

I had a quick look in Waitrose on the way home and there are a few caffeine free beans but they are all weak strength on the old guide (Lavazza 3 vs the 5 I have as a daily coffee) so can anyone recommend a decent caffeine free bean? Im hoping they have come on leaps and bounds and are barely different these days….. 😭

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On 27/07/2022 at 14:25, Shimmyhill said:

So today the doctor gave me the news no one wants to hear…. I have to cut out caffeine for 2 weeks :o

 

I had a quick look in Waitrose on the way home and there are a few caffeine free beans but they are all weak strength on the old guide (Lavazza 3 vs the 5 I have as a daily coffee) so can anyone recommend a decent caffeine free bean? Im hoping they have come on leaps and bounds and are barely different these days….. 😭

 

Pricey but square mile decaff is good. Really good. If its for two weeks, I'd say push the boat out! It's an espresso roast so should be comparable to whatever 5 means. 

 

I bought some when I got my new coffee machine so I could enjoy evening espresso, eg after a meal. 

 

https://shop.squaremilecoffee.com/products/decaf-espresso

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Evening coffee kids. 
I’m about to run out of my current batch of Brown Bear Mount Kenya which I must say I rather like. 
It’s mid strength and I guess mid cost at about 20 quid a kg. 
I’d like to try something else but could do with a suggestion or two. Not looking for stronger, just lovelier 🙂  

Up to say 25 or 30 quid for the beans. 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
1 hour ago, HarryBizzle said:

Does anyone have an existing account with Hasbean, and if so, could I have a referral code, please? Want to set up a sub with them.

Here ya go. Says you get £5 off and I get free delivery

 

https://i.refs.cc/enCvNljM?smile_ref=eyJzbWlsZV9zb3VyY2UiOiJzbWlsZV91aSIsInNtaWxlX21lZGl1bSI6IiIsInNtaWxlX2NhbXBhaWduIjoicmVmZXJyYWxfcHJvZ3JhbSIsInNtaWxlX2N1c3RvbWVyX2lkIjo3MjU0MjQ4MDl9

 

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32 minutes ago, Hawklord said:


Thanks. It generated a code but it doesn’t work. Have dropped them a message and hopefully they’ll sort it out. 

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20 minutes ago, HarryBizzle said:


Thanks. It generated a code but it doesn’t work. Have dropped them a message and hopefully they’ll sort it out. 

Strange, copied direct from the rewards page. I can try the email version if you like?

 

image.png.99dbb3181f21015413dad12ce1e1d3ca.png

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Hawklord said:

Strange, copied direct from the rewards page. I can try the email version if you like?

 

image.png.99dbb3181f21015413dad12ce1e1d3ca.png

 

 

 

 


The link worked, and emailed me a code to input in the website, but that brings up an error.

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3 hours ago, Hawklord said:

Gotcha, let me know if they sort it out


Turns out it doesn’t work on subscriptions, so I just bought a bag instead and will set up the sub separately. Thanks, though. Hopefully you should get the referral thing through. 

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20 minutes ago, HarryBizzle said:


Turns out it doesn’t work on subscriptions, so I just bought a bag instead and will set up the sub separately. Thanks, though. Hopefully you should get the referral thing through. 

No worries, cheers :) 

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My Hasbean order still hasn’t arrived, which is quite annoying, but I picked up some coffee from Faculty Coffee in Birmingham roasted by Round Hill Coffee, which I’ve not heard of before and it’s good stuff:  https://roundhillroastery.com/collections/coffee

 

I tried quite a few different coffee places in Birmingham and it seems a bit poor on the specialty front, particularly if you like Filter, but Faculty is excellent and I’ll definitely be back there. Tilt is good too, if you like espresso based stuff. 
 

And if anyone’s ever in Edinburgh, definitely check out Cairngorm Coffee. I think they have a couple of places but the one on Queenferry Street really impressed. Their batch brew is a bit of a showcase and therefore excellent, rather than the afterthought it often is elsewhere. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been using a Delonghi B2C machine for about 6 or 7 years now, and I feel it's time for something higher quality, where I'm more involved in the "ritual" of making the coffee. So I'm leaning toward a Gaggia Classic Pro. Any thoughts? Also, any thoughts on a reasonably priced grinder?

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Looks like time to hit the James Hoffman videos.

 

All I'd say is the don't think of the grinder as an afterthought and take your total budget and work out how much you want to assign to each bit. But there is no point getting a great brewing machine and a grinder which won't help you get the best out of it, they work in tandem and the accepted wisdom now is the grinder & quality/consistency of grinds is pretty important to getting a good cup and replicating it. 

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3 hours ago, Thor said:

I've been using a Delonghi B2C machine for about 6 or 7 years now, and I feel it's time for something higher quality, where I'm more involved in the "ritual" of making the coffee. So I'm leaning toward a Gaggia Classic Pro. Any thoughts? Also, any thoughts on a reasonably priced grinder?

 

What sort of coffee does the Delonghi make? Is it filter style or is it some sort of Espresso? 

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On 08/09/2022 at 13:18, Gotters said:

Looks like time to hit the James Hoffman videos.

 

Which is exactly what I did...

 

 

That sold me on the Sage Bambino Plus - no need to mod, no fucking about with "temperature surfing" (fucking fuck that!) and amazing options for steaming milk. My current Delonghi has the same steam "wand" as the one Hoffman reviews, I can tell you now it's a piece of shit and the reason I just stuck with espressos from it.

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52350024419_a37a7831f1_h.jpg

 

Thanks guys for the tip on a getting a decent grinder. I have spent almost the entire afternoon dialling in a grind, and I have consumed FAR too much espresso that I am now wired as fucking all fuck!! 🤪 I made a proper mess, and midway through my testing I realised I was using the wrong basket. :facepalm: But after getting an espresso I was reasonably happy with (and definitely better than my old Delonghi), I decided to test the steam wand. By this point I could not be arsed to try manual steaming so just let it do its thing, and you know what? It turned out great. I made a latte that tasted as good as anything from a coffee shop, albeit without the coffee art. I had to tip most of it away because by this point I was sick of coffee! 

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That’s the same grinder I have. Paid £99 in 2019. RRP is £170 now!

 

I think the one up from (smart grinder pro) that was like £150 back then. But the burrs are the same. 
 

Makes good coffee. I’ve thought about buying a Niche Zero but honestly have no complaints about the results from this so haven’t bothered. 

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At the other end of the price scale, I’ve been playing with this lot for the last week:

 

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Rather amazingly, we got this lot for free - the Gaggia from a friend who is moving cities and downsizing a lot, and the Krups grinder from the recycling group at my wife’s work.

 

The machine is a 2011 Gaggia Classic, with an aluminium boiler and 3-way solenoid valve. It seems to have been well looked after, and occasionally descaled, and is flowing well. I’ve bought some Puly Caf powder and a blanking disc to try backflushing it, and some descaler powder, but right now it’s not broken so I’m in no rush to fix it.

 

The grinder is the Krups GVX231 - burr based, but not conical burrs. It’s okay, although the noise scares the bejesus out of the cats and it’s a bit of a pain having to load the filter basket with a teaspoon.

 

Coffee-wise, I’m sticking to the pressurised basket for now, and getting good cups. People do use these with unpressurised baskets, but it sounds like I’d need a much better grinder for that. I haven’t quite got the hang of the steam wand yet - I’m getting decent smooth micro foam, but need that little bit of macro foam on top for drawing at the end.

 

It’s good fun! Years ago in NZ I worked at a coding shop which had a 3 group head professional coffee machine and a pro grinder, and got pretty decent at making a flat white. Looking forward to getting those skills back. 

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