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Stilly
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It’s not often that I forget that I’ve ordered something and it shows up as a surprise. 
 

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Apart from the fact that DPD have manhandled it, it seems very nice. I was going to cancel my preorder because the video he made about it recently sounded really boring, but it looks like there’s plenty in there I’d like to see. 

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This Sage Espresso machine is so far proving to be a very sound investment. Much better espresso*, and significantly better milk frothing capability.**

 

*I can play with different doses and ratios, something I didn't know I'd enjoy experimenting with until I could. :)

**It really can't be overstated how good the steam wand is on this Sage compared to my old Delonghi, really smooth microfoam that melds with espresso to make delicious flat whites that put to shame anything I've had from the likes of Starbucks and Costa. 

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Just back from a trip to Cornwall and was in the area so went in to Origin's main roastery site, which has a shop and cafe attached. 

 

Not that exciting as it's a working site and you can see in thru the big doors what is going on, whole area has a sort of smouldering burn smell, not really like coffee.

 

Main advantage to going in is that although they sell all the same beans on their site you can buy bags as small as 100g so wen a bit experimental and tried a few fruity ones I wouldn't risk a whole bag of, as normally head towards the mid roast choc/nut tasting notes.

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Yeah, they do. I don’t quite understand why specialty coffee seems to correlate so closely with hipsterism, though. 

 

They have a nice little shop in london too but I found their staff to be quite pretentious, which again, seems to be a bit of an issue with decent coffee shops, unfortunately.

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I think it's the whole '3rd wave' coffee thing out of places like San Francisco & the East End trendy spots - coffee culture was super popular with the growth of Starbucks & Costa (amongst others of course) but whilst the trendies liked the environments they didn't like the big corporate vibe or lack or the fact the actual product was pretty poor.

 

So they just did it all themselves with the plethora of roasters and cafes now seen anywhere 'cool'

 

As somebody who doesn't use the cafes at all I can live with the OTT coolness/snottiness of it all as the actual beans are just so interesting now, and whilst the language and social media from roasters you like can get on your nerves once past that it's all good for me.

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I've been experimenting with my Sage Bambino, I've made some lovely coffees, and some truly horrendous ones. I've noticed I fair better with darker roasted beans, any kind of light roast gets under-extracted. I've also had to experiment with different milks because since getting this machine and drinking loads of flat whites and lattes, I've had some serious gut issues which disappeared when I stopped with the milk. I've tried oat milk and coconut. I don't rate the coconut at all, and while I wasn't keen on the oat milk at first, today I made a flat white with it which really was rather nice. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I’ve ended up buying one of these during the Amazon Early Access… not even sure I have the space for it in the kitchen but I’ve ordered it so let’s see what happens.

 

Does anyone have a bean to coffee machine already and can give any tips? I’ve watched some YouTube vids and it seems easy enough… also any bean recommendations?

 

 

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@Indy @ S.E. my advice on beans isn’t a specific brand but learn the language used to describe them, as always James Hoffman has a great vid on the subject.

 

It’s all dressed up but essentially boils down to bitterness, choc/nut tastes, acidity fruit/floral - once you know what you like its much easier to zone in ones you’re more likely to enjoy.

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Thanks for the posts, I watch a few more videos and I think just to get the hang of it I’ll buy some ‘standard’ beans to just get used to using the machine, all the videos I’ve seen so far mention that there will be a lot of wastage to find the sweet spot. That way the experimentation to find the right balance won’t be too expensive.

 

The brewed coffee compass is very interesting, I’m gonna look into that in a bit more detail as well as some of the videos from the links and people recommended.

 

It’s coming on the 25th so plenty of time to get myself familiarised with what to do.

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19 hours ago, Indy @ S.E. said:

 

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I've got one of those. They're great for getting used to experimenting with different grinds, extractions, coffee art, bottomless portafilters etc. 

 

You'll want some of these descaler tablets for the monthly descale. The 'clean me' light will come on. Turn the machine off. In your portafilter, put one of the single basket filters in and pop the black plastic dish on top, with one of the tables on top. Insert it into the machine on the right hand side. Then keep your finger down on the 2 right hand buttons (single and double cup) and press the in button. Give me a shout if you get stuck; think the instructions might explain the process though. The descaler tablets are also great for cleaning the milk frother if you find it gets clogged up with milk. 

 

I've also replaced the filter in the water section with these. Much cheaper than Sage's offerings and was advised by loads of people in a Sage group to do so. 

 

You'll probably want to buy a knock box too, unless you bought one alongside the machine. 

 

There's a great Sage Barista Tool Set which occasionally pops up on ebay that has loads of useful items. Worth keeping an eye out for. 

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It has arrived, 4 days early. Should be good news but it was delivered when the mrs was home so there was some swift explaining to do!

 

Put it in its designated location and set it all up, just need to go and buy some beans tomorrow and start giving it a go.

 

Hype mode set for the weekend, something to distract me from work!

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OK, just had the first inaugural blast on the machine.

 

Set up the grind and amount dials to be in the middle, changed the portafilter to the single size one and then did everything for single shot. The flow looked alright but there was nowhere near enough coffee that came out so making a regular americano out of that doesn't really taste that great at all.

 

Got some work to finish up but will spend a few goes just messing about with the dials to find the perfect balance. Using beans I grabbed from the Co-Op so they may be a cause but I very much doubt its anything other than me haha.

 

The third wave coffee journey begins!

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Hmmm so this is a bit trickier than expected.

 

Made half a dozen or so cups now all with alternative settings and none have really been what I’d call great, I’m only getting about 7-8 seconds of pour using the single measure in the portafilter and pouring a single shot.

 

Will probably spend some time tomorrow evening bashing out multiple cups just flying find the sweet spot as I’m currently getting nothing like what I’d like.

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I found making a decent espresso at home so infuriating and I wasted so much expensive beans, I just gave up in the end and sold my machine.  I still have my Sage Precision Brewer and V60 which are paired with a good grinder, and that allows me to enjoy delicious filter coffee.  
 

if I ever did want to have espresso based drinks, I think I would just buy a decent bean to cup machine again, as to be honest espresso isn’t my favourite style of coffee and my stomach can’t tolerate more than one milky coffee drink a day anyway.

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11 hours ago, Indy @ S.E. said:

Hmmm so this is a bit trickier than expected.

 

Made half a dozen or so cups now all with alternative settings and none have really been what I’d call great, I’m only getting about 7-8 seconds of pour using the single measure in the portafilter and pouring a single shot.

 

Will probably spend some time tomorrow evening bashing out multiple cups just flying find the sweet spot as I’m currently getting nothing like what I’d like.

First bit of advice I'd give you is to do a (free) Sage Masterclass. All done online and you use your Barista at the same time as the trainer runs you through everything. Hugely useful and really helps you to get to grips with the machine. Here's the link. In addition, I think they send you through a 20% off Sage code as well. 

 

If you have Facebook, well worth joining 'Sage Coffee Machine Owners Group' and asking a load of questions as there. It's a really useful group, patient members and excellent advice given. 

 

You know you can reprogram the single and double buttons so they can run for longer? 

 

I've always found that if you weigh your input and output, whilst keeping your eye on the pour time, this is the easiest way to tinker with things to get decent shots. Lance Hendrick and Hoffman on Youtube are very useful for extraction theory/techniques. 

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Ahh that Sage masterclass thing is a brilliant idea, that would really help so thanks for that.

 

I would've reprogrammed but I'll wait for that masterclass before trying to reprogramme things, I've watched a few youtube videos now but think I just need to do multiple goes to check rather than doing one, drinking it then trying again a few hours later.

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1 hour ago, milko said:

I'm not convinced single-shot baskets are worth bothering with. Maybe they work better on those Sage things.

I only ever use the double-shot with mine. Needle distributors are also really useful but overkill unless you're comfortable with your machine. 

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