Siliconslave's how to make espresso thread

Caporegime
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Does anyone use a Puck screen? Finding its doing a better job of control channeling and keeping the head all nice and clean. But how do people go about cleaning it/removing it. Currently I'm knocking it out into my Puck bin thing and then fishing it out. Am I missing a trick?

I use one, i think it works and it's great.

Yes, fishing it out is part and parcel of the routine. I do try to tap it out in between the bar and the edge of the knock box though so it lands at the top lol. works 50/50.

As to how to clean it, I use the same stuff i clean inside my machine with.


a tea spoon of this into a little bowl, hot water to dissolve, then leave the puck screen in there for 20mins. I do it once a week.
 
Soldato
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Don't know if anyone has seen this yet - but Lance Hedrick has done a prototype/concept dual boiler with Breville (Sage). Doesn't sound like it's going to be on sale any time soon - but a really interesting evolution of their existing machine:
yes that's cool - I'd like to have seen what the internal mods and shoe-horned pump look like, a rotary pump does sound good, versus vibratory (like an inline 6, or supercharger)
even for standard pump on sage (& mine i guess) can mod a dimmer on the pump circuit, but you'd have to modulate the pressure yourself watching the guage.
I'd have thought he might run the pump at full wack and let an electrically controlled opv control the pressure.

Post acquisition , sage has access to lelit tech now, so maybe they'll make them more programmable.

I get through it in about 2 weeks. Is it amazing? Not really, but I don’t have the space to keep a grinder at work and not going to be very good look if my boss catches me grinding coffee by hand every morning instead of working.
you don't grind it every few days with your Niche at home - I've ground some packets of coffee for friends in the past, they had some gifted blue mountain
 
Soldato
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Don't know if anyone has seen this yet - but Lance Hedrick has done a prototype/concept dual boiler with Breville (Sage). Doesn't sound like it's going to be on sale any time soon - but a really interesting evolution of their existing machine:
I'd like to have seen what the internal mods and shoe-horned pump look like


yes not sure I believe his utube rotaries are big https://www.engadget.com/2006-08-08-how-to-mod-your-espresso-machine.html?guccounter=1

aHR0cDovL3d3dy5ibG9nY2RuLmNvbS93d3cuZW5nYWRnZXQuY29tL21lZGlhLzIwMDYvMDgvb2xkLW5ldy1wdW1wLWVzcC1ob3d0by5qcGc=
 
Soldato
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Allo. I'm off on holiday next week and not sure what to do about my daily double espresso or so. Taking my espresso machine and grinder aren't really an option. A holiday mate has said "Oh don't worry, I'm taking my pod machine, that will be fine" but I really don't like the coffee that comes out of them (Apart from waaaaay to many people pull an entire shot through the pod, seriously over-extracting the drink. It even says in the instructions to use the small dose with the pod in then top up with the large button with the pod out, but that's a rant for another day......lol!)

What does the collective reckon? I only drink espressos at home, very, very occasionally I'll have an Americano, but it's mostly espresso. I do have a moka pot somewhere, but never really got on that well with it, but I think that's probably technique as I tried it a few times and thought "why bother" seeing as I usually use my machine.

I'm assuming aeropress to get an espresso-ish type drink and slum it for the week? We leave Friday, so I really do need to get my arse in gear if I'm going to buy something!!
 
Soldato
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I'll be sure to check out some, for certain, although it won't be a cheap endeavour in the Lake District, at half term.......with two kids in two clamouring for snacks and drinks, and two other ladies in the group, wanting cakes, and tea, and,............you get the point!

I also like to have at least a couple of doubles just to get the morning under way. I was hoping for a way to supplement the local coffee scene that I can do where we're staying, which is a self catering cottage :)
 
Caporegime
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Thanks, just ordered. Mine started making funny noises this morning.
 
Soldato
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Hi,

Just wondering what the best machine+grinder combo for £5-600 would be for primarily lattes?
My sister was originally looking at the Sage Barista Express, but after a look the Barista Pro can be had for not too much more and seems a better machine.
After more research it seems like the grinder isn't too great on either machine so I started to look at getting the machine/grinder separately (she has no problem with space), and so far my thoughts are on the Sage Bamino Plus which is roughly £350, leaving £150-250 for the grinder?

Thanks.
 
Soldato
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After more research it seems like the grinder isn't too great on either machine so I started to look at getting the machine/grinder separately (she has no problem with space), and so far my thoughts are on the Sage Bamino Plus which is roughly £350, leaving £150-250 for the grinder?

That's basically the conclusion I arrived at last week. I was considering a Barista Express but went for a Bambino Plus and a Sage Smart Grinder Pro for £454 for the pair. Cheaper than a BE and the grinder has a lot more settings. Down to whether there's a preference of having one machine or two though.
 
Soldato
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That's basically the conclusion I arrived at last week. I was considering a Barista Express but went for a Bambino Plus and a Sage Smart Grinder Pro for £454 for the pair. Cheaper than a BE and the grinder has a lot more settings. Down to whether there's a preference of having one machine or two though.
Is the grinder in the Grinder Pro not the same as the one in the Barista Express then?
Is that new price? Where from if so?
 
Soldato
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It can't be the same - the Barista Express has 16 grind settings and the Barista Pro has 30 whereas the Smart Grinder Pro has 60. Even the slightly cheaper Dose Control Pro has 60 settings too. I'm not sure if there are other areas where the integrated ones are better or not but the Dose Control Pro or Smart Grinder Pro definitely gives more control.

The price I paid was brand new from AO using a discount code that gave £120 off when buying certain machines and grinders. The code only applied to the more expensive stainless steel Bambino Plus rather than the cheaper sea salt coloured one, but it is still listed on there. Unfortunately it looks like both of those grinders are currently out of stock at the moment though. Hopefully they're back in soon as for £454 all in I thought it was a pretty fine price.
 
Soldato
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I think the grinder burrs and motor are the same, but have more adjustments. There's not that many Espresso grinders <£300 that people tend to reccommend, the only one I'd look at is the Sette 30. The grind itself will be better, but they are very noisey and some of the older units had some reliability issues with the electronics and gearbox. I think they've been mostly resolved now. If you could track a Eureka Mignon grinder down for your budget, that would be worthwhile, I'm sure they used to be around the £250 mark but seem to be north of £300 now.
 
Caporegime
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Given the choice, I would go for the Bambino + Sage Grinder combo over the All-in-1 unit. Just flexibility, adjustability, upgradability. I see very little advantage in getting the All-in-1 besides looks, which is subjective. You do the exact amount of work to make a cup no matter which one you choose.
 
Soldato
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It can't be the same - the Barista Express has 16 grind settings and the Barista Pro has 30 whereas the Smart Grinder Pro has 60. Even the slightly cheaper Dose Control Pro has 60 settings too. I'm not sure if there are other areas where the integrated ones are better or not but the Dose Control Pro or Smart Grinder Pro definitely gives more control.

The price I paid was brand new from AO using a discount code that gave £120 off when buying certain machines and grinders. The code only applied to the more expensive stainless steel Bambino Plus rather than the cheaper sea salt coloured one, but it is still listed on there. Unfortunately it looks like both of those grinders are currently out of stock at the moment though. Hopefully they're back in soon as for £454 all in I thought it was a pretty fine price.

Oh brilliant thanks, I've signed up to be notified of stock so hopefully I can get that before the offer ends as that's a pretty good price for both new.

I think the grinder burrs and motor are the same, but have more adjustments. There's not that many Espresso grinders <£300 that people tend to reccommend, the only one I'd look at is the Sette 30. The grind itself will be better, but they are very noisey and some of the older units had some reliability issues with the electronics and gearbox. I think they've been mostly resolved now. If you could track a Eureka Mignon grinder down for your budget, that would be worthwhile, I'm sure they used to be around the £250 mark but seem to be north of £300 now.

I did see the Eureka Mignon was recommended and I thought that it would be pretty good for about £220, but then realised that that particular model is the one designed for coarser grinds. So I think £300+ for that grinder is just a little too much given it would be more than £200 over the above combo, and my sister is coming from a cheapy <£100 machine and pre-ground beans so probably unecessary.
 
Soldato
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It’s taken me a while but I’ve managed to produce some decent tasting coffee even with crap supermarket bought beans.

Now it’s on to getting some good stuff. Anyone got any recommendations on some decent coffee to try? I usually drink lattes or cappuccinos but a recent trip to Italy and trying good espresso out is what made me realise I needed a half decent machine. So ideally a good all rounder that can make decent espresso and milk drinks with but I’m open to trying others too.
 
Caporegime
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It’s taken me a while but I’ve managed to produce some decent tasting coffee even with crap supermarket bought beans.

Now it’s on to getting some good stuff. Anyone got any recommendations on some decent coffee to try? I usually drink lattes or cappuccinos but a recent trip to Italy and trying good espresso out is what made me realise I needed a half decent machine. So ideally a good all rounder that can make decent espresso and milk drinks with but I’m open to trying others too.

Rave signature blend or their fudge blend, SquareMile Red Brick would be the ones I would give a go.

Single Origin can be hit and miss, it depends harvest, season to season. Blends are expertly put together for consistency. But I do like a good single origin.
 
Soldato
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This coffee is my go-to. Can never resist grabbing more of it whenever I pass their shop. I've tried all their beans and the monthly specials (this originally was a monthly special) and this is always what I return to,

BRAZILIAN MIÓ LOT 1930​

£6.00 – £18.00

Brazilian Mió Lot 1930, Monte Santo de Minas​

100% Arabica, Speciality Coffee
1,100m
Red Honey Process

Praline, Grape, Maple Syrup


from here


I'm also a fan of these ones...

COSTA RICAN TARRAZÚ LA TRINIDAD​

£5.90 – £17.50

La Trinidad, Tarrazú Co-operative, Costa Rica

Single origin
100% Arabica, Speciality Coffee
Washed.
Altitude: 1800-1900m
SCAA: 85
Varietals: Caturra and Catuai
Classic and stylish with bright upfront citric acidity. Cherry, cane sugar, orange.

COLOMBIAN LA LAGUNA​

£6.00 – £18.00

Cencoic Co-Operative La Laguna Siberia Reserva Excelso EP, Cauca Department

Single origin
100% Arabica, Speciality Coffee
Grown by the CENCOIC co-operative, a collection of twelve families from the Manantial association.
Washed. European Preparation – Hand-Sorted.
Altitude: 1700-1850m
SCAA: 87.5
Varietals: Colombia, F6, Caturra, Típica & Tabí
Redcurrant, caramel & fruit pastilles. A particularly smooth and creamy espresso.

PERUVIAN CAFÉ FEMENINO​

£5.50 – £16.00

Cecanor Co-Operative Café Femenino, Lambayeque Region, Peru

Single origin
100% Arabica, Speciality Coffee
Grown by the Cecanor co-operative, solely by women farmers.
Grade 1. Fully washed. Shade Grown.
Altitude: 1300-1800m
SCAA: 84.5
Varietals: Bourbon, Catuai & Caturra
A rich body, with fairly bright acidity. Milk chocolate, blackcurrant jam, battenburg cake. This coffee is grown and processed by a woman-only co-operative, which aims to increase social empowerment, not only of females working in the coffee industry, but in the entire area. The Café Femenino project now extends through several countries, and we are proud to be able to support their cause.

They occasionally get a really nice batch from Uganda which is quite unlike anything else I've had. A few months ago they had some wine processed stuff which was really wild. I quite liked it but my partner hated it.

It's always good to find a local coffee shop/roasters you can get friendly with but if you are looking for something online I really, really rate Wogans.

Blind Owl coffee in Bristol is also quite nice but I prefer going to Wogans
 
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