Coffee options

Soldato
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Man of Honour
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It's a great choice - decent grinder and machine for the price. You can pick it up cheaper if you keep an eye out on places like eBay however :)
 
Soldato
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I have been looking around and reading up on it. It seems like the grinder is the "weak" point however I'm wondering how elitist this might be as these are opinions are specialist forums ...
 
Soldato
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From what I've seen its a decadent all round machine, however you will be tied into the 2 so couldn't upgrade or replace the grinder down the line. £500 is quite a chunk of cash so are you likely to get 'into' it or just learn the machine and enjoy it?
 
Man of Honour
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What is your current burr grinder?

Some of the espresso vs moka stuff is down to personal preference, assuming you can make a good moka. I personally prefer espresso so I'd agree that a good espresso would be better but I'm me..and you're you :p
 
Soldato
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The new Oscar II from Simonelli is another option has a better pedigree, no grinder but is a genuine HX machine, I have not looked for reviews, but it is available from the Italian elecktros company that has a good reputation.
If I had not recently got a used Bezzera hx machine, replacing Silvia, I was talking myself into this.
Personally the engineering in the Barista express, with the spiral thermocoil and steam thermoblock has to prove its robustness (can you get a 5year gurantee at lewis's ? or do they only sell the double boiler )- 2nd hand values of silvia's are good but sage has to prove itself to me
 
Soldato
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The new Oscar II from Simonelli is another option has a better pedigree, no grinder but is a genuine HX machine, I have not looked for reviews, but it is available from the Italian elecktros company that has a good reputation.
If I had not recently got a used Bezzera hx machine, replacing Silvia, I was talking myself into this.
Personally the engineering in the Barista express, with the spiral thermocoil and steam thermoblock has to prove its robustness (can you get a 5year gurantee at lewis's ? or do they only sell the double boiler )- 2nd hand values of silvia's are good but sage has to prove itself to me

Oscar II seems little out of my price range when factoring in a grinder as well...

John Lewis sell the express so would this be a solid option with the additional 3 year warranty/insurance ?
 
Soldato
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tough call ... £375 from xsitems_ltd on ebay (so called refurb but people have good, was as new feedback ) 3 months return, not sure if Sage would give any cover too, or 550+guarantee at Lewis's ..
 
Man of Honour
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So I pulled the trigger on the Barista Express picking it up tomorrow. Even though it ha sa charcoal filter in the water reservoir is it still best to use bottled water ?

depends on how hard the water is in your area - you'll probably be fine using tap water, just keep up on the cleaning (sounds like it had a 'clean me' light) - so get some descaling tablets (again check what they recommend for the machine) do clean it out regularly.
 
Soldato
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my schedule for de-scaling is every couple of months, but it would be good to have a more scientific technique. I do not expect to hear any noise as the boiler warms up, but I guess I should keep a track of how often I fill up the machine, pity there are no kind of disclosure tables that would reveal scale in water (like for tartar). I had found my water board give me a post-code lookup but do not really know how to exploit it.
(ok maybe not - based on 300mg/l, I push a litre a day, this would give about 0.2mm/month scale depth on a 6" dia kettle base)

Back on topic, cleaning the brewing head and 3-way valve with the likes of pulycaf is another desirable ...maybe Sage recommend a particular product pulycaf is fairly alkali
 
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Soldato
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You could get a TDS meter to see how many ppm your water has (you can also use it to measure extraction I believe). In reality though de-scaling every other month should be fine.
 
Associate
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Jim(beam),

How are you getting on with your coffee maker? I had the same model delivered on Saturday.

I made the mistake of thinking I could "set it up" with a bag of out of date coffee. As the bag was still sealed I thought the oils could not have escaped, I was very wrong. I could not get a brewing pressure build up no matter how fine I ground the coffee and how hard I tamped it. It was also the most horrible coffee I had ever tasted.

I tried some super market coffee beans on Sunday and it worked fine, but the best has been freshly roasted Jamaican blue mountain beans ( from Keiths in Cirencester). I think I will be buying small bags often to make sure my beans are fresh.

I have n't used bottled water, even though the water is quite hard here, I have just been filtering it through a brita filter.

I am new to all of this, but there are many good training videos on youtube. My foam art is rubbish though !
 
Man of Honour
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Just FYI, you'll need to dial in the grind for espresso every time you change the kind of coffee. You may also find that you need to adjust slightly if you let some coffee get particularly old.
 
Soldato
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Jim(beam),

How are you getting on with your coffee maker? I had the same model delivered on Saturday.

I made the mistake of thinking I could "set it up" with a bag of out of date coffee. As the bag was still sealed I thought the oils could not have escaped, I was very wrong. I could not get a brewing pressure build up no matter how fine I ground the coffee and how hard I tamped it. It was also the most horrible coffee I had ever tasted.

I tried some super market coffee beans on Sunday and it worked fine, but the best has been freshly roasted Jamaican blue mountain beans ( from Keiths in Cirencester). I think I will be buying small bags often to make sure my beans are fresh.

I have n't used bottled water, even though the water is quite hard here, I have just been filtering it through a brita filter.

I am new to all of this, but there are many good training videos on youtube. My foam art is rubbish though !

Pretty much the same I got my free bag of pact coffee the other day and that is far better. Very good machine and wife loves it for the instant hot water. If any coffee machine is worth £500 is a different discussion!
 
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