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Thread: Newbie - Couple of questions (Ikon).

  1. #1
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    Newbie - Couple of questions (Ikon).

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello,

    I have recently begun to take more of an interest in coffee. I have to confess to being a sporadic caramel-latte (Starbucks) drinker and have generally relied on instant coffee. Being less than overwhelmed with the instant I never really gave coffee much though. However, the other week on a trip to Melbourne I had a great latte and decided to delve a little deeper into the coffee world and wound up here *:) I intend on sticking around for a while and hopefully pick up advice along the way- there is certainly plenty of it around.

    So.......initially I have started with a Breville Ikon and 0480 grinder. I am on a tightish budget initially and I also wanted to prove to myself that I would actually stick with it as I have a habit of going all out on things and then finding interest gradually petering out.......

    I have read loads of posts on here and decided to get a Krups filter and also a Pullman tamper. I figure though the machine is basic, these things will be a big help and it seems as if I can carry them through if I upgrade in the future, with slight modifications.

    I just have a couple of questions that I couldnt find much about on here.

    1) With the Ikon, how long should I be leaving it on for before using it. In the instruction book it says to prime it and after 2 minutes it is ready for use. Only I have seen posts on here saying you should leave machines for up to an hour? Is that just for higher range ones?

    2) With the grinder, I read that it is useful to fill it up to ensure a good grind and then to put unused beans back in the bag. What about the beans that have already been pulled into the grinding section? Should you pick all those out as well? Or just grind them all though so there is only a few grains left.

    3) And finally - cups? I have none and have been using shot glasses just to mess about. I saw the ACF Cups and just wanted to check that these are a decent one to start with? Will I really notice much different between these and some cheap ones from say KMart, as a coffee virgin?

    Well thats about it. Like I said I am an absolute newbie and literally got the machine last week and a sample back from beanbay on monday. I only have the filter that comes with the Ikon for now (Tamper and new basket should arrive in coming days) and just played about a bit. If I am honest, the shots will take some getting used too after coming from the caramel lattes and so forth but from reading around here it sounds as if the journey is one well worth taking!

  2. #2
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Couple of questions (Ikon).

    Hi ArtMaster, and welcome to CoffeeSnobs. I hope your stay is fruitful.

    All this is IMO--we do have an Ikon at work.

    1. The warm up cycle on an Ikon is difficult as the machine auto-powers down to standby after a while of non-use. When starting in the morning I let the machine heat up for a few minutes, run hot water through the group and group handle/basket a couple of times, and let the machine come back up to temperature while Im grinding.

    2. This is a very moot point. Many of us here put only enough beans in the grinder for the cup(s) were making. Others say the hopper needs a head of beans to grind properly. Try both and see. We all agree that beans should not be stored in the hopper for very long--not overnight for instance, and that grounds need to be purged.

    3. Coffee, like wine, is best enjoyed in fine glasses/cups. The ACF are a standard fine cup. Myself, I use much cheaper Incasa, or really expensive Illy crystal!

    Greg

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    Re: Newbie - Couple of questions (Ikon).

    Thanks for the response Greg.

    I have been making a few coffees and a little hit and miss at the moment. I am still waiting on the Krups basket/tamper so am saving all my patience for when I am fully set up!

    At the moment my milk frothing leaves a lot to be desired. Just now I frothed and it looked great in the jug, no bubbles and silky but when I poured it didnt leave any foam/head at all. Any tips? I looked in the specific forum and saw a lot of posts on there, guess I will try some of those methods.

    Still on my old cups at the moment, am keen on the ACF ones but holding out on those just temporarily. Need to learn to go step by step rather than all out in one go!

  4. #4
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie - Couple of questions (Ikon).

    Quote Originally Posted by 4D7E78416D7F78697E0C0 link=1269345640/2#2 date=1269842106
    Need to learn to go step by step rather than all out in one go!
    Sorry mate--I cant help you on that one all. ;D

    I dont like the Krups baskets much, although others do. I find the holes a bit too big and they let grounds into the cup. I much prefer the Ikon basket modified. If you want one of these have a look at the "Pay it Forward" thread.

    The Ikon is a fairly weak steamer and takes about 15-20 seconds to steam enough milk for one of my piccolo lattés--about 75 ml. I let the steam come up to temp, purge the water from the wand until the steam runs dry and the heater cycles back on, and then put the wand only a mm or so into the milk and run until the milk hits about 60°C. Good milk makes a real difference too, I use and recommend the A2 stuff.

    Making really good coffee is a very precise thing, and takes a fair bit of practice to get it all right. If you routinely get good coffee inside 3 months you are doing well. Ive been using my current machine for almost a year and my coffee is still improving!

    Greg



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