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Thread: Just bought a new machine

  1. #1
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    Just bought a new machine

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all,

    My first post. Been reading a lot on here for the past 3 months and now I have decided to join.

    Bought a VBM Levetta and K3Touch Grinder from Chris at Talk Coffee last week. Should arrive tomorrow. Have a bought a bag of Epic Blend Beans from Five Senses here in Perth so I am all set tomorrow to hopefully pull my first shot of espresso.

    Will let you all know how it goes.

    Cheers,

    Grubba

  2. #2
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    Re: Just bought a new machine

    Welcome to CS, and nice choice :).

    Chris will probably throw in a 250g bag of his Urban blend beans, which are very nice too.

    Enjoy the VBM, I know I do. I will be interested to hear how you like the grinder.

    Cheers

  3. #3
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a new machine

    Congrats on the new gear Grubba, Im sure you will be producing great shots in no time. The Epic blend should be a nice one to start with, hopefully you can emulate some of Epics brilliant coffees!!
    Next step, home roasting??????
    Beanbay pickups at Epic....................enjoy the new gear -- gm

  4. #4
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    Re: Just bought a new machine

    Thanks guys

    Not sure on the roasting side as I have difficulty cooking an egg let alone beans. Wouldnt mind giving it a go at some point but right now Id rather get the extraction right.

    I dont know what I will expect from the grinder as I have nothing to compare it to...as time goes by I will have some issues Im sure. I think Ill use it on the manual setting and get the right grind for now. I did read a review which was quite good on it but as you know there is always something better out there. For me it will the job fine for the time being.

    PhilMAc - are there any tips on the machine that I should know about? I read the document that Chris sent and it all seems pretty straight foward.

    Cheers

    Grubba

  5. #5
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    Re: Just bought a new machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Grubba link=1216626007/0#3 date=1216630658
    - are there any tips on the machine that I should know about? I read the document that Chris sent and it all seems pretty straight foward.
    Hi Grubba,

    Ive had my VBM now for two months and enjoying it alot. I dont know what sort of drinks you usually have, but probably the main reason I bought the Lavetta was that I normally drink espressos and only rarely do milk based. Hence I went for the single boiler, but with the stability of the E61 group head. Not that it wont make steam, it makes heaps, you just need to wait 30 seconds or so after pulling the shot. In fact I found it best to plug one of the steam holes with a toothpick for a while till I got the technique for the milk, as there was so much steam. Still need a lot more practice, but heh, I like my blacks.

    When mine arrived I first thought it was dead, as after I put water in the tank and turned it on, nothing happened, other than the main light coming on but no boiler! They have a pressure switch under the reservoir, which shuts off the boiler when the water level gets low (this may be described in the manual, but honestly the manual is quite poor - even Chris said that). The tank must have been slightly stuck and didnt reset the switch when I put in the water. It just needed a little shake and a push to activate - and Ive had no problems since. The switch has switched on and off many times by itself now. Nothing like the dreaded little sweaty sensation you get when you think your new toy doesnt work!

    Theres so much good information in these forums, but probably one of the most important is consistency. That is why I would be interested to hear how you go with the K3 Touch. If you are using the same bean most of the time you should be able to dial in a dose setting. Then comes the grind setting, amount of coffee (dose), tamp pressure, length of pour etc. Varying any one will affect the other, so try to only change one at once when you are chasing a taste that suits you. A set of digital scales is handy, to weigh both the coffee amount and the pour volume.

    I only drink two to three cups in the morning, so I only run the degreaser through every second week. Otherwise its like cleaning it to death. I backwash every day mind you and only use filtered water (Britta Jug).

    Enjoy, and let us know how you go.

    Cheers

  6. #6
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    Re: Just bought a new machine

    Thanks PhilMac,

    Great information, personally I am a double espresso person but the wife does like her milky drinks.

    Yes, I was hoping to stick to the one bean - Epic Espresso is just arond the corner from me so its easy to pop in and grab a 200g bag of the Epic Blend.

    Will keep you posted on how the grinder goes.

    I was thinking about using the Britta Jug ...which state are you in. I have a filtered system on our sink which I was hoping to use.

    Cheers,

    Grubba

  7. #7
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    Re: Just bought a new machine

    Yep, double espresso is spot on here too, as per the picture on the left! <------- Sometimes with just a splash of water added. You probably wont want to stick to just one bean in the longer term, but youll know your grinder by then. Speaking of which, if those Epic beans are expensive, you may want to buy some cheaper supermarket beans to roughly dial in the K3, before you launch into them.

    Im in Brisbane, and I use water from our rainwater tank for coffee. Theoretically it should be low on meneral content, ie soft, but I use the Britta to filter out any particular matter that may be present as a result of the native bird population ::)

    Cheers

  8. #8
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    Re: Just bought a new machine

    Hi Grubba,

    With respect to Philmac, I wouldnt bother buying any supermarket beans to dial your grinder in, because it is quite likely that they will be so stale that the grind setting will be nothing like what you need for the fresh beans you get from places like Epic, the less variables you have to contend with initially, the quicker you will start to get comfortable with your new gear.

    The other point he made about blocking up one of the holes in the steam tip does seem to be a good idea for new users of this type of machine, unless of course Chris has fitted a different tip to the factory one? You probably will find it difficult to steam milk for one person initially, and might have to start with enough milk for 2 drinks and pour out the balance, then with practice you should be able to manage just enough milk for one if you need to, but you will need a 300ml jug to do it.

    Bullitt

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    Re: Just bought a new machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullitt link=1216626007/0#7 date=1216853022
    then with practice you should be able to manage just enough milk for one if you need to, but you will need a 300ml jug to do it.
    I respectfully disagree with the second part of the above whilst wholeheartedly endorsing the first.

    The smallest jug Ive got is 600ml and my HX steams FAST. Practice is the key and whilst it is probably very valid to argue that a little milk in a big jug makes the job harder, I would counter argue that it makes you concentrate even more. :) It took me less than 2 weeks to consistently get properly stretched and textured milk for both flat whites and cappas + lattes. Maybe it wouldve taken less time with a smaller jug, who knows? But I can say with certainty that you dont "need" a smaller jug.

  10. #10
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    Re: Just bought a new machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Wrecker link=1216626007/0#8 date=1216854390
    Maybe it wouldve taken less time with a smaller jug, who knows? *But I can say with certainty that you dont "need" a smaller jug.
    What about the 100ml jug I use for a macchiato when I feel inclined?? :P

  11. #11
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    Re: Just bought a new machine

    Good Lord, a 100ml jug??? :) Mind you though, I did contemplate going smaller when I was experimenting with steaming double thick cream - but 100ml!? Wheres one of wifes thimbles? ;)

  12. #12
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Just bought a new machine

    I have a small jug that I use to serve the milk in for a macchiato (some people are fussy about how much they want).

    Its probably about 20ml.

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    Re: Just bought a new machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1216626007/0#11 date=1216863297
    I have a small jug...Its probably about 20ml.
    :o :o :o

    ...streuth TG, thats a small jug alright...

  14. #14
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    Re: Just bought a new machine

    Ill measure it and post a picture tonight.

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    Re: Just bought a new machine

    You dont steam it in that though..... right?

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    Re: Just bought a new machine

    Where did you get a 20 ml jug? Iddy biddy coffee accessories incorporated? ;)

    20ml is a typo surely. Thats about half the size of a shot glass! I dont know if I could fit my steam wand tip in a "20 ml jug"! :D

  17. #17
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    Re: Just bought a new machine

    Okay people,

    Machine arrived. Some issues with the freight company but thats another story. Unboxed it, filled it with filtered water and started the warm up process.

    Unboxed the grinder (K3 Touch) read the crappy instruction manual and was pretty confused as I couldnt find the gring settings. Finally worked it out but the markings are crap and its hard to dial in perfectly. I would suggest that you put your own markings on it.

    Then the fun started.

    I think I made over 20 double shots of espresso before the perfect cup came through albeit I used almost 300g of Epic Blend.

    Process is as follows;

    Coffee grind was set to half (the only way I can describe it as the markings are crap but it game me a consistancy of something between ground pepper and sand)

    Dosed the basket so it left a small mound (double basket) - not sure how much coffee as I dont have any digital scales but I would think it was around 20-23 grams.

    I then smoothed it out with a straight edge to fill the backet completed and the tamped it around 15kg.

    Pulled the best 30ml double espresso with an extraction time of 25 seconds ( from when the coffee comes though) ever.... I wish I video recordered for you ..actually I might do and then put it on YOUTUBE for all to see..

    I think the grinder will be ok once I get used to it....the actually result of the grind which is what counts is very good...maybe Im just a fussy bugger.

    Cheers




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    Re: Just bought a new machine

    sorry for all the spelling mistakes - just read my post and laughed.

  19. #19
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    Re: Just bought a new machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Wrecker link=1216626007/0#15 date=1216879736
    Where did you get a 20 ml jug? *Iddy biddy coffee accessories incorporated? *;)

    20ml is a typo surely. *Thats about half the size of a shot glass! *I dont know if I could fit my steam wand tip in a "20 ml jug"! *:D
    I cant remember where I got them (2).

    Ive measured the capacity.
    25ml (not a bad guess before).

    Quote Originally Posted by YeeZa link=1216626007/0#14 date=1216879147
    You dont steam it in that though..... right?
    You got me curious about steaming in them (no I hadnt tried it before).

    Half filled and gave it a go.
    I did turn the valve on slowly so as not to wear the milk.
    Got a bit of a "ch ch" happening but had to stop as the milk was up to temp in about 4 seconds. *;D

    So the answer is, "Yes", you can steam milk for your macchiatos in them.

    The picture shows one jug on the top left of the Expobar where it normally resides.
    The other one usually sits in the opposite corner but for the sake of the picture is right way up sitting on a cup.
    You can just make out the spout.
    The shot glass, complete with 25ml of water measured from the jug, is in the picture for added perspective.



  20. #20
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    Re: Just bought a new machine

    Well *$#^ me TG, there actually is an "Iddy Biddy" shop afterall! * ;D

    I had a laugh, Ive been having a giggle about the "20 ml *JUG*" ever since I read your post - and there it is in living colour!

    No, it is now giggled like a schoolgirl! *Im gettin one, my wife already looks at me strange when I "go to work" on the machine. *I cant wait to see the look on her face....sorry, cant type anymore... ;D ;D ;D

  21. #21
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    Re: Just bought a new machine

    ooh yeah, Ive seen those little nub-jugs Theres a kitchen shop near work that sells then... I always wondered, "Who would buy such a small just and what the heck would you use it for?!!"... You just answered both my questions TG :)

  22. #22
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    Re: Just bought a new machine

    IIRC they had them at the cafe I worked at for a short while last year.
    Thats where I got the idea from for serving the milk separately for the macchiatos.
    The customer couldnt complain then if the amount of milk wasnt right.

    Mind you, I had to steam the milk in a regular sized jug and fill the small one.
    No way a full powered commercial machine would be able to steam in one of those.
    My first 1 litre jug of milk was up to temp so fast I almost overshot the mark.



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