Belated welcome and congratulations SXTACY (another classic username).Originally Posted by 070C0015170D540 link=1245723393/0#0 date=1245723393
Except for the grinder, your setup matches mine. Before addressing your questions:
A I always use a double basket even if making a single coffee and I find a level 1/4 cup measure provides the right quantity of beans for the double. I also have a naked pf but still use a double - the Synesso basket that came with my Pullman.
B I find the GPP quite forgiving and even over-extracted shots arent bad.
C The clean up is easy. I always brush the grouphead then use a blind filter in the naked pf to first jiggle loosely in the head which removes leftover grinds and then do a freshwater backflush very day after I finish. Then do a detergent backflush fortnightly.
Now your "couple" of questions
1. The 1-way valve bags wont stop the coffee from losing its freshness after 3 weeks. You can search for one of my recent posts on the heretic crime of freezing. If you are relatively remote and cant get to a roastery weekly then consider buying a popper and greens and trying some home roasting. Then you can roast to your needs.
2. The 25 sec pour is a guide - dont take it as absolute. However, strongly consider booking yourself into a home barista course one weekend - one where you can use your machine (or a GPP)
3. See my response to point A above. As I said the GPP is fairly forgiving and, if the grind is right, I dont get sloppy pucks if I under-dose. Once again, consider doing a course so someone can watch you.
4. The thermo upgrade is more the ECM Giotto - the model before yours. Yours may need some calibration though. Dod you buy from a sponsor?
5. Not familiar with the Best grinder so not sure if a stepless mod is possible. You still should get a good enough grind I would think.
6. I do a 1 - 2 second purge on the steam wand of mine and no, it doesnt drip. Doesnt sound right. Contact your vendor and if they cant/wont help, contact a sponsor.