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Thread: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

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    My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

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

    Just wanted to announce that I am the lucky buyer of peppinos BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto and it looks amazing! Weighs an absolute tonne too! (pics below!)

    Any advice/tips would be much appreciated from other BFC/Diadema owners and e-61 owners in general.. shes a little daunting compared to the Silvia!!

    Looking forward to contributing to the HX forums!!! *8-)

    My experience so far:

    The first two attempts I choked it, third one took a while but its wonderful, no trace of bitterness, makes the veneziano estate beans feel soft and silky. Pressure is set at 1.2, just wondering what other people have it set at?

    I can see that I might need a stepless grinder right now...

    Any tips regarding temperature etc, Im so used to having a PID to look at to make sure Im right on. I guess the HX-factor takes care of all of that?

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    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Gday Andrew,
    congratulations on your new acquisition. Whilst not a BFC/Diadema owner (Giotto premium here) there are some good tips to be had in the "E61 brewing tips" which is a sticky topic near the top of this thread.
    Enjoy your new machine, Im sure youll get a lot of enjoyment out of it.
    All the best,
    Steve.

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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Thanks lovey, Ive had a read through that. If anything these machines seem more easy/basic than the silvia - which makes sense when you think about it!!

    Here are some quick shots from my phone:





    Damn fingerprints!! was so shiny before I started playing...

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    Senior Member GregJW's Avatar
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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Very nice pick-up, Andrew. [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Re the grinder - by all accounts (and from my playing with one using a Giotto) the Rocky is quite capable. I also use a stepped grinder and for minute adjustments use a different Scottie Callaghan dosing tool (to slightly raise or lower the dose level). Does it for me. ;)

    Greg

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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Nice machine [smiley=thumbsup.gif]
    Enjoy the coffee!

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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Wow - this machine is amazing!!!

    The quality of the espresso is the biggest stand out. Im blown away by how much of a step up it is actually. Oodles of golden-syrup consistency caramelly crema that looks like it will never stop.. and so sweet and soft tasting.

    Milk-wise Im having some trouble getting decent microfoam. Is it worth changing to a single-hole tip - this two hole is putting me off... - making what I call airport milk - too many large bubbles.

    Mind you Ive only used it twice. Steam pressure is great but not significantly stronger than miss silvia - is this related to the 1.2 bar setting?

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    Senior Member redzone121's Avatar
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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Nice set up Mate.
    I blocked one hole up on the VBM and no problems since then but people here who have the same unit will give better advice.
    Enjoy CB

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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Ive got a BFC with the 2 hole steam tip.

    It took me a few litres of milk to discover the knack for getting consistent microfoam.

    My method is: start with the wand on the side of the jug (fully in) - turn steam to full - raise to surface and foam for a second or two - then plunge but dont whirlpool (i always spilt over the side doing this) - use a rolling motion (described below) until the milk is hot.

    The rolling motion has been discussed before. This is how I do it... Aim the wand towards yourself into the bottom corner (yes I know its a circle) of the jug. The milk should come up the wall of the jug and then roll back over itself toward the wand.


    Hope this helps.

    ps. Nice machine ;)

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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Ive come across an excellent review (this machine is called la valentina in the states) by a guy called Dan Kehn (though of the american 110v model) that includes this nugget on steaming:

    The biggest difference I notice in comparison to Silvia is that the steam pressure is constant, that is, no hills and valleys. With Silvias stock one-hole tip and in its "perfect steam" zone, Silvias velocity is greater. However Valentinas two-hole output is about 75% of Silvias one hole "perfect steam" output and theres no spittle at all. Silvia is a very competent steamer but requires a fair amount of finesse and attention to the boiler cycle. While La Valentina will produce slightly stronger steam pressure when the boiler element is on, it isnt critical.

    Dans test results on his valentina using 10 ounces of liquid: 42s / 11oz and then later just under 60sec with less pressure (9.5 bar)

    For comparison, the values below are from the Whole Latte Love website for ten ounces (time / total liquid):

    * ECM Giotto *- *56s / 11.75oz
    * ECM Giotto Premium *- * 51s / 11.5oz
    * Expobar Control *- * 81s / 11oz
    * Pasquini Livia *- * 39s / 11.5oz
    * Rancilio S24 *- * 42s / 11.5oz
    * Salvatore *- * 49s / 12oz
    * Solis SL70 *- * 83s / 13oz


    Interesting! He suggests I will have a dryer, more consistent steam, not necessarily as much velocity. Thats pretty much how it feels!

    For anyone interested and for those who find this later thread searching for information on this machine - check http://coffeegeek.com/reviews/commercial/valentina/dan_kehn and more generally http://coffeegeek.com/reviews/commercial/valentina/. At the moment rated 9.5/10 based on 11 reviews :)

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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by 003933333F3C3F1C31242435500 link=1244773764/7#7 date=1244790509
    Ive got a BFC with the 2 hole steam tip.

    It took me a few litres of milk to discover the knack for getting consistent microfoam.

    My method is: start with the wand on the side of the jug (fully in) - turn steam to full - raise to surface and foam for a second or two - then plunge but dont whirlpool (i always spilt over the side doing this) - use a rolling motion (described below) until the milk is hot.

    The rolling motion has been discussed before. This is how I do it... Aim the wand towards yourself into the bottom corner (yes I know its a circle) of the jug. *The milk should come up the wall of the jug and then roll back over itself toward the wand.


    Hope this helps.

    ps. Nice machine ;)
    Hi PiccoloLatte

    Thanks so much - that is a great help. Ill be sure to try that technique. The steam certainly feels different to the silvia - more airy and vague if that makes sense. Im sure it is a matter of getting used to a different system and developing the technique - of rolling.. I think its going to take me more than two litres... thanks again :)

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    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Excellent combo andrew..... 8-)

    If you are concerned about Rockys ability to be adjusted in small enough steps, why not apply the so-called Stepless Mod that a lot of Rocky owners swear by. This will allow you to infinitely adjust the grind to suit any beans.... :)

    Mal.

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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by 123F3B373A560 link=1244773764/10#10 date=1244800288
    Excellent combo andrew..... 8-)

    If you are concerned about Rockys ability to be adjusted in small enough steps, why not apply the so-called Stepless Mod that a lot of Rocky owners swear by. This will allow you to infinitely adjust the grind to suit any beans.... :)

    Mal.
    Thanks Mal, and thank you also for your review of the junior extra and comments in the sale post, they were highly influential..

    I think BCF/diadema are quite underrated - there arent thousands of posts but everything I read was absolutely full of praise, with very few even minor criticisms. It seems bcf machines are much more popular outside australia. From what I read the parts are nearly all full commercial quality and shes built like a tank 8-)

    Anyway Ive had about ten coffees so far so should stop. The last couple were a bit bitter despite backflushing etc..(dont understand why?)

    Re Rocky Ill look into the stepless mod - it might be time! But do you think a $500-750 grinder would make a big difference in the cup? thats what Im wondering about..

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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by 2C23293F283A4D0 link=1244773764/11#11 date=1244804279
    I think BCF/diadema are quite underrated - there arent thousands of posts but everything I read was absolutely full of praise, with very few even minor criticisms. It seems bcf machines are much more popular outside australia. From what I read the parts are nearly all full commercial quality and shes built like a tank *8-)
    Indeed Daniel.... [smiley=happy.gif]

    I dont think its so much a matter of being under-rated, more that they dont receive the marketing promotion that others do. As you say, they are very highly thought of in Europe generally and perhaps as a result of this they (BCF) dont see the need for large promotional campaigns. They will certainly make their mark in Australia though, just a matter of time and for the word of mouth impressions to gather momentum.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2C23293F283A4D0 link=1244773764/11#11 date=1244804279
    Re Rocky Ill look into the stepless mod - it might be time! But do you think a $500-750 grinder would make a big difference in the cup? thats what Im wondering about..
    To be quite honest Daniel, I think with the above mentioned Mod in place, you would be very hard pressed to identify a difference between the Rocky and any other small commercial grinder like a Mazzer Mini, Macap M4/M5 or Compak K3. So long as the burr-plates are being held in accurate relationship to each other throughout the range of grind settings one uses, thats all that needs to happen. The burr-plates fitted to a Rocky are high grade commercial quality units and as such, will not let you down.

    Post Mod, the sorts of things that might encourage you to look for a more up-market grinder would be, e.g. time to grind a dose, moving to a Doser-Grinder, ergonomics, visual appeal, etc etc.... If quality in the cup is your main arbiter though, I dont think the Rocky will let you down.... 8-)

    Cheers,
    Mal.

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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    ;D My coffees now are so soft that Im actually finding milk-based drinks a little too milky, even with a good 30-35ml of rich espresso. The lack of bitterness/sharpness in the espresso means that milk is redundant and in fact gets in the way!

    I can see that in order to regularly enjoy and drink espresso this is the kind of machine you want.

    Weve really become so dependent on milk to mask bad coffee. Now it is masking good coffee!!! :o

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Andrew,

    Now you know why so many of us here who enjoy milk drinks have moved to the "piccolo latté"--a coffee drink of between 90 and 130 ml total, and often with a doppio ristretto as a base.

    Greg

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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by 06332426162E332C202D25410 link=1244773764/14#14 date=1244960735
    Andrew,

    Now you know why so many of us here who enjoy milk drinks have moved to the "piccolo latté"--a coffee drink of between 90 and 130 ml total, and often with a doppio ristretto as a base.

    Greg
    Completely understand! Ill have to give it a go. The idea of steaming 90ml of milk is funny considering I cant even steam a full jug properly at the moment..

    Here is a photo of the steam tip I just took for advice from luca (what a champ!):


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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Exactly the same wand and tip as mine. So hopefully some microfoam is around the corner - Just need practice.

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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    To follow this up, I would like to report that Ive given up on the steam tip pictured above. I gave it 5 months, honed different techniques etc and ended up with decent results. However sometimes it really doesnt have to be so hard. I decided finally that this tip is designed for a more frothy Italian (old school?) style foam, rather than the silky glossy micro foam we are all accustomed to nowadays.

    So, I got in touch with Pedro and on his advice ordered this two hole tip (part 614723-A):


    Which looks much better when connected to the wand. It actually looks really great in real life. Ill try to get a picture up soon.

    More importantly, on my first attempt I got perfect glossy silky microfoam. At least as much steam as the previous tip as well. Im getting milk for two coffees in 20 seconds to absolutely perfect.

    So, the moral of the story. Yes its important to hone your technique and change one variable at a time in order to isolate and improve. But its also important to know when to give in and get a new one.

    This is a 10mm tip so to any other Diadema or 10mm tip users I really recommend it - I would give it 10/10. :) Its even easier to clean.

  19. #19
    A_M
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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by 434C46504755220 link=1244773764/17#17 date=1258101261
    To follow this up, I would like to report that Ive given up on the steam tip pictured above. I gave it 5 months, honed different techniques etc and ended up with decent results. However sometimes it really doesnt have to be so hard. I decided finally that this tip is designed for a more frothy Italian (old school?) style foam, rather than the silky glossy micro foam we are all accustomed to nowadays.

    So, I got in touch with Pedro and on his advice ordered this two hole tip (part 614723-A):


    Which looks much better when connected to the wand. It actually looks really great in real life. Ill try to get a picture up soon.

    More importantly, on my first attempt I got perfect glossy silky microfoam. At least as much steam as the previous tip as well. Im getting milk for two coffees in 20 seconds to absolutely perfect.

    So, the moral of the story. Yes its important to hone your technique and change one variable at a time in order to isolate and improve. *But its also important to know when to give in and get a new one.

    This is a 10mm tip so to any other Diadema or 10mm tip users I really recommend it - I would give it 10/10. *:) Its even easier to clean.
    Keep us informed .. I love mine...


    Has been a great source of Joy and many great coffees... It had a multi hole tip which has had a copper inert to make it a single hole tip.. But would be interested in how the two hole tip works out...

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1246171209/10#10

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1246171209/15#15

    Also agree with the following....


    Quote Originally Posted by 664B4F434E220 link=1244773764/12#12 date=1244813952
    andrew wrote on 12. Jun 2009 at 20:57:
    I think BCF/diadema are quite underrated - there arent thousands of posts but everything I read was absolutely full of praise, with very few even minor criticisms. It seems bcf machines are much more popular outside australia. From what I read the parts are nearly all full commercial quality and shes built like a tank *

    Indeed Daniel....

    I dont think its so much a matter of being under-rated, more that they dont receive the marketing promotion that others do. As you say, they are very highly thought of in Europe generally and perhaps as a result of this they (BCF) dont see the need for large promotional campaigns. They will certainly make their mark in Australia though, just a matter of time and for the word of mouth impressions to gather momentum.



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    Junior Member chaddy's Avatar
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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Ive been thinking about replacing the steam tip on my Unico Splendor, have found the foam too frothy >:(
    Ordered the part 614723-A so will see how it goes.
    BTW if you ever feel like a grinder upgrade I took GregWormalds advice and got a Macap M4D, the Macaps do seem to suit the Diademas :)

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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by 28232A2F2F324B0 link=1244773764/19#19 date=1258140205
    Ive been thinking about replacing the steam tip on my Unico Splendor, have found the foam too frothy >:(
    Ordered the part 614723-A so will see how it goes.
    BTW if you ever feel like a grinder upgrade I took GregWormalds advice and got a Macap M4D, the Macaps do seem to suit the Diademas :)
    You wont be disappointed with the steam tip, its fantastic. I really want to get a photo up to show how good it looks too, just dont have my camera with me at the moment.

    I really want a M4D!

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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by 3F303A2C3B295E0 link=1244773764/20#20 date=1258150412
    I really want a M4D!
    See this
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1255781239

    KK

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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by 56727B7B78784256726E70721D0 link=1244773764/21#21 date=1258150688
    Quote Originally Posted by 3F303A2C3B295E0 link=1244773764/20#20 date=1258150412
    I really want a M4D!
    See this
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1255781239

    KK
    Oh dear - I may have to PM you

  24. #24
    Junior Member chaddy's Avatar
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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by 515E54425547300 link=1244773764/22#22 date=1258150829
    Quote Originally Posted by 56727B7B78784256726E70721D0 link=1244773764/21#21 date=1258150688
    Quote Originally Posted by 3F303A2C3B295E0 link=1244773764/20#20 date=1258150412
    I really want a M4D!
    See this
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1255781239

    KK


    Oh dear - I may have to PM you


    Go for it ;D

  25. #25
    Junior Member chaddy's Avatar
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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Great service from Coffee Parts , my steam tip and Pallo brushes arrived overnight. Cant wait to try out the new tip on the weekend.
    Thanks Cilinia ;D

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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Quote Originally Posted by 7D767F7A7A671E0 link=1244773764/24#24 date=1258597003
    Great service from Coffee Parts , my steam tip and Pallo brushes arrived overnight. Cant wait to try out the new tip on the weekend.
    Thanks Cilinia *;D
    Hey chaddy

    Keen to hear how you go - its like a new coffee machine for me, silky milk with hardly any effort! glad you got the same one 8-)

  27. #27
    Junior Member chaddy's Avatar
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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Hi andrew
    Steam tip worked as advertised ;D, Probably took slightly longer to steam a jug than the original tip but the difference is astounding. First jug of milk was beautiful smooth microfoam. Ive got no excuses now for my shoddy latte art ::)
    Thanks for the tip. Did you end up getting the M4D?


    Edit: Sorry for the bad pun

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    Re: My new setup: BFC/Diadema Junior Semi-auto! :)

    Hi Andrew,
    happy to here that you are enjoying my previously owned coffee machine. *As for the frothing of the milk, I didnt have any trouble with the original tip other then it would heat the milk fairly fast. Micro-foam was achieved with only half of the steam knob fully opened. I believe you can remove the top stainless steal cover and adjust the setting to 1.5 bar. The factory set 1.2 bar favors the Italian palate who prefer to consume their coffee at a milder temperature. *As for the macap 4D , I had one of those as well but it was sold to spaceman. It made a nice accompaniment. I have a Gino Rossi for sale but the moderators will not let me post it on the BST forum. Oh well, off to ebay I suppose.... Anyway, enjoy the awesome coffee machine and the fruits it provides. Regards Peppino



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