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  • Im new, so I will start with what I have...

    Gidday all. Been surfing your site a fair bit and felt the need to join in and participate in what seems like a mighty darn fine forum, and on a mighty darn fine topic.

    I just cashed in some of my Visa reward points and we are getting a Breville 800ES machine, a thermoblock unit that seems to be better than most of the cheap Harvey Norman, Kmart or Retravision type machines. So although it might not be a Sylvia at least it was free! It was the best machine available with the points, so what the heck. Better than nothing. And subsequently found this http://www.productreview.com.au/showitem.php?item_id=3969

    So then I did all the research and have purchased a Rancilio Rocky grinder with doser.
    Now I am reading all about roasting... I might as well get things in my favour as best I can with a thermoblock machine.

    I used to have a LaPavoni machine with a handle that you pull down, bought it new, but after a few months the valve where the steam pipe joins the chamber was leaking. So I sent it off to Melbourne for repair. When it came back it had dents in it, and it was wrapped in bubblewrap and was half full of water. A reaction had occurred, I assume between the plastic and the protective varnish on the unit, and the varnish was oozing off like it was melting. Very ugly. After a few months of hassle I finally got a full refund.

    We have been without a machine for a few years and now are getting back into it.
    Cant wait for our new toys to arrive, looking to bowl over a few Affogatos on New Years eve...

    My best coffee experience? Italy for our honeymoon. Espresso everywhere I went, only ordered one ristretto, though, at the Milan train station, what an eye popper!
    My worst coffee experience? I dont like to remember them, so will share this one - when sitting on the streets of Rome enjoying an espresso, wife picks up my cup and looks at the bottom of it to see what kind of crockery they use... It was a nice espresso while it lasted - before it ended up on the sidewalk... She thought I had finished  ;D

  • #2
    Re: Im new, so I will start with what I have...

    Welcome Tasadam,

    Sorry but I had a chuckle when reading your worst coffee experience there  ;D

    I am sure you are busting to get your new equipment and you will be producing good coffee in no time at all. Good to see you are getting a decent grinder to go with your machine and with some fresh coffee you will be creating your own best coffee experiences. Just keep any new cups away from your wife, or maybe show her the brand name before you make her a coffee  

    If you are planning to roast make sure you order a starter pack from beanbay, it will give you a chance to sample four different beans.

    Brett

    Ps. I see you like motorbikes as well, you will be in good company in here than.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Im new, so I will start with what I have...

      Hi tasadam and welcome to CoffeeSnobs,

      Well with that combination you should be able to produce some good coffee.

      I noticed on the site you linked to the machine has a "Advanced dual wall crema system".... ie it uses pressurised baskets/PF to produce false crema... even from stale coffee.

      Now with your grinder and either freshly roasted coffee - or even better your own roasted coffee- you want to remove that system. It will either be baskets with an outer "layer" with a very small hole in it (in which case to buy new normal baskets) or some machines have a plastic disk with a small hole in the bottom of the PF - generally this can be pulled out and the machine is back to normal.

      The plastic disc method traps old coffee oils under it and these give you bitter off tastes in you espresso, but both these crema enhancement methods spoil otherwise good coffee.

      When you get it, check it out and if you have any questions, post them here (with pictures if you can) and we will try to sort them out for you.

      Enjoy your journey into great coffee.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Im new, so I will start with what I have...

        I second JavaBs comments... Welcome ...

        Must rid of those Crema Enhancer Systems for decent espresso...

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Im new, so I will start with what I have...

          Originally posted by JavaB link=1166487732/0#2 date=1166488641
          ...the machine has a "Advanced dual wall crema system".... ie it uses pressurised baskets/PF to produce false crema... even from stale coffee.  
          ...you want to remove that system. ..etc.
          I believe the dual wall thing is like Sunbeams setup (if not identical). Yes you can get rid of it with different filters or by machining the base off the existing filters. You can see some pix in my very early posts. Surprisingly I found that the insides of the cut-open filters was very clean, no coffee residues left behind.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Im new, so I will start with what I have...

            Originally posted by Matt King link=1166487732/0#4 date=1166512890
            You can see some pix in my very early posts. Surprisingly I found that the insides of the cut-open filters was very clean, no coffee residues left behind.
            Yep, already seen those pics. I am beginning to learn more about this fake crema stuff. I had already decided the first thing I do when I unpacked my machine was to repack the steam nozzle for milk froth enhancing.

            I know little of the machine I am getting (cant say "buying"). I got a brochure from a shop after we ordered it and it doesnt say anything about the advanced crema system. I was hoping this unit didnt have it - I know enough about good espresso to know that true crema comes from the perfect match of good beans, perfect grind, matched with the right machine. In Italy we could balance a teaspoon of sugar on the crema and it would just sit there. Thats where I want to get to, but not with a crema enhancer.

            It is interesting to note the limited information available from the web site where I cashed my points in - really need to do the research on an item before committing on their site. Oh well, thanks for the advice re basket modification.

            Once I find out the diameter of the basket, I will be asking where I can buy a "real" basket - I know that my wife will freak if I start chopping bits of it up, so to quietly swap the baskets over and put the original back in the box sounds much more appealing to me.

            Thanks for the warm welcome! Will have more to say when I know more about what Im saying...

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Im new, so I will start with what I have...

              Welcome, Tasadam,

              With the good Rocky grinder youre half way there.

              Ive seen the Breville machine, and for a cheap thermoblock, it looks, and is very chunky. (Actually, it aint all that cheap at Myer). It does give the impression of having gravitas in the form of solid metal, as opposed to many competitors with their acres of plastic.

              Look forward to your reviews.

              -Robusto

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Im new, so I will start with what I have...

                Originally posted by robusto link=1166487732/0#6 date=1166521271
                Actually, it aint all that cheap at Myer
                It is interesting, that price... RRP $449.
                Myer vouchers cost 6250 points for $50 and the points cash in.
                That means this would cost 9 x $50 vouchers, or 56250 points just to get enough vouchers to buy the same machine from Myers.
                The site has it listed at 28125 points. I think they have got it underpriced! That equates to $225 worth of points - a bargain!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Im new, so I will start with what I have...

                  Originally posted by tasadam link=1166487732/0#7 date=1166523107
                  The site has it listed at 28125 points. I think they have got it underpriced! That equates to $225 worth of points - a bargain!
                  No doubt about it, you have indeed got a bargain at that price.... and with swapped baskets (normally about $9 -$12) and some fresh beans you should get some really good coffee out of it.... Just something else which you might put on your wish list - a nice tight fitting tamper--- like one of Gregss- the ones supplied are normally poor fitting plastic! ....

                  Just take a while to experiment with the tamp ( 13.5Kg -try tamping on a set of scales to get the feel for the amount of effort required) and grind - you will be on your journey to great coffee.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Im new, so I will start with what I have...

                    Welcome mate. I have a Ristretto and an EM6910 - both Sunbeam. One is a real machine the other is not. Interestingly the Ristretto puts out an incredible looking crema and provided you load it with sugar its great (double wall basket). The em has proper commercial group and baskets and when you get the hang puts out great crema with fresh coffee that is sweet - I had suger in my coffee for 2 decades until I got the em. I tried one from my Ristretto the other day with the same coffee and it looked the business but was sour in comparrison.

                    Interestingly also the EM6910 comes with normal baskets, but also crema enhancing baskets for supermarket brick coffee!!

                    Cheers

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Im new, so I will start with what I have...

                      Yes, welcome tas.
                      I stopped taking sugar in my coffee too as soon as I got my Expobar.
                      Hopefully youll be making nice shots right out of the gate.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Im new, so I will start with what I have...

                        Originally posted by Thundergod link=1166487732/0#10 date=1166538346
                        Yes, welcome tas.
                        I stopped taking sugar in my coffee too as soon as I got my Expobar.
                        Hopefully youll be making nice shots right out of the gate.
                        Youll be able to have espresso minus sugar with practice assuming you get ordinary (non enhancing baskets) and the right grind. Realistically most of us have machines we can still grow into- just some have higher ceilings for growth!
                        What am I saying? Dont get into upgraditis too quickly- learn with what youve got and enjoy it! Im a serious coffee freak but we all need to get it into perspective- in the past I was more likely to lose sleep figuring out where Id been going wrong with extraction than with too much caffeine!
                        Relax, experiment, enjoy.
                        Brett

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Im new, so I will start with what I have...

                          As I raised in that other post but thought better to ask here, talking more about the Breville 800...

                          So assuming I can scrap the dual wall thingy and use a normal basket, ya think that machine will be capable?

                          As an aside, can you point me to any posts that show me why the dual wall crema thing is crap, and why normal baskets will produce a better result (given good results from my Rancilio Rocky grinder)? Gotta convice the wife on this one. You know, "they made it like that for a reason, why does it need modified?" Gotta have the answers ready... I know all commercial machines dont have crema enhancers, that good crema is produced from good grind and tamping to match the machine etc...

                          Would like to read more about what crema enhancing does to improve poor / stale grind and destroy good grind.


                          Further down the track, I will be asking the same questions about roasting - why do my own? Simple answer is freshness, but I would assume green beans are less expensive as well, is that right?
                          Oh, and the aroma in the neighbourhood of freshly roasted coffee...

                          NB:
                          Please stop Cross-Posting TD..... Link has been removed.
                          Mal.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Im new, so I will start with what I have...

                            And another thing - I read in the manual that I downloaded, that the tamper is the back of the plastic dosing spoon, can you believe that?
                            I would be ordering a tamping tool now if I knew the diameter of the basket in this thing, but that info is not available in anything I have read. Will just have to wait and see what I get so I can then go about seeking replacement basket and real tamper.

                            How sad is this?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Im new, so I will start with what I have...

                              Originally posted by tasadam link=1166487732/0#12 date=1166599918
                              Would like to read more about what crema enhancing does to improve poor / stale grind and destroy good grind.
                              Do a search for pressurised in Brewing Equipment. That would be a good place to start. Search results are limited to 15 though.

                              Comment

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