Post By mwcalder05
Post By TC
Anything Else I need?
I have just taken delivery of my Bezzera BZ35, purchased second hand, and am also about to take possession of my new house. I've got a Compak K3 grinder, and also bought an Espro click tamper.
Trying to ensure I have everything I need for when I move in, and wondering if there's anything else I need.
My shopping list currently looks like this
I know i need some cleaning equipment but not sure what to get. If anyone can reccomend anything else I need.
Also need a recommended place to get my machine serviced in Melbourne, that would also be great. I've emailed a few places but none have actually responded.
Do you have a blind filter basket that comes with your machine? Need that for back flushing.
The in house brand of coffee cleaning powder i buy from my local coffee supplier is great for back flushing and soaking my filter baskets and PF.
A group head brush for cleaning your group head gasket after you finish making shots
Get a stiff brush for cleaning your grinder (I use a watercolor paint brush with the brush tip cut short)
And a few towels for cleaning and wiping.
(Descale powder if you want to tackle descaling your machine. But may suggest professional service if unsure)
I don't see milk jugs on your shopping list.
Not sure about water softener being needed. Maybe a decent way to filter it instead? Best is Reverse Osmosis but any decent filter will remove a lot of the crap they put in the water from the tap. I don't think Melb water is hard enough to have softener as a priority and I'm not sure I'd want to be adding extra chemicals into my coffee. Take them out sounds much better.
Little jug for one cup times, larger one for when you're making several coffees. Maybe even a spare group handle so you can be getting the next coffee ready if you regularly have guests?
Ridgeless VST baskets - TampIt put me onto them and they are MUCH better than what came with my machine. Some people apparently have had issues trying to learn how to use them but it is worth the effort - I had zero problems, mostly because of some excellent advice based on his experience. Mark at Pullman Tampers (site sponsor) has them at a good price.
You may prefer to use a rubber disk than a blind basket for back flushing, tamping matt may come handy to protect your working surface, short scree driver to clean group head shower screen and dispersion disc, dish washing scrubber (not the metal wool one) to get rid of oil residue on portafilter, skip this if you go naked path, enjoy your journey!
I have a few milk jugs already, so that bit's sorted! I'll have a look at the ridgeless baskets, they look intersting.
Will jump on line and order some cleaning tools from the sponsors. And yes, a tamp mat is good, cuase the wife wont be happy if I damage her lovley new stone benchtops (bloody expensive!)
The machine came with a blind filter, so I think that should get me by for now.
I haven't seen a situation in Melbourne where RO is needed and strongly recommend against it unless it's remineralised. You will cause more problems than you solve. If local water is very hard (as in 800ppm total hardness) you can get away without remineralising.
Originally Posted by Journeyman
Re bits and pieces- yes- but if you're new to espresso machines, you might find a little training to be of far greater value than a bucketload of optional gizmos.
Service- Rick Bond (The Coffee Machinist), us and others can do it as well.
ditto the timer and add a digital scale (up to 2 or 3 Kg with 0.1 gram increments) for weighting your beans and a thermometer for steaming milk to the right temperature.
Ditto, ditto, ditto! If I was you, I would take some out of the budget of the lesser things for the moment like a thermometer and scales and spend it on some good quality training of which there is plenty in Melbourne. If you get good enough, you probably won't need these things! A motto of mine is that 'No amount of gear can repair bad technique'!
Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee
And that Michael, hit the nail on the head.
Originally Posted by mwcalder05
For the average punter who will not be making lots of coffee, ie: has not got lots of time to experiment and hone their technique.
Accurate scales and a thermometer for milk are invaluable for consistently eliminating variables than can make or break producing a decent beverage. Otherwise they may loose interest real quick when they are always left scratching their heads and do not have the time to engage in learning otherwise.
I don't get the anti milk thermometer / milk by touch thing, some people are more sensitive to heat than others and what might be too hot for some is not for the other....sure if your doing it hundreds of times a day you would get a good feel for it and such a " gadget " would be superfluous.
I did a barista course last year, quite a while before I got my machine; the instructor showed us 2 different thermometers and how they registered 5º different. So I came away with the impression touch was at least as accurate.
After taking some advice from here I bought a thermometer (2 actually, one as a spare) and used a medical thermometer to calibrate them - something the instructor totally failed to mention. My milk made an immediate improvement. I'd recommend anyone new or even early novice level gets a thermometer to make sure they get the milk right.