Coffee Drinkers Anonymous

mike14

Likes Dirt
If anyone is looking for something slightly different, I got some of this for a present and it's been very enjoyable
https://hellocoffee.com.au/shop/whiskey-aged-single-origin
Lots of flavor and very smooth. I normally have a touch of sugar and milk with my coffee but this one needs neither.

Also just finished making the first batch of cold brew for summer. Now just need the weather to get on board!
 

Ultra Lord

Hurts. Requires Money. And is nerdy.
I’ve had a La Pavoni for about 16 years, can make cracking coffees with it. A bit of a learning curve to get the most out of it, but paid for itself many times over.

Simple as you say, a glorified kettle.

Things are now a little out of spec after thousands of heat cool cycles and it doesn’t last as long between seal changes as it used to.

Being relegated to secondary duties as a Linea Mini is sitting in a box waiting it’s turn. Hopefully that’ll last as long.
Thanks mate.

And now the big question, manual grinders?
Anyone got any recommendations?
 

Rorschach

Paid $250 for this custom title
The Porlex stuff rates well:
Porlex | Porlex Hand Grinders - Alternative Brewing

If you want a decent burr grinder that won't break the bank, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is fantastic.
I have one as my second grinder (for wifes decaf and different grind sizes for french press, cold brew etc.), and it fits the full-sized portafilter from my SAB machine, and has a containder for grinding larger amounts of coffee.
Coffee Grinder Review: Breville Smart Grinder Pro at Coffee Review
Breville Smart Grinder Pro (alternativebrewing.com.au)
 

CHEWY

Eats Squid
I've just picked up a Breville Barista Express and am trying to figure it all out (I know nothing about coffee).
What would be a good bean to start with to try and replicate a standard flat white from a cafe?
 

Tubbsy

artisanal crocheted skin flute abomination wearer
Staff member
I've just picked up a Breville Barista Express and am trying to figure it all out (I know nothing about coffee).
What would be a good bean to start with to try and replicate a standard flat white from a cafe?
All beans are different, so you could start by buying a bag of beans from a cafe you like. You need to get your grind setting spot on, small differences in the grind will make a big difference in flavour. Expect to go through at least a bag of beans testing until you get it right. The wrong grind setting will easily ruin even a great roast. A different brand of bean may then still need a change in grind setting.

Given your machine has an integrated grinder, don't keep the hopper full of beans as they won't like heating up and cooling down all the time. Think of beans like a lettuce - buy fresh and use soon. Plenty of good bean subscriptions out there; I have one out of Melbourne from a cafe called St. Ali. Or buy and support local. Don't use supermarket beans. Don't buy beans if there isn't a roast date on the bag.

Learn how to pack the coffee and tamp it down neatly. If this isn't done right the water can rip the puck to pieces and make an awful coffee.

Learn to froth the milk properly. Plenty of videos online about this, but if you're hearing a lot of bubbling and spluttering you're doing it wrong. Keep frothing until the jug is just too hot to touch then stop. Consistency should look a bit like paint for a flat white.

Some people like measuring things with scales. I just got there by trial and error, depends how invested you are in learning.

Be prepared to make quite a few shit coffees until you get the hang of it.


Heaps of videos online to devour, I don't mind James Hoffmann:

 

CHEWY

Eats Squid
All beans are different, so you could start by buying a bag of beans from a cafe you like. You need to get your grind setting spot on, small differences in the grind will make a big difference in flavour. Expect to go through at least a bag of beans testing until you get it right. The wrong grind setting will easily ruin even a great roast. A different brand of bean may then still need a change in grind setting.

Given your machine has an integrated grinder, don't keep the hopper full of beans as they won't like heating up and cooling down all the time. Think of beans like a lettuce - buy fresh and use soon. Plenty of good bean subscriptions out there; I have one out of Melbourne from a cafe called St. Ali. Or buy and support local. Don't use supermarket beans. Don't buy beans if there isn't a roast date on the bag.

Learn how to pack the coffee and tamp it down neatly. If this isn't done right the water can rip the puck to pieces and make an awful coffee.

Learn to froth the milk properly. Plenty of videos online about this, but if you're hearing a lot of bubbling and spluttering you're doing it wrong. Keep frothing until the jug is just too hot to touch then stop. Consistency should look a bit like paint for a flat white.

Some people like measuring things with scales. I just got there by trial and error, depends how invested you are in learning.

Be prepared to make quite a few shit coffees until you get the hang of it.


Heaps of videos online to devour, I don't mind James Hoffmann:

Thanks for the tips. I've already bought some medium roast beans which may have been a mistake.
I was already thinking I should have bought dark roast and that video you posted seems to confirm that?
 

Rorschach

Paid $250 for this custom title
All beans are different, so you could start by buying a bag of beans from a cafe you like. You need to get your grind setting spot on, small differences in the grind will make a big difference in flavour. Expect to go through at least a bag of beans testing until you get it right. The wrong grind setting will easily ruin even a great roast. A different brand of bean may then still need a change in grind setting.

Given your machine has an integrated grinder, don't keep the hopper full of beans as they won't like heating up and cooling down all the time. Think of beans like a lettuce - buy fresh and use soon. Plenty of good bean subscriptions out there; I have one out of Melbourne from a cafe called St. Ali. Or buy and support local. Don't use supermarket beans. Don't buy beans if there isn't a roast date on the bag.

Learn how to pack the coffee and tamp it down neatly. If this isn't done right the water can rip the puck to pieces and make an awful coffee.

Learn to froth the milk properly. Plenty of videos online about this, but if you're hearing a lot of bubbling and spluttering you're doing it wrong. Keep frothing until the jug is just too hot to touch then stop. Consistency should look a bit like paint for a flat white.

Some people like measuring things with scales. I just got there by trial and error, depends how invested you are in learning.

Be prepared to make quite a few shit coffees until you get the hang of it.


Heaps of videos online to devour, I don't mind James Hoffmann:

I went and did a barista training course, did wonders for my coffee making
 

Tubbsy

artisanal crocheted skin flute abomination wearer
Staff member
Thanks for the tips. I've already bought some medium roast beans which may have been a mistake.
I was already thinking I should have bought dark roast and that video you posted seems to confirm that?
Not necessarily - medium roast went really well on the La Pavoni.

Don't over think it in the beginning, give yourself some time to get to grips with fine tuning. And as @Rorschach says, if there's a training course near you you'll skill up much quicker.
 

pink poodle

aka stickchops
I've just picked up a Breville Barista Express and am trying to figure it all out (I know nothing about coffee).
What would be a good bean to start with to try and replicate a standard flat white from a cafe?

Ask your favourite cafe to sell you some of their beans.

Manual lever machines, yay or nay?
Looking at things like flair 58 and cafelat robot.
Easy cleaning and reliability, no compressor or heater etc.
Just seeing if anyone here has any experience with them.
I worked with a commercial one for a while. When you have it dialled the coffee is amazing. When it isn't dialled...it can be a huge pain in the arse. We were waterfront with heaps of open windows, so environmental controls were non-existent. If you fucked up the load (say dosage, grind, tamp, etc) for a shot you might get stuck waiting a long time for the lever to get back up. The owner of that place eventually fucked it off and ran with a conventional machine.
 

pink poodle

aka stickchops
I've just picked up a Breville Barista Express and am trying to figure it all out (I know nothing about coffee).
What would be a good bean to start with to try and replicate a standard flat white from a cafe?

Also just go all in and buy a kilo of Panama Geisha. There is no other bean and until you do you will not be satisfied.

I have a Breville something something a home. I can't remember the model, had this one for years now and the se before it. Important thing to remember at home is that most home machines run auch higher pressure pump than a commercial machine, so the extraction is quite different.

When I do fire it up, I'm dosing around 18 grams in the bigger basket that came with the machine. I grind fairly fine , but not the finest setting. This changes with the weather and beans a bit to keep my shots the way I like them.

Do yourself a favour and get a good tamp. The shit that came with the machine is useless.

And here's some latte art for warm fuzzies. #likeandsubscribe


IMG_20220813_164234288~3.jpg
 
Last edited:

Rorschach

Paid $250 for this custom title
Also just go all in and buy a kilo of Panama Geisha. There is no other bean and until you do you will not be satisfied.

I have a Breville something something a home. I can't remember the model, had this one for years now and the se before it. Important thing to remember at home is that most home machines run auch higher pressure pump than a commercial machine, so the extraction is quite different.

When I do fire it up, I'm dosing around 18 grams in the bigger basket that came with the machine. I grind fairly fine , but not the finest setting. This changes with the weather and beans a bit to keep my shots the way I like them.

Do yourself a favour and get a good tamp. The shit that came with the machine is useless.

And here's some latte art for warm fuzzies. #likeandsubscribe


View attachment 394616
Worth noting the lower level Breville machines are also thermoblock and have a 54mm portafilter vs. a standard 58mm
This is in addition to those shitty dual wall baskets that just need to go straight in the bin
 

pink poodle

aka stickchops
Worth noting the lower level Breville machines are also thermoblock and have a 54mm portafilter vs. a standard 58mm
This is in addition to those shitty dual wall baskets that just need to go straight in the bin
Nah man the dual wall is all about the insulation! Reduce your heating bills this winter!!!


But yes - get the right size tamp. Too small/large you're going to have a hard time using it.
 

downunderdallas

Likes Dirt
The Porlex stuff rates well:
Porlex | Porlex Hand Grinders - Alternative Brewing

If you want a decent burr grinder that won't break the bank, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is fantastic.
I have one as my second grinder (for wifes decaf and different grind sizes for french press, cold brew etc.), and it fits the full-sized portafilter from my SAB machine, and has a containder for grinding larger amounts of coffee.
Coffee Grinder Review: Breville Smart Grinder Pro at Coffee Review
Breville Smart Grinder Pro (alternativebrewing.com.au)
I can vouch for the Porlex, have used it with my flair to make very acceptable camping coffee, also builds arm strength for riding!
 

Ultra Lord

Hurts. Requires Money. And is nerdy.
I worked with a commercial one for a while. When you have it dialled the coffee is amazing. When it isn't dialled...it can be a huge pain in the arse. We were waterfront with heaps of open windows, so environmental controls were non-existent. If you fucked up the load (say dosage, grind, tamp, etc) for a shot you might get stuck waiting a long time for the lever to get back up. The owner of that place eventually fucked it off and ran with a conventional machine.
I’ve pretty much talked myself into one now, guess I’m glad I’m not buying it for a cafe then and I can just dissapoint myself rather than customers while I figure it out.
 

downunderdallas

Likes Dirt
Manual lever machines, yay or nay?
Looking at things like flair 58 and cafelat robot.
Easy cleaning and reliability, no compressor or heater etc.
Just seeing if anyone here has any experience with them.
I use my flair almost exclusively now and my VBM is relegated to milk steaming duties! Yes it's a bit of faff but definitely worth it.
 

pink poodle

aka stickchops
I’ve pretty much talked myself into one now, guess I’m glad I’m not buying it for a cafe then and I can just dissapoint myself rather than customers while I figure it out.
You might make yourself less than great coffee for a bit, but you won disappoint yourself! And when you nail it...I still play with getting an Electra lever machine for home. I won't because so many other toys desired and money isn't unlimited, but I can dream.


I'm really lucky I live round the corner from a few roasters
These guys are my locals, and have some gadgets too
I lived near fiebre.


@Tubbsy did you consider the gs3?
 

Tubbsy

artisanal crocheted skin flute abomination wearer
Staff member
@Tubbsy did you consider the gs3?
Not really. Partially it was an aesthetic decision based on what we’re doing here, but also I got a decent discount of RRP which made it notably cheaper than a GS3 or Slayer. I’m not massively into the nutty professor contraptions but obviously have to concede they’re more capable.
 
Top