Any baristas (coffee enthusiats) among us? :-)

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Eddy
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#1
I'm a bit crazy about coffee... Got myself a little Delonghi espresso maker last year and have been experimenting with different beans on and off ever since. I've been unambitious as of late and have been sticking to Illy and Lavazza. What does everyone else drink and what's your setup? :)
 
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Mr Compatible Ink
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#2
I've just got back from visiting my parents in Italy, the thing i miss the most when i'm back here, apart from them of course, is the delicious coffee, i have my own coffee maker here and i use Lavazza gold, and Kimbo which i bring back with me but it just doesn't taste as good.

I keep meaning to buy beans and grind my own coffee but it's just finding time to do it.
 
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Marc

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#3
I used to have a bean to cup gaggia machine a few years ago but cleaning it was a hassle. Use a grinder and a caffetiere now. Lucky enough to have an old fashioned coffee retailer local to us who roast beans on the premisses.
 
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#5
I wouldn't call myself a coffee enthusiast but I drink a hell of a lot for the caffeine. I usually refuse to go to expensive coffee shops like Costa and Starbucks but I've reluctantly broken the trend since I've moved to Birmingham.

I never know what to order though with all the syrups and what not, I always just end up with a cappuccino :LOL: Any suggestions?

Or maybe I'm completely missing the point here and you lot are just obsessed with ordinary coffee, if there's such thing... :cautious:
 
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#6
I wouldn't call myself a coffee enthusiast but I drink a hell of a lot for the caffeine. I usually refuse to go to expensive coffee shops like Costa and Starbucks but I've reluctantly broken the trend since I've moved to Birmingham.

I never know what to order though with all the syrups and what not, I always just end up with a cappuccino :LOL: Any suggestions?

Or maybe I'm completely missing the point here and you lot are just obsessed with ordinary coffee, if there's such thing... :cautious:

Suggestions: Continue to avoid Costa and Starbucks. And don't go near syrups and flavourings.

The sickly smell of Starbucks is still etched in my brain from a trip to America earlier this year. I don't think they should be allowed to market that stuff under the word "coffee".
 
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#7
I completely missed the point then :LOL:

I can't even get a cuppa to taste the same every time so I really am lost now :p
 
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#8
I wouldn't completely condemn Costa (at least they pay their taxes!). For the most part though I like their coffee, not that I go there too often. I HATE Starbucks though. They use a lower quality bean. Costa beans I actually buy myself from time to time. You can buy them freshly roasted from enthusiast roasters around the country for quite a lot cheap than Costa sell in their outlets. I don't generally go for the syrups, but the gingerbread one is nice and not too sugary!

For your day to day I'd recommend Nescafe Gold, Nescafe Azera or Kenco Millicano - my office blend :p ! :)
 

dinners

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#9
I'm one of those unfortunate folk that love good coffee but have to limit it due to sleep problems.
 

Nod

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#10
We used to drink Greek coffee which we used to buy fresh ground from a specialist shop in Chania, Crete but then we switched to espresso based coffee and used a DeLonghi machine with an assortment of coffees. Never got into grinding our own - the noise drives us both crazy! About a year ago, we bought my MiL a Tassimo machine as a seasonal gift for the end of next month and tried it to see how MiL proof it is. Turns out that even she can use it. Of course, we couldn't give her a used one so we kept that one and bought her a fresh one. We've tried a large selection of the pods and our preference is the Costa range - Mrs Nod likes their Americano and I like the latte. Have to admit that I usually slip a small shot of home made vanilla syrup into mine as the sweetener while my wife uses little tablets.

Certainly wouldn't call us barristas - they're the people who make the stuff not those who enjoy drinking it.
 

TCR4x4

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#12
I like the odd cup or ten.

I use a gaggia classic, modded with a rancilio wand and OPV mod and a la cimbali cadet grinder. My go to bean is RAVE signature. They are not far from me, so I go in there every couple of weeks and get some fresh roasted beans.

I also use an Aeropress, bialetti and a drip machine sometimes.

Give the chance for some nice photos too ;-)




I also photographed and filmed the first coffee forum uk grind off event at RAVE coffee a few months ago. Lots of very nice grinders all in one place, and some expensive machines to play with!

 
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#13
I like the odd cup or ten.

I use a gaggia classic, modded with a rancilio wand and OPV mod and a la cimbali cadet grinder. My go to bean is RAVE signature. They are not far from me, so I go in there every couple of weeks and get some fresh roasted beans.

I also use an Aeropress, bialetti and a drip machine sometimes.

Give the chance for some nice photos too ;-)



+1 to the aeropress, love mine!
 
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#19
We used to drink Greek coffee which we used to buy fresh ground from a specialist shop in Chania, Crete but then we switched to espresso based coffee and used a DeLonghi machine with an assortment of coffees. Never got into grinding our own - the noise drives us both crazy! About a year ago, we bought my MiL a Tassimo machine as a seasonal gift for the end of next month and tried it to see how MiL proof it is. Turns out that even she can use it. Of course, we couldn't give her a used one so we kept that one and bought her a fresh one. We've tried a large selection of the pods and our preference is the Costa range - Mrs Nod likes their Americano and I like the latte. Have to admit that I usually slip a small shot of home made vanilla syrup into mine as the sweetener while my wife uses little tablets.

Certainly wouldn't call us barristas - they're the people who make the stuff not those who enjoy drinking it.
Sorry for the thread hijack, but Nod - can I pick your brains please...?
I use a nespresso pod machine but have never got on with the nespresso club or their snooty attitude so following a couple of aerochino machine failures and a total lack of customer support I am now looking at a Tassimo in part as I believe some of their pods come with milk (well, you know what I mean - white coffee, latte etc)
As you have tried a few of what is available would you say it is worth a go - hmm, having just re-read what you wrote about buying a second for the MiL I guess you would, but any further comments would be appreciated !
 

Nod

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#20
Actually, we've ended up buying 3 of them! One we've kept for us (and it's still in use several times daily, unlike most other kitchen gadgets that fall out of favour after a couple of months...), one went to the MiL and one is at my wife's Yoga studio. As I said above, our favourites are the Costa range for Americano and latte, although my wife also likes the Créma Intenso from one of the other ranges. As you say, some (latte, cappuccino and some others) come as 2 pods, I do the milk first in my lattes, followed by the espresso shot, ditto for the capp and the Cadbury hot chocolate (although we now use the Suchards HC - but at this time of year, the pods for that need warming otherwise they retain some of the syrup...) TBH, there's usually a £20 off your first order with the machines and to get free delivery you only need to spend £35 (IIRC) so for a tenner, you can try a few different varieties. We get the most used ones via Amazon, although I think they can sometimes be found cheaper if you shop around and look for special offers (and Makro stock some packs). I also like their Twining's Breakfast Tea, as does the MiL (a Yorksirewoman who likes her tea!).

We were also given a Senseo machine but only with the single cup bag holder. We've tried a couple of their offerings but much prefer the ease of use of the Tassimo as well as the coffe it makes! The only real gripe I have with the Tassimo is that the pods aren't recyclable.

Keep your eyes open for the machines on special offer - full price is a bit steep but we bought the first 2 at 1/2 price (in Sainsburys) and the 3rd came from a friend who got it through Costa shortly before having to cut drastically down on caffeine on doctor's orders. He never got to use it, although when he and his wife brought it up, we did give them both a cup of their choice!
 
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#21
I'm a bit crazy about coffee... Got myself a little Delonghi espresso maker last year and have been experimenting with different beans on and off ever since. I've been unambitious as of late and have been sticking to Illy and Lavazza. What does everyone else drink and what's your setup? :)
Oh I've spent so much on coffee machines!

I currently have a Philips Saeco bean-to-cup machine. BUT just went to buy a Filter Coffee Machine and prefer filter coffee as in my opinion it's a bit weaker than espresso which suits me.
I also used to have a Gaggia Classic, I converted the steamer to be that of a more professional espresso machine - I liked this to the point where flies started flying into the water tank because there was quite a large gap lol.

I like this coffee here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0069L9JZQ/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 it has a hint of chocolate (unless my taste buds tell me wrong!)

I use preground now because I hate hearing a grinder early in the morning :p.

So this coffee + 3 teaspoons of sugar + milk = my coffee :).
 
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#22
Another Gaggia classic user here. I tend to use Caffe Elena beans, as I developed a taste for them living on the Med. Hard to get over here though! I go for M&S or Taylors grounds if i'm being lazy though
At work i French Press Taylors Guatemalan Cloud Forest, does the trick (of making me look like a d!ck to my fellow nescafe enthusiasts)
Interested by the talk of milk-frother mods - I don't use it at all for coffee (espresso only) but recently I have taken to using it for making hot chocolate for my fiancee, but it seems to take forever. Is there a solution to this???
 

Steep

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#23
We were also given a Senseo machine but only with the single cup bag holder. We've tried a couple of their offerings but much prefer the ease of use of the Tassimo as well as the coffe it makes!
See if you can find the Coffee Duck filter attachment Nod (got mine on Amazon), with that you can use any filter coffee you like in the Senseo. Mind and get the right one for your machine, the handle placement is different.
 
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#24
I had a morphy richards espresso machine, I only like black coffee so don't need the steam, anyway that got used lots so recently treated myself to a delonghi bean to cup machine and I am really happy with it.
We have a local(ish) proper roasting shop but it's in a part of town I rarely get to so have tried most of the lavaza' and several others and tbh I prefer sainsbury's own brand espresso beans, but still try others when I get a chance.
 

TCR4x4

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#25
Another Gaggia classic user here. I tend to use Caffe Elena beans, as I developed a taste for them living on the Med. Hard to get over here though! I go for M&S or Taylors grounds if i'm being lazy though
At work i French Press Taylors Guatemalan Cloud Forest, does the trick (of making me look like a d!ck to my fellow nescafe enthusiasts)
Interested by the talk of milk-frother mods - I don't use it at all for coffee (espresso only) but recently I have taken to using it for making hot chocolate for my fiancee, but it seems to take forever. Is there a solution to this???
Buy a wand from the Rancillio Silvia. Its a straight swap, but you have take the nut of the existing wand and replace the nut on the new wand with it, which can be a bit fiddly. Then just screw the new wand in. Its much better and you can get much better foam than the plastic crap that comes as standard.
 
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#26
Same as Tom, I have the modded Gaggia Classic. Hasbean are my go to for beans and they go through the Gaggia MDF grinder, with the worlds. Most useless doser!

I have just invested in an aero press for work after hearing friends rave about them. Awaiting that plus new beans which I hope will be here before I head out this morning. Also waiting for tile grout, but that's not quite as exciting.
 

Nod

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#27
Thanks for the tip Hugh. However, we have a couple of filter machines in the loft and still have the espresso machine on a shelf in the kitchen so plenty of options.
 
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#28
I have just invested in an aero press for work after hearing friends rave about them.
When I heard about an Aeropress I thought "pah, no way I'll spend 600 quid or whatever on a coffee machine". Then I found out theses mythcial devices were 20 quid so I thought "no way that will be any good".

Then I tried one.

Not sure why I'd pay more than 20 quid for any coffee machine now :D
 
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#29
When I heard about an Aeropress I thought "pah, no way I'll spend 600 quid or whatever on a coffee machine". Then I found out theses mythcial devices were 20 quid so I thought "no way that will be any good".

Then I tried one.

Not sure why I'd pay more than 20 quid for any coffee machine now :D
So... I might buy one of these things then?! My Delonghi is on its way out I think... The 15 barrs of pressure just doesn't seem enough to 'push through' the grind in the filter :( I'm guessing it's 'cos the machine is a relatively 'cheap' make. I may opt for a Gaggia Classic when the Delonghi bites the dust.
 
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#30
So... I might buy one of these things then?! My Delonghi is on its way out I think... The 15 barrs of pressure just doesn't seem enough to 'push through' the grind in the filter :( I'm guessing it's 'cos the machine is a relatively 'cheap' make. I may opt for a Gaggia Classic when the Delonghi bites the dust.
Worth a go for 20 quid ;)
 
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#31
Actually, we've ended up buying 3 of them! One we've kept for us (and it's still in use several times daily, unlike most other kitchen gadgets that fall out of favour after a couple of months...), one went to the MiL and one is at my wife's Yoga studio. As I said above, our favourites are the Costa range for Americano and latte, although my wife also likes the Créma Intenso from one of the other ranges. As you say, some (latte, cappuccino and some others) come as 2 pods, I do the milk first in my lattes, followed by the espresso shot, ditto for the capp and the Cadbury hot chocolate (although we now use the Suchards HC - but at this time of year, the pods for that need warming otherwise they retain some of the syrup...) TBH, there's usually a £20 off your first order with the machines and to get free delivery you only need to spend £35 (IIRC) so for a tenner, you can try a few different varieties. We get the most used ones via Amazon, although I think they can sometimes be found cheaper if you shop around and look for special offers (and Makro stock some packs). I also like their Twining's Breakfast Tea, as does the MiL (a Yorksirewoman who likes her tea!).

We were also given a Senseo machine but only with the single cup bag holder. We've tried a couple of their offerings but much prefer the ease of use of the Tassimo as well as the coffe it makes! The only real gripe I have with the Tassimo is that the pods aren't recyclable.

Keep your eyes open for the machines on special offer - full price is a bit steep but we bought the first 2 at 1/2 price (in Sainsburys) and the 3rd came from a friend who got it through Costa shortly before having to cut drastically down on caffeine on doctor's orders. He never got to use it, although when he and his wife brought it up, we did give them both a cup of their choice!
Many thanks for the help and advice Nod - eyes will be kept open !!


Edit - there is an offer on right now through Costa - £50 including delivery for a T4 with a £20 voucher when you have registered which sounds pretty good to me !
 
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TCR4x4

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#33
The Aeropress is awesome, but just be mindful of the fact, it's not actually espresso, just very concentrated coffee.

There are hundreds of ways to brew with it, and the ones listed on the instructions are some of the worst!

My method is a grind between espresso and drip, 20g into an inverted Aeropress. Add water slowly, just enough to cover the grounds and let sit for 30 seconds. Continue to fill the Aeropress to the top and stir about 6 times, then let sit for 3-4 minutes. Stir again, wash the paper filter and attach, then turn the Aeropress over and press gently until you hear the hissing noise.

You can dilute to taste, it will be pretty strong!

Mmm, making my mouth water just writing it.
 
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#34
The Aeropress is awesome, but just be mindful of the fact, it's not actually espresso, just very concentrated coffee.

There are hundreds of ways to brew with it, and the ones listed on the instructions are some of the worst!

My method is a grind between espresso and drip, 20g into an inverted Aeropress. Add water slowly, just enough to cover the grounds and let sit for 30 seconds. Continue to fill the Aeropress to the top and stir about 6 times, then let sit for 3-4 minutes. Stir again, wash the paper filter and attach, then turn the Aeropress over and press gently until you hear the hissing noise.

You can dilute to taste, it will be pretty strong!

Mmm, making my mouth water just writing it.
just trying to get this right in my head..

so you have the plunger already installed and have the whole lot upside down

then you add the ground and a touch of water

add water while still upside down and stir etc

rinse filter with water and install

press plunger to create pressure

then plunge over cup

is that right?
 
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#35
Buy a wand from the Rancillio Silvia. Its a straight swap, but you have take the nut of the existing wand and replace the nut on the new wand with it, which can be a bit fiddly. Then just screw the new wand in. Its much better and you can get much better foam than the plastic crap that comes as standard.
My afternoon is sorted, going to a) hunt me down one of these, and b) investigate this aeropress!
Thanks Tom, much appreciated!
 
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#36
just trying to get this right in my head..

so you have the plunger already installed and have the whole lot upside down

then you add the ground and a touch of water

add water while still upside down and stir etc

rinse filter with water and install

press plunger to create pressure

then plunge over cup

is that right?
Words are hard.

 

TCR4x4

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#39
You got it... I haven't bothered with the metal filter, but it does supposedly take a little acidity out of the cup.. Try with the paper ones and see how it tastes.. I've had my Aeropress 2 years and still haven't had to buy any more filters, they last a long time!
 

Nod

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#40
Many thanks for the help and advice Nod - eyes will be kept open !!


Edit - there is an offer on right now through Costa - £50 including delivery for a T4 with a £20 voucher when you have registered which sounds pretty good to me !

That's less than we paid a year ago for the 2 we got from Sainsbury's but more (IIRC) than the Costa one was. I would go for it! Any other help, just ask (via PM so we don't hijack this thread too much!!!)
 
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