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Subtle Duck

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There's also another in Derby going but it's got 5 days, Same sort of price. The thing is the professional, it has he water sight glass and a pressure gauge. And yes, the steam punk look is amazing. There are many companies that could service them for you, just search online. Where abouts in the country do you reside? I know my local rostery in the Midlands (chartley coffee) will service such machines.
 

Subtle Duck

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Utility generally all it'll need is a descale and the seals replacing. There are seal replacement kits available if you think you're up for a little diy
 

Session

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Hi @strange-steve - what do you drink?
Are you after milk drinks or just espresso?

A good friend of mine has a Flair and I would thoroughly recommend it. Without getting lucky on eBay I would think it’s likely to be the cheapest way into real espresso.

The other thing you really need is a good grinder. The Kinu Phoenix is excellent and good value for what you get (by this I mean it’s about £180, which a lot of people would think is an insane amount of money to spend on a hand grinder, but you’d have to spend a lot more to get comparative quality from an electric grinder). I‘ve heard good things about the Feld2

I have a Breville Dual Boiler and a Niche Zero, so more expensive than my mate’s gear (a Kinu Phoenix and a Flair), but I don’t think the coffee I make on my machine is any better than I can make on his, it’s just more convenient and more consistent. Oh - and it does milk, but if you’re a flat white fiend you can always pick up a Bellman steamer for only a few quid.

Another big plus of the Flair/Kinu combo is you can take it with you on holiday, which isn’t something I can do with my set up!

Here’s one I made this morning...

C29E7018-1950-4C75-A5CD-B894B5DB9C80.jpeg
 

strange-steve

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Thanks for the reply @Session. I'm after espresso primarily, although if I had something with a steam wand I'd definitely use it for the occasional flat white. I'm actually watching a few Gaggia Classics on ebay and still not sure whether to go down that route or the Flair (which I much prefer the aesthetics of).

You're right though, a grinder is my first priority and I'm extremely jealous of your Niche! The Kinu Phoenix looks good but I can't seem to find it for sale anywhere :confused:

Do you have any thoughts on the Iberital MC2?
 

strange-steve

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There's also another in Derby going but it's got 5 days, Same sort of price. The thing is the professional, it has he water sight glass and a pressure gauge. And yes, the steam punk look is amazing. There are many companies that could service them for you, just search online. Where abouts in the country do you reside? I know my local rostery in the Midlands (chartley coffee) will service such machines.
I'll keep an eye on it to see what the bidding is like. I'm in N. Ireland but I think there are one or two small roasters not too far away.
 

Edison

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I can vouch for this baby:


I think they’re available on Amazon for £250 at the mo. This replaced my long serving fully manual Krups machine that started failing in places I couldn’t repair after a miserly 15 years!

This one, albeit the black model before it, has served me well for the last 4 years at least with an espresso every morning and more in between. It doesn’t have lots of bells and whistles but it does have:

Burr grinder with adjustable gap
Manual hot water/steam wand with removable frother (which I removed)
Hatch to feed in pre-ground coffee
Adjustable grind quantity
Adjustable brew length (shot size)
Adjustable brew temperature (programmable)
Removable water tank

For an ‘entry level’ bean-to-cup machine it’s got quite a lot of bang-to-the-buck and has some pretty good reviews too.

I‘m mainly an espresso drinker with occasional lungos, flat whites and cappuccinos (did someone say triple espresso macchiato?), Lavazza Crema a aroma is far from the worst everyday bean choice.
 

Session

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Thanks for the reply @Session. I'm after espresso primarily, although if I had something with a steam wand I'd definitely use it for the occasional flat white. I'm actually watching a few Gaggia Classics on ebay and still not sure whether to go down that route or the Flair (which I much prefer the aesthetics of).

You're right though, a grinder is my first priority and I'm extremely jealous of your Niche! The Kinu Phoenix looks good but I can't seem to find it for sale anywhere :confused:

Do you have any thoughts on the Iberital MC2?
Ah bugger - I think they’ve been pretty popular given their price. I’ve just checked the Kinu website and they’re available for pre-order, but that’s not a great help if you want one now.

I’m afraid I haven’t really looked into the MC2. You might want to take a look on coffeeforumsuk, they’re a helpful bunch!

 
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AlDaviz

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I’ve got a used gaggia classic, look for a pre 2015 and expect to pay about £150. If you can find one with a pid controller already installed then great.

you need to budget for a decent grinder as well, check out the mignon at black cat coffee for about £350 or for a used grinder look for a mazzer super jolly if you have the space (£150 ish) or and iberital mc2 if you don’t (maybe £60-80).

This forum is great for advice and used kit.
I’ve one of these had it for around 15 year’s, still going strong, although I think it could do with a refurb. Maybe the next year or so.
Lavazza coffee has been my favourite for a long time. It also works well in my imperial stout.
 

Leon103

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I can vouch for this baby:


I think they’re available on Amazon for £250 at the mo. This replaced my long serving fully manual Krups machine that started failing in places I couldn’t repair after a miserly 15 years!

This one, albeit the black model before it, has served me well for the last 4 years at least with an espresso every morning and more in between. It doesn’t have lots of bells and whistles but it does have:

Burr grinder with adjustable gap
Manual hot water/steam wand with removable frother (which I removed)
Hatch to feed in pre-ground coffee
Adjustable grind quantity
Adjustable brew length (shot size)
Adjustable brew temperature (programmable)
Removable water tank

For an ‘entry level’ bean-to-cup machine it’s got quite a lot of bang-to-the-buck and has some pretty good reviews too.

I‘m mainly an espresso drinker with occasional lungos, flat whites and cappuccinos (did someone say triple espresso macchiato?), Lavazza Crema a aroma is far from the worst everyday bean choice.
After reading that review, a bean to mug type machine is what I need. We are more flat white drinkers than straight up espresso. Is the steam want and frother any good on this one?
 

Leon103

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Anyone got any experience of the Sage BES875UK
 

Edison

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After reading that review, a bean to mug type machine is what I need. We are more flat white drinkers than straight up espresso. Is the steam want and frother any good on this one?
I always find the attachments on the steam wand add far too much air. I leave mine off (is removable for cleaning) and find the technique is easy to master. Have the end of the steam wand just below the surface of the liquid/foam to draw air in rather than blast it from above. The right milk is important (I use Oately Barister) for a fine foam you‘re after for a flat white. Wish I had @Session skills on latte art!

<edit> It is a manual frother so you want a nice little jug and attached thermometer.
 

strange-steve

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Ah bugger - I think they’ve been pretty popular given their price. I’ve just checked the Kinu website and they’re available for pre-order, but that’s not a great help if you want one now.

I’m afraid I haven’t really looked into the MC2. You might want to take a look on coffeeforumsuk, they’re a helpful bunch!

I actually signed up to that forum a couple of days ago and after a lot of reading I still don't know what to go for! Obviously a Niche Zero would be amazing but waaay out of my budget. I'm seriously considering a Mignon though.
 

Session

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I actually signed up to that forum a couple of days ago and after a lot of reading I still don't know what to go for! Obviously a Niche Zero would be amazing but waaay out of my budget. I'm seriously considering a Mignon though.
I know the feeling - it’s difficult when there are so many options. If you’re after the best quality grinder for the least money, I would always recommend a hand grinder. As you’re not paying for the motor, transformer, electronics etc etc you’re spending the majority of your budget on the most important bit - burrs and good alignment.

The downside of a hand grinder is it’s more of a pain to adjust when you’re dialling in a new set of beans, and obviously more labour intensive.

One other unexpected upside to hand grinders is the amazing aroma of ground coffee that wafts up whilst you’re grinding the beans, it’s lovely!

If hand grinding seems like it would get old a bit too quickly, I’d agree a Mignon seems good. I used to have a Breville smart grinder pro, which was okay for filter, but I wouldn’t recommend it for espresso as it was stepped, and didn’t give the control I think you need for espresso. I haven’t used one myself, but from what I have read the Mignon is much better.
 

strange-steve

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I know the feeling - it’s difficult when there are so many options. If you’re after the best quality grinder for the least money, I would always recommend a hand grinder. As you’re not paying for the motor, transformer, electronics etc etc you’re spending the majority of your budget on the most important bit - burrs and good alignment.

The downside of a hand grinder is it’s more of a pain to adjust when you’re dialling in a new set of beans, and obviously more labour intensive.

One other unexpected upside to hand grinders is the amazing aroma of ground coffee that wafts up whilst you’re grinding the beans, it’s lovely!

If hand grinding seems like it would get old a bit too quickly, I’d agree a Mignon seems good. I used to have a Breville smart grinder pro, which was okay for filter, but I wouldn’t recommend it for espresso as it was stepped, and didn’t give the control I think you need for espresso. I haven’t used one myself, but from what I have read the Mignon is much better.
I'm not against a hand grinder at all, and the Comandante C40 is something that I've considered too, at about £190. I keep going back and forward on this, but I'd rather buy something now that I won't want to upgrade 6 months later aheadbutt
 

joel

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The Iberital MC2 is pretty good and is really good for the relatively low price. Mine is doserless and is a bit messy and it has no calibration marks so changing bean type involves some guesswork. But the grind is pretty good, will do any espresso grind (but not coarser grinds for other methods) and is stepless so very adjustable. But I've not had a chance to compare with anything better to see if a Mazza etc will improve flavour. I'm happy with it though.
 

Clint

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I know bugger all about coffee...what interests me about this is the option between hand or electric grinding...the same option available for spices...
I seen on a cooking program that although, obviously,an electric grinder is faster the process generates heat and changes the spice whereas hand grinding doesn't...whether this is true or if you can tell I don't know but I would have thought given the fuss that seems to go with coffee bean prep someone should know..
 

dalecek

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I've had Gaggia Classic for past 10 years and it's still going strong. Only had to take the head group apart few times over the years to give it a proper cleaning.
Paired with Ascaso mini.
 

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