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  • Coffee for Connoisseurs
    coffee will have a strong pure aroma with no disagreeable smells Then comes the big slurp basically an attempt to inhale a mouthful of coffee without choking takes a bit of practice after which you swish the coffee around inside your mouth to determine its overall taste body and balance Projectile spitting into a spittoon is another art which must be learned if you don t want to wear brown permanently After the show is over the big question is what does it taste like and hopefully the answer is COFFEE However the overall taste can usually be defined in terms of sourness the level of acidity sweetness caramelised sugars formed during roasting bitterness undesirable taint at the back of the mouth and body lipid oil content contributing to mouthfeel The more subtle flavour nuances such as blackberry gamey maple syrup toast are generally features of the aroma the descriptions attempt to communicate the overall flavour by analogy to known tastes This is where Ted Lingle came in below are the Flavor Wheels he invented in his attempt to standardize the terminology The first wheel is a description of the potential faults associated with improper storage handling and roasting of coffee beans The second is the attempt to characterize flavours and aromas in easily understandable terms allowing you to describe a coffee as Sweet with a mellow acidity and a slight trace of bitterness in the aftertaste The aroma is honey with hints of flowers and citrus The medium body rounds out the flavour into a balanced whole Learning to taste coffee is almost entirely a practical affair with of course a lot of paperwork attached If you don t write it down you never tasted it A good way to familiarize yourself with the various coffee tastes is to

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/altcof/altcoffeepage12.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Coffee for Connoisseurs
    overall better than any preground coffee can be Each brewing process and bean combination has a correct grind and even slight variations in the process a change of filter type for drip or a change of size for a moka pot may require a grind adjustment As far as I know the ONLY brewing method where grinding doesn t need tweaking from time to time is Middle Eastern coffee where only a powder grind is good enough When it comes to good tastebuds you ve got em or you haven t although a regular smoker MIGHT have good tastebuds and never know We re born with a genetically predetermined number of tastebuds and the more you have the greater your taste sensitivity A smoker s quota is so abused that they are fundamentally useless for real taste discrimination so all the serious coffee fanatics and wine fanatics too I know are non smokers The unlimited budget is an absolute necessity for the true fanatic especially after the first flush of enthusiasm When you start to say to yourself Hmmm this tastes nice but if I brewed it THIS way and realise that you need a megabuck Subflexisive Farsata with digital temperature control and inbuilt latte art capability a bottomless wallet is an advantage You can also afford to travel to the far corners of the world in search of the ultimate coffee beans direct from the source Otherwise you would have to descend to the level of the rest of us scratching through Opportunity Shops Garage sales and antique stores for bargains and bidding against fellow addic er enthusiasts on Ebay Finally you need a good push ahem supplier who can lead you into the coffee maze gently answering your questions and reining in your impulsiveness from time to time

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/altcof/altcoffeepage13.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Coffee for Connoisseurs
    cultivation is used In general Australian coffees can be characterized as Mild Medium Body Medium Acidity Neutral to slightly sweet flavour The very best Australian coffees I ve tasted have a creamy mouthfeel and a distinctive butterscotch flavour and aroma but they are exceedingly rare and usually unappreciated by the grower The bulk of the coffees are very average indeed distinguished only by their high prices due to the high cost environment they grow in Several samples I ve received recently have been both expensive AND faulty with off flavours caused by poor growing and processing practices One of the most common problems I ve encountered and it s not limited to Australia is that coffee farmers are farmers first and foremost and more interested in the size of the crop than the end product produced from it You d be amazed by the number of Aussie coffee farmers who have no idea what their own beans taste like Their credentials as coffee drinkers rest entirely on the jar of Nescafe in the pantry My personal take on the Aussie coffee industry is that if it s to be successful in the long term it is going to need a

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/altcof/altcoffeepage14.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Coffee for Connoisseurs
    this coffee is Bland Grown and harvested by mechanical means prepared and dried using continuous processing treated as a commodity item It has no major distinguishing characteristics and no serious faults it tastes like a mild low acid low body coffee when brewed normally and makes a pleasantly sweet espresso with a healthy crema It is also called Brazil Bourbon Santos signifying originally that the Arabica cultivars were from the island of Reunion and the coffee was shipped from the port at Santos Other coffee shipped from Rio is known as Rio y signifying that it has a horrible metallic Iodine like taste and smell Surprisingly enough this coffee is popular in Eastern European and Middle Eastern countries In the last couple of years the depressed world coffee prices have led to a reevaluation of the bulk commodity strategy by the Brazilian industry culminating in the Best of Brazil competitions and internet auctions sponsored by the Specialty Coffee Association of America www scaa org and the Brazil Specialty Coffee Association www bsca com br indiceus html These competitions attempt to search out the best Brazilian coffees of a particular year and then to ensure that they are sold at a price commensurate with their quality At the most recent auction this was on average 4 times the current market price I have only tasted 3 of these competition winners and of the three I have extensive experience with only one coffee the Fazenda Lambari 5th placegetter in the first competition This is from the Cerrado area of Minas Gerais My tasting notes read Strong toasty aroma with malty overtones Sweet initial flavour moderating into a piquant acidity with a good rounded body Lingering aftertaste with a slightly bittersweet malty bite This coffee was well balanced distinctive in flavour and aroma

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/altcof/altcoffeepage15.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Coffee Articles
    teflon tube use a piece of fine sandpaper or a scotchbrite pad for grip Pull the tube off the nipple then undo the hex bolts from the boiler The longest bolt with washer is the one the earth wires attach to In a sink or tray knock the boiler loose with a sharp tap with a hammer then pull it straight up Clean up the base remove and discard the old o ring insert a new o ring in the groove Note that all the crap in the base is a consequence of boiler overheating Remove the overpressure valve OPV hose from the old boiler don t lose the spring clip Give the bolt left hand end of the valve NOT the barb a sharp downwards tap with the hammer then unscrew the OPV Now comes the most difficult part of the whole process Inside the OPV there may be a copper compression spacer washer or two or three Even if there isn t you might need a combo of thick and thin washers to get the OPV TIGHT in the correct position on the new boiler MAJOR TIP Play with various washer combinations until you can screw the valve up TIGHT in the correct position Once the washers are right I anoint the threads with pipe sealant then use 10cm of teflon tape on top of the sealant Then it s a matter of screwing on the OPV until it s good and tight in the correct position an upside down V Doesn t have to be exact but if anything the right hand side should be a fraction lower than the picture Before reassembling I run a bead of high temperature silicone gasket sealant around the edge of the boiler as insura nce against leaks Attach the OPV hose before putting the boiler back into the machine Finally I trim 5mm off the end of the teflon pipe before pushing it back onto the nipple you can only do it once then reassemble everything in the order I removed it Make sure all the boiler hex bolts are good and tight MAJOR TIP DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN THE OVERTEMPERATURE THERMOSTAT OR THE TOP THERMOSTATS BRACKET SCREWS Otherwise they ll break off in the boiler body and you ll be in all sorts of trouble As tight as you can get with 2 fingers on the screwdriver or socket is enough MAJOR TIP TEST THE MACHINE FOR LEAKS ETC BEFORE PUTTING THE PANELS BACK IT S MUCH EASIER TO FIX STUFF AT THIS STAGE STEAM VALVE RENOVATION When to do it When you re getting water leaking from the steam wand itself washer or along the shaft o rings or down the length of the wand o ring Parts needed Steam valve washer 3 O rings Remove the steam valve knob by pulling it out from the machine Undo the steam wand nut 18mm spanner and remove the wand by pulling it down The o ring may be on the

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/articles/repair1.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Coffee Articles
    of the steam valve you have to remove the boiler first The first step in removing the boiler is freeing the indicator light accomplished by pressing a finger on the little orange cover on the machine s front then pulling the light away from the cover Then using a 15mm spanner undo the split retaining nut on the steam valve until you can slide it free of the shaft The shaft can then be unscrewed and removed through the front of the machine Stuff like o ring replacement or shaft touch up can be done at this stage Next step is removal of the wiring the thermostats unscrew Remember to reconnect and or label and photograph as you go along Remove the wiring and outlet hose from the solenoid valve as well Then undo the water inlet hose 12mm spanner Older machines have this brass nut and ferrule arrangement Do NOT try grasping the hose with pliers use sandpaper or a scotchbrite pad It s easier on the latest Lelit machines With these fittings you simple depress the green plastic ring and pull the hose out of the fitting and replacement is accomplished by simply pushing the hose back into the fitting At this stage you undo the group collar nuts and remove the group collar The whole boiler steam arm and solenoid assembly can then be lifted clear of the machine This is the point where the steam arm o ring and the solenoid coil and valve can be removed and replaced Now comes the tricky part The water flow through this boiler to the group goes boiler input steam assembly solenoid valve teflon pipe copper pipe water distributor First undo the 10mm compression nut and remove the pipe from the nipple Then unscrew the 12mm nipple nut from the top of the copper pipe through the boiler Do not damage the thread or lose the o ring Now you can undo the 4x8mm boiler bolts and separate the halves At this point things are easy you can replace the element replace the boiler o ring whatever The reassembly goes in reverse order but with the addition of a little bit of silicone at the top of the copper pipe and around the element and boiler o rings And make sure that the group collar is on the right way before doing up the nuts MAJOR TIP Don t Forget to push the solenoid drain tube back onto the nipple before testing the machine GRINDER REMOVAL First MAKE SURE THE MACHINE IS UNPLUGGED Remove the water tank and pull the filter off the intake pipe Next remove the trays Turn the machine upside down and empty the grinder hopper Use a flat head screwdriver to gently lever off the grinder adjustment knob Pull the grinder hopper straight up and it will come out Record the setting before you do Undo the screw behind the hopper And above the water tank area Remove the top plate of the machine and

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/articles/repair2.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Coffee Articles
    Lelit Portafilter with blind filter Make sure machine is properly warmed up water tank is full and drip tray is in place Run some hot water through the group Place the blind filter basket in the portafilter and add 1 4 teaspoon of Espresso Machine detergent Lock the portafilter FIRMLY into the group Turn on the brew switch and allow pump to run until it goes quiet or 15 seconds max Turn off Turn on brew switch for 3 seconds then turn off You should get a whoosh of hot water and detergent from the valve into the drip tray Leave machine alone for 5 minutes then repeat above Another 5 minutes and repeat Remove portafilter run water through group for 5 seconds Rinse out blind filter under tap empty and rinse drip tray then return to machine and repeat procedure without detergent and without waiting between flushes Finally run 100ml of water out of the group to rinse DESCALING Machines should be descaled about every 6 months or so more frequently if you re in a hard water area yearly in metro Melbourne You can use expensive commercial descaler or plain citric acid from the supermarket Descaling single boiler machines with tanks is pretty easy as long as they have brass or stainless steel boilers First remove the showerscreen and the water spreader washer on the Silvia 1 50 for 75g cheap Simply dissolve 10g of citric acid in a cup of hot water then add cold water to make the quantity up to a litre Replace any water in the tank with the citric acid solution then run 300ml one and a half cups of water through the group leaving the machine on Wait 20 minutes then run another 300ml out this time through the steam wand then turn the machine off Empty any remaining solution from the tank flush with clean water refill and run about a litre of clean water through the machine alternating between the group and the steam wand Replace the showerscreen and washer spreader and you re ready to brew again HX Machines Heat exchanger machines like the laScala butterfly can be a bit more difficult because the boiler water and brew water are kept separate The way I do it makes it pretty simple but it does require some minor tool skills First with the machine cold I prepare 2 5 litres of descaling solution as above and fill the tank with it Then I take the top plate off the machine Next I remove the top of the vacuum breaker valve see pic below using a socket spanner The vacuum breaker valve is the silvery one on the left Then I use a thin hose to syphon all of the water out of the boiler after which I replace the top of the valve With the tank and hoses back in place I turn on the machine The autofill function immediately activates the pump and fills the boiler with descaling solution

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/articles/cleaning.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Host 2011 Exhibition at Fiera Rho Milano
    people seem to accept it I had a brief chat with 2010 World Barista Champ Gwilym Davies which confirmed my observations that great espresso is no longer a major Italian goal The other really interesting thing was the complete lack of new domestic machine offerings with the exception of Lelit It would appear that the major machine makers have ceded the domestic machine market to pods superautos and Chinese manufacturers for the forseeable future The Lelit exception was Finally a PID controlled brass boiler standard 58mm group machine which should be available soon One surprising new small grinder I saw was offered by Casadio which is Cimbali Faema s second brand It looked very familiar and turned out to be a slightly blinged up Sunbeam EM0480 variant so there must already be a certain amount of commerce between the Italian companies and Chinese manufacturing facilities Apart from the addition of touchscreens to various Superauto machines there were virtually no major machine innovations Individual group temperature control by PID systems first proposed by Greg Scace in 2001 is becoming more common Brew pressure control again first proposed by Greg Scace and Andy Schecter in 2002 and fully realised by Greg a few years back is the next big thing but given how cheap the computer and sensor technology to do these things is these are natural developments I firmly believe that any further improvements to conventional espresso machines are going to happen in tiny increments rather than technological leaps My opinion and I m sure many people will disagree is that the next revolution in consumer espresso will come via feedback control of the the grinder and extraction parameters The single most common cause of poor quality espresso anywhere in the world is underextraction always caused by pushing too much water through the coffee in too little time This is in turn always a result of incorrectly ground and dosed coffee and is usually produced by a person who has no understanding of espresso and no desire to gain such understanding as long as customers pay up and don t complain I can forsee a future machine grinder combination linked by computerised feedback loops The grinder will have automated adjustment and deliver weighed doses the machine will be able to measure volume extracted vs extraction time and adjust the grind and dose to meet the correct extraction parameters The technology to do this exists today but I haven t seen yet the whole package put together even as a Superauto machine I suppose I ll have to have a long chat with Greg Scace next time I see him And the role of the Barista To optimise the taste by working out the best combination of temperature pressure dose volume and extraction time for a particular coffee Oh and to do good milk which is a whole subject in itself Host on the first day looking back towards the entrance and looking onward just to give an idea of the size

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/articles/host2011.html (2015-11-27)
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