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  • Newsletter
    experiences in the local market with many users of superauto machines Two prominent manufacturers are missing from the list Saeco Gaggia and Jura Saeco is excluded due to their appalling service backup at least in Victoria Jura misses out because in my experience their machines run too cool below the temperature required for good espresso I don t know why this is so or whether it can be corrected by changing settings but I have seen it too often to ignore it Small Office up to 10 people Solis Palazzo I like the Solis Pallazo machines sold by Diamond C services www diamond c com au Internally they are Saecos but build quality and service backup is top knotch Medium Office 10 50 people 2 candidates here from Crown Coffee www crowncoffee com au the Quickmill Super Cappuccino 5500 and from Lygon Imports www lygonimport com au the San Remo Automat Both have internal all metal brew groups and a variety of adjustment parameters to allow excellent brewing Quickmill 5500 San Remo Automat Large Office 50 people up Schaerer Model C Here there is a wide choice of machines including high end Saecos Schaerer Azkoyen Acorto and many others all representing a major investment and requiring top service backup My advice here is to first investigate the service and supply then choose the machine With all of the above it s also important to remember that without the best coffee beans my job the end product will still be dreck One of the reasons I emphasise the service side of superautomatic espresso machines is that setup and maintenance by someone who knows what they are doing is critical especially with the professional level machines Any change in the brewing parameters even something as simple as a change of beans can

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/april2005.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Newsletter
    afford to pay the necessary attention to his crop Some good things have come from this such as increased recognition of the need for Relationship coffees but overall the effects have been bad Green coffee prices are now rising again but the damage has been done This was brought home to me fairly forcefully during April when I was told by my regular supplier that there was no Nicaraguan or Colombian Maragogype available It wasn t a price based shortage it was simply that these coffees are getting rarer all the time The reason for this is fairly simple Maragogype and other spectacular specialty coffees are what are called Heirloom Varietals coffees produced from plants originally selected for flavour Modern varietals tend to be optimised for yield rather than taste A Maragogype coffee bush may produce less than 1kg of green coffee a year One of the new hybrids can easily triple that yield From the farmer s point of view it makes sense to replace the Maragogype bushes with higher yielding types even if he s paid less per kilo he has many more kilos of coffee to sell and his overall income rises Since much of the world s specialty coffee is produced by small farmers with minute plots of land where the number of coffee plants is strictly limited this scenario is becoming distressingly common The end result for the coffee in the cup is that as I have said before you get a whole lot of coffees that taste basically the same No faults and nothing to complain about in the taste but no real excitement either I have no idea what the long term solution to this sort of problem is other than to hope that the rise of relationship coffees and the various Cup

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/may2005.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Newsletter
    available for those quick off the mark I ll be sending out a mini newsletter mid month to let people know The new financial year will bring in a host of changes most of them due to the continuing rapid growth of the business One of them has already happened and I d like to introduce my new packing person Tmanna She started work with me in April and has proved to be a steady and meticulous worker Note that Tmanna is involved solely with the packaging of the coffees from the orders placed via the secure order pages on the website She doesn t have access to my phone or incoming email which means that orders emailed to me or placed by phone basically go to the back of the queue until such time as I can get them to her Her assistance has freed some of my time up and I ve been able to think about where I want the business to go I ve also been able to pay a lot more attention to my roasting One major upcoming innovation will be the update of the secure order pages to work with a Gateway credit card charging system directly associated with the major Banks so that your card is debited as soon as the order is placed At present we manually bill your card some time after we ve filled and despatched your order The sheer number of orders these days has meant that I often have to set aside a whole day usually on a weekend just to catch up Add in the complications of expiry dates changed cards and other bounces and it s getting to be quite a headache If we get the Gateway thing working it will also enable us to stop

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/june2005.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Newsletter
    Note that I would NOT recommend this coffee as a single origin straight espresso as the acidity would be overpowering It is much more suited to brewing by plunger filter or vac pot This is probably just as well as I only have a single 60kg bag to sell I didn t get around to doing a mid month special offer newsletter last month so I still have a couple of machine bargains to sell First there is the Anthracite laScala Butterfly used in my photo essay at http www coffeeco com au articles butterfly html It has a couple of minor scratches on the outer case and is for sale at 1700 00 inc GST so you can save almost 300 00 off the full price The other bargain is an Imat Mokita Combi with again a few minor scratches 650 00 inc GST Both machines come with a full 12 months warranty The new shipments from Rancilio and laScala have arrived so I m back up to full stocks including the Stainless steel Butterflys laScala seems to have a program of continuous improvement with these machines and the latest ones come with swivelling steam and hot water arms and different knobs The portafilters have also been changed to the ergonomic angled handle style The improved laScala Butterfly Several customers have let me know that there have been Rancilio Silvias and Imat Mokita Combis for sale on Ebay Australia I have no problem with this other than that the person involved is pinching copyright graphics from my website and may be about to find out the hard way that the courts are getting quite tough on this sort of thing What I have run into is a commercial dilemma in that people who have purchased on Ebay are then

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/july2005.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Newsletter
    spoon capacity 12g per scoop Single double filter baskets NOT industry standard designs 58mm plastic tamper with ss base 58mm twin spout portafilter Corrugated ss cup warming plate Rubber backflush disc in rear door And of course the machine itself There is enough steam pressure to get a vortex effect going with about 250ml of milk in the supplied jug and decent microfoam is possible However compared to a Rancilio Silvia it takes about twice as long to achieve a milk temperature of 60c and foam height is about half In this respect the thermoblock and pump combination while adequate are no match for a boiler Adding hot milk to the shots made any variation undetectable to my palate I would therefore conclude that given decent filter baskets the machine can produce quality shots I would score this machine at a 7 10 at present It has a number of minor problems and at least one major production fault but it must be remembered that this is the first production batch The warranty service 1 year overall 5 year Pump is excellent and Sunbeam has service centres all over the country If Sunbeam is able to address some of the niggles and fix the production faults then the machine will be unmatched at the price It comes with good functionality and a suite of accessories that Italian domestic machine manufacturers should take note of but probably won t Until such time as a Mark II version is available and tested I can t give an unqualified BUY recommendation for this machine but if Sunbeam do manage to fix all the niggles they will have a category killer in domestic espresso machines Their biggest problem will be training the department store demonstrators in the barista skills needed to show the machines

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/august2005.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Newsletter
    who have been suffering the effects of depressed world prices for several years may once again find that the demand for their product exceeds the supply leading to better incomes at plantation level The plantations themselves are now taking a hand in adding value to the green coffee beans before they get to the roaster This month s special is a good example The product of the Ipanema Agricola S A plantation it has been produced by specifically choosing certain coffee varieties then processing the coffee cherries in such a way as to emphasize various qualities in this case sweetness and low acidity This emphasis on producing what is in effect a designer coffee has obviously paid off as the Ipanema coffees sell at a high premium compared to ordinary Brazils So the September special is Brazil Ipanema Dulce 36 00 kg A sweet extremely low acid coffee with good body and a pronounced fruit and cocoa flavour This coffee is more or less by design ideally suited for espresso rather than drip or plunger Those of you who are more involved with the online coffee world will note that the specials over the last 3 months including this one have also appeared at www sweetmarias com the reference site for home roasters in the USA This is not as much of a coincidence as it seems because Tom Owen owner of Sweetmarias is an expert cupper who seeks out only the highest quality beans available So do I There are only a few really good coffees available worldwide and quite often these days we will both end up with the same beans A word of warning to Australian based customers Do NOT under any circumstances attempt to import green beans from Sweetmarias or any other overseas supplier Due to

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/september2005.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Newsletter
    you will recall I did a whole newsletter on the subject last year http www coffeeco com au newsletter september2004 html and the only realistic solution to grind problems is indeed to buy a grinder Machine related problems probably cause more grief than any others because they tend to fall into 2 clearly defined categories Wear and Tear where a component fails under normal use and Incorrect Usage where the way the customer uses the machine is at fault It s this last category that causes all the problems as no one wants to hear that it s their fault Unfortunately it s usually pretty clear when it is the customer s fault especially when it comes to overheating the boilers and burning out the elements of domestic machines which is by far the most common machine problem I see You can see a bevy of nuked boilers elements below In this case the boiler has been allowed to run dry steam wand left open and the element has melted Copper will NOT melt under water Here there has still been enough water in the boiler to form superheated steam which reacts with the copper element to give the multicolour effect It s obvious that a trained service tech will know immediately that a boiler has been overheated or allowed to boil dry customer denials to the contrary or not This is why my instructions emphasize turn OFF the steam switch and refill the boiler Good machine technique can save everyone customer importer and manufacturer a lot of expensive grief Same multicolour result in a Silvia boiler Trying to mediate between the customer and the service tech especially when the machine is under warranty is trying because improper usage is NOT a condition covered by warranty So far I ve

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/october2005.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Newsletter
    the coffee business there were no more than 10 wholesale roasters and if you wanted a machine you had to lease or buy it Now there are dozens of roasters most of them offering machines and accessories free with a certain volume of coffee This has led in turn to concentrated efforts to reduce the overall costs of the green coffees used in espresso blends and in my opinion a huge fall in quality Where I could once identify a roaster by the flavour of their signature blend these days they all taste more or less the same and what I can taste is the beans used predominantly cheap Brazils On the other hand the overall level of Barista skills in cafes and restaurants has improved dramatically and every year things seem to get a bit better as more baristas and their customers start to know what makes good espresso The acceptance of an espresso machine as a standard kitchen appliance has had a lot to do with this as well 5 years ago the idea of purchasing things online was a complete novelty to most of the population Today it is simply taken for granted In many ways I have been fortunate to be a pioneer in the growth of online commerce which has been reflected in the growth of the business At the same time it has been a lot of extremely hard work particularly as far as maintaining the quality of our products and service is concerned The thing I have been most proud of is our monthly special coffee No one else in Australia has ever offered the variety and quality of coffee experiences that we have managed to bring you over the years and one of the most difficult things about current and future business

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/december2005.html (2015-11-27)
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