A while ago I reviewed the first Smart Scale by Brewista. The scale surprised me with its comprehensive feature set at an unbeatable price point. I’ve been using that scale ever since for every single brew. Recently Brewista made a new version called, hold on, the Smart Scale 2 or Smart Scale II. Brewista sent me one to review and compare against the original.
The key to making great coffee is to control all the variables. The variable that often has the most variation is tamping. Traditionally tamping was the process of compressing the grounds in the filterbasket which consisted of a few steps. First you press the coffee down, then knock the side of the portafilter to knock stray grounds loose which were then pressed into the coffee puck by tamping again. And for good measure spin the tamper like a spinning top to polish the surface. All of those steps contribute to tamping being one of the least controllable variables.
Almost two weeks ago I posted an article on my most recently bought Espresso machine, the Saeco Aroma with a couple of hidden defects. Once things were sorted out with the seller and the necessary parts were ordered I could finally get to work.
As you might have guessed i snagged up another espresso machine. I was told the machine started leaking water after being descaled and that somehow it wouldn’t switch off anymore. Having seen some of the pictures of the machine before committing to the sale it seemed like an easy fix. When i picked up the package it came in this afternoon it all went south though.
A little over 2 weeks ago i got my hands on another little project. I’ve been interested in the inner workings of espressomachines for a while now and i was looking for an easy machine to start tinkering with, preferably with as little electronics as possible. I found one on eBay that fit the bill and needed some work.
With this Astoria badged Mazzer Super Jolly i’ve started a new category on my blog. You will find this and my other current projects under, you guessed it, “Current Projects“. I found this grinder locally on a classifieds website. The seller didn’t specify which brand or model it was, but i recognised its shape immediately. The grinder was cheap enough but somehow it was still listed after being on that site for about a month. When i asked the seller if he still had it for sale i was quite amazed he still hadn’t sold it yet. It did look quite beat up, but these grinders are known to stand up to just about any kind of abuse…
Every now and then your espresso gear will need cleaning. You wash the portafilter and baskets after every use, clean the driptray at least once every few days (i hope) and wipe down the rest of the machine every so often. But what about the inside of the boiler? You can’t just reach in with a brush and start scrubbing around. Well you could but it’d be a lot more trouble than i would want to go through. Especially on a Tuesday morning before (!) i had my first espresso.