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Andy

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Suma Prepacks Fine Semolina Flour 500 g (Pack of 6)
Suma Prepacks Fine Semolina Flour 500 g (Pack of 6)
Price: £7.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for homemade pasta, 27 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The grain is just about right for making homemade pasta even if already tending towards the too fine finish! Unfortunately most durum wheat found in this country is ground using a setting that is most appropriate for gnocchi or soups than for making pasta (which needs a coarser flour). Recommended in absence of better alternatives!


Extra Large Dog Crate Folding Fabric Oxford 600D XXL 91cm. Vehicle Isofix anchor points for the ultimate in safety. Free Zipped Fleece Liner.
Extra Large Dog Crate Folding Fabric Oxford 600D XXL 91cm. Vehicle Isofix anchor points for the ultimate in safety. Free Zipped Fleece Liner.
Offered by Tested on Animals
Price: £54.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great!, 27 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Build quality is OK but it has that distinctive made-in-China feeling to it! I've returned it as it is too big for my Setter and for my V50. Instead I bought the smaller size from Amazon-direct which is cheaper and perfect for both dog and car. A pity I wasted £20 on postage for this. I usually buy ONLY from Amazon-direct and I still don't know why I bought this crate from a market-place seller! This would also be my recommendation. to other buyers.


Gaggia Classic RI8161 Coffee Machine with Professional Filter Holder - Stainless Steel Body
Gaggia Classic RI8161 Coffee Machine with Professional Filter Holder - Stainless Steel Body

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid, consistent and reliable machine!, 21 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
After a bad experience with a Sage (Breville) Barista Express which I was able to return thanks to Amazon excellent customer policy, I decided to go for a Gaggia Classic. After reading several espresso-making resources I decided to invest my money in a top of the range grinder, the Baratza Vario (not sold on Amazon), and a cheaper but well-reputed enthusiasts' machine. The results are outstanding! I am finally back to quick, good and consistent espresso shots.

The Gaggia has three major advantages that are usually found in more expensive machines:

3-way solenoid valve - dries coffee puck and allows portafilter to be removed soon after brewing.
Adjustable OPV (need to access inside of machine)- allows adjustment of brewing pressure
Commercial chrome 58mm portafilter (however forget the pressurized baskets and get single-wall ones).

The downsides are the plastic, amateurish, steam wand (I suggest replacing this with a Rancilio Silvia steam wand, just unscrew a nut and replace, easy!) and the functional but ugly plastic drip tray.

In conclusion, this is a well-built, reliable, user-friendly, consistent machine with a certain professional feel to it and one that doesn't cost a fortune! Support on the web is abundant, with many forums, videos and even a dedicated Gaggia group. If you run a search you'll see that many espresso experts use this machine in conjunction with a high-end grinder.

I had initially ruled out the Gaggia when searching for a new machine because of its simple looks and lower spec, having used it now for a few days I can say that it's growing on me and I like it more every passing day. Recommended!

Update: one week in and I am very satisfied with my choice! Espresso is very good, machine is consistent and very forgiving of grind setting and tamping pressure. I have replaced the steam wand and I can now enjoy proper microfoam. I have also reduced pressure to 9 bar to suit single-wall filters.


World Of Flavours Italian Non-Stick Ravioli Mould Tray
World Of Flavours Italian Non-Stick Ravioli Mould Tray
Price: £12.36

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, 15 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I make homemade pasta once a week and I love ravioli in particular! Before buying this mould making ravioli was a long affair, now I make them in a flash! it's easy to use: flour generously the mould first, cover with one THIN sheet of pasta, fill, wet along the grooves with a pastry brush, cover with second sheet of pasta, get rid of air pockets, press down along grooves with fingers, flour generously, tip over on a kitchen cloth, run fingers along grove marks, cut along marks with a pastry wheel....done! Rolling pin is useless, I tried it the first time and it made it impossible to take the individual ravioli out of the mould. I suggest filling the ravioli with a teaspoon-sized amount of stuffing, that's enough!...in Italy we like our ravioli with a very thin pasta (use the last setting on the machine and pass it through the rollers twice) and a small amount of very intensely flavored stuffing!


Nakd Gluten Free Bar 30g/35g (Pack of 18)
Nakd Gluten Free Bar 30g/35g (Pack of 18)
Price: £12.38

0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Healthy but boriiiiiing!, 15 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
They are certainly healthy, nothing but good stuff in them. However, they are boring and sometimes heavy to digest (it's the dates!). The search for tasty but healthy energy bars continues.....at least for me!


H & L Russel Ltd Chopping Board, White, Polyethylene, Reversible 45 x 29 x 0.8 Centimetres
H & L Russel Ltd Chopping Board, White, Polyethylene, Reversible 45 x 29 x 0.8 Centimetres
Price: £7.49

4.0 out of 5 stars It's a board., 15 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Not much to say, it's a chopping board! I use the plastic board when working with fish or meat as it doesn't absorb odors, otherwise I always use a wooden board. Right size for most fish and meat cuts, chicken, game, etc.


Apollo 45 x 35 cm Rubberwood Pastry Board, Brown
Apollo 45 x 35 cm Rubberwood Pastry Board, Brown
Price: £9.29

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good!, 15 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Good board. I use it daily for chopping. However, size is 35x35 cm. Feels heavy and solid, easy to clean, I can see this one lasting years.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 10, 2014 11:48 AM BST


Amo
Amo
Price: £22.63

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 15 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Amo (Audio CD)
Not one of his best albums in my opinion, but what can I say? I am Italian and I always loved Renato Zero!


No Title Available

4.0 out of 5 stars Pallo Coffee Tool, 15 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Great brush for cleaning water shower of group head. Allows to brush while flushing without burning your hand. The needle is too large for my steam wand and to be honest it's just a pointy bit of metal sticking out, I've removed mine just to be safe. Brush head can be replaced. Recommended! However, buy somewhere else as this seller is overpriced!


Sage by Heston Blumenthal the Barista Express Coffee Machine and Grinder, 1700 Watt - Silver
Sage by Heston Blumenthal the Barista Express Coffee Machine and Grinder, 1700 Watt - Silver
Price: £495.00

128 of 134 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a Breville BES870XL, 2 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Wow, I am impressed! I've always searched the market for an espresso machine that would look and perform like a commercial one and unfortunately I never came across one and so I ended up buying several DeLonghi machines over the last 15 years.

This is a Breville BES870XL, it's sold in the UK under the brand name Sage and I assume it's a new product to the UK (I might be wrong but I never saw Breville espresso machines before on Amazon UK). To make it short as soon as I saw this machine (after checking several positive reviews) I had to buy it.

The Barista Espresso is well built, solid, elegant, looks like a commercial machine, sounds like one and it makes really good coffee...milk too comes out perfectly! This machine is a world apart from anything I've used so far.
It's not easy to use, I'm still working hard to get the right shot every time, right in the middle of the recommended extraction zone, every shot varies depending on grind size, tamper pressure and coffee type, but the machine gives lots of feedback so whenever I get the right balance coffees and cappuccinos taste extremely good...I trust that with time it'll get a lot easier, for now I don't mind having to experiment with the Barista.

The Barista is fully configurable: grind size, grind amount (automatic or manual), coffee shot volume, H2O temperature, manual or automatic shot, hot water dispenser, commercial 360 steam wand, pressure dispersion between steam and shot operation, pre-infusion, pressure gauge, automatic stand-by........every function is thought with every-day use in mind!

Only defect I noticed so far is the need for tall espresso cups as the coffee tends to dribble in a fairly unstable fashion making it difficult to get all of it into a short or narrow cup, this is not really a defect as the distance from tray to portafilter is designed with enough clearance to accommodate mugs. The problem is easily solved by using more appropriate cups or with the help of a raising block. Apart from this minor annoyance, the machine is very functional, the very well designed drip tray catches any drop, steam or coffee residue and it's easy to remove and clean, it even tells when it needs emptying!

Build quality is outstanding, no plastic here! It looks the part and it simply is a beautiful object.

I cannot comment on reliability as I just purchased the Barista. Every other espresso machine I've owned had to be replaced every couple of years (regardless of care taken). I would like the Barista to last in the order of 4-5 years considering it costs considerably more than the average machine. Sage gives 2 years warranty, reviews on the web are good and Breville has been around for ever....so I can only hope for a long-lasting experience.

Definitely recommended to coffee lovers who are looking for a serious upgrade from the average espresso machine!

NB: to comment on previous reviews - the UK version DOES come with 2 extra pressurized (double wall) baskets and you CAN control the pre-infusion time when in manual shot.
To avoid coffee grounds going everywhere use the manual dosing function (grind and tamp, grind a bit more coffee and tamp, and so on until you have the right dose in the basket...voila', no more mess!).

Update: I bought taller espresso glasses and they solved the splashing issue, also the crema looks amazing in the glass!
The machine does warm up very quickly, however I've measured extraction temperature after 5, 15 and 30min from switching it on; there is a substantial difference between the 5 min and 15 min point, then it plateaus. In all cases, a flush to warm up group and portafilter before a shot makes a big difference on extraction temperature.
I've tried several type of freshly roasted beans and they all required adjustment of the grind setting, however the most used seems to be #4.
With this machine forget pre-ground coffee or supermarket beans, you must use freshly roasted beans from an online roaster (there are several in the UK), or the machine will simply amplify the shortcomings of stale coffee.
Also, at bottom of partafilter there is a plastic disc that apparently has no function beside that of collecting dirt, I have removed it and performance is unaffected (I've searched the web but nobody seems to have a clear idea about it's function, many suggest removing it).
All-in-all, machine is excellent but it does involve a long learning curve especially if, like me, you were used to buying pre-ground supermarket coffee, slap it in a DeLonghi and hope for the best!

New update: I have taken 1 star away from my review because 1)when changing coffee type sometimes the new correct grind setting falls in between two numbers, however incorporated grinder is not stepless and it doesn't allow fine tuning. 2)extraction needle sometimes shows correct extraction and yet brewing time is less than 20sec (resulting in a mediocre shot). 3)Machine is so sensitive that it's difficult to get good consistent results (this is particularly noticeable when changing coffee type).
Tip: to get a feeling for how much is 15-20kg of tamping force use a bathroom weigh scale!

Final Update: After chasing the perfect shot for nearly a month I gave up and the Barista is going back to Amazon. I honestly think this is a beautiful machine and it has lots of functions found only in much more expensive equipment, however I believe it's also a very sensitive and unforgiving machine which requires a very steep learning curve, made even steeper by what is in my opinion a poor grinder. I still think it deserves 4 stars, it's simply not for me! Instead I opted for a Baratzo Vario grinder with a Gaggia Classic which, in fact, turned out to be a much more effective and scalable combo.
Comment Comments (14) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 12, 2016 12:55 PM GMT


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