Sunday, December 25, 2011

Time to Get Serious!

During the year I've blogged on many frivolous things--ABS, Legal Services Act, legal education and more. But now it's time to reflect, collect one's thoughts, and get serious.

This blog post is about my new coffee machine! Now you see what I mean about SERIOUS.

The last few days have been blissful as I have begun to learn the wiles and idiosyncrasies of my La Scala Butterfly coffee machine and Mazzer Super Jolly Doser grinder. I speak to you from the depths of a hyper-caffeinated soul that sees into the darkness that is great coffee.


This is the La Scala Butterfly coffee machine which Mike at Ideal Espresso Services refurbished for me. I found the machine and Mike on the forum, Too Much Coffee, where I was considering which machine to buy. As Mike said to me
It has had a frame-up rebuild with new gaskets and seals throughout. New ECU (electronic control unit). New pump. New lever micro-switch. New cupholder/drip-tray cover. New double filterholder with 18g Synesso basket.
In other words it had been lovingly restored. Here's the interior. It's a heat exchanger boiler.


Just look at all that brass. You know this is going to last for ever. Oh, it weighs 25kg.... All its parts are from commercial machines so it will be easy to maintain.

The sides are painted and here Mike let me choose the colour. I selected a Turquoise that melded nicely with the kitchen as you can see.


Sorry the kitchen's a mess...You can see the knock-box on the right. La Scala's are heavy. It has an E61 grouphead which itself weighs about 9 kilos. It's this thing which looks like Cyrano de Bergerac's nose. Espresso Passione has a list of E61 machines here. The E61 is to coffee machines what the E Type Jaguar is to cars--no need to say anymore


The La Scala is simple to operate. There's one pressure dial, which when it's at 10 o'clock means it is heated and ready to rock. This only takes 15 to 30 minutes.


The pipe behind the grouphead is the "escape valve" for excess steam to the right of the dial. After putting the portafilter in the grouphead, one flips the lever to the right and the coffee comes forth.


Here's the coffee.


And to get the right grind of coffee? I use my Mazzer Super Jolly Doser grinder. This thing is big also. It weighs 14kg and is about 600mm tall. 


Mike's friend Lawrence brought some coffee for me as well as fitting some new burrs for the grinder. Lawrence runs a company called Dark Fluid which both roasts and blends coffee. And one of his most popular blends is "Schrödinger's Cat". A complex blend of course with superimposed flavour particles all over the palate. Whether you go for the Copenhagen interpretation of this paradox--it's both alive and dead--I leave to you, but the coffee is excellent. Head down to Brockley Market on Saturdays to try.

Merry Christmas everyone!




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