While our espresso machine is undergoing some maintenance, I’ve pulled out the Hario V-60 and an old electric President’s Choice (PC) burr grinder (about 20 years old). I don’t like changing the grind setting much on my espresso grinder – a La Cimbali Jr. grinder, since the adjustment from espresso to a grind setting suitable for pour over requires a couple minutes of spinning the adjustment dial.
The PC grinder was a bargain at only $19.99, but was fragile, and created a huge amount of static resulting in a mess every time it was used. It does still work, but alignment pins in the hopper have broken, and the lids to hopper and the grinder prompted me to find an inexpensive non-manual replacement. Main requirements were price (< $100 CDN), little to no static, and uses a burr grinder.
After some Googling, grinders such as the Baratza Encore come up – here that’s around $200 – so scratch that. I ended up on Amazon, reading through reviews, and perhaps tossing the dice a bit, but ended up choosing this one – a Shardor Conical Burr Grinder (CG855B). Thousands of ratings with an overall score of 4.4/5 stars.
It was only $79, and a $10 coupon was available on top of that! There are a couple even less expensive ones, but I liked the grind adjustment setting, and the fact this model specifically includes mention of being anti-static.
Once I received it, I was amazed. It’s noticeably quieter than my old one, was easy to adjust, and no static at all! And the uniformity of the grind was a huge surprise. For fun I even tried grinding for espresso – and while it did the job and worked, it did bog down a bit while grinding.
We will see how long the grinder lasts, but so far it’s a winner. Nice and uniform grind, easy to clean, and no static!
We’ve adopted a ‘largely’ Keto way of eating for about 8 months now, and I’ve gotten used to blending my morning coffee with MCT oil and butter, and a pinch of cinnamon for fun. Took a little getting used to being a creature of habit – my habit being over a decade of pulling a double shot every morning and making an Americano to start my day – no cream, no sugar.
Well, after our old blender gave up and replacing it with a Vitamix, I thought I’d try something a little different. I came across a site using cashews as a milk replacement – and thought perhaps I would see how it fared replacing the butter in my coffee. I was very pleased with the result, and with hile there are a few carbs, it’s still a Keto-friendly drink with 8 carbs, 42g of fat, and 5 grams of protein. It’s has more of a milk feel in the mouth as well – butter seems to have an slicker or oilier feel.
1/4cupunsalted cashew nuts(optional: soak overnight in water)
1 1/2cupshot water(just off the boil, or from the espresso machine)
add MCT oil, espresso, hot water, cashew nuts and salt to the blender
starting on low, start the blender, slowly turning the speed to max.
blend at max for 20-30 seconds
Pour into your favourite mug and enjoy!
Adjust the amount of hot water to the size of your mug. Also, you might try adding a pinch of cinnamon, and/or a half-dime sized piece of 85% cacao dark chocolate to the blender…trust me 🙂
If you choose not to soak your cashew nuts overnight, extend the blend time to 30-60 seconds. This will pulverize the cashew nuts more, so there is virtually no solids left at the bottom of your drink.
I came across an article, Four Smooth, Boozy, Coffee-spiked Cocktails, and made up a Talisman. I didn’t follow the instructions exactly (I added ice to the shaker, and some bitters). My resulting cocktail looked very appetizing – kind of a cross between a Guinness and a creamy latte with a nice foamy head 🙂
The taste was delicious! Creamy, and a touch of heat, almost like a mexican hot chocolate 🙂
1.5 oz scotch
.5 oz Drambuie
.75 oz agave syrup
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Freshly brewed shot of espresso
Couple dashes of Xocolatl bitters
Add all ingredients to a shaker half-filled with ice, and shake well for 20-30 seconds.
Pour into a chilled coupe glass, and enjoy!
Well, after 7 years of almost daily use, it appears that the pump has failed on my Andreja Premium espresso machine.
The machine uses a 52W, ULKA EAX5 vibe pump – and as it turns out, this is a fairly commonly used pump in espresso machines. I also found prices varied wildly. The dealer where I purchased the machine sells the replacement pump for $95. I found a replacement on Ebay for $39.99. After getting the new pump swapped in, the machine seemed to be working fine. Then, this morning, it seemed to have stopped again 🙁
So, removed the casing from the machine and hooked the water supply back up, and this time I tested things out with the cover off. This allowed me to see the water flow. Everything worked fine. Maybe I kinked a hose as I put the machine back together?
I carefully put everything back together – making sure no hoses were kinked, and tested the machine again – everything was 100%. This morning, the timer kicked in and turned the machine on at 6:00 AM, and at 7:00, I pulled a double shot with no issues. I think that the shot was up there with some of the best that I’ve done!
Something I came across, that might be useful in future, is this page describing the process of repairing the ULKA pump itself – with lots of photos and additional comments from other readers. I still have the old pump just in case. They certainly aren’t that complex!