Quick Mill Carola - Review - Page 2

Need help with equipment usage or want to share your latest discovery?
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erics

#11: Post by erics » Sep 28, 2015, 9:06 pm

"One question - what is an OPV?"
OPV is a common abbreviation for Over-Pressure-Valve. It serves to set the MAXIMUM pressure you will ever see during brewing. Insert a blind filter and brew away. Observe the machine's pressure gage and adjust the OPV such that the gage reads 9.00 bar - lots of debate on that one but you will be happy.
Skål,

Eric S.
http://users.rcn.com/erics/
E-mail: erics at rcn dot com

sco_tt

#12: Post by sco_tt » Oct 08, 2015, 12:11 pm

I bought a Carola from Chris' Coffee right around the same time you did. I don't drink milk and wanted my espresso machine dollars going towards the e61 grouphead.

Great review! Have you thought about putting it up on CoffeeGeek?

How's your experience with the Carola after another week or so? I've found it to be very forgiving; I was able to pull drinkable shots with my Hario Skerton while waiting for the Vario in the mail, and very good shots once I dialed in the grind with the Vario. And it's beautiful!

Have you adjusted the PID yet?

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bluesman

#13: Post by bluesman » Oct 08, 2015, 12:18 pm

sco_tt wrote:Great review!
Yes yes - even better than great! This is a machine most of us probably don't even know exists - I didn't until you posted about it, Brad. I do make milk drinks too, so you've got me looking at other QM products. I had no idea they were this well made.

maxbmello

#14: Post by maxbmello » Oct 08, 2015, 1:23 pm

Definitely a great review! I'll be the first to say it, but if you upgrade your grinder, you will definitely get even more out of it. I know you said you didn't want to spend money on an electric grinder, but a Lido E would be about a perfect match with this machine. You already suffered for so long with your Mr. Coffee before this upgrade, don't make the same mistake with your grinder.

You are clearly used to manual grinding, so the Lido will only be an improvement. If you don't notice a difference, sell it on here for a few dollars less than you paid, as it will likely get snatched up by someone.

Just my 2 cents. Enjoy your new machine!

ChileBean

#15: Post by ChileBean » Oct 09, 2015, 7:19 am

Hi Max,

Thank you for the suggestion. I expect a grinder is in my future, but I don't want to rush into it. I guess I am a little odd, but I try to understand the source of each limitation as I go along, and now that I have the Carola, I want to spend a bit of time getting to understand what it helped me to improve, and where the new issues are. There are so many variables in making good coffee that, fortunately, there is a lot to learn. That is a good thing!

ChileBean

#16: Post by ChileBean » Oct 09, 2015, 11:35 am

@Max

To quote kakster Orphan Espresso LIDO E First Impressions,

I will not buy a Lido E, I will not buy a Lido E, I will not buy a Lido E...

ChileBean

#17: Post by ChileBean » Oct 09, 2015, 11:49 am

sco_tt wrote:Great review! Have you thought about putting it up on CoffeeGeek? How's your experience with the Carola after another week or so? Have you adjusted the PID yet?
Hi Scott,

I am on CoffeeGeek, but I had not thought about cross posting and am not sure what the ettequite is here. Is that considered bad behavior? I am happy to cross post if that helps others in the hobby, but I am a little cautious.

As for my experience one week in, I guess it is a little longer than that, but the answer is that we are still getting aquatinted. I like the machine very much, but am struggling with consistency. I know that is the nature of the beast, but I wish it was a little more predictable. I believe this has nothing to do with the machine, and has to do with my technique, and perhaps a little to do with the Porlex grinder. But I am not sure, and so I will keep working on it.

I have not adjusted the PID yet. However I have finished my full hand-drawn electrical schematic, and am in the process of putting it into a CAD program. When I do, I intend to post it here along with a "Electrical Theory of Operation" manual. But work keeps getting in the way, so it may be a little bit before I post this.

ChileBean

#18: Post by ChileBean » Oct 09, 2015, 12:11 pm

bluesman wrote:Yes yes - even better than great! This is a machine most of us probably don't even know exists - I didn't until you posted about it, Brad. I do make milk drinks too, so you've got me looking at other QM products. I had no idea they were this well made.
Thank you very much.

I was looking very seriously at the QM Alexia "just in case" I ever woke up one day loving milk-based espresso drinks but decided it ain't gonna happen. Looks like there are some subtle differences between the Carola and the Alexia, but they both look like very solid machines.

BTW, from your name, you like blues? I am a harp player. (Notice I did not say musician. Way too many harmonica jokes out there to make that claim).

sco_tt

#19: Post by sco_tt » Oct 17, 2015, 10:15 pm

Brad,

I'm not sure about the etiquette, but I'd guess and say it's OK. I make the suggestion only because CoffeeGeek seems to be bit more like a database of reviews, as opposed to a collection of threads. The reviews are a bit more structured and organized by machine time.

I'm still getting used to mine; just ordered a digital scale, which should help me improve my shots.

Gig103

#20: Post by Gig103 » Oct 18, 2015, 2:09 pm

ChileBean wrote:Thank you very much.

I was looking very seriously at the QM Alexia "just in case" I ever woke up one day loving milk-based espresso drinks but decided it ain't gonna happen. Looks like there are some subtle differences between the Carola and the Alexia, but they both look like very solid machines.

BTW, from your name, you like blues? I am a harp player. (Notice I did not say musician. Way too many harmonica jokes out there to make that claim).
Food for thought -
When I had a single boiler I would make the occasional milk drink. Then I got my Andreja and now most mornings are cappuccinos, and I didn't expect that.
Also consider how often you host - my friends never want an espresso or Americano, but something with milk.