Saturday, 24 April 2021

Finally upgraded my Xbox Elite Series 1 controller

Ok so let's start with; the Elite 1 is a fantastic controller that has served me for five years without fail. But now I finally got my Elite 2; it was eight months out of stock worldwide. After updates and profile setup... and a few play sessions.     

I can say the the triggers are very detailed and easy to manage/dial-in the right amount of pressure; that is useful/needed for most driving games.
On Snow Runner with the left thumbstick set to the max (I got a nostalgic original xbox controller feeling)... the wheel steering works (almost) perfectly now (no more oversteering)... same with the gas/L-R triggers - I have more accurate control now.
The Elite 1 is amazing but the Elite 2 is a fine tuned, more responsive and enhanced version of the Elite 1. Additionally somehow it feels much better in my hands. 

For me the adjustable-tension of the thumbsticks is a feature I wanted to have for a long time! Now I never want to go back to not having it.

The new level of control in the triggers is a welcome bonus and the three (travel length / responsiveness) settings are now almost essential; short for shooters / long for driving.  

All other features of the Elite 2 are very my on par with Elite 1.. but I will say that shorter paddles make a difference. Now I can use all four instead of only two and also not press them by accident as much.         

Ok so yes Elite 1 is still a fantastic controller. Elite 2 really is a fine tuned version of the Elite 1 and for me is a no brainer upgrade (if you can get one).

If you looking for a more in-depth description of the Elite 2 features:  

Friday, 16 April 2021

My Espresso Coffee Skills

Got into quality coffee making a few years ago. It has been an fun and interesting journey. Started with a nice little De'Longhi Icona Pump Espresso machine. Made some good coffees for 3 years or so. But it was never amazing. 

Then I replaced my spice (coffee) grinder with the Breville Smart Grinder Pro and that was probably the biggest game changer. I had flavor consistency, no more hoping for a good cup, it was good every time. Grinding and grinders can be complicated but there are a few nice guides out there; just search there are thousands of videos, guides, articles and books on the subject, they all say basically the same things... just find one that resonates with you or talks about the grider you have or thinking of getting. One thing I will say that having a professional/quality grinder is essential. Same goes for the beans, but beans are personal and have to be selected to (your) taste. I use and recommend coffeesnobs, I say they roste some of the best beans in Australia if not the world. 

Ok so, frothing milk is not easy and time consuming... I wanted to up my milk skills, so I got a milk frother and that worked ok... I got somewhat close to making a cup of coffee as good as the best in Melbourne. I know that is a big claim, but I did say; somewhat close.

Ok so two year ago I found out the there is this a new coffee machine that steams the milk automatically by using a temperature sensor and frother/steam setting. Best of all it had a introduction price of $350... ok I became a proud owner of a Breville Bambino and this is where I am now. I am considering upgrades but I consistently make a perfect cup of coffee that rivals or even surpases Melbournes best. Not much room for improvement with perfect.  

So with all that (necessary) information out if the way. I just want to share a few ways I have recently improved my coffee making skills. Well I thought that the taste of the coffee I made was very good, and it was. But now I know there are many easy and inexpensive ways to take the coffee taste and texture to much higher levels. 

I started by using a pressurised basket and the coffee was quite good but no comparison to the flavor and crema that comes from the single wall non pressurised basket. Ooo and yes the bottomless portafilter (handel/holder) makes a huge difference. Additionally I also use a small fork to declining / distribute the coffee properly (just fluff it up), yes it makes a difference.  
I must thank Hoon's Coffee for making all this easy to understand

Further more after using many different tampers I now recommend a Palm Temper (tamper / distributor combo).

Ok that is it, I wish I would have come across a similar to the point (simple) explanation to great coffee making. I am going to make my second coffee of the day now... 

Oooo and happy experimenting / dialing in the perfect cup... it maybe a lifelong process that changes with every new bag of beans...