Espresso machine consumables and supplies


As mentioned in my other blogpost Cleaning/maintaining routine for espresso machines – Quan Mai’s blog ( – pulycaff is something you should always have at hands. You can buy a bottle of 900gr and forget about it as it will take years to go through it. However, if you use pulycaff a lot, this is currently the cheapest option (note that it’s not free shipping, but even with shipping cost, the price per bottle is around 165kr/900gr which is cheapest there is)

2 x PULY PLUS coffee maker cleaner 900g : Home & Kitchen

Cafiza is an alternative but Pulycaff seems to be more popular/more often recommended by the manufacturer, and it’s cheaper per gr, so I’d stick with it.

Puck screen

There are several options for puck screen with different sizes (150-200 micrometers holes) and thickness (0.2 to 1.7 millimeters).

I like this one as it feels well made compared to other cheaper options, yet not too expensive (currently only 185kr/piece).

Normcore 58.5mm Puck Strainer, Filter, Espresso Filter Holder Lower Shower Strainer, Contact Strainer, 316 Stainless Steel : Home & Kitchen

I think the other cheaper options, like this one would do the work, however you can see it has rougher edges compared to the normcore one.

NEOUZA Espresso Cup Filter 58.5mm Reusable 1.7mm Thick 150μm Stainless Steel Professional Barista Coffee Filter Mesh Plate for Espresso Filter Basket : Home & Kitchen

If you can wait, those are probably cheaper to buy from Aliexpress or temu.

It is easy for coffee grounds to stuck into the mesh puck screen, so don’t forget to clean them thoroughly. It’s a good idea to put them in the disk washing machine daily, and then soak them with pulycaff solution with other tools every week. Some suggests that you can use the ultrasonic cleaner to clean it, which sounds like a good idea, but a bit too much for yet another tool.

I am ordering a few thinner (0.1mm) puck screen and will report back.

Paper filter

Puck screen is effective – I like them a lot but except for the fact that I have to pick them up from the knockbox (not fun) and clean them thoroughly (also not fun). They also can’t be used in the bottom of the basket. The alternative solution is paper filter.

I have been using paper filters for a while and I think they are working – and once it’s in the knockbox you can forget about it.

AIEVE 400pcs Espresso Filter Paper for 58mm Filter Holders/Espresso Machines, Paper Filter Coffee Filter, Round White Replacement Paper Compatible with Sage Appliances/De’Longhi Coffee Maker Filter : Home & Kitchen

This works well, but it does not feel like a good deal for me, especially if you are making a lot of espresso.

AeroPress filter can be used as an alternative. It’s a bit tricky as it’s 63.5mm instead of 58mm, but it’s cheap and of good quality. What I usually do is to put a paper in the basket and pour some hot water to make it wet, soft, and fits nicely to the bottom.

And it works

If you want to buy in bulk, this is current the best deal Paper filters Aeropress, 350 pcs. – Kahvikaveri ( . If you buy enough with other stuffs to make it free shipping, this could last you for years.

For Lelit

Lelit uses their own water softener, in 2 models – 35l and 70l. It’s much more economic to use the 70l model. The cheapest currently in Sweden is from Lelit Vattenfilter 70L, 2-pack ( (219kr for 2 pieces). Note that the resin water softener can be recharged Regenerate Softening Cartridge – Pure Water Products, LLC for reuse after 6 month.

The economy of making espressos at home

Making espressos, and espresso-based drinks at home is not about the joy of a hobby, but also an economic way of drinking high quality coffee. Let’s talk about it.

An espresso at a cafe costs around 30kr, while a big latte costs around 45kr.

if you drink twice a day, your and your partner would cost between 120kr and 180kr

Assuming you drink 300 days a year – then each year, it’s around 36.000kr and 54.000kr for coffee 😮

Now if you are making espressos at home.

Each double shot espresso needs about 18gr of coffee, but we have to consider waste and throw away (for example when you dial a new coffee), so let’s be conservative and assume that 1kg of coffee makes around 45 shots.

A good 1kg of coffee is between 250kr to 400kr (specialty grade – and that is usually much better than what you are served in a normal cafe). So it’s about 5.5 to 8.9kr for coffee for each drink.

A big latte needs around 250ml of milk (including waste and throw away), so each 1.5l of milk can make 6 latte. A 1.5l of Arla standard 3% milk costs 17.9kr (as we always buy at Willys), so it’s 3kr per drink for milk.

Of course you need electricity for heating up the machine. My machine which is an E61 uses around 0.6 kwh-0.7 kwh per day for 4 lattes. Electricity price has gone up a bit, we are quite lucky to only have to pay a fixed price of 1.3kr/kwh, but let’s say you have to pay a bit more, 1.5kr/kwh, it’s 1kr per day for the machine.

And you need other things for cleaning and maintenance – you need water softener. I used Lelit 70l water softener which costs around 110kr/each, and I change every 2 months, which means almost 2kr/day. I also need pulycaff for cleaning machines and other stuffs, but after 2 years I haven’t gone through 1 bottle of 900gr yet (costs around 150kr), so the cost is very minimal.

Basically, it’s 22-36kr per coffee per day, 12kr per milk per day, 1kr electricity per day, and 2kr per cleaning per day, it’s around 37kr- 51kr per day for 4 lattes.

Now you have coffees at home and you will drink more often, let’s say it’s 365 days per year because you also have friends come over, it’s 12,410kr to 18,615kr.

Even with some fancy machines and equipment to start with, you would be break even in one year. That includes things like fancy cups, WDT, scale etc.

Machine costN/A10.000kr – ∞ 
Per drink30-45kr8.5-12.5kr
Drinks per year4x per day, 3 days4x per day, 365 days
Cost for coffee36000-54000kr12410kr-18615kr

Some might argue that the making espressos also costs time, but you also need to walk down the street (assuming that you have a cafe right around corner) and wait for your coffee. Also need to factor the time to put on/off clothes.

Not to mention the relaxing feeling when brewing espressos is priceless.

Of course those numbers only apply if you drink coffees frequently. Things will change if you drink less, or more, or without milk.

Choose your battles

This is the third part of the series: How to survive and thrive – a series for new developers to become better at their jobs. You can read the first two parts here and here.

In military, there is a term of “uphill battle”. That when you have to fight your way up a hill, when you enemy controls the top. It’s a very difficult fight and your chance of success is low. Any experienced military leader knows uphill battles are something you should avoid until there are no other options.

That also applies with any jobs. Including programming.

The truth is, you shouldn’t fight the battles you can’t win.
Continue reading “Choose your battles”

Why did I leave HBO (Nordics). Spoiler: it sucks!

As most of us, I spend a fair chunk amount of my free time to watch movies and TV series, and as most of us, on Netflix. While Netflix has some very good content, and they have been adding great original TV series (House of Cards, Daredevil, Stranger Things, Narcos, just to name a few), those have not been enough for me. I want to watch Games of Throne, The Wire, The Sopranos, Silicon Valley etc, but sadly, they are pretty HBO-exclusive, so to watch them, I have two options: either buy the discs (Very expensive), or subscribe to HBO (much cheaper).

Fine, I decided to suspend my Netflix for a month a resume my HBO Nordics subscription. At least for one month to watch the good content there. Last year I did try HBO one month, for free, but I cancelled it – which I have no clear memory why I did. May be it will work this time.

Unfortunately it does not.

Right after I tried HBO again, it’s clear to me why I left HBO at the first place – and sadly, there are several reasons for that.

Continue reading “Why did I leave HBO (Nordics). Spoiler: it sucks!”