The genesis of this article started with Mark's Twitter that was followed with great relish by me. In today's world it is not often that you find heirloom quality products, and even more remote finding someone like Kees van der Westen whose savvy understanding of construction/materials means and methods has translated into this beautiful machinery referenced as the Speedster. Kees van der Westen skill-sets rank among those of the world's greatest watchmakers. Congratulations Mark on acquiring a machine that celebrates life both now and for generations to come!
The Speedster is an exquisite piece of design and workmanship that any serious barista, pro or amateur, would love to take out for a spin. As Mark points out, it also serves as a reminder of what the GS/3 might have been in terms of fit and finish.
But, beyond that, the comparisons have limited usefulness. The Speedster’s separate pump, mandatory plumb-in, large footprint and (at least in N. America) 220v, 20amp power mark it as the uncompromised commercial machine it is. It is only a consumer machine in the sense that you don’t need a business license to buy one and some homes (a relatively small percentage) have the real estate, cabinetry and hookups in place to install it.
The GS/3 is designed to fit in an American kitchen and to do so without any added wiring, plumbing or cutting. It is a true (albeit expensive) consumer machine.
That being said, if I had that space and setup (and my wife wouldn’t shoot me), I could see giving a Speedster some serious thought!
Mark, did you taste that pour in your video?...silly question. BTW, is the "proposed" new lever (I'm a Lever geek these days) a 2 group like the Idio(something), or (hopefully) is it a single group? Boy, I'd love to have a single group from this master of machinery, Mr. van der Westen. Something you "alluded"to was the pleasure of owning something built by someone not only a master craftsman, but a nice human being as well.
I might be putting about $50 a month away so I may have the opportunity to possess a vdW single group lever in say, 7-8 years? If I had the guts, I'd email him and ask how much? Enjoy your machine, and that monster Anfim looks cool as well.
I really enjoyed that article. I didn't understand most of it. But I now want a new Speedster!
** 13.5 trillion $ sit in tax havens, while political 'leaders' - who create deficits regular people don't ask for with tax cuts for tax evading corporations - whine that they can't afford social spending due to those deficits!!! **
Agreed, fit and finish -- as well as the solidity and overall feel -- is superb. The machine is a joy to use, as well as a joy to look at. The construction quality suggests that it will make shots for a LONG time without mechanical breakdown.
In terms of a "what could be better?", I have a bit longer list than you, although they're all minor items:
Steam boiler could be better insulated for energy efficiency.
Drip tray could be slightly larger and/or incorporate a higher rim to better contain splashes.
Steam line could come from the factory insulated and ideally should slope continuously downwards from the front panel steam valve to the boiler. This is so the condensation that inevitably occurs while idling will flow back into the boiler and doesn't remain in the line.
The brain box is supposed to prevent the auto refill from actuating while you're pulling a shot, but surprisingly, about once every hundred shots it happens anyway.
Overall, I remained thrilled with this machine and don't regret the significant expense for a second!
Niggling point: your PIDs look like mine, and they are Jumo brand, not Fuji.
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