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marlonpate
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Oct 2009
Posts: 1
Location: denmark
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Oct 30, 2009, 7:16am
Subject: Re: How to Buy an Espresso Machine
 

Hello, Im trying to start up a mobile coffee business(coffeebike) and Im not sure which espresso machine would serve me best. Ive been looking at the la pavoni pub 1EM and the Izzo Alex Duetto PID (Dual Boiler)
whitch I like becuase of the pourover function and the fact that they only run on 110-120 volt, whitch is good because I will run it off of gas. The problem is that I cant seem to find them on any european websites. This is important since I live in Copenhagen Denmark, hoping someone could tell me about any machines that are similar or even better for my purpose so I have some more options. BR Marlon Pate

Ps. I will probably be serving about 100 cups a day and Im able to stock up in between as well.
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GreatScot
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Oct 2009
Posts: 12
Location: Montreal, Canada
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: KyM knee from OE
Posted Sun Nov 22, 2009, 2:53pm
Subject: Re: How to Buy an Espresso Machine
 

Hi Mark, folks.

As a recent initiate to making real espresso at home (upgrade from Krups steam powered and whirly blade), the one thing that I've found that's slightly misleading (or lacking, at any rate) is some of the grinder advice.

The rule of thumb is "spend as much on your grinder as you do on the espresso machine", and I understand why... but it's not necessarily true.  It's taken me a few months, but I have found that you can indeed get a good espresso grinder for less than $100, with certain caveats.

I'm talking, of course, about hand grinders.

I'd really love for the grinder section to include this as a viable option/opinion for folks such as myself who have limited budgets but still want long-lasting, quality workmanship.  While I can't compare the coffee from my Silvia/hand grinder to a Silvia/Baratza or similar electric grinder (because I don' t have access to them), I very seriously doubt that spending 4x the lucre on the grinder will result in a 4x improvement in my cup.

On the other hand, my $80 hand grinder purchased from OrphanEspresso.com is clearly far superior for the Silvia than the Breville BarAroma (Ikon, BCG450) for a similar price.

It's got downsides, sure... you've got to work for your coffee and you're not exactly going to be playing barista for your 22 closest friends at your next garden party.

I'll cut my comments off at this point, in order to try to avoid repeating myself... but man, I wish I'd have known about the usefulness of hand-grinders earlier.

-Scot

PS: And while it's not exactly a match for the stainless steel of Ms Silvia, the wooden box looks pretty good on the counter alongside her!

GreatScot: IMGP3075.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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espress0pod
Senior Member
espress0pod
Joined: 6 Dec 2009
Posts: 3
Location: New Orleans
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Dec 16, 2009, 10:07pm
Subject: Re: How to Buy an Espresso Machine
 

This guide is great.  It's one of the most extensive I've found.  Thanks for the help and advice.  I especially thought it was wise in the accessories section about the knock boxes being more important than the tamper.  If you do not have one of those, grinds get everywhere very easily.  And, it is not fun to clean up.

Thanks.

 
Rob
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MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,620
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Sat Dec 26, 2009, 12:00am
Subject: How to Buy an Espresso Machine
 

How to Buy an Espresso Machine

CoffeeGeek's comprehensive guide on how to make the right decision the first time when buying a quality espresso machine. Filled with insider tips, budget recommendations, and more.
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arandall57
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Mar 2010
Posts: 6
Location: delaware
Expertise: Professional

Posted Mon Mar 22, 2010, 10:34am
Subject: Re: How to Buy an Espresso Machine
 

I know you have received at least a thousand questions on which espresso machine to buy!  Here's a slightly different one -

I am opening a small gelato/coffee/pastry shop and I need education about which fully-automatic espresso machine to invest in.  I will have employees and I've discovered the hard way that if it has more than one or two buttons to push, they will either mess up the product or break the machine.  I would love to score a used machine from Starbucks - seems like they have the 'push one button and you get a completed cappuccino' down pat - but, despite many store closures, I can't locate any.

I need your help and advice!

Could you give me a list of equipment for a 'fantasy' coffee shop set-up?  I'll be doing espresso, cappuccino, latte, hot chocolates, coffees & teas so I'll need to get several pieces of equipment.

Thank you! Thank you!!
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jaicoffeeman
Senior Member


Joined: 10 May 2010
Posts: 2
Location: UK
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Mon May 10, 2010, 6:59am
Subject: Re: How to Buy an Espresso Machine
 

MarkPrince Said:

How to Buy an Espresso Machine

The guide was updated on December 26th, 2009. Here's the changelog:

- "Don't Skimp on the Grinder" - major update, new prices, new grinders added.

More to come.

Mark

Posted December 26, 2009 link

I've been considering a purchase of an espresso machine. That's an excellent article and will certainly add some weight to my final decision, thx for the link.
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wbaguhn
Senior Member
wbaguhn
Joined: 16 Feb 2009
Posts: 980
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Ponte Vecchio Lusso
Grinder: Cunill Tranquilo, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Cory DR
Drip: Vietnamese gadget, AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Fri May 21, 2010, 9:01pm
Subject: Re: How to Buy an Espresso Machine
 

The section on manual machines says

Boiler pressure in a spring piston lever espresso machine is typically 1.2 to 1.4 bar, or barely above atmospheric pressure

On my machine, the manometer reads close to 0 bar when cold with the fill cap open, which means it should be reading atmospheric pressure.  If I went to Death Valley (or diving in a submarine, or in a hyperbaric chamber), I'd expect a higher reading on the gauge.  If I went to Denver, I'd expect a lower reading.  If I put the machine in a vacuum chamber, I'd expect the needle to peg on the low-range stop as it tried to display -1 bar.

(No, I have not figured out which style of pressure gauge is used, nor if it's referenced to a fixed sample or local ambient.)

The gauge reads about 1.2 bar when pressurized, which I believe is (about) 2.2 bar absolute, or just over twice atmospheric pressure.


There is plenty of pressure to spray a lot of hot water all over the place rather quickly.  Yes, it's lower than the 5 to 10 bar that is developed by the spring.

It is a great guide... but I'm a geek, and I get hung up on minutiae. :I
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clumeng
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Aug 2006
Posts: 351
Location: Ann Arbor
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vivaldi II, 67 Cremina
Grinder: Vario, Maestro, Pharos
Vac Pot: Aeropress
Drip: Technivorm, Chemex
Posted Sat May 22, 2010, 5:32am
Subject: Re: How to Buy an Espresso Machine
 

arandall57 Said:

I am opening a small gelato/coffee/pastry shop and I need education about which fully-automatic espresso machine to invest in.  I will have employees and I've discovered the hard way that if it has more than one or two buttons to push, they will either mess up the product or break the machine.  

Posted March 22, 2010 link

You're likely not going to get a great answer to this question here as this is more geared for the home and there is a strong bias against superauto machines. I think you want a superauto that includes the grinder in it.

Recommendation #1 -call and discuss with Chris coffee who is a commercial supplier/ distributor and we all love for service.

Recommendation #2 - find a local distributor. In a cafe setting especially with a super auto that could break down with high volume use you'll need good support service.
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sloras
Senior Member
sloras
Joined: 22 May 2010
Posts: 13
Location: Austin, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaz Mini VII
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Krups
Posted Sat May 22, 2010, 9:47pm
Subject: Re: How to Buy an Espresso Machine
 

I have owned three different super auto machines and ultimately became disappointed with each one as my tase for espresso developed.

Hard to go wrong with any La Marzocco or La Spaziale machines and Mazzer grinders.  These are the workhorses in REAL espresso cafes in my experience.  The only places you see other brands or more automatic machines are where the people making the espresso have no idea what they are doing and need it to be automatic.  In my book, automatic means terrible coffee.  I have had shots pulled from tons of different machines and I've never had a shot from an automatic machine taste as good as from a REAL Marz or La Spaz.

Please please please dont waste your money on an automatic machine.  GIve your Customers quality coffee, they'll aste the difference and have no interest in going elsewhere (at least not bc of the coffee).

Good luck with your new venture!!
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wbaguhn
Senior Member
wbaguhn
Joined: 16 Feb 2009
Posts: 980
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Ponte Vecchio Lusso
Grinder: Cunill Tranquilo, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Cory DR
Drip: Vietnamese gadget, AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Sun May 23, 2010, 9:08am
Subject: Re: How to Buy an Espresso Machine
 

arandall57 Said:

I will have employees and I've discovered the hard way that if it has more than one or two buttons to push, they will either mess up the product or break the machine.

Posted March 22, 2010 link

This is what Barista schools are for.  Train the best, retain the best.

It's hard to get a high-school student making minimum wage to care enough to make good coffee.

Let's put it another way - would you use a home breadmaking machine to make croissants?  The quality of the coffee does suffer that much in a superauto.



Mods, sorry for the OT tangent.  (Discussion split?)
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