calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 8,193 Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A. Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32 Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major Vac Pot: 40s era Silex Drip: Msl. Com. brewers Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Sep 6, 2012, 6:23am Subject: Re: nuova simonelli personal 1--help
Yes, what George said about Super Auto machines. They are all about ease of use, not quality coffee.
Your budget allows for a lot of very nice machines. You are looking at either DB (double boiler) or HX (Heat Exchanger) machines in this price range and both can make excellent coffee. The choice of which is best for you has a lot to do with how you like to work and the coffees that you use.
If you use the same coffee all the time and you do not like to try several coffees at a time or even only changing coffees for each session, a DB machine may be what you would like. They most often use PID controllers to maintain the brew temp at a very constant temp. Most often though they will require a flush of water to warm up the group head (yes there are exceptions but I am speaking in general terms here) These machines are easy to change the temp on but you need to remember that just because the number on the digital readout say one thing, it takes time for the machine to readjust to the new temp and become stable at the new temp, thus, for ONE coffee, the same coffee, all the time, you can get very consistent results but if you change coffees and want to tweak temps, the process is a little cumbersome.
If you like to change coffees in a session or if you like to tweak temps to get the most from the coffee that morning (night etc) a HX machine may be better for you. These machines will get some over temp water in the heat exchanger if they sit idle for a while but after a few OZ of water flush to cool the brew water, they settle down and are very consistent. The fact that you can vary the temp of the water by the flush, allows these machines to quickly and easily adjust the brew temp from shot to shot but they require more skill from the operator to get the best performance from them.
My PERSONAL PREFERENCE is for HX machines.
DB machines tend to cost a bit more than HX machines due to more parts and more expensive parts inside. This is not to say that they are "better" or the "next step up" they are not, they are just different and both can produce high quality espresso. The difference is in the parts and how you like to work.
Aside from these two main divisions of machines, you can get into actively heated brew groups, pressure profiling, paddle groups and half a dozen other geek features which may or may not add to your enjoyment of the hobby and the resulting espresso. How GEEKY do you want to be??? LOL!
I have no problem buying used, I personally feel that used equipment is a much better value for the money spent however, this requires that you know a bit about how the machines work and are fairly "handy" to be able to properly evaluate equipment and to be able to take care of mostly small but possibly major issues that may or may not be present in the machines. Like anything, buying used allows you to take advantage of letting someone else pay the depereation of the equipment thus you get more for your money. New, you get someplace to take the machine to if there is an issue while it is covered. Used you assume the risk in exchange for more value when spending your money.
In real life, my name is Wayne P. Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!
Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
helenterhljan Senior Member Joined: 1 Sep 2012 Posts: 8 Location: Kelowna, British Columbia Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: nuova simonelli personal 1
Posted Fri Sep 14, 2012, 10:22am Subject: Re: nuova simonelli personal 1--help
yes we are in Kelowna but head to the island every month--next week in fact on Tuesday we will be heading to the ferry to Victoria--be in White Rock area around noon make us an offer and let us know--our phone number is 250 862 4924 if you want to discuss
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