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Dolce Vita Espresso Repair
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Discussions > Espresso > General > Dolce Vita...  
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chrisbruin
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Jul 2010
Posts: 62
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Astoria Compact CKXE,...
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Drip: teavana pot, french press
Roaster: caffe rosto, popcorn popper,...
Posted Wed May 25, 2011, 9:59am
Subject: Dolce Vita Espresso Repair
 

Don't know if anyone on here has run into this guy (the owner of "Dolce Vita Espresso" - repair, service, installation) but I emailed him about his add on craigslist selling used espresso machines.  During our conversation he says that "Quick mills and Andrejas" are junk - I said wow really those seem to be pretty liked machines on the better coffee wesbites ....he told me to forget a silvia and buy a rancilio s27 or at the least a expobar office machine .......obviously spending  more money will get you a better machine  (I am looking at a used older silvia in the $300 dollar range).  He then wanted me to paypal him a payment for his "advice".   When I explained that I am looking for a used nice begginer machine to switch over from a superauto and contacted him regarding his add for sales and was not hiring a consultant he sends me some nasty email explaining that he's a professional and everyone on these sites is full of "BS with their PIDS".

Anyway I thought everyone should know what he thinks of the coffee folks on this site before they might consider using his services.
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SmallBiz345
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Jul 2009
Posts: 6
Location: OC
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Aug 3, 2011, 4:42pm
Subject: Re: Dolce Vita Espresso Repair
 

I also came across his craigslist ad. Thanks for the heads up.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,734
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 Aug 4, 2011, 6:41am
Subject: Re: Dolce Vita Espresso Repair
 

Well, a PID can help SBDU machines and they have become the standard way to regulate temp on Double boiler machines but the PID does tend to get quite a bit of "air time" and credit where they don't deserve it.

My personal feeling (many feel differently) is that by the time you go through the trouble and expense to add a PID to a starter machine, you would be better off spending more up front and buying a better machine to start with. For example, if you start with a new Sylvia and add a PID to it, for only a little more, you can get a starter HX machine that is easier to use, more consistent and more flexible in just about every way.

A PID has NO value on a HX type machine but the lure of "hi tech" is strong so PID's are installed on machines that would be just as well served with a flashing light disco display on the face plate.

This is not the first time that he has wanted to charge for his "service", nor will I expect it be the last.

 
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!
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MattINLA
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Oct 2009
Posts: 77
Location: Glendale
Expertise: Professional

Posted Wed Apr 25, 2012, 9:14pm
Subject: Re: Dolce Vita Espresso Repair
 

Alrighty now, this is Matt Schwartz, owner of Dolce Vita Espresso responding belatedly very late to all this.  Yes I remember Chris' phone call, he did not identify himself (aha!) and as it seemed to be going into an extended brain-picking direction (mine) I thought it prudent to end the conversation before it went to an unrealistic length.  But we now see it was in fact all in fun, a bit of tongue-in-cheek Maxwell Smart subversive "mole" activity to ferret me out as some kind of bogus non-authority on the subject of espresso machines.  But I am not bogus.  I have 20+ stellar reviews on Google, the only one who even has any.  I repair all makes and models of commercial espresso machines, lever machines, home machines from Creminas to Francis Francis to Ascaso, and brewers and grinders as well.    My website has a wealth of great honest information.    I am not interested in ripping anybody off, charge extremely reasonable fees, and in fact make a meager living off this.     My comment on QuickMill and Andreja deserves some clarification.  I do not like  these particular machines.  Quickmill has no experience in building professional large espresso machines and it shows in their small ones.  If you put the portafilter into a quickmill machine and tighten it, the entire frame flexes considerably, affecting operation of the lever switch, which I find of concern; not a sign of a solidly build machine.  An Isomac or Expobar Office machine does NOT do this because these companies build large solid sturdy machines which is reflected in ANY machine they build.  The Andreja Conversion IMHO is a kludge with the pressure regulator hanging off the inside back of the machine and the silicone hoses flopping around inside.    As for PID kits, there are many pro and con opinions on these; mine is that they need to be integral to the machine or don't bother.  The PID kit for Silvia features a sensor that sits on top of the boiler - no, this is not the way to go.  A transducer which sits inside the boiler connecting directly to a more sophisticated temperature sensing/ signalling CPU as in the Rancilio is the only way to go. I'm doing a bit of work barely paying the rent trying to keep the Espresso Sabbath holy, so that's the deal, Chris.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,023
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Apr 25, 2012, 11:21pm
Subject: Re: Dolce Vita Espresso Repair
 

Defense, interesting way to address a potential customer's complaint, Matt.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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gbastiani1952
Senior Member
gbastiani1952
Joined: 18 Dec 2008
Posts: 277
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: QM Andreja Premium
Grinder: Cimbali Junior
Drip: Crusinart
Posted Thu Apr 26, 2012, 3:36pm
Subject: Re: Dolce Vita Espresso Repair
 

Flex what Flex, I own a QM Andreja and haven't seen any flex when I put the pf in to pull a shot and when I put the right amount of grounds into it and tamp it right I don't need to man handle it into place.    :^)    Agent 009

 
Gery Bastiani
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chasemonster
Senior Member
chasemonster
Joined: 3 Jun 2010
Posts: 364
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Audrey
Grinder: Hario Mini Mill
Drip: V60
Posted Mon Apr 30, 2012, 7:05am
Subject: Re: Dolce Vita Espresso Repair
 

MattINLA Said:

he did not identify himself (aha!) and as it seemed to be going into an extended brain-picking direction (mine) I thought it prudent to end the conversation before it went to an unrealistic length.  But we now see it was in fact all in fun, a bit of tongue-in-cheek Maxwell Smart subversive "mole" activity to ferret me out as some kind of bogus non-authority on the subject of espresso machines.

Posted April 25, 2012 link


Quick! Get down on the floor!
And keep away from the windows!

chasemonster: black-helicopter.jpg
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chrisbruin
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Jul 2010
Posts: 62
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Astoria Compact CKXE,...
Grinder: Nuova Simonelli MDUA, la...
Drip: teavana pot, french press
Roaster: caffe rosto, popcorn popper,...
Posted Thu Jun 21, 2012, 4:47pm
Subject: Re: Dolce Vita Espresso Repair
 

Matt i just saw that you replied or I would have responded sooner.  I really have no idea what your talking about.  I called you because you had an advertisement saying you had used coffee machines for sale. I wanted to upgrade from a super automatic.   I told you my price ranges (around a used Silvia) and you told me to buy a machine that quite a bit more (commercial rancilio).  I asked you why you made that recommendation and wanted to understand why you were suggesting that to me.  

You were offering your machines for sale and i asked you why I should spend that  kind of money instead of the $300 or so I had planned.  There was no undercover activity. You were a seller and I was a potential buyer.  The conversation was really pretty short (5 mins?).  I am not sure how asking you what makes the machines you are selling better than what i was planning on buying makes me some kind of spy.

After that short discussion you then said i needed to pay you for your advice.  You advertised for buyers and then suggested I pay you for your "advice" about the machines you were selling.  That is pretty ridiculous.  When I refused you went on some tirade about how CoffeeGeek people are full of crap and don't know anything.  

I got lots and lots of extremely useful info from this site and its contributors.  I got nothing but a sales pitch, demand for money and insults from you.  

As a member and user of this site,  I wanted to warn other people that might come across your business  about what i consider unprofessional and shady business practices.

You might be an awesome repair man.  I have no knowledge of that but part of running a (successful) service busines includes having some people skills.

Nothing I have said is not factual and I have no ulterior motives.  I ended up buying an Astoria Compact CKXE on ebay that had some issues and had you handled the situation differently I am pretty certain I would have called you to repair it. As you can see I was not making anything up....... I was looking to upgrade and you advertised machines for sale.  

I am sorry that you are having trouble making ends meet with your repair business but maybe you should look at this like a learning experience of how not to treat people, contribute some of that knowledge to the forums and build a reputation that will get you more clients.  I know other vendors contribute and I value their input and in turn patronize their stores.
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chrisbruin
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Jul 2010
Posts: 62
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Astoria Compact CKXE,...
Grinder: Nuova Simonelli MDUA, la...
Drip: teavana pot, french press
Roaster: caffe rosto, popcorn popper,...
Posted Thu Jun 21, 2012, 4:55pm
Subject: Re: Dolce Vita Espresso Repair
 

I agree.  I never even asked about PID.

I ended up buying a Silvia from a coffeegeek member first and liked it until we had a small party and everyone wanted coffee.  That was the end of my night and the perfect excuse for me to show the wife why we need a more robust machine.  Six months after the Silvia i bought the Astoria compact.  It was a mess at first but I learned about the machine and now its amazing.  All in I ended up getting the Astoria for about $250 and put about $200 - $300 in parts and a lot of elbow grease.
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MattINLA
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Oct 2009
Posts: 77
Location: Glendale
Expertise: Professional

Posted Tue Jun 26, 2012, 3:20pm
Subject: Re: Dolce Vita Espresso Repair
 

Ok MAtt here at Dolce Vita Espresso flailing this issue again.  Yes Chris that was a bit overboard me asking you for $$ for information, big deal already that was the only time that ever happened, you were way more demanding of information than most and as I run into a too frequent problem of people picking my brains I need to sometimes cut these conversations short. as I get nothing out of it.  Also, I need to repeat that I have DOZENS AND DOZENS of awesome Google reviews that are stellar - and I am the ONLY ONE WHO HAS ANY!    HAVE YOU LOOKED AT THOSE?  Please go through those carefully, and redigest it all.  I do repairs reasonably, that NOBODY else even tackles.   I do boiler brazing, marathon descaling procedures on clogged up groupheads nobody will touch.  I rebuild lever machine group heads, I do electronic board level repairs, repair of damaged Gicar/Giemme CPU's,  I replace motors, pumps, do rebearing of pumps,  re-bearing of mazzer grinders! (Try THAT repair one day) I do correct / fastidious crimped electrical repairs,  am Marzocco trained,  I do complete rebuilds on Silvias, Quickmills whatever you GOT I work on every machine out there. You know who up in Van Nuys is my supplier and consults with me frequently.   I SAVE machines.  Not only that, but I am highly competent in the FILTRATION aspect of espresso machines and install water softeners and reverse osmosis, filter change-outs etc.  PLUS I install and service Bunn, Fetco, etc.  I am a pretty good electrician and plumber as well.  There are no shady business practices, you judging me on one phone call I had with you is not very fair.   I do not show up and demand $300 up front like some techs do, nor do I wrap steam fittings with teflon tape which is stupid and incorrect and which I see EVERYWHERE.  Yes let's talk about the bad work out there I see constantly which I am not contributing to.  I am truly one of the most honest and cheapest out there. I ALSO sold an Astoria CKXE on Ebay and my buyer  loves it.    Ok, so YOU need to get your act straight, mine already is.
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