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Best small yet upscale machine...
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Best small yet...  
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spence
Senior Member
spence
Joined: 15 Aug 2002
Posts: 103
Location: TivertonRI
Expertise: Intermediate

Posted Tue Jan 20, 2004, 10:49am
Subject: Best small yet upscale machine...
 

I've been contemplating replacing my Gaggia Classic with a nicer machine and am wondering if anyone can recommend something given my size requirements. I have limited headroom and a narrow window of counter space. I already have to store my Mazzer Mini on a low shelf and set it up each use, which is a pain...but worth it.

- Size: Can't be much bigger than the Gaggia Classic wich is 14" tall, 8" wide and 10.5" deep. Perhaps I could go 2" wider and 3" deeper. Overall headroom is only about 15.5" with 14.25 the max that would slide under...so if the machine puts out a lot of heat I would need a few inches at least. I've not noticed any heat damage from the Gaggia.

- Use: I make mostly ristrettos, with the occational cappa. Rarely make a lot at one time. I work out of the house so every day I'll make a double, work some, make another a while later and be done.

- Cost: Under 1000

I don't mind tinkering and have considered a old school lever model. Any comments would be appreciated.

thanks,

-spence
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korngold
Senior Member
korngold
Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 636
Location: Des Moines, IA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Audrey
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Drip: Melitta Clarity
Roaster: WE Popcorn Pumper
Posted Tue Jan 20, 2004, 11:17am
Subject: Re: Best small yet upscale machine...
 

Spence,

The Salvatore machines may be something to look into, though new ones might be a few hundred outside of your pricerange.  I think Rob just bought one for his folks.  It looks really nice, and packs a lot of features into a small, hand-made package.

-Anthony
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ljguitar
Senior Member
ljguitar
Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 2,805
Location: Cheyenne
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Pulsar
Grinder: Mazzer SuperJolly • Baratza
Drip: Bunn • AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor•Variacs
Posted Tue Jan 20, 2004, 11:30am
Subject: Re: Best small yet upscale machine...
 

spence Said:

--- Size: Can't be much bigger than the Gaggia Classic wich is 14" tall, 8" wide and 10.5" deep. Perhaps I could go 2" wider and 3" deeper. Overall headroom is only about 15.5" with 14.25 the max that would slide under...so if the machine puts out a lot of heat I would need a few inches at least. I've not noticed any heat damage from the Gaggia.
--- Use: I make mostly ristrettos, with the occational cappa. Rarely make a lot at one time. I work out of the house so every day I'll make a double, work some, make another a while later and be done.
--- Cost: Under 1000

Posted January 20, 2004 link

Wow Spence...a new machine possiby! Given that your current machine has a 58mm PF and 3 way solonoid and performs pretty well, a Silvia is not really an upgrade. The next step is probably HX but I don't know of any that fit your dimensions.

Our Expobar is 15 in. tall, 9.5 in. wide and 16 in. deep. It replaced a less deep machine, but we move it so it's controls are at the front of the counter, so the depth is no biggie. The cupboards are 18.5 so there are 3 in. of space above the machine.

Most HX are 15 in plus, but the Livia 90 is only 13 inches tall, and the Giattos are 11.5-13.8 in.

If yours is going under a cupboard, you could either raise the cupboard, or put an HX on a rolling cart. A lever would fit under a cupboard (note our La Pavoni in the background). The LaPavoni is not an upgrade from your Classic (just my opinion). I got nearly as good a shots from my LaPavoni as we did from the Silvia, but the basket is only 50mm so the shots are smaller (smaller basket = less grounds = smaller pulls).

L  a  r  r  Y

ljguitar: Jolly 2.JPG
(Click for larger image)

 
L  a  r  r  Y          J

<°)))><
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spence
Senior Member
spence
Joined: 15 Aug 2002
Posts: 103
Location: TivertonRI
Expertise: Intermediate

Posted Tue Jan 20, 2004, 12:23pm
Subject: Re: Best small yet upscale machine...
 

ljguitar Said:

If yours is going under a cupboard, you could either raise the cupboard, or put an HX on a rolling cart. A lever would fit under a cupboard (note our La Pavoni in the background). The LaPavoni is not an upgrade from your Classic (just my opinion). I got nearly as good a shots from my LaPavoni as we did from the Silvia, but the basket is only 50mm so the shots are smaller (smaller basket = less grounds = smaller pulls).

Posted January 20, 2004 link

Good comment on the la Pavoni. I should note that my desire to upgrade is due to the inconsistant behavior (temp) from the Gaggia.

I installed the cabinets myself, they are low due to a soffit I didn't feel like moving.

-spence
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korngold
Senior Member
korngold
Joined: 21 Jul 2003
Posts: 636
Location: Des Moines, IA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Audrey
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Drip: Melitta Clarity
Roaster: WE Popcorn Pumper
Posted Wed Jan 21, 2004, 6:36pm
Subject: Re: Best small yet upscale machine...
 

Spence,

Did you consider doing the "PID" thing with your Classic?  Many people have done it to regulate the temp on a Silvia--should be adaptable to the Classic, as well.  

-Anthony
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