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Alex Duetto Owners-Please speak up!
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Alex Duetto...  
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barngal
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Mar 2005
Posts: 23
Location: Sacramento
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus
Grinder: MACAP M4
Posted Fri Jul 17, 2009, 6:07pm
Subject: Alex Duetto Owners-Please speak up!
 

Are there any Duetto owners who want to talk about their experiences with the machine?
Anybody had it more than a few months?
All the reviews I read are touting the benefits of the machine, but its never by home users
Also I know about the 15/20amps, the ability to switch plumbed or not, etc etc ad nauseum
always people recommending it because of the specs...

But I have not heard from anybody about the shots! How much they like using it?
And the reliability ( I know it hasn't been out that long, but how long HAVE you had it, and has been troublefree?
I'd really like to hear from owners--and not just how great it looks out of the box (I mean thats cool too,but)

I have an original Brewtus, and I love the espresso. Makes great shots, pretty easily.
As you know, we Brewtus owners love talking about our machines and coffee. And there's al ot of
support, trouble shooting etc in the Brewtus community

I know the Duetto II hasn't been out long, but who's bought it?
I've been searching, so if I missed a thread please steer me there
Thanks!
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xdavez
Senior Member
xdavez
Joined: 21 Nov 2007
Posts: 1,157
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: La Spaziale Vivaldi II
Grinder: Mazzer mini
Vac Pot: none
Drip: Technivorm
Posted Fri Jul 17, 2009, 6:32pm
Subject: Re: Alex Duetto Owners-Please speak up!
 

I am not an owner of the either machine.

But:

The brewtus has a long history of unreliability and IMHO, having been "inside" both machines I was NOT impressed with the design or implementation of  BI or BII.  nor any expobars in general.

example: BI and BII two identical sized boilers for steam and brew!!??  NOT a good idea, but cheaper.

I AM impressed with the construction of the IZZO line.

the fact that IZZO  (duetto, etc) is sold by Chris coffee should ease your mind.
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barngal
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Mar 2005
Posts: 23
Location: Sacramento
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus
Grinder: MACAP M4
Posted Fri Jul 17, 2009, 7:03pm
Subject: Re: Alex Duetto Owners-Please speak up!
 

Thanks xdavez, I know exactly what you mean
I have read the specs, the reviews etc.
I know all the benefits, the support service etc etc

Many people include it in their list of "machines to consider" among double boilers.
But its rare to hear from anyone who HAS one,
and more so for any length of time.

People who buy this type of machine are at least somewhat active in coffee forums.
So I'm stumped that there's no user group, there's no posts of discussion between owners
I know we Brewtus users are an especially passionate community, but still I think I'd at least
be able to find some conversation amongst Duetto owners, or at least by a Duetto owner.
So many of the threads I read are hailing the quality and features of the machine...
but its all from folks that don't have one...

it just feels a little weird to me, all this talk about the machine but no users...
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DavecUK
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,392
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Jul 17, 2009, 7:17pm
Subject: Re: Alex Duetto Owners-Please speak up!
 

I shall join the rest of the Duetto owners and read with interest the comments of people who don't own one.

Post edited out of sheer frustration ;-)
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billherbst
Senior Member
billherbst
Joined: 6 Jul 2006
Posts: 114
Location: Florence, Oregon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus II
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Ascaso iMini
Vac Pot: Melior French Press
Drip: Melitta Cone
Roaster: Behmor 1600, Poppery II
Posted Fri Jul 17, 2009, 7:40pm
Subject: Re: Alex Duetto Owners-Please speak up!
 

barngal,

When upgrade fever finally hit me hard this spring (I'd been quite happy with my PID'd Le'Lit PL041), I figured I'd get an HX, specifically the La Cora Andreja Premium $1450 shipped. Then I saw that Whole Latte Love was selling refurb Brewtus IIs for $1399 with free shipping. So I read all the many threads about HX versus double boilers, and ended up getting the refurbed Expobar.

After six weeks of use, I'm very happy with my purchase. For the refurb price, the Brewtus II is terrific, and it makes great espresso. As it should, what with an e61 thermosyphon group, preinfusion, naked portafilter with triple basket (bought aftermarket separately), and absolutely rock-solid brew temps. I've not had espresso at a lot of cafes, but I have been to Vivace in Seattle, and my home cappuccinos on the Brewtus seem just as good. Plus, mine came with at least two of the upgrades for the Brewtus III---the black faces on the pressure dials and the steel toggle on-off switch.

I too am very curious about the other DBs, the various La Spaziales---S1 Vivaldi I ($1895), Mini Vivaldi II ($1949), and S2 Vivaldi II ($2149)---the Alex Duetto II ($2295), and the Vibiemme Double Domobar Manual ($1899) and Electronic ($2179).

All those machines carry the subtle implication of being "higher end" than the Brewtus line (I, II, and III, although the III series has a true PID rather than a simple centigrade temp controller with mild overshoot). My guess is that Expobar's historical frequency of repair was higher, especially in their relatively inexpensive Office Series, so that the rap on Expobar is that they pack a lot of features into units using consumer-quality components more prone to failure than the heavier-duty industrial components used on some of the other brands.

I know for certain that a lot of happy Brewtus owners exist. I presume there are many happy owner/users of those other machines. So, Duetto owners (and others), please chime in!

--Bill
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sportychop
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Feb 2008
Posts: 50
Location: Ft Worth TX
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Brewtus II, Gaggia Classic,...
Grinder: Super Jolly, Nuova Simonelli...
Posted Sat Jul 18, 2009, 6:25am
Subject: Re: Alex Duetto Owners-Please speak up!
 

DavecUK Said:

I shall join the rest of the Duetto owners and read with interest the comments of people who don't own one.

Post edited out of sheer frustration ;-)

Posted July 17, 2009 link

May I suggest instead of sitting in silence, you add some very much needed actual user feedback.

I found this actual user account on H-B. click here
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DavecUK
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,392
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Jul 18, 2009, 1:20pm
Subject: Re: Alex Duetto Owners-Please speak up!
 

I gave a very detailed post which was immediately buried by another non owner wibbling on about their Brewtus II, adding nothing much to the request for information about the Duetto. So I decided to simply edit the stuff away, because what's the point when we have all these other people going on about other machines, when the poster is specifically asking for feedback about the Duetto. Needless to say this "non-owner" posted as if my post had  not been made. It's unfortunate that had he read it he might have learned something, or at least had some questions.

It simply amazes me how many people are happy to make sweeping comments about many different machines they have never owned/used, or seen the inside of, let alone understanding how they work on a detailed level. Not only have I reviewed most of the double boiler machines on the market, but I helped design the Duetto II in a consultant capacity for Izzo. I love my Duetto...better than any other machine I have reviewed and I have the pre-production prototype 0001...no problems at all.

For better owners  threads search home Barista for Duetto, becuase there are much more important things that the crappy badge falling off (I personally wouldn't bother sticking it on), or the silly eyebrows above the steam/water wands, which I peeled off 15 months ago..

Also see and compare with other machines:

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)
Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

You can also compare them against those of a GS3...somewhere on the same site.
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JeepinGeo
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Dec 2007
Posts: 175
Location: Campbell, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto, Silvia
Grinder: Mazzer SJ (x2), Rocky DL
Posted Sat Jul 18, 2009, 6:10pm
Subject: Re: Alex Duetto Owners-Please speak up!
 

Jenni,

Real Duetto owner here. Purchased in September 2008.

Thanks to DavecUK's work and reviews, I took the chance and pre-ordered the original Duetto. I can say without hesitation that I am extremely happy I did. There was some weirdness with the original US version of the PID that was handled very well by Chris and company. Since then, the machine has been completely trouble free.

Except for the PID'd steam boiler (elimination of the P-Stat) I've tweaked and twiddled my Duetto to have all of the (and some extra) features of the Duetto II. I'm sure I'd be happy to have a Duetto II also.

Without doubt, the Duetto will do complete justice to some decent beans. I love the shots it produces, the steaming works very well for me.

Perhaps the designs, specifications, aesthetics get more attention because all the machines at this level have excellent performance. Duetto owners do seem to be quietly purchasing and enjoying the use of their machines.

George
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D61
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Nov 2006
Posts: 27
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto
Grinder: Bezzera BB04
Drip: Technivorm KBT 741
Posted Sat Jul 18, 2009, 8:13pm
Subject: Re: Alex Duetto Owners-Please speak up!
 

Jenni,

Another real owner here.  I have been hesitant to post about the Duetto, although I am very happy with it, I despise fanboys and would not want to appear as such.  I have seen too many posts where owners simply try to hype their own machine, perhaps to feel better about their own purchase, -no idea.  So just to be really clear, I really don't care if anyone else buys this machine.  For all the "other" machine owners who like to add their feedback as non-owners... I don't care if you don't like the look of it, and I'm fine if you think the E61 is outdated, or if you hate the chrome look.  But please don't or speculate about how we Duetto owners will have reliability issues and rue the day we purchased one.  Why not wait for the actual results to come in over time.  In the meantime, surely we can just quietly enjoy our machines.

My rant complete, now here's some feedback, first some perspective.  I've had the Duetto (first version) for 7 months now.  I've run about 45 lbs of coffee through it, most of it for caps, so the steam boiler gets lots of use.  I am running it on a 20 amp circuit with a surge suppressor and using a heavy duty timer.  During the week it comes on at 5:00am-8:00am, and again from 3:00pm until about 9:00pm.  On weekends (and since the end of June since I am not working) it runs from 5am until 10pm, or about 17 hours per day.  I only turn on the steam boiler when its needed, but that can mean up to 1 hour or more at a time - and I make mostly caps.  Probably the steam boiler is on for at least 2-3 hours per day.

Hows it performed?  Flawless.  I don't mean few problems, or minor problems, I mean zilch, none, no problems whatsoever.  It has always been quiet, always came on exactly as expected, and absolutely no trouble.  It came with all the latest PID settings pre-programmed, powered up perfectly the first time, and has been the same ever since.  Even the badge is still intact.  It is very easy for me to make microfoam suitable for latte art, and although not what I would call a fast steamer, it works well for a single cap.  I plan to post a review on CG soon which will include a few metrics.  As far as the quality of espresso goes, I don't want to be drawn into any subjective debates,  -all I will say is that I have had no problem producing very good shots which certainly seem on par with some fine cafes that were using the same beans.  As for how it compares to some of the other prosumer DB offerings in the same category, I have no idea.

For me, having the flexibility to plumb in or not has been great, since I can convert to plumb-in at my own speed.  (its drained-in now)  It was very important to me to have a quiet rotary pump, and all reliability/servicing arguments to the contrary at HB, I am thankful each and every morning at 6:30 am that I don't have to listen to the annoying sound of my old vibe pump.  I personally would never go back.

Everyone has different criteria and priorities for buying a machine, and I would not want to impose mine on anyone.  I hoped that if I purchased this machine it would provide me with repeatable shots, be easy to use, steam and pour at the same time (I'm impatient), be somewhat forgiving of minor technique variations, and be temperature stable without any special effort on my part.  It has done this for me, and the biggest compliment I can give the Duetto is that for me is is now almost invisible.  Any issues I have now, seem to be because of my occasional sloppy technique or my imprecise stepped grinder.  Once I improve my grinder I hope that it will become invisible too.  I really want the focus to be the coffee and to a lessor extent my technique, and with the Duetto, for me, I am almost there.
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DavecUK
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,392
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jul 19, 2009, 11:11am
Subject: Re: Alex Duetto Owners-Please speak up!
 

D61 Said:

and the biggest compliment I can give the Duetto is that for me is is now almost invisible.  Any issues I have now, seem to be because of my occasional sloppy technique or my imprecise stepped grinder.  Once I improve my grinder I hope that it will become invisible too.  I really want the focus to be the coffee and to a lessor extent my technique, and with the Duetto, for me, I am almost there.

Posted July 18, 2009 link

Thank goodness, one of my primary design objectives has obviously been met successfully..... "You don't have to think about the machine!"
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