Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
going crazy over my machine choice!
Coffee Kids
Help folks who help folks in coffee producing nations.
coffeekids.org
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > going crazy over...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
Author Messages
newf
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Aug 2009
Posts: 31
Location: WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto
Grinder: Vario
Posted Wed Aug 26, 2009, 9:34pm
Subject: going crazy over my machine choice!
 

I will start by the Hello, I am a new guy here. I have been doing a lot of research/reading of all the knowledgeable people here. Want to say thanks for all of the posts and replies so much great info here.

I love the great espresso that I have had in Italy (some places in France have had good shots) or real coffee houses.
My wife likes lattes so I need good milk frothing. I have kids so cocos are important. I am very particular about my kitchen items I like good quality, consistent equipment. I want a machine I can control and learn on but will grow with me. I don't really want to have to upgrade to a new machine but am okay with upgrading the machine I buy ( like a PID or a E61 Thermometer).

FYI, grinder is a Baratza Vario, fresh beans from a local roaster.

My dilemma is, this will be my first Real machine here is what I want.
price my wife wants to keep it below $1500 but I know that is not very real so how about $1800
Semi-auto
I love the idea of the PID as I can control the temp and develop the best espresso for a given bean. I also think it may help my learning curve.
I like the sound of a double boiler over a HX but not an arguing point for me, maybe a price point, but an HX with a PID that sounds good to me. The HX take a fair bit more learning from what I read... yes/no
Vib or rotary is not a deal breaker the rotary sounds nicer but...

The machines I have broadly narrowed it down to is a bit silly because it is so broad.

Wholelattelove has the refurbed Expobars
Office Lever very low price at less than 1k but is it enough for me does it have enough growth potential
Brewtus III-V is at $1600 and has the PID and is good to go but is it too much for a beginner? I like this machine it is one of the top 1-3 on the list.

dms here on the board has a Rocket Giotto for sale and is not to far away. This machine is the eye candy favorite of mine. I do Love the looks of this machine as well as many of the features. but I would need to add a PID in the future... or can I do that? I really like this machine seems to have a good track record and it is so pretty. This machine is the other top 1-3.

here are the others
QuickMills  (the other top 1-3 machine) are very nice Andreja or Anita or the Alexia a friend has the Vetrano and is very happy with it.
Vibiemme domo Junior double boiler maybe not big enough?
and the Fiorenzato Bricoletta Volante really cool machines price seems good not a lot of info on them.

I would love to hear input or if you can give me other things to think of please let me know. I know that there are tons of what machine should I buy so thanks for humoring me.

Thanks
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Jmanespresso
Senior Member
Jmanespresso
Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 2,109
Location: Westchester NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto II
Grinder: Compak K10 - Vario
Vac Pot: Yama-SY5/SY8/TCA5
Drip: V60, Beehouse, CCD
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Wed Aug 26, 2009, 11:08pm
Subject: Re: going crazy over my machine choice!
 

Hello and Welcome!

Ok.. Most importantly, you already own a great grinder.. So to be honest, the hard part is done!

And with a budget of 1800, that gives you lots of options, since you can blow it all on the machine.

So..

Adding a PID to an HX is an ongoing battle, similair to the battle of doser VS. Doserless.  Personally, I dont like the idea.  The whole popint of a HX is that you have steam on demand, and easily manipulated brew temps.  Adding a PID makes temp control a no brainer, but you loose steam on demand.  Essentially turning it into a fast single boiler.  BUT.. There are people with PIDd HXs that are happy with them.  Dave, from HiTech Espresso installs PIDs on the Quickmill machines, so an email to him with your questions about a PID on an HX will probably yield some answers.

A dual boiler is nice.  No brainer temp control, steam on demand.  Takes the best of a PID'd single boiler and an HX and puts them together.  Its a nice choice.  BUT.. in NO WAY are HX machines inferior, AT ALL.  IN FACT, there are plenty of HX users who dont want a double boiler.  Im not one of them.  I like my HX machine, but Ill be upgrading to a PID'd dual boiler soon.

Here is an article, probably the best one, describing how HXs work, and how to control the temps.  Trust me, it is MUCH easier then it sounds.  Flush X amount of water, wait 20-30 seconds, pull shot, done.  And probably the best part about HX machines, is the ability to change brew temp on the fly.  First shot too bitter?  Flush a tad more next shot.  Next shot too sour?  Flush a bit less.  It can change how you see fit.  Now, a PID can do this too, BUT, there is a wait time to heat up/cool down to your desired temp.. About 3-5mins.

Now.. When it comes to HX machines, I think you would be hard pressed to find a better machine(s) then the Quickmill line.  OK... OK.. So maybe Im biased because I own one.. But I will bet the bank that you wont find ANYONE who will knock the quality of the machines.. They are well built machines meant to last a very long time.  The Anita and the Andreja Premium are pretty much the same machine in different cases.  The Andreja Premium has a few "upgrades", non of them effect the espresso.  Things like, No burn steam/water wands, Non-Compression Valves for those wands, a molded case, and the ability to house the Commercial Sirai P-stat.  All great things, but non of them REQUIRED.  Other then those things, the Anita is the same machine.  The Vetrano as well, but with a Rotary pump and the drip tray can be drained.  the espresso each one makes is the same.  I think the Anita is tough to beat, hence why I bought it. Here is a link to a review of the Andreja, and Here is a link to the Vetrano review.

Currently, the Fiorenzato Bricoletta, not the Volante, is on sale for 1k, from 1st Line equipment.  that is a whole lot of machine for 1k.  The other 1k offerings dont even come close.  This is a good read on the Bric, lots of info.

For the HX machines, the E-61 thermometer that Chris' Coffee sells is a great 100 bucks.  REALLY makes flushing easier, AND makes those on the fly temp changes less of a guess.  Id say its required, but it isnt REALLY.  But it is a wonderful tool to have on an HX machine, that is for certain.

Ok.. Now the Dual Boilers..

Lots of options have come to market in the last year or two, all right at or around the 2k mark for a dual boiler, pid/electronic temp control prosumer machine.  Ok.. that was a long sentence :)

In the DB Class, we Have:
The Alex Duetto II
The La Spaziale Vivaldi II, and The Mini Vivaldi.  
The Vibiemme DB machines(and the HX models)
The Expobar Brewtus III Both Vibe and Rotary
and, The Dalla Corte Mini

All Dual Boilers, and all of them have PIDs except the Vivaldi and Dalla Corte.. They have thier own temp control system, which, in the end, accomplishes the same thing, temp wise, as the PIDs.  All of them are 58mm, again, except the Vivaldi and Dalla Corte.. But to be honest, that makes no difference in the cup whatsoever.

Each machine has its pros and cons.  They are ALL Capable of wonderful espresso.  My Personal Choice out of these options is the Alex Duetto II.  It has a Rotary pump, but doesnt have to be plumbed, though it can be, as well as the drip tray can be drained, if you wish.  BOTH boilers are PID'd controlled, something no other machine has.. But this also has no effect in the cup, it just eliminates the mechanical Relay for a Solid Sate relay, and the Pressure stat for the steam boiler.  in my PERSONAL humble opinion, I think the Duetto and the Vivaldi are the two best machines there, but believe me, I would be very happy with the VBM or the Dalla Corte as well.  When it comes to choosing one of the prosumer DB options available right now, I think it will come down to which vendor you want to deal with, and aesthetics.  They are all good machines, all within a close price range, and all capable of great espresso....as long as you feed it well ground, fresh coffee, which you are able to do.  Some of the machines can run only on the brew boiler, and turn on the steam boiler if you only make milk drinks now and then.. The Duetto and Vivaldi can do this, I dont think the Expobar or VBM can, and i honestly dont know about the Dalla Corte.. but since thats out of your range, I wont worry about it :)  It has been said a couple times over, that the expobar brewtus has less steaming power then the other offerings.  Ive steamed both on the Duetto and the Vivaldi, and both are quick, quicker then Anita anyway.

What you need to decide is this...  Do you want the PID, no Brainer temp control of the Dual boiler, or do you want to have the on the fly temp control of the HX.  BOTH machine types work well, and the espresso is niether better nor worse from either type, all things being equal.   Are you someone who switches coffees a lot, trying lots of different blends and single origins?  Or are you someone who finds one or two blends/SOs you like, and sticks with them for a while?  If you are the former, a DB will probably suit you a little better, as it just makes things easier.  But on the other hand, small temp changes can be made on an HX much quicker then on a DB.  

With a DB machine, There isnt anything to upgrade to, except a "better" DB machine, such as a La MArzocco GS3 or the like.  But the operation stays the same.  But dont even think for a second that you wont be able to learn how to manage the temp of an HX,, Its honestly SOOOO much easier then it sounds when you read about it.  Honestly, 10 minutes with someone who has an HX, or at least knows how to do the Flush, and you'll be good to go from there, and free to experiment all you want.

Its really not about picking which machine is better, because at this level, theyre all good.  What appeals to you? What do you want out of the machine?

If you want my COMPLETLY personal choice for what I would do, given the budget and the machines available.. Well,, Here it is...

Budget is ~1800.  Duetto is LIST PRICE 2295.  POSSIBLY less if you call Chris Coffee and ask, but IDK.  But, even if it is list price, Id try and stretch the budget to get the Duetto.  If that was too much of a stretch, Id add the extra 150 and get the Vivaldi Mini.  If the budget was in NO WAY stretchable, Id wait a little while, and save the extra $ needed for the Duetto.  Remember, this is just my opinion.  Ive had an HX for a while now, and yes, its a very capable machine, but for me, a dual boiler will suit me better.  And, if your budget is so close to the DB machines, it seems a smart idea to just stretch it to meet the price, and truly never worry about upgrading the machine(as you said you dont want to do)

I hope was, at least in some way, helpful to you.  If you have any more question, please, dont hesitate to ask, I, and many others would be more then happy to help... After all, thats why we're here!

Jeff

 
Follow Your Bliss

Coffee makes your constantly overcome your prejudices and re-evaluate your own "received wisdoms" when it comes to judging cup flavors. -Tom Owen, SweetMarias
back to top
 View Profile Contact via AOL Instant Messenger Link to this post
DavecUK
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,449
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Aug 27, 2009, 2:33am
Subject: Re: going crazy over my machine choice!
 

Totally agree with the above post
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
TimEggers
Moderator
TimEggers
Joined: 3 Oct 2004
Posts: 2,946
Location: Tiskilwa, Illinois
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: QM Anita, Cappuccino Amore
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Mazzer SJ
Vac Pot: Antique McKee, Santos
Drip: Pour Over, Bodum Presses
Roaster: RK Drum
Posted Thu Aug 27, 2009, 5:25am
Subject: Re: going crazy over my machine choice!
 

Jman wrote a great post, I'd just like to echo a few of his points:

Grinder is paramount to any machine you look at, but you have that covered, good job!  This simple fact is where a lot of folks miss the mark.

Second I too have a Quickmill (Anita) and I really like her.  Its easy to work on and the espresso is quite good.  Now mind you most every machine in the price range you're looking at is quite nice.  My experience is with my Anita, and its been great.  I've not used other machines in this class.

Third, the HX brew temperature management is extremely easy.  I run my Anita very hot which sounds counter intuitive but it allows me to flush to a specific number on my e61 group thermometer and then immediately pull the shot (hence the flush-and-go method) no waiting or timing.  Depending on the blend its simply a matter of knowing what number I need to flush too (but this for me doesn't vary too much).  Do not confuse HX temperature management with temperature surfing.  One thing that I like about my set-up (and again I've not used a DB machine) is the freedom to adjust brew temps on the fly.

Of coarse a Dual Boiler "resolves" all of this and I know a lot of folks love having a dual boiler machine.

 
Tim Eggers
http://www.facebook.com/TimEggers
http://twitter.com/Tim_Eggers
http://www.youtube.com/user/TimEggers
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
David23
Senior Member
David23
Joined: 27 Nov 2008
Posts: 63
Location: Arlington, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mini Vivaldi II, Pasquini...
Grinder: Mahlkoenig K30 Vario,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Aug 27, 2009, 5:42am
Subject: Re: going crazy over my machine choice!
 

You do have a lot of options with that budget.  There are a couple of nice machines in the for sale forum you might look at.   I had a similar budget when I bought, and spent time talking with Chris at CC.  He convinced me to get the The Mini Vivaldi and I have been quite happy with it.  I was convinced by Chris the advantages of a DB were significant, and certainly now having owned one tend to agree.
Good luck with your purchase, anxious to hear what you decide.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Dodge1
Senior Member
Dodge1
Joined: 21 Dec 2002
Posts: 208
Location: Omaha
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: GS/3
Grinder: K30 Vario WBC & K10 WBC
Posted Thu Aug 27, 2009, 6:07am
Subject: Re: going crazy over my machine choice!
 

Great post Jeff and your COMPLETLY personal choice(s) are outstanding; especially since they echo my personal choice(s) ;)  

I went through a long and exhaustive session of dd before narrowing down my choices to either the Duetto II, or the Vivaldi Mini II.  IMHO, you wouldn't go wrong with either and Chris, or Mary, will most likely knock at least $150 off and even more if you need accessories.
 
FYI, I went with the Mini II but that was mainly due to the fact that the Duetto II was a new model at the time I made my final decision.  It's now been out in the real world for something like 70 days and I haven't run across any negative posts.

My suggestion is to call Chris, explain what your needs are, and ask him what machine(s) he'd suggest and what accessories you'll need.  Then have a confab with your significant other.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
newf
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Aug 2009
Posts: 31
Location: WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto
Grinder: Vario
Posted Thu Aug 27, 2009, 7:41am
Subject: Re: going crazy over my machine choice!
 

This is what I am talking about, great info from experinced people!
Thanks so much for all of your post esp Jeff.
A little more study and I hope to make a decision this weekend.
T
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,408
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Thu Aug 27, 2009, 8:24am
Subject: Re: going crazy over my machine choice!
 

TimEggers Said:

Jman wrote a great post, I'd just like to echo a few of his points . . .

Posted August 27, 2009 link

+1

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Jmanespresso
Senior Member
Jmanespresso
Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 2,109
Location: Westchester NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto II
Grinder: Compak K10 - Vario
Vac Pot: Yama-SY5/SY8/TCA5
Drip: V60, Beehouse, CCD
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Thu Aug 27, 2009, 1:30pm
Subject: Re: going crazy over my machine choice!
 

Im glad I was helpful.

And now I will Echo something.. I would seriously give Chris' Coffee a Call tomorrow.  You'll probably speak with Mary, but it doesnt matter who you talk to.. They all know what they're doing.  Tell them what drinks you will make most often, how often you will use the machine, where it will go, whether you want to plumb it in or not, and they will be able to match you with the perfect machine, without "hinting" that you buy something.  1st time I EVER called them, I flat out said, Im not buying anything today.  Mary spent two hours on the phone with me, and I ended up buying my machine that day.

Seeing as how you've got the grinder covered, and a budget which allows many great choices, there is only one hitch.. Getting the Women to agree.  Many will argue temp surfing a silvia without a timer is a much easier task! :)

 
Follow Your Bliss

Coffee makes your constantly overcome your prejudices and re-evaluate your own "received wisdoms" when it comes to judging cup flavors. -Tom Owen, SweetMarias
back to top
 View Profile Contact via AOL Instant Messenger Link to this post
wenus2
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Oct 2008
Posts: 621
Location: Reno, NV
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Astoria, Oscar, GB5
Grinder: Mazzers
Vac Pot: TCA-5
Drip: Drop...clever
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Thu Aug 27, 2009, 1:56pm
Subject: Re: going crazy over my machine choice!
 

The Vibiemme Double Domobar from Stefano's Espresso Care in Oregon would be a wise choice IMHO.
It's an excellent machine, and I'm sure everyone will agree Stefano's service is top notch.
Get the rotary version if you intend to plumb it in.

 
enjoy the journey
-jw
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > going crazy over...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Rocket R58 Double Boiler
Rocket Espresso R58 Double Boiler -  Everything you need for the perfect shot!
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.416567802429)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+