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jezekilj
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Feb 2011
Posts: 29
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Feb 1, 2011, 1:08pm
Subject: Supper / Automatic machines' baskets - are they all pressurized?
 

Hi everyone and thanks for this great site and forum!

Lots of pros and enthusiasts here! I've learned a lot from you guys just reading and testing by your instructions.

I am still investigating - currently using semi automatic with separate grinder.

Was wondering if anyone could confirm if those super automatic machines are actually using something like pressurized kind of baskets ?

I do not know if they have portafilter kind of mechanism or just simple brew group, but I suppose that due to automation they have pressurized basket parts.

I know that some can grind, measure and tamp but do they all make crema using pressurized double bottom baskets or they really make espresso through commercial kind of basket ?

I doubt that they do so especially because of the space and size of the commercial portafiter heads comparing to the small space available on automatic ones.

At least I doubt for home automatic machines. I do not know for commercial automatics like Concordia etc...

If anyone could advice me on this one because I am deciding between automatic versus semi.

Thanks for your time anyhow.
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TheMadTamper
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Joined: 2 Nov 2010
Posts: 1,246
Location: US
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Salvatore SES; Izzo Duetto...
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC, K8 Fresh,...
Drip: /Pod: Bunn MCP
Roaster: /Other: Blender - BlendTec...
Posted Tue Feb 1, 2011, 1:22pm
Subject: Re: Supper / Automatic machines' baskets - are they all pressurized?
 

Welcome to CG!

It varies as to if they use a "pressurized basket" mechanism.  I'm unfamiliar with most specific machines, but I'd say most of the consumer type super automatics such as Jura-Capresso likely do employ a valved system similar to pressurized portafilters.   The higher end units such as the Quickmill Monza, I would imagine, do not.  However none of them have a true portafilter handle type system, that would defeat the nature of being super automatic.  They have some proprietary basket system contained in the unit, the style of which would be invisible to the end user, at least apart from maintenance.

Also, just so there is clarity, the use of the word "automatic" and "super automatic" is used somewhat inconsistently at times (and in various regions.)  Around here "semi automatic" means you push a button to start brewing, push it again (or turn the lever, in the case of E61 levers) to stop brewing.  "automatic" refers to machines similar to semi-automatic, however it features volumetric dosing.  You push, say, the "double" button to start brewing, and it stops on its own when it's finished a set amount of liquid.  Super automatic refers to the machines that dose, grind, tamp, brew, etc automatically.

Now, about your decision making....what semi-automatic & grinder are you presently using?  What about it is making you consider an upgrade, or a switch to a super-automatic? Which machines are you considering?  And what is your budget (and in what region?) The general advise you'll likely find is that for a set price, a semi+grinder will deliver more performance than a super auto, but if convenience is of prime importance to you, super-auto is what it is: convenient.  And a lot depends on the machines in question.

Pietro will probably be the single most helpful person around here for super-auto advice.  Everyone excluding Pietro ("cappuccinoboy") will be very helpful for non-super advice :)
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jezekilj
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Joined: 1 Feb 2011
Posts: 29
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Feb 1, 2011, 2:16pm
Subject: Re: Supper / Automatic machines' baskets - are they all pressurized?
 

TheMadTamper Thaks a lot for reply!

By super/Automatic I meant those machines that just have two nozzles coming out but no real portafilter and no handle.

Since these kind of machines ( say jura , delonghi magnifica , citiz etc) have a really small sized part/head - where coffee is coming out, I really doubt they make espresso in traditional way.

I really doubt they are producing espresso by putting hot water under pressure through coffee that would come out from multiple-holes basket.  What I think they do, is kind of pressurized brewing and in such way producing less-quality- not - orthodox and less- flavored drink which, in all means, cannot be considered as an espresso, since already brewed coffee is forced to go through small hole and in such way making false crema without really producing extraction in traditional way....

I did some investigation on commercial machine that is 20K$ range - Concordia - I red some documentation in google patents following separate patents that they use and understood that, at the end, for espresso they use Procter & Gamble device to make emulsified coffee using air. It is somehow sophisticated pressurized basket just it has three parts instead two that is used on semi machines with portafilter and pressurized baskets.

I strongly believe that coffee produced by such way like by pressurized basked is not a real espresso.

And in example above it seams even expensive ones are just using coffee emulsification method by giving  false espresso.

I currently use Caprice by  PALSON and moded KG 79 DeLonghi bur grinder with either lavazza roeasted beens or my own  pop-roast Nicaragua coffee.

My machine has only pressurized baskets.

I also use Bodum French press and I use Bialetti Venus  stovetop.

I am considering to upgrade my machines to possessional so that I can make and drink real espresso at home, but I also consider having automatic for morning as I cannot make good coffee in early hours using semi.


But if all those expensive automatic machines are just giving false emulsified non-traditional-espresso coffee brew I ll not buy them . It is the fact I do want convenience but not for the price of less quality drink.

That is why I ask for community opinions.

Region is UAE. But this is irreverent since I can import almost anything with 30% less price than what they offer here.

Budget depends from what I can get but, I would be investing from 500$ to 5000$ if I can get :

Good grinder, machine that has rotary pump, control over water temperature and  water pressure and it uses commercial size portafilter with traditional baskets

It is for home use so I do not look for capacity.

Or from another side if I can get all these above with automatic machine.

From reading the forum topics, I can make suggestions myself when it comes to the semiautomatic machine but I just wonder if I can get traditional espresso from automatic machine then I ll invest to automatic - just to avoid daily time consumption. But now I doubt, since  all automatics are  probably just aerating - emulsifying the coffee brew...


So this is confusing me...
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jezekilj
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Joined: 1 Feb 2011
Posts: 29
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Feb 1, 2011, 2:34pm
Subject: Re: Supper / Automatic machines' baskets - are they all pressurized?
 

I just noticed that my Caprice by PALSON

http://www(dot)palson.com/index.php?id=2& amp;familia=14&producto=coffee_makers

has a clone: Dualit Espressivo

http://www(dot)dualit.com/prod ucts/espressivo-coffee-machine

Probably both made in Shenchen port so that delivery is wast and cheep.
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TheMadTamper
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Nov 2010
Posts: 1,246
Location: US
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Salvatore SES; Izzo Duetto...
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC, K8 Fresh,...
Drip: /Pod: Bunn MCP
Roaster: /Other: Blender - BlendTec...
Posted Tue Feb 1, 2011, 2:54pm
Subject: Re: Supper / Automatic machines' baskets - are they all pressurized?
 

jezekilj Said:

Since these kind of machines ( say jura , delonghi magnifica , citiz etc) have a really small sized part/head - where coffee is coming out, I really doubt they make espresso in traditional way.

I really doubt they are producing espresso by putting hot water under pressure through coffee that would come out from multiple-holes basket.  What I think they do, is kind of pressurized brewing and in such way producing less-quality- not - orthodox and less- flavored drink which, in all means, cannot be considered as an espresso, since already brewed coffee is forced to go through small hole and in such way making false crema without really producing extraction in traditional way....

Posted February 1, 2011 link

It is very likely these machines are doing just as you describe.  I see the Jura-class supers as a glorified version of your average Saeco or DeLonghi consumer machine.  Many of them also use thermoblock systems instead of true boilers...including all the flaws that go with that.  

Where there is more gray area is with some of the mid-class supers like the QM Monza.  On the other hand if your research turned up $20k high volume machines also using a "crema enhancement" system, I'd question all super-autos.  A dealer (or owner of such machines) could probably provide more info on machines in that class than I.

I strongly believe that coffee produced by such way like by pressurized basked is not a real espresso.

You'll find no shortage of agreement here!  There's a good number of forum members who have managed to pull pretty good shots from their Saeco type machines....after getting rid of the pressurized PF.  Consumer class supers are generally regarded to produce mediocre-at-best shots.  Commercial class supers are considered to produce ok shots, but still not of the caliber one would expect from a skilled operator with a semi/auto.  

I am considering to upgrade my machines to possessional so that I can make and drink real espresso at home, but I also consider having automatic for morning as I cannot make good coffee in early hours using semi.

It sounds like you're someone that appreciates the coffee making process enough that a good "prosumer" semi & grinder would do you well.  If you're home roasting your own beans...you qualify for geek status :) While I can sympathize with not wanting to make early morning coffee....if you select a grinder and HX or DB machine that you find convenient, say a Mahlkonig K30, ProM, or Mahlkonig Home/Baratza vario for the grinder, and virtually any HX or DB espresso machine, and work on your speed, it's not so difficult.   Each morning I produce 4 doubles, and 2 16oz pitchers of milk and clean up in 15-20 minutes.  And I do it half-sleepwalking :) I use a Compak K3 exclusively for mornings (where single dosing on the big K10 would be time prohibitive.) Once you get a routine down, it's really not so difficult, and if you're interested in producing the best quality you can, I don't think you'd end up happy with most super-automatics in the long run.  Especially for evening coffee or if you want to really pull the flavors of your home roasted beans.  While there's still effort involved, words can't describe how much easier it is to work with a prosumer type machine than a thermoblock or single boiler unit like you're using now.  It's not "push button, receive coffee" easy, but the result is worth it.  Some super autos are better than others, but at a given price point they will ALWAYS be a compromise of convenience over quality when compared to a similarly priced semi/grinder.  They're also much more prone to break downs.

Good grinder, machine that has rotary pump, control over water temperature and  water pressure and it uses commercial size portafilter with traditional baskets

There's a lot of good grinder options.  Vario, ProM, Super Jolly (doser/doserless), Kony, Robur, K30, etc.   Doser/doserless comes down to preference, but given your morning concerns, I'd think sticking with a nice clean doserless would be where you'd want to look.  Definitely the Mahlkonig lineup, the Mahlkonig/Baratza Home/Vario, and the Mazzer "E" (electronic) lines would work well for your situation.

For machines, rotary, you're presumably plumbing in.  If you're referring to temp control in the broad sense any HX (heat exchange) or DB (dual boiler) will do.  If you explicitly desire fractions of 1 degree repeatable control, a DB with PID would enter the mix.  In your case, I'm likely to say either would suit your needs.  Given your experience and prior equipment, you wouldn't have the basis to decide if you really need PID control or not, and you'd be very pleased with either setup.  Usage-wise, aside from fraction of a degree control, they're both basically the same to use and just represent different ways of controlling water temperature.  There's a LOT of semis/autos that would fit that setup.  If you decide to go the semi route, decide on grinder first (grinder is the most important thing, believe it or not), then set your machine budget and the features you NEED (plumbing, tank, rotary, etc...the things you're absolutely set on)  and then some recommendations will be more apt.  Off the top of my head I'm thinking QuickMill Vetrano, La Spaziale Vivaldi II, Rocket Giotto Premium, Vibiemme Domobar Super, Izzo Alex would probably all be good machines within your budget, depending on pricing available to you.

From reading the forum topics, I can make suggestions myself when it comes to the semiautomatic machine but I just wonder if I can get traditional espresso from automatic machine then I ll invest to automatic - just to avoid daily time consumption. But now I doubt, since  all automatics are  probably just aerating - emulsifying the coffee brew...

Of course I read this line AFTER I made a few early suggestions....I'll leave the suggestions in anyway; it can't hurt!  The compromises of a super-automatic go beyond just pressurized baskets.   The built in grinders are usually less than optimal compared to dedicated grinders, the brew groups in consumer machines are often plastic.  The grind paths often subject the grinds to staling, even heat from the rest of the machine, and are connected over a long grind chute that tends to build up grinds from the previous session. There are some supers that can produce quality drinks (the Monza being the CG favorite at the moment), but "quality" is relative compared to a manual setup in skilled hands....  But if you're working mostly in the morning where skill goes pretty much out the window, you would have to decide how much of a compromise choosing convenience first would be.

You'll find very few people on CG that would actually recommend a super-auto (excluding Pietro who works in the super-auto industry, and is thus enthusiastic about them and is sort of the CG official super-auto evangelist), as a result of the compromise.  At the same time, few people here would discourage someone from one if we thought they would significantly benefit from one.  If you're comparing Jura-class supers to rotary prosumer semis, there's no contest at all, get the semi.  IF you're comparing something like the Monza, the semi still wins, but only if quality outweighs convenience for you.
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jezekilj
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Joined: 1 Feb 2011
Posts: 29
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Feb 1, 2011, 3:15pm
Subject: Re: Supper / Automatic machines' baskets - are they all pressurized?
 

MadTamper,

just to thank you very much on your reply and of course I do appreciate recommendations all in one place from your side

but I ll' get back to fullreply tomorrow as here is 2 am
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jezekilj
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Joined: 1 Feb 2011
Posts: 29
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Feb 2, 2011, 11:26am
Subject: Re: Supper / Automatic machines' baskets - are they all pressurized?
 

I took a quick look to MadTamper's suggestions for espresso machines and only La Spaziale is design I do like

From another hand looking all others suggested - these are all copy paste and I personally do not like the design as it is to much mechanical - full of pipes spider-like steam-punk-like.

I am in machinery as professorial but  I expect something more stylish from Italians.

I did not see that any has temperature control or pid like device dough?

But what I've  learned is that a good grinder is much more expensive than good espresso machine


Also comparing the rices of mentioned machines versus famous Rancilio silvia now I believe it is over priced
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,499
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
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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 Wed Feb 2, 2011, 12:57pm
Subject: Re: Supper / Automatic machines' baskets - are they all pressurized?
 

How you do or do not like the way a machine looks is a highly personal decision. I would guess that at least half that hang out here like the look of pipes and exposed group heads, I know I do. There are many machines that do not have that look for those of you who prefer something else, that is fine and enjoy!

Any prosumer HX or DB machine will have at least a Pstat.  PID controls, while available for a HX machine, are not really going to add anything to stability as this is taken care of through the larger boiler volume and the mass of the metal in the group heads. Dual boiler machines can gain some benefit as with a PID, they will be operating like a SBDU but without the DU part LOL. A Pstat can maintain the temp within + - a couple of deg F and the mass of the metal takes care of smoothing out the rest. This is a tried and true method of temp stability while allowing you to bump or lower the brew temp a few degrees depending on the cooling flush.
The cooling flush is need when the machine has been idle for a while, the water in the brew heat exchanger (HX) will come up to the temp of the boiler water as this tube is submerged in the water in the boiler. The boiler will be set for steaming temp at about 1.1 bar or somewhere around 220F give or take, depending on how you like your machine setup. By flushing less, you will get a slightly warmer brew temp, flushing a little more and you get a cooler brew temp, in constant production you will have a very consistent temp shot to shot.

A DB takes the water straight from the brew boiler so the temp of this water needs to be kept constant, the more so the better, thus the ability of a PID to benefit the DB machine more than a HX machine. In a DB machine with a PID, you adjust the temp you want then you need to wait for the machine to catchup to your desired temp. Think of the thermostat in your house. When you move the temp on the thermostat, you will instantly get the heater or air conditioner to come on. However, it can take hours for the house to stabilize at the desired temp, the same thing happens in a DB machine.

Either system will give you outstanding espresso if you do your prep work correctly AND you feed them good FRESH beans, properly ground just before brewing.

Some of these machines have a vibe pump, others a rotary. Either will do just fine.
Some are pour over (built in tank) and others need to be plumbed in.

There is by need of function, some plumbing in view, you need to get steam and water out so you need to have a way to convey the water and steam. These are less "traditional" looking machines.

Perhaps you will like the look of these machines, they are not dirt cheep but they are of a quality that many
(most) here would feel very glad to have and would never look for another machine again!

Click Here (www.1st-line.com)
Click Here (www.1st-line.com)
Click Here (www.1st-line.com)
Click Here (www.1st-line.com)
http://www.1st-line.com/machines/home_mod/pasquini/livia.htm
Click Here (www.1st-line.com)

 
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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TheMadTamper
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Nov 2010
Posts: 1,246
Location: US
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Salvatore SES; Izzo Duetto...
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC, K8 Fresh,...
Drip: /Pod: Bunn MCP
Roaster: /Other: Blender - BlendTec...
Posted Wed Feb 2, 2011, 1:38pm
Subject: Re: Supper / Automatic machines' baskets - are they all pressurized?
 

calblacksmith Said:

How you do or do not like the way a machine looks is a highly personal decision. I would guess that at least half that hang out here like the look of pipes and exposed group heads, I know I do. There are many machines that do not have that look for those of you who prefer something else, that is fine and enjoy!

Any prosumer HX or DB machine will have at least a Pstat.  PID controls, while available for a HX machine, are not really going to add anything to stability as this is taken care of through the larger boiler volume and the mass of the metal in the group heads. Dual boiler machines can gain some benefit as with a PID, they will be operating like a SBDU but without the DU part LOL. A Pstat can maintain the temp within + - a couple of deg F and the mass of the metal takes care of smoothing out the rest. This is a tried and true method of temp stability while allowing you to bump or lower the brew temp a few degrees depending on the cooling flush.
The cooling flush is need when the machine has been idle for a while, the water in the brew heat exchanger (HX) will come up to the temp of the boiler water as this tube is submerged in the water in the boiler. The boiler will be set for steaming temp at about 1.1 bar or somewhere around 220F give or take, depending on how you like your machine setup. By flushing less, you will get a slightly warmer brew temp, flushing a little more and you get a cooler brew temp, in constant production you will have a very consistent temp shot to shot.

A DB takes the water straight from the brew boiler so the temp of this water needs to be kept constant, the more so the better, thus the ability of a PID to benefit the DB machine more than a HX machine. In a DB machine with a PID, you adjust the temp you want then you need to wait for the machine to catchup to your desired temp. Think of the thermostat in your house. When you move the temp on the thermostat, you will instantly get the heater or air conditioner to come on. However, it can take hours for the house to stabilize at the desired temp, the same thing happens in a DB machine.

Either system will give you outstanding espresso if you do your prep work correctly AND you feed them good FRESH beans, properly ground just before brewing.

Some of these machines have a vibe pump, others a rotary. Either will do just fine.
Some are pour over (built in tank) and others need to be plumbed in.

There is by need of function, some plumbing in view, you need to get steam and water out so you need to have a way to convey the water and steam. These are less "traditional" looking machines.

Perhaps you will like the look of these machines, they are not dirt cheep but they are of a quality that many
(most) here would feel very glad to have and would never look for another machine again!

Click Here (www.1st-line.com)
Click Here (www.1st-line.com)
Click Here (www.1st-line.com)
Click Here (www.1st-line.com)
http://www.1st-line.com/machines/home_mod/pasquini/livia.htm
Click Here (www.1st-line.com)

Posted February 2, 2011 link

This advice is excellent, though, the wording managed to confuse even me (and I know what he's talking about) :)  (A little technical all at once :) )  The commercial machines listed here are definitely worthwhile to consider (and fairly large beasts.)  

I'll probably repeat some of what Wayne said above here, since my eyes sort of glazed over and I stopped reading part way through :) I'll try to give the "fast and simple" version below....(Sorry Wayne!)



jezekilj Said:

I took a quick look to MadTamper's suggestions for espresso machines and only La Spaziale is design I do like

From another hand looking all others suggested - these are all copy paste and I personally do not like the design as it is to much mechanical - full of pipes spider-like steam-punk-like.

Posted February 2, 2011 link

The "50's Retro E61" is one of the more popular designs just because it is....if you don't like it, there's plenty of options (my machine has no exposed pipes....not even a visible group....but it's made in the US by a small workshop, nothing that would be cost effective for you to import with access to all those name brand machines at such good prices :) )  I agree that a lot of the traditional E61's are less than attractive (though there ARE a few designs that manage to have the exposed pipes and NOT look steam-punk....look at the Electra copper dome machines for that sort of look (and a whopping price tag.)

I would suggest looking at "automatic" (volumetric dosing) machines.  More often than not those come in the styling you are looking for, are plumbed rotary machines, and are slightly more expensive.  The La Spaziale Vivaldi II is an automatic for example (though it has a 53mm portafilter instead of the more common 58mm.)  The "Lever-actuated E61s" almost always come in the "steam punk" look.

I am in machinery as professorial but  I expect something more stylish from Italians.

That's a 56's & 60's retro Italian look.  The automatic (and generally, non-lever) types have the look you're going for (modern industrial with curves & angles), and then there's the eccentric copper machine styles.

I did not see that any has temperature control or pid like device dough?

The Vivaldi has a PID type system.  No digital readout, it just uses a system of 10 or so LED lights. The HX units do not have PIDs, and, as Wayne said, don't need one, they use thermal mass and heat transfer to balance the temps instead of digital thermostat control.   They have a pressurestat that turns the boiler element on and off based on the current steam pressure of the steam boiler.  The HX pipe passes through the boiler with brew water and passively pulls heat from the boiler space to heat your shot water.  Both PID controlled DBs and passive HX's are very effective at maintaining stable temps. Don't worry so much about the tech.

But what I've  learned is that a good grinder is much more expensive than good espresso machine

+1.  Now you've got it!

Also comparing the rices of mentioned machines versus famous Rancilio silvia now I believe it is over priced

It has become so, yes.  It's a good machine for what it is...but the price puts it dangerously close to entry leave HX machines that certainly outperform it.  For someone with a very fixed budget who won't go over and wants a long-lasting machine, it's still a fair option though.   Do note, though, that the machines I mentioned, in the US market, are more than double the price of Silvia.   Silvia tends to run $700, $750.   Some entry HX like NS Oscar, Bezzera BZ02, BZ07 etc run at the $1000-1200 mark.   The machines I mentioned like Giotto and Domobar Super run $1800, and Vivaldi runs $2100 or so (DB is nearly always more expensive than HX due to multiple heaters, boilers, etc.).   Silvia's price is too close to Oscar for its own good, but is nowhere near competitive with the others.  If the prices where you are are closer....we're all envious... :)
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cappuccinoboy
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Espresso: Milano pod, Milano fully...
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Posted Wed Feb 2, 2011, 2:34pm
Subject: Re: Supper / Automatic machines' baskets - are they all pressurized?
 

jezekilj Said:

Hi everyone and thanks for this great site and forum!

Lots of pros and enthusiasts here! I've learned a lot from you guys just reading and testing by your instructions.

I am still investigating - currently using semi automatic with separate grinder.

Was wondering if anyone could confirm if those super automatic machines are actually using something like pressurized kind of baskets ?

If anyone could advice me on this one because I am deciding between automatic versus semi.
...................................................

Thanks for your time anyhow.

Posted February 1, 2011 link

TheMadTamper Said:

Welcome to CG!

It varies as to if they use a "pressurized basket" mechanism.  I'm unfamiliar with most specific machines, but I'd say most of the consumer type super automatics such as Jura-Capresso likely do employ a valved system similar to pressurized portafilters.   The higher end units such as the Quickmill Monza, I would imagine, do not.  However none of them have a true portafilter handle type system, that would defeat the nature of being super automatic.  They have some proprietary basket system contained in the unit, the style of which would be invisible to the end user, at least apart from maintenance.

..........

Pietro will probably be the single most helpful person around here for super-auto advice.  Everyone excluding Pietro ("cappuccinoboy") will be very helpful for non-super advice :)

Posted February 1, 2011 link


TheMadTamper Said:

It is very likely these machines are doing just as you describe.  I see the Jura-class supers as a glorified version of your average Saeco or DeLonghi consumer machine.  Many of them also use thermoblock systems instead of true boilers...including all the flaws that go with that.  

Where there is more gray area is with some of the mid-class supers like the QM Monza.  On the other hand if your research turned up $20k high volume machines also using a "crema enhancement" system, I'd question all super-autos.  A dealer (or owner of such machines) could probably provide more info on machines in that class than I.
I..............  Some super autos are better than others, but at a given price point they will ALWAYS be a compromise of convenience over quality when compared to a similarly priced semi/grinder.  They're also much more prone to break downs.
...............
You'll find very few people on CG that would actually recommend a super-auto (excluding Pietro who works in the super-auto industry, and is thus enthusiastic about them and is sort of the CG official super-auto evangelist), as a result of the compromise.  At the same time, few people here would discourage someone from one if we thought they would significantly benefit from one.  If you're comparing Jura-class supers to rotary prosumer semis, there's no contest at all, get the semi.  IF you're comparing something like the Monza, the semi still wins, but only if quality outweighs convenience for you.

Posted February 1, 2011 link

Just because John (mad temper) is pulling me by the hair.....
if you like convenience go for a good superauto like the Monza, and do not trust me but ask for Chris advice, since after all the machine has been upgraded to his liking... and you get at the same time more than decent quality, provided you consider that the machine you buy although superauto is not intelligent, and that means that you have to re-adjust it when necessary (so that anybody else can make a good espresso just at the touch of a button..)
The fact that certain machines have plastic brew group is not a defect by itself, since plastic does not suck heat like a non heated brew group,
It is not true that thermoblock is inferior to traditional boiler, actually it is the reverse, but again there are a lot of cheap approaches to thermoblock technology..,
It is true that generally the grinder is not comparable to quality of standing units, but you have to consider that in the specific application, and anyway it was for their supeautos that Saeco invented ceramic burrs, it is also true that DeLonghis have a miniature grinder with 47mm conical burrs that does a superb job in the superautos, while it would not stand comparison if used in a standing separate grinder
you have to judge a machine from what you get in the cup, and on consistency of it
I do not work in the superauto industry, while it is true that I have been directly responsible for putting a couple of machines on the market and am constantly working on new projects.., actually my next project will be CoffeeGeek PROOF......(I keep making notes....)
Normally a spring loaded upper piston in the superauto does not require any cream enhancer, since the spring load will provide for natural infusion that greatly enhances quality of brew (besides providing for a dry puck after extraction)... the Monza has an 85 kilo spring that discharges 5.5 bar on the puck so that brew pressure will not exceed 9.5 bar (well almost, because now the brew cup is slightly bigger diameter...)
Still it puzzles me that you should base your purchase on the basis that you can import any machine at a price 30% cheaper than market price, since no reputable manufacturer would sell directly to an end user and bypassing distribution network,;my advice is : buy only from reputable vendors who offer after sale service and warranty, and possibly only after you have actually tested the machine (if possible)
Ciao, Pietro
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