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New machine shopping don't want to temp surf nor wait 30 min for it to warm up.
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > New machine...  
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jabraham
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Aug 2006
Posts: 21
Location: Calgary
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
Drip: Melitta pour over
Posted Fri May 13, 2011, 10:29pm
Subject: New machine shopping don't want to temp surf nor wait 30 min for it to warm up.
 

I have a Francis! Francis! X5 which has worked fairly well but the steam valve regularly leaked and the steam handle fell off twice and now the enamel is falling off, and parts are hard to get.  Time for something new!

I was thinking of getting something with more parts availability and more stainless steel and maybe a bigger boiler.  So I was attracted to the Rancilio Silvia V3 and started to read the reviews and was immediately put off by two things:

1) takes 30 minutes to heat up (I forgot how much I loved the quick heat-up on the Francis! Francis! when it was new)

2) temperature deadband problems, Rancilio seems to cool down quite a bit before it decides to turn on the heating element again.

So now I'm looking for the best of both worlds, good temperature control (maybe with a PID) and fast heating like my Francis! Francis!, but more durability and capacity and parts availability.

Suggestions?

--
John
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JtothaR
Senior Member
JtothaR
Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 709
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Modded Oscar
Grinder: K10, Lusso, GM 875
Drip: Pour-Over, FP, Toddy
Roaster: Agapao, Metropolis, CC
Posted Fri May 13, 2011, 11:20pm
Subject: Re: New machine shopping
 

jabraham Said:

1) takes 30 minutes to heat up (I forgot how much I loved the quick heat-up on the Francis! Francis! when it was new)

Posted May 13, 2011 link

It honestly doesn't matter how long it takes for the heater light to turn off on a machine, the real issue is "When is my machine temperature stable?" I.E.: "How long does it take for all of the metal parts in my machine (thermal mass) to reach a consistent, repeatable temperature?"

Because of the need for a machine to be "thermally stable" when pulling a shot, I wouldn't use any machine for brewing only 30 minutes after it's been switched on, whether its a Rancilio Silvia (small SBDU consumer machine) or a La Marzocco FB/80 (Large commercial PID dual boiler machine).

(Lever guys, this isn't your cue to tell me about how your levers are ready before 30 minutes, lol)

The reason being that I don't believe that either machine has reached thermal stability after such a short time.

This can lead to a shot that is brewed across a wide range of temperatures as different parts of the machine leach heat while they're warming up and others give off excess heat(heat-sink effect).

jabraham Said:

I was thinking of getting something with more parts availability and more stainless steel and maybe a bigger boiler.

Posted May 13, 2011 link

Bigger boiler/More Capacity = Longer time to reach thermal stability

My 8 Liter machine takes quite a while to be stable, much longer than 30 minutes.
I just leave it on 24/7 to avoid this coming into play.

jabraham Said:

good temperature control (maybe with a PID) ... more durability and capacity and parts availability.

Posted May 13, 2011 link

A dual boiler machine comes to mind here(starting at $1500-2000+ roughly) although, personally, I prefer a HX machine(starting roughly at $1100-1500+) because I can make "on-the fly" adjustments to brew temperature simply by flushing more or less water.

If you have a PID machine you can adjust the temperature on the PID display, but you have to wait for the machine to "re-stabilize" after the change before you can brew shots.



jabraham Said:

...but more durability and capacity...

Posted May 13, 2011 link

The more detail you give on how you wish to use the machine the better suggestions we can give.

-How many drinks do you want to make at a time?

-Is the machine just for you and your S.O. or will you be using it when entertaining?

-Do you prefer straight shots or milk based drinks?

-What is the target budget?


Hope this helps,
-James

 
Load and Lock.
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DavecUK
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,452
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat May 14, 2011, 4:41am
Subject: Re:  don't want to temp surf nor wait 30 min for it to warm up.
 

Don't let warm up time be a problem for you, all of the best machines need to warm up, it can take from 20-30 minutes (the shorter time if some tricks are used). If your worried about the time to warm up in the morning or evening, simply place the machine on a timer.
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jabraham
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Aug 2006
Posts: 21
Location: Calgary
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
Drip: Melitta pour over
Posted Sat May 14, 2011, 6:13am
Subject: Re: New machine shopping
 

JtothaR Said:

... the real issue is "When is my machine temperature stable?" I.E.: "How long does it take for all of the metal parts in my machine (thermal mass) to reach a consistent, repeatable temperature?"

Posted May 13, 2011 link

Yes, I suppose that's true.  The Francis! Francis! seems to heat up the group quickly.  The cup warmer takes a while but I don't care about that, hard to believe the top of the case affects the brew much.

Bigger boiler/More Capacity = Longer time to reach thermal stability

So maybe a smaller boiler is for me?

I just leave it on 24/7 to avoid this coming into play.

I suppose this in an option, I used to leave my Francis! Francis! on when it was new, before it started leaking.

-How many drinks do you want to make at a time?
-Is the machine just for you and your S.O. or will you be using it when entertaining?

Just 2, I rarely entertain

-Do you prefer straight shots or milk based drinks?

Both.  About 70% lattes and 30% espressos (usually I dollop some foam from my wife's milk on my espresso).

-What is the target budget?

$700 to $1500 but I'd only want to go above $1k if I was sure it was going to last.  I'd go below $700 too.
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AaronMiller
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jan 2011
Posts: 134
Location: Lancaster, PA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: VBM DD
Grinder: Major, Kyocera
Vac Pot: Espro press
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Sat May 14, 2011, 10:33am
Subject: Re: New machine shopping
 

I would assume that your budget is to include a grinder as well? You don't have one listed in your profile so I am suggesting that you think about adding a decent one to your setup. Any new machine won't be able to produce a quality shot when using preground coffee.

You can combine a Quick Mill Silvano with a Vario for the top of your budget. Just a suggestion :)
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JGG
Senior Member
JGG
Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 1,380
Location: Kentucky, US
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: PID Silvia; PID Alexia
Grinder: Mazzer SJ
Roaster: Hottop D w/HTC+TC4C
Posted Sat May 14, 2011, 11:48am
Subject: Re: New machine shopping
 

If quick warmup time is an overriding requirement, consider a Gaggia Classic.  It has a smallish aluminum boiler and a direct-connected grouphead, so it can warm up quickly.  Easy to add a PID later if you want.

Tradeoff:  because of the small boiler, the Classic has a falling brew temperature profile near the end of the 25 seconds or so of your shot.  Whether this affects the taste in a negative way is a question for Gaggia owners to answer.

As best I can determine, the aluminum boiler will do fine with respect to corrosion as long as you feed it water that is slightly alkaline.

Jim
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scrounge
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Mar 2011
Posts: 7
Location: Ohio
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia New Baby
Grinder: Hario Slim hand grinder
Drip: Cuisinart
Roaster: Popcorn popper!
Posted Sat May 14, 2011, 7:03pm
Subject: Re: New machine shopping
 

As a Gaggia New Baby owner (internally the exact same machine as the Classic), I'd concur with this. Small aluminum boiler (3.5 oz IIRC) = fast warm-up and recovery. But it does peter out if you try to steam enough milk for two. Haven't tested it for temp profile on shots, but qualitatively I've been very satisfied.

JGG Said:

If quick warmup time is an overriding requirement, consider a Gaggia Classic.  It has a smallish aluminum boiler and a direct-connected grouphead, so it can warm up quickly.  Easy to add a PID later if you want.

Tradeoff:  because of the small boiler, the Classic has a falling brew temperature profile near the end of the 25 seconds or so of your shot.  Whether this affects the taste in a negative way is a question for Gaggia owners to answer.

As best I can determine, the aluminum boiler will do fine with respect to corrosion as long as you feed it water that is slightly alkaline.

Jim

Posted May 14, 2011 link

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wbaguhn
Senior Member
wbaguhn
Joined: 16 Feb 2009
Posts: 980
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Ponte Vecchio Lusso
Grinder: Cunill Tranquilo, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Cory DR
Drip: Vietnamese gadget, AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Sat May 14, 2011, 7:27pm
Subject: Re: don't want to temp surf nor wait 30 min for it to warm up.
 

DavecUK Said:

simply place the machine on a timer.

Posted May 14, 2011 link

+1.  Pretty sure the timer was the best $10 I've spent for convenience.

Machine comes on around 4:15am, and it's ready to pull a shot when I get up.


jabraham Said:

$700 to $1500 but I'd only want to go above $1k if I was sure it was going to last.  I'd go below $700 too.

Posted May 14, 2011 link

Seriously consider a class of machine that's not SBDU.  Not switching between steam and brew is much nicer than it sounds.

If you think you're compatible with a lever, that's a great way to go.
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jabraham
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Aug 2006
Posts: 21
Location: Calgary
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
Drip: Melitta pour over
Posted Sat May 14, 2011, 10:32pm
Subject: Re: don't want to temp surf nor wait 30 min for it to warm up.
 

I'm leaning towards a PID machine, probably because I used to be a control system engineer many years ago.

Le'Lit PL4TEM with PID or Ascaso Steel Uno Professional w/ PID seem to be the options in my price range.
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donnydregs
Senior Member
donnydregs
Joined: 6 Dec 2009
Posts: 127
Location: Australia
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra A3 / MCAL / E61 Two...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini / HG-One (soon)
Posted Sun May 15, 2011, 3:25am
Subject: Re: New machine shopping
 

JtothaR Said:

(Lever guys, this isn't your cue to tell me about how your levers are ready before 30 minutes, lol)

Posted May 13, 2011 link

I wouldn't tell you that. It's ready before 10.

donnydregs: cheeky-smiley-028.gif
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