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Thinking about a new machine... Suggestions?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Thinking about a...  
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chlyonsiv
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 37
Location: Shreveport, LA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Lever
Grinder: Macap M4
Vac Pot: Yama, with Cory rod
Drip: Krups
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue May 17, 2011, 4:39am
Subject: Thinking about a new machine... Suggestions?
 

Seriously considering upgrading from my Sylvia to a double boiler or heat-exchange unit.  What about the Expobar Brutus IV?  I don't want to put down that kind of money unless I will be happy with it for a very long time.  Or are either the la Valentina or Pasquini Livia 90 better options?  Any other machine I should consider?  Just so you know, I'm leaning toward the Expobar...

And before anyone says anything, yes, I am upgrading the grinder at the same time.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,376
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 Tue May 17, 2011, 6:46am
Subject: Re: Thinking about a new machine... Suggestions?
 

Questions:
1)  Which specific model of Brewtus, La Valentina, and Pasquini are you looking at?  (Each has at least two different models.)
2)  What is it about the Brewtus that drew you to it?  Why is the Brewtus the only DB you mention specifically?  What is it about that machine?
3)  Is there a reason you are not considering machines like the La Spaziale Vivaldi II, the Izzo Alex II/Alex Duetto II, or one of the great machiens from Quick Mill, Rocket, Vibiemme -- or even Bezzera?
 
More Questions:
a)  Why do you want to upgrade?  That is, what specifically do you now find lacking in your Silvia-Rocky combination that you hope to improve/rectify with an upgrade?
b)  What kind of drinks do you make?
c)  How many drinks do you need to make, on average, at any one time?
d)  How many drinks do you need to make in an average week?
e)  Can you plumb-in your machine, or do you hope to do so in the future?

And finally . . . what grinder are you looking at?

The answers will help -- me, at least -- in knowing more about your usage patterns and your needs, and in turn, in making specific suggestions.

Cheers,
Jason

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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BigStormGirl
Senior Member
BigStormGirl
Joined: 15 Jan 2011
Posts: 122
Location: Indiana
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Olympia Cremina
Grinder: Baratza Vario/Peugeot Bresil
Drip: CCD
Posted Tue May 17, 2011, 10:01am
Subject: Re: Thinking about a new machine... Suggestions?
 

As someone who owns a Brewtus III-V, I have been very happy with it.  Very solid machine IMHO.  The Brewtus IV has the ability of shutting off the steam boiler which I don't have.  Not sure if you are going with the vibe or rotary pump, but the vibe can be a little loud.  Just something to consider.  Not sure if you are plumbing it in or want the reservoir (or both with the IV-P with vibe pump), but the reservoir is located on the side and not the back, which helped in my decision.

Good luck!


Cindy
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chlyonsiv
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 37
Location: Shreveport, LA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Lever
Grinder: Macap M4
Vac Pot: Yama, with Cory rod
Drip: Krups
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed May 18, 2011, 7:53am
Subject: Re: Thinking about a new machine... Suggestions?
 

Okay, Jason, lot of questions, so let's see if I can cover them...

I usually drink espressos or americanos; however, my wife loves cappuccinos.  I'm a home roaster, and drink a good bit of coffee.  I probably pull 4-7 shots a day (for me and others), usually at least 2 shots in a row in the mornings, then single shots throughout the day.  If we are entertaining, I might pull 10-12 shots in a row, plus steam milk for cappuccinos.  When I first purchased the Sylvia, quite a few people in this forum recommended that I spend a little more and get a HX unit.  I couldn't do that at the time, so I went with the Sylvia because it seemed like a good "entry place" for a serious machine.  The Sylvia has been very good to me, and I've updated it with a PID.  Nevertheless, I've decided that I want to move up a little and get something with the E61 brew group and better ability for steaming.  I also want to get something that I can use for a very long time.

The Brewtus IV-R is the machine that I was considering.  I will not be able to plumb in right away, but eventually that is what I want to do.  My understanding is that the rotary pump can draw from a water bottle, for example, until I plumb it into a water line.  I mention it specifically because of the reviews I've read.  I'm sure that there are many others to consider, which is part of why I posted the question.  The Brewtus IV-R seems to have everything that I'm looking for -- PID, E61, DB (or HX) -- and the reviews have been really good.

I haven't mentioned other machines probably because I don't know a lot about the other machines.  I've looked on Wholelattelove.com, ebay, etc., but haven't ventured out much past those resources.  If there are other machines that I should consider, please let me know.  The Brewtus was an affordable DB unit, and almost everything else for that price was HX.  

I'm flexible on the grinder.  Would love the Mazzer Mini Type B, but have considered Macap MC4 and Baratza Vario.  I'm trying to locate a good, used grinder, so I guess it will depend on what I can locate for sale.  I currently have the Rocky and a commercial Bunn grinder.  I have used the Gaggia MDF and an old Rancilio MD40 before I bought the Rocky.  I understand that a good machine will not do me any good without a great grinder, so stepping up in that area just makes sense...
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Everman
Senior Member
Everman
Joined: 25 Nov 2004
Posts: 1,050
Location: Coffee Land
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Valentina Levetta, Elektra...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Wed May 18, 2011, 9:34am
Subject: Re: Thinking about a new machine... Suggestions?
 

The Breville just posted today as a first-look looks really cool.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,376
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 Wed May 18, 2011, 1:42pm
Subject: Re: Thinking about a new machine... Suggestions?
 

Everman Said:

The Breville just posted today as a first-look looks really cool.

Posted May 18, 2011 link

a) Brevilles often look cool, but they're still Brevilles.
b) The machine is a prototype, and not yet available.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,376
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 Wed May 18, 2011, 1:57pm
Subject: Re: Thinking about a new machine... Suggestions?
 

The Brewtus is the only model from Expobar that I, personally, feel good about recommending.  There is a large number of satisfied users out there to attest to its quality.  I'm a bit confused why you wouldn't look at the Brewtus IV-V (rather that the "R" model), but that's me.

Other vendors to look at would include Chris' Coffee Service and 1st-Line.  Both are highly respected and reputable suppliers of excellent commercial and prosumer espresso machines and grinders.  I, along with many others here, am a satisfied customer of both.  There are, of course, many others as well, and YMMV.

Cheers,
Jason

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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chlyonsiv
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 37
Location: Shreveport, LA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Lever
Grinder: Macap M4
Vac Pot: Yama, with Cory rod
Drip: Krups
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed May 18, 2011, 5:46pm
Subject: Re: Thinking about a new machine... Suggestions?
 

Just checked out Chris' and the Alex Duetto II looks pretty awesome.  You mentioned this machine, I think.  You believe it is a better value than the Brewtus?  If I'm going to spend the money, I don't really care where, I just want something that is a great machine, something that I can use for a long time as I grow in my knowledge.  What other machines should I consider?
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,376
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 Wed May 18, 2011, 6:27pm
Subject: Re: Thinking about a new machine... Suggestions?
 

Check your email.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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PrivateShrink
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Dec 2005
Posts: 270
Location: Baltimore
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Andreja Premium
Grinder: Gaggia MDF, Macap M4
Vac Pot: French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 Roaster
Posted Thu May 19, 2011, 1:13pm
Subject: Re: Thinking about a new machine... Suggestions?
 

I have had the Andreja Premium for a couple of years now and I have been very pleased with it. It looks great and performs great. Combined with a good grinder, you have the equipment to produce the best espresso out there.
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