Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
Advice/suggestions?  Best steam at home?  BDB? Oscar? Other?
Support Coffee Kids
Coffee Kids is a non profit charity working with farming communities around the world. Donate today!
www.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 > ...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
Author Messages
epengr
Senior Member
epengr
Joined: 1 Apr 2012
Posts: 46
Location: Saskatoon
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Thu Apr 26, 2012, 9:01am
Subject: Advice/suggestions?  Best steam at home?  BDB? Oscar? Other?
 

Hello,

I'm relatively new to the world of serious espresso.  I've started to be able to pull reasonable shots form my Delonghi BAR32 that I've had for a few months (Which I just finishing upgrading with a $20 eBay PID/SSR).  

With a custom steam tip, I think I'm getting close to microfoam and I  can make an excellent espresso.  Only one shop in my relatively small city can do better. (Which says more about my city than it does about my skill).

Anyways...  The BAR32 is a great intro machine but it has me lusting after more.   I especially want to learn to poor latte art!

So, what would be the best choices for home machines (lets say sub-$2k for now) for excellent steaming?  I've had my eye on the BDB or an NS Oscar.  A rocket or other E61 is a possibility too.  Anything else I should consider?

If goes without says that I also want a machine that'll do a good espresso, but any of these will beat my BAR32, I'm sure.

Opinions?  Suggestions?  

Thanks!

Oh, and since someone's certain to bring it up, I have a Baratza Encore grinder which is surprising good for the price.  I'll upgrade someday but it's getting the job done.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,011
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Apr 26, 2012, 10:38am
Subject: Re: Advice/suggestions?  Best steam at home?  DBD? Oscar? Other?
 

Hi,
I am new to serious espresso also.  I went for a used Oscar.  It has steam power like you would not believe.  I have had to fix a few things because I believe it was abused / neglected.   However, you will have to relearn your microfoam technique because the Oscar is a low volume pro machine and the milk heats up fast, in seconds.  When you learn on a low powered machine you have all the time in the world and can correct mistakes.  Step up to a steam engine and you have to unlearn what you learned.  I am still not happy with microfoam from Oscar, turning down the Pstat has helped me a lot and I got a new toroid pitcher and I can't wait to try it out.  

I have not used a double boiler except at the show room, but even with the problems I have had I really recommend the Oscar, it is build like a tank on the inside and I will not out grow it anytime soon.

You might want to budget for a grinder upgrade.  I really like the vario w I got as well.

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/members/buysell/578236

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
SteveRhinehart
Senior Member
SteveRhinehart
Joined: 27 Dec 2009
Posts: 855
Location: Syracuse, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: 1970s La Pavoni Europiccola
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Skerton
Vac Pot: Yama Tabletop 3-cup
Drip: Chemex, CCD, Kalita Wave,...
Roaster: Flavorwave/Stir Crazy
Posted Thu Apr 26, 2012, 11:05am
Subject: Re: Advice/suggestions?  Best steam at home?  DBD? Oscar? Other?
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

You might want to budget for a grinder upgrade.  I really like the vario w I got as well.

Posted April 26, 2012 link

You will want to upgrade your grinder if you're thinking about a new machine. The Encore is probably alright for drip coffee and really low-end espresso machines with pressurized portafilters, but it won't be able to keep up with a better machine. If steam is your only priority, consider something like a Bellman stovetop steamer. Otherwise, budget for a better grinder as well.

Also, DBD = BDB (Breville Dual Boiler)? Just wanted to clarify that, unless DBD is another acronym I'm not privy to.
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

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 Thu Apr 26, 2012, 12:17pm
Subject: Re: Advice/suggestions?  Best steam at home?  DBD? Oscar? Other?
 

What Steve said +1

The BDB is a new to market machine from a manufacturer who is not known for, uh, shall we say.... high quality appliances. I hope the BDB proves to be the exception to the company and that those here who bought them (there are several here and they like them) will have long and productive lives with them.

On the other hand, there are a lot of us here who are taking a wait and see stance, until the machine proves it's self one way or the other. On paper, it has all the right boxes checked but I, myself, would not risk $1K on one.

As to the other machines, Oscar, Rocket etc, they are able machines and it really comes down to budget and how much you like what each machine looks like.

I own an ECM the company that Rocket spun off from and I LOVE it, the build quality is high and another CGer brought a rocket over to my home and it was every bit as nice as my ECM and was a nice little brother to my machine.

I did own an Oscar and it is a GREAT starter HX machine, one I can recommend without hesitation. However with either of these machines or any other machine in this class, you will need to upgrade your grinder, the grinder really is that important.

 
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!
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
epengr
Senior Member
epengr
Joined: 1 Apr 2012
Posts: 46
Location: Saskatoon
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Mon Apr 30, 2012, 2:01pm
Subject: Re: Advice/suggestions?  Best steam at home?  BDB? Oscar? Other?
 

Thanks for the advice.  I've found a good deal on a used Oscar, I'm quite excited.

I'm hoping that my grinder will do for a while.  I does a really nice espresso grind, all the way down to turkish even.  WAY better than the delonghi I just replaced.  There's even a 6+ step range of espresso settings.  Using a cuisinart EM-200 (crap) and krups unpressurized basket in it one step changes the extraction time by ~3 seconds. Something with finer control would be better I'm sure, but I'm hoping that it will do until I can save up for a Vario-W.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,011
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Mon Apr 30, 2012, 2:11pm
Subject: Re: Advice/suggestions?  Best steam at home?  BDB? Oscar? Other?
 

Glad to hear it.  Good luck on the grinder.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
KennyH
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Dec 2011
Posts: 110
Location: Missouri
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Lelit PL041
Grinder: OE Pharos, Hario Skerton
Vac Pot: Yama 8 Cup
Posted Mon Apr 30, 2012, 3:21pm
Subject: Re: Advice/suggestions?  Best steam at home?  BDB? Oscar? Other?
 

epengr Said:

Thanks for the advice.  I've found a good deal on a used Oscar, I'm quite excited.

I'm hoping that my grinder will do for a while.  I does a really nice espresso grind, all the way down to turkish even.  WAY better than the delonghi I just replaced.  There's even a 6+ step range of espresso settings.  Using a cuisinart EM-200 (crap) and krups unpressurized basket in it one step changes the extraction time by ~3 seconds. Something with finer control would be better I'm sure, but I'm hoping that it will do until I can save up for a Vario-W.

Posted April 30, 2012 link

I know you don't want to hear this, but you probably won't be satisfied with the Oscar until you upgrade your grinder as well. Not that your espresso won't improve with the Oscar - it probably will - but you'll still be severely limited by the grinder.
Edit: Actually, you might be worse off, since you're used to a pressured PF with the BAR32. You're going to need a grinder with much smaller steps or one that's stepless to be able to pull consistent shots with the Oscar.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
epengr
Senior Member
epengr
Joined: 1 Apr 2012
Posts: 46
Location: Saskatoon
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Mon Apr 30, 2012, 7:11pm
Subject: Re: Advice/suggestions?  Best steam at home?  BDB? Oscar? Other?
 

KennyH Said:

Edit: Actually, you might be worse off, since you're used to a pressured PF with the BAR32. You're going to need a grinder with much smaller steps or one that's stepless to be able to pull consistent shots with the Oscar.

Posted April 30, 2012 link

I used a pressurized PF with the BAR32 and the EM-200 with my Delonghi grinder.  I "upgraded" to an unpressurized filter and the encore and I've had good results from the EM-200.  The BAR32 doesn't handle the unpressurized PF well and requires an unusually coarse grind to not choke.  (I've been using it for steaming and the EM-200 for espresso - my "poor man's" DB ;)

I bought the encore because I'm doing this on a grad student budget and  Seattle Coffees Crew Review of the Encore seemed really promising.  I"m hoping it will work out, but I"ve started noticing that their crew "reviews" boarder on useless since I haven't heard them say a meaning negative thing about ANYTHING thing they've ever reviewed, other than the odd meaningless cosmetic comment.  I hope I didn't get too duped.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMR_ffmtHKQ

We'll see how it goes - I'll keep you informed. :)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,011
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Mon Apr 30, 2012, 9:50pm
Subject: Re: Advice/suggestions?  Best steam at home?  BDB? Oscar? Other?
 

It is new, so the jury is probably still out on that grinder.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
KennyH
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Dec 2011
Posts: 110
Location: Missouri
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Lelit PL041
Grinder: OE Pharos, Hario Skerton
Vac Pot: Yama 8 Cup
Posted Tue May 1, 2012, 2:39pm
Subject: Re: Advice/suggestions?  Best steam at home?  BDB? Oscar? Other?
 

epengr Said:

I used a pressurized PF with the BAR32 and the EM-200 with my Delonghi grinder.  I "upgraded" to an unpressurized filter and the encore and I've had good results from the EM-200.  The BAR32 doesn't handle the unpressurized PF well and requires an unusually coarse grind to not choke.  (I've been using it for steaming and the EM-200 for espresso - my "poor man's" DB ;)

I bought the encore because I'm doing this on a grad student budget and  Seattle Coffees Crew Review of the Encore seemed really promising.  I"m hoping it will work out, but I"ve started noticing that their crew "reviews" boarder on useless since I haven't heard them say a meaning negative thing about ANYTHING thing they've ever reviewed, other than the odd meaningless cosmetic comment.  I hope I didn't get too duped.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMR_ffmtHKQ

We'll see how it goes - I'll keep you informed. :)

Posted April 30, 2012 link

Well if it works without the pressured PF, then I'm sure you'll definitely see some improvement in your espresso. I imagine that the BAR32 is awful at keeping a stable temperature throughout the shot. You made a good choice with the Oscar, though- it'll definitely scale up well when you do decide to upgrade your grinder.
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 > ...  
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.
Donate to Coffee Kids
Coffee Kids works with farming communities around the world, improving lives. Donate today.
www.coffeekids.org
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. (0.470211029053)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+