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Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
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Nickfrogger
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Nickfrogger
Joined: 26 Nov 2010
Posts: 201
Location: Spokane
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3 w/PID,...
Grinder: Lelit PL53, Baratza Maestro
Vac Pot: Yama TCA-5 Siphon
Drip: V60 (A red one!)
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun May 13, 2012, 2:18pm
Subject: Re: Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
 

Gaggia Color

I haven't used one myself, but Gaggia has a fairly good reputation and a cult following that rivals the Silvia fans out there. Worth looking into at least.

Gaggia Espresso Color:
*42 oz water tank
*9 oz boiler
*brass group
*commercial portafilter size
*No "crema enhancer?"

DeLonghi EC155:
*35 oz water tank
*Undisclosed boiler size........
*Stainless steel group
*Odd basket size, 54mm or something
*$150 cheaper

Down the road, the Gaggia seems to be a more friendly choice. The (slightly) larger reservoir, heavier brass grouphead, and--though I'm not totally sure--assumedly larger boiler would help with temp stability, making it easier to pull back to back shots. The panarello steam wand may be good to start with and is easy to swap out with a quick google search. I think the question again goes back to price/value... Is that worth the extra $150 for you?

Edit: The water reservoir will not help with temp stability but is convenient. Sorry for grouping that with the rest :)

 
There's a big difference between drinking coffee to wake up and waking up to drink coffee.
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Daniel1952
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Joined: 9 May 2012
Posts: 13
Location: New Mexico
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun May 13, 2012, 3:03pm
Subject: Re: Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
 

Bill (Sikes),

Since you picked up that Saeco Aroma, can you give me guidance on the amount of time between making 2 back-to-back double-caps (or 2 back-to-back double shots followed by steaming enough milk) ?
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wsikes
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wsikes
Joined: 3 Oct 2011
Posts: 396
Location: West Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Promac MD-64 AT
Drip: Bunn
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Sun May 13, 2012, 3:44pm
Subject: Re: Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
 

Daniel, I drink Americanos and don't do any frothing... however, I did make my first cappucino last night (for my wife) and shortly afterward I pulled a double for my Americano.  The wait wasn't very long but I'm not much help because I didn't time it.  I was busy rinsing off the panatello, wiping down the wand, etc.  The recovery time on this machine is very reasonable because the boiler is small but I have the old type Aroma with the flip switches... no butttons.
I wish I had bought a machine with a 58mm group and an opv, but I was trying to get into making espressos as cheaply as I could to see if I liked them.  I will be upgrading soon because I love the flavors produced my these machines.  I don't use a pressurized portafilter.  I am looking at Gaggia Classics and Rancilio Silvias (among others) now.  Good luck with your decision.
One more thing... don't skimp on the grinder.  i paid almost three times as much on my grinder as I did on my Aroma.  I ended getting a commercial grinder with 64mm burrs (used, dirty, nasty) for $249 shipped... $92 for the Aroma shipped.

 
Bill
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MJW
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Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Aug 1, 2012, 11:32pm
Subject: Re: Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
 

I'm posting hoping that we can get an update from Daniel1952...

I haven't timed the recovery time of the EC270 (a clone of the EC155), but I do know that it's less than the time it takes me to remove & dry the portafilter, fill the basket with coffee from the doser, and tamp.

In other words I think the barista is the bottleneck for brewing two doubles, unless you buy a second portafilter.

The frothing for two caps will also take up time, but at least it will be ready for both simultaneously.

The fastest throughput for 2 double cappuccinos is achieved with two EC155's.  This cuts out the wait to ramp up to steam temp, plus theoretically you can steam & brew in parallel.  This fastest solution is also the cheapest.

For faster steaming usually a larger boiler is required; but there are not many bigger boilers for less than $400.  The only ones I know of are: Ascaso Basic, and Espressione Cafe Retro.  If the Gaggia Color really does have a 9 oz boiler it is a better choice, but I don't think it has a larger boiler than the Aroma, which is 5 oz.
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Daniel1952
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Joined: 9 May 2012
Posts: 13
Location: New Mexico
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Aug 2, 2012, 7:42am
Subject: Re: Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
 

Okay, a quick update;  I ended up buying the EC155, have been experimenting with it over the past 2 months, and am very pleased with the purchase.

Does it make a great shot?  Oh, hell no!  Does it make microfoam?  Of course not!  Is the output better than chain store or restaurant coffee?  Absolutely!

The machine has been (for me) a perfect introduction to the hobby -- very little money at risk, temperamental enough to force me to learn, forgiving enough to allow me to enjoy the ouput and encourage me to continue with the exercise.

I'll upgrade when the machine dies.  Given the price, that could be next month, next year, or the year after.

In the meantime, I'll continue to learn.
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,014
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:36am
Subject: Re: Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
 

I am pleased you are happy with your DeLonghi EC155.  Please update us with how it works for you.  It will help others in the future.

I did not drink espresso/coffee 9-10 months ago.  I did like "coffee stained milk". (big gulp kind of milky drinks) I did not know if I could make espresso - much less like it. So, I completely understood your not wanting to spend big money for an espresso machine.  I was also brought up very frugal (some might say cheap).  So my starter budget about a year ago was $100.  Because, surely that should be enough for a great coffee machine!  But I like to research my purchases because I am cheap frugal.  (spent about 2-3 months researching this)

Then I read a lot about espresso here and H-B then bumped the budget up to $300.  Then I read some more and bumped it up to $500.  I personally, would not have been happy without good steaming power and I also believe strongly in very good kitchen tools and appliances.  Otherwise I could never have justified it. When I found my machine of choice below $500, then I needed a better grinder.  And then accessories.  And so on.

 
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
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Daniel1952
Senior Member


Joined: 9 May 2012
Posts: 13
Location: New Mexico
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:58am
Subject: Re: Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
 

Totally understood and appreciated.  I prefer to ease into a new hobby until I have a particular comfort level and try to match the equipment with my skillsets.  After many years of shooting skeet and trap, I have several high-end shotguns but started out with a second-hand POC.  My recurve bows are considered serious-amateur level -- buying higher end would just be throwing money away on quality that would give me (personally) zero improvement on my scores.  My cameras are on the bottom of the high-end; wouldn't be happy with anything less but couldn't get proper use of anything better.

I expect I'll drop a chunk of change when I do upgrade, but I have a lot of learning to do and skillsets to develop before I get there.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,014
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:19pm
Subject: Re: Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
 

With my photography background and coming from a hunting/sport shooting family I understand both.  I have seen great photos taken with a pin hole camera and I have taken really good images with my phone's camera.  That is the skill of the maker or happy accidents.  Both can happen in espresso also.   I am glad you don't have upgradeitius with your machine.

 
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
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MJW
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Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:25pm
Subject: Re: Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
 

Daniel1952 Said:

Okay, a quick update;  I ended up buying the EC155, have been experimenting with it over the past 2 months, and am very pleased with the purchase.

Posted August 2, 2012 link

Thanks for the update!  To make microfoam I plunge the panarello deep into cold whole milk, and try to get some turbulence, that's it.  If it comes out uneven you can swish it around to "incorporate" the foam into the milk.
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Daniel1952
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Joined: 9 May 2012
Posts: 13
Location: New Mexico
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Aug 2, 2012, 3:49pm
Subject: Re: Question for DeLonghi EC155 owners (please)
 

Actually, I've experimented extensively and did come up with a technique that produces a very acceptable foam -- not a true microfoam, but pretty darn close.

  1.  The optimal sized container for use with the EC155 appears to be 8 ounce capacity, cylindrical, dimensioned 3"high by 3" diameter.
  2.  Use 4 ounces of *very* cold whole milk.
  3.  Insert the panarello about 1/4" and hold just long enough to form a thin layer (1/4" or so) of "normal" foam.  Do not completely open the valve for this stage.
  4.  Extract the panarello just enough to skim the surface of the normal foam, open the valve completely.
  5.  Adjust the depth of the panarello to continue skimming as you proceed.  With practice, you'll see the foam being pulled in under the lip of the panarello and recirculated.
  6.  Continue until the container is full i.e. 8 oz volume.
  7.  Make sure that the EC155 has had sufficient time to do a full warm-up before use -- forget the manual and forget the indicator lights! -- pre-warm the machine for at least 20 minutes but less than 30 minutes.

The foam comes out quite smooth and pourable, with no free milk in the container, and has a nice wet-paint sheen.

Pouring the practice runs into a clear container will show a complete homogeneity of the foam; pouring the practice runs into a shot (also in a clear container) will show a nice separation resulting in approximately 1/3 espresso, 1/3 milk, and 1/3 foam.

Not perfect, can't do art with the cylindrical container, makes a bit more foam than I need, but very acceptable to a non-geek like me.

I doubt what I described is new, but thought it would be worth sharing.
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