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La Nuova Era Cuadra Owners Thread
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > La Nuova Era...  
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lotusblackbox
Senior Member
lotusblackbox
Joined: 7 Jul 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Sydney
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 8:24am
Subject: Re: La Nuova Era Cuadra Owners Thread
 

Would this be a good machine for a newbie?
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slybarman
Senior Member
slybarman
Joined: 3 Nov 2011
Posts: 366
Location: usa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 10:30am
Subject: Re: La Nuova Era Cuadra Owners Thread-
 

fuzzy2009 Said:

Am shopping for a sub-$1500 pro-sumer espresso machine and came across 1st-Line deal on  La Nuova Era Cuadra II at $1095.00 whereas other sites selling it for $1500 - seems too good to be true; my questions:
1) how is it that these can be offered as such a discount, even if they are intro prices..are they refurbs/modified?
2) Has anyone purchased Cuadra from them and how is it going?
3)Am also concerned that this brand is not as well-established and may not have the parts/service support that other well-established brands may have. Perhaps my concerns are unfounded, any advice would be appreciated.
4) Finally, for those who have a Cuadra, any regrets? What model were you considering before purchasing Cuadra and why?
Thanks much!

Posted July 7, 2012 link

Did you read any of the thread? I know it is long, but there is a lot of good information in here.

1) These are new machines. 1st line buys in quantity. I don't know the exact number, maybe a hundred or more at a time. Some have said the specs are slightly different on the ones 1st line orders, but I have seen no evidence of that.

2) Many purchased. Most everyone happy that has posted here.

3) I had the same concerns, I am told E-61 HX parts are fairly generic and interchangeable.

4) No regrets. Good bang for the buck. I wanted a Rocket, but this was 30% less.
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tigermilk
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Dec 2011
Posts: 18
Location: Houston, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 12:24pm
Subject: Re: La Nuova Era Cuadra Owners Thread
 

lotusblackbox Said:

Would this be a good machine for a newbie?

Posted July 7, 2012 link

Yes. It was my first machine and it has been great. Got it last winter during the 1st line deal. Took a bit to learn to froth but now I do it with the standard wand. Wife loves her lattes from it, and my sister remarked the other day that the one I made her was better than the ones she pays for.
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scanfield
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2011
Posts: 181
Location: Texas
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Nuovo Era Cuadra
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Wed Jul 11, 2012, 8:36am
Subject: Re: La Nuova Era Cuadra Owners Thread
 

slybarman Said:

Let us know the result. I would the think the tamper the more likely culprit than the actual basket. I never used the plastic one that came with the machine, so I don't know how well it fit the basket. Did you order a flat bottom or curved?

Posted July 6, 2012 link

The tamper has a flat bottom. It fits the basket very well and feels exceptionally good in the hand, but the end results are no different.

I've tried using the triple basket and it sprays the same way as the double. I've made hundreds of shots of espresso in the past couple of months with my bottomless pf, and none have been clean.

I just found a thread oh HB that I'm going to read through to see if I can figure something out.
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slybarman
Senior Member
slybarman
Joined: 3 Nov 2011
Posts: 366
Location: usa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Wed Jul 11, 2012, 10:08am
Subject: Re: La Nuova Era Cuadra Owners Thread
 

I would say slap in your old portafilter, make yummy coffee and don't drive yourself mad. You know from the other thread, that I think the bottomless portafilter is kinda over-rated in general, but you also know my opinion was not well-received by the expert folks around here.

If I get some time tonight, I may try to guestimate the pressure setting of our machines by measuring the flow back to the reservoir with the blind basket in. Perhaps the brew pressure is part of the issue. I was able to pull shots through the naked PF without getting sprites - but not 100% of the time. Ultimately though, I just didn't perceive the benefit of using it.

Perhaps if I drank straight espresso, I would feel compelled to take my shots to the next level and would see some difference in tweaking out that last bit of perfection. For my lattes, I can't really see it making much difference.
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scanfield
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2011
Posts: 181
Location: Texas
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Nuovo Era Cuadra
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Wed Jul 11, 2012, 10:26am
Subject: Re: La Nuova Era Cuadra Owners Thread
 

I don't like the original spouted portafilter because I can't figure out a good way to clean the spouts.

I am starting to think that the pressure may be too high on my machine. I asked 1st-Line for instructions on adjusting it and am still waiting for a reply. Apparently they are moving and things are in disarray right now. I'm contemplating buying the device for measuring pressure though.

I'm also going to try grinding with more beans in the hopper. In the thread I linked to, the advice was given that the hopper needs to have lots of beans in it to prevent popcorning and getting an uneven grind.
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slybarman
Senior Member
slybarman
Joined: 3 Nov 2011
Posts: 366
Location: usa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Wed Jul 11, 2012, 10:31am
Subject: Re: La Nuova Era Cuadra Owners Thread
 

re cleaning - just soak the porta in a solution of backflush detergent. Mine seems to come clean though just by virtue of the backflush cleanings without any real need to soak it.

IIRC, you are using the Vario, same as me. The Vario doesn't seem to have much tendency to popcorn like other grinders when single dosing.
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Frankieg
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jul 2012
Posts: 6
Location: New York
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jul 26, 2012, 6:42pm
Subject: Re: La Nuova Era Cuadra Owners Thread
 

I've owned a Gaggia Carrezza for the past 5 years and it's still going, but today I ordered my Cuadra ll from 1st line and looking forward to using it.  I basically got tired of temp surfing for every shot.  My routine for the two daily lattes was:   temp surf to get to the base temp, then I had to switch on the steam button for about 10 seconds to bump up the temp to close to 200, shut off steam, pull shot.  Repeat for second shot.  And only half my shots would come out decent.  Then steam about 6 oz of milk, re-prime boiler, steam another 6 oz of milk.  Purge steam from machine, re-prime boiler, shut off.   And the capacity of the drip tray is about 2oz max!  It might as well not be there at all.
I cant knock it that much though because I learned a lot using the Gaggia and my Rocky grinder.   But I thought it was time to step it up and stop wasting the fresh beans I was buying with this silly and time consuming routine in the morning.  
Thanks to all who contributed to this thread.  It helped me make my decision easier. I was debating between this, the Oscar, the Silvano, or the Rocket Cellini. Although the Cuadra had undesirable dimensions ( to wide) I couldn't pass up the 1st Line price for this class of machine.  
To give back, I'll try to give an objective review of the Cuadra ll after a few days of use because I noticed all of you have the first version.  The only stand out difference I see is the no burn arms, but if I notice anything else I'll let you know.  And I'm keeping my Rocky grinder for now to see how well it works with this machine.  I know it's lost a lot of popularity since the Vario came out, but it's such a robust and well built grinder that I'd rather keep it if it gets the job done.  If I can make syrupy shots with dark thick crema with my Gaggia then it should do ok with the Cuadra.
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slybarman
Senior Member
slybarman
Joined: 3 Nov 2011
Posts: 366
Location: usa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Thu Jul 26, 2012, 6:51pm
Subject: Re: La Nuova Era Cuadra Owners Thread
 

Congratulations on your purchase. You will no doubt enjoy the Cuadra as we all have.

You have had your current machine for a while and have it well dialed-in. You know all its good and bad habits. it will take a while to get to know the character of your new machine in the same way. A HX machine has its own quirks. You may take a step backwards before moving forwards, don't let that frustrate you. The learning curve should not be too steep.

Do yourself a favor and pick up one of EricS' E61 thermometer units. It takes a lot of guess work out of hitting your brew temp.

Good luck.
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Frankieg
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jul 2012
Posts: 6
Location: New York
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jul 29, 2012, 7:23am
Subject: Re: La Nuova Era Cuadra Owners Thread
 

Thanks.  I got it yesterday and set it up.  I opened the steam valve to make sure there was no trapped air in boiler.  Took about 30 minutes to get to temperature.  Did my cooling flush, and pulled first shot.  It was a tad fast.  Made small adjustment on my Rocky, pulled second shot, much better.  Drank it - delicious.  Not a hint of sourness, not bitter, just balanced and good.  Used Counter Culture Toscano.  I hardly drank straight shots with no sugar with my Gaggia, because after it cooled for a minute they were usually sour or bitter.  Even after this shot cooled, it tasted good with nothing added.

Played with steam a little bit, way more powerful than I'm used to.  This will take some practice.  This has the no burn wand with two holes.  My Gaggia had only 1 hole tip, so when you combine the fact that the steam is more powerful and there are two holes, I have lots of practice to do.  But there is plenty of advice in these forums.

I released some boiler water and it was brown.  I expected this, and kept on running 4oz cycles until it cleared a bit.  It is still brown but not as bad.  I expect after a few more days of cycling the water it will clear up.

I ran into a slight problem this morning, on day two.  I turned it on and let it sit for 45 minutes.  When I came back to it, it wasn't even close to temperature yet.  The machine and group head was only luke warm.  I released some boiler water and it was only about 120 degrees.  After 45 minutes I was surprised it wasn't hot yet.  I released some steam thinking that maybe air was trapped in boiler.  That seemed to do the trick.  After 10 minutes, the machine was ready.  So, my question is, doesn't this machine have an anti-vacuum valve?  Maybe mine isn't working or needs some time to break in???

I also noticed that if I let just 1 minute pass between shots I have to flush another 4oz of water before temp stabilizes.  Is this what everyone else has to do?  I thought we only had to do an initial flush and then we can pull continuous shots without flushing, assuming you do then within minutes?
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