Posted Mon Sep 10, 2012, 9:44am Subject: Closest home machine to a commercial espresso machine
I am looking for a home espresso machine that has both a Commercial 58mm portafilter as well as a commercial steam wand. This is purely for practice as well as 1-4 drinks per day. I am considerig the following but I need help choosing.
It's about as cheap as an entry HX gets and is a basic HX machine as well, wouldn't say overkill. Totally different league vs the Silvia or Gaggia. If you meant commercial as in just the 58mm size of the PF and steam wand etc then plenty fit that, if you meant that as well as commercial type stability and speed etc then the Oscar is way beyond those two, the others are only single boilers and work much better with a PID than as they come, otherwise the temp surfing and dancing would annoy the heck out of me lol. But those two still won't have the efficient speed of the Oscar. If you buy a Silvia new and add a pid your basically already encroached into entry HX territory, or something like the Quickmill Silvano which is a single boiler and thermo for steam like my CC1, however it has a separate pump for the thermo so you can brew and steam at the same time.
Posted Mon Sep 10, 2012, 11:34am Subject: Re: Closest home machine to a commercial espresso machine
I am doing an upgrade from my little modded Delonghi EC155. I plan to open a cafe next year and I wanna practice each and every drink on my menu as if I were in a cafe. So I will be steaming and pulling. As for entertaining guest probubly not although the Oscar opens up other avenues such as catering for the cafe as well so I'm a little torn.
I want a good HX machine that can Brew and steam like a commercial machine. I am willing to sacrifice brewing and steaming simultiniously if it saves me a ton of money.
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 8,108 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 Mon Sep 10, 2012, 12:47pm Subject: Re: Closest home machine to a commercial espresso machine
The Oscar would be a MINIMUM machine for what you are asking to do. commercial machines are either HX or DB with at the moment more HX than DB in service though I suspect as the prices change and cutting edge shops go into super geek mode, you will be seeing more and more DB machines in service.
Any SBDU machine (Single Boiler Dual Use) which you need to switch between steam/brew modes are strictly home class machines and they will have no value if you are trying to gear toward commercial applications.
I have used an Oscar in catering service and if the demand isn't very strong, it will work very well.
That said, the Oscar is a ways away from a two or three group (or more) commercial machine so again you will have limited transferability though it will be MUCH MUCH MUCH more compairable than with a SBDU machine (the others you listed)
The BEST thing to get would be a used multi group commercial machine. However this will take up a lot of room, require being plumbed in and a 220v circuit dedicated to the machine.
You will also require a good to high end commercial grinder to go with the machine. The minimum would be (in the Mazzer line) the Super Jolly which is often used as a back up or decaf only grinder in shops, the Major will likely be what is chosen when using flat burrs and the Robur is about the top of the heap. Used, in good shape, ready to go, a used SJ will go in the $500 ball park and the "better" grinders for more.
While it is possible with careful shopping to get a nice home setup for $1K, it is pretty tough to go commercial quality unless you get some OUTSTANDING deals and the equipment needs work or is very beat up and ugly to look at.
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!
TonyVan Senior Member Joined: 24 May 2010 Posts: 276 Location: Pacific Northwest Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: GS/3, La Pavoni Grinder: Macap M7K, Rocky Drip: Kone
Posted Mon Sep 10, 2012, 7:41pm Subject: Re: Closest home machine to a commercial espresso machine
Chris, Calblacksmith and the others are giving you very good advice. While the Oscar won't produce like a full-bore multi-group cafe rig, it will reasonably behave like one with respect to the group, pump and basket, and reasonably simulate much of what you'd experience. The other options you mentioned will not come close at all.
But calblacksmith's grinder discussion is perhaps even more important. You will only be able to reasonably simulate your cafe results with a similar grinder. If you're going to buy a Robur or Major or Kony or big Mahlkonig etc. for your shop, you may as well get it now: for consistency with craft coffee at any level, it's a requirement, period.
Good luck with this project - I hope the run-up proves to be an enjoyable exercise as you get set up.
Posted Tue Sep 11, 2012, 3:43am Subject: Re: Closest home machine to a commercial espresso machine
Already there. :) I own a Macap MX and a VFA N1661 Espresso grinder. Both I am already using. My Delonghi next to both looks too small. Another reason to upgrade! Thx for all of the advise. As for volume I am the only coffee drinker in my house so. Looks like an Oscar it is!
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