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Looking for Advice- La Scala Butterfly or Brewtus IV?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Looking for...  
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dorkroast
Senior Member
dorkroast
Joined: 3 Oct 2012
Posts: 88
Location: CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Cheapo Melitta pourover
Roaster: Behmor, Popcorn Pumper
Posted Wed Oct 3, 2012, 4:35pm
Subject: Looking for Advice- La Scala Butterfly or Brewtus IV?
 

I spent a lot of time recently with a rep for La Scala selling their Butterfly semi-auto. I really liked the machine and had pretty much decided that was what I was going to end up with in the future.

Later in the night I started browsing features of machines at the same price point and realized the Expobar Brewtus IV would actually end up about $90 cheaper and seemed to have many more features i.e. Double boiler, rotary pump, etc...

Am I missing something here?

I haven't seen the Brewtus in person so I can't speak to the build quality but it seems to have quite a following.

Oppinions?
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 619
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Wed Oct 3, 2012, 5:30pm
Subject: Re: Looking for Advice- La Scala Butterfly or Brewtus IV?
 

AVG price for the butterfly is about $1k (according to the reviews here). I just bought a brewtus iv-p, the rotary pump only comes on the plumb-only model. I would say that if you're going to spend the cash, get something with a double boiler and a PID.

I'll post photos and opinions here again tomorrow when I get my machine set up.

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Path Coffee Roasters (PortChester, NY) Feather in cap espresso.

Cold Brewing:
Gimme! (ithaca, NY) Moca Java

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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dorkroast
Senior Member
dorkroast
Joined: 3 Oct 2012
Posts: 88
Location: CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Cheapo Melitta pourover
Roaster: Behmor, Popcorn Pumper
Posted Wed Oct 3, 2012, 6:09pm
Subject: Re: Looking for Advice- La Scala Butterfly or Brewtus IV?
 

The average price listed here seems incorrect. Nearly everyplace I've found it lists the Butterfly at about $1700.
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dyqik
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07 PM
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso...
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Bona-Vita, CCD, Aeropress.
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Modded Poppers
Posted Wed Oct 3, 2012, 6:14pm
Subject: Re: Looking for Advice- La Scala Butterfly or Brewtus IV?
 

The average price is going to be what people paid for it when they bought it, possibly several years ago, and will include specials and maybe secondhand purchases.  I'm not sure how useful an average price for reviewed machines is if the reviews are a couple of years old.
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KittJ
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jul 2004
Posts: 324
Location: Chappaquiddick Island

Espresso: PID Expobar Brewtus IIIR;
Grinder: Mazzer: Mini & SJ
Drip: Why??
Posted Thu Oct 4, 2012, 11:29am
Subject: Re: Looking for Advice- La Scala Butterfly or Brewtus IV?
 

RE "I just bought a brewtus iv-p, the rotary pump only comes on the plumb-only model. "

The phrase "plumb-only" is NOT quite correct.

The rotary pump takes more space in the case than the vibe pump ... That space is taken from where the removable plastic water reservoir sits in the vibe / pour over models.  The remaining space would only allow a dinky internal reservoir, so the rotary model comes with a 4 foot steel sheathed hose that can be hooked to a water pipe.  

However, the benefits of the rotary are very attractive (quiet, flow profile, etc.), so many of us have purchased it and dropped the end of the hose into a a gallon jug of water.  Everything else is set up to allow use without being plumbed in.  If you want to have the drip tray drain directly into the waste pipes, you have to punch out a piece of metal in the center of the tray and arrange for plumbing to accept the drainage.  Otherwise, it works just like the vibe pump models.  And while "she who must be obeyed" is quite tolerant of the stainless steel ornament on the granite counter, I have no enthusiasm for trying to sell drilling holes through the latter.

The rotary pump does not need the pressure of the water in the house water pipes ... The pump is comfortable lifting water from a jug up to five feet below the machine, which makes it easy to take the 70 lb. unit to a church or club event and serve caps to the crowd.  You just need a couple of one or five gallon water bottles.
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 619
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Thu Oct 4, 2012, 11:42am
Subject: Re: Looking for Advice- La Scala Butterfly or Brewtus IV?
 

KittJ Said:

RE "I just bought a brewtus iv-p, the rotary pump only comes on the plumb-only model. "

The phrase "plumb-only" is NOT quite correct.

The rotary pump takes more space in the case than the vibe pump ... That space is taken from where the removable plastic water reservoir sits in the vibe / pour over models.  The remaining space would only allow a dinky internal reservoir, so the rotary model comes with a 4 foot steel sheathed hose that can be hooked to a water pipe.  

However, the benefits of the rotary are very attractive (quiet, flow profile, etc.), so many of us have purchased it and dropped the end of the hose into a a gallon jug of water.  Everything else is set up to allow use without being plumbed in.  If you want to have the drip tray drain directly into the waste pipes, you have to punch out a piece of metal in the center of the tray and arrange for plumbing to accept the drainage.  Otherwise, it works just like the vibe pump models.  And while "she who must be obeyed" is quite tolerant of the stainless steel ornament on the granite counter, I have no enthusiasm for trying to sell drilling holes through the latter.

The rotary pump does not need the pressure of the water in the house water pipes ... The pump is comfortable lifting water from a jug up to five feet below the machine, which makes it easy to take the 70 lb. unit to a church or club event and serve caps to the crowd.  You just need a couple of one or five gallon water bottles.

Posted October 4, 2012 link

I considered the iv-r model (rotary pump) but the benefits didnt seem to outweigh the additional needs of the machine... Like you said, you can drop the line into a vessel of water, but then you have to find a way of hiding this water, which in my case would still involve drilling into my countertop and running the line into an under-cabinet water supply. The rotary pump is a quieter and smoother flow of water though, it's also much more expensive to repair/replace, and more prone to damage in the face of hard water or an empty reservoir.

I decided on the iv-p model, because if I do decide later on to plumb into a 5gal tank of aquafina, I could. but having a built in reservoir makes it easier to place on the counter, and the vibe pump doesnt bother me, or most people I imagine, coming from a single boiler.

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Path Coffee Roasters (PortChester, NY) Feather in cap espresso.

Cold Brewing:
Gimme! (ithaca, NY) Moca Java

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 619
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Thu Oct 4, 2012, 10:23pm
Subject: Re: Looking for Advice- La Scala Butterfly or Brewtus IV?
 

So I unpacked and set her up today, WLL sent it in its manufacturer's box, inside a larger box filled with foam and additional cardboard for support on the walls and bottom. Nothing as damaged and all was well. They set and tested the machine prior to shipping, so some residual water did come out and fog up the manometers, but this faded with time.

Here are some first impressions...

The brewtus iv-P is huge, absolutely huge, I'm sure all of these machines are just as big (check their specs) but this one is tall. The iv-v is about an inch or two shorter though...

Strong build, everything feels very well fitted and I don't here anything moving around other than the pumps own vibration. The water tank seems smaller than it is, it came with two water softening cartridges (rechargeable) and a plumb line. The water tray sits on a sensor which will turn of the unit if the reservoir becomes empty. Mine came with a double spouted filter and a bottomless which both feel nice and weigh a good bit. The baskets included are for a single, an 18g double, and a ~21g in the bottomless. There is also a back flush disk, and I received a blank basket as well.

The tamper it came with is just awful, though I also received a steel rattleware while I wait on my c-ripple from RB.

Once filled with water, plugging in and turning it on was simple... no assembly required. The PID is very easy to use, and the color is very eye catching, even on a chrome machine. I timed the start up at 9 and a half minutes before the brew boiler was up to temp (203 at the group head) and the offset was accurate when measured using IR , the steam took a bit longer but that's expected. My first shot was a throw-away, but once I got my grinder tuned in (about a full turn finer than my Le'lit) I was getting syrupy shots that I could only rarely catch on my le'lit. The pre-infusion is simple enough to use, and pretty substantial in terms of water volume and effect on taste.

The steam arm is my only gripe, the single hole tip is very usable an by no means would prevent me from purchasing again, but the pressure drop is quick and the foam is thick. I switched out to a 4 hole tip from a rocket with much better results. I have other tips to play with, when I have the time I'll see how they do. Again the difference probably comes down to technique and wouldn't prevent my purchase, thought the 4 tip set from rocket is only ~$20.

the water arm is not a no-burn arm, though I don't see this as an issue. The drip tray is substantial, the chrome is nice. In summary I like it.

There is a sharp edge on the cup tray which is an issue when removing it to access the water tank, I fixed this by making a handle out of wire while I look for a better solution. There are holes for cup rails which may be available from somewhere...


I'm going to see how she performs in a full day tomorrow with more than a few drinks. Once I have a better feel for it Ill post a full review and some pictures.

-AC

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Path Coffee Roasters (PortChester, NY) Feather in cap espresso.

Cold Brewing:
Gimme! (ithaca, NY) Moca Java

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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dorkroast
Senior Member
dorkroast
Joined: 3 Oct 2012
Posts: 88
Location: CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Cheapo Melitta pourover
Roaster: Behmor, Popcorn Pumper
Posted Sun Oct 7, 2012, 8:23pm
Subject: Re: Looking for Advice- La Scala Butterfly or Brewtus IV?
 

Thanks for the review.
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