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Upgraditis Strikes Again: Options?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Upgraditis...  
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 652
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Nov 13, 2012, 2:55pm
Subject: Upgraditis Strikes Again: Options?
 

Okay, so now that I've gotten settled with Oscar, there is a possibility of an upgrade, courtesy of my birthday coming up. My budget wouldn't be much more than $1,000 so I know my options aren't limitless. Because this is a gift, it's not a case of saving one's pennies and waiting for something better. So here are my criteria:

Under $1200 US
HX or DB
Pourover/Tank

I'm looking at two machines--either the La Nuova Era Cuadra, which is only $950 at First Line, or a new Oscar. I love my Oscar, but it's missing most of its screws, held together in places with tape inside and donor parts from my old Saeco, has a lot of corrosion and I worry that it will fail on me sooner than it should (this could just be paranoia). I would like something new with a warranty, basically. Something that I know has been well taken care of. My Oscar was owned by a family who had no idea how to use it and didn't treat it well at all and never backflushed it.

I'm open to other options besides these two, and would love to know if the Cuadra is even a worthwhile upgrade. Thoughts? Should I just abandon this and stick with the old Oscar?
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greglepore
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Aug 2004
Posts: 41
Location: se pa usa
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Nov 13, 2012, 4:17pm
Subject: Re: Upgraditis Strikes Again: Options?
 

I went from an Oscar that I owned for 8 years or so and had PID'd to a Breville DB, and no comparison. The BDB is a superior machine, once one gets over the fact that its new technology vs old.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,973
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Nov 13, 2012, 11:24pm
Subject: Re: Upgraditis Strikes Again: Options?
 

Because, 1200 will only get you about the same machine new, I personally would not upgrade till Oscar fails or I won the lotto.   I don't see any reason to do spend money on the same thing you got already.  If you just need to spend the money think about an insane grinder or a granite coffee cart or some gold plated cups or maybe a cool lever 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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frank828
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Posts: 580
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: GS3
Grinder: RoburE, Kenia
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: Brazen, CCD, Aeropress, V60,...
Roaster: Behmor, Air Crazy
Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012, 12:15am
Subject: Re: Upgraditis Strikes Again: Options?
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

If you just need to spend the money think about an insane grinder or a granite coffee cart or some gold plated cups or maybe a cool lever machine.

Posted November 13, 2012 link

gold plated cups for sure!  hahahaha

i can see my next upgrade being a very high end grinder(hopefully along the lines of a robur E) once i find the right deal.  

i agree with coffeenoobie, spending that much money for essentially the same machine seems counterproductive
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 652
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012, 2:04am
Subject: Re: Upgraditis Strikes Again: Options?
 

Good point, Noobie. I love Oscar, and have put so much work into it that I don't even think I could bear to sell it to cover an upgrade. But I think my main issue is that I have this nagging worry it'll crap out on me, especially given how jerry-rigged it looks inside. Basically, I'm happy where I'm at, I just want to make sure it's there to last.

I don't see how I can do much better in the grinder dept than the Vario-W. Anything else would be commercial-grade and not give me the weighted dosage on which I've come to really love. Plus I'm not sure I'd have the room for one. Baratza really won me over when it was time to get serious about a grinder.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,973
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012, 1:40pm
Subject: Re: Upgraditis Strikes Again: Options?
 

I have your same set up and I love it.  I love the W part of the vario and agree after you use that it seems silly to go back to a doser/timer.  I love how robust my Oscar is.  I really don't believe it is going to fail any time soon in a way you will not be able to fix it.  Spend the money on something else, imho.  Oscar will keep chugging for at least a year or so even with duct tape and bailing wire.  I am going to do frank's mod after Christmas on the steamer and add a vacuum breaker and restricters.  I think Oscar will be rocking in the new year.

We could have a trick out my oscar party.  I have a huge work space in the garage.

 
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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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 652
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012, 2:55pm
Subject: Re: Upgraditis Strikes Again: Options?
 

Hey, that would be pretty fun :)

How long do you water dance for, Noobie? Just curious. My PSTAT is turned up I think 1.5 turns. I guess I just wish I could see the pressure and temp on  Oscar sometimes, though it always makes a passable shot.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,973
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012, 3:18pm
Subject: Re: Upgraditis Strikes Again: Options?
 

Till the stream settles you can see it very clearly. (look at youtube videos) I fill the shot glass and half my 7oz cup.  I leave the water in both and grind and tamp then pull. I am going to guess 4-6oz of water if it has been sitting a long time.  I turned my pstat down, it was really high before.  I was considering turning it up again for more turbulence in the milk but I went back to the stock tip and I have an excess of steam power with the stock tip.  Maybe I should turn it down a bit more.  Part of the advantage of the restricter mod will be less water has to be purged and a flatter temp during the pull.

Yes, I would love a group head temp/pressure gauge but it is pretty easy to read the flow with the naked filter.  I get lots of feed back visually.  And I am getting awesome, repeatable shots with more steam power than I can handle.  Really all I need out of a machine and I could not beat the price.

 
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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diggi
Senior Member
diggi
Joined: 28 Nov 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Halifax, NS
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Spaz vivaldi S1 V2
Grinder: B Vario, OE LIDO
Drip: Chemex, Espro Press,...
Roaster: Poppery I
Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012, 3:29pm
Subject: Re: Upgraditis Strikes Again: Options?
 

what about an HG one or modded pharos to park beside the oscar.  I expect you'd have no trouble selling for minimal loss if oscar dies to allow replacement if necessary.  That would give you something tangible right now, rather than just updating the age of your current machine.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,973
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012, 5:55pm
Subject: Re: Upgraditis Strikes Again: Options?
 

oh what about a coffee roaster and a year's worth of green beans?

 
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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