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HX benefit for low volume
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Gig103
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Posts: 244
Location: Arizona
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: French press!
Posted Sat Nov 24, 2012, 8:44pm
Subject: HX benefit for low volume
 

Hi all,

I am a low volume coffee drinker and it's just me drinking coffee in the house. Generally I drink one or two double shots a day and lately I've been on a milk kick (I go through phases).

I have had some upgrade-itis lately after discovering the Oscar. I like the idea of an HX machine and even though it isn't stainless I like the red plastic along with the price of the Oscar. But I'm not sure it's an upgrade from my CC1 (based on my usage) or if I want an HX because it's better than a SBDU in general and I like new toys.

Compared to my CC1, which has the PID for temperature control and the thermoblock that comes up to temperature quickly enough, is an HX actually worth the cost up from my machine?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,042
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 Sat Nov 24, 2012, 8:57pm
Subject: Re: HX benefit for low volume
 

Well,it is the Christmas season after all!

I have not had my hands on a CC1 but what I have read of it, the owners like it. The Oscar offers a bigger boiler and very sturdy construction. I used to own an Oscar a few years ago and I was VERY happy with it, I even took it to church gatherings and kept up with up to 50 guests at a time though the SJ did help a bit!

I am not a huge fan of thermoblocks but the CC1 seems to have made good use of it in the steam section, I find that the two thermoblock machines I have used tend to put an off flavor into the steam but that may have been a function of those machines YMMV.

If I had not found my current machine sitting forlorn and lonely in the back room of a restaurant supply house, and if I had not found said machine for $599 (should have been $1599 the salesman miss read the tag and the store owner honored the price but I bet the salesman had a few issues!) I might just be still very happy with Oscar though now that I have gone plumb in, I really REALLY don't want to go back!

Is it a step up, well in my humble opinion, yes, is it a HUGE step? likely not. Is it worth it? only you can say.... good luck!!!

OH, BTW, I am a fairly low personal use also and I LOVE the abilities of my machine and Oscar over the Sylvia I have rebuilt and installed a PID on, steaming aside with the Sylvia, there is no comparison between the two.

 
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!
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:07pm
Subject: Re: HX benefit for low volume
 

If it was me and if I found one at a great price I'd get it.  I would not upgrade at full price unless you start doing more espresso and really feeling the limits of the CC1.  And in either case, I would probably sell the cc1 to help pay for it.

 
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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Gig103
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Posts: 244
Location: Arizona
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: French press!
Posted Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:40pm
Subject: Re: HX benefit for low volume
 

I do have my eyes on a used one, the owner claims it has been a countertop queen so i am also apprehensive on what could be wrong with it after a few years of non use (and how it will ship). Is it true I can't drain or descale it? I'd sell my CC1 to offset it too, even though Bill C has given me great service.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Nov 24, 2012, 10:58pm
Subject: Re: HX benefit for low volume
 

no.  you just have to remove the case to get to the drain.  I posted a link on how to do that.  I will see if I can find it tomorrow.

 
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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grant862
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Aug 2011
Posts: 59
Location: Orange County, CA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Preciso
Vac Pot: Yama 3 cup
Drip: Hario v60
Roaster: Portola Coffee Lab (yum)
Posted Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:03am
Subject: Re: HX benefit for low volume
 

I just upgrade from the CC1 to an La Nuova Cuadra ($995 version). I loved the CC1, but I make only milk based drinks, 2-3 every morning and the 2 machines are night and day. While the CC1 was quick to switch b/w milk and espresso, steaming a 20oz pitcher in 2 minutes early in the morning seems like its really taking 10 minutes. Maybe it will wear off, but I am just amazed at having extremely dry steam on demand.

My recommendation. If you are an espresso only drinker, with the occasional latte don't upgrade to a HX. If you are like me and are the reverse, then being able to steam and brew at the same time is well worth the upgrade. And any inconsistencies I get (from not having a pid and a shot timer) are usually covered up by 6-10 oz of milk.

Also, the steam on the CC1 was pretty dry to me, especially for my 2nd latte, but the steam out of a HX (at least the cuadra) is night and day dryer than the CC1.

My low volume morning routine, I have my Cuadra on a timer, it turns on at 6am, I get up at 6:30, make 2 lattes, turn the machine off by 7. Everything is really easy and simple, only hassle is the clean up :)
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Gig103
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Posts: 244
Location: Arizona
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: French press!
Posted Sun Nov 25, 2012, 12:47am
Subject: Re: HX benefit for low volume
 

Grant, thanks for sharing; I hadn't heard of the machine you have but a quick Google search shows it's pretty nice on specs and looks.

I sort of have the feeling that for my usage an upgrade isn't necessary but not having used an HX I can't really say, thus the thread. It's been insightful so far.

Something I was just wondering (based on reading reviews of machines, yes at 2am) is if non-E61 machines need a cooling flush? I am used to having the PID controlling the temperature to take some guesswork out. I don't mind the flush, since I do it to preheat my cup each morning but on an E61 it seems that there's some temperature surfing?
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jwoodyu
Senior Member
jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 857
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Sun Nov 25, 2012, 5:22am
Subject: Re: HX benefit for low volume
 

grant862 Said:

My recommendation. If you are an espresso only drinker, with the occasional latte don't upgrade to a HX.

Posted November 25, 2012 link

Having tested the CC1 I would say the reverse :). I found the straight shots to be wanting but the steaming was very good. My thought is this gives the machine a bent towards milk drinks to make the shots less noticeable. I can't speak first hand to either of the other two machines.

 
Yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Nov 25, 2012, 9:13am
Subject: Re: HX benefit for low volume
 

Yes, Oscar needs a flush if it has been sitting.  An idle HX is an over heated HX.

 
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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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,042
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 Nov 26, 2012, 7:41am
Subject: Re: HX benefit for low volume
 

Gig103 Said:

Grant, thanks for sharing; I hadn't heard of the machine you have but a quick Google search shows it's pretty nice on specs and looks.

I sort of have the feeling that for my usage an upgrade isn't necessary but not having used an HX I can't really say, thus the thread. It's been insightful so far.

Something I was just wondering (based on reading reviews of machines, yes at 2am) is if non-E61 machines need a cooling flush? I am used to having the PID controlling the temperature to take some guesswork out. I don't mind the flush, since I do it to preheat my cup each morning but on an E61 it seems that there's some temperature surfing?

Posted November 25, 2012 link

Not so much temp surfing like on a SBDU machine, rather just removing the excess heat but with the option to keep some of it if you wish to warm up the shot.
Please read, http://www.home-barista.com/hx-love.html This is the second time this morning I posted this link

 
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!
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