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the volumetric dillema...
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > the volumetric...  
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eelpout
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Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Posts: 23
Location: California
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Dec 9, 2012, 12:27pm
Subject: the volumetric dillema...
 

I'm looking to get a new machine and was settling on either an ECM Technika IV Profi or a Vibiemme DD super v3 with a PID. Now though, my wife has made it pretty clear that she'd like one with volumetric dosing. Dammit, we've had that super auto Jura for too long! :)

That limits choices immensely when my tickboxes include:

Direct plumb, both water feed and drain
Rotary pump
E61, not a must have

Vibiemme use to have a solution to this, the DS2BROELIN, but they no longer make that and their current volumetric electronic model doesn't plumb. The ECM Elektronika doesn't either, at least not a model that I can find imported.

So now I'm looking for a compromise machine and considering ones such as the Nova Simonelli Musica direct connection, which at $3K US I find freakishly expensive for a vibe pump. Take a gamble on the La Spaziale Dream, maybe the Fironzato Bricoletta. I have been talking to the La Nuova Era distributor and can get an Altea 1 group with a modified warranty. That would be unique (in the US anyway), but it's not cheap.

Unless I can convince the wife that standing at the machine for an additional 25 seconds after the grind and tamp to man the lever isn't the end of the world, this might get complicated. ;)

Any suggestions? Surely there must be other options out there I'm missing. I guess there are other single group commercial machines to consider.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,407
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sun Dec 9, 2012, 2:00pm
Subject: Re: the volumetric dillema...
 

Faulty premise . . . why is it a "dilemma"?  Any automatic (volumetric) machine can be operated EXACTLY like a semi-automatic machine.  I have two volumetric machines and one semi, and I owned two other semi's in the past -- I'd never willingly get another semi again, EVEN THOUGH most of the time I stop my shots manually just as I would with a semi.

Elektra T1
Nuova Simonelli Appia
La Marzocco GS/3 AV
La Marzocco Linea AV

(to mention a few)

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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etout00
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Sep 2011
Posts: 81
Location: Upstate NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Marzocco GS/3 MP
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC
Posted Sun Dec 9, 2012, 2:34pm
Subject: Re: the volumetric dillema...
 

+1 agree.

Any automatic machine I've ever come across has a run/stop button just like a semi-auto. For an HX machines an auto is espessially convenient since some of the dosing buttons can be used for flushing routines.


JasonBrandtLewis Said:

Faulty premise . . . why is it a "dilemma"?  Any automatic (volumetric) machine can be operated EXACTLY like a semi-automatic machine.  I have two volumetric machines and one semi, and I owned two other semi's in the past -- I'd never willingly get another semi again, EVEN THOUGH most of the time I stop my shots manually just as I would with a semi.

Elektra T1
Nuova Simonelli Appia
La Marzocco GS/3 AV
La Marzocco Linea AV

(to mention a few)

Posted December 9, 2012 link

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__________
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Espresso: Machine now fixed ;o)
Grinder: None
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Posted Sun Dec 9, 2012, 3:49pm
Subject: Re: the volumetric dillema...
 

Hello, eelpout

Well it's a nice dilemma to have in a way ;o)

I didn't read in your post that you had any problem at all with volumetric dosing - I'm sure you already knew how it works - your problem is finding a machine that fits the bill - right ?

I can't easily research the machines available in the USA, but I would think that most every manufacturer of fully commercial machines will have a single group machine, and most of those will have volumetric dosing because that's what the majority of the commercial world wants.

Have you thought about, for example, Rancilio (Epoca) , LaPavoni (Pub)etc. ?  Both make machines that fit your bill. Probably Elektra will too, and then name almost any commercial maker really.

You haven't stated a budget, but you may even find that small commercial machines compare well price-wise with their scaled down domestic cousins as they don't have to fuss around with tank/plumb options etc.. Generally you will have a much larger boiler that will make the machine easier to manage temperature-wise, (although probably cost more to run and in the US you may need a 220v supply for some of them) and a more robust serviceable construction designed to withstand real life commercial use.  Almost certainly they will be better value for money in the long run.

Most won't have the old fashioned e61 groups of course, as the commercial world moved on from those quite a while ago, but you sensibly don't make that a "must have" anyway.
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eelpout
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Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Posts: 23
Location: California
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Dec 9, 2012, 3:59pm
Subject: Re: the volumetric dillema...
 

Woah, what did I say?? I didn't mean to cast aspersions on full autos by any means!

Alright, "dilemma" may be overstating it a tad (a large tad). ;)

But when I had been looking at a category of semi's with E61's it changes focus a bit and narrows the field if you'd like to stay in the $2.5k range *and* be direct plumbed. E61 single group, direct plumb, autos are out there, but generally more expensive and aimed more at the commercial market. Rocket for instance doesn't even make one and VBM dropped theirs. I'm not sure if Quickmill and Expobar make (home) E61 autos either. The Expobar Office I believe is their own brew group, but may be worth looking into even though I'm not thrilled with it's looks. ECM (Germany) makes one, but I may have to specially import the rotary pump/direct connect model.

Go over $3K US and yep, the commercial options open up.

I was just surprised when I started to look into direct water connect, full auto E61's and find so few in the price range and style I had been looking at.
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__________
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Posted Sun Dec 9, 2012, 4:23pm
Subject: Re: the volumetric dillema...
 

I'm not too surprised you find it difficult finding machines that fit the bill with e61 groups.  Predominantly these are aimed at the domestic market, and in that market the vast majority of buyers don't want the trouble of plumbing in and out, or for various reasons can't arrange it in their houses.

Commercial manufacturers haven't used them for a long time, although some have groups that are fairly similar.

As above, I would definitely investigate the smaller machines in the commercial market.  Is $3k the lower end of the pricing in the US ?  e.g. I can get an Iberital L'Anna single group, 6 litre boiler commercial machine for 1186 (US$ about 1900). That includes 20% UK VAT. Not a recommendation, just an example of what might be out there. And no, I'm not just another machine fan boy - I don't have one of those or any Iberital machine ;o)

FWIW, the machine I do have is plumbed in and out, and it's the only way to go (IMO)

(edited to add machine price example)
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eelpout
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Posts: 23
Location: California
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Dec 9, 2012, 4:25pm
Subject: Re: the volumetric dillema...
 

yep, I've seen the Epoca E1, which runs around $4K US. Nice, but like the Appia, a bit of a monster in size.

If I "sensibly" give up the E61 as a requirement ;) there are lots of options like those from Nuova Simonelli. My wife loves the look of the Musica (Appia, not so much :)). I'm thinking the La Spaziale Dream might be a good fit and keep it below $3K. I had been having that one in the back of my brain anyway. I figured I'd get that over a Vivaldi for the built in timer and other features.

I mentioned the La Nuova Era commercial stuff too, which intrigues me. They aren't NFS approved, which explains their scarcity in the US. Though the distributor tells me some states honor the CE rating as an equivalent and allow them in restaurants.
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__________
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Espresso: Machine now fixed ;o)
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Posted Sun Dec 9, 2012, 4:38pm
Subject: Re: the volumetric dillema...
 

eelpout Said:

yep, I've seen the Epoca E1, which runs around $4K US. Nice, but like the Appia, a bit of a monster in size.

Posted December 9, 2012 link

Yup - but you do get a 4 litre boiler ;o)

A tad cheaper here (without doing much research - just the first supplier I found who would quote a price to the public as opposed to "call us") - ~US$3800 including our 20% tax.
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__________
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Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 919
Location: .
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Espresso: Machine now fixed ;o)
Grinder: None
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Posted Sun Dec 9, 2012, 4:40pm
Subject: Re: the volumetric dillema...
 

Correction - $2500 from an on-line supplier (but not one I happily do business with)
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,407
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sun Dec 9, 2012, 4:48pm
Subject: Re: the volumetric dillema...
 

eelpout Said:

Direct plumb, both water feed and drain
Rotary pump
E61, not a must have

Posted December 9, 2012 link

(emphasis added)

Keep in mind that a "true" E61 group is lever-operated, and thus NO volumetric machine will have a true E61 group, as originally designed.  My La Valentina is volumetrically dosed, with an E61 (with the lever removed), but it's a pourover and not plumbed, not rotary.  My Elektra T1 is plumbed-in, drained-out, rotary pump, but with a proprietary group head -- not an E61.  

I don't get what's so "necessary" about an E61.  (I know you said it is "not a must have," but -- face it --you really think it is, or you wouldn't have mentioned it in the first place.)  It's an excellent design, no doubt about it, but a) it's more than 60 years old, b) as has already been pointed out, most "commercial manufacturers haven't used them for a long time, although some have groups that are fairly similar," and c) if there haven't been any improvements over a design in 60+ years, we as a species are in trouble.

As a general matter of course, I take people's budgets and add 10%.  Initially, you mentioned no budget, just the price of one machine at $3,000.  Subsequently, you mention $2,500.  OK, let's keep it in between, with the idea that less is better.  The Elektra T1, which I have owned for 4+ years and still have no desire to upgrade, is $2,995 (less than what I paid for it new).

OK, yes -- it's $3,095, but it's on sale from $3,595 -- look at the Cimbali Junior Casa DT1.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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