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Upgrading to HX or dual boiler machine
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Upgrading to HX...  
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,897
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
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Posted Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:47pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading to HX or dual boiler machine
 

Sounds like you have become handy as well as being a trouble shooter :)  I like to figure the cost of acquiring skills offsets the expense of the project.  My wife is not so sure, but I tell myself that.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,973
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Mon Dec 24, 2012, 12:52pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading to HX or dual boiler machine
 

I trouble shoot tech issues for a living.  As such it is not hard to transfer that logic to fixing something else.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

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Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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CharityV
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CharityV
Joined: 8 Jul 2005
Posts: 176
Location: Oregon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Le'lit PL041
Grinder: Rocky DL
Roaster: SC/TO
Posted Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:11pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading to HX or dual boiler machine
 

GlenO Said:

Charity, I went through a similar decision process about nine months ago when I was looking to upgrade from my Silvia of five years.  My usage is similar to yours based on your initial post (i.e., usually just myself, occasionally a second person and even more occasionally 3 to 4 people).  After weeks of reviewing online information, reviews, posts on this site and other coffee sites as well as conversations with two different vendors, I narrowed my search down to the Rocket Cellini Premium Plus and its closest equivalent in the Quickmill familly, the Andreja, which is Anita's big sister.  Both are solid machines with equivalent quality components and similar fit and finish.  I preferred the looks of the Rocket and with a newer house with an open floor plan and a kitchen with other stainless steel appliances, looks are important to me.  There's nothing wrong with that.   In the Andreja's favor was its ability to be plumbed in if one purchased the optional plumb kit.  When I was able to purchase V1 Rocket at a closeout price, the Rocket won out.  The steaming ability of the Rocket is more than adequate.  I'm sure I would have been just as happy with the performance of the Quckmiill.

As far as not being able to plumb in the Premium Plus, for me it has been a non-issue.  As I mentioned, my usage is typically quite light.  And I've been pleasantly surprised how minimal a flush is required to get the Rocket to proper brew temperature.  Light usage plus minimal flushing means less water, obviously.  I've gotten into the habit of topping off the reservoir as part of my daily cleaning/maintenance routine, but know I could often go two, perhaps three days without needing to refill if I chose.  Of course, I'm sure if I were plumbed in, I'd love the convenience.

If you do go the HX, E-61 route, I would recommend getting a brew head thermometer (i.e, "Eric's Thermometer").  It helped me immensely getting my flush routine down.  And even now that I have a pretty good understanding of how the Rocket behaves, I find myself using the thermometer daily.

One last note, if you're open to purchasing a product return, following the holidays there are likely to be quite a few returns to vendors, with customers taking advantage of the 30-day, no questions asked return privilege.  The machines carry a full warranty and usually can be had with  substantial savings.  That might keep you closer to your $1500 budget.  Look for "Buyer's Remorse" items at Chris Coffee and "Open Box" items at Seattle Coffee Gear (and I'm assuming other vendors would have something similar).

Posted December 23, 2012 link

I didn't see this when I posted before; thank you so much for sharing your experience. I've been looking more and more at the Rocket. It and the Andreja are basically at the same price point, and seem to have nearly identical features. I'm going to talk to my husband about how easy or hard it would be to plumb in a machine with a filter attached, since I vastly prefer filtered water for my coffee. That may end up being the deciding factor for me, we'll see. I won't be able to pull the trigger on a new machine until probably February/March, so sadly the after-Christmas returns will probably not help me, but I'll check them out. :)
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,278
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
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Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Wed Dec 26, 2012, 12:15pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading to HX or dual boiler machine
 

Charity, I dare say anyone who has a machine plumbed directly into the water supply has a filter and a water softener as well.  Look here for one example; it's what I use.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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__________
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Posted Wed Dec 26, 2012, 2:04pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading to HX or dual boiler machine
 

CharityV Said:

I'm going to talk to my husband about how easy or hard it would be to plumb in a machine with a filter attached, since I vastly prefer filtered water for my coffee. That may end up being the deciding factor for me, we'll see. I won't be able to pull the trigger on a new machine until probably February/March, so sadly the after-Christmas returns will probably not help me, but I'll check them out. :)

Posted December 26, 2012 link

A filter is definitely a good idea, and - to some extent depending on the type of pump in the machine you decide to buy - a pressure regulator may be also.  As to whether to have a softener as has been suggested - based on the recommendation from my machine's manufacturer - not necessarily.  

If you live in a soft water area as I do, the strong advice I received was not to soften further "just in case" as it can make the water Ph unstable (I'm guessing, over-acidic).

They provided a filter system with the machine (Brita professional), which can have either a softening filter or a simple filter installed in it, so I take their advice as being impartial and well informed, and have always installed/replaced with the latter type.

There is however, heaps of water-related information on this and other forums if you really want to dig into it to make a better informed decision....and have the time to do so ;o)

I don't know anything in detail about US domestic plumbing, but I'd guess that for anyone reasonably handy it would be easy to do provided you can get the water supply to the machine area, which is the problem many folk have.
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qualin
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qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 646
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Fri Dec 28, 2012, 12:20am
Subject: Re: Upgrading to HX or dual boiler machine
 

__________ Said:

A filter is definitely a good idea,

Posted December 26, 2012 link

I guess this depends on the circumstances. Just keep in mind, water filtration systems can do more harm than good if the filter isn't regularly changed.

The taste of the water itself can certainly affect the flavor of the coffee. If you like how your tap water tastes and you are on utility, I wouldn't see a need for a filtration system if
you need to install a water softening system. If one is on well water with a high sulfur content for example, then I can see the need for one being absolutely mandatory in addition to a water
softening system. I know a few people who have that issue.

Even though I've never had issues with debris coming through my own pipes here, I would have at least one of these systems in place, either a water softening or a filtration system.
Since a water softening system has to filter out plastic resins anyway, it should be good enough to filter out any debris coming through the pipes which could cause havoc with your machine.
Has anyone else on this board had issues with plastic resins getting into their machine at all?

__________ Said:

depending on the type of pump in the machine you decide to buy - a pressure regulator may be also.

Posted December 26, 2012 link

I would personally recommend sticking with a rotary pump machine if plumbing in is something you'd be thinking about later on. The cost difference to convert a vibe pump machine to plumbed-in
operation and to buy an additional pressure regulator is very close to what it would cost to buy a plumb-able rotary machine to begin with.

In my case, I was comparing a Quickmill Anita with a plumb-in kit and pressure regulator to a Quickmill Vetrano.. It didn't really make any sense from an economic point of view.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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__________
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Posted Fri Dec 28, 2012, 11:00am
Subject: Re: Upgrading to HX or dual boiler machine
 

qualin Said:

Just keep in mind, water filtration systems can do more harm than good if the filter isn't regularly changed.

Posted December 28, 2012 link

I think most folk would take the requirement to replace filters as a given. Helpfully, some machines can be set up to remind you to do so.


qualin Said:

I would personally recommend sticking with a rotary pump machine if plumbing in is something you'd be thinking about later on. The cost difference to convert a vibe pump machine to plumbed-in
operation and to buy an additional pressure regulator is very close to what it would cost to buy a plumb-able rotary machine to begin with.

Posted December 28, 2012 link

Depending on the type of rotary pump installed, you may still need a pressure regulator.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,278
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 Fri Dec 28, 2012, 12:14pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading to HX or dual boiler machine
 

Agreed.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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CharityV
Senior Member
CharityV
Joined: 8 Jul 2005
Posts: 176
Location: Oregon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Le'lit PL041
Grinder: Rocky DL
Roaster: SC/TO
Posted Sat Dec 29, 2012, 10:38pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading to HX or dual boiler machine
 

Wow. So I'm sure this is not the intent of any of these helpful posts, but I'm actually leaning towards a non-plumb-able machine just because plumbing it is starting to sound so complicated! And really, refilling the water reservoir is only a minor irritant for me, I suppose. But since it looks like we'll be staying in our house for the long haul, plumbing in made long-term sense.
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
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Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

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Posted Sat Dec 29, 2012, 11:03pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading to HX or dual boiler machine
 

Plumbing a machine is not that difficult at all. These two articles on my website document the planning and implementation of the system:
see: http://www.frcndigital.com/coffee/water1.html
   and:  http://www.frcndigital.com/coffee/water2.html

I used the same system as Jason linked above.

 
Visit My Website
www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
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