Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
Upgrade theory - Which machine next? And which one after that?
Commercial Equipment
Nuova Simonelli, La Marzocco, Rancilio. Nationwide installation. Instant financing options.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Upgrade theory -...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 4 of 9 first page | last page previous page | next page
Author Messages
Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,249
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Feb 21, 2013, 9:37pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade theory - Which machine next? And which one after that?
 

Maybe this website should change its name to Machine Geek.?????? LOL to funny.

D4F Said:

Is OP, Ever, still reading and getting something from this thread or we just talking with each other :)

Posted February 21, 2013 link

back to top
 View Profile Contact via ICQ Link to this post
JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,368
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 Feb 22, 2013, 7:12am
Subject: Re: Upgrade theory - Which machine next? And which one after that?
 

qualin Said:

I hope that made things a bit clearer. :-)

Posted February 21, 2013 link

Not really . . .

qualin Said:

I can certainly say from experience that a $300 grinder produces a very different coffee than what a $1100 grinder does.

Posted February 20, 2013 link

My point was that "different" does not equal "better," and yet few people would argue, I think, that a Rocky was the equal of a Mazzer-E, and I wanted to be sure of what you meant.

qualin Said:

I feel that a $500 machine requires a lot more work, knowledge and practice to pull the same shot that a $2500 machine will always pull without much effort, regardless.

Posted February 20, 2013 link

Here I would differ with you just a bit.  I think the operator -- the person pulling the shots -- needs to focus on his or her task just as much, whether they're using a manual lever, an SBDU, an HX, or a DB.  The skill sets vary, but one always needs to pay attention unless you have a super-automatic . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,953
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Feb 22, 2013, 9:40am
Subject: Re: Upgrade theory - Which machine next? And which one after that?
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

...I think the operator -- the person pulling the shots -- needs to focus on his or her task just as much, whether they're using a manual lever, an SBDU, an HX, or a DB.  The skill sets vary, but one always needs to pay attention unless you have a super-automatic . . .

Posted February 22, 2013 link

I couldn't agree more with this!  to say you don't have to do your job right with a HX or DB machine is ludicrous.  The conveneince of having a machine with better temp stability and recovery time is about all that is different.  Remember there are 4 (four) Ms required to produce espresso, and one of them is Mano...that doesn't change no matter how the other three are fulfilled.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,249
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Feb 22, 2013, 3:37pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade theory - Which machine next? And which one after that?
 

There are those with Classics and Silvia's who are making espresso as good as the 2k machines and just cant see why they need to upgrade for more control and consistant quality each time.
There are people here with two years experience who have a 2-3K machine listed as theirs in their profile who say the weirdest things and act like experts.
There are people who have BDB's and cant get into the elite status because of build quality, yet they can crank out perfect shots with continued control until their machines fail. There are those who use
lever machines who wouldn't consider any pump machine an upgrade. There are people who have two boiler machines who think an HX machine is a down grade.
If there is anything thats consistent its that everyone's journey is different and everyones idea of an upgrade is different. When issues arise is when people leave the connection between their personal
journey and get sucked up into the machine upgrade syndrome because they think its going to turbo boost their espresso light years into the future.
I guess one of my favorites is those who post those naked portafilter crema pulls and think they've arrived.  Frankly there are times I wonder if some people even have
the machine they list from the stupid stuff they say. But what I have to do is give them the benefit of the doubt. I think in the end there are a handful of regulars here who at least to me have demonstrated a certain level of
expertise so that I can I trust them. ( you know who you are). So is it wrong to just want an expensive machine because it a beautiful thing and you know that after you buy it
your espresso isnt going to taste like its 2000 dollars better but you just want it,well no its not. So buy one just because you like to look at it,project into it your feelings that your espresso is going to drastically improve,
but also be careful not to get lost. It happens so easy and thats why I think we have so many arguments about machines here  because people get so personally invested in them. "Well ya know you'd really kow good coffee
if you were just smart enough to use xy or z machine". "Oh Really". So where do the people with knowledge go around here...they become moderators in many cases. Of course even that has its exceptions for there are some who know a lot and aren't moderators.
In the end espresso is a personal subjective heart felt process really and when it becomes static through dogmatic ideas about machines or formulas at least for me it looses something.
I would love to get a rental car and tour those small towns in northern italy to see and taste how they do it.
back to top
 View Profile Contact via ICQ Link to this post
qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 649
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 Feb 22, 2013, 9:17pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade theory - Which machine next? And which one after that?
 

Iluvdabean Said:

There are those with Classics and Silvia's who are making espresso as good as the 2k machines and just cant see why they need to upgrade for more control and consistent quality each time.

Posted February 22, 2013 link

There was a person on this list recently who decided to consider upgrading their Rancilio Silvia after using one for 20 (!) years. I figured, for them, their machine must have just been good enough for what they were looking for.

Iluvdabean Said:

There are people here with two years experience who have a 2-3K machine listed as theirs in their profile who say the weirdest things and act like experts.

Posted February 22, 2013 link

Heh. Well, one of the best qualities of an individual is to be able to accept humility. I never really want to sound like a "Know it all", I just like to share my own experiences. I find that every day, I'm still
learning, which is why I like to post here to re-affirm my knowledge and get corrected when I'm not right. :-) So, I admit I really don't want to be one of "those" people!

Iluvdabean Said:

There are those who use lever machines who wouldn't consider any pump machine an upgrade.

Posted February 22, 2013 link

I got a strange vibe when I posted to the lever machines forum. It's as if they were almost outright discouraging me from considering getting a lever machine. I guess it's kind of like people who like
driving manual transmission cars over automatics. Until I have an Elektra Lever machine on my counter, I don't think I have any right to say anything about them. :-)

Iluvdabean Said:

There are people who have two boiler machines who think an HX machine is a down grade.

Posted February 22, 2013 link

Again, until I actually get my hands on an HX machine, I don't honestly think I have any right to say anything either. There were a few people on this list who chided me for commenting about HX machines
without actually owning one, so I can respect that point of view. So, I just generally leave the whole HX vs DB debate thing alone because I went on my own path and I'll just share what I know.

Iluvdabean Said:

If there is anything thats consistent its that everyone's journey is different and everyones idea of an upgrade is different.

Posted February 22, 2013 link

I don't think you could have said that any better. The posts I made above were my own personal opinions generated from my own experiences, they shouldn't be taken as fact.
I honestly thought my espresso tasted better AND different, when I went from a Rocky to a Mazzer. That was my own personal opinion.

I think part of the problem is that some people in the coffee world do suffer from "Audiophile" syndrome. Been there, done that. A $40,000 stereo (Not mine, but knew someone who had one)
sounds better because it is a psychosomatic thing. Tell them that your $2,000 audio system sounds just as good and they'll blow a fuse. (Been there, done that.) Replace their $150 per foot
speaker wire with coat hangers (Been there done that) after blindfolding them and hearing them say it sounds better, then watching them blow a fuse when they find out? Been there, Done that. :)

Taste is such a subjective thing. For me, I just wanted "Less fuss, Less Muss" and more convenience and consistency.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
back to top
 View Profile Contact via ICQ Contact via MSN Messenger Link to this post
MerleApAmber
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Nov 2012
Posts: 203
Location: Atlanta
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900
Grinder: Baratza Preciso + Esatto
Vac Pot: Yuma
Drip: bah-humbug
Roaster: Hot Top 2K P
Posted Fri Feb 22, 2013, 9:27pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade theory - Which machine next? And which one after that?
 

Iluvdabean Said:

I would love to get a rental car and tour those small towns in northern italy to see and taste how they do it.

Posted February 22, 2013 link

+1 Steve,
Sadly, it may be the closest many of us come to this is the reminiscence of David Schomer in his "Espresso Coffee Professional Techniques".

Yet, I can't help but think much of our jostling around equipment would be tempered a whole lot by opportunities in our local communities to come together in bean society.  Chances to have someone draw a shot with 'their' equipment, demonstrating the just subtle nuance they experience but have such a difficult time describing. As we all taste things differently, have different expectations of our instruments, and bring our widely different histories to the moment.  

I'd love to meet someone who, with an old *$s barista, or Delonghi "15 bar pump" machine using a normal basket, could pull god shot after god shot - just because he Knows his machine.  Just like I'd love to meet someone with a Speedster who shows it the same way my Grandpa showed off his favorite deep ocean fishing reel.

So, Upgrade theory to me is: Do what feels right today, enjoy tonight; figure out (if)/how you'd approach it different tomorrow... but remember there's tomorrow after that again too.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,249
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Feb 22, 2013, 9:48pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade theory - Which machine next? And which one after that?
 

I like to believe if we all got together we would be about the bean and respectful towards each other, enjoying what coffee is about. Coffee people Ive met who really love the bean
have that smile and exuberance to just share in the experience. Its a fellowship really. I am a huge fan of David Schomer myself and consider a person who has really pressed on.
Ive roasted his coffee and ordered lbs of it....still the best ive ever had.

MerleApAmber Said:

+1 Steve,
Sadly, it may be the closest many of us come to this is the reminiscence of David Schomer in his "Espresso Coffee Professional Techniques".

Yet, I can't help but think much of our jostling around equipment would be tempered a whole lot by opportunities in our local communities to come together in bean society.  Chances to have someone draw a shot with 'their' equipment, demonstrating the just subtle nuance they experience but have such a difficult time describing. As we all taste things differently, have different expectations of our instruments, and bring our widely different histories to the moment.  

I'd love to meet someone who, with an old *$s barista, or Delonghi "15 bar pump" machine using a normal basket, could pull god shot after god shot - just because he Knows his machine.  Just like I'd love to meet someone with a Speedster who shows it the same way my Grandpa showed off his favorite deep ocean fishing reel.

So, Upgrade theory to me is: Do what feels right today, enjoy tonight; figure out (if)/how you'd approach it different tomorrow... but remember there's tomorrow after that again too.

Posted February 22, 2013 link

back to top
 View Profile Contact via ICQ Link to this post
arrowroot
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2013
Posts: 1
Location: VA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Feb 23, 2013, 8:23am
Subject: Re: Upgrade theory - Which machine next? And which one after that?
 

I found the biggest difference for my experience wasn't upgrading machines (went from steam toy to super to Rocky/Silvia combo) but was roasting my own beans.  I'm certainly not an expert, but for me that was the biggest difference.  Would I notice a difference if I upgraded my grinder, or machine?  Probably, but I am happy with the equipment I have an enjoy perfecting my roasting technique.

The one thing I think that gets overlooked as while there are better bargains than Sylvia these days, I can't think of a machine that has easier part accessability and information for troubleshooting.  That was my driver for purchasing 4 years ago.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,368
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 Sat Feb 23, 2013, 5:58pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade theory - Which machine next? And which one after that?
 

qualin Said:

There was a person on this list recently who decided to consider upgrading their Rancilio Silvia after using one for 20 (!) years. I figured, for them, their machine must have just been good enough for what they were looking for.

Posted February 22, 2013 link

I'm not tht individual, but have a very similar story:  I upgraded from using a Coffee Gaggia -- identical to a Gaggia Classic but without hte 3-way solenoid -- for 25 years to a La Valentina to an Elektra . . . why?  Because I discovered this forum (and HB), and for the first time realized that "better was out there."

qualin Said:

I got a strange vibe when I posted to the lever machines forum. It's as if they were almost outright discouraging me from considering getting a lever machine. I guess it's kind of like people who like driving manual transmission cars over automatics. Until I have an Elektra Lever machine on my counter, I don't think I have any right to say anything about them. :-)

Posted February 22, 2013 link

I loved my manual transmission cars, and only got automatics when multiple knee surgeries made using a clutch pretty difficult.  But it's difficult to comment on things about which we know little, or nothing at all.  I started on a lever machine and had it for five years before I bought the Gaggia and happily gave my Pavoni to a friend.  But I missed the -- I don't know, "tactile intimacy" (?) -- one gets with a lever and so eventually bought an Arrarex Caravel.  But I still don't participate in the lever group -- I rarely use mine, save when I travel to Mexico.  OTOH, I'll readily admit that a part of me lusts after something like the second pic down, or even something like the pic at the end of this post.

qualin Said:

Again, until I actually get my hands on an HX machine, I don't honestly think I have any right to say anything either. There were a few people on this list who chided me for commenting about HX machines without actually owning one, so I can respect that point of view. So, I just generally leave the whole HX vs DB debate thing alone because I went on my own path and I'll just share what I know.

Posted February 22, 2013 link

I haven't owned a DB, but I've played with ones that others have owned.  It's two different ways of skinning the same cat . . . Heck, if all you want to make is straight espresso, a top quality SBDU like a QM Alexia will be fine!

qualin Said:

I honestly thought my espresso tasted better AND different, when I went from a Rocky to a Mazzer. That was my own personal opinion.

Posted February 22, 2013 link

I don't count my upgrade from a Gaggia MDF grinder to a Mazzer Mini, simply because I changed my espresso machine at the same time, and cannot quantify how much of the oh-my-God-what-an-improvement! should be "allocated to the La Valentina, and how much to the Mazzer Mini.  That said, it was like tasting a god shot for the first time.  In fact, it was my first god shot!

But that's the only time I've changed more than one piece of equipment at a time.  So my BIGGEST improvement -- in terms of changing equipment -- was to replace the Mazzer Mini with a Cimbali MaxHybrid.  I understand what you mean, Bud, completely.

qualin Said:

I think part of the problem is that some people in the coffee world do suffer from "Audiophile" syndrome. Been there, done that. A $40,000 stereo . . . Tell them that your $2,000 audio system sounds just as good and they'll blow a fuse.

Posted February 22, 2013 link

Some people will.  No doubt.  But I also have no doubt that my La Val was a quantum leap better in consistency and quality in the cup than my Gaggia Coffee . . .

Is my Elektra T1 better than my La Val?  Better in the cup?  Slightly, I think.  But it's -- again -- a giant leap forward in terms of ease of use (it's plumbed, it's drained; etc., etc.)  Is my Mahlköinig K30 Vario better in the cup than my Cimbali MaxHybrid?  Again, slightly but -- in this case -- definitely.  But in terms of ease of use, it's a quantum leap!  It's über-fast, supremely quiet, and VERY consistent.

qualin Said:

Taste is such a subjective thing.

Posted February 22, 2013 link

For everyone!  (Save for possibly an engineer or two . . . )

JasonBrandtLewis: FaemaMecurio.JPG
(Click for larger image)

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,249
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Feb 23, 2013, 9:48pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade theory - Which machine next? And which one after that?
 

Are you saying you cant get a god-shot ( subjective metaphor) with a Gaggia Classic or Silvia ? Did you really go 25 years until you first created a god-shot ( subjective metaphor)?


JasonBrandtLewis Said:

I'm not tht individual, but have a very similar story:  I upgraded from using a Coffee Gaggia -- identical to a Gaggia Classic but without hte 3-way solenoid -- for 25 years to a La Valentina to an Elektra . . . why?  Because I discovered this forum (and HB), and for the first time realized that "better was out there."

I loved my manual transmission cars, and only got automatics when multiple knee surgeries made using a clutch pretty difficult.  But it's difficult to comment on things about which we know little, or nothing at all.  I started on a lever machine and had it for five years before I bought the Gaggia and happily gave my Pavoni to a friend.  But I missed the -- I don't know, "tactile intimacy" (?) -- one gets with a lever and so eventually bought an Arrarex Caravel.  But I still don't participate in the lever group -- I rarely use mine, save when I travel to Mexico.  OTOH, I'll readily admit that a part of me lusts after something like the second pic down, or even something like the pic at the end of this post.

I haven't owned a DB, but I've played with ones that others have owned.  It's two different ways of skinning the same cat . . . Heck, if all you want to make is straight espresso, a top quality SBDU like a QM Alexia will be fine!

I don't count my upgrade from a Gaggia MDF grinder to a Mazzer Mini, simply because I changed my espresso machine at the same time, and cannot quantify how much of the oh-my-God-what-an-improvement! should be "allocated to the La Valentina, and how much to the Mazzer Mini.  That said, it was like tasting a god shot for the first time.  In fact, it was my first god shot!

But that's the only time I've changed more than one piece of equipment at a time.  So my BIGGEST improvement -- in terms of changing equipment -- was to replace the Mazzer Mini with a Cimbali MaxHybrid.  I understand what you mean, Bud, completely.

Some people will.  No doubt.  But I also have no doubt that my La Val was a quantum leap better in consistency and quality in the cup than my Gaggia Coffee . . .

Is my Elektra T1 better than my La Val?  Better in the cup?  Slightly, I think.  But it's -- again -- a giant leap forward in terms of ease of use (it's plumbed, it's drained; etc., etc.)  Is my Mahlköinig K30 Vario better in the cup than my Cimbali MaxHybrid?  Again, slightly but -- in this case -- definitely.  But in terms of ease of use, it's a quantum leap!  It's über-fast, supremely quiet, and VERY consistent.

For everyone!  (Save for possibly an engineer or two . . . )

Posted February 23, 2013 link

back to top
 View Profile Contact via ICQ Link to this post
showing page 4 of 9 first page | last page previous page | next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Upgrade theory -...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Cafe Espresso Machines
Video reviews, nationwide installation, leasing options... Nuova Simonelli, Rancilio, La Marzocco.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.64269900322)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+