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Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Upgrade to Dream...  
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CarloM
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Joined: 1 Apr 2013
Posts: 332
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano V2B
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-E Type A, SJ...
Drip: Toddy
Posted Thu Apr 4, 2013, 3:03pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

Loved Blue Bottle when I had a conference in San Francisco, especially their mochas. Second only to Intelligentsia's mochas. The common thread? TCHO chocolate. Blue Bottle uses their drinking chocolate as a base with their latte to yield yummy goodness. Intelligentsia uses TCHO's cocoa bar (not sure the % of cocoa bar) melted in with cream and simple syrup as the base. Yielding even more creamy, yummy goodness.

So what did I do? I purchased the 3kg bag of TCHO drinking chocolate (to get free shipping) and do it the Blue Bottle way at home. I don't have the time, patience or equipment to break down cocoa bars with cream and simple syrup and keep that in a crockpot like container/dispenser to keep it hot for adding to 1-2 drinks a day. :D

So I use Intelligentsia Beans, TCHO chocolate and Blue Bottle's mocha procedure to yield a sort of hybrid Blue Intelligentsia Mocha.
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Jmanespresso
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Jmanespresso
Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 2,109
Location: Westchester NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto II
Grinder: Compak K10 - Vario
Vac Pot: Yama-SY5/SY8/TCA5
Drip: V60, Beehouse, CCD
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Fri Apr 5, 2013, 11:25am
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

CarloM Said:

Jmanespresso - thanks for the clarification that the Dream/Mini does not have a saturated group head, I've edited my previous list to strike that out. So now the question remains: is the grouphead as its deployed in the Mini/Dream superior, inferior, or comparable in terms of temperature stability and repeatability as the E61? Or is this a hotly contested question, like should toilet paper roll up or down when put on the TP roller?

Posted April 4, 2013 link

Superior?  Inferior?

Couldnt say.

I will say that when E61 DBs started to become popular, and more models became available, there was discussion about whether or not the E61 group was ideal for a dual boiler.  Its awesome for an HX, sure..  But does the technology translate when you DONT want the grouphead to heat up and cool down, but stay the same temperature?

And on the Vivaldi..  The one thing known about the Vivaldi, is it has a cold nose.  While its idling, the grouphead will cool down slightly compared to boiler temp.  After an idle period, you need to do two, 2oz flushes, to bring the grouphead up to temp.

For what its worth, based purely on taste, IVe been doing the same thing on my Duetto.  Two, 2oz flushes prior to the first shot, and then assuming Im pulling shots in succession(not trying to go back to back quickly, just havin a session making some coffee), I dont flush between shots past the first one.  Why do I do this?  Probably because I was used to doing it on the Vivaldi.  It seems to work well.


To be honest,both designs are solid, proven and effective.  My point was purely to make it clear that the Vivaldi does not utilize a saturated grouphead, which IS thought to be superior when it comes to stability and accuracy.  Id say aside from design differences, end of the day, both the Vivaldi and the Duetto are incredibly temp stable once you pull a flush or two.

 
Follow Your Bliss

Coffee makes your constantly overcome your prejudices and re-evaluate your own "received wisdoms" when it comes to judging cup flavors. -Tom Owen, SweetMarias
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CarloM
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Joined: 1 Apr 2013
Posts: 332
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano V2B
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-E Type A, SJ...
Drip: Toddy
Posted Fri Apr 5, 2013, 2:26pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

Thanks again Jman.

One question re: the cold nose. My workflow usually involves bringing my machine up to temp with the portafilter in place. Will this still require the flushes to get up to temp (or could I reduce it to one flush)? I currently do one with my Rancilio with the pf in place as its heating up to make sure all of the water in the boiler is hot and that it's filled (I flush out of the brew and wand). Then when it's back up to temp I remove and dry the PF, grind, tamp, and do a quick 1oz flush (pf has been dislodged for about a minute at this point) and then brew. I've largely been happy with that workflow but was hoping to reduce the number of flushes with a more prosumer style machine that I thought would have a more stable brewhead temp than my Silvia. At least I'll be able to abandon the pre-brew wand flush because it's on a separate boiler. I know I'll still want to do a quick wand flush before steaming to get rid of moisture, but it won't be the 2-3 oz that I do now on my SBDU machine preheat workflow.
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Jmanespresso
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Jmanespresso
Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 2,109
Location: Westchester NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto II
Grinder: Compak K10 - Vario
Vac Pot: Yama-SY5/SY8/TCA5
Drip: V60, Beehouse, CCD
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Fri Apr 5, 2013, 3:26pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

Hey man no problem, just glad I can shed some light on what you're interested in!  

I just want to make it clear, once again, that even though I do have a personal preference for one of these machines over the other one, that BOTH the Alex Duetto and the Spaziale Vivaldi, are solid machines.  Ive made great coffee with both, and would be happy to own either.  I am 100% confident, you will be thrilled with your Vivaldi(seems you're leaning that way?), to the point of being in a bit of shock when you first get set up.

A couple pluses for the Vivaldi.  1)It is vastly superior in terms of looking clean.  OMG, E61s get dirty so quickly, and the Duetto is the worst of the three E61s Ive owned.  Not because it gets any dirtier, but because its more cramped under the grouphead, so getting my big mitts in there with a towel, is annoying.  The Vivaldi?  A simple, single wipe of the button panel/front of the machine daily will keep it sparkling 24/7, and the back wall, being positioned as it is, doesn't "look" dirty until its dirty.  And 2), because of the buttons, volumetric dosing, and the overal design of the machine..  It feels like your using a machine like you'd see in a cafe.  The Vivaldi has a wonderful feel to it when your using it.  I loved being able to leave a small towel, folded up on the drip tray by the steam arm, and before every shot/after every shot, simply moving it right, then left, to clean the tray.  Not to say that the Duetto isn't wonderful to use, it IS indeed.  But so is the Vivaldi.


The workflow of the Vivaldi is simple.  A no brainer.  But flushing is required.  Heres what I suggest.

First, leave the machine on 24/7.  Its a commercial machine, fully designed to be left on 24/7/365.  I left mine on all the time, Ive left all my machines on all time, and many others do as well.  Timers are fine, but I prefer to leave mine on, so no matter what, whenever I want, I have a fully ready and waiting machine.  On the Vivaldi, you can just leave the steam boiler off when you're not using it in if you wish, but theres no reason you couldn't leave it on as well.  Not sure about the Mini, but on the regular Vivaldi, with an on and idling machine, the steam boiler will heat up in a few minutes.  So, assuming the machine is left on all the time...

Walk up to the machine/grinder area.

Flush 2oz of water from the group.

Prepare to grind your coffee.(Weigh your dose, add your beans if you single dose).

Flush another 2oz.

Remove the portafilter.

Grind, Dose, Tamp

Lock in the portafilter

Ensure the temperature lights are solid, not blinking(meaning its fully recovered from the flush), and pull your shot.


You want to only have the portafilter out of the group for as short a time as possible.  You should remove it, immediately fill it with coffee, and then do your distribution/tamping and get it back to the machine.  Dont rush and screw up the shot prep, but dont dilly dally either.

When the shot is done, remove the cup from the drip tray.

Unlock the portafilter, knock out the puck.

Using a grouphead brush, like the Pallo Tool, flush water through the grouphead, using the Pallo Tool to scrub the dispersion screen, and the portafilter basket.  Lock the portafilter back in.  
-You can do this quickly.  If im trying to do it as quickly as possible, I can use less then 2oz of water no problem.. but Ive done this exact thing, after every shot IVe pulled, for four years.  I know the exact movement of the brush and how to most effectively clean everything, as quick as possible.  But dont worry, even if you flush a couple ounces while doing this, the machine recovers quickly.

Now go your enjoy your shot.  Done correctly, the shot is only sitting about 30 seconds, which IMO, is right.  I always like to let my espresso settle slightly, before I drink.


Want to pull another?

Prepare to grind your coffee.

*Flush 2oz.  Remove the portafilter.*(see below)

Grind, dose, tamp.

Pull the shot.

Remove the PF, knock the puck, scrub the dispersion screen and portafilter basket while running water through the group.  Replace the PF.

**on Subsequent shots.. shots 2 and on, if you're pulling shots in a row.. like say you drank your first espresso, and now you want to pull another, you probably don't need to flush at all.  But maybe you took your espresso with you out on the porch, and stood out there for ten minutes.  Then yo come back, wanting another.  This way, you should flush for the second shot.



Heres the good news.  You cant screw up by flushing too much.  If you flushed 2oz before every single shot, nothing bad would happen at all.  You would want to pay attention to the lights on the panel, and make sure they're solid before you start the shot(and even then, the temp sensor is in the back of the boiler, way away from where the water exits and hits the coffee).  The group wont cool down while your standing there, drinking your espresso, and be too cool when you go to pull another.  But if you put ten minutes between shots, a quick flush to bring her back up to temp is a good idea.  If its 2 minutes, no flush needed.



Assuming the machine is NOT left on all the time:

If you are trying to force the machine to heat up by doing a bunch of flushes to get everything hot, and you've completed that, then no, you don't need to then do 2 more flushes on top of that.

If the machine has been on for 5 hours, or 45minutes, it doesnt matter.  You should always do 2, 2oz flushes after an idle period, to ensure you're getting the right temperature.

 
Follow Your Bliss

Coffee makes your constantly overcome your prejudices and re-evaluate your own "received wisdoms" when it comes to judging cup flavors. -Tom Owen, SweetMarias
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CarloM
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Apr 2013
Posts: 332
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano V2B
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-E Type A, SJ...
Drip: Toddy
Posted Fri Apr 5, 2013, 4:01pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

I am leaning toward the Spaz for the counter issue, but something interesting has arisen and I may be moving in the next couple of months (about the timeframe I put for buying the next-gen machine). So counter space may not be an issue moving forward, depending on the next place I live in. But the other bonuses you wrote about, easy cleaning, volumetric dosing are all pluses. Even though my Silvia has pushbuttons, I still have to turn it on/off and time the shot in my head. It would be nice not to always be counting 1...2...3...4 :D

Re: leaving it on 24/7 (even just brew boiler) does that eat up a lot of power? I'm trying to be both environmentally/power conscious as well as keeping an eye on electricity costs (they're pretty high in L.A.). Or conversely, is powering it on/off actually worse for the machine? I know some types of commercial equipment are actually meant to be left on and constant power cycling is not recommended, but I don't know if that's applicable to the Spaz/Duetto type of espresso machines.

And thanks again for that explanation of workflow behind the 2oz flushing. Extremely informative and helpful!
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JPF
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Joined: 3 Jun 2010
Posts: 223
Location: NJ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mini Vivaldi, Pre-millenium...
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Roaster: Behmor, Poppery I
Posted Fri Apr 5, 2013, 4:15pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

Jman, the mini steam boiler will also heat up in a few minutes.

Carlo, I haven't metered it in a while, but I think I remember using about $10 per month in electricity running 24/7 brew boiler only.

 
Living the caffeinated life.
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Jmanespresso
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Jmanespresso
Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 2,109
Location: Westchester NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto II
Grinder: Compak K10 - Vario
Vac Pot: Yama-SY5/SY8/TCA5
Drip: V60, Beehouse, CCD
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Fri Apr 5, 2013, 9:36pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

Figured heat up time was the same, just wasnt sure.

 
Follow Your Bliss

Coffee makes your constantly overcome your prejudices and re-evaluate your own "received wisdoms" when it comes to judging cup flavors. -Tom Owen, SweetMarias
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jurangwholesale
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Joined: 6 Apr 2013
Posts: 1
Location: Manchester, UK
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sat Apr 6, 2013, 2:47am
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

Hi I'm Corniel, the owner of Jurang Wholesale (Jurang Fair Trade). In noticed you linked to our site for pictures of the S1 Vivaldi.

Here's some pictures I just took of he grouphead of our demonstrator La Spaziale S1 Armonia. Not sure if useful or still wanted, but here's the links (sorry, tried to zip but failed):

http://www.jurang.co.uk/images/IMG_1353.JPG
http://www.jurang.co.uk/images/IMG_1354.JPG
http://www.jurang.co.uk/images/IMG_1356.JPG
http://www.jurang.co.uk/images/IMG_1357.JPG
http://www.jurang.co.uk/images/IMG_1358.JPG
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CarloM
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Apr 2013
Posts: 332
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano V2B
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-E Type A, SJ...
Drip: Toddy
Posted Sat Apr 6, 2013, 1:48pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

$10  a month doesn't sound too bad, if that's true then I'll probably be tempted to just leave it on all the time.

Is there no negative effect to keeping water hot at all times in the machine (in terms of taste of the water)? I ask because I really only brew maybe twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon (and maybe once after dinner if I'm entertaining guests). So that means water will likely be sitting in a hot boiler for about 10-14 (10 during the day, 14 overnight) hours between uses. Will this be a problem?
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Jmanespresso
Senior Member
Jmanespresso
Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 2,109
Location: Westchester NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto II
Grinder: Compak K10 - Vario
Vac Pot: Yama-SY5/SY8/TCA5
Drip: V60, Beehouse, CCD
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Sat Apr 6, 2013, 6:08pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

Shouldnt be an issue.  AND, if you do find that you are having an off taste in the water for brewing, the brew boiler is tiny on the Vivaldis, and is easy to completely refresh the boiler.  I thinks its like 450ml.  A couple flushes will have it completely refreshed.

But, shouldnt be an issue.  Even though I drink a good deal more espresso then most people, Im not consuming it constantly throughout the day.  Morning, afternoon, and evening.  Sometimes just afternoon and evening.   My machine sits for a handful of hours at a time, just on and ready.  I dont notice any off tastes.

 
Follow Your Bliss

Coffee makes your constantly overcome your prejudices and re-evaluate your own "received wisdoms" when it comes to judging cup flavors. -Tom Owen, SweetMarias
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