Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
Italian Biscotti Cookies
Premium artisan quality Italian Biscotti cookies. Many flavors!
www.espressozone.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 to Dream...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 3 of 10 first page | last page previous page | next page
Author Messages
CSME9
Senior Member
CSME9
Joined: 26 Feb 2004
Posts: 272
Location: West Texas
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Tea, Rancilio Silvia,...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Drip: Moka Pot
Roaster: BBQ Roaster
Posted Thu Apr 4, 2013, 8:26am
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

Mathfuzzy Said:

This might elicit a huge "no duh" response, but I thought I'd share that I'm kind of shocked at how huge a positive difference my very new upgrade of both grinder and espresso machine represents.

I upgraded from an admittedly very tired (literally 20-year-old) Gaggia Classic and Pasquini Moka grinder to the new La Spaziale Dream T espresso maker and a Mazzer Mini electric (model B) grinder.  For the record, the Pasquini was / is probably fine as a general coffee grinder, but dealing with a doser turned out to be kind of a PITA and i now know that stepped adjustments on a grinder for espresso turns out to be less than ideal.  Specifically, in my case, the difference between one step and the next on the Moka respresented a 15-second double shot or a 35-second double shot.  Sure, I could have varied tamping pressure, but it's really nice to use the Espro tamper with a resulting consistent 30 pounds of tamping pressure.  And, although the Gaggia gave yeoman performance for a couple of decades, I realized it had several limitations relative to what I was asking of it.

The Dream T has no such limitations.  It's really nice to know that steam is ready and at the right temperature and in sufficient force whenever I want it.  Because I generally make milk (well...soy) drinks, this is a BIG deal and a huge improvement over the Gaggia.  After just a couple of days, i'm still adjusting to the difference in time to steam and change in technique; I basically have no time to think about what I'm doing and am having to learn new instincts and reactions.  It's completely fabulous and the resulting microfoam is great.  Once up to temperature, and now that i've programmed the various settings, the operation is pretty much dead simple.  It's actually a little anticlimactic; after the hour or so that it took me to get familiar with / configure the Spaz and dial in the Mazzer, there's not much to do except to make great espresso drinks.

Speaking of the Mazzer, it's looking to be a well worth it upgrade.  At first I was planning to stick with the Moka, but was so frustrated with the lack of fine adjustment on the morning that I placed the order for the Spaz that I pulled the trigger on the Mazzer as well.  I'm glad I did.  Being able to grind directly into the PF is really nice and it was a snap to find a grind that resulted in a 28 second double shot @ 30 lbs of pressure.  I kind of agonized over the A versus the B model, which turned out to be time poorly spent.  I can't comment on the superiority of one design over the other, but the B model works great, is perfectly intuitive, and looks nice.  It'd be great if it were exactly the same design, but weight-based, rather than timer-based.  But you can't have everything...

My better half, who isn't particularly mechanical but likes a good americano, reports that the new setup is quite easy to use.  Both of us are, however, adjusting to the size of the La Spaziale on the counter relative to the Gaggia.

The menu tree / setup of the Dream is fairly intuitive, which is nice.  The built-in timer is especially great.  My only wish list item would be wifi enablement and an app to adjust the timer / other menu items.  That might sound silly, but I travel regularly and don't have anything close to a regular schedule, so it would be great to be able to easily / remotely adjust the timer.

So, it's early days but I'm very happy with the upgrade and remain grateful to this forum for all of the helpful information I found here that influenced my research and ultimate decision.  My new espresso world is better, faster and easier!

Posted March 29, 2013 link

There were comments on the earlier Dream T's that the steam wand bracket where it enters the machine were wobbly and caused the arm to move back & forth. Is that the case,  has that been corrected on your machine ?

Thanks
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Mathfuzzy
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 18
Location: SF Bay Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Dream T
Grinder: Mazzer Mini E
Posted Thu Apr 4, 2013, 8:41am
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

CSME9 Said:

There were comments on the earlier Dream T's that the steam wand bracket where it enters the machine were wobbly and caused the arm to move back & forth. Is that the case,  has that been corrected on your machine ?

Thanks

Posted April 4, 2013 link

Mine is fine / good.  If anything, it's a little stiff, rather than wobbly.  It certainly stays where I put it and moves / operates as I'd expect it to.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
CarloM
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Apr 2013
Posts: 306
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano V2B
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-E Type A, SJ...
Drip: Toddy
Posted Thu Apr 4, 2013, 8:56am
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

Thanks for all of the additional information Mathfuzzy (and all other contributors). Now that I'm better informed, I am slowly but surely gaining all the information I need to make my decision. I did a little more research and it does seem that a plurality think the saturated group is a bit more stable and repeatable (temp wise) than an E61 group so that's a +1 in the Spaz's favor. The cabinets in my current place do not seem to be able to take the size of the Duetto III though I could do the furniture slider option and hope for the best. Otherwise the Spaz seems to be the way to go. To summarize, here's what I understand that I will gain/lose by going with the Dream T, please feel free to correct or comment on any of these points.

By going with the Dream T over the Duetto III:
  1. 53mm vs. 58mm - I'll lose my ability to use the VST. I'll get less diameter/surface area to brew group exposure, I'll have a deeper puck of coffee (may not be a bad thing as the VST is deeper than the standard Rancilio basket and I liked that flavor change). However I could mitigate the monetary loss by selling the Silvia PID w/ bottomless pf and VST basket, or take it into the office as a work machine.
  2. I will have to be plumbed in for the life of the machine. While the option to be plumbed in on the Duetto is appealing, I also worry about water hardness and the cost of installing and maintaining water filters and softeners versus buying Arrowhead water here which, from the L.A. source, measures out very soft according to their website (and I'll confirm with test strips). Plus I think the Dream T has a built in, replaceable water softener in the tank?
  3. I will be able to front-fill the Dream T water reservoir.
  4. Fit and Finish: The Dream T will be smaller and 10lbs lighter, and have plastic v. stainless steel. Fit and finish in favor of the Duetto, lighter and easier to clean in favor of the Dream.
  5. At least two people who sell and repair both machines have vouched for the internals being a bit better on the Spaz (not accepting this as gospel, just that Mathfuzzy and I have heard it from two different people on different coasts of the U.S. FWIW). I did ask Chris N. of CC and he said he felt there's no real discernible internal quality difference, so that's included here for full disclosure.
  6. Burn-me arm of Dream, versus no-burn on Duetto. General understanding is Spaz tend to have steam power for days and very dry steam?
  7. Built in timer and programmable doses vs. lever action and have to spend extra money on a timer.
  8. Potential controversy re: PID-like software in Dream's firmware (see s1cafe.com discussion on early problems, firmware updates). This is good and bad news: bad in that there are problems, good in that CCS seems committed to listening and updating firmware to fix.
  9. Both can run at 20amps by removing the 15amp adapter and flipping an internal switch.
  10. Both have large (for a niche market) fan bases who have had great results with both machines.
  11. Both have good reliability track records--all companies have a small % of lemons/problems but these two seem to be on par with each other.
    12. Benefit of saturated v. E61 group (debatable, but it's at least a tie if not potentially in favor of the Spaz)

Am I missing anything in my considerations? Given my cabinet height problem, plus the added cost of a timer for the Duetto washes out the added cost of a new bottomless PF for the Dream, I'm now firmly leaning back towards the Spaz. I'm still maybe 2-3 months away from pulling the trigger due to a recent major purchase, but when I do, I'm hoping that some of the firmware issues, and any major hardware issues, may have been ironed out in subsequent Dream shipments given how new it is. i'll be keeping a close eye on this forum, S1 and HB for any developments on both machines.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
JPF
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Jun 2010
Posts: 221
Location: NJ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mini Vivaldi, Pre-millenium...
Grinder: Dosered SJ, Resurrected...
Vac Pot: Yama Siphon
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: Behmor, Poppery I
Posted Thu Apr 4, 2013, 9:13am
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

CarloM Said:

53mm vs. 58mm - I'll lose my ability to use the VST. I'll get less diameter/surface area to brew group exposure, I'll have a deeper puck of coffee (may not be a bad thing as the VST is deeper than the standard Rancilio basket and I liked that flavor change).

Posted April 4, 2013 link

Chris just announced on Facebook he's introducing 53mm precision baskets (not VST though).

CarloM Said:

Burn-me arm of Dream, versus no-burn on Duetto. General understanding is Spaz tend to have steam power for days and very dry steam?

Posted April 4, 2013 link

I actually switched from the no-burn steam arm upgrade, back to the burn-me arm on my Mini.  It's so much easier to produce good microfoam on the burn-me arm IMHO.

 
Living the caffeinated life.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
CarloM
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Apr 2013
Posts: 306
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano V2B
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-E Type A, SJ...
Drip: Toddy
Posted Thu Apr 4, 2013, 12:25pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

JPF:

Great news about the precision 53mm baskets, hopefully they'll be close to or as good as VST.

re: Burn-me arm, just judging by the picture of the Dream T on the CCS site, it looks like the steam arm has that black rubber/plastic part indicating that is the only safe place to hold it, indicating it's a burn-me arm, right? Or is it no-burn and I'd have to pay extra to swap it out? Or am I reading your post incorrectly, that you paid to have the no-burn option, then switched back to the original burn-me? Sorry I'm just a little confused. :)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
JPF
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Jun 2010
Posts: 221
Location: NJ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mini Vivaldi, Pre-millenium...
Grinder: Dosered SJ, Resurrected...
Vac Pot: Yama Siphon
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: Behmor, Poppery I
Posted Thu Apr 4, 2013, 1:17pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

CarloM Said:

JPF:
re: Burn-me arm, just judging by the picture of the Dream T on the CCS site, it looks like the steam arm has that black rubber/plastic part indicating that is the only safe place to hold it, indicating it's a burn-me arm, right?

Posted April 4, 2013 link

Right, that looks like a burn-me arm.

CarloM Said:

Or am I reading your post incorrectly, that you paid to have the no-burn option, then switched back to the original burn-me? Sorry I'm just a little confused. :)

Posted April 4, 2013 link

I paid for the optional no-burn, but switched back to the burn-me one.

 
Living the caffeinated life.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
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 Thu Apr 4, 2013, 1:47pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

CarloM Said:

JPF: Or am I reading your post incorrectly, that you paid to have the no-burn option, then switched back to the original burn-me? Sorry I'm just a little confused. :)

Posted April 4, 2013 link

this.  They come with a non insulated stainless steel arm.  a popular mod, back a coupe years ago, was the no-burn.  Recently, it has been more widely agreed that, even though its nice to use cuz its super easy to clean, often, the steam is wetter.



I just want to make one comment with regards to that Article CliveCoffee wrote about saturated brew groups.

Its misleading.

The GS/3, and every other La Marzocco(And Synesso, Slayer and some Kees Van Der Westen machines), have saturated brew groups.  All generally based off of the La Marzocco design which debuted in the '70s, IIRC, on the GS series(The precursor to the GS/3, the GS and the GS/2 are now HIGHLY coveted machines).  Basically, the boilers and the grouphead are not two things bolted together, but one solid piece(or two pieces, depending on model) of steel which contains brewing water.  The grouphead itself is part of the boiler.  On the GS/3, you can see the neck coming off from the boiler.  Other La Marzoccos, this is all covered up.  I believe you can see it on the Strada machines too.

HEre is a Link to a product page with a couple pictures of just a boiler and grouphead.  Not fully assembled yet, but you can see how its completely 1 piece.  There really is no "boiler" and "grouphead".  Its the "Brewing Boiler".  Notice this one is welded to the boiler portion.  Older versions were bolted.


(...man you would not imagine how hard it is to find a good picture of the Vivaldi grouphead setup!....)

The Vivaldi isn't like this.  The grouphead and the boiler are two seperate things.  The brewing water does not circulate around and inside the brewhead.  there is a boiler, and a grouphead.

(Found one!)

Here is two pictures to show the difference.   The grouphead is bolted to the brewing boiler.  There is a solenoid which opens and closes to control the flow of water to the group(and also you can see where the pre-infusion chamber goes.  Tradaitionally this is used on the vibe pump models, because the rotary models have line-pressure pre-infusion that is variable.. BUT, you can put it on those too if you wanted)

As you can see, the Vivaldi doesn't truly have a saturated grouphead.  The GS/3, does.


My point here isnt to tell you not to get the Vivaldi.  Just don't base your decision on the thought that for about $2k, you're getting the temperature behavoir and stability of a La Marzocco.  Its two completely different technolgies at work here, and the Article is misusing a term to make the Vivaldi look like a better buy than the E61 DBs.  

Im not trying to sway you from the Vivaldi by saying its bad.  In my experience, the Vivaldi was a great machine.  IF thats what you want to get, GET IT!  It will serve you well, and the coffee will be wonderful.  Its a machine that you don't ever need to upgrade from.  The only upgrade from the Vivaldi, is a GS/3 or better.  Going to a Duetto or other E61 DB, isn't an upgrade.  ITs a pure lateral move.  The Vivaldi is a machien that will stay with you for plenty of time to come, AND, should you decide to upgrade to a Titan Conical grinder, its a machine which will truly allow the coffee to shine.  If the Vivaldi fits your kitchen better, then thats the machine you should get, pure and simple.

 
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
back to top
 View Profile Contact via AOL Instant Messenger Link to this post
Zevi
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Mar 2013
Posts: 112
Location: Ann Arbor
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Thu Apr 4, 2013, 2:20pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

Jmanespresso Said:

(...man you would not imagine how hard it is to find a good picture of the Vivaldi grouphead setup!....)

Posted April 4, 2013 link

I found this (scroll down), but it shows another handle even though it says "Vivaldi S1"

Click Here (www.jurang.co.uk)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
CarloM
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Apr 2013
Posts: 306
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano V2B
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-E Type A, SJ...
Drip: Toddy
Posted Thu Apr 4, 2013, 2:55pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

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?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Mathfuzzy
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 18
Location: SF Bay Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Dream T
Grinder: Mazzer Mini E
Posted Thu Apr 4, 2013, 3:23pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

Zevi Said:

I found this (scroll down), but it shows another handle even though it says "Vivaldi S1"

Click Here (www.jurang.co.uk)

Posted April 4, 2013 link

Wow - look at that.  Cool.  Thanks Zevi.

Carlo - catching up a little here.  As Jman says, the stock frothing arm will most definitely burn you if you either don't handle it via the black rubber thing or have the good sense to use a towel or something.  The good news is that it's easy enough to use the black rubber thing.

And, comparatively, the TP question is child's play.

Great news about the pending 53mm precision basket / shower screen offerings from CCS!

Finally, apropos of nothing on this thread (but thought I'd share), I tried some Blue Bottle Hayes Valley beans this morning and it made a fantastic triple shot latte!  My coffee quality of life has experienced big improvements in the last week.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 3 of 10 first page | last page previous page | next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Upgrade to Dream...  
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.
Saeco Espresso Machines
Large selection in-stock, includes Free Gifts and Free Shipping!
www.espressozone.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. (0.517374038696)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+