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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
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Apr 2013
Posts: 321
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano V2B
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-E Type A, SJ...
Drip: Toddy
Posted Sat Apr 6, 2013, 11:23pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

Cool, so no issues with leaving it on 24/7 if I choose to do so.

Do you use filtered and softened water? I use regular Brita on my Silvia but in a bout of paranoia, I will be following Chris Coffee's advice and using softened water for whatever next-gen espresso machine I buy. I know that the Dream has a built in softener that needs replacing, but I've researched the wells Arrowhead uses near So Cal and if their website numbers are to be believed it should be around 2-3 grains of hardness if my calculations are correct.

Also, you mention a tiny brew boiler on the Dream, is this going to be a problem when brewing multiple drinks in a row? Or is the heating element so powerful that it really doesn't matter?
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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 Sun Apr 7, 2013, 1:28pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

No, no problem.  The element is basically oversized for the boiler, it recovers very quickly.  Unless you prep a bunch of baskets ahead of time, in normal use, you will probably never outrun the machine.


As for water, personally, since Im running on tank mode currently, I use poland spring.  Simply because its easy.   But for plumbed in, softened and filtered is the way to go it seems.  The setup from Chris coffee is what I used when I ran my Vivaldi plumbed in.

 
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: 321
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano V2B
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-E Type A, SJ...
Drip: Toddy
Posted Sun Apr 7, 2013, 9:47pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

Cool, I'll be plumbed in for the foreseeable future. I'll keep a close eye on the bottled water company's statement of mineral content and hardness (and invest in some test strips or kit). I'm hoping if the water is soft enough I won't have to change that built-in filter that often in the Spaz.

I'm getting really excited with anticipation. I was going to wait until my move, but I recently got a credit card offer with 18 mos. zero APR and $250 back after spending a grand (which either the Spaz or Duetto will easily surpass), so now I'm really, really interested in buying a machine sooner rather than later.

If I go Spaz, I'll go:
Dream T 15amp with converter cord
Bottomless Portafilter
Preinfusion Chamber (I assume CCS will install this for me? For a fee?)
53mm tamper (should I go Espro calibrated?)

Then I'll get the 53mm precision baskets when they're available (and maybe the screen from the same company?)

Am I missing anything else? I already have a Mazzer Mini, rubber tamp pad, knock box, pitchers and cups.
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JPF
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Jun 2010
Posts: 223
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 Mon Apr 8, 2013, 9:33am
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

Sounds like you'll be good-to-go.  BTW, I prefer a convex tamper with the 53mm portafilter.  I don't know if that's the concensus, but I have 2 flat tampers (one a Reg Barber) and a convex Thor I lucked into on buy/sell here.  I feel I get the best shots from the convex.

What I've done, and number of folks I've seen on HB, is hooked the CCS filter/softener to a dedicated tap on the sink.  You have all the filtered/softened water you want, with the bonus of great water for drinking and cooking.

John

 
Living the caffeinated life.
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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 Mon Apr 8, 2013, 8:01pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

That sounds like a good purchase list.  I wouldn't bother with the Espro, PERSONALLY.  If you like it, get it.  It certainly won't hurt anything.   Tampers are definitely Barista Jewerly, the more expensive ones are just nice things to own.. they're not any more functional than the cheap 20-30 dollar Rattleware ones.(Which are quite hefty, fyi)


I do generally prefer a convex tamper.  On my duetto, Ive been using a flat lately, but for the longest time, I used ONLY convex.  I do think its a little bit easier to tamp evenly with the convex.  

They'll install the pre-infusion chamber for you, I THINK for free.

 
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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SSgt93
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Apr 2013
Posts: 56
Location: USA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Wed Apr 10, 2013, 3:08pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

Does the Duetto 3.0 take pods, that is the real question!! LOL (kidding).  This is a great thread.

To confirm, the Dream T has a built in timer, is that correct?

Jmanespresso, I have noticed your extremely informative posts throughout this forum and I enjoy reading them, thank you in helping me with my decision.

I am leaning towards both of these machines (Duetto 3.0 & Dream T).  I wish the Dream T had the option to be plumbed, but it isn't going to happen. I do like the front load for water, not having to remove the cups to fill with water, and low profile of the Dream T.  It's ashamed the design would be hidden between a fridge and a sink in my house.  The Dream T will fit better than the Duetto 3.0.  Being as I have had several shoulder surgeries, moving wither of these machines often is not something I want to do.   In order to pull the tank out of the Duetto 3.0, I would have to move it.

I spoke with Ken at Clive (repair guy, extremely helpful) and he speaks wonders about the Dream T system as well as the Duetto, but seems to favor the La Spaziale system for sure.  At this point I could flip a coin and probably be happy and may do so.  I'm pretty sick of all the time I am putting into research.  This forum has been a huge help in narrowing down my decisions and I appreciate it.
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CarloM
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Apr 2013
Posts: 321
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano V2B
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-E Type A, SJ...
Drip: Toddy
Posted Thu Apr 11, 2013, 7:53am
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

Ssgt93 - wonder if it's the same guy from Clive that Mathfuzzy talked to. In my web research I've seen opinions ranging from the internals and build quality being equal to perhaps a slight edge to the Spaz. Nothing necessarily wrong with the Alex, just that the Vivaldi/Dream line may have inherited a few things from Spaz's "professional" line.

I'm exactly where you are: on the surface I'd like 58mm. I have a bunch of 58mm accessories already that I don't want to re-purchase, and although I've read comments that the 53mm can be its equal, I've not read once that says 53mm is better, and there's something comforting about having decades of tried-and-true experience with the 58mm size and having tons of accessories to choose from. The new 53mm precision baskets and shower screens soon to be coming from CCS may slowly change that.

I also would ideally want the option to plumb in and the rotary pump, which the Alex has. But again, I've read that the Spaz's vibratory pump is nearly as quiet as the rotary, and performs as well. There's no way to get around the Spaz's hard choice for water: you either have to plumb in or use the tank, and you're choice is frozen with your $2K purchase. That's the biggest downside to me for the Spaz.

However with my cabinet situation only accommodating the Spaz, and the other things the Spaz has going for it, I think my hand will be forced in that direction. I do primarily make lattes and capps, so the testimony I've read is that both have tons of steam power, but if hard pressed most people say the Spaz has a little more power and a little bit drier steam, which are both very important in my quest to make latte art microfoam. :D
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JPF
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Jun 2010
Posts: 223
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 11, 2013, 8:51am
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

CarloM Said:

although I've read comments that the 53mm can be its equal, I've not read once that says 53mm is better, and there's something comforting about having decades of tried-and-true experience with the 58mm size and having tons of accessories to choose from. The new 53mm precision baskets and shower screens soon to be coming from CCS may slowly change that.

Posted April 11, 2013 link

Carlo, the 53mm might be better for the traditional 14g italian double.  There has to be a reason by La Spaziale chose this group for all their machines.  And the Italian machines are made with the standard italian dose in mind.  It's just my opinion, and I haven't owned a 58mm group machine.  It just makes sense that at a lower dose, the thicker pick might be more forgiving and extract different flavors.

OTOH, if you want to play with updosing too much, keep in mind that the 53mm becomes a challenge.  I've defaulted to about 15g doubles unless the coffee demands otherwise, and I'm very happy.  Right now I'm pulling 19g full ristretto Redline, 93C in the triple basket because that's the only way I've found I like the coffee.

I know Jman mentioned here and elsewhere that he routinely put 18g in his 53mm double, but I can't, and he's definitely in the minority.  21g of Redline (their recommended dose) was too much in my triple.  The shot was side channeling something fierce.  Just something to keep in mind when making your decision.  However, if you don't mind the smaller doses, it's ridiculously easy to walk up to the Spaz and pull a great shot.  There's something about the work area/thermal stability/etc inherent in the design that makes it that way.  I added lights to mine, which is also fantastic, and that's standard on the Dream/Dream T.

John

 
Living the caffeinated life.
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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 Thu Apr 11, 2013, 9:06am
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

SSgt93 Said:

Does the Duetto 3.0 take pods, that is the real question!! LOL (kidding).  This is a great thread.

To confirm, the Dream T has a built in timer, is that correct?

Jmanespresso, I have noticed your extremely informative posts throughout this forum and I enjoy reading them, thank you in helping me with my decision.

I am leaning towards both of these machines (Duetto 3.0 & Dream T).  I wish the Dream T had the option to be plumbed, but it isn't going to happen. I do like the front load for water, not having to remove the cups to fill with water, and low profile of the Dream T.  It's ashamed the design would be hidden between a fridge and a sink in my house.  The Dream T will fit better than the Duetto 3.0.  Being as I have had several shoulder surgeries, moving wither of these machines often is not something I want to do.   In order to pull the tank out of the Duetto 3.0, I would have to move it.

I spoke with Ken at Clive (repair guy, extremely helpful) and he speaks wonders about the Dream T system as well as the Duetto, but seems to favor the La Spaziale system for sure.  At this point I could flip a coin and probably be happy and may do so.  I'm pretty sick of all the time I am putting into research.  This forum has been a huge help in narrowing down my decisions and I appreciate it.

Posted April 10, 2013 link

Just so you know, any E-61 can take pods.  There are adaptor baskets, and then there is also a grouphead kit to make the machine better with pods.. but in stock form you can get something passable, with pods, on an E61.  I suggest staying FAR away from pods.

Im just glad I can be of help.  I was once where you were, and I got tons of help from the senior members back then.


Just so you know, you're not going to remove the tank to fill it.   Pretty much, the "right way" to do it, is use a pitcher or other vessel, and fill the tank with it in the machine.  I take mine out when I feel it start to get slick inside.  I run my fingers along the inside each time I fill up, and when it has the slightly slick feeling, I take it out, hit it with simple green and hot water, rinse, and then return to service.  Otherwise, the tank doesn't come out of the machine.  Espescially on the Duetto 2, the tank is a pain to get out.  They really kicked up the fit and finish on the version 3, so its probably just slides in and out, but, its just easier to fill it with it in the machine.   IF you have cabinets in the way, pull the machine out best you can, and use a beer-bong type setup.  Funnel and tube.  shouldnt be more then 10 bucks to put together at home depot or auto-zone.


But all this is certainly not as easy as the Vivaldi/Dream setup, which is wonderful for under the cabinets.  And DBs dont use a ton a water for flushing, so once you get your routine more comfortable and you're not using a lot of water to clean baskets after the shot, you will waste very little.

 
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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SSgt93
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Apr 2013
Posts: 56
Location: USA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Thu Apr 11, 2013, 9:19am
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

CarloM Said:

Ssgt93 - wonder if it's the same guy from Clive that Mathfuzzy talked to. In my web research I've seen opinions ranging from the internals and build quality being equal to perhaps a slight edge to the Spaz. Nothing necessarily wrong with the Alex, just that the Vivaldi/Dream line may have inherited a few things from Spaz's "professional" line.

I'm exactly where you are: on the surface I'd like 58mm. I have a bunch of 58mm accessories already that I don't want to re-purchase, and although I've read comments that the 53mm can be its equal, I've not read once that says 53mm is better, and there's something comforting about having decades of tried-and-true experience with the 58mm size and having tons of accessories to choose from. The new 53mm precision baskets and shower screens soon to be coming from CCS may slowly change that.

I also would ideally want the option to plumb in and the rotary pump, which the Alex has. But again, I've read that the Spaz's vibratory pump is nearly as quiet as the rotary, and performs as well. There's no way to get around the Spaz's hard choice for water: you either have to plumb in or use the tank, and you're choice is frozen with your $2K purchase. That's the biggest downside to me for the Spaz.

However with my cabinet situation only accommodating the Spaz, and the other things the Spaz has going for it, I think my hand will be forced in that direction. I do primarily make lattes and capps, so the testimony I've read is that both have tons of steam power, but if hard pressed most people say the Spaz has a little more power and a little bit drier steam, which are both very important in my quest to make latte art microfoam. :D

Posted April 11, 2013 link

Ken at Clive is the mech there and an extremely knowledgable individual. I'm pretty sure Mathfuzzy spoke with him as well.  Ken loves the Spaz and is not afraid to tell you.  He spoke highly of the Duetto 3.0 as well.

With that being said, I was advised that there have been some issues with the Dream T control panel, but that the new shipment that just arrived in the US should be fixed.  I was told that since all of the kinks may not be worked out yet, The Vilvaldi II, which is tried and proven, may be the better option (internals are the same on both machines though).  Since their warranty is so good, it may be worth the chance on the Dream T IMO. I also want the built in timer.  I would use the heck out of it.

I may flip a coin at this point as to which machine I get.  I know I will be happy with the Duetto 3.0, or a La Spaziale machine.  I could care less about the brew head size.  I do love all the stainless on the Alex though. The ability to plum would be great, but not a necessity. The Spaz is truly a commercial system but I hate the sound of a vibration pump.  It reminds me of an air compressor.  Who has a quarter!?
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