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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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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, 9:31am
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

Jmanespresso Said:

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.

Posted April 11, 2013 link

I literally was joking about the pod thing. I would never use them.  I figured it would get a chuckle or two from members here.

I have  a commercial faucet pre-rinse so I can move it over to fill the Duetto or Spaz, no problem and no need for a funnel etc.  It's just that if I have to remove the tank for a clean etc once in a while, it's not going to be fun as the whole machine will have to be moved, and to the left will be a sink, and to the right a fridge.  There will be little room for movement.
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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, 11:57am
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

I'm not wedded to playing with updosing. i was just unhappy with the quality I was getting from the standard Rancilio basket, but that may completely change with the 53mm basket from the Spaz. I'm all about the taste of the shot, I don't care if it's with 15/18/20 grams. I know that I've had a shot pulled from a Spaz VII that I've found really compelling, and it was with home roasted beans so I can't imagine how good and rich my Black Cat would taste coming out of it (or out of a Duetto for that matter).

Jman, thanks for reminding me that if I went with the Duetto I wouldn't have to pull the tank out all the time - it's easy for me to lose sight of the fact that we really only need to take it out to clean it. However my current workflow involves a Brita pitcher, so to accommodate the taller Duetto I'd have to pour from the Brita to a smaller/shorter source, then to the Alex, so it's still less than optimal. I think the Duetto would give me about 2" of clearance, yikes!

That said, as I mentioned I'm about 2 months away from purchasing. There is about a 75% likelihood of an apartment move. So if my new place doesn't have the counter height limitation I may be back on the fence, but as of now I'm a definite lean towards the Spaz.

I too have heard that there are bugs that need to be worked out in the Dream. But I find that built-in timer compelling. Any savings from buying a VII would be washed out by buying a timer. I'm hoping that in June (likely my month of purchase) CCS will have the next shipment from Spaz which will hopefully contain even more fixes/refinements, as well as newer firmware.
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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 13, 2013, 2:24pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

I figured you were joking about the pods, I DID chuckle.. but I said to myself..  hmm...mayyybe he isn't....

Heh, anyway..


I know you guys are both undecided as to which machine to choose.  Hell, I would be too.  The way I came to own both of these, just worked out.  The Vivaldi literally fell into my lap.  A buddy emailed me, asking me questions about some 58mm baskets I liked, because he was selling his Vivaldi and going to a 58mm machine.  So, I answered his questions about the baskets, and THEN POUNCED on the Vivaldi.  "Whatre you doing, you selling it?  How much? Can I have it?".   I was considered the Vivaldi II, or the Alex Duetto(The original one, which compared to what the machine is now, was almost a totally different machine.  Compared to V1 Duetto to the V3..  Its a serious upgrade), and so, when a Vivaldi just came up and was available from a fellow coffeegeek at a hell of a price, I took it as fate and bought it.

No regrets either, my time with the Vivaldi was well enjoyed.  I bought a Macap MXKR at the same time-ish.  It was a wonderful machine to own.  I had to move the machine to a non-plumbed area, and was forced to sell the Vivaldi.  Thats why when I was ready to buy another DB, I took the Duetto.  1)I had always wanted the Duetto, ever since the V1 debuted.  2)I already owned a Vivaldi, and wanted to stay 58mm this time.

If I had to flat out choose which one to buy, without having owned either of them, OR any other similar quality machines..  Id be so lost.  The machines are very different, but they're SO much the same as well.  Its crazy.




Anyway.. my point.

-If there is any possibility you can plumb in the machine, do it.  Do not think twice, do not think its not a big deal.. trust me.. plumbing in an espresso machine is literally the number 1 thing you can do to improve your experience.  I literally cant tell you in words how wonderful it is to be plumbed in.

Ask anyone.. EVERYONE who has a plumbed in machine.  They will tell you the same thing Im telling you.  If you can plumb in, plumb 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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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 Sat Apr 13, 2013, 2:30pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

Jmanespresso Said:

I figured you were joking about the pods, I DID chuckle.. but I said to myself..  hmm...mayyybe he isn't....

Heh, anyway..


I know you guys are both undecided as to which machine to choose.  Hell, I would be too.  The way I came to own both of these, just worked out.  The Vivaldi literally fell into my lap.  A buddy emailed me, asking me questions about some 58mm baskets I liked, because he was selling his Vivaldi and going to a 58mm machine.  So, I answered his questions about the baskets, and THEN POUNCED on the Vivaldi.  "Whatre you doing, you selling it?  How much? Can I have it?".   I was considered the Vivaldi II, or the Alex Duetto(The original one, which compared to what the machine is now, was almost a totally different machine.  Compared to V1 Duetto to the V3..  Its a serious upgrade), and so, when a Vivaldi just came up and was available from a fellow coffeegeek at a hell of a price, I took it as fate and bought it.

No regrets either, my time with the Vivaldi was well enjoyed.  I bought a Macap MXKR at the same time-ish.  It was a wonderful machine to own.  I had to move the machine to a non-plumbed area, and was forced to sell the Vivaldi.  Thats why when I was ready to buy another DB, I took the Duetto.  1)I had always wanted the Duetto, ever since the V1 debuted.  2)I already owned a Vivaldi, and wanted to stay 58mm this time.

If I had to flat out choose which one to buy, without having owned either of them, OR any other similar quality machines..  Id be so lost.  The machines are very different, but they're SO much the same as well.  Its crazy.




Anyway.. my point.

-If there is any possibility you can plumb in the machine, do it.  Do not think twice, do not think its not a big deal.. trust me.. plumbing in an espresso machine is literally the number 1 thing you can do to improve your experience.  I literally cant tell you in words how wonderful it is to be plumbed in.

Ask anyone.. EVERYONE who has a plumbed in machine.  They will tell you the same thing Im telling you.  If you can plumb in, plumb in.

Posted April 13, 2013 link

I am once again leaning towards the E-61 DB systems after more extensive research. I really wish the Duetto 3 was just a little bit thinner, but it is close to being my top pick.  I keep leaning towards the R58 for some reason.  I do like the PID that can be removed and is hidden, but with the price difference, it just may not be worth it, unless I can get a deal. Your post, as always, is appreciated and helpful. Thank you.
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calehman7
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Dec 2012
Posts: 13
Location: Longview, TX
Expertise: Just starting

Grinder: Vario Virtuoso w/ Esatto
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-5
Drip: Hario V60/Bonmac with...
Roaster: Cuisinart Pop Corn Popper
Posted Sat Apr 13, 2013, 10:09pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

Very useful information from all. Thank you...

There is the question of the amount of noise coming from a vibratory pump vs. a rotary pump. Has anyone used a sound level meter to compare the decibel levels between the two? CCS write that the vibratory on the Spaz is "extremely quiet". I would be interested in the difference in sound level.
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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 Sun Apr 14, 2013, 8:07am
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

calehman7 Said:

Very useful information from all. Thank you...

There is the question of the amount of noise coming from a vibratory pump vs. a rotary pump. Has anyone used a sound level meter to compare the decibel levels between the two? CCS write that the vibratory on the Spaz is "extremely quiet". I would be interested in the difference in sound level.

Posted April 13, 2013 link

The difference between a vibration pump and rotary in noise is unreal, however; the vibration pump in the Spaz is allegedly a little softer on the ears. There is a youtube video of a guy using a vibration and rotary pump on the Rocket line.  The difference in noise is significant.
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calehman7
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Dec 2012
Posts: 13
Location: Longview, TX
Expertise: Just starting

Grinder: Vario Virtuoso w/ Esatto
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-5
Drip: Hario V60/Bonmac with...
Roaster: Cuisinart Pop Corn Popper
Posted Sun Apr 14, 2013, 6:19pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

I think I found that video that you were talking about...http://youtu.be/PCzwAKxYubI

Now, to find a video comparing what was in the video to the La Spaziale...

Thank you for pointing me in the right direction.
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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 Sun Apr 14, 2013, 8:27pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

calehman7 Said:

I think I found that video that you were talking about...http://youtu.be/PCzwAKxYubI

Now, to find a video comparing what was in the video to the La Spaziale...

Thank you for pointing me in the right direction.

Posted April 14, 2013 link

Yes, that is the video. I would have linked it for you but I was mobile.  From the video's I have seen, it appears the Spaz vibration pump is quieter, but off of video with no experience, I am guessing really. I was shocked watching the Rocket video with the two types of pumps at how quiet the R58 is.  I have an air compressor in my garage (vibration pump) and want to keep it there.

On a side note, I have researched everything from the Silvia to the Gaggia Accademia super auto and am sick of researching.  I could go in several directions, but I really only drink Espresso's and Americano's. I could use an Americano now :)
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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 Mon Apr 15, 2013, 9:13am
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

Thanks again for all of your useful info and experience Jman. It will all be determined by my next place: if I can be plumbed in I would, but really in an apartment setting where you don't have full control of what you can/can't do, I may not have a plumb-in option. Also, West Los Angeles apartments tend to be really small, so the added height/size of the Duetto really does work against me, and I'll be living in this area for the foreseeable future. In fact, the main reason I'd move away would be a significant pay raise, at which point I'd probably sell the Spaz/Duetto that I will be buying for a GS/3. :D

Re: noise, from what I hear the vibratory pump on the Dream T/Mini VII line is supposed to be very quiet. Like near-rotary-pump quiet. Anything would be an upgrade from my Silvia. Funny thing is: I have an SPL meter, but neither machine. Whichever machine I do buy, I'll take a reading and post it here.

And I'm really now valuing dry and powerful steam, which most people have said slightly (or in some testimonials more than slightly) favors the Spaz. Here's why. I have in the last few months been paying very close attention to the steaming techniques to get fine microfoam at my local coffee shops (Intelligentsia, which I think uses a La Marzocco, Coffee Tomo which does use a LM, and Espresso Profeta which uses a Synesso). All of them have powerful, dry, four-hole tip machines. None of them put nearly the amount of effort to try and get microfoam that I do (stretching the milk, working it to a swirl, etc.). They basically dip the wand, turn the steam on, keep a hand on the side to read milk temp, and then stop the machine. Perfect microfoam every time, all locations. This weekend I went to the Inland Empire and went to two new shops: Klatch Coffee in Upland and Augie's in Redlands (both awesome BTW). Both of them also put very little effort in getting microfoam. In fact at Augie's, which uses a LM, the guy put the wand in the pitcher, turned on the steam, and leaned the pitcher on the drip tray against the wand (taking his hands completely off so he could do something else) and came back and had perfect microfoam. He didn't even touch the pitcher while steaming.

So now I'm convinced that microfoam, while it can be had from lesser machines by "working the milk and improving your technique" can basically be done very easily by having a machine that has powerful dry steam, and a four-hole tip (which I think all of these shops had because I made a point to watch them do a steam flush to get milk remnants out of the wand and saw the telltale four-direction steam ejection).

Latte art--that's still due to the skill of the barista. :)
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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 Mon Apr 15, 2013, 9:28am
Subject: Re: Upgrade to Dream T / Mini E - Completely Worth It
 

Hey Carlo - sounds like a good coffee weekend.

So, just to ring in on the noise from the Spaz vibe pump - i have no reference point to how loud or quiet a rotary pump is, but the vibe isn't bothersome.  As others have noted, the grinder makes way more noise than the pump on the machine.  In any case, I remember being a little concerned about it before getting the machine, and after having the machine, it's a non-issue.

Also, with respect to the quality and ease of microfoam, i think you're right on.  Likewise with respect to latte art; so far i'm good at making a broccoli and crop circles : )
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