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Looking at a new machine
Rocket R58 Double Boiler
Rocket Espresso R58 Double Boiler -  Everything you need for the perfect shot!
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cybermaniac
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Dec 2011
Posts: 53
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Apr 19, 2013, 12:37pm
Subject: Looking at a new machine
 

Hey guys,

Currently I have a Gaggia Classic with a PID.

Fantastic machine for what it is, but I feel that soon I'll want to upgrade it to something better.

I've been looking at different machines, and I know that I would want either a Dual Boiler or an HX machine.

I'm thinking that HX will be better on the wallet, for not much difference (at home).

I've been dreaming about the Rocket R58, but in all honesty, I don't think I'll be able to afford it, nor would I be able to justify it for home use.

I think a realistic budget would be 1000-1400 (first or second hand). I do a lot of milky drinks, and would prefer an E61 brew head (already got the bottomless portafilters etc).

What would you guys recommend?
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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 Fri Apr 19, 2013, 12:39pm
Subject: Re: Looking at a new machine
 

I really liked the looks of the R58 as well, but my wife didn't. It's also pricey for what it is and compared to others (Duetto 3.0 etc).  If I were to go with an E61, it would have been a Duetto 3, or the QM67 (best bang for the buck for E61 I believe). I opted for the La Spaziale Mini with Walnut sides, now the wait! Best of luck in your research.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,172
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Apr 19, 2013, 1:27pm
Subject: Re: Looking at a new machine
 

I think you still need to decide between HX and DB for starters.  This is very important.  It has to do with how you intend to use the machine, and we can't help you decide that part.  For instance, look at cars...do you prefer a manual or automatic transmission, and why?  HX machines are more versatile if one wanted to compare shots at different temperatures, side by side. DB machines automate temperatuire control at the brew group.  This is an oversimplification...in an attempt to get you to understand that they are simply not interchangeable.  Though DB machines are more expensive on average, they are not "better" on average, and the decision which to buy ought to be made consciously (rather than whichever looks better on my counter at x price).

Then figure out what other features are/are not important to you.  We can help you a lot with this.  ask lots of questions, so people who have these machines can chime in with opinions/experiences that will help you decide.

Do you plan to plumb in the machine?

Seems reasonable to want to upgrade given you make mostly milk-espresso drinks.  How about your grinder?  What do you have?

Regarding the Rocket..I have no idea why you wouldn't be able to justify getting it for home use?  I mean, it's not a 2 or 3 group commercial machine.  It's designed for light commercial or high end home use.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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cybermaniac
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Dec 2011
Posts: 53
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Apr 19, 2013, 1:42pm
Subject: Re: Looking at a new machine
 

emradguy Said:

I think you still need to decide between HX and DB for starters.  This is very important.  It has to do with how you intend to use the machine, and we can't help you decide that part.  For instance, look at cars...do you prefer a manual or automatic transmission, and why?  HX machines are more versatile if one wanted to compare shots at different temperatures, side by side. DB machines automate temperatuire control at the brew group.  This is an oversimplification...in an attempt to get you to understand that they are simply not interchangeable.  Though DB machines are more expensive on average, they are not "better" on average, and the decision which to buy ought to be made consciously (rather than whichever looks better on my counter at x price).

Then figure out what other features are/are not important to you.  We can help you a lot with this.  ask lots of questions, so people who have these machines can chime in with opinions/experiences that will help you decide.

Do you plan to plumb in the machine?

Seems reasonable to want to upgrade given you make mostly milk-espresso drinks.  How about your grinder?  What do you have?

Regarding the Rocket..I have no idea why you wouldn't be able to justify getting it for home use?  I mean, it's not a 2 or 3 group commercial machine.  It's designed for light commercial or high end home use.

Posted April 19, 2013 link

Heya,

Thanks for the reply (both of you! :)).

Plumb:
Not currently (maybe when I move house, but foreseeable future, no).

Features:
I really do enjoy having a PID, I find that I get better temperature stability (granted, that may be because a small boiler like the Gaggia Classic, it's more of a necessity if you don't want to temperature surf).

The way I use my machine is typically to make one or two espressos (each with a double or triple shot), then steam milk. I think my main "bugbear" is the amount of time it is currently taking me with the classic to be able to make each shot (even with the PID, the recovery time is quite long (shorter if I surf of course)). Then every couple of weeks, to make more drinks if there is a larger party of people (which on the Gaggia, just takes damn long).

I also tend to keep the brew temperature the same as much as I'm able to.

My current grinder is a Rancilio Rocky Doserless (not the best due to the clumping, but certainly not the worst). I'll probably upgrade this sometime in the future for something that doesn't have the clumping flaws (and probably go for a stepless).


I think what I'm getting at (in a summary) are my current annoyances with the classic:

Recovery
Steam power + recovery
The ability to serve multiple cups without having to wait 2-3 minutes before being able to do so.

In regards to the Rocket, my main "justification" problem is the fact that it costs a substantial amount of money (1700).

Whilst that isn't horrendous in terms of price, I think with my current income, and the amount I'm using my machine, it's difficult to justify to myself.

Now, am I just kidding myself, and getting into the whole "why upgrade now, when you can upgrade a bit later down the line (18-24 months), and get yourself a better machine instead of something halfway that you'd want to upgrade later?"

I think that's what I need to think about. But if there is a machine that would enable me to do this for a cheaper price (1200 + new grinder), then I would prefer that route.
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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 Fri Apr 19, 2013, 2:35pm
Subject: Re: Looking at a new machine
 

I would go with a DB.  I started looking at the Rancilio, then CC1, then Giotto Evo and moved to the DB's. If you can afford a DB, do it.  I don't steam much, but my friends and family will. I would rather have a machine that can handle more and have more control settings, than have to upgrade.

Once you go dual boiler you never go........ :)
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,172
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Apr 19, 2013, 2:35pm
Subject: Re: Looking at a new machine
 

I see your logic now.  Yeah, changing your grinder won't help you with your time/efficiency issues (though it would definitely help you in the cup). The other problem with the Rocky is it's lack of ultrafine adjustability, due to it's mere 40 steps which range from presspot to espresso...my point being, once you can, you should upgrade it.  I used to have one, so I know firsthand it's limitations and how much better things can be (well, at least going into the Mini class from Rocky).

Anyhow, back to the issue at hand.  It does sound like you are in the market for a DB, though I must give a plug to HX again.  Thermal stability is achieved by having a well-built machine with a high mass of metal, to retain the heat through the shots.  A prosumer HX can do this as well as a DB.  The advantage (if you want to call it that) of DB is mindless thermal precision (always hitting the same temperature).  Now, HX owners will tell you that you can be very precise at the group by getting a routine down and sticking to it, and that it becomes second nature (like shifting gears in your car)...and I am not going to argue with that at all (for one, I don't own a HX machine; and two, it seems very reasonable to me that they are dead on correct; and three, some of those people are gurus here for whom I have a great deal of respect).

Having gone from SBDU to prosumer DB (I had a Silvia before I got my Duetto), I can understand your bias towards having a PID, but I would suggest you read a lot about HX machines before deciding.  Why? 1) save yourself some money; 2) maintain the ability to change the way you operate - as I said above, you can learn to do the same thing day in and day out, but you'll have to option of trying something different from time to time, whereas the DB is more rigid.  Do I wish I had a HX instead of my Duetto? Sometimes, but usually not.  I more of a do it the same every time kind of guy, maybe make a change every once in a while, but then do that the same every time for a while.  Every now and then I want to do some side by side comparisons I can't do with my Duetto because by the time I change the temp the first shot is cold (for that, I'd need a HX).

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Apr 19, 2013, 8:38pm
Subject: Re: Looking at a new machine
 

The choice of HX or DB is purely one of preference and not of the coffee in the cup.

Both machines can easily handle large volumes of people, steam and pull at the same time, can be plumbed in and left on for days or more at a time.

In a nut Shell, if you like the ability to make rapid changes in brewing temp  a hx is more for you. If you like doing the same thing all the time once you have it dialed in then a DB is more suited to your methods.

In the cup, they are the same and there is no "status ranking" between them, one is not better or worse than the other, but one may be better suited to the way you work.

Sometimes when a new person comes to espresso, they may place a higher status on the DB because they cost more on average,but it is not true in the cup. The higher price is simply due to more and different parts. Both can produce outstanding espresso.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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cybermaniac
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Dec 2011
Posts: 53
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Apr 21, 2013, 12:47am
Subject: Re: Looking at a new machine
 

Well!

Certainly a lot to think about!

I've played with DB machines, and they are solid as hell (as long as you don't want to change things like temps quickly ofc).

I think I'll need to play with an HX machine, and a buttload more research before I make my final decision!

Thanks guys!
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,172
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sun Apr 21, 2013, 5:57am
Subject: Re: Looking at a new machine
 

I'd be pretty darn surprised if you didn't find good quality HX machines to be just as well built, so it'll boil down to your preferences.  To change the temp on the DB, you need to access the PID programming and then wait for the machine to stabilize at the new setting, so if that's going to be an issue for you, you can go ahead and make the biggest decision right now and start looking at HX machines.  After that it's a matter of less minor differences between machines in one class or the other and aesthetics. If you're still undecided read Wayne's post about how HX machines work from a few months ago.  I have it saved on my PC and can email it if you want.  I think the owner's manual on the Vibiemme DB machine that "frcn" wrote very well sums up those, so it would be a good comparison.

Let us know if you have more questions along the way...and good luck!

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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cybermaniac
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Dec 2011
Posts: 53
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Apr 21, 2013, 6:37am
Subject: Re: Looking at a new machine
 

emradguy Said:

I'd be pretty darn surprised if you didn't find good quality HX machines to be just as well built, so it'll boil down to your preferences.  To change the temp on the DB, you need to access the PID programming and then wait for the machine to stabilize at the new setting, so if that's going to be an issue for you, you can go ahead and make the biggest decision right now and start looking at HX machines.  After that it's a matter of less minor differences between machines in one class or the other and aesthetics. If you're still undecided read Wayne's post about how HX machines work from a few months ago.  I have it saved on my PC and can email it if you want.  I think the owner's manual on the Vibiemme DB machine that "frcn" wrote very well sums up those, so it would be a good comparison.

Let us know if you have more questions along the way...and good luck!

Posted April 21, 2013 link

Ooooh! If you could PM me that, that would be awesome!

Thanks!
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