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Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Yet another X vs...  
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pfn
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Apr 2013
Posts: 64
Location: Santa Clara, CA, US
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra II
Grinder: KA Proline w/ Mazzer Mini...
Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013, 12:07pm
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

didiee Said:

I suppose this is where the art and the science of making espresso collides.  The art says to listen and taste.  The science says measure and protocols.

You seem to enjoy your Cuadra, did you consider anything else before you pull the trigger?
Never had espresso Vietnamese coffee, and yes wifey would like that very much too..... so would that macchiato, and the new hazelnut macchiato from starbucks.  would probably be happier if she never has to pull a shot....

Posted April 18, 2013 link

3 other machines were in the running for my consideration, BDB, Silvano and Oscar given my budget [you can often apply a bb&b coupon for 20% off if you give the coupon to the cashier for the BDB]. The weak steam performance of the first two crossed them off my list, and an E61 with some stainless steel was more attractive to me than the oscar fully in plastic. a PID is attractive and all, but it's really easy to get an HX into operating temperature.

the Vietnamese-style espresso is simple, add condensed milk to taste (roughly equal volume condensed milk vs. espresso) then stir in ice; and it's ok if you pull the shot a bit long/bitter (who needs to flush?!). For the "macchiatos" (caramel in my case) get some caramel sauce, and some torani caramel or creme caramel syrup; add roughly 3:1 milk:coffee, add a couple table spoons of syrup, some caramel sauce for garnish, put ice in beforehand if you want it cold and it'll taste great; that is, if you (or her) enjoy sweet drinks. for a hazelnut variation, get torani hazelnut syrup instead.
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didiee
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Sep 2012
Posts: 34
Location: CT, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Apr 18, 2013, 1:32pm
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

pfn Said:

3 other machines were in the running for my consideration, BDB, Silvano and Oscar given my budget [you can often apply a bb&b coupon for 20% off if you give the coupon to the cashier for the BDB]. The weak steam performance of the first two crossed them off my list, and an E61 with some stainless steel was more attractive to me than the oscar fully in plastic. a PID is attractive and all, but it's really easy to get an HX into operating temperature.

the Vietnamese-style espresso is simple, add condensed milk to taste (roughly equal volume condensed milk vs. espresso) then stir in ice; and it's ok if you pull the shot a bit long/bitter (who needs to flush?!). For the "macchiatos" (caramel in my case) get some caramel sauce, and some torani caramel or creme caramel syrup; add roughly 3:1 milk:coffee, add a couple table spoons of syrup, some caramel sauce for garnish, put ice in beforehand if you want it cold and it'll taste great; that is, if you (or her) enjoy sweet drinks. for a hazelnut variation, get torani hazelnut syrup instead.

Posted April 18, 2013 link

I thought about BB&B too, but now all their coupons (at least here) has the exclusion of Breville.  I've looked into William Sonoma, but with so many nay's have since moved on....

I think I will get a HX machine E61, probably with a thermostat, after all that discussion/reading/education.  With 1st line so close by, will take wifey there, she can decide how much appearance matters.... So
Cuadra if she doesn't care about the plastics
BZ07 if she feels she will ever pull a shot and wants something simpler
Domobar Junior if I want E61 and she could careless
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didiee
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Sep 2012
Posts: 34
Location: CT, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu May 2, 2013, 9:43am
Subject: What have I learned.... in the past few weeks.
 

reviving a dead thread for a little bit.

It's a all consuming business to get a very expensive toy.  It's like buying a car.  All the cars do very similar things, but one just may have more bells and whistles than others.  Horsepower, leather seats, bigger tires.... etc

What makes this process even harder is that you're comparing apples to oranges to pears to bananas.  Not every country has the same models that you read about on the interweb.  So someone suggesting a BZ10 instead of a BZ07 for Canadians is hard to do for Americans.  Also the reviews that you read from three years ago may have the same name, but a very different structures, features model now.  On top of that, no suppliers carries ALL the brands either.  

Aesthetics does count.  At this point, I believe all E61 grouphead is very similar (correct me if i'm totally wrong...), some brands charges 10-20% more than others, because they think they're the Cadillac when others are Ford.  I'm sure there's a lot subtleties that I don't claim to understand, but unless I take classes, read more, develop my palettes, I many never get the true appreciate of that extra few hundreds dollars spent.  

SB vs HX vs DB.  1st question for me is actually do you want a single boiler?  The answer is simple no.  After that it get much harder.  From what I can gathered, if you want some milky drinks, but if also enjoy a few cups of espresso (that come out more consistently), you should consider DB.  If you drink mostly milky drinks and want excellent steam powers, consider HX.
Other than Vivaldi ,QM67 and beloved BDB, all double boiler starts at least two grand range.

No one can ever attest reliability either, unless you go directly to the dealers/service center.  Just like unless there is a national recall, you will never know 10,000 other people may have the problem.  So I suppose picking a deal is actually more important steps than some other considerations.
The list of venders that I have checked out (mostly their websites) are in no particular order

  1. seattlecoffeegear
  2. 1st-line
  3. Chriscoffee
  4. clivescoffee
  5. wholelattelove

Some are more active than others.  Some are the direct importers, some are resellers.

Oh, and who can forget grinders.  Yes Grinders are more important than the machine.  I have that drilled in my head pretty solidly at this point.

I am still between machines, but most likely low-mid 1000 range, that also limits to HX.  Likely Vairo, not the W.  no PF holder, I'm just too clumpy to grind it into a container then transport to PF.  

Would love to hear any comments or suggestion to my search for a perfect machine.

p.s. cuadra is out, wife doesnt like the plastic, bdb is out, probably not crossland.....
p.p.s. pfn if you can send me a way to contact you, i'd really appreciate it, couldnt find your email.  thanks.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,031
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu May 2, 2013, 10:08am
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

Don't they have an all sliver Cuadra?  

The vario -w is way better in my opinion because you can set it up to grind what you want.  Better for training other household people and I believe less messy than grinding into the portafilter directly.  If I had ridgeless baskets I could put the basket in the grinder without the PF and grind into that then pop it in the PF. (see photo) Now, I grind into a yogurt cup and pour that in my yogurt filter on my basket.  Stir and tamp.

Coffeenoobie: basket.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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didiee
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Sep 2012
Posts: 34
Location: CT, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu May 2, 2013, 10:25am
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

thanks coffeenoobie,

partly lazy, partly frustration.  
Feels like there is an extra step there somewhere, transporting coffee?  I don't know if that help train other household members (ie wife).

in my head, it goes something like this

"honey, after you press this button, wait until the right amount of coffee (automatic) that goes into the yogurt cup, lift the yogurt cup, dump coffee in the PF, then stir then tamp.... then you can have your expresso"
"hmmm, how about you just make it for me....."  

....  I will take that into consideration again though.....  I wish they had made a compatible PF holder for the Vario-W

Cauadra has a plastic panel even though it is silver....
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,031
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu May 2, 2013, 10:29am
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

The problem is the scale can't handle the weight of the portafilters.  It is really not as bad as it sounds takes me longer to type out than do.  And you don't have to stir, I do but I really don't think you have to, the pouring stirs it up somewhat.

If you have ridgeless baskets you will not have to pour.  The photo I showed you is a sauce cup stuck to the sensor with a 3m command tape and the basket in that and the funnel on top.  So you take the funnel out stir and tamp.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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didiee
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Sep 2012
Posts: 34
Location: CT, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu May 2, 2013, 10:38am
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

I particularly like this line
"... takes me longer to type out than do..."
=)

since I'm brand new to espresso, maybe I'll just make it part of the routine anyway....
one of the company suggested Mazzer Mini E Type A or Macap doser.

maybe i should just blow 2/3 my budget on grinders......
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,031
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu May 2, 2013, 10:56am
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

I am not a doser fan for home use.  But that is just me.  I do agree with your money is best spent on a good grinder.  Wife did not like the all sliver Cuadra?  It would look stainless on the counter.  

I am a wife, I understand the looks thing, up to a point. I would rather have a car that runs well over a pretty one that only sits in the drive way.  Also, some people are taking old TV armoire and making them in the coffee bars you can close up when not using. With everyone moving to flat screen TV there are a lot of pretty armoires out there for a song.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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didiee
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Sep 2012
Posts: 34
Location: CT, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu May 2, 2013, 11:12am
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

I think a Vario or Vario-W maybe a better idea, don't really need a doser.  Esp if I am doing two to three double a day, maybe up to five on a Sat/Sun.

I suppose it's just the thought that a brand new toy which costs a grand has plastic parts that does sit well with her.  It's like already spent a grand, what's extra 300 bucks do....  (I know, i know.... you or anyone can always say.  Now with the money I saved I can get that 850 dollar grinder....)
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,031
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu May 2, 2013, 11:21am
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

Well, I really like that my machine has no burn sides and easy to clean.  I would not have thought that important when I started but it really is nice.  I have a small kitchen and I can see melted bread bags and finger prints on stainless....

Tell her she can paint the plastic to match her kitchen accent color.  That is all the rage in kitchen aid mixers....

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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