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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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OttoMatic
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 78
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Brewtus IV-R
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario,...
Drip: Capresso MT500+
Roaster: Cast iron dutch oven
Posted Fri May 3, 2013, 7:32am
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

The free barista class is here in Boulder, Colorado, first Saturday of each month.

Yeah, the semi-autos give you a very good level of control, but as you note, the HX and SBDU machines require more tinkering.  But, that tinkering isn't necessarily control, but rather a series of steps that have to be done to overcome the limitations of the design.  Just the usual tradeoffs...
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didiee
Senior Member


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

Posted Fri May 3, 2013, 9:09am
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

Iluvdabean Said:

If you go down this road just be ready to see how far the rabbit hole goes,Im still not seeing the bottom and from the looks of things never will.

Posted May 3, 2013 link

it's going to get worse?!  argh!  It has been a fun few weeks to figure out what is the best way to do "this."  First a grinder, Vario-W, then decide between types of machines, research, calling/writing venders.  Then more research, decided that Vario may be good enough, but not great (?).  Maybe need two grinders at some point....  it never end I suppose.

Colorado.  I was out there a few years ago, never ventured to that side of the state.  I wholeheartedly agree with you, ottomatic.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,009
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri May 3, 2013, 9:51am
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

From taste testing on Home-barista.com the vario makes espresso that tastes in the cup very much like a super jolly grinder.  That is one of the most common used commercial grinders that people can buy.   There are grinders that are better than super jollys but they are huge and much more expensive and much less common in the used market.

If you get a good machine that does what you want it to then your upgrades will be by choice and disposable income and not driven by frustration.   So, you can do that if and when you want to.

I am getting good espresso out of my machine and only if I get a huge win fall will I upgrade. (or someone gives me my dream machine)

 
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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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 Fri May 3, 2013, 10:20am
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

My bottomline opinion. If you can afford to blow out your budget, and you're sure you want to get into espresso, a double boiler with PID is definitely worth going into. That is, if you steam often enough to make it worth having a second boiler, and are impatient enough that a cooling flush is out of the question.

If one turns off the steam boiler on a double-boiler, you *really* might as well get an SBDU. There is practically no advantage of a double-boiler vs. SBDU if you plan on turning off the steam boiler on a regular basis, IMO. That's basically my response to anyone that says, "you can turn off the steam boiler to save energy."

The Vario-W seems like an excellent grinder that does a great job; the only real question is reliability. But you can buy 3 Vario-W's for the price of one K30... I'm still cheap and using my modified kitchenaid grinder, it's so slow.

The number one downside of an HX, to me, is having to refill the reservoir so often (about every other day or 3, for me). I'm looking into ways to plumb my RO line into the reservoir after running it through some sort of mineralization filter, to prevent RO water destroying the copper innards.

For all purchasing decisions, it's always a balance of what you want to spend vs. what is acceptable to you and other users of the machine. For me, I am happy with where I am and don't really have any sense of upgraditis, I would like a faster and more convenient grinder, but I'm not going to spring for one. Since you're willing to creep on price so much, I feel your $1500 isn't really a solid budget, take a long look at what you're really willing to spend, provided you actually love espresso. Then revisit your options and assemble your package.

PS. you mentioned your wife nixed the cuadra on the basis that it has plastic sides, did she actually see the sides, or did she just dismiss it outright? Personally, I was surprised at the quality of the chromed sides, it's very nice, they are solid and can definitely withstand household use; also, like mentioned earlier, they don't burn you when you touch them accidentally (or intentionally). If it ever does get scratched, I will consider painting it to match our kitchen decor.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,009
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri May 3, 2013, 10:27am
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

My machine is next to the sink, every morning I stick the hose from the sink into the tank and fill till I hear the water getting close to the top.  I never take the tank out and it no trouble to do.  I let very little go into the drip tray so I don't have to empty it that often.  

If you set things up so they are easy you can work around not plumbed in.

 
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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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,354
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri May 3, 2013, 10:53am
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

My machine is next to the sink, every morning I stick the hose from the sink into the tank and fill till I hear the water getting close to the top.  I never take the tank out and it no trouble to do.  I let very little go into the drip tray so I don't have to empty it that often.  

If you set things up so they are easy you can work around not plumbed in.

Posted May 3, 2013 link

You have soft water? Plumb in people generally have setups to control deposits from tap water. I use the fridge filtered water into a brita filter at least. Thinking about dropping into one of those small water softener things into the tank.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,009
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri May 3, 2013, 11:40am
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

I have soft water, my machine was on my water for a year before we cleaned it a few months ago and it was a few years old when I got it.  It was not very gunky inside so I am not worried about filtering right now.  When I plumb one in I probably will add a filter and maybe a pump as I am on a well and I am not sure I will have the correct pressure.  

I could add a filter to the hose I guess but I will descale the machine anyway so it doesn't matter much right now.  My ice is clear in the fridge and water tastes really good.  My parent's well water was not as good as mine.

 
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 Sat May 4, 2013, 1:40pm
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

Thanks for all the thoughtful comments.  
After all the deliberation we were down to BZ07 and Dombobar Jr for Hx machine.   That was before ottomatic threw in the wrinkles in the process, which I'm actually very grateful for.    
So BZ07 and Dombobar Jr are appx. 1200-1400…  The Brewtus is 1600-1900 if I were to get a refurbished unit.  
Grinder Vario, or Vario-w, Mazzer Super Jolly, or Mini E type A. 449, 549, 720, 875 respectively.  

Not making the decision any easier.  I think the budget as this time is almost an "suggestion", since the wife thought our original budget was 6500….. (she was half joking, only half.)  She went as far as wanting to buy a brand new Brewtus.  Maybe I should have started with that in mind, then I wouldn't have this tough of a time?  Actually maybe even more so…  even more choices.

thanks all.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,009
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat May 4, 2013, 3:54pm
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

Super is tall.  Make sure you have a place for the grinders.  That is part of the reason I did not consider a jolly, I don't have the room.

 
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 Sun May 5, 2013, 10:35am
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

Thanks coffeenoobie. Will definitely take that into consideration.
As you can probably see from the original plan, both hx machines were more of a compact size that's why vario would have been a very good company; however if moving onto brewtus maybe even need to redesign where everything will need to be situated...
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