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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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didiee
Senior Member


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

Posted Thu May 2, 2013, 11:29am
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

I take it that you're a strong believer of Cuadra and/or 1st-line just like pfn.....
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,021
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu May 2, 2013, 11:44am
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

I have never bought from him but he is a supporter of this site and active.  That is good in my mind.  I have never used that machine but it is very close to my machine that I like, and comes with features I have added to my machine and the price is right.  If I had your budget I would probably get that.  That said the Bezzera looks good also.   My budget was not going to get me new so I had to find a cheap HX used.  Oscar fits the bill and is less showy than others so the price is a bit lower and there seems to be more used ones on the market.

 
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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dyqik
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07 PM
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso...
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Bona-Vita, CCD, Aeropress.
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Modded Poppers
Posted Thu May 2, 2013, 2:18pm
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

My other half very quickly learnt to make americanos and lattes on my BZ07 semi-auto, alongside a Preciso with Esatto attachment (functionally similar to Vario-W).  It's really not that hard to do to get acceptable results - I usually tune the grind and dose when I make my shots, so the grinder is preset, and then it's a matter of tamping (with WDT), flushing and pulling.  Whichever machine, she'll need to learn the harder part of steaming milk if she wants lattes or capps.  This is definitely harder than getting an acceptable espresso shot for a milk drink on an H/X machine.
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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, 4:34pm
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

i just hope that my other half is as motivated.  I think it'll give me more "control" of the process, more points to experiment?
How do you like your BZ07?  For whatever reason it's just not as talked about in these forums.  A lot of Cuadra, a lot of BDB....  not so much the 07?
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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 Thu May 2, 2013, 5:33pm
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

Yours is a similar to the process I went through!  Around last Christmas, I decided I wanted a real espresso setup.  I started doing some research and asked a friend that's involved in the commercial espresso business.  I, too, started with a budget around $1k.  My initial was an Expobar Lever Plus, and I was getting by using by Capresso Infinity grinder while I sat around and thought about which grinder to get.  I ended up with a Mazzer Mini-E Type B.

I quickly returned the Lever Plus for a Brewtus IV-R, and couldn't be happier.  

I had an RMA for the Mazzer Mini-E, but decided that I was OK with it.  Still, it never sat quite right with me for a number of reasons (clumping and sloooowwwww, massive variability in mass ground per time, and a bit noisy).  I ended up buying a Mahlkonig K30 Vario, and couldn't be happier.

When I bought the Lever Plus, I didn't think I cared that much about straight espresso.  I'd had one here or there in the past, but never got into it.  I now drink them several times a week, and am glad to have a DB machine with consistent and controllable temperature.  Yeah, you can play the temp surfing game on the HX, but I'd just as soon not.  

BTW, the reason I returned the Lever Plus was not because it was an HX, but rather because there was no pressure at the brewhead when used in plumbed-in mode.  It would work fine with the built-in reservoir, but when switched over to plumbing mode, just a dribble.  I noted that I could pull hot water and steam out of it, so it wasn't a straight blockage.  I got frustrated with it, and just sent it back, opting for the DB w/ PID in the process.  I have no trouble with it recovering, even though it's designed to run strictly on a 15A circuit (though my circuit happens to be 20A, the machine is still pulls < 15A).  Also, for those worried about energy costs, you can turn off the steam boiler if you're making only espresso.  You can also turn off the brew boiler and use the steam boiler (if you wanted to make steamed milk only, for example).  

One other thing that's been such a convenience is the plumbing of the machine, in both directions.  I hope I never have to go back to filling reservoirs and emptying drip trays.  It's really something to consider if you have the capability.  

Anyway, my point isn't to ding anything, or be a Brewtus fanboy -- there are many quality machines out there, DBs and otherwise.  My point is that I think you might get something now that you'll quickly regret.  You're already sniffing around at DBs and high end grinders while trying to stay within your budget.  I did the same thing.  In the end, I ended up tripling my original budget, and also lost a few bucks on return shipping and selling my Mazzer used.  But I can make great coffee, and I don't have to wonder -- too much, anyway -- about what else is out there.

Also, my wife, who isn't terribly into gadgets or details like these of which we speak, makes her own coffees everyday.  She used to love lattes, but now it's all about the americanos.  It's not difficult to use these machines, and it's not difficult to pull a good shot (assuming good grind and distribution).

So, my advice is that if you're wavering and thinking about taking a step up...   do it!  Save up or blow your budget, either way.  You'll be happier in the end.

Good luck!
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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, 6:11pm
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

hahaha, thanks ottomatic.... you certainty threw me a curve ball at the last moment.
just checked out the price on K30 Vario... you almost quadruplet your original budget.... you certainly took the Grinder rule to heart.
I think that's part of the problem with espresso, or anything in general....  unless you're committed and throw some money to it... you will not get the best out of it.
I was serious thinking about taking counter culture coffee class (which can cost up to 300/day...) maybe i should just get the Brewtus or any DB and consider that as part of my tuition.

Dont know if you read my original post.  Cost is not a huge problem, I'm just more worried about reliability.
hard to juggle all these variables and factors.

and thanks for your thoughts.....  
 
ps. do you still drink any other form of caffeinated drinks?  if you do, do you have another grinder for other non espresso drinks?
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,021
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu May 2, 2013, 6:57pm
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

I think the class would be very helpful to know what you want.  And if you have the resources it would be better to get the best you can to grown into. (after taking the class to be sure you want to do it)  Upgradistis right after you buy is bad and does cost you more in the end than waiting and  saving up.  That is why I started with an HX I did not want to want an upgrade in 6 months and my husband would have not let me do that.  My last machine will be (I am looking into my crystal ball right now) a lever, the londinium.  Probably an HG1 grinder. (if I can hook it up to my kitchen aid)  Why lever? Because the only espresso I can drink without milk and sugar have been pulled on an lever.

But I am warning you, after playing on the big boys it will be hard to go back to small.  Sadly till you get over roughly 2k mark for the machine every couple $100 more gets you a bit more machine and makes the job easier.  That is the reason for budget creep.

 
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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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 Thu May 2, 2013, 7:21pm
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

I got the K30 Vario used, so it was "only" $1K.  No issues so far!

In my area, there's a free barista class.  It's variable on what's covered, based on the people that show up.  When I was there, there were only three of us, and it lasted about three hours.  It was pretty cool, and at the end I asked the trainer if he'd be willing to come to my house and work with me, and my equipment, one-on-one.  He said he would, and I'll pay him, of course.  I'd already learned a lot from reading these forums, watching YouTube, etc.  I haven't had him over yet, since I wanted to wait for the K30 Vario (they are using the same machine), and now I'm waiting for a new steam tip, which is coming in the mail within the next few days.  After that, I'm going to have him over.  I'm thinking that my straight espresso is pretty good, so I'll be interested to hear his thoughts on its taste.  But your plan to work with a pro is a good one -- $300 a day is a bit spendy, but I suppose it depends on what you get.  I'm thinking I'll have this guy over for a couple hours and pay him $50-$100.  You'll learn quickly when someone with experience points our exactly what you're doing wrong.

I did read your OP, but I read the whole 5-page thread in one shot, so it started to bleed together.  You're right that it's tough to know about what's reliable or what's not.  I know the Mazzers are really reliable as far as grinders go.  I chose the Brewtus because it's relatively simple and straightforward.  My buddy in the coffee industry said that any good espresso tech should be able to fix it (along with other types of E61 machines).  I'd send it back to WLL if it were under warranty, but it's still like $70 to ship it, so it might be easier/faster/cheaper to fix it locally, depending on the problem.

Regarding other caffeinated drinks....  At the moment, we only do espresso-based drinks.  I still have a drip machine, but it's in the basement along with the Capresso Infinity grinder.  My take is that I can make most things with an espresso -- at least things I want, and they're all fresh and single serving.  For me, it's also wayyyy more fun to make espressos; I just really enjoy it.  I've kicked around getting a Chemex, but I'm not yet sure why.  I used a hand grinder at work yesterday with a friend, and he's got a simple pourover thing that holds a single coffee filter to brew directly into your coffee cup.  It makes way better coffee than the free dreck at work, or the Starbucks stuff they are making in the cafeteria.  But...  if I *were* to make drip, French press or pourover at home, I would indeed use a different and dedicated grinder for those coarse grind drinks.  I'm not even sure that the K30 Vario could grind coarse enough for drip and, while the Mazzer would (I think), it's a huge pain to adjust it from an espresso grind to a drip grind.

OK, time to put the kids to bed...
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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, 8:23pm
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

I've always been a little bit fascinated with coffee.  Drip, pour-over, chemex, aeropress, french press... I think I've had it all.  Perhaps it's the natural progression to end up where I am.  
If I were to have an espresso a day, I could easily save enough money to get a decent machine in a year.  3.00/day X 365 X 2. Me and the wifey.    

I just checked out the Brewtus,again.  It was on my radar for a little bit, but it sort of trailed off when I realize that unless I am welling to commit to a 2000 mark just for the machine, I will not have a DB; however, when I checked the Refurb section, there it is....  A perfectly fine DB from 1600-1800.  Where is magical place that offers free free barista?
I had misspoken, counter culture's class is $200 up to 10 students.  Maybe it will be the best 200 dollars that i will spend.

It is kind of scary that I have not even gotten the first machine and I already have upgraditis?  With that extra few hundred dollars it may just make my life a little simpler.  I may have some time to tinker right now, but not sure the next few months/years coming up.  Rather than a "minimal" investment that ends up with an espresso machine that has 5 variables to play with, maybe a "moderate" size investment with 3 variables is in order.  No not going to the automatic side.  At heart, I'd rather drive a Bimmer with a manual shift than a Cadillac with automatic.  I want to believe that I am in control of "something..." (maybe just an illusion at the end of the day)

Both londinium and HG one looks beautiful.  I think if I spend more time at home or entertain, the value as talking piece may be worth the price tag.  Both are exceptional beauties.  I had seen some articles on HG One, in a design blog (?), never thought I'd come close to own it.  With all the investment that I'm planning on spending, I'm certainly within stone's throw of it.

Thanks again to you both.
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Iluvdabean
Senior Member
Iluvdabean
Joined: 7 Mar 2005
Posts: 1,253
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra/Gaggia...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/K-A Pro...
Drip: Bonavita BV 1800 TH
Roaster: Nesco 1010/Behmor 1600
Posted Fri May 3, 2013, 6:10am
Subject: Re: Yet another X vs Y vs Z (Cuadra II vs Bezzera BZ 07 vs Crossland CC1)
 

I loved drip for 30 years or more still do in a different way now....got my first espresso machine about 5 or 6 years ago and that what that. I love coffee in all of its expressions but to me espresso is
so unbelievable that even drip now has changed. 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.

didiee Said:

I've always been a little bit fascinated with coffee.  Drip, pour-over, chemex, aeropress, french press... I think I've had it all.  Perhaps it's the natural progression to end up where I am.  
If I were to have an espresso a day, I could easily save enough money to get a decent machine in a year.  3.00/day X 365 X 2. Me and the wifey.    

I just checked out the Brewtus,again.  It was on my radar for a little bit, but it sort of trailed off when I realize that unless I am welling to commit to a 2000 mark just for the machine, I will not have a DB; however, when I checked the Refurb section, there it is....  A perfectly fine DB from 1600-1800.  Where is magical place that offers free free barista?
I had misspoken, counter culture's class is $200 up to 10 students.  Maybe it will be the best 200 dollars that i will spend.

It is kind of scary that I have not even gotten the first machine and I already have upgraditis?  With that extra few hundred dollars it may just make my life a little simpler.  I may have some time to tinker right now, but not sure the next few months/years coming up.  Rather than a "minimal" investment that ends up with an espresso machine that has 5 variables to play with, maybe a "moderate" size investment with 3 variables is in order.  No not going to the automatic side.  At heart, I'd rather drive a Bimmer with a manual shift than a Cadillac with automatic.  I want to believe that I am in control of "something..." (maybe just an illusion at the end of the day)

Both londinium and HG one looks beautiful.  I think if I spend more time at home or entertain, the value as talking piece may be worth the price tag.  Both are exceptional beauties.  I had seen some articles on HG One, in a design blog (?), never thought I'd come close to own it.  With all the investment that I'm planning on spending, I'm certainly within stone's throw of it.

Thanks again to you both.

Posted May 2, 2013 link

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