Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
Which do you think would be more reliable: Expobar Brewtus IV-R or the S1 Dream
Donate to Coffee Kids
Coffee Kids works with farming communities around the world, improving lives. Donate today.
www.coffeekids.org
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Which do you...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
Author Messages
DeanOK
Senior Member
DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 714
Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Fri May 10, 2013, 6:48pm
Subject: Which do you think would be more reliable: Expobar Brewtus IV-R or the S1 Dream
 

It seems to me that a lot of espresso machines have a lot of technical issues and I don't understand this because they are basically not that complicated..... If I lay out this kind of money my expectations for one of the machines in the subject line of this post, I expect it should run 10 or 15 years easy with no major issues. I understand new portafilter gaskets and the like since they are a wear item that probably wont last that long.

As you can probably tell, I am thinking of buying myself a new machine. Both of these machines appeal to me. I know that they are not the priciest  machines on the market, but they are high dollar to me and I would be sorely disappointed if I purchased one and had problems. I know that they will have a warranty, but my feeling is that good products with good design and quality control rarely have a warranty issue. That is the kind of machine I want to buy.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
DavecUK
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,460
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat May 11, 2013, 4:32am
Subject: WShich machine is reliable
 

Both should be fairly reliable. The Brewtus used to have some issues with it's use of an AKO Fridge temperature controller for the brew boiler and this used to fail a lot. Now they use the same Gicar PID as everyone else, there's no real problem any more.

All machines will require maintenance, each year they case should come off and they need a look over, just in case there is a little problem that can be fixed in a few minutes, or for a few dollars. Often these little things turn into big things if left. group gaskets should really be changed every 6 months....that way they are always nice and supple and give a good seal with minimal portafilter lock in force. e.g. with a "correctly" sized gasket, I use an 8mm on my machines (Vetrano DB, Duetto and Rocket R58), you can actually lock them completely leak tight with the lightest pressure of your little finger. In general, very little force should be used.

The main killer of espresso machines and cause of problems is hard water and it's probably the underlying cause of over 95% of machine problems.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
DeanOK
Senior Member
DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 714
Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Sat May 11, 2013, 4:39am
Subject: Re: WShich machine is reliable
 

DavecUK Said:

The main killer of espresso machines and cause of problems is hard water and it's probably the underlying cause of over 95% of machine problems.

Posted May 11, 2013 link

I don't mind doing the maintenance such as descaling. I use municipal water that I run through a double carbon and sediment filter that is supposed to remove 99%+ of chemicals, chlorine and the like, but I don't think it does much for water hardness. I don't think the minerals are much of an issue here.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Dodge1
Senior Member
Dodge1
Joined: 21 Dec 2002
Posts: 208
Location: Omaha
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: GS/3
Grinder: K30 Vario WBC & K10 WBC
Posted Sat May 11, 2013, 5:18am
Subject: Hardness
 

Do yourself a huge favor and buy Click Here (www.amazon.com) and use it for testing your water for hardness.  The reason for that is if you get the hardness down to ~ 35 ppm you wonít have to descale your machine and you wonít have all kinds of nasty build up which really screws things up.  In other words, Dave was right on the mark when he said that excessive hardness is the cause of a whole load of problems with an espresso machine.  Along those same lines you really should leave the machine running 24/7 because the constant cooling and heating of turning it off and on will cause a buildup of scale.

FYI, I just had the LM service tech come out to my house to take a look at my 30 month old GS/3 and when he scoped it and pulled all of the probes everything was as clean as a whistle.  Since my GS/3 is the latest model, with all the changes, I wasnít all that concerned but I did have him replace the vacuum breaker with the most updated version and rebuild the steam valve for PM.

The Dream has had some growing pains, as illustrated on this thread:

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

If I were you Iíd research the heck out of both of those machines and see what owners have to say.  I also wouldnít limit my search to just those two machines.  CG is a great website but youíll also want to explore HB http://www.home-barista.com/ and post a question regarding your wants/needs and price range.

Youíll also want to explore what others suggest would be a good grinder, which imho is more important than the espresso machine you select.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
DeanOK
Senior Member
DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 714
Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Sat May 11, 2013, 8:22am
Subject: Re: Hardness
 

Dodge1 Said:

Do yourself a huge favor and buy Click Here (www.amazon.com) and use it for testing your water for hardness. .

Posted May 11, 2013 link

I just checked my city's web site.... this is what they say:
drinking water hardness fluctuates throughout the year between 75 to 100 parts per million or 4.3 to 6.0 grains per gallon (one grain per gallon equals 17.24 parts per million).

I use the same water in my HVAC system steam humidifier. I usually have to clean it once per year and it goes through about 9 gallon per day during the coldest weather.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
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 May 11, 2013, 10:51am
Subject: Re: Consider the Vivaldi II
 

DeanOK, I thought I wanted a Dream through a lot of research and ultimately decided on the Vivaldi II.  The Vivaldi has chrome panels versus the cheap matte look, it also doesn't have that little display surrounded by a ton of plastic.  I ordered the optional timer which was a must for me, and it will easily be hidden away and not an eye sore.  The Vivaldi is a tried and proven machine that is still selling like hot cakes.  I have the Mini coming (plumbing in isn't a worry for me, you could do the S1 if need be) and like the lever steam better than a knob as well.  If you really want to add some looks to the line, Clive Coffee offers custom made wood panels (I have Walnut on order and should ship any day now).  I know the Mini is backordered right now, but Chris' Coffee (importer for US) is suppose to be getting some more in soon.  You will also save a few bucks on the Vivaldi II, even with the timer addition (I got for half off). Just a few things to think about.

Here is a pic of the Walnut panels on a Mini from  S1 forum member Trappist.

http://www.s1cafe.com/download/file.php?id=1059
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
DeanOK
Senior Member
DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 714
Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Sat May 11, 2013, 7:20pm
Subject: Re: Consider the Vivaldi II
 

SSgt93 Said:

Here is a pic of the Walnut panels on a Mini from  S1 forum member Trappist.

http://www.s1cafe.com/download/file.php?id=1059

Posted May 11, 2013 link

Yes, that is a nice look. Thank you for bringing it to my attention!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Dodge1
Senior Member
Dodge1
Joined: 21 Dec 2002
Posts: 208
Location: Omaha
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: GS/3
Grinder: K30 Vario WBC & K10 WBC
Posted Sun May 12, 2013, 4:00am
Subject: To descale or not to descale:
 

To descale or not to descale:

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

IMHO, thatís a must read thread which is chock full of great information and informative links.

Good thread on water hardness:

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

If you really want a machine that will last for 10 or 15 years easy with no major issues I'd suggest following the advice in those threads.  However, while I can post all kinds of information it's up to you if you want to take advantage of it, or not.

In any event, good luck in your search.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
DeanOK
Senior Member
DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 714
Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Sun May 12, 2013, 4:48am
Subject: Re: To descale or not to descale:
 

Dodge1 Said:

To descale or not to descale:

Posted May 12, 2013 link

Evidently some, if not all, of my issues with my CC1 are related to descaling. I have descaled 3 times and i have only had the machine about 8 or 9 months. Water quality here is reasonable, so I thought I was descaling more often than I needed to.

If you followed my other thread, my pressure came up after I descaled the machine. I have been fighting horrible tasting shots for weeks and throwing most of my coffee down the drain. Out of frustration, I installed a pressure gauge on the bottom of my PF and found out that pressure was running in the 5 bar range After cleaning I am up close to 8 bars.... a number that I think is still a tad low.

The only difference between this descaling and the others is I monitored the pressure periodically while I was descaling and I mixed up 64 oz this time instead of 32 and I put in the blind basket to let the acid pass though the pressure regulator. I used the blind basket before but I did not spend the time letting the water bypass through the pressure regulator that I did this time... I only did it 3 or 4 times before but this time I let the acid pass through the pressure regulator 12 to 15 times or so. I also let the acid run through the steam wand as hot water to descale the thermoblock... but I have not had any issues with the thermoblock.

One thing I have not mentioned before is that I did get a bunch of little black sooty looking particles in the water that passed through the steam block. They were light, tended to stay suspended in the water for along time before they settled to the bottom. No idea what this was.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Dodge1
Senior Member
Dodge1
Joined: 21 Dec 2002
Posts: 208
Location: Omaha
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: GS/3
Grinder: K30 Vario WBC & K10 WBC
Posted Sun May 12, 2013, 6:17am
Subject: Re: To descale or not to descale:
 

Having learned the hard way with my Mini II about descaling I now follow Chrisís, from Chris Coffee Service, advice and keep my hardness PPM under 35.

This is what he had to say regarding descaling:

Chris Coffee Service wrote:

ďDescaling is the process of running a descaling agent such as citric acid through the machine to remove the accumulation of mineral deposits.
- If you are using softened water then it should not be necessary to descale the machine.
- Often times descaling can cause more problems than it solves. It can react to the minerals and foam over ruining electrical components. If the solution is too strong it can cause the chrome plating inside the group to flake off and get in the coffee or if itís too weak it can dislodge minerals and cause a blockage. For liability reasons we strongly discourage descaling and will not provide any instructions on the process.Ē

Iím not familiar with your machine so Iíd suggest contacting Jason at the CS service department service@chriscoffee.com and ask him what he thinks you should do to really clean out all of the scale buildup; which Iím more than certain you havenít yet.  Donít worry if you didnít purchase your machine from them as they go out of their way to offer assistance to anyone and since they sell your machine, Jason will be familiar with it.

Iíd then ask him what he recommends for a ppm of hardness and what you need to do to get there.  Since I have the AV version of the GS/3, which has a water tank, I simply mixed distilled with tap water until it tested out at under 35 ppm and tasted the results; which were more then acceptable to me.  In my case the ratio turned out to be 1/3 tap, to 2/3rds distilled but your results might vary from mine.  

FYI, if I were you Iíd use straight vinegar for descaling and after it warms up and has circulated totally throughout your machine Iíd turn it off and let it sit overnight, in order to totally dissolve any buildup.   Then Iíd let it warm up again and again circulate it totally throughout your machine before draining as much of it as I could. The only problem with this is youíll have to flush your machine more than few times with plain water to remove all of the vinegar taste.  However, as much as this is a PIA it will remove any and all of the scale in your machine.

Good luck and I canít stress enough about keeping your hardness ppm at 35, or under, if the water tastes OK to you.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Which do you...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Coffee Kids
Help folks who help folks in coffee producing nations.
coffeekids.org
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.53737783432)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+