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Buying advice on Grinder and Espresso machine
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Buying advice on...  
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Addiction89
Senior Member


Joined: 11 May 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Canada
Expertise: Pro Barista

Posted Mon May 13, 2013, 4:15pm
Subject: Re: Buying advice on Grinder and Espresso machine
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

If you have that kinda money look at my dream machine:

http://londiniumespresso.com/products/londinium-i

Posted May 12, 2013 link

Looks very well built and powerful, however, I am not interested in manual pumped espresso machines.

qualin Said:

Well, why didn't you say so! :-)  That opens up the world to you!

I could offer a huge amount of options for you to use, but I also have to be realistic. Believe me, I've spent the last 30 minutes editing this down to something reasonable.

For your needs, any low to high end Heat Exchanging Vibration Pump Reservoir based machine would meet your needs. The typical price range for machines in
this market start out at roughly the $1100 mark and go all the way up to the $1600 mark, depending on the boiler capacity, type of group head and type.

The only reason to go past this point is if vibration pumps drive you crazy or if you want to plumb in. In some cases, if you find that you are exceeding the capabilities
of the machine, then obviously you need to upgrade to a machine with a larger boiler.

Now, the high end contenders for the high end Heat Exchanging Vibration Pump Reservoir based machine market are the Bezzera Magica E61 or the Quick Mill Anita.
I believe they run about $1500 and $1600 respectively. One of the things that makes these machines high end is that they have a proper E61 group, which tends to
carry a bit of a premium, but being a discriminating barista, you most likely would want one.

That leaves you roughly between $500 to $1000 for a grinder. There are a large number grinders in that market segment. Of which, I would personally recommend the
Mazzer Mini Electronic, which is actually $1100 and slightly outside of your budget, but it is doserless, has electronic timed dosing and has larger commercial grade burrs.

If this isn't an option due to budget, then buying a dosered Mazzer Mini will leave you some wiggle room. However, I personally find that using a dosered grinder in a
home environment is kind of overkill, unless you are banging off shot after shot. I personally prefer using a doserless grinder with a dosing funnel.
(Actually, I've never really even used a dosered grinder, so I really shouldn't even say anything about them!)



Do you know what the machine you use at work is?



I'd love it if you could teach us how to make them sometime via youtube or something. I can never get the chocolate chips to fully melt and always end up
with the bottom of the steaming pitcher looking like an unclean toilet at a gas station.



$3k is a very decent budget for both a grinder and machine. $3k for a machine itself is kind of nuts for the purposes you will be using it for. That's pretty much
the very high end of the prosumer segment. Since you mentioned you really aren't made out of money, there's no point in suggesting machines which would be
overkill for what you are using it for.

I should talk, I have an Izzo Alex Duetto 3 plumbed in directly in my kitchen. My wife thinks I'm completely nuts, but where the overkill comes in isn't in machine
capability, I could probably bang off shots all day to the entire neighborhood if I wanted, it's more about convenience and cost. I wanted to do it right the first time and
build myself a setup which was commercial grade and something which would last me for a very long time. The problem is, by doing this, I popped my budget massively.

So, realistically, the overkill is more in killing the bank account rather than having coffee making capability.

I know from your posts that right now you don't need plumb-in capability, so there's no point in spending more than $1600 on a machine. As soon as you say that
you do want it, then now your machine budget goes from $1600 to a minimum of $2000 and it goes up from there.

You should always consider buying the grinder at the same time as the machine because a lot of coffee equipment suppliers kind of consider them to go hand in
hand kind of like how a washing machine is always accompanied with a dryer. Or how a Dishwasher is always usually accompanied with a refrigerator or range.

After trimming this down considerably, I kind of figured the best approach would be to consider what I suggested above. If you decide you need more than that,
then you can consider upgrading from that. Usually, you can always get about 50 to 75 percent of your investment back when you sell your equipment to upgrade.

You can take my other suggestions to heart as well, depending on how seriously you take your coffee.

Posted May 12, 2013 link

Wow, that's impressive. I'm impressed with your enthusiasm and interest in making great coffee and delicious drinks. I really do appreciate what you have researched for me and I have to admit that even I as a barista know nothing of the compact and home use machines (as my posts have most likely proven, ha ha). Anyways, yes those machines look very intriguing indeed. I will look further into them, thank you.

I should explain further about the chocolate mocha's that we create for customers. We use real belgian chocolate chips that come with white, dark, or white flavours. We also use steamed milk and a double short shot of espresso as well. I should mention that the espresso is put into the malt cup (metal milkshake cup) with a specific amount of chocolate chips (basically, a 12 ounce cup uses 2 tablespoons of chocolate; a 16 ounce cup takes 3 tablespoons, etc) and then we add steamed milk into the cup (just enough to cover the chocolate and heat it up to melt), then we use a kitchenaid hand blender to blend it all up for about 5-8 seconds (depends on what chocolate it is, dark takes longer whereas white chocolate takes less because it's very soft). Then finally we pour the blended chocolate mix into the cup and then pour the steamed milk into the cup, and finally add whipping cream with chocolate powder on top. It's very fattening you could say however the taste is amazing.

The espresso machine we use at work is a La Cimbali M29 Selectron (http://www.cimbali.com/eng/pr_scheda.asp?id=52). We also use the Mazzer mini grinder-doser (http://www.mazzer.com/scheda.asp?idprod=2#). As far as I can say, both are excellent machines and obviously cost a lot more than the average home use machine because they are commercial use. I wished I could have something like that at home, however, it would take up too much space and just want something similar to it but in a smaller form.

Once again, I am grateful for everyone's interest in my questions and would not be at this point without everyone's help.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,388
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon May 13, 2013, 5:24pm
Subject: Re: Buying advice on Grinder and Espresso machine
 

I don't know if you missed my reply earlier, but i know you mentioned you only want a machine and no grinder right now as you'll use pre-ground. Your gonna want a grinder at home, even fresh roasted coffee that's pre ground will go stale fast in about 15-20 min and taste blahhh vs ground right before use. Fresh roasted beans and a good grinder like the Vario are more important then the machine, can have a $10k machine, but if you use preground the shots/coffee will suck.
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Addiction89
Senior Member


Joined: 11 May 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Canada
Expertise: Pro Barista

Posted Mon May 13, 2013, 6:18pm
Subject: Re: Buying advice on Grinder and Espresso machine
 

CMIN Said:

I don't know if you missed my reply earlier, but i know you mentioned you only want a machine and no grinder right now as you'll use pre-ground. Your gonna want a grinder at home, even fresh roasted coffee that's pre ground will go stale fast in about 15-20 min and taste blahhh vs ground right before use. Fresh roasted beans and a good grinder like the Vario are more important then the machine, can have a $10k machine, but if you use preground the shots/coffee will suck.

Posted May 13, 2013 link

Yes I did read your message. Although everything you have said is true, I am unsure of buying the grinder because I cannot afford it if the espresso machine is over $2000; thus I would have to wait until I can afford it. Essentially, I can make a matcha latte (green tea powder whisked with hot water + steamed milk) to create a delicious combo that tastes great. Or I can just make a hot chocolate without espresso.

Ultimately, I do plan on getting a grinder and buying espresso beans (the drier the better of course) as the taste vastly outweighs pre-ground coffee that goes stale fast. Plus I am really not sure if pre-ground will produce a thick crema at all, lol.

I do thank you for your input though, I do appreciate the concern and advice. It has helped immensely, thanks.
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strawberrykoi
Senior Member
strawberrykoi
Joined: 11 Oct 2012
Posts: 43
Location: USA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3,...
Grinder: baratza vario, Hario...
Drip: chemex
Roaster: whirly pop
Posted Mon May 13, 2013, 9:47pm
Subject: Re: Buying advice on Grinder and Espresso machine
 

A trained barista buying pre-ground coffee ;V_V; At least get a hand grinder or something... I don't understand why you would buy a top of the line machine and pair it with stale coffee anytime, I guess it just comes across as a real shame to the rest of us here.
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 662
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Mon May 13, 2013, 10:43pm
Subject: Re: Buying advice on Grinder and Espresso machine
 

]

Addiction89 Said:

Wow, that's impressive. I'm impressed with your enthusiasm and interest in making great coffee and delicious drinks.

Posted May 13, 2013 link

My own wife is an admitted chocoholic, so I'll have to give your suggestion a shot. She's not normally into coffee and isn't big on the flavor, but I bet if I try
your method of making something like this, she'll love it. She already loves how I can foam up her hot chocolate better than using a Breville Milk Frother.

Addiction89 Said:

then we add steamed milk into the cup

Posted May 13, 2013 link

Do you steam cappuccino style milk, holding the foam back with a spoon and put the foam ontop later?

Addiction89 Said:

The espresso machine we use at work is a La Cimbali M29 Selectron

Posted May 13, 2013 link

Well, the closest thing that La Cimbali makes for the prosumer market is the La Cimbali Junior Casa DT1, but this is still a commercial machine.
https://www.chriscoffee.com/Cimbali_Junior_Casa_DT_1_p/d1-junior.htm
http://caffetech.com/espresso/commercial/cimbali/jr-dt1.html

Caffetech in Edmonton, AB distributes these machines on behalf of Chris's Coffee in New York.

But Holy cripes almighty, this machine is built like a tank and almost weighs as much as one too. If you want to bring your work home with you,
this is the baby brother to the machine you use at work. Rotary pump, plumb-in only and and enough steaming power to blow you off your feet and then some!
Actually, Chris's coffee had to have a special steam tip made because it has too much steam power for typical prosumer market use. The La Cimbali machine
doesn't have a reservoir option because it isn't a prosumer machine. That's the biggest thing that differentiates the prosumer segment.

If there were any "Dream Machine" HX machines on the market I'd love to get my hands on, this machine would be it. Retail price on these is about $3000, but
these machines are designed to last you a good solid 20 years or more. If you buy this machine, it will be the last machine you ever buy. Overkill? Damn straight!
I would also personally envy you and would demand to see pictures of your "Espresso Shrine" once you got it all set up.

On the upside, this machine is about roughly $1500 cheaper than a competing automatic Nuova Simonelli Appia single group machine and is probably one of the cheaper
true purpose-built commercial machines on the market. Would I recommend this machine to you? Only if you really hate money.

A Rocket R58 is roughly $400 less than the La Cimbali and the Alex Duetto 3 is $500 less and those are at the upper end of the Prosumer segment. (My Duetto
actually said "COMMERCIAL ESPRESSO MACHINE" on the box when I opened it.)

Joe at Caffetech is a pretty awesome guy to talk to, I bought my Duetto and Mazzer from him.

Addiction89 Said:

We also use the Mazzer mini grinder-doser

Posted May 13, 2013 link

Click Here (www.idrinkcoffee.com)

These typically retail between $650-$750, depending if you want them polished or not. The extra $100 makes it a no brainer if you want something looking nice.

So, if you want something that reminds you of work, for both machine and grinder, you are looking at $3600, although, I'm sure if you bought both together, Joe could cut you
a deal or throw something in to make the deal a bit sweeter. Please though, don't let me scare you off! You don't have to spend that much money to get great espresso!
Even with a decent high end reservoir based prosumer machine and the same Mazzer grinder, it's nearly $1000 less.

Addiction89 Said:

I wished I could have something like that at home, however, it would take up too much space and just want something similar to it but in a smaller form.

Posted May 13, 2013 link

If you really want to spend the cash, go right ahead. However, I should mention, expect to spend about another $225 on a canister water softener if your water is hard and
about another $200 to hire a plumber to put in the cold water tap and open trap drain if you want to seriously consider plumbing in. I spent the money and I really do not
regret being able to pre-infuse and not having to go completely neurotic worrying about wether the reservoir is going to run out in the middle of a shot. (I really hate that.)

Some people get around the issues of plumbing in by using one of those giant 19 liter water bottles which already have softened water in them. You can run the machine
directly off the bottle as long as you ensure that the bottle is never empty. (If it empties, you can damage the machine if the pump draws air.) You can use this as a stop gap
solution until you can afford to get in a plumber to put in everything. Rotary pumps work very well at this, but you won't be able to pre-infuse.

By the way, just in case you were curious, the La Cimbali uses up about as much counter space as my Duetto, it's very kitchen friendly. Look up the dimensions.

Also, "La Cimbali Junior DT/1" .. Here are the reviews on it. All of the
reviews on this machine are very favorable except for one (I have no idea what the heck happened there) and the consensus seems to be that this will be the last espresso
machine you will ever need to buy, ever. Seriously. I saw one in person and love the styling. When my Duetto packs it in, this could be my next machine...

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 662
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Mon May 13, 2013, 10:54pm
Subject: Re: Buying advice on Grinder and Espresso machine
 

How on Earth could I have finished that post without putting this in?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeJ8XbzE4zw

Chris goes through everything about this machine and does a great job demonstrating it. The version you can buy at Caffetech is
exactly the same kind of machine which Chris's coffee orders, so it'll have the dual manometer and the 3-hole steam tip.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,388
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue May 14, 2013, 5:14am
Subject: Re: Buying advice on Grinder and Espresso machine
 

Addiction89 Said:

Yes I did read your message. Although everything you have said is true, I am unsure of buying the grinder because I cannot afford it if the espresso machine is over $2000; thus I would have to wait until I can afford it. Essentially, I can make a matcha latte (green tea powder whisked with hot water + steamed milk) to create a delicious combo that tastes great. Or I can just make a hot chocolate without espresso.

Ultimately, I do plan on getting a grinder and buying espresso beans (the drier the better of course) as the taste vastly outweighs pre-ground coffee that goes stale fast. Plus I am really not sure if pre-ground will produce a thick crema at all, lol.

I do thank you for your input though, I do appreciate the concern and advice. It has helped immensely, thanks.

Posted May 13, 2013 link

I must be missing something, so you want to spend all this money to not make espresso, but make tea and hot chocolate using steam just for milk? Don't need to spend thousands for that. Why do that when you can get a machine like the Cuadra and Vario grinder in your budget???  Be like getting a Porsche GT3 w/ no Sport Cup tires lol. Preground won't work, unless you would really like the taste of underextracted stale shots w/ no crema, a $200 machine with a $300 grinder will outperform any machine costing way over a couple thousand used with preground.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,154
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 Tue May 14, 2013, 6:04am
Subject: Re: Buying advice on Grinder and Espresso machine
 

strawberrykoi Said:

A trained barista buying pre-ground coffee ;V_V; At least get a hand grinder or something... I don't understand why you would buy a top of the line machine and pair it with stale coffee anytime, I guess it just comes across as a real shame to the rest of us here.

Posted May 13, 2013 link

+ 1  (though I doubt professional and trained are interchangeable) Seriously...what are you thinking!

Here's a little experiment for you...next time you go to work grind some coffee and put it in a small bowl or prep dish or something of the sort.  Then put it off to the side, out of the way, with a note on it begging all the other baristi not to throw it in the trash.  go home.  Next time you go to work, try pulling a shot with that pre-ground stuff you left sitting out on the counter.  don't bother reporting back, we all know what the results will be.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Addiction89
Senior Member


Joined: 11 May 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Canada
Expertise: Pro Barista

Posted Tue May 14, 2013, 10:44am
Subject: Re: Buying advice on Grinder and Espresso machine
 

I'm sensing a lot of confusion about what I have been writing about.

I am well aware of espresso beans vs ground coffee. If we sold ground coffee to our customers then all of our lattes and Americano's would taste terrible.

I believe the knowledge that everyone has provided in this thread is very useful and beneficial in providing an excellent choice for espresso. I cannot determine how much I appreciate the assistance.

Lastly, there are different ways to steam milk. To make a milk mocha, you must steam it with little to some foam (making foam is unpreventable of course). To be exact, use the stainless steel milk pitcher; looks like this http://www.amazon.ca/gp/aw/d/B0039P15N4). Making some foam allows you to create latte art as you steam some foam.... make the milk spin while steaming creating less air bubbles... when it gets too hot to touch the metal then its done and then u bang out the bubbles.... swirl the milk and pour at an angle.... then u circle slowly and push hard to make a heart or a Rosetta... etc.

Latte art is not easy and if u just want a nice tasty hot chocolate then just steam with less foam.

A cappuccino is dry and has very little milk. Its so dry that it feels light because the milk was created with lots of air.

I would not recommend putting dry milk foam into your hot chocolate when u blend it since u want it to be thick and hot enough to melt the chocolate.

I suppose the best solution is to show you but I have no such equipment. I can record one of my coworkers if you'd be interested.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,154
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 Tue May 14, 2013, 11:01am
Subject: Re: Buying advice on Grinder and Espresso machine
 

Addiction89 Said:

I'm sensing a lot of confusion about what I have been writing about.

Posted May 14, 2013 link

yeah..what are you writing about?  You follow that realization with what amounts to you attempting to educate the members of this forum.  Yet...you make no attempt whatsoever to clarify the intent of your posts...which I find quite strange, given your acknowledgement of the confusion you've conjured.

Anyhow, from what I can tell...you came here looking for advice on what to buy and then said a couple/few things that made everyone wonder how much you actually know (which earned you a load of unsolicited advice).  I'm not even sure if you're really interested in equipment...your budget went from $1,500 to $2,500 like you were changing shirts, and then...boom...you went up to $3k...yet you still seemed to be unable to afford a grinder if the machine was over 2k...heck, you can get an awesome grinder for 1k????  And you also said you wanted something like you have at work, but then said it's too big for your home.  Now it sounds like you are simply trying to pass on what you've learned in your 3 months as a barista.  

So...yeah...it's a bit confusing...starting to sound like a troll, honestly.

.

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