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Battle of Classes: Gaggia vs. Mypressi/Bellman vs. Lever  ???
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Battle of...  
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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 Thu May 23, 2013, 9:49pm
Subject: Re: Battle of Classes: Gaggia vs. Mypressi/Bellman vs. Lever  ???
 

My vote is certainly for the Mypressi. It will make a heck of a lot better of a shot than the gaggia, IMO. There's really nothing comparable to it at its price point, and yes you can still find it online via sites like amazon and eBay. If it tells you anything, I have two Mypressis, YES two - just in case one breaks on me. Not only does it make delicious coffee, but you are left with a perfect traveling companion when you do upgrade to a better machine. I used a little hand aerolatte frother to froth my milk, and can even make latte art.

As for your grinder, sorry, it's really not that good. Not only will it not be able to produce the best flavors, but it will simply not grind fine enough. With the Mypressi, you would have to use the coarse basket and your espresso would still taste a little weak. The vario really is the best at its price point too... Just about anything cheaper can't compete.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,781
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri May 24, 2013, 3:50am
Subject: Re: Battle of Classes: Gaggia vs. Mypressi/Bellman vs. Lever  ???
 

If you can get a Sylvia at that price, it would be good machine, just be careful on eBay. Most of the stories of problems with purchases seem to come from there but good luck, I prefer to have hands on before I buy so I can see for myself if there are issues with the machine. You can have confidence in the BST board when buying from loving time members.but remember all sales are from private people and the board has no responsibility in the sales, the forum is for the convenience of the members.

If you spend some time reading here, you will get a sense of the quality of machines which is important when buying used as what comes to market will change day to day and you will not have time to ask about each machine before the good ones are sold.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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MatP
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Mar 2013
Posts: 42
Location: Southern California
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Macap MXP
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri May 24, 2013, 9:01am
Subject: Re: Battle of Classes: Gaggia vs. Mypressi/Bellman vs. Lever  ???
 

I just noticed the comment "Mypressi is much better than a Gaggia".... Not knowing what a Mypressi is, but owning a Gaggia that gives me good coffee, this conversation became very interesting from a sudden :-)

I started to wonder, what in the Mypressi provides the required 9bar pressure to get good espresso. The marketing videos are very good at not mentioning anything, but I eventually found out that it uses pressurized cartridges. From a vendor webiste, it seems that a cartridge will serve 4 doubles. Let's say a double a day, and sometimes a little more during the weekend, it rounds up to 100 cartridges a year. All a sudden, the mypressi is not cheap anymore, for something that:
  • does not heat water
  • does not steam
  • needs to be pre-heated

I cannot possibly understand the comment saying that the result in the cup is far better with a mypressi. Both devices are able to push water through a filter basket at the required pressure (which is adjustable on the Gaggia, and not dependent on a cartridge). Some people might appreciate the mypressi, and I do not argue against this, but the Gaggia is a very good entry level machine, at an affordable price. So bashing it should be done carefully.

Cheers

MatP
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,380
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri May 24, 2013, 9:48am
Subject: Re: Battle of Classes: Gaggia vs. Mypressi/Bellman vs. Lever  ???
 

I don't see how the Mypressi could be "far better" then the Classic as far as the shot taste is concerned. I've never seen a Mypressi owner say that on here or HB, owners have generally just said it makes a decent/good shot, just like the Classic makes a decent/good shot. I could see it being useful for traveling, but even then just seems annoying to use, no way in heck would I want to deal with that procedure a few times a day. And those cartridges aren't exactly cheap so it starts adding up if your using it daily.
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timatkaleo
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 9
Location: North Texas
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri May 24, 2013, 11:19am
Subject: Re: Battle of Classes: Gaggia vs. Mypressi/Bellman vs. Lever  ???
 

I want to remove the variables of grinder and hassle from the discussion, if possible. I understand that users of their respective machines like them. But what I want to know is assuming a great grinder (mines not, I know will get a Pharos or something)- in a blind taste test which inexpensive epresso shot wins? Has anyone tried these methods and machines side by side?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,781
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri May 24, 2013, 12:52pm
Subject: Re: Battle of Classes: Gaggia vs. Mypressi/Bellman vs. Lever  ???
 

This is really a very personal thing. Everyone tastes differently so what is great an nuanced for me, may not give you the same breadth of flavors.
For a good shot, you need
9 bar pressure
195 to 205 F water
fresh coffee
and lets not forget, freshly and properly ground coffee.
with a tamp in the 25 to 50 pound range, just be consistent from shot to shot, it is the least important varriable.

All the base machines discussed here will do this, some are easier to use than others but again, a personal thing as it may be good for me and not you.

There is no "best" machine delivering the "best" shot but typically most $250 to $400 will give you good to great espresso depending on how you do your work to prep for each shot.

In general, bigger boilers are better but all machines in this class have click thermostats so temp surfing will be mandatory.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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biochemgawd
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Mar 2006
Posts: 85
Location: Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: BDB
Grinder: Vario
Posted Fri May 24, 2013, 1:08pm
Subject: Re: Battle of Classes: Gaggia vs. Mypressi/Bellman vs. Lever  ???
 

timatkaleo Said:

I want to remove the variables of grinder and hassle from the discussion, if possible. I understand that users of their respective machines like them. But what I want to know is assuming a great grinder (mines not, I know will get a Pharos or something)- in a blind taste test which inexpensive epresso shot wins? Has anyone tried these methods and machines side by side?

Posted May 24, 2013 link

Actually, of your two grinders, the Hario Mini has the better burr set - it can easily grind fine enough for espresso but it just lacks in adjustability.

Regarding machine, there are many choices in the sub-$500 range. Gaggia Classic, Lelit PL071, Silvia: new or used (and well cared for) are all solid single boiler, dual use (SBDU) machines that will make great espresso with some good beans and experience. I say experience because these machines are not as temperature stable as more expensive machines with tighter temp control, so you have to develop a consistent process to make up for it. For steaming, just make sure you have a proper wand, which I believe the Silvia and Lelit come with and Gaggia can be modified to have.
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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 Fri May 24, 2013, 6:58pm
Subject: Re: Battle of Classes: Gaggia vs. Mypressi/Bellman vs. Lever  ???
 

IMO, there are several reasons why the Mypressi is a better choice, and yes, it does create 9 bars of pressure (from N2o cartridges). The shots it makes taste better in MY personal experience, and it has been compared to machines in the $1500 price range numerous times in popular reviews. Also, there's never a need to offload it when you upgrade, because its perfect for traveling. That makes it a great first-time machine, at least I think.

The cons are:
- You have to buy cartridges.
- You're never really sure if your N2o cartridge is empty or not
- No steaming capabilities
- No PID or much variability
- Difficult to purchase replacement parts

But those are things that are balanced out by the price point. It's really one of the cheapest options for the quality, and even though I can't imagine using it as my ONLY device for very long, I think it's the perfect starting point.

Of course this is all just my opinion, but that's what we're supposed to be delivering here, right?
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Buckley
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat May 25, 2013, 6:28am
Subject: Re: Battle of Classes: Gaggia vs. Mypressi/Bellman vs. Lever  ???
 

strawberrykoi Said:

IMO, there are several reasons why the Mypressi is a better choice, and yes, it does create 9 bars of pressure (from N2o cartridges). The shots it makes taste better in MY personal experience, and it has been compared to machines in the $1500 price range numerous times in popular reviews. Also, there's never a need to offload it when you upgrade, because its perfect for traveling. That makes it a great first-time machine, at least I think.

The cons are:
- You have to buy cartridges.
- You're never really sure if your N2o cartridge is empty or not
- No steaming capabilities
- No PID or much variability
- Difficult to purchase replacement parts

But those are things that are balanced out by the price point. It's really one of the cheapest options for the quality, and even though I can't imagine using it as my ONLY device for very long, I think it's the perfect starting point.

Of course this is all just my opinion, but that's what we're supposed to be delivering here, right?

Posted May 24, 2013 link

Right.

As has happened frequently in the past, let me second s-koi's advice to consider a Mypressi.  The pros and cons are nicely and succinctly laid out.

Let me soften the cons a little bit.  I do this also for the auditors (I dislike the term 'lurkers') who may be considering a similar purchase of their own.

The cartridges are a nuisance, albeit a small one.  They can be had for cheap on auction sites and still reasonably priced on specialty web sites.  Keeping them stocked may be as much of a pain as shelling out money for them.  In compensation, you do not have to buy a blind portafilter, backflush regularly, descale your boiler, replace your OPV or heating element, or worry about your water supply.

Almost all of us own kitchen scales.  With a little system, you can always be sure how many shots are present in the cartridge.  The water fill cap has a counting indicator on it and I find that it pays to be mindful of using it as part of the routine in order to count the shots 'pulled' from the current cartridge.  If you do not like this system, then just weigh your Mypressi handle (dry) with a full cartridge and an empty cartridge and you will have a good idea how much gas is left.  Mine weighs 513 grams when full, 506.5 grams when empty, and each shot seems to require 1.5 grams of gas.  The cartridges from different manufacturers are remarkably similar in mass and fill.

The steam/PID is a shortcoming.  When I first operated my Mypressi, I had no trouble in getting excellent flavors from the roasts that I bought.  I drink everything black, but I have a 'steam-toy' steamer, a garage sale purchase for $5.  Then somewhere along the line, I bought some more good roasts, but these were temperature-sensitive.  I found that I could not get the water in the reservoir above 188-190 degrees, no matter how much I prewarmed the reservoir.  Then I read on home-barista how one could heat the water in the reservoir using a steam wand.  It is a minor pain to hold the Mypress with one hand, a digital thermometer with the other and turn the steam on and off with the third.  It does allow for some temperature control and the ability to infuse a wider scope of roasts with even better results.  Therefore, and especially if you want milk drinks, a fully 'tricked-out' Mypressi setup requires the addition of a steam toy.

S-koi, what replacement parts did you personally need and not get from Espressi?  Did you ever correspond with mypressi.com and order your flap valve for the second time, as per suggestion?  On the occasions when I needed replacement parts (twice in two years), they were always available and were sent quickly.  In comparison, posts in this forum are dense with people needing parts from other companies and sometimes posts on how poor other companies communicate with them.  

In summary, I cast my vote with s-koi.

With Kindness,

Buckley
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 654
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 27, 2013, 2:13am
Subject: Re: Battle of Classes: Gaggia vs. Mypressi/Bellman vs. Lever  ???
 

Whoa whoa.. Let's slow down a little bit.. I'm coming into this thread a bit late.

timatkaleo Said:

I want to remove the variables of grinder and hassle from the discussion, if possible.
....in a blind taste test which inexpensive epresso shot wins? Has anyone tried these methods and machines side by side?

Posted May 24, 2013 link

OK, I just thought I should get this off my chest, the whole thread has gone completely off track, at least IMHO.

First of all, imagine a chain. That chain goes like this... Coffee, Grinder, Machine, Operator. The weakest link in the chain makes the
weakest espresso. In saying that, I noticed more of an improvement in the shot upgrading my grinder than I did my machine.

All that buying a more expensive machine does is increase the convenience of making the shot, it doesn't always make a better shot.
(Unless you are moving away from pressurized portafilters to unpressurized portafilters, but that's not really my point.) Does it make it
easier to make a better shot? Absolutely. Just as much as driving a car with a manual transmission takes more knowledge and effort
to drive than a car with an automatic transmission.

Cal's suggestions on which machines to buy is a good start, but you have to keep in mind that these machines he's suggested use a
pressurized portafilter. They don't produce "real" espresso like you buy in a cafe. They do produce strong coffee though. This is a serious
compromise. Pressurized portafilter machines will work great with your existing grinder because they're meant to. They're designed
specifically for the budget minded consumer such as yourself. However, If you are adamant about making "real" espresso, then a
non-pressurized portafilter machine is the only option and with it comes considerable cost.

In my own personal experiences, Expect to make some serious compromises in convenience, durability and "Fuss and Muss" if you
expect to spend anything less than $1000 on both a new espresso machine, coffee grinder and accessories. I'm talking about making honest
to God real espresso, no pressurized portafilters, no lousy grinders, no cartridges, no compromises, short of the limitations of a SBDU.

Messing with cartridges IMO is good if you need something portable, for daily regular use it stinks. I'm not discounting the MyPressi, but
you have to use the right tool for the right job. If you plan on making an espresso once in a while, it may suit your needs. However, IMHO
starting out, unless budget is a very serious concern, its not really a road worth going down.

Now, the price I quoted is if you are buying new. You can halve that budget if you feel comfortable buying used, but caveat emptor. You
have the potential of buying someone elses problems in that regard, unless you are absolutely sure that the machines were well cared for.
Now in saying that, there isn't too much that can go wrong with a grinder, but the machine is a whole other story. Has it been descaled
regularly? How often was it backflushed? How often was it backflushed with detergent?

Cal is pretty much on the mark with what you need to make a good shot, but you also have to take into account the equipment you want
to work with. Now in saying that, if you think that a pressurized portafilter machine is "Good enough" for now, then go for it. Try it out and
see if you like it. However, if you are adamant in having cafe grade espresso, you are going to have to pay for it.

Now, re-reading your original post, buying a used Gaggia Classic or Rancilio Silvia is a great way to start out on the road to making espresso.
However, with it must come a decent grinder, either machine won't put up with an imprecise grind. As much as I hate to say it, you'll have to
look at doubling your budget if you really want to start out with one of these machines.

Lever machines, such as the La Pavoni, really shouldn't be chosen for the beginner, unless you can find one for a cheaper price than either one
of the machines I quoted above, which isn't really likely as these machines can end up costing more in some cases. I personally find (IMHO!) that
pump machines are easier to use and make for an easier entry into the world of espresso.

A Single Boiler Dual Use Machine will handle your needs quite nicely and will produce a better shot than a Thermoblock machine due to better
temperature stability. I've developed an opinion now that to make decent Microfoamed milk with lots of steaming power, you need a machine with
a boiler, plain and simple. (Some people may disagree with me on this, but that's my own personal experience.)

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