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Lelit, Ascaso, or CC1
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CWirth
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Jun 2013
Posts: 20
Location: Tampa
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jun 9, 2013, 8:48pm
Subject: Lelit, Ascaso, or CC1
 

Hello,

I am currently looking to upgrade my Starbucks Barista. For the most part I will be making straight espresso shots for myself. Occasionally I will be making milk based drinks / drinks for others however this is not a main concern. I currently have all the needed accessories including a Baratza Preciso.

Last summer I was fortunate enough to have an internship in New York. During this time I was able to visit the best shops that the city has to offer. While I have not been able to completely match the quality, I have been able to pull shots that to me at least, closely resemble those of the top shops. The problem lies in the consistency. While I can pull good shots with my setup, I cannot do it as often as I would like.

I would preferably like to keep my budget for the new machne below $600 and while I have no problem with refurbished I would rather not buy used. I have recently ordered a Breville Infuser for $400 though I still have time to cancel the order. Moreover, since I read of past quality issues with Breville products, I purchased the machine from Bed Bath and Beyond which offers a satisfaction guarantee on their products (I called and was told that there is no time limit on returns).

I went with the Infuser as a result of the following:
- Silvia is overpriced in today's market
- I read of a large amount of quality issues with the CC1
- While the Infuser does not have an adjustable PID, it does have a PID which negates the need for Temperature Surfing.
- The price was $200 cheaper than the Silvia and CC1
- While there are not many reviews of the Infuser and Breville does not have the best reputation for quality with this community, all the reviews I have read from people who have the Infuser were positive (all the negative comments I have found were from individuals commenting on Breville's past reputation not this actual machine)

I would love to hear everyone's comments. Did I make a mistake in going with this machine?

Thank you all,

Chris
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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 Jun 10, 2013, 12:58am
Subject: Re: Espresso Machine Under $600
 

CWirth Said:

I would preferably like to keep my budget for the new machne below $600

Posted June 9, 2013 link

For that budget, I'd consider a Gaggia Classic. The Rancilio Silvia, despite it's price, is a considerably superior machine to the Gaggia, at least IMHO.
Larger boiler, a proper steaming wand instead of a panarello and it comes with the extact same portafilter Rancilio uses on their professional machines.
I think, despite the price, you are paying for the name and the reputation... and it's a well deserved one. I absolutely loved my Silvia.

Can you get a Lelit machine where you live? Something like the Lelit PL41TEM? Also consider the Ascaso Uno Professional. (Not the non-PID model!)

CWirth Said:

I have recently ordered a Breville Infuser for $400

Posted June 9, 2013 link

I'd cancel your order ASAP. This machine isn't even in the same league as a Gaggia or a Silvia. The Breville is a thermocoil machine, the Gaggia and the Silvia are
both boiler machines. The Gaggia and Rancilio machines are going to give you better temperature stability and both of these machines will have considerably
better longevity. One member on this list got about 20 years worth of use out of his Silvia, I doubt the Breville would get you more than 1/4 of that.

Don't waste your money and save your pennies a bit and spend that bit extra, you won't regret it.

CWirth Said:

I purchased the machine from Bed Bath and Beyond which offers a satisfaction guarantee on their products

Posted June 9, 2013 link

That's true, but how much is your time, effort, gas, etc worth to you? If you are going to consider buying an espresso machine from BB&B, there is only one
machine they sell I'd consider buying, the Breville Dual Boiler. Sometimes BB&B has them on sale... I realize that pretty much violates your budget all to heck
and then some, but compare the two machines and you'll see for yourself that its just a whole other class of machine.

Now, in saying that, you will make compromises for your budget, an SBDU is one of them. If your $600 budget is pretty much fixed, then a non-PID
controlled SBDU machine is really your only option. Add another $200 onto your budget if you insist on PID control.

CWirth Said:

- Silvia is overpriced in today's market

Posted June 9, 2013 link

Perhaps. I think Rancilio could stand to add a built in PID at the same price or at least drop it by $100. When you consider all of the SBDU machines
out there, the Silvia by far, IMHO, is one of the best SBDU machines on the market. Adding a PID to it makes it the best SBDU machine on the market.

CWirth Said:

- I read of a large amount of quality issues with the CC1

Posted June 9, 2013 link

This is news to me?

CWirth Said:

- While the Infuser does not have an adjustable PID, it does have a PID which negates the need for Temperature Surfing.

Posted June 9, 2013 link

True, but I'd rather temperature surf a boiler based machine than use a PID controlled Thermocoil. If only just for reliability.

CWirth Said:

- - The price was $200 cheaper than the Silvia and CC1

Posted June 9, 2013 link

Well, you do get what you pay for.

CWirth Said:

Did I make a mistake in going with this machine?

Posted June 9, 2013 link

Absolutely. I'd advise cancelling your order immediately and getting something else. Temperature surfing isn't that hard to do, but it is a little
bit of a pain. Any PID controlled SBDU machine is going to be outside of your budget. It's a compromise to meet your budget.

IMO, $200 does go a long way in the SBDU market. Rather than wasting $400 on a machine you won't be happy with, save up an extra $200 and
go for a machine which will last you, has a good reputation for reliability, has a good knowledge source and is upgradable.

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


Joined: 13 Mar 2013
Posts: 89
Location: Denmark
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Apscaso uno steel prof
Grinder: Mazzer Major DR + Mahlkönig...
Drip: french press, ceramic v60...
Roaster: skillet
Posted Mon Jun 10, 2013, 3:15am
Subject: Re: Espresso Machine Under $600
 

qualin Said:

Also consider the Ascaso Uno Professional. (Not the non-PID model!)

Posted June 10, 2013 link

Im very happy with mine. Its pretty, well functioning and heats from brew to steam in the time it takes me to rinse portafilter, whipe grouphead and fill the pitcher... No worries there.
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CWirth
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Jun 2013
Posts: 20
Location: Tampa
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jun 10, 2013, 9:19am
Subject: Re: Espresso Machine Under $600
 

qualin Said:

For that budget, I'd consider a Gaggia Classic. The Rancilio Silvia, despite it's price, is a considerably superior machine to the Gaggia, at least IMHO.
Larger boiler, a proper steaming wand instead of a panarello and it comes with the extact same portafilter Rancilio uses on their professional machines.
I think, despite the price, you are paying for the name and the reputation... and it's a well deserved one. I absolutely loved my Silvia.

Can you get a Lelit machine where you live? Something like the Lelit PL41TEM? Also consider the Ascaso Uno Professional. (Not the non-PID model!)



I'd cancel your order ASAP. This machine isn't even in the same league as a Gaggia or a Silvia. The Breville is a thermocoil machine, the Gaggia and the Silvia are
both boiler machines. The Gaggia and Rancilio machines are going to give you better temperature stability and both of these machines will have considerably
better longevity. One member on this list got about 20 years worth of use out of his Silvia, I doubt the Breville would get you more than 1/4 of that.

Don't waste your money and save your pennies a bit and spend that bit extra, you won't regret it.



That's true, but how much is your time, effort, gas, etc worth to you? If you are going to consider buying an espresso machine from BB&B, there is only one
machine they sell I'd consider buying, the Breville Dual Boiler. Sometimes BB&B has them on sale... I realize that pretty much violates your budget all to heck
and then some, but compare the two machines and you'll see for yourself that its just a whole other class of machine.

Now, in saying that, you will make compromises for your budget, an SBDU is one of them. If your $600 budget is pretty much fixed, then a non-PID
controlled SBDU machine is really your only option. Add another $200 onto your budget if you insist on PID control.



Perhaps. I think Rancilio could stand to add a built in PID at the same price or at least drop it by $100. When you consider all of the SBDU machines
out there, the Silvia by far, IMHO, is one of the best SBDU machines on the market. Adding a PID to it makes it the best SBDU machine on the market.



This is news to me?



True, but I'd rather temperature surf a boiler based machine than use a PID controlled Thermocoil. If only just for reliability.



Well, you do get what you pay for.



Absolutely. I'd advise cancelling your order immediately and getting something else. Temperature surfing isn't that hard to do, but it is a little
bit of a pain. Any PID controlled SBDU machine is going to be outside of your budget. It's a compromise to meet your budget.

IMO, $200 does go a long way in the SBDU market. Rather than wasting $400 on a machine you won't be happy with, save up an extra $200 and
go for a machine which will last you, has a good reputation for reliability, has a good knowledge source and is upgradable.

Posted June 10, 2013 link

Ok. I'm going to cancel my order with BB&B. Between the Lelit with PID and Silvia without PID which would you recommend?

- I have not ordered with 1st line before (are they are trustful company?)
- I know I would be able to find silvia parts anywhere. What if something happened with the Lelit?
- I do know how to temperature surf as I needed to with my Starbucks Barista
- I would add a PID later to the Silvia but would not want to spend that money now

Thanks again
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biochemgawd
Senior Member


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

Espresso: BDB
Grinder: Vario
Posted Mon Jun 10, 2013, 9:52am
Subject: Re: Espresso Machine Under $600
 

I've had both of those. My Lelit PL041 with aftermarket PID was more consistent and more forgiving than the Silvia and didn't require an exact ritual timed to the second. Also much quicker to go from shot to steam.

Only downsides to the Lelit are less solid construction (but still good) and non-standard portafilter size (57mm compared to 58mm).
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CWirth
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Jun 2013
Posts: 20
Location: Tampa
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jun 10, 2013, 9:59am
Subject: Re: Espresso Machine Under $600
 

biochemgawd Said:

I've had both of those. My Lelit PL041 with aftermarket PID was more consistent and more forgiving than the Silvia and didn't require an exact ritual timed to the second. Also much quicker to go from shot to steam.

Only downsides to the Lelit are less solid construction (but still good) and non-standard portafilter size (57mm compared to 58mm).

Posted June 10, 2013 link

I am leaning towards this machine. What would go say regarding the longevity of this machine (I know many people have had Silvias for decades). If something does go wrong, will it be harder to fix than the Silvia? Do you feel comfortable with 1st line coffee?
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biochemgawd
Senior Member


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

Espresso: BDB
Grinder: Vario
Posted Mon Jun 10, 2013, 10:07am
Subject: Re: Espresso Machine Under $600
 

I bought my Silvia new from 1st Line and they were excellent. My Lelit was used from a member here, the previous owner had installed the PID - it was probably 15 years old when I sold it earlier this year - still going strong.
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1stline
Senior Member
1stline
Joined: 24 Jan 2002
Posts: 496
Location: Freehold, NJ USA
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Undisclosed
Grinder: Indisclosed
Vac Pot: Bodum Electric
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Mon Jun 10, 2013, 11:20am
Subject: Re: Espresso Machine Under $600
 

CWirth Said:

Hello,

...
- While the Infuser does not have an adjustable PID, it does have a PID which negates the need for Temperature Surfing. ...

Posted June 9, 2013 link

Disclaimer: We do not sell Breville products at the time of this writing, so I am unsure of the features of their machine in question. Second, we do sell the Lelit.

Although a machine may have a PID, many folks that I speak to interpret the PID to make an espresso machine's boiler 100% temp stable. This is not true. There are many factors that make the brew water precise and stable during an espresso extraction.

First, the PID is the first step to monitor and control the temperature.

Second, thermal mass of the water and metal of the boiler and grouphead have to maintain stability throughout the system while idling and while pulling back to back extractions. In other words, different usage situations (within reason) can make the temp unstable. If the PID display only shows programmed temp, then there is a false positive that the machine is 'spot on' temperature. Therefore, a machine should always provide current temp instead of programmed temp.

Third, voltage. In the US, 110 volts makes it very limited in recovery of a boiler pulling back to back extractions or for those machines that have a LOT of mass. This is where design helps (ie running the brew water first through the powered on steam boiler, 20 amps vs 15 amps, each boiler size and respectful heating element wattage).

Fourth, the the actual temp reading of the PID is only at the point of measurement. This is why many get a SCACE or gruppo thermometer to measure temp at the gruppo (which can be different than the temp of where the PID is reading from).

Here are some examples to hopefully provide many with a better understanding:

On the Lelit PID... The machine does show actual temp, not programmed temp. The thermal mass of the boiler is very small, and when pulling a shot, you will see the temp go down while the PID is trying to make the boiler recover.

Next, as mentioned, was the Ascaso Steel Uno Professional with PID. During an extraction, the temp of the boiler goes down, but from my experience, less quickly than the Lelit. This is due to the larger boiler which has more brass and more water acting as thermal mass. I am not sure which metal and size the CC1 has for the boiler thermal mass.

In the next higher range of double boiler machines, such as the Expobar Brewtus, Izzo Duetto, Vibiemme Double Boiler, La Spaziale, and Quickmill double boilers, there is a LOT of thermal mass to hold superior stability. However, there is so much mass, that heat loss/dissipation can happen more quickly than a 110 volt machine can keep up with while idling. This is where the groupheads can run cold and require a flush to heat. On the flip side, start pulling back to back shots, and the brew water can start to curve upwards.

Hopefully, my comment confirms what another poster stated.... one gets what one pays for, in most cases.

 
Sincerely,
Jim Piccinich
Business Partner
1st-line Equipment, LLC
www.1st-line.com

Follow us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/1stline
Twitter: http://twitter.com/1stline
Blog: http://1st-line.blogspot.com/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/1stlineespresso
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CWirth
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Jun 2013
Posts: 20
Location: Tampa
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jun 10, 2013, 1:41pm
Subject: Re: Espresso Machine Under $600
 

Thank you all for the help. I have narrowed it down to two machines.

The Lelit with PID for $599 from 1st line
The crossland CC1 on sale from SGG $630
A refurbished Ascaso Steel Uno Professional PID Espresso Machine from 1st line $599


The Lelit looks like it is built better
The CC1 has pre infusion and more settings

What does everyone think?

Thanks again
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Fred1
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Sep 2004
Posts: 564
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: LaSpaziale S1 Mini Vivaldi...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini/NS MCF
Vac Pot: None
Drip: Chemex
Roaster: Hottop, FR+8
Posted Mon Jun 10, 2013, 2:48pm
Subject: Re: Lelit, Ascaso, or CC1
 

Any of the 3 machines will meet your needs.

Good luck, and enjoy.

Fred
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