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Need to upgrade our coffee machine, need advice!
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Need to upgrade...  
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vtoniolo
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Jun 2013
Posts: 4
Location: San Francisco
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:07pm
Subject: Need to upgrade our coffee machine, need advice!
 

Hello,

We have owned a La Pavoni Europiccola for 10 years, and we would like to upgrade our machine. We love the Europiccola: it's beautiful and it was a good machine to learn how make coffee on, but it's leaky and I think we are ready for something better.

I need advice for the following:

1) A new, awesome machine. Please make suggestions. It doesn't have to be manual. I'd like it to look good, like the Europiccola. I'd like it to cost not much more than $1000, and it needs to make awesome coffee and a great cappuccino, by whatever means. I'd like a small machine - something that can fit given limited counter space.

2) Best online store to buy one. This will be a gift for my husband, so instead of choosing one myself I may get a gift certificate for him so that he can select one himself. Is Seattle Coffee Gear a good place?

Thanks!
Viola
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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 Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:23pm
Subject: Re: Need to upgrade our coffee machine, need advice!
 

Welcome, we need a wee bit more information
Let's take it from the top...

Coffeenoobie Said:

Welcome to CoffeeGeek!


Standard Questions:

1)  What kind of drinks do you like/want to make?  (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's capabilities.)
2)  How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself needing to make at any one time? (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's ability to work continuously.)
3)  How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself making in any given week?  (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's durability.)
4)  Can you plumb a machine directly into the water supply, or do you want/need a pour over machine with its own reservoir?
5)  Do you have a 20-amp circuit available, or only a (standard) 15-amp circuit?
6)  What is your budget for a new machine?  Does that also include a grinder?  If not, what is your budget for a grinder?
7)  Are you willing to buy used or do you need new equipment? Do you or family member have the skills to repair used equipment?
8)  Do you have the essential accessories (decent tamper, knockbox, the works), otherwise budget about $100 for these.

Posted March 12, 2013 link

Also: What grinder do you have? Whats the need for the upgrade, just for kicks or cant the europiccola meet your needs?
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vtoniolo
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Jun 2013
Posts: 4
Location: San Francisco
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:46pm
Subject: Re: Need to upgrade our coffee machine, need advice!
 

Here are my answers:

1) Espresso and cappuccino
2) At least one espresso and 1-2 cappuccinos daily, more on weekends (4-5 at a time)
3) 10-15 per week
4) Need a machine with its own reservoir
5) Standard only
6) Machine only (we already have a grinder) about $1000 (give or take $100)
7) New or used is fine, and yes, we have fix skills
8) We have all the accessories
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vtoniolo
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Jun 2013
Posts: 4
Location: San Francisco
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jun 27, 2013, 12:49pm
Subject: Re: Need to upgrade our coffee machine, need advice!
 

PS We have a very good Ascaso burr grinder. We need a new one because the Europiccola is constantly leaky (despite an annual tuneup) and we generally want something a little more reliable.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,023
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Jun 27, 2013, 2:03pm
Subject: Re: Need to upgrade our coffee machine, need advice!
 

You need to read the rest of my new machine post and tell us what kind of machine and size you would like.  I could tell you what I would spend 1k on but you said size is an issue.....  Not much is smaller than what you had.  Most of the better machines have larger boilers, and that makes the whole unit larger....

 
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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vtoniolo
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Jun 2013
Posts: 4
Location: San Francisco
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jun 27, 2013, 2:56pm
Subject: Re: Need to upgrade our coffee machine, need advice!
 

I'd love any recommendations that fit the price. I'm pretty much a newbie when it comes to this! I can figure out what works size wise one I have a list. Thanks!
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DanoM
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 358
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Thu Jun 27, 2013, 3:15pm
Subject: Re: Need to upgrade our coffee machine, need advice!
 

vtoniolo Said:

I need advice for the following:
1) A new, awesome machine. Please make suggestions. It doesn't have to be manual. I'd like it to look good, like the Europiccola. I'd like it to cost not much more than $1000, and it needs to make awesome coffee and a great cappuccino, by whatever means. I'd like a small machine - something that can fit given limited counter space.
2) Best online store to buy one. This will be a gift for my husband, so instead of choosing one myself I may get a gift certificate for him so that he can select one himself. Is Seattle Coffee Gear a good place?

Posted June 27, 2013 link

Even the smaller machines can be quite tall.  15-20" tall isn't an unusual height.  Couple that with the need to fill many of the water reservoirs from the top can make kitchen cabinets a huge impediment.  That and the fact that a hot espresso machine sitting under a kitchen cabinet will strip the paint off in time from the heat and steam.  La Pavoni levers are quite small in comparison.

Moving from the La Pavoni to anything else gives you a ton of choices:
Boiler solutions alone: thermal-block, single boiler dual use, single boiler HX, dual boiler

If it were me I'd look at a nice semi-automatic in stainless or chrome with an E61 group - USED.  They generally look lovely, and behind the metal you can get various options for the heating and delivery of your boiler water.  Personally, I love the look of these machines with that E61 group lever for control.  (Not a lever action like your Pavoni though.)  The Quickmill Alexia, is one I like the looks of.  The problem is this isn't a machine for me...
Click Here (www.clivecoffee.com)

So if you don't know what you and your husband would like I'd recommend you check out a few places in San Francisco for ideas.  Thomas E Cara is a well known and respected dealer that might have some products they could introduce you to first hand.  Always nice to take a look at machines and have a local contact should something initially go wrong with the equipment.  (My 1984 La Pavoni was originally sold through Thomas Cara.  They also service La Pavoni's if you need that leak addressed.)
http://www.yelp.com/biz/thomas-e-cara-san-francisco

For the gift certificate I'd make my own if I were you.  Present him with a card from the stationery store that states it's good for 1 espresso machine up to $1000 and let him pick the seller; be they local, used, or online markets.  That would give him the ability to pick from any seller out there.  Or you could even put the money into a visa gift card if you feel the need to deposit money with someone else.

Best of luck!
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,023
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Jun 27, 2013, 3:32pm
Subject: Re: Need to upgrade our coffee machine, need advice!
 

+1

Yes, let him pick what he wants from wherever they sell it.  And lever machines make good espresso in a small footprint if you know how to use them.  Will be very hard to match that size wise.

 
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 Fri Jun 28, 2013, 8:16am
Subject: Re: Need to upgrade our coffee machine, need advice!
 

DanoM Said:

Even the smaller machines can be quite tall.  15-20" tall isn't an unusual height.  Couple that with the need to fill many of the water reservoirs from the top can make kitchen cabinets a huge impediment.  That and the fact that a hot espresso machine sitting under a kitchen cabinet will strip the paint off in time from the heat and steam.  La Pavoni levers are quite small in comparison.

Moving from the La Pavoni to anything else gives you a ton of choices:
Boiler solutions alone: thermal-block, single boiler dual use, single boiler HX, dual boiler

If it were me I'd look at a nice semi-automatic in stainless or chrome with an E61 group - USED.  They generally look lovely, and behind the metal you can get various options for the heating and delivery of your boiler water.  Personally, I love the look of these machines with that E61 group lever for control.  (Not a lever action like your Pavoni though.)  The Quickmill Alexia, is one I like the looks of.  The problem is this isn't a machine for me...
Click Here (www.clivecoffee.com)

Posted June 27, 2013 link

The Bezzera BZ-07 is an HX machine similar in size and price to the Alexia, so it's worth comparing them.  I'm width limited with my machine, which was the main reason for picking it as an HX machine in this kind of price range (over the Oscar or La Nuova Era Cuadra).
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,023
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Jun 29, 2013, 10:27am
Subject: Re: Need to upgrade our coffee machine, need advice!
 

Just price wise it would be hard to beat a La Nuova Era Cuadra.   I went with Oscar because I got a good deal used and my budget was lower.  But your size issue it is hard to say.  Not much if anything is as small as what you had. He might also want a lever for taste in cup.  My dream machine is a new lever.... it is 2300$ right now.... and it is much larger than what you had.

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

 
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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