I just took a 1 day class from Heather Perry at Klatch coffee. I own a Baratza Vario W and the Breville Dual Boiler (BDB). Higher end machines will not fit under my low cabinets. I brought my machine and grinder to her classroom. She had a La Marzocco and Nuovo simonelli commercial machine in the class room. We used the Klatch WBC espresso. Impressions: The La Marzocco pulled a sweeter shot than the Nuovo and my BDB with less bitterness. The Nuovo had preinfusion, the La Marzocco did not, but shots were better from the La Marzocco. , After tweaking the shot on my BDB (increasing temp to 203 on and playing with the grind, we were able to pull a very sweet shot from the BDB which tasted comparable to the La Marzocco. Latte art was easy on my BDB, the Nuovo also was easy to create latte art, but the La Marzocco steam was very fast and is tougher for Latte art. The commercial Italian machines (the Nuovo and La Marzocco had a well built sturdy feel to them. My advice.. take classes from an experienced barista - the results in your shots and Latte art will be greatly improved. Do not underestimate the value of training. A 2000- 3000 dollar dual boiler machine e61 grouphead machine with a PID such as an alex duetto, rocket r58, quickmill, expobar or vibiemme and a good grinder with techniques learned from experienced baristas should provide you with good consistent results for a lifetime. Of course if you want a more beautiful machine such as Speedster, Slayer , Mistral or Hydra, go for it!. My BDB is good, tends to pull a brighter shot than the above until you tweak it and is not as well built as the above, but it is what fits in my kitchen. As evidenced in the class I took, it is capable of pulling a great shot.
As a basis for comparison, Intelligentsia offers a 3 hour class in NYC for $200, while Counter Culture has an all day class for the same price. All day meaning 9-4, with I assume some time off for lunch.
I'll get around to taking one of these classes before too long, I'm sure.
I took the private 1 day session with Heather. I drove to Klatch in Upland. I was able to bring any equipment I wanted. The ability to play with professional equipment, to be able optimize my own equipment and have an expert barista guide me and answer any questions I had made it worth it. A wonderful experience.
shnxx Senior Member Joined: 3 Jul 2009 Posts: 124 Location: Pasadena Expertise: Just starting
Posted Tue Mar 11, 2014, 2:11am Subject: Re: GS/3 v Speedster
What an interesting thread.
I also am considering buying a GS3 or a similar machine.
I have a Compak K10 grinder for espresso and a Mahlkonig Guat for drip/pourover. Plumbing is a bit of an annoyance but counter space is not an issue. 220v I wouldn't want to deal with and I don't want to buy a Speedster.
Is GS3, at near $5500, going to be better than all the other ~3000 dollar prosumer machines? Will it steam better? Will it be easier to use?
"Better" is such a difficult term -- especially without breaking it down into specifics. Better built, better ergonomics, easier to dial-in, faster recovery; and most important, the LM "full saturation" group is not only more forgiving than an E-61 but richer and sweeter "in the cup."
"Prosumer" is another difficult term. Because of it's capacities, component quality, interior lay out, and work flow, I'd class the GS/3 as a true commercial and not a prosumer. That it works so well in the home, is a nice benefit.
The ability to stay out of the grinder's way in terms of showing what the beans have to offer is one of the few, real bottom-lines for espresso machines. The GS/3 will take better advantage of a Compak K10 quality grinder than any, current prosumer DB.
That said, current prosumer DB prices top out at a little under $3K -- and there's some big magic which happens just on the other side of that number. Also, if I'm not mistaken, there's been a price increase and the GS/3 currently streets at around $6K, not $5500.
Notice also, that I'm saying "current prosumer DB." There's at least one E-61, prosumer DB machine on the near horizon, the Vesuvius," which has very sophisticated pressure profiling capabilities and may be better in the cup (at least for some people) than the GS/3. It's going to be very expensive though.
Will it steam better?
It will steam a 500ml pitcher faster, and to my mind faster is better. It will steam a series of 750ml pitchers MUCH faster.
I don't know how La Marzocco gets so much power out of so few amps. You'll have to ask Bill Crossland.
It's a "higher" production capabilities than prosumer machines isn't limited to steaming. If you co catering volumes -- say parties of 8 or larger -- more often than a few times a year, its extra speed and better work-flow is something you'll appreciate.
Will it be easier to use?
"Easier" is another one of those terms. I expect most people would find it more responsive and more pleasant. Faster to dial-in, too.
However, it's no "better" in any of the respects mentioned in our posts than one of the big-deal 3K - 4K HXs, just different. There are some awesome single group, true-commercial levers in the same price range, but -- of course -- they're significantly slower. What takes 10 minutes on a GS/3 or Cimbali Casa would take almost 30 on a Pompeii 1 group.
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