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GS/3 v Speedster
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > GS/3 v Speedster  
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DavecUK
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,392
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jul 4, 2013, 12:45pm
Subject: Re: GS/3 v Speedster
 

emil3m Said:

I'd be glad to provide the context. I actually do not have solid reasons and therefore this is not one of these threads where the OP wants to argue a point. The sentence you quoted is inviting more contribution as some people here have decades of experience and went through/seen a lot more espresso than I have.

I truly fell in love with espresso and a firm believer in working hard in order to play hard--being that I work really hard, there is no guilt associated with shelling out on a GS/3 or Speedster.

Contributions by CG members would be really appreciated as it IS quite an expense. Being that this is a long weekend for me, I have plenty of time to engage in a conversation that would make a tangible difference for me (people often say that a prosumer buy is for decades).

Though the Speedster is second to none (for me) in terms of looks, my main concern is to ensure that I am getting the best quality/performance in the single-group category. The $3k range (as mentioned above) adds yet another dimension to the discussion. The person I spoke to is generally anti-consumerism. I would like to remove ideology, ethics, and morals from this discussion. Would love to focus it purely on quality and performance.

Thank you all in advance!

Posted July 4, 2013 link

I have seen, used, reviewed, tested a lot of machines in my time. There are some myths, some expounded in this thread:

  1. You get what you pay for...not always true

  2. Commercial quality and stability....way not true for commercial machines, some are poor, some are fair, a few are good, very few are exceptional. You will pay a lot more for 4 prosumer espresso machines in the sub $3K category than you will for a 4 group commercial machine. A commercial machine is for making BULK coffee and easily operated by workers.

  3. The espresso tastes better from these esoteric machines...again way not true, a lot of owners couldn't tell the difference, but when they have shelled out all that money, of course they can. So can those who retail and manufacture them, go figure.


Sadly a lot of owners of relatively high end prosumer equipment, R58, La Spaz, Duetto etc.. etc.. don't get anywhere near the quality out of them that they should. This is for a number of reasons (all of these also apply to the 2 very expensive machines you're looking at as well).

  1. Group cleaning is sadly lacking (backflushing) with detergent isn't enough
  2. The coffee you use has to be well roasted, fresh and of good quality
  3. You need a really good grinder (I don't think the Vario is a great grinder but that's another story)
  4. Your technique has to be good, so the shot is pulled correctly
  5. Portafilters have to be nice and clean, shower screen holes should be mostly clear, as do basket inserts
  6. The water quality affects taste
  7. Steam tips are not properly cleaned

Just getting the above right will make a huge difference in how the machine goes about the business of making coffee. Spending thousands more does not make any of the above less important.

Lastly you get the old temperature stability myth. The I can pull a shot at 93.3C and 93.6C and there is a definite difference in taste. No there isn't, I would defy anyone in double blind tests to taste the difference, although many owners of these machines will swear blind they can. In fact I did some tests years ago and people could not tell a 1C difference. Correctly roasted coffee needs to have a fairly wide range of extraction temperature when a good result will be achieved, if not it's not going to be very popular with the wide variance in a lot of machines out in the market. Then you get the "well my temperature is totally accurate", again, so what, if your 93, is my 94, is someone elses 92, doesn't matter, because you want to try it hotter simply up it 1C. If a machine can brew within the acceptable range, then that matters. If 94 displayed is actually 93, that's not really important.

Then you get the saturated non saturated group argument...again, simply not important. You don't need a saturated group to get a flat line of temp for the 30 or 60ml extraction. There are in fact a few group heating methods for Dual boiler machines, or single boilers that have to be switched to steaming. Passive metal Conduction from the boiler (La spaziale S1), Thermosyphon (E61), saturated group (varying designs from Dalla corte, La Marzocco GS3), Boiler atop group (sylvia, some gaggias), bespoke groups (thermosyphon, or conduction).  Does it make for a better shot....no, not if the design is right.

As for maintenance, it's much easier/cheaper to maintain a machine from a Generic and widely used parts bin amd easier to diagnose faults, than it is for the more "bespoke" and esoteric machines

There are some things that will hold true
=============================
  1. If you buy esoterica YOU WILL notice the improvement in all aspects of the ownership experience....just ask any owner or retailer
  2. If you absolutely want the best and to be seen to have the best, YOU WILL believe the esoterica to provide the best quality of coffee
  3. If you buy esoterica, YOU WILL be totally happy with the ownership experience for the next 20 or 30 years, no matter how much it costs, or what problems you have.
  4. If you buy esoterica YOU WILL love the way it looks for the next 20 or 30 years
  5. If you buy esoterica YOU WILL not mind that your keeping a 2 litre coffee boiler and 3 litre steam boiler hot all the time, the warm up time and power requirements will not bother you at all, neither will the size weight or plumbing requirements

So all buyers are usually totally happy, BUT you, will get just as good a shot out of the top end prosumer offerings as you will out of the esoterica. It would benefit you far more to buy a good prosumer machine and then concentrate on getting the best, freshest coffees you can, a really nice grinder, good water quality. Then go to town on the maintenance (e.g. I drop the shower screen ever 2 or 3 days and really clean behind there) and perfect your technique.

Note: I actually own an R58, Duetto, Fracino Heavenly, Quiickmill Vetrano DB, all were brand new. If I wanted a speedster or a GS3, I could quite easily sell them all and have one (I would even get it for cost price)....but I don't want one, because they won't make coffee any better.
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emil3m
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2013
Posts: 103
Location: New York
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Vario
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2013, 1:03pm
Subject: Re: GS/3 v Speedster
 

DavecUK Said:

I have seen, used, reviewed, tested a lot of machines in my time. There are some myths, some expounded in this thread:

Posted July 4, 2013 link

Very interesting read. Can you please clarify a few points.

- I have the Vario. Have heard people say it plays quite nicely with the GS/3. Assumed that would hold true for other prosumers. Thoughts/suggestions?

- Cleaning the group by disassembling it every few days? Yikes.. I invest A LOT of time into this hobby. This would likely double that investment. Is that your personal thing or a common practice? Btw, I respect anyone who is anal about espresso--it's all relative! Some of my friends think I'm crazy while I seem to be the least invested on this board :) Also, how often would you say I should backflush with detergent and a blind basket?

- I used nothing but Poland Spring. It is extremely easy for me to get and I love the way it tastes. Would you think this source is safe and if so, are these good parameters? http://www.bottledwaterweb.com/bottlersdetail.do?k=688

- Are you saying that giant boilers are actually worse the smaller ones? Sorry, didn't quite pick up on the tone when you mentioned that above.

- Lastly, so can you leave me with 3 (or more) serious alternatives to consider? It seems to me that you insinuated that the GS/3 will actually have more problems and require more money spent on maintenance despite bells and whistles like stainless steel parts...


Thank you!

 
Currently in love with Hayes Valley by Blue Bottle--locally roasted next to my house in Brooklyn
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,023
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2013, 2:14pm
Subject: Re: GS/3 v Speedster
 

I'm sorry, but IMHO the Vario is no match for neither the GS/3 nor the Speedster. Upgrade your grinder first (Mazzer Robur, Mahlkönig K30 Vario, Compak K10-fresh for example), then if you still feel the need, upgrade your machine.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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emil3m
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2013
Posts: 103
Location: New York
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Vario
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2013, 2:19pm
Subject: Re: GS/3 v Speedster
 

NobbyR Said:

I'm sorry, but IMHO the Vario is no match for neither the GS/3 nor the Speedster. Upgrade your grinder first (Mazzer Kony, Mahlkönig K30 Vario, Compak K10-fresh for example), then if you still feel the need, upgrade your machine.

Posted July 4, 2013 link

The grinder will be upgraded after I settle on a machine. The Vario stands as a Ferrari next to my Crossland CC1! And that's no disrespect to the CC1 IMO. When the New machine comes in, surely it can handle being in the same kitchen with my Vario for a few weeks or a month :)

 
Currently in love with Hayes Valley by Blue Bottle--locally roasted next to my house in Brooklyn
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CoffeeRon
Senior Member
CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 735
Location: Tacoma Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2013, 4:03pm
Subject: Re: GS/3 v Speedster
 

I was actually wondering as I was reading all this (and still am) whether you're talking about the Baratza Vario or the K30 Vario? As for dropping the shower screen every few days to clean that really doesn't take much to do. I'm guilty of not doing it often enough myself though and after reading this I believe I'll start doing it on a more regular basis.
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emil3m
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2013
Posts: 103
Location: New York
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Vario
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2013, 4:08pm
Subject: Re: GS/3 v Speedster
 

CoffeeRon Said:

I was actually wondering as I was reading all this (and still am) whether you're talking about the Baratza Vario or the K30 Vario? As for dropping the shower screen every few days to clean that really doesn't take much to do. I'm guilty of not doing it often enough myself though and after reading this I believe I'll start doing it on a more regular basis.

Posted July 4, 2013 link

I have the updated version of the Baratza Vario (not the W though). Never heard of K30... FWIW, dealing with Baratza have been easily in my top-3 customer service experiences.

I will try to find a video on how to properly "drop" the group of the CC1. But in general terms, any particular resource for me to look at for group cleaning? (I'm not the type to "figure it out as you do it," rather more of a "tutorial first, do second" kind of guy)

 
Currently in love with Hayes Valley by Blue Bottle--locally roasted next to my house in Brooklyn
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DavecUK
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,392
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jul 4, 2013, 4:45pm
Subject: Re: GS/3 v Speedster
 

emil3m Said:

Very interesting read. Can you please clarify a few points.

- I have the Vario. Have heard people say it plays quite nicely with the GS/3. Assumed that would hold true for other prosumers. Thoughts/suggestions?

- Cleaning the group by disassembling it every few days? Yikes.. I invest A LOT of time into this hobby. This would likely double that investment. Is that your personal thing or a common practice? Btw, I respect anyone who is anal about espresso--it's all relative! Some of my friends think I'm crazy while I seem to be the least invested on this board :) Also, how often would you say I should backflush with detergent and a blind basket?

- I used nothing but Poland Spring. It is extremely easy for me to get and I love the way it tastes. Would you think this source is safe and if so, are these good parameters? http://www.bottledwaterweb.com/bottlersdetail.do?k=688

- Are you saying that giant boilers are actually worse the smaller ones? Sorry, didn't quite pick up on the tone when you mentioned that above.

- Lastly, so can you leave me with 3 (or more) serious alternatives to consider? It seems to me that you insinuated that the GS/3 will actually have more problems and require more money spent on maintenance despite bells and whistles like stainless steel parts...

Thank you!

Posted July 4, 2013 link

I'll take them in order.

  1. There are much better grinders

  2. Cleaning an E61 group takes around 1 minute. It's not common practice (unfortunately), but should be. After a weeks use, let the machine stand and then pull 1 oz into a white cup, observe it's colour, then leave to cool and taste. After that, you will start cleaning you're group more often.

  3. The Poland spring looked OK, it has some variance, but seems quite soft, probably  fine if you like the taste.

  4. Think about how long the steam boiler is going to take to heat up from cold....switching it on when you want a latte, isn't really practical in a machine like the GS3 with a 3.5 litre steam boiler. So you leave that hot boiler on all the time. That coupled with the 1.5 litre coffee boiler means a whopping 5 litres of water to heat. Simply unnecessary in the home environment. It's also a lot of water to go stale, because you won't use it enough to have much changeover of water in the tanks.

  5. It's difficult to recommend alternatives without knowing your intended usage. The GS3 is for a small cafe, but I wonder if your usage will be that high. Also stainless steel parts are not bells and whistles, it's just a bit of metal. It's how the whole is done that's important. Brass, steel copper, cost of materials is not really significant in the quantities they are used. Sometimes better isn't always better e.g. flared metal end fitting starts to leak, have to get a new one. Plastic high pressure pipe starts to leak, cut 3mm off end with stanley knife, place in fitting and it will pressure form a new flared end. in the first instance your out some dollars and no machine till you get the part, in the second, your up and running again in minutes.

BUT a GS3 or Speedster is a great statement piece, no doubt about that.
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emil3m
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2013
Posts: 103
Location: New York
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Vario
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2013, 5:24pm
Subject: Re: GS/3 v Speedster
 

DavecUK Said:

Think about how long the steam boiler is going to take to heat up from cold....switching it on when you want a latte, isn't really practical in a machine like the GS3 with a 3.5 litre steam boiler. So you leave that hot boiler on all the time. That coupled with the 1.5 litre coffee boiler means a whopping 5 litres of water to heat. Simply unnecessary in the home environment. It's also a lot of water to go stale, because you won't use it enough to have much changeover of water in the tanks.

It's difficult to recommend alternatives without knowing your intended usage. The GS3 is for a small cafe, but I wonder if your usage will be that high.

Posted July 4, 2013 link


- I didn't think of that.. The most I would drink is 2 double shots daily. This use may double if a girl moves in. Perhaps a few more here and there to practice latte art.
Do not love the idea of keeping it on all the time. Being insulated inside the boiler does not "protect" the water? Stale doesn't sound appetizing at all.. I'm a bit puzzled, to be honest, as this alone looks to be a deal-breaker.

- I'm not a DIY-cutting-fixing type, so plastic is probably not for me (I realize you only brought it up for illustrative purposes). I would prefer long-term longevity out of the box and will service if necessary. Given the usage above could you give me 3 or more alternatives to consider?

The speedster only lists 3.5 steam boiler and says nothing of the coffee boiler capacity. It does say this:
"Coffeeboiler
The cold water entering the machine is first directed through a heat-exchanger located inside the steam boiler. Exiting the heat-exchanger its temperature is higher than needed. It is cooled down by flow-crossing the outgoing hot water with the incoming cold water and running through an extra long tube outside the boiler before entering the coffee water boiler.
At entering the coffee boiler it first travels through an internal tube over the entire length of the boiler."
http://www.keesvanderwesten.com/speedster_construction.html

 
Currently in love with Hayes Valley by Blue Bottle--locally roasted next to my house in Brooklyn
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DeanOK
Senior Member
DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 649
Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2013, 5:56pm
Subject: Re: GS/3 v Speedster
 

DavecUK Said:

Cleaning an E61 group takes around 1 minute. It's not common practice (unfortunately), but should be. After a weeks use, let the machine stand and then pull 1 oz into a white cup, observe it's colour, then leave to cool and taste. After that, you will start cleaning you're group more often.

Posted July 4, 2013 link

Simply and non disputable  test. I like simple.
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emil3m
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jan 2013
Posts: 103
Location: New York
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Vario
Posted Thu Jul 4, 2013, 5:59pm
Subject: Re: GS/3 v Speedster
 

DeanOK Said:

Simply and non disputable  test. I like simple.

Posted July 4, 2013 link

Ah! Fellow CC1 owner! I've seen your pressure videos, any chance you can make a group removal for dummies "how to"?

 
Currently in love with Hayes Valley by Blue Bottle--locally roasted next to my house in Brooklyn
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