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Atlanta gatherings for CG members?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Atlanta...  
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ThomasK
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Jul 2013
Posts: 24
Location: Atlanta, GA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bialetti
Grinder: Kitchenaid Pro Line
Drip: Technivorm Mocca Master
Posted Wed Jul 17, 2013, 9:53am
Subject: Atlanta gatherings for CG members?
 

I'm new to the espresso making - long time drinker, but time to do it at home.

Curious if anyone else in the Atlanta area has any get-togethers or other activities where beginners like myself can look and learn?  Can't really have serious discussions on this topic with most people I know - I need new friends.  :-)

Also, thought I'd toss in an equipment question - since I only have a Bialetti at the moment.
Just got a used Faema MPN grinder - ready to be reassembled once the new burrs arrive later this week.

The questionnaire response is here:
1)  What kind of drinks do you like/want to make?
A: predominantly espresso - doppio - I guess friends will want milk drinks when they're over - although I do like the occasional dry cappuccino
2)  How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself needing to make at any one time?
A: definitely 3 in a row - all doppio - maybe 5 total in a normal day and twice that on weekends - it's the wife and I plus usually we have at least one or two grandparents around, helping with the kids, and the old folks like coffee too
3)  How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself making in any given week?
A: at least 50
4)  Can you plumb a machine directly into the water supply, or do you want/need a pour over machine with its own reservoir?
A: plumbed in and out - no problem
5)  Do you have a 20-amp circuit available, or only a (standard) 15-amp circuit?
A: electricity no issue - kitchen being rebuilt - I can pull in 220 if needed
6)  What is your budget for a new machine?
A:  Preferably no more than $3K, but I hate to buy things twice, so...
    The renovated Faema MPN should work as grinder for a good while.
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?
A: I'm an engineer originally, love to tinker, but I already have too many hobbies and projects, so new, or refurbished by someone reputable is probably wisest.
8)  Do you have the essential accessories (decent tamper, knockbox, the works), otherwise budget about $100 for these.
A: none of the above - will buy when order the machine

Additional info:
Half the year I travel a good deal, and my wife (who loves coffee too) is a bit of a technophobe so any machine should be somewhat forgiving.
I have an aversion to plasticky things - want a machine that looks (and is) well-built.
Leaving it on 24/7 is fine by me - our odd hours probably makes that a necessity - also, we are practically immune to caffeine, we actually get sleepy after drinking a big mug of coffee before going straight to bed, no problems.
Wife has cleanliness OCD so a machine that makes a mess on a regular basis will be less popular.

So far, a dual head semiauto lever machine - with insulated double boiler - is what I'm thinking of. The kinds that have the "detached" head that doesn't overheat - having to temperature surf sounds like a variable I (and the wife!) can do without.

Does this help?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,670
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 Wed Jul 17, 2013, 10:16am
Subject: Re: Atlanta gatherings for CG members?
 

Thomas,

You have a healthy budget and modest needs.

Is there a specific reason you are thinking about a two group machine? I have one only because I got a fantastic deal on it. They are able to pull 60 or more shots per hour so It seems odd you are thinking about one. Is there a specific reason for a lever machine over an automatic (reference to the wife issue with tech) the lever takes more skill to operate correctly, it is not the end of the world but it takes more user input than other machine designs.

Plumb in is fantastic once you get it installed, as is auto dosing, what we call an automatic espresso machine (not to be confused with a SUPERautomatic machine)

220v will help with operational costs but a 110 v machine is not overly expensive to run either.

Temp surfing is only something you do on a SBDU machine, not a Heat Exchanger or a Double boiler. Either a HX or DB will work well for you and either is in your price range. Regardless of machine design you will need to do a cleaning flush with either machine and likely a warming flush on the DB while a HX takes a cooling flush. As you can be plumbed in, either is not an issue and though the HX takes a little more water and time (about 3 to 5 seconds more) it is no more bother than a DB.



Coffee mess is a fact of life, mostly in the form of grounds on the counter and possibly floor. A doser in the grinder helps a lot but there is no positively for sure way to avoid loose grounds.

Any commercial, plumbed in machine has no problem with being on 24/7 (a true commercial machine in this price range will be used to you but great PROsumer machines cab be purchased new). Rubber parts may wear out a little faster due to heat, such as the group head gasket, but you should be changing that on a regular basis anyway.

I am not sure what you mean by a "detached" group head but no HX or DB needs to be temp surfed, like I said, that is for SBDU or mostly starter class machines.

It should be very easy to find a machine in the $2K to $2.5 K range, new that fits your needs and all these machines are going to be metal and nearly all are SS.

Just as a starting place, you can look here to see if anything sparks an interest.
Click Here (www.1st-line.com)

 
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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ThomasK
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Jul 2013
Posts: 24
Location: Atlanta, GA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bialetti
Grinder: Kitchenaid Pro Line
Drip: Technivorm Mocca Master
Posted Wed Jul 17, 2013, 10:30am
Subject: Re: Atlanta gatherings for CG members?
 

Quick reply - thanks.

Just tried to be realistic about the budget - and I hate putting myself in positions where I have anything but myself to blame - the equipment should be better than I am, or there will be a lot of cursing.

Dual head was just because of all the things I read about having to wait if you want to pull several shots - maybe I misunderstood - and this is not an issue with a plumbed unit, regardless of DB or HX?

Even if the kitchen is spacious - a smaller unit is better, and fewer parts to maintain.

The "detached" comment was my interpretation of how the machines work - I thought some have the group head in direct contact with the heated portion so conducted heat becomes an issue with prolonged use?

I'm keeping the doser in the MPN for now - impressed with how well it sweeps actually - and mine is the later version with the cleaning hole already in the doser.
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ThomasK
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Jul 2013
Posts: 24
Location: Atlanta, GA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bialetti
Grinder: Kitchenaid Pro Line
Drip: Technivorm Mocca Master
Posted Wed Jul 17, 2013, 1:02pm
Subject: Re: Atlanta gatherings for CG members?
 

Nice set of products:
Click Here (www.1st-line.com)

How would you contrast the Double Domobar, the Super Domobar, and the Technika IV based on my needs?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,670
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 Wed Jul 17, 2013, 2:29pm
Subject: Re: Atlanta gatherings for CG members?
 

HI,
Sorry, I am out the door, I can say more later as can anyone else who may want to chime in.

In short, either a HX or DB can pull shots faster than you can prep for them so a single head is all you need.
It comes down to features you want and looks, pretty much any machine on that page will do you proud.

More later,

BY

 
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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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,008
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Jul 17, 2013, 3:08pm
Subject: Re: Atlanta gatherings for CG members?
 

oh and my dream machine is a lever in your price range.....
http://www.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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ThomasK
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Jul 2013
Posts: 24
Location: Atlanta, GA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bialetti
Grinder: Kitchenaid Pro Line
Drip: Technivorm Mocca Master
Posted Wed Jul 17, 2013, 6:34pm
Subject: Re: Atlanta gatherings for CG members?
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

oh and my dream machine is a lever in your price range.....
http://www.londiniumespresso.com/products/londinium-i

Posted July 17, 2013 link

Yes - I've seen that machine - but it seems to have iffy quality from reviews I've read.

Never seen a price for the regular unit (don't need glass panels, that's goofy), any idea what the street price is?

Is it really better than the German product?

I'm fundamentally suspicious of anything British that is not made of wool, cotton or leather.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,008
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Jul 17, 2013, 8:34pm
Subject: Re: Atlanta gatherings for CG members?
 

I disagree having seen one and had my hands on it.  Pound was 1.50 last I checked.  But each his own.

 
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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ThomasK
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Jul 2013
Posts: 24
Location: Atlanta, GA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bialetti
Grinder: Kitchenaid Pro Line
Drip: Technivorm Mocca Master
Posted Thu Jul 18, 2013, 4:41am
Subject: Re: Atlanta gatherings for CG members?
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

I disagree having seen one and had my hands on it.  Pound was 1.50 last I checked.  But each his own.

Posted July 17, 2013 link

I never saw a landed price (here in the US) mentioned anywhere.

After first finding out about the Londinium (online of course) I looked up reviews and read a rather lengthy and detailed one (that I can't find now) from an owner (sounded quite experienced in the art of espresso) who was disappointed in the fit and finish of the Londinium.

From memory I think items mentioned were spotty welds in areas and overtorqued fasteners that marred the finish of side plates (?) and numerous leaks (I think he had to refit all the plumbing).

Maybe that was an early production unit and it's all sorted?

Pretty machine, I'd like to like it - but after reading that review I just thought "oh, another pretty British design that falls down when put into production."  
Pardon the cynicism toward machinery made in the UK, I have owned a few British cars - maddening - all German now - sanity returned.

Edited:
Take a look at this link about a redesign: Click Here (londiniumespresso.com)
Good to fix, better to not ship faulty designs in the first place.

Edit 2:
The fix above probably came about because of this - and similar reports
Click Here (www.home-barista.com)
Still, looks like it's too early for the Londinium - I'd hate to get a specimen with all the issues in the thread above.  Outsourced manufacturing can work, but it takes skills to manage, looks like a "lift and shift" in this case.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,008
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri Jul 19, 2013, 12:01am
Subject: Re: Atlanta gatherings for CG members?
 

You have made up your mind and that is fine.  IT is your money and you have to live with it.  It is about 1,400 pounds.  I believe it is 80 dollars in shipping to the USA.

Read your links.  

"What really struck me the most is the consistency of the shots. I had read a lot about the L1's consistency, but I had no real idea of what it meant"

That statement is what is important to me.  Not wavy look to the chrome on the bottom of the lever.  I would be happier to have no chrome at all, I think it is a pain to clean.

Things like people putting GS/3s and speedsters up for sale after getting one is what is selling me.....  They have most expensive and are trading them for a cheaper machine.... That makes me happy as I could never afford a GS/3 or a speedster.

 
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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