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Some advice to replace my saeco aroma
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Some advice to...  
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microb
Senior Member


Joined: 13 May 2010
Posts: 35
Location: canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Saeco Aroma w/ Naked...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Aug 13, 2013, 10:27am
Subject: Some advice to replace my saeco aroma
 

Hi everyone,

My saeco aroma is falling apart - I cannot steam anymore, I replaced buttons a couple of time, and I am suspecting the pump to near its end...

I have a vario grinder - very pleased with it btw.

I pushed the aroma quite far - I have the bottomless porta filter, and I get around 4 to 6 shot a day through it.

So, now I am looking in a successor. I want reliability, and if I could steam well with it (now I have one of these swirling device that works "ok"), it would be nice.

As for the price, I would prefer be below 1k, but if by moving up to 1.5k there's a noticeable difference, I will consider.

I will look at the b/s forum as well. Please note I'm in Canada, so if you provide links, take that in consideration.

Thanks!

M
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
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 Tue Aug 13, 2013, 1:05pm
Subject: Re: Some advice to replace my saeco aroma
 

At that price point there are some nice HX machines that will serve you well for many years to come. The features and looks that you like will be more of a guide than anything we can point you to.

Sit down and make a list of the features that you want in your dream machine then match them to machines in the price range you want to stay in.

You might get buy MY machine advice, it is natural for people to advise you to get what they have if they like it. More than what other people like though, you need to be firm in your own mind as to what you want and expect. Plumb in is always a nice option if your coffee space can take it. As is a 220 v machine and a 20 amp circuit if your electrical system can handle it. There are some great machines used in that price range so before you go shopping, decide on what you want then shop to your list.

 
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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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 652
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 Wed Aug 14, 2013, 2:32am
Subject: Re: Some advice to replace my saeco aroma
 

microb Said:

As for the price, I would prefer be below 1k, but if by moving up to 1.5k there's a noticeable difference, I will consider.

Posted August 13, 2013 link

Well, I'll start off with mentioning some major contenders which may suit your needs:
The Bezzera BZ10P for $1400 or a Nuova Simonelli Oscar for about the same amount. The latter is very well known in this community.

If you want something reliable which is very serviceable, I would recommend considering an E61 group machine. E61's do have their own minor issues,
but the main advantage involving them is that there is a huge wealth of knowledge about them, they're easy to service and maintain. An E61 group machine
will last you decades with proper use and care, as they are designed for commercial use. (They're just a sophisticated piece of plumbing hardware.)

E61 group machines tend to carry a premium over non-E61 group machines. I'm not really sure why. However, you only really find them on higher end
prosumer machines, with the exception of the Bezzera Unica, which I wouldn't recommend unless counter space is an issue. Unfortunately, they do
violate your budget by a bit, but it is just something to keep in mind.

If your budget is flexible and it sounds like it is, try considering these machines:
The Rocket Cellini Classic selling for $1.5k, The Bezzera Magica, which sells for $1.6k, or the Quickmill Anita for $1.7k.

Good luck!

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,013
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Aug 14, 2013, 10:48am
Subject: Re: Some advice to replace my saeco aroma
 

La Nuova Era Cuadra if you can find one in Canada.

 
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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microb
Senior Member


Joined: 13 May 2010
Posts: 35
Location: canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Saeco Aroma w/ Naked...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Aug 14, 2013, 10:58am
Subject: Re: Some advice to replace my saeco aroma
 

Thanks, all good advices.

I am quite well aware this kind of thread can result in "MY" suggestions (based on one's comfort zone) - but at least it gets me started.

I understand HX is the heat exchanger - which - if I understood correctly, means that the heat of the water is a "offhand" of the steam and results in a more constant and consistent heat. Correct? As for E61 - I have no clue what it means - I will research the data on this site :)

Again, thanks, now I have names to start looking at, and some basic features; I will use that to try to narrow to a couple of "finalist". When I do, I will come back and ask for recommendations/thoughts.

M
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microb
Senior Member


Joined: 13 May 2010
Posts: 35
Location: canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Saeco Aroma w/ Naked...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Aug 14, 2013, 4:24pm
Subject: Re: Some advice to replace my saeco aroma
 

While looking around, I came up with the servicing requirement...

I live remotely, the closest cities are Toronto and Montreal, both too far to drive to for servicing... And I don't know which brand would be repairable here...

So robustness is now a top priority - I want the next unit to last at the very least a decade.

So, from what I read, for example, there is this used pasquini livia 90 - I am now thinking it might not be a wise choice since it sounds like trouble to service..
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
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 Aug 14, 2013, 7:01pm
Subject: Re: Some advice to replace my saeco aroma
 

A heat exchanger machine has a large boiler, most often regulated by a device called a pressure stat. It measures the pressure in the boiler and keeps the boiler to a constant temp based on the pressure in the boiler which is a function of steam as the boiler is above boiling water temp, like a pressure cooker.

The heat exchanger is easiest to think of as a tube that passes through the boiler but is not connected to it in any other way. As the water passes through the tube, the boiler exchanges heat to the water flowing in the tube.

E61 is a type of group head that was developed by Elektra in 1961, hence the name. It resembles an inverted mushroom  that is proudly on the front of the machine, you lock your portafilter into the E61 group head.

They are renound for even temp and even flow of water to the puck.

They are not the only group head that is quality but it has been around a long  time and is well known. It is heated by a thermosyphon which routs water from the boiler to the group head by convection hot things rise, cold things sink, the hot water passes from the boiler to the group head and then back to the boiler. It is 8 pounds of solid brass so it carries a lot of weight when it comes to smoothing out the temp of the water from the brew system.

On a HX machine you will hear about the cooling flush, this is simply the water that is in the HX tube, sitting in the boiler. If the water does not flow for a while, the water in the tube will become the same temp of the water in the boiler, thus it needs to be flushed out to return the HX system to normal brew temp. it sounds much worse than it really is, most often only 3 to 4 oz of water needs to be cleared and all will be well with the system again. You can adjust on the fly the temp of the brew water by flushing a little more or waiting a little longer between shots exactly how long or how much water is a function of how your machine is set up. It quickly becomes second nature and you dont even think of it after a while.

Most prosumer machines are built stoutly and most have common parts or widely available parts.

 
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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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 652
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 Thu Aug 15, 2013, 4:07am
Subject: Re: Some advice to replace my saeco aroma
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

La Nuova Era Cuadra if you can find one in Canada.

Posted August 14, 2013 link

I can't believe I forgot this one.

For some strange reason, the La Nuova Era Cuadra is the cheapest E61 HX machine on the market right now, probably due to promotional pricing.
They are very competitive to the Nuova Simonelli on pricing. I think I saw them floating around for roughly $1200-ish.

The downside to this machine is that the sides are plastic.. but the reviews on this machine have been fairly positive.

However, the problem is, like Ms. Noobie said is availability.

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


Joined: 13 May 2010
Posts: 35
Location: canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Saeco Aroma w/ Naked...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Aug 15, 2013, 6:23pm
Subject: Re: Some advice to replace my saeco aroma
 

@calblacksmith : thanks, that is quite helpful! So basically, E61 is as reliable as it gets, and HX add some efficiency - these are the rough facts from what I understood :)

I am looking - right now I am under the impression that there is a huge gap in the US prices and CAN prices, as if we were back in. The 90s with electronics...

And availability is quite bad! Can't find much except whatever is being sold by idrinkcoffee... There's a couple of quick mills, bezzera, and a nuova simonelli Oscar - now trying to see which best suits my need.

And there is this used pasquini livia 90 half the price (used) which is somewhat tempting...

Any reason to avoid any of those?
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,013
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Aug 15, 2013, 9:45pm
Subject: Re: Some advice to replace my saeco aroma
 

I bought used my first time out.  I am still using it.  Assuming it heats up, check inside for leaks and rust. I believe most everything else can be fixed on a pasquini livia 90.  There are quite a few of them out there.  Oscar is easy to fix up as well.

 
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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