Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
Dual Boiler Machines Under $3,500 vs. High-end HX Machines
Donate to Coffee Kids
Coffee Kids works with farming communities around the world, improving lives. Donate today.
www.coffeekids.org
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Dual Boiler...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 4 last page next page
Author Messages
Twood
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Aug 2013
Posts: 4
Location: Orange County, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sun Aug 25, 2013, 9:49pm
Subject: Dual Boiler Machines Under $3,500 vs. High-end HX Machines
 

I am in the process of upgrading to a real machine from a Jura Ena5, and I am torn like many before between a high-end HX machine, and a DB.  The ECM Mechanika IV has been the HX of focus for me, and the Alex Duetto III has been the DB I have been considering.  It may be an unfounded concern, but I am worried that the HX machine will be more work to produce high quality espresso than it would be with a DB.  I would love to hear some feedback from those with either machine or who have recently decided between a HX and DB and why they selected the machine they did.  The ECM Controvento seems like the perfect machine, but at more than $5,000, it's a tough to justify (at least up to now).  Thanks in advance for the help/guidance.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
MJW
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Aug 25, 2013, 11:17pm
Subject: Re: Dual Boiler Machines Under $3,500 vs. High-end HX Machines
 

Twood, I'm not knowledgable about these machines but it seems to me the extra work on an HX is the cooling flush before loading the coffee.  That takes a few seconds and it seems to me to be a small incremental increase in the routine of grind, tamp, steam, dump, and clean up.  I personally would worry about filling the drip tray but I think that can be managed.  Probably you're flushing anyway, before, or after, to clean the group, heat the vessel, or warm the pf.  I think it's likely zero extra work if you can fold it into another step.

If your concern is more about learning how long to flush (temperature control), I think it depends strictly on the particular machine, I bet certain HX's have very good temp regulators.  You might read up on Dan Kehn's breakdown of different HX philosophies, I think he calls the Maximatic a "Dragon" type.

I like machines that are "set" and ready to go at the right temperature, they feel more transparent.  The less I have to manipulate temp, and pull redundant levers, the better.  That would not push me away from an HX though.

One last thing.  There are two kinds of extra work.  One is the time it takes to get a drink done.  The other is, how hard it is to make a quality drink.  For example some machines can steam very fast but it's hard to get quality.  You might prefer easy quality, "ease of use".

One more last thing, I personally would also strongly prefer a lever for steaming.  It's strange what makes a difference, but for that kind of money you can get a machine that feels right for you.  Hope my comments are helpful, if not, sorry!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
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 Mon Aug 26, 2013, 7:47am
Subject: Re: Dual Boiler Machines Under $3,500 vs. High-end HX Machines
 

I have not owned both.  But I have tested a Double boiler and  was nice but because of economics I own an HX.  The HX is not more work.  There is a cooling flush but if you have a well balanced thermosyphon it is an oz or 2.  Before I modded mine it was 3 or 4.  My husband's comment on the Breville DB was there was too much electronics around steam and water.

If I had your budget I would get and L1, They say it is a lock and load with great taste in the cup.  I have also played with it and it was amazing.  I like the idea that it just makes consistently great shots with less grinds than I am using right now and no fiddling.  Ease of repairs and very little to even go wrong is perfect in my opinion for a long term investment.  

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
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,040
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 Mon Aug 26, 2013, 8:17am
Subject: Re: Dual Boiler Machines Under $3,500 vs. High-end HX Machines
 

A DB doesn't necessarily brew better espresso than an HX, it just works differently. If you tend to stick with one type of beans and a steady brewing temperature, you might profit from a PID controlled DB. But if you like to try different beans and experiment with brewing temperatures on the fly, you'll be better off with an HX.

A dual boiler is first of all one thing: fashionable. Most commercial machines, however, are still HX, which I believe must be for good reasons. The more sophisticated a contraption is, the more things can actually break down, and as modern cars have demonstrated, electronics can be pretty fickle.

 
***
"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)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Aug 26, 2013, 8:20am
Subject: Re: Dual Boiler Machines Under $3,500 vs. High-end HX Machines
 

Really no difference, both do the samething but in different ways (like an auto vs manual trans). With an H/X you can usually figure out your cooling flush easily (water dance lol), or just buy Erics thermometer so you can accurately know what temp your at while pulling. PID'd boilers, well, just set and forget. Some people like h/x b/c they can try multiple beans and adjust temp changes or adjust temp very quickly on the fly for the same bean playing around (wait 2 seconds, wait 1 second, wait 3 seconds etc all give different temps, vs hitting PID button and waiting each time for changes).

Considerthe L1 too like mentioned above, you have people who have gotten rid of much more expensive machines for their L1 once they used it.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
CarloM
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Apr 2013
Posts: 323
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano V2B
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-E Type A, SJ...
Drip: Toddy
Posted Mon Aug 26, 2013, 8:34am
Subject: Re: Dual Boiler Machines Under $3,500 vs. High-end HX Machines
 

NobbyR Said:

A DB doesn't necessarily brew better espresso than an HX, it just works differently. If you tend to stick with one type of beans and a steady brewing temperature, you might profit from a PID controlled DB. But if you like to try different beans and experiment with brewing temperatures on the fly, you'll be better off with an HX.

Posted August 26, 2013 link

Just curious, I keep reading this, or maybe you post it in several threads so I'm reading your thoughts multiple times (I haven't kept track of who the authors are).

What exactly about a DB puts you at a disadvantage from experimenting with different beans and brew temps? As I understand, a PID DB will allow you to change the brew temperature to your liking. I can't figure out how an HX reacts to different beans better than a DB? Depending on bean, it may require a temperature change but as far as I know it's equally easy to change temps on an HX and a DB, provided both have PIDs (and most do).
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
takeshi
Senior Member
takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 968
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Mon Aug 26, 2013, 8:41am
Subject: Re: Dual Boiler Machines Under $3,500 vs. High-end HX Machines
 

CarloM Said:

Depending on bean, it may require a temperature change but as far as I know it's equally easy to change temps on an HX and a DB, provided both have PIDs (and most do).

Posted August 26, 2013 link

IIRC most HX's do not have PID's.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,040
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 Mon Aug 26, 2013, 8:43am
Subject: Re: Dual Boiler Machines Under $3,500 vs. High-end HX Machines
 

CarloM Said:

What exactly about a DB puts you at a disadvantage from experimenting with different beans and brew temps? As I understand, a PID DB will allow you to change the brew temperature to your liking. I can't figure out how an HX reacts to different beans better than a DB? Depending on bean, it may require a temperature change but as far as I know it's equally easy to change temps on an HX and a DB, provided both have PIDs (and most do).

Posted August 26, 2013 link

A PID on an HX machine, although it's viable, doesn't make much sense, because you can only regualte the temperature of the steam boiler with it, but not influence brewing temperature directly.

You can, of course, change the brewing temperature of a DB machine easily by programming the PID. But when you do, it takes quite a while (I'd say about 20 minutes), before the whole machine is thermally stable again and the change is really effective. That's what makes it tedious to experiment with different brewing temperatures, whereas with an HX machine you can simply shorten or prolong the cooling flush in order to try out different temperatures on the fly. You can even profile your HX by measuring the temperature in relation to the length of the flush. A chart like that is pretty reliable.

 
***
"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)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
CarloM
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Apr 2013
Posts: 323
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano V2B
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-E Type A, SJ...
Drip: Toddy
Posted Mon Aug 26, 2013, 8:52am
Subject: Re: Dual Boiler Machines Under $3,500 vs. High-end HX Machines
 

So it sounds like it completely depends on your workflow.

I guess if you like to change beans on the fly, frequently, from drink to drink, then the HX system does sound like it's for you. But I think it's misleading to imply that you can't easily change beans or temperatures on a DB. If you're the kind who keeps multiple beans around and one cup may be Black Cat, the next cup Redbird, and the third cup Handsome, and you've memorized how long a cooling flush should be for each, then yes an HX makes it easier.

But if you're like me, and you change beans but tend to go through the pound first before switching beans (i.e. I'll buy a pound of Black Cat, then when it's out maybe a pound of Handsome, etc.) then a DB isn't particularly problematic.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Aug 26, 2013, 9:11am
Subject: Re: Dual Boiler Machines Under $3,500 vs. High-end HX Machines
 

CarloM Said:

So it sounds like it completely depends on your workflow.

I guess if you like to change beans on the fly, frequently, from drink to drink, then the HX system does sound like it's for you. But I think it's misleading to imply that you can't easily change beans or temperatures on a DB. If you're the kind who keeps multiple beans around and one cup may be Black Cat, the next cup Redbird, and the third cup Handsome, and you've memorized how long a cooling flush should be for each, then yes an HX makes it easier.

But if you're like me, and you change beans but tend to go through the pound first before switching beans (i.e. I'll buy a pound of Black Cat, then when it's out maybe a pound of Handsome, etc.) then a DB isn't particularly problematic.

Posted August 26, 2013 link

I don't think anyone was saying a DB is problematic (or any PID equipped machine). Just the main difference is you can quickly adjust the temp on the fly, like say you want to use Blackcat as an example and want to try any temp from 195-205, you can adjust the temp on the go by just varying the cooling flush by like a second at a time or so one shot after another after another as fast as you can prep (some can tell just like that and others will use Erics thermometer). Where as with a PID you need to set and wait, set and wait for the boiler to change and stabilize at the new temp. Not a big difference, just that's the main advantage for some who prefer h/x
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 1 of 4 last page next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Dual Boiler...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Rocket R58 Double Boiler
Rocket Espresso R58 Double Boiler -  Everything you need for the perfect shot!
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.406994819641)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+