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Ready to step up! Oscar vs Butterfly vs Mini Vivaldi II: Butterfly is home
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Ready to step...  
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perceval
Senior Member
perceval
Joined: 27 Aug 2013
Posts: 34
Location: Taiwan
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Saeco Barista, La Scala...
Grinder: Solis, Feima
Posted Tue Aug 27, 2013, 4:51am
Subject: Ready to step up! Oscar vs Butterfly vs Mini Vivaldi II: Butterfly is home
 

Looong time lurker and avid reader of multiple reviews and forum posts!

I had an epiphany the other day.  I thought I could live with my modest setup for a long time, but....

A buddy here got his hands on a nice Cimbali m27 and he let me play with it for a while.... I realised that my home setup was still very far from coffee nirvana!

So, I've been looking to get a little closer to heaven....  Don't have an unlimited budget, but to my surprise, when I talked to my wife about spending close to $2000 on a machine, she said.... good idea!  So, the quest was on!

Our coffee routine is usually a latte each for breakfast, and I'll make some espresso shots during the day, and whenever I get friends over, I'll make some extra shots or lattes (seems I have developed a following, even with my very basic setup!)

Now,  I currently reside in Taiwan, and everything that is a "premium" product gets its regular price doubled.  So, a machine that will cost $1,000 in the US, will cost close to $2,000 here.  I can import stuff tax free up to $500... after that, they slam us with hefty taxes.

With that in mind, I checked the local market.  I saw a Nuova Simonelli Oscar (that usually get great reviews) for a little over $1,500 (if I can get the seller to separate the included Grinta grinder that does not get great reviews!)  I've seen the La Scala Butterfly for about $1,650.  The Bezzera BZ07 for $1,750.

There was a second hand La Spaziale Vivaldi II Mini that seemed like a monster of a machine for $1,900.  I was drooling a bit in front of it!  but that would definitely be on the upper hand of the budget, since I also need to get a decent grinder as well.

So.... I'm thinking I could probably be very happy with the Oscar, but the La Spaziale got me drooling with envy.  Would the Vivaldi really justify itself by being a major step above the Oscar, or is it blurry enough that I might get away saving a little money going with the Oscar and spend it on some other hobbies!?!

Thanks for helping me sleep better!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,734
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 27, 2013, 6:28am
Subject: Re: Ready to step up!
 

How big is your budget for a grinder? With a better machine, you will NEED a better grinder, there is no way around it.

 
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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perceval
Senior Member
perceval
Joined: 27 Aug 2013
Posts: 34
Location: Taiwan
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Saeco Barista, La Scala...
Grinder: Solis, Feima
Posted Tue Aug 27, 2013, 8:53am
Subject: Re: Ready to step up!
 

I know!  :)

I've been looking at grinders around here, and there are a couple that stand out.

The Mazzer Super Jolly is available.  There is also a copy of it, by a local brand called Feima.  
Also found a Macap M5 second hand.

Anything but that Grinta that has a bad rep... pretty much everywhere!
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perceval
Senior Member
perceval
Joined: 27 Aug 2013
Posts: 34
Location: Taiwan
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Saeco Barista, La Scala...
Grinder: Solis, Feima
Posted Wed Aug 28, 2013, 12:45am
Subject: Re: Ready to step up! Oscar vs Butterfly vs Mini Vivaldi II
 

I sometimes hate crawling the net and get information overload!

I was getting used to the fact that I might get a new Oscar.  But, I've found a couple of La Scala Butterflys second hand that would be an interesting choice... been reading about them and they seem like a nice machine as well.

Now, I'm more confused than before.
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hjkelly
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Jan 2013
Posts: 17
Location: Raleigh, NC
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Nuova Simonelli Oscar
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Wed Aug 28, 2013, 10:14am
Subject: Re: Ready to step up! Oscar vs Butterfly vs Mini Vivaldi II
 

Just my two cents: I bought an Oscar about two months ago and, while I'm happy with it, I didn't realize that the lack of the hot water spigot meant a non-standard descaling process. Knowing that, I might have upgraded to an E61 machine (like the La Scala Butterfly).

Then again, my last machine was a cheap-o DeLonghi that died not too long after its first descale, so I may just be afraid of hurting my precious Oscar.

 
-Harrison
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perceval
Senior Member
perceval
Joined: 27 Aug 2013
Posts: 34
Location: Taiwan
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Saeco Barista, La Scala...
Grinder: Solis, Feima
Posted Wed Aug 28, 2013, 11:55am
Subject: Re: Ready to step up! Oscar vs Butterfly vs Mini Vivaldi II
 

That is a good point.  Thanks for the heads up!

At first, since I do not make americanos and I don't need hot water, I felt it wasn't a problem for the Oscar.  But your post sent me looking at procedures to descale an Oscar, and Nuova advises NOT descaling the boiler .... until it becomes a problem, then just send the machine back to the shop for a cleaning.

My water in Taiwan is very hard.  There is white residue on shower heads, I even got chunks of calcium stuck in aerator faucets (but that was a couple years ago... since then, I guess they've upgraded their water treatment system as I get very few of those lately).

So, the hot water spigot might come in handy when descaling the HX and boiler of the Butterfly.... I have yet to look up how easy it is to take out the boiler in the Butterfly.

I'm also considering using water from a RO system which should help filtering out the extra calcium, I believe.
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,076
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Wed Aug 28, 2013, 1:15pm
Subject: Re: Ready to step up! Oscar vs Butterfly vs Mini Vivaldi II
 

perceval Said:

I'm also considering using water from a RO system which should help filtering out the extra calcium, I believe.

Posted August 28, 2013 link

RO systems completely break down the water to 0-5ppm meaning it's considered distilled.  With distilled water you won't EVER get any scale build up although distilled water doesn't taste the greatest.  Usually you can set RO machines to a set amount of ppm and from a previous job I worked at selling them 50-80ppm tastes the best and will take a very very long time to build scale up in a machine.  Don't let the Oscar scare you.  Machines like the Oscar are made of copper and brass meaning they aren't hard to take apart you could simply remove the boiler yourself and clean from time to time by hand. The supplier will do the same thing when you send it off for cleaning.
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perceval
Senior Member
perceval
Joined: 27 Aug 2013
Posts: 34
Location: Taiwan
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Saeco Barista, La Scala...
Grinder: Solis, Feima
Posted Wed Aug 28, 2013, 7:32pm
Subject: Re: Ready to step up! Oscar vs Butterfly vs Mini Vivaldi II
 

Ok, I see.  I'm a bit of a tinkerer, so taking apart stuff doesn't really scare me!  :)

At the moment, I use a filtration system at home of two 3M canisters (filtering to 0.5micron) and a UV lamp.  Seems to do a good job as my current machine doesn't need to be descaled so often.  I would have to get the water tested to really know my mineral content after filtration.

The reason I mentioned RO is because there is a street machine selling RO treated water near my house, and I could just get a big jug of that once a while to fill my coffee machine.
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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 Thu Aug 29, 2013, 9:39am
Subject: Re: Ready to step up! Oscar vs Butterfly vs Mini Vivaldi II
 

everything you wanted to know and more the insanely long water FAQ
http://users.rcn.com/erics/Water%20Quality/Water%20FAQ.pdf

 
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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perceval
Senior Member
perceval
Joined: 27 Aug 2013
Posts: 34
Location: Taiwan
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Saeco Barista, La Scala...
Grinder: Solis, Feima
Posted Thu Aug 29, 2013, 11:32am
Subject: Re: Ready to step up! Oscar vs Butterfly vs Mini Vivaldi II
 

Thanks for that!  Learning more and more....

Great read!  I didn't come up with that one through my research.

Still reading....
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