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Possibly able to get La Cimbali M32 used. To buy or not to buy?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Possibly able to...  
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chris_l
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Jan 2011
Posts: 4
Location: zombiedictator@gmail.com
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Jan 10, 2011, 10:57am
Subject: Possibly able to get La Cimbali M32 used. To buy or not to buy?
 

So I'm upgrading my espresso setup quite a bit. I've got a Mazzer Super Jolly on the way and I'm looking for an espresso machine. I was originally strongly considering 1st Line's exclusive PID'ed Le'Lit PL041TQE. While it is still on the maybe list, I'm concerned it'll be a machine I'll be upgrading before you know it. On top of that, I was kind of hoping to steal a deal buying a used/refurbed machine for a substantial discount versus an undiscounted brand new machine.

So I contacted Rob from Everything Coffee and Tea, a local coffee supply place that serves a lot of the southeast located right down the road in Alpharetta, GA. I guess one may consider this serendipitous timing, but he told me how a local coffee shop he deals with is upgrading their Mazzer Mini/La Cimbali M32 setup because they need to be able to do higher volume than this single group unit they've got now, and they are looking to sell it.

Now, one thing I've noticed through lots of Googling is that there isn't that much fanfare around the La Cimbali M32, if for no other reason than cost I suppose, so it's hard to get 1st person opinions about it. This machine has about 38,000 pulls on it and is used daily as we speak at this shop, so I know it works, but I have no idea about the condition of the internal mechanisms. In addition, it is plumbed into a water supply and it drains out as well, so I don't know how to switch it to the reservoir tank and drain pan for home use.

Now, I'm pretty sure the guy who is installing their new machine wouldn't have a problem switching it to a tank from a plumbed system and plugging the drain line. They said it has been maintained well, which has to be true enough if you're using it day-in day-out up to the minute you replace it. However, just in case this deal fell through, I e-mailed a few of the major espresso machine retailers to get their thoughts on possible alternatives (1st Line, Chris Coffee, Seattle Coffee Gear and Whole Latte Love). Chris Coffee's sales people had this to say:

"What you want to keep in mind is that this machine is a heat exchange
commercial machine to you will need to do cooling flushes (long flushes) to
bring this size machine back down to the proper temperature for brewing. You
will also need to turn it on for about an hour before using to heat up the
group and boiler.
The machine is volume control which means you can program the shot size 1 oz
or 2oz does not program temperature. The hot water you want to keep in mind
it is going to come from your stream boiler so it will be very hot like 230
degrees not sure it would want to use it for tea water.

My recommendation for the price of $1000.00 would be the Oscar from NUOVA
SIMONELLI this machine is designed for the home."

It got me thinking, "since this is a commercial unit that I assume is supposed to be on for hours at a time, maybe this is just overkill for me since I only need to use it in the morning and maybe once at night?" Even if this machine is in perfect condition and I'm getting the deal of the century, this could be a circumstance of massive overkill that sounds good in theory but bad in practice. Is this fear I have warranted? Obviously I don't expect anyone to know about the condition of a machine they have never seen, but maybe someone here knows about the quality of the unit overall, if $1000 is a good deal for a working used machine, if it would fit my needs and perhaps more importantly, if what Chris Coffee's people said is right and I'd need to wait an hour before I could even use it and fight just to make sure I'm getting a decent temperature.

On top of that, I wanted to know what people's thoughts might be on the Nuova Simonelli Oscar. It looks hideous from an aesthetic perspective, but I may be willing to deal with that if it fits the bill. I generally make 2 back-to-back lattes twice a day, and while I don't mind waiting a little bit to steam the milk after a pull a shot, I also don't want to wait 15 minutes and have cold espresso either. In addition, I'd like a hot water tap that I can set a temperature to so I can use the machine for French presses as well, albeit I don't know how practical that might be in my price range. I have some wiggle room and would pay more for a really great machine that fits the bill, but I don't want to get in that dangerous game of justifying more and more and more and then spending twice as much before I know it.
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fnacer
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Feb 2007
Posts: 476
Location: Denver
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Vivaldi Mini S1, Rancilio...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Mazzer Super...
Drip: Aeropress
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Jan 11, 2011, 7:44pm
Subject: Re: Possibly able to get La Cimbali M32 used. To buy or not to buy?
 

Do you remember Steve Martin driving his car to visit his neighbor in L.A. Story? Well, that's what using a commercial machine for two shots of espresso twice a day is like. You can do it but it's just not reasonable.

The Oscar, on the other hand, may be too low an option as it doesn't have the hot water tap you want.

$1,000 should get you a nice used semi-professional HX or double-boiler machine. Or, if you are worried about dealing with repairs, go a bit higher and get something like the $1,275 Salvatore SES with comes with a 6-year warranty.
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chris_l
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Jan 2011
Posts: 4
Location: zombiedictator@gmail.com
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Jan 11, 2011, 9:32pm
Subject: Re: Possibly able to get La Cimbali M32 used. To buy or not to buy?
 

Is there a specific reason you think going with the La Cimbali might be a bad idea? My biggest concern right now is size and getting a timer so I won't have to wait an hour for heating up.
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fnacer
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Feb 2007
Posts: 476
Location: Denver
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Vivaldi Mini S1, Rancilio...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Mazzer Super...
Drip: Aeropress
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Jan 11, 2011, 10:53pm
Subject: Re: Possibly able to get La Cimbali M32 used. To buy or not to buy?
 

chris_l Said:

specific reason

Posted January 11, 2011 link

None. I considered buying one myself at one point. But it was snatched up before I could to it.
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aglt
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Jan 2014
Posts: 1
Location: Iceland
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Wed Jan 29, 2014, 2:17pm
Subject: Re: Possibly able to get La Cimbali M32 used. To buy or not to buy?
 

I am in almost the exact same situation, thinking of buying la cimbali m32, used from a coffee shop for home use. Did you buy this machine? If so, was it worth it? I am asking myself all the same questions... Here is the one I am thinking of buying:
http://sdrv.ms/1bz1EM9
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,042
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 Jan 29, 2014, 4:25pm
Subject: Re: Possibly able to get La Cimbali M32 used. To buy or not to buy?
 

I have owned my M32 for several months. It is a rock solid machine and leagues ahead of anything you are looking at.
If you have the room,, I have a hard time seeing how you could go wrong with it, provided it is working properly.

I leave mine on 24/7 it is designed for this service and it is not really that expensive to do. Most of the power usage is on warm up. To maintain heat, it cycles on for about 8 to 10 seconds per minute. It uses a propriety pressure stat and is VERY quiet. It mixes cold water with hot water from the boiler to both give you even more hot water and at a usable temp.

I really like the large space under the group too, it fits oversize cups nicely.

I would say that you do not hear much about them because of the cost and the smaller number of units in service and the pure commercial service it is designed for, not the prosumer market.

I would be happy to answer questions about it.

OH, BTW, if working, it has a built in timer board so an external board is not needed. If the board is bad, you can still use the machine but programming must be done in a more manual way, like most other volumetric machines.

Check out my thread when we bought it.

"Someone, stop me please!    Now also M32 rehab  AND NOW ALSO WITH PICS!"

And my cooling flush video
"HX flush reference video to show process"

 
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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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,042
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 Jan 29, 2014, 4:30pm
Subject: Re: Possibly able to get La Cimbali M32 used. To buy or not to buy?
 

Though mine has a water tank that has been bypassed, the drip tray is that, a tray, it will only hold a few oz and it MUST be plumbed to a drain, mine drains into a 4 gal bottle, it isn't a big deal.

 
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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fnacer
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Feb 2007
Posts: 476
Location: Denver
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Vivaldi Mini S1, Rancilio...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Mazzer Super...
Drip: Aeropress
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Jan 29, 2014, 6:09pm
Subject: Re: Possibly able to get La Cimbali M32 used. To buy or not to buy?
 

I thought this was a fresh thread and starting reading from the top. I totally disagreed with the first response which suggested that a commercial machine was too much to use at home.

Then I noticed that the person had the same user name as me. What?!!!

It truly took me a whole minute to realize that the post was from me. What a difference three years make!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,042
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 Jan 29, 2014, 8:07pm
Subject: Re: Possibly able to get La Cimbali M32 used. To buy or not to buy?
 

LOL, I am usually pretty good about watching the first post dates but I sure missed it this time!
OP, you have resolved your situation by now, to the poster who dug out his thread up from history, in the future please make your own thread, it keeps things straight. The M32 is a solid machine and if you can get one at a good price, have a quality espresso grinder or are going to buy one and have the room fore all of it, by all means it is hard to go wrong if is in good operating shape.

 
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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