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Inherited a Virtuoso looking to buy a manual espresso maker
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alcahuetej
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Joined: 16 May 2005
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Location: Wakefield, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Feb 17, 2014, 11:56am
Subject: Inherited a Virtuoso looking to buy a manual espresso maker
 

I just inherited a Baratza Virtuoso (it just needed a new burr holder) and I already own an Encore.  I never felt the Encore would be good enough for espresso, but now that I have the Virtuoso I was looking at finally getting into espresso.  

A friend of mine suggested the ROK Espresso maker

Click Here (www.wholelattelove.com)

I'm looking at pulling multiple shots per day, no lattes, and this about fits my budget.  Would this set-up work, or should I look at buying a more expensive semi-automatic maker?
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CoffeeRon
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Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
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Posted Mon Feb 17, 2014, 12:13pm
Subject: Re: Inherited a Virtuoso looking to buy a manual espresso maker
 

Do you have the Preciso Virtuoso? There is a difference. The Preciso is generally just referred to as just that.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
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Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
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Posted Mon Feb 17, 2014, 1:20pm
Subject: Re: Inherited a Virtuoso looking to buy a manual espresso maker
 

I second the above question.

Next, it depends on how tolerant you are of long and protracted processes. The ROK had lots of problems with poor quality metal parts and braking under stress, mostly the arms. I have not ever used one and am only going on what I read. The new one is supposed to be better but I have not heard anything good or bad about how it actually performs. The down side of devices like the ROK is you need to boil water i  another container, it is as basic as it gets. The Mypressi Twist is a similar product but it uses gas cartridges for pressure. I have one but have never used it, I bought it on a whim from our BST board and just never played with it.

When you move into semi auto machines, more of the processes are combined in one box and better control can be had. The boilers heat the water and electric pumps move the water at a prescribed pressure, the better the machines in the starter class, the better the machines work at keeping the variables in check. The lowest ranking machines have wide temp swings and too much pressure, as the price goes up, the pressure becomes more consistent and the temp does too. It really depends on your budget and how much you like (or do not like) to "fiddle" with things.

 
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ericcomposer72
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Posted Mon Feb 17, 2014, 1:24pm
Subject: Re: Inherited a Virtuoso looking to buy a manual espresso maker
 

If this contributes to the thread:

I have heard that the Virtuoso can be "modded" (if you'd call it that; might just involve a rubber-band or something) to become "stepless"

It is my understanding that the only difference between the Virtuoso and the Preciso is the fineness of the steps.
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alcahuetej
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Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 10
Location: Wakefield, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Feb 17, 2014, 4:44pm
Subject: Re: Inherited a Virtuoso looking to buy a manual espresso maker
 

CoffeeRon Said:

Do you have the Preciso Virtuoso? There is a difference. The Preciso is generally just referred to as just that.

Posted February 17, 2014 link

Sorry, should have specified.  I just have the regular Virtuoso, the next step up from the Encore.
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alcahuetej
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Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 10
Location: Wakefield, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Feb 17, 2014, 4:46pm
Subject: Re: Inherited a Virtuoso looking to buy a manual espresso maker
 

calblacksmith Said:

It really depends on your budget and how much you like (or do not like) to "fiddle" with things.

Posted February 17, 2014 link

I'm very willing to play with a coffee maker.  That's all I've been doing when I make coffee between pour overs, Aeropress, Bonavita BV1800....
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D4F
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Joined: 15 Mar 2012
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Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
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Posted Mon Feb 17, 2014, 4:55pm
Subject: Re: Inherited a Virtuoso looking to buy a manual espresso maker
 

I have the Preciso and use a microstep, or two, in or out to stay dialed.  A full step on the Preciso, what you will have on the Virtuoso, is too large.  I have not seen good mods, but not really looked, for the Virtuoso.  You can remove the clicker for "stepless," but the coarseness of the "thread" raising of lowering the burrs will be the same and probably leave it difficult to dial.  Do more reading before you decide that it is good for espresso.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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