RickSFO Senior Member Joined: 30 Dec 2012 Posts: 8 Location: San Francisco Expertise: Professional
Posted Sat Feb 22, 2014, 12:29pm Subject: Best commercial single group machine
I need a high quality single group machine for a restaurant. We're downsizing from a two group Strada. We're keeping the Mazzer grinders. Looking for something that's reliable, recovers fast, not too wide, and has cup warmers on top. We want a 220V machine so we don't have to worry about recovery. Semi-auto or auto.
Single group Linea's are too expensive new, but if I could find one used that would be good.
I'm really only familiar with LM machines and am just starting to research the others, so any advice is welcome.
JasonBrandtLewis Senior Member Joined: 9 Dec 2005 Posts: 6,475 Location: Berkeley, CA Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -... Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -... Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup Drip: CCD, Chemex Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sat Feb 22, 2014, 1:09pm Subject: Re: Best commercial single group machine
There is NO one "best" single group commercial machine (i.e.: no one size fits all) . . . but you probably know that.
If LM Linea EE/AV 1-groups are too expensive, at $6800 and $7800 respectively (MAP¹), let's talk about what your budget actually is?
Also, most 1-groups -- such as a Nuova Simonelli Appia Semi-Auto or Volumetric, at $3,533 and $4,210 respectively (MAP), or the Elektra "Sixties" T1 volumetric 1 group -- at $3595 (MAP) -- are all 110v/20A, not 220v.
As an aside, I have this Elektra in my kitchen. It is a true commercial machine, with all the necessary NSF, UTL certifications, etc. It has a 6.0L boiler, and recovery has never been an issue -- no matter how many drinks I have to make in a row! Keep in mind that not all 1-group machines are so certified, and that's something you'll need to have in a restaurant environment.
__________ ¹ MAP = Minimum Advertised Price. Actual street price os often lower.
I'd go back and re-read JBL's post. The only 1-group commercial machine to add to that is the Cimbali Junior. It too is a 110v machine but runs on only 15 amps. You cannot outrun this machine, with recovery coming as fast as you can dump your puck, clean your portafilter, and prep it for the next shot. The same should be true for the two he mentioned. All of these will steam within a tick of your Strada and do so for back to back milk drinks, so you won't be giving up much there.
In a restaurant atmosphere, I'd HIGHLY look at a machine that you can get serviced and repaired easily.
To the best of my knowledge, NONE of these three machines have the required commercial certifications for use in a restaurant environment. (The aforementioned Elektra does.) So, unless you're counting on the local Health inspector not checking . . .
There is a reason why -- on Chris' Coffee Service's websiter -- the three machines are listed on the HOME Espresso Machine page, versus the COMMERCIAL page . . .
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