emradguy Senior Member Joined: 31 Mar 2011 Posts: 3,685 Location: Houston Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2 Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,... Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Jan 21, 2013, 7:50am Subject: Re: Help is needed to decide my espresso machine and grinder!
I own two Macap M4s, both stepless and both with doser, but one has a timer and the other a rocker on/off switch.
Rocker model: newer (got it just over a year ago), used only for decaf. I find the rocker is slightly difficult to press on/off (and it does annoy me), possible because of the rubber cover that protects it from moisture/contamination. I would have preferred they put a roof over it and left it bare, or even put a toggle, rather than the rocker. Anyhow, grind quality is great. I get some clumping on this machine, possibly because of the decaf? I've always owned dosers and like them for several reasons. However, whether ot go doser/doserless is really more of a preference in user style, rather than advantages/disadvantages.
Timer model: older unit (I think I got it in 2008 or 2009), used only for regular. I find the timer runs too long for single dosing, even when set at the minimum time, so I always have to turn it off. Thus it functions more like a regular on/off switch in my home. It's a spring timer, and it's easy to turn. For whatever reason, I guess Macap didn't see moisture/contamination being a problem with the timer version, so it's not "protected" like the rocker switch. I've never had any significant clumping from this grinder...as far as I can remember.
Macap M4s have been compared to Mazzer Mini's in several reviews and the two grinders are almost identically rated in all categories, with the Macap coming ahead on cleanliness (doser model) and adjustability (stepless model). Grind quality, build quality and cupping reviews I've found (and I have looked extensively several times) show nearly imperceptible differences. The Macap dosers sweep very, very clean (and this has been noted in several reviews as well). The only place to really clean between sessions is the chute and any counter spills.
I've not tried any grinders rated above this class, other than what's been served to me in cafes. In part, because I am rather limited space wise (despite having a huge home). If the future ever brings me a freestanding bar, instead of a breakfast nook...well, I'll be looking at bigger commercial grinders as an upgrade.
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Thanks for the info. I checked out this one and found that this is HX machine. It is very comparable to the Alex Duetto 3.0. For the battle of HX vs DB and base on the info I read (maybe I have the wrong impression), I prefer the DB since I think for my case (not many consecutive shots), the temperature control will be tighter for a DB machine through the PID. I also read one comment talking about the larger deadband for the seam pump. The other reason for me to stick with Duetto is the numbers of the owners in this review site and the revisions of the machine. Of course, at this moment , HX and DB to me is the same and these two machines are all way beyond my capability. :)
gearbolt Senior Member Joined: 9 Aug 2007 Posts: 39 Location: San Jose, CA Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3.0 Grinder: Mahlkonig K30 Vario Vac Pot: Kona Roaster: TBD
Posted Mon Jan 21, 2013, 5:26pm Subject: Re: Help is needed to decide my espresso machine and grinder!
Can someone educate me regarding the dorser and dorserless grinder? Probably 90% of the time, my shot will not be consecutive. Usually one shot/steaming in the morning and two shots/steaming in the evening. I will not make more than 2 or 3 shots at one time (except for the first couple months when I get the machine. :) )
I think there will be grinds left in the grinders (both the doser and doserless ones) but there will more grinds in the doser. I prefer not to clean the grinder each time I use it. Therefore, I think the doserless ones may be better for me.
As for clumping and static, can I say the doser grinder will have no issue but for the doserless it is possible to have clumping and static issues? I know this is a very general statement. However, I prefer not to make a mess on the counter and the floor; otherwise, wife is going to ..........
Thanks for your time and opinions. Much appreciated.
I think that the Rocket R58 is much more along the lines of the feature set the OP is looking for. It has pretty much the same feature set as the Duetto 3.0. It is a direct competitor, but offers a few different things over the Duetto:
The PID technology is proprietary as opposed to being "Off the shelf" and has a separate outboard PID control. The idea behind this is to preserve the look of the machine without adding clutter.
Considerably larger and easier to read boiler pressure and brew pressure gauges.
Much longer nozzle for steaming milk.
The downside is cost, it carries a significant premium over the Duetto and I personally didn't like the outboard PID control, but that was just IMHO.
The Evoluzione is a great machine in its own right, but if I recall correctly, it is not PID controlled, it is pressurestat controlled, like any typical HX machine. Pressurestats are a bit "Old School". :-)
IMHO, I don't think that compared to the Duetto or the S1 Vivaldi, the Rocket Evoluzione offers good value for the money, you are paying for the name and for the looks. The price difference between the Evoluzione and the Duetto isn't that much, yet there's so much more. Again, IMO. They're beautiful machines though, don't get me wrong.
One thing that put me off to buying a Rocket was that there wasn't any local vendors who sold them, so getting service and support was a bit of a concern. I know a few local vendors here who service Izzo products.
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
That's true, but it's also much more expensive, and a DB doesn't necessarily make better espresso, it just works differently. There's a current hype about DB machines, but most commercial machines are still HX, for example. There's got to be good reason for that. If I had the choice between a prosumer DB and a commercial HX, I'd gladly prefer the HX. YMMV
*** "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)
jwoodyu Senior Member Joined: 31 Dec 2010 Posts: 857 Location: Michigan Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Allex Duetto II Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Tue Jan 22, 2013, 12:26pm Subject: Re: Help is needed to decide my espresso machine and grinder!
Grinder grinder grinder. I would way rather take the money spent on the electronic doserlerss and put it into a larger, slower, better burr. The screen increases retention which does not matter if your pushing enough volume. In a home well I will pass
Yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
Is it OK that you can post the photo of your set up (the Duetto II and the Mazzer Major)?
I checked out some of the youtube video of Mazzer Major and was shocked by the size of it. I also saw some SJ owners who took out the bean hopper. Can this be done on Major? In a way, this can reduce the height. But still they are beasts. :) I have no issue of the setup but I am concerned that my wife may not be able to take it. She is a minimalist. Although she let me make the decision, I need to consider her view as well.
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