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Help is needed to decide my espresso machine and grinder!
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Help is needed...  
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gearbolt
Senior Member
gearbolt
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 Sun Jan 20, 2013, 5:30pm
Subject: Help is needed to decide my espresso machine and grinder!
 

Hi all,

Finally, after several years of drinking espresso and cappuccino from my DeLonghi super-auto, I am about to pull the trigger
for my first semi-auto espresso machine and quality espresso grinder.  I should do this earlier.  I know.

For my situation,

1.My primary drink will be milk base ones although I do take straight espresso shot occasionally.  I will probably make one cap
  in the morning and two in the evening daily.  

2.The budget for the espresso machine and grinder is about $3500 which is set by the setup that I have in mind below.

3.Plumb or pour-over:  I prefer to have both of the capabilities although for now the pour-over is the only option.

4.Space is not an issue.  I have dedicated area and power outlets for my setup.  No over head drawers/cabinet.

5.What I have in mind so far are:
  a. Espresso machine: "Alex Duetto 3.0" by Izzo or "S1 Dream T" by La Spaziale.
      I know these two are excellent machines but would like to know your opinions.  I actually like the look of the S1 and feel
      the Alex Duetto has much complicated look (but my wife is actually like this one better).   However, I will go for the performance
      in a heart bit.

  b. Grinder: Mazzer Mini E doserless type A.    
      Originally, I was planning for the Vario by Baratza but later I decided to put more budget in the grinder and this is where I lost.  
      I read some post saying the Vario is actually preferred over the Mazzer mini dorseless.   I try not go for the SJ due to it size.  
      But I really want to know if the Mazzer Mini E type A can match the Alex Duetto or the S1 Dream T.    There is no space limit (no
      over head drawers) but feel the SJ and other commercial is way to tall.  

  1. I have the final saying, not wife.  :)

I am really interested in knowing what people think about the Alex Duetto 3.0 and S1 Dream T.    Price aside, are they in the same
level?   Or any other combinations?   Many thanks in advance.

David
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,114
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sun Jan 20, 2013, 7:20pm
Subject: Re: Help is needed to decide my espresso machine and grinder!
 

I own a Duetto II, but have never had my hands on the la Spaziale.  I can see from the CCS site, that the dream T cannot be plumbed(Duetto can plumb or not) It has a vib pump (Duetto rotary). It has smaller boilers than Duetto also. I didn't check their weights (which would affect thermal stability -potentially).

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 654
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:09am
Subject: Re: Help is needed to decide my espresso machine and grinder!
 

gearbolt Said:

a. Espresso machine: "Alex Duetto 3.0" by Izzo or "S1 Dream T" by La Spaziale.

Posted January 20, 2013 link

I own an Alex Duetto 3.0 and have been using it for about two months now. One of the advantages that I really like about the Duetto is that I can plumb it in later if I want.
It's fairly easy to use and makes great coffee. I like being able to switch off the steam boiler and save energy when I don't want to steam. I also like how quiet the rotary pump is.

The reasons why I didn't buy the Dream over the Duetto was because I didn't want to buy a machine which was plumb-in only. As well, it uses a 53mm portafilter, while most other machines
use a 58mm portafilter. Buying the vibe-pump tank version really wasn't an option for me because I've grown to hate the sound that vibe pumps make.

The best thing to do is read up on the features of the Dream and see if they matter to you over the Duetto. I personally didn't see any appeal, even though I'm a bit of a geek.
I guess if I was a bit more involved in the local coffee community, I'd probably be a bit more motivated to buy one.

The other upside to the Duetto, which could also be seen as a downside, is that it uses fairly generic off-the-shelf technology and components. Mostly Gicar electronics and a generic
E61 group, so everything is very serviceable, documented and there is a wide support base. The downside is that there's nothing "fancy" in it which the dream has, like pressure profiling,
storing temperature, profiles, etc on a USB key, etc..

gearbolt Said:

b. Grinder: Mazzer Mini E doserless type A.

Posted January 20, 2013 link

This is a decent grinder. I absolutely love mine. I get the feeling that this will be the last grinder I'll buy for a very long time, I mean that in a good way. :)  
This grinder goes very well with the Duetto and matches it quite nicely.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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gearbolt
Senior Member
gearbolt
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, 12:44am
Subject: Re: Help is needed to decide my espresso machine and grinder!
 

emradguy Said:

I own a Duetto II, but have never had my hands on the la Spaziale.  I can see from the CCS site, that the dream T cannot be plumbed(Duetto can plumb or not) It has a vib pump (Duetto rotary). It has smaller boilers than Duetto also. I didn't check their weights (which would affect thermal stability -potentially).

Posted January 20, 2013 link

Thanks for the reply. Yes, the dream T is only for water tank and has vib pump, which are the things that keep me leaning toward the Duetto 3.  I can only go for tank version for now.

May I ask what do you have for the grinder and have you had any issue with your Duetto 2?
Thanks.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,775
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 Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:52am
Subject: Re: Help is needed to decide my espresso machine and grinder!
 

I would go with a SJ over the mini, the grind is better. The mini is OK but the SJ is better. A Major is better still if you have room and money.

 
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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gearbolt
Senior Member
gearbolt
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, 12:55am
Subject: Re: Help is needed to decide my espresso machine and grinder!
 

Hi qualin,

Do you have any clumping and static issues with the Mazzer mini E type A grinder?
Thanks again.

David
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gearbolt
Senior Member
gearbolt
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, 1:15am
Subject: Re: Help is needed to decide my espresso machine and grinder!
 

calblacksmith Said:

I would go with a SJ over the mini, the grind is better. The mini is OK but the SJ is better. A Major is better still if you have room and money.

Posted January 21, 2013 link

I have the impression that for my situation (one or two shots per day), the dorseless is the way to go since I don't need to worry the grinds in the doser  so less waste of coffee and easier to manage.  Do I get the idea right?

Do you know if there is any static issue with the SJ?  I think I can go for the mini bean hopper arrangement.  Thanks.
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 654
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Mon Jan 21, 2013, 1:19am
Subject: Re: Help is needed to decide my espresso machine and grinder!
 

gearbolt Said:

Do you have any clumping and static issues with the Mazzer mini E type A grinder?

Posted January 21, 2013 link

This all depends on the blend of coffee being used and how fresh it is.

I live in a very dry climate so I do expect that there are grounds which will stick to the side of the funnel, that's just to be expected.

It does clump, but any doserless grinder will. If I find that I do have channeling issues, I just grind finer and lower the dosage. I could use the WDT though if I want a higher dose.

My only wish is that the grind was easier to adjust. I find when I want to make minute adjustments, I just tap the lever (Stalk?) with a tamper.

If you can afford a Major or a SJ, go for it, but a Mini will be within your budget and is perfect for home use.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,045
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Mon Jan 21, 2013, 3:15am
Subject: Re: Help is needed to decide my espresso machine and grinder!
 

Have you considered the Rocket Espresso Cellini Evoluzione V2? It has both option of using the internal water tank or plumbing, a rotary pump, and a standard E61 brew head.

 
***
"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)
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jwoodyu
Senior Member
jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 857
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Mon Jan 21, 2013, 6:41am
Subject: Re: Help is needed to decide my espresso machine and grinder!
 

Machine:  It is a jump ball or pretty close. I like have the ability to switch to the tank but would NEVER run on the tank if there were ANY way I could plumb. The E-61 opens more options for PFs etc.

Grinder: I with Wayne. Get a Major if you have the space. They can be had used on a deal and really are pretty reasonable new at 1st-line.

 
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.
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