There is no real answer for your question. There are any number of excellent manufacturers out there, from La Marzocco to Elektra, Faema to Cimbali, Synesso to Espressionistic Works (Kees van der Westen), and many, many, MANY more. But what machine(s) are best in YOUR situation . . . who knows?!?!?
As Randy points out, you need a machine that has local support. It will break down at some point, and you'll want someone local who can show up right away to come fix it! Without that machine, you're out of business. (This is why, for example, some busy cafés have two 2-group machines, rather than one 3- or 4-group machine. One goes down; the other remains up.)
But do you want a semi-auto, a full-auto, or a lever machine? (Trust us: you don't want a super-auto!) Do you want an HX or a DB? Do you want large brew pots, or a pourover station? How many grinders are you going to have? Flat or conical? Dosered or doserless? What manufacturer? Are you going to offer SO's?
A couple of things to keep in mind:
The Four M's of Espresso: 1) the Macinazione is the grinder, and with it, the correct grinding of the coffee beans; 2) the Miscela is the coffee beans/blend itself; 3) the Macchina is the espresso machine; and 4) the Mano is the skilled hand of the barista.
All four are important. Nothing is more important than the grinder.
/ / / / /
Babbie's Rule* of Fifteens: -- Green (unroasted) coffee beans should be roasted within 15 months, or they go stale. -- Roasted coffee beans should be ground within 15 days, or they go stale. -- Ground coffee should be used within 15 minutes, or it goes stale.
emradguy Senior Member Joined: 31 Mar 2011 Posts: 3,227 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 Tue Feb 26, 2013, 8:33am Subject: Re: OPENING NEW CAFE NEED HELP
Another thing to ask the support guy/service center is whether he/they offer loaners (even if you have to rent one) if he/they can't get you up and running right away. Maybe they need to order a part? What are you going to tell your customers? Oh, sorry, we can't make your drink until next week because we're waiting for a part. Case in point, I went to one of my local places yesterday for lunch, and wanted a cortado too. Their 3 group Faema was down. It was still sitting there on the counter, but they couldn't use it. Instead, they had borrowed a machine from another shop - a Rancilio Epoca to be exact. I was able to get my cortado.
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
I think the original post is a joke or jest. Calling it a "level" refers to the poster not being "on the level" with his question. I think the joke has something to do with a person buying a $15,000.00 machine asking how much coffee to use to make different size drinks.
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