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A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > A variety of...  
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tglodjo
Senior Member
tglodjo
Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 209
Location: Jackson, TN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Virtuoso
Drip: Wave, V60, Chemex, Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Sep 27, 2013, 9:39am
Subject: Re: A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
 

Sorry to join the conversation late.

Pretty much +1 on everything everyone has said. I actually can't believe there haven't been any heated debates yet, especially since the toss up is a single boiler vs. double boiler.

Here's my two cents.

The CC1 and Vario bundle from SGC is a great deal. However, there are plenty of NEW Varios to be had on eBay with the "or best offer" option, and I got mine brand new shipped for $350. Thus, don't let the "bundle" lead your decision.

Also, there's a significant difference between the Breville DB and CC1. If you're making back to back drinks, you'll be much happier with the convenience of a DB with the ability to brew and steam simultaneously. I don't have experience with either machine, but from what I've read, Breville is doing a superb job of standing behind their machine and replacing even if only a small repair is needed. Mr. Crossland and the CC1 have a great reputation as well. Just consider that these are not two equal machines. The CC1 definitely is the best deal in its class as a single boiler, but it's definitely below the BDB in terms of overall features and convenience (again, simultaneous brew and steam).

There's a decent BDB over on Home-Barista's BST forum: Click Here (www.home-barista.com) (I do not know the seller and have no interest in the sale of the product. Just trying to help.) In terms of buying used gear, I trust most of the listings here and on HB. I've bought three used machines on these forums and they have all been spectacular experiences.

Lastly, if you're buying your coffee from SGC, make sure it's fresh roasted. Last I heard, there were no roast dates on their coffee. You really want to get your coffee no later than three days post roast. There are also plenty of specialty roasters than ship for very decent prices, so keep up the research in that area.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,675
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 Fri Sep 27, 2013, 3:08pm
Subject: Re: A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
 

There is no waiting between steaming and brewing on the CC1. Don't be drawn in by "bells and whistles" quality should trump them, CC1 and don't look back:-)

 
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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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,356
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Sep 27, 2013, 5:04pm
Subject: Re: A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
 

You can't brew and steam at the same time on a CC1 but it is pretty damn quick, when SCG did the milk drink test it was only like a minute and a half off the pace of a Oscar (h/x for the OP), to show how much of a difference that separate thermoblock is the Silvia which is just a single boiler was like almost 10 minutes slower from that point for 4 milk drinks.

You can brew and steam on the BDB but it doesn't really have the capacity to go through fast like you would say on a Prosumer machine drink after drink after drink after drink, boilers are small and the steam is not as powerful (more of a well controlled smooth steam, think the CC1 is a little more powerful there but neither are h/x or prosumer steaming monsters but in a way thats good too as it lets you work the milk easy), but really the few I know with h/x and Dual Boilers don't steam and brew at the same time. I don't know, pry that home barista quirk where you want to make sure the shot is perfect and steaming is perfect.... doing both might give some a.d.d. especially starting out haha.

If your gonna get the BDB, wait for the new model that should be out soon since Breville will allow you to descale at home w/o voiding the warranty now, the current one you can descale but they'll void the warranty. I don't really believe the 4 year or whatever it is "send in" for descaling, my buddy said f' it and descaled his lol. if you live in a hard water area I don't see how you could go that long w/o doing so even with filters. I do mine at least twice a year. Buddies had both of his BDBs (one home one for office) for over 2 years and no issues, funny thing is he went with that after I had told him to get a Gaggia Classic to start with and the 1st one was D.O.A. and replacement didn't work right either... after telling him how solid and reliable they are lol

Don't buy coffee from SCG like another poster mentioned, their coffee is sitting there and not really fresh, can end up with a bad a few weeks old or longer. You can go to the same roasters they carry and order fresh shipped to your house.
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branmuffin17
Senior Member
branmuffin17
Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 68
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Fri Sep 27, 2013, 7:07pm
Subject: Re: A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
 

Thanks for all the further feedback...and if things often get heated, thank you everyone for being nice!  I don't want to be the cause of people getting pissed!

I found a retailer in Canada (Creative Cookware) that is selling the BDB new for $999, and they've confirmed they're an authorized retailer, and that the stock they have is the BES900XL/B (the slightly revised version).  Tglodjo, that used BDB is very tempting...especially with the included baskets, tamper, and bottomless portafilter.  Not sure I'll pull the trigger there, but I'm going to contact him and ask some questions.  Are there specific questions I really need to ask?

I'm now also considering either a Vario from an eBay company that says they're an authorized retailer of Baratza (I put in a "best offer" of $400, as $375 was rejected immediately), or even a refurbished Vario-W direct from Baratza.

CMIN, do you have any further info on the new model?  How soon is soon (without being exact)?  Is it maybe 1 month?  3 months?  1/2 a year?  Do you know any other details about the new model, such as it'll still be categorized as a BES900XL?  Same general retail price?  Probably all questions that you wouldn't know, but I'm asking just in case...

I haven't looked into details on specific coffees yet...thought the Bonsai blend, which seems very popular and well liked, would be good enough to start with, but sounds like I definitely need to look deeper on that.  Thanks for the heads up.
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jwoodyu
Senior Member
jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 847
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Fri Sep 27, 2013, 7:41pm
Subject: Re: A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
 

While the CC1 and BDB are not equal they are both sudo disposable manufactured in China kitchen appliances. Nice kitchen appliances to be sure but you wont feel as bad dropping the CC1 in the trash bin in a few years as you will dropping the BDB in the bin. Having used and been inside a CC1 there is good bit you can service provided you can get the parts and my guess is the BDB will hit the bin first.

To the point I only steam and pull at the same time once or twice a month when we are entertaining and my DB is plenty capable.

 
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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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,014
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Sep 29, 2013, 11:33am
Subject: Re: A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
 

If you really have a 2k budget I would probably get a bit more machine than the CC1.  I started with a HX and I am not sorry for one minute I did.  I think if I had gotten a smaller machine I would be ready to upgrade at year 2 instead I am still very happy with my machine and it would take a 3k machine to tempt me away from it.  I did mods my machine NS Oscar that I got used.  I think it is a bit over priced new because NS will not add two of the small tweaks that I did.  If they added those to the new machines I believe it would be worth the price new. (vacuum breaker and the musica restrictors probably add less than 10$ to the manufacturing costs and it would be very competitive machine with its huge boiler)

If the Breville double boiler 2nd gen has user descale and parts then I would consider it. (I don't believe it is out yet in the US) Without those things I really think it is not an investment class machine.  Yes, it does a great job when it works, but if it needs to be sent off to be fixed then in a few years they will not fix your machine they will just want to sell you another one.  My machine will be able to be repaired by me for a long time.

I don't believe the vario is investment class grinder either, but for the price and size it can't be beat.  (compared to commercial grinders)

I believe my used oscar and new vario w is great starter set up.  However, with 2k budget I would probably get another machine.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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MAREC
Senior Member
MAREC
Joined: 28 Sep 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: BrevilleBES900XL
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sun Sep 29, 2013, 12:34pm
Subject: Re: A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
 

Just have to mention, my experience on the phone with SCG is NOT good. Twice I called about too low a pressure on my pressure gauge on the Breville 900BESxl that I bought from them refurbished and had shipped out to Colorado. Twice the girl who was supposedly "helping" me told me the pressure gauge is "just for looks"! Two months ago I bough a refurbished Breville 900BESxl, Baratza Vario and a Soehnle Ultra 2.0 precision scale. I have Novo espresso beans sent to me from Denver and it arrives the day after it's roast date. I have never been able to get my Breville to go above 7.5 bars, and the taste suffers for it (I have a forum question on this very problem currently up). Be careful with Breville. That said, I really want to get this machine to work perfectly because other than the pressure, it's wonderful....easy to empty drip tray, easy to fill front water fill, love the timer to come on in the morning, love that it goes off on its own if not used in 4 hours, love the heft of the portafilter (though I did buy a much heavier tamp than the one they provide I still try both and cant really find a difference, perhaps because I unconsciously press harder with the lighter original tamp). I couldn't stand the plastic insert on the portafilter and used a corkscrew to remove it. It came with both single and double walled baskets. I use the double dbl-walled. I love the automatic pre-infusion and yet the ability to use manual if I don't want it. I love being able to easily set the hot water temp (from 195 to 205) and set the volume timer. I just HATE that I can't get the pressure to go up to where is necessary. I want syrupy espresso and can't get it for anything I do! So bells and whistles are fine, but if you are finicky about your espresso, think Elmer Fudd, and be wherry, wherry careful about the Breville you get.
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branmuffin17
Senior Member
branmuffin17
Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 68
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sun Sep 29, 2013, 12:34pm
Subject: Re: A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
 

Hi everyone,

Interesting thoughts on the durability/longevity of the machines.  I know the really high-quality ones will last indefinitely with care and maintenance.  If I were to clarify here, if the machine I choose ends up lasting in the general range of 5-10 years, I'll probably be satisfied.  Should both of these last at least that long?

Also to clarify, the $2000 budget was a general number, but probably not quite there.  Since I don't have ANYTHING right now, all of the added accessories will probably add up to around $200-300 (good cups, smaller pitcher, tamper, tamping mat, knock box, spoons (?), bottomless portafilter, etc.).  If I were to get a full priced BDB and Vario, that's $1700 right there, and accessories will hit $2k.  Would like to stay a bit below that.  Sales on those will help me stay under max budget.  Going for the CC1 would keep me even lower, and I'm guessing that's the main point in jwoodyu's comment about feeling bad!

Coffeenoobie and anyone else, I've never even looked at the Oscar.  There's no way I'd want to trick it out...I'd be very scared of breaking it.  Is the Oscar, then, still something I should consider?  Its base price is below the BDB, but its feature set is significantly less too (not even a hot water spigot, which I would be using).  FYI I've read some of your posts.  You're crazy.  I hope to get to your level before I die.

If I'm looking at an espresso machine price of up to $1,200, new or used, what would your suggestion be?  Appreciate your comments as always!
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,014
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Sep 29, 2013, 1:06pm
Subject: Re: A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
 

If you are logical and systematic don't be afraid of breaking the espresso machine.  I never touched espresso or an espresso machine before I bought my used machine and I fixed it twice alone before tricking it out with help.  I am a logical trouble shooter by profession so just being slow and taking good photos to reassemble and I had no issues with my solo repairs.  I don't consider myself a handyman/woman and had to get tools to work on it.  But, I am very patient and feel I can learn anything I set my mind to.

I am not that crazy, I have just been doing this for 2 years and I still feel I have a long way to go.

(NOTE: this is my opinion never having owned one.)

I disagree about the hot water spigot, I don't like the idea of pulling water off the boiler for my tea.  It would be best used for draining the boiler or preheating cups in my opinion.  I would rather steam water for tea or nuke it rather than use boiled water for my tea, etc.  Also, I have a huge boiler and it can put out tons of steam all day long so it can steam water to boiling in seconds.

I like my Oscar but the price new is not worth it without the vacuum breaker or restrictions.    I wish NS would do those two tiny things to it and I think it would rock in its price range.  These are not hard to do, and I would think any espresso repair person could do these mods easily.  But for the full new price I don't think I would get oscar without these two mods.

Used, ~500$ I think it is a great buy and very hard to beat with any entry level single boiler.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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branmuffin17
Senior Member
branmuffin17
Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 68
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sun Sep 29, 2013, 3:12pm
Subject: Re: A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
 

Well, I think I'm generally logical, but I'm proud of myself even when I replace faucets or hang pictures just right, so...

Haven't read much on the Alexia, but what do you think about this offer? http://www.chriscoffee.com/Quickmill-Alexia-p/970.htm
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