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Rancilio Machines - Other - Cragg Nilson's Review
Posted: January 5, 2006, 3:21pm
review rating: 7.5
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Rancilio Machines - Other
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Arrow The Rancilio Machines - Other has 4 Reviews
Arrow The Rancilio Machines - Other has been rated 8.00 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Rancilio Machines - Other reviews have been viewed 25,833 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Jeff Burt-Gracik 8.00
Cragg Nilson 7.50
Ken Michael 5.00
Erik Hovland 5.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.0
Product Reviewed: Epoca S1 Tank
Manufacturer: Rancilio Quality: 10
Average Price: Varies Usability: 8
Price Paid: $1,700.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: EspressoCoffeeShop.com Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 2 years Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: A Volvo-like semi-commerical/home espresso machine that brews cafe quality espresso, looks modern and feels like it should last a lifetime in a home environment. (Note not machine pictured here)
Positive Product Points

Capable of brewing cafe quality espresso with outstanding steaming strength.  Highly reliable, 'Volvo-like' quality, with excellent servicability worldwide.  Elegant design.

Negative Product Points

Loud.  Bigger than you might expect.  Small reserve tank.

Detailed Commentary

The Epoca S1 is available in a direct water connection model and a tank model.  Both are further available in automatic and semi-automatic versions.  This is review is for the Tank Semi-Automatic model (user must fill it with water and turn off the coffee brewer manually).

Features

  • Single group head
  • Medium foot print (Width-15" Depth-22" Height-19")
  • Heavy duty commercial construction (compare photos of the inside)
  • Stainless steel machine body, base and sides made of HDPE and ABS plastics
  • Semi Automatic
  • Heater 1600 watts (110v/220v versions)
  • 3.9 liter boiler
  • 2 liter water tank
  • Vibration pump (heat exchanger)
  • Available in red or grey

I've been using this machine in a home environment for slightly less than 2 years now.   No problems thus far, pulling on average about 1000 shots / year.  It was purchased as a first and *hopefully* last serious home espresso machine.  The goal was to buy the best performance & quality machine for under 2,000 USD - that also looked good!

Negative Points
The machine when delivered was bigger than I expected, about twice the size of a Gaggia Classic.  It was also about 2 times louder than a Gaggia!  Lastly, the water tank has only 2 liters capacity and generally needs to be refilled after making 2-3 lattes.  The usability is rated at 8 only because for a novice, it could have better documentation.  If your experienced you should not have any problems with usability.

Positive Points
Although a bit loud, aestically the Epoca S1 is very well designed and pleasing to look at.  The drip tank is quite deep and easy to clean.  The single & double 58mm portafilters that come with the machine are very solid and well designed.  Brews perfect espresso with the right knowledge and touch.  3-hole stream head is  very powerful for creating microfoam/interface cream.   Brews and steams at the same time without problem.  Machine warms cups well.  If service is ever required, a strong world-wide network of Rancilio service centers exists.

Other machines considered
La Spaziale Vivaldi S1 (+ quiet dual boilers, - requires direct connection)
Pasquini Livia 90 Semi Automatic (+ less expensive, - looks like a Fiat inside)

Pictures of Epoca S1 Tank found here http://www.rancilio.com/eng/epoca_s.html

Buying Experience

Good.  Purchased from EspressoCoffeeShop.com, who had reasonable prices and delivery times to Europe.  No service required.

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review rating: 7.5
Posted: January 5, 2006, 3:21pm
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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