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Isomac Tea II - to buy or not to buy?
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Discussions > Espresso > General > Isomac Tea II -...  
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RodUK
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Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 13
Location: England
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Tea II ... Espro...
Grinder: Vario-W ... Espro Tamper
Posted Fri Feb 24, 2012, 6:24am
Subject: Isomac Tea II - to buy or not to buy?
 

I'd be grateful for any views/experience on buying an Isomac Tea II to use with a Baratza Virtuoso Preciso grinder.

I've been getting lots of guidance from reading both CoffeeGeek  & consumer reviews on this website. Following the 'spend' advice, in January I took the plunge and bought my grinder, a Baratza Virtuoso Preciso which is living up to the reviews and comments I've read here. Currently I use a digital letter scale to weigh out the beans prior to grinding: 35g for press pot (for 2 cups) and 10g per cup for use 'in-cup' with a filter basket, almost half the amount needed for press pot and hopefully even less for espresso grind due to the increased surface area from which the nectar can be extracted. The new Baratza Esatto grinder attachment looks really interesting and I await availability (240 volt) and pricing in UK with anticipation, but the machine is the next purchase hence this post as well as the opportunity to say hello.

My research has highlighted the Isomac Tea II as seeming to fit the advice on 'spend proportions' with the grinder as well as being highly regarded for the excellence of its results in the right hands. In the mid 90's I had an espresso machine (can't remember brand) which looked rather like the Gaggia Classic, but coloured red, what I do remember were the wonderful results it produced even though I had very little insight into 'good practice'. Being in a very hard water area, I learned one big lesson when the machine died on me (calcium coated heating element), so I like the idea of a machine worthy of the TLC that can provide the longevity and excellent results that the reviews suggest are possible.

Coffee Italia are advertising the Isomac Tea II at 799, is the price too good to be true?

Thanks!
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NobbyR
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NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,023
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 Sat Feb 25, 2012, 2:36pm
Subject: Re: Isomac Tea II - to buy or not to buy?
 

The Isomac Tea is a solid HX machine which basically has the same technical innards as the much more expensive Millenium. They only differ in the quality of workmanship. Both are capable of pulling great shots and have sufficient steaming power. Go for it.

 
***
"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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RodUK
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 13
Location: England
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Tea II ... Espro...
Grinder: Vario-W ... Espro Tamper
Posted Sun Feb 26, 2012, 5:09am
Subject: Re: Isomac Tea II - to buy or not to buy?
 

NobbyR Said:

The Isomac Tea is a solid HX machine which basically has the same technical innards as the much more expensive Millenium. They only differ in the quality of workmanship. Both are capable of pulling great shots and have sufficient steaming power. Go for it.

Posted February 25, 2012 link

Thanks Nobby, your response gives me the confidence boost I was looking for.  I've found a supplier in the UK where I can both see and buy the Isomac Tea (stock item) for 839. Although it's 40 extra I like the idea of a more personal service where it's easy to ask questions face-to-face and build my confidence in case I need help/service.
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__________
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Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 883
Location: .
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Awaiting spare parts ;o(
Grinder: None
Vac Pot: None
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Sun Feb 26, 2012, 6:14am
Subject: Re: Isomac Tea II - to buy or not to buy?
 

I assume you mean myespresso in Coventry ?  At least you'll be dealing face to face and able to sort out what the warranty undertakings are. Whenever I've driven past they seem to be closed though. Perhaps you need to make an appointment.

Buyers' experience of the other supplier you found has been - to be kind - "mixed", and having looked at their T's and C's, I'd run a mile.

Personally, if I were buying from myespresso today, I'd be very interested in looking at the Fracino dual boiler machine they stock, which looks tremendous value for money, probably because it's made in the UK.  

I'm biased though - I just don't get on with domestic sized HX machines (used to have a Tea).  Many others on here will swear by them and it's just one of those differences of opinion that will run and run...  

Ignore all that if you've really made up your mind to buy a Tea.  They're OK machines, just not for me.  At 839 it's a good price.
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NobbyR
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NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,023
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 Sun Feb 26, 2012, 8:31am
Subject: Re: Isomac Tea II - to buy or not to buy?
 

Unless you're 100% sure about a machine, it's always a good idea to take a live look at it. It can assure your decision or change everything.

 
***
"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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RodUK
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Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 13
Location: England
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Tea II ... Espro...
Grinder: Vario-W ... Espro Tamper
Posted Sun Feb 26, 2012, 8:40am
Subject: Re: Isomac Tea II - to buy or not to buy?
 

__________ Said:

I assume you mean myespresso in Coventry ?  At least you'll be dealing face to face and able to sort out what the warranty undertakings are. Whenever I've driven past they seem to be closed though. Perhaps you need to make an appointment.
Buyers' experience of the other supplier you found has been - to be kind - "mixed", and having looked at their T's and C's, I'd run a mile.
Personally, if I were buying from myespresso today, I'd be very interested in looking at the Fracino dual boiler machine they stock, which looks tremendous value for money, probably because it's made in the UK.  
I'm biased though - I just don't get on with domestic sized HX machines (used to have a Tea).  Many others on here will swear by them and it's just one of those differences of opinion that will run and run...  
Ignore all that if you've really made up your mind to buy a Tea.  They're OK machines, just not for me.  At 839 it's a good price.
and
Unless you're 100% sure about a machine, it's always a good idea to take a live look at it. It can assure your decision or change everything.

Posted February 26, 2012 link

Thanks for your helpful posts Nobby and yes it is My Espresso. Did you mean the Fracino Piccino model which is cheaper than the Tea? I'd be interested in the reasons you recommend that and gave up on the Tea because I want to buy a machine I'll never want to change.
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__________
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 883
Location: .
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Awaiting spare parts ;o(
Grinder: None
Vac Pot: None
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Sun Feb 26, 2012, 9:53am
Subject: Re: Isomac Tea II - to buy or not to buy?
 

Aaah, well whatever you buy I'm sorry to tell you that at some time you will probably get the "upgrade" bug - especially if you follow this forum.

My reasons are purely personal, in that I did not find the Tea easy to use - for me. I hope the person who bought it from me when I replaced it with a different machine is happy with it.

I have found a dual boiler system much easier and more consistent in my hands.  The Piccino is of that type.  I didn't actually recommend it as a machine because I've never used it, but as I said I would certainly take a look at it.  They are surprisingly inexpensive and made by a very high quality commercial machine manufacturer with an excellent record of making and supporting their products.  No - I don't work for them or have any relationship to them other than living about 7-8 miles from their factory.

Debate rages about the HX versus dual boiler systems in domestic machines.  You will read far more posts than you will ever feel like ploughing your way through.  I'm afraid that the only answer is to find out what works best for you.  If you can try the machines out - and hopefully you will - that's the only real answer.  I'd try to get some agreement on what our American friends call "buyers remorse" too, just in case.

PS - the last bit of the post you quote is from Nobby not from me, but I do agree with it 100%
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RodUK
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 13
Location: England
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Tea II ... Espro...
Grinder: Vario-W ... Espro Tamper
Posted Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:07am
Subject: Re: Isomac Tea II - to buy or not to buy?
 

Sorry KeepItSimple, case of tunnel vision there, for now I think I'll blame the computer for being unable to see your details while sending a reply (and make a mental note to be more careful)!

I've been taking a look at the Piccino information I can find, which isn't very much, and I'm struck by the difference in weight with the Piccino being 15Kg and the Tea 21Kg (>30% heavier). I can't deny that I'm also influenced by the look of the Tea and the great reviews so many people here have given it. I did a search for Fracino and Piccino and was told no reviews are available. When I go MyEspresso I'll ask to see both machines. Thank for the suggestion to follow up.
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__________
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 883
Location: .
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Awaiting spare parts ;o(
Grinder: None
Vac Pot: None
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Sun Feb 26, 2012, 10:31am
Subject: Re: Isomac Tea II - to buy or not to buy?
 

NP about the quote.

Fracino don't sell in the US, and as this is a largely US forum, you won't find any information.  Also this model has only been on the market for a few months.

I'm fairly sure someone on www.toomuchcoffee.co.uk was planning to buy one - I know we were discussing it on there.

Yes, the Tea is quite hefty - largely contributed by its very thick S/S outer skin. If you like the look, that's also a plus I guess.

FWIW, the small single group dual boiler machine I now have weighs in at 31kg, but I'm not sure that means all that much, and I'm not starting a pi**ing contest ;o)

Don't know whereabouts you are, but if you want confusing even further (!) have you looked at the www.bellabarista.co.uk website ?  They have a good reputation, a wide range of machines, and I think they have machines for you to try. Their independent reviewer used to be a regular contributor on this forum until he got fed up by some aspects of it.
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