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I'm about to just put the names on the wall and start throwing darts....
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > I'm about to...  
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Rick
Senior Member
Rick
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 774
Location: North Vancouver
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Mininova Inox Auto...
Grinder: Macap M4 stepped
Drip: Melitta #2 cone filter
Roaster: Stir-Crazy/Infinity Turbo...
Posted Wed Mar 16, 2005, 11:24pm
Subject: Re: I'm about to just put the names on the wall and start throwing darts....
 

schrodingers_cup Said:

Turns out you sold me KittJ, I had not seen the SJ thread on the forum yet somehow... spent this whole afternoon going through the whole dang thing waiting for the other shoe to fall... after it didnt i called nina ASAP and should be finalizing my order tomorrow. Sadly the price has jumped a bit but it still sounds like a steal.  Thanks for the tip, i cant wait to "overkill" a batch of good beans with it.

cubastreet-  a little to afriad to look in the box now n days, at least not until i have gotten to pull a shot on a new machine :] which i think has been narrowed to a brewtus or giotto Prem.

- as far as boiler goes.. thats why i am looking at the brewtus. i still cant quite get my mind all the way around the difference in final shot/steam/hot water tap that exists between an HX and a double boiler... any links or experience info would be appreciated.

Posted March 16, 2005 link

Don't look in the box . . . . yet.  The shot must retain an equal probability of being good or bad until you look, at which time the die is cast.  But if you hold off looking all the way through grinding, dosing, tamping, lock, preinfusion, all the way through to the end, the shot must still have the possibility to be good and it can't go back, so it will be good!  :-)

But seriously, you will get finer brew temperature control with a 2-boiler machine.  This will matter IF you like to try many blends and roasts, and if you're the type who will fiddle with brew temperature for that last 10% of shot quality.  If you just want to make a very good espresso and be done with it, a 2-boiler machine may just add unnecessary expense and complexity.   You'll get more steam pressure and duration with a 2-boiler machine because you will be able to run the steam boiler at higher pressure than you would a HX machine.  You may appreciate this when banging off shot after shot in a catering environment.

schrodingers_cup Said:

-I agree with the support thing, and will check local but am guessing i wont be able to find a better deal than on one er two of these sites (no sales tax on $$ items is a big plus)  not to mention i have heard many tout the awesome customer service.

Posted March 16, 2005 link

For my two cents, I would pay a premium for a local supplier. Espresso machines can get beaten up in transit via UPS should you have to send it back. Local is good.  

schrodingers_cup Said:

-  I am not looking for a plumbed in versions as the catering i am planning on trying to do will be an on location kind of thing for small groups so i will need my machine to be pseudo portable- hence no plumbing.

Posted March 16, 2005 link

And hence you're leaning towards a vibratory pump.  There aren't many rotary pump machines with a reservoir.

schrodingers_cup Said:

-I would like the rotary pump but from what i have read, most all of the machines that do offer it only offer it with the plumbed in model... thwarted again.

Posted March 16, 2005 link

I have a rotary, and its main advantage is that it is pressure limited to 9 bars.  The same can be done with a vibe pump, and they're a hell of a lot less expensive to replace.  Some experienced espressionados say they can't taste the difference in blind side by side taste tests with two Cimbali Jrs.  Check the alt.coffee archives on Google for a post by Jim Schulmann or Ken Fox.

schrodingers_cup Said:

-looks are definitely important if not just for personal pleasure then definitely for professional presentation.. again the Giotto steals my heart.  I can also see my girlfriend being more jealous of her than other machines tho.. ahh the complexities!?!

Posted March 16, 2005 link

I thought the same thing until I saw the inner beauty of the Wega.  It's a very well assembled machine, significantly more orderly and professional looking than the Giotto.  Also, I would put the La Valentina back in the running if I were you. For me, it was a close second place to the Wega, and I hesistated only because it was not local like the Wega, and the frame is not as likely to stand up to UPS mishandling should I need to return it.  But in normal use, I would not worry about the lighter frame.

schrodingers_cup Said:

So yeah. I am looking currently at giotto prem and brewtus (but also giving a look at the LaSpaziale S1 and Reneka Techno) will post more on my indecision as it gets further along in awkwardness...
mike

Posted March 16, 2005 link

The two-boiler machines will be a little easier with which to produce consistently excellent shots.  They have additional complexity, which may (and I'm guessing) lead to higher maintenance costs in the long run.  

Best of luck!

Rick
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JeremyR
Senior Member
JeremyR
Joined: 24 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Wellington
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: yes
Grinder: yes
Vac Pot: yes
Drip: occasionally
Roaster: yes
Posted Thu Mar 17, 2005, 4:37am
Subject: Re: I'm about to just put the names on the wall and start throwing darts....
 

HX machines have one boiler at steam temperature. There is a heat exchanger, basically a tube running through the boiling water, to heat the brew water and, by means of convection, the group. Hot water flows into the top of the brew group and as it cools, it flows out a pipe in the bottom of the group back to the heat exchanger.  At idle, the group and brew water get to near the temp of the boiler, far too hot for coffee. If you're not pulling back to back shots, you will need to gain experience to learn how much water you need to run through the group and how much time to wait to get the HX to recover a bit to get it to brew at the desired temperature. Hot water is dispensed from the steam boiler, which tends to fill up with all the crap from the water which doesn't boil off when you're steaming. I've got a big HX machine at home and I can't be bothered with it -  it's just too much hassle for making one shot. I'm sure some people love the art of it, but for that I'd get a lever machine.

In a dual boiler, the opposite is true - the group gets too cool at idle. Before you pull a shot after idle you need to run a bit of water through the group to get it up to temp. The amount is much less crucial. The hot water is normally fresh water from the brew boiler, although overuse of this facility can upset boiler temperature. Another advantage of dual boiler is that you can teach your friends how to use it without looking like so much of an anal asshole.

Although I think the giotto is the better looker, I think the brewtus is a lot more machine for your money - separate boilers and electronic control. I would consider the techno, but would count the s1 out on the grounds that it's got a baby portafilter.
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KittJ
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jul 2004
Posts: 324
Location: Chappaquiddick Island

Espresso: PID Expobar Brewtus IIIR;
Grinder: Mazzer: Mini & SJ
Drip: Why??
Posted Thu Mar 17, 2005, 6:42am
Subject: Re: I'm about to just put the names on the wall and start throwing darts....
 

JeremyR Said:

I would consider the techno, but would count the s1 out on the grounds that it's got a baby portafilter.

Posted March 17, 2005 link

S1 also requires being plumbed in.
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HB
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Joined: 3 Apr 2003
Posts: 2,913
Location: Cary, NC
Posted Thu Mar 17, 2005, 7:30am
Subject: Re: I'm about to just put the names on the wall and start throwing darts....
 

KittJ Said:

S1 also requires being plumbed in.

Posted March 17, 2005 link

You can run rotary pumps from bottled water, if you wish (details). The noteworthy advantages of a rotary pump are the quiet operation and ease of adjustment. I went to some serious extremes to squelch the sound of Valentina (see "Adventures in pump noise reduction"), which would be unnecessary with a rotary pump.

Although the S1's portafilter is 53mm versus an E61's 58mm, I wouldn't label it "dainty." It weighs more than a stock E61's, including my personal fav, the Rancilio commercial portafilter. Most double baskets hold approximately the same amount of coffee (14-17 grams). There are lots of triple basket devotees, our own JonR10 among them, but it never lured me away... yet.

-- Dan

 
www.home-barista.com
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JonR10
Senior Member
JonR10
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 10,376
Location: Houston, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: E61 Legend, Livietta,...
Grinder: Robur, B-Vario-W
Vac Pot: Hario Tabletop, Yama...
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: 1-lb US Roaster, Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Mar 17, 2005, 7:41am
Subject: Re: I'm about to just put the names on the wall and start throwing darts....
 

JeremyR Said:

I would consider the techno, but would count the s1 out on the grounds that it's got a baby portafilter.

Posted March 17, 2005 link


Anyone who has seen and held the S1 portafilter (in person) would never, EVER call it a "baby".  It's heavier than the standard E61 type and the S1 standard filter basket holds more coffee than a LaMarzocco style double.

EDIT: Looks like Mr Kehn beat me to the punch.  Thanks for the props Dan!!  

I must say that if I had an S1 (it is one of the very few machines out there that makes me consider an "upgrade" in the future), I probably would give up my triples (:-o)

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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jrtATL
Senior Member
jrtATL
Joined: 20 Feb 2004
Posts: 1,035
Location: Austin TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Control
Grinder: Mazzer Jolly; Cunill...
Drip: Melitta Clarity
Roaster: Drum on a Weber grill; HG/DB
Posted Thu Mar 17, 2005, 7:52am
Subject: Re: I'm about to just put the names on the wall and start throwing darts....
 

JonR10 Said:

Anyone who has seen and held the S1 portafilter (in person) would never, EVER call it a "baby".  It's heavier than the standard E61 type and the S1 standard filter basket holds more coffee than a LaMarzocco style double.

Posted March 17, 2005 link

I've pulled a few shots on brokencup's S1.  I would prefer his 53mm Pf to my 58mm PF anyday.  Not only is it heftier than mine, it also produces, in theory, richer shots.  The theory is that each drop of water has to pass through more coffee to exit the PF, resulting in richer extraction.  Not sure if I buy the theory, but I'd definitely buy the machine if I had the cash.  

Jeremy

 
"I've appeared before every court in the state.  Often as a lawyer." - Lionel Hutz, Esq.
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KittJ
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Jul 2004
Posts: 324
Location: Chappaquiddick Island

Espresso: PID Expobar Brewtus IIIR;
Grinder: Mazzer: Mini & SJ
Drip: Why??
Posted Thu Mar 17, 2005, 8:06am
Subject: Re: I'm about to just put the names on the wall and start throwing darts....
 

schrodingers_cup Said:

Turns out you sold me KittJ, I had not seen the SJ thread on the forum yet somehow... spent this whole afternoon going through the whole dang thing waiting for the other shoe to fall... after it didnt i called nina ASAP and should be finalizing my order tomorrow. Sadly the price has jumped a bit but it still sounds like a steal.  Thanks for the tip, i cant wait to "overkill" a batch of good beans with it.
mike

Posted March 16, 2005 link

Glad to have you aboard the boat.  I thrust you appreciated the double entendre:

the "threat" of the Mazzer SJ is HIGHLY over rated ... Kitt

You may want to take advantage of  Terry Z's discount which is good till 3/31 and pick up a set of burrs (not essential, but why not start fresh and keep the current ones as a spare, assuming you can find them in 10 years.)  You should also consider getting the spout kit that makes the unit doserless.  A couple of us are awaiting our parts to do this particular mod.  I decided I was never going to need the grocery bag holder, so I left that $38 part out of my order.  

Last,  if you think you will use the doser at functions, I would recomend taking advantage of the shipping on this order to get the two doser springs (~ 90 cents@) to make that function like new.   I assume you are going to order a $22 new hopper from Terry (which will be further discounted) rather than pay $50 to get a (used) one from Nina ... which may not arrive for several months.

Nina tries to be sure that folks undestand that it will be at least 2 weeks before the unit ships ( ... that department has other items to work on too.)  But nobody on the board has been dissatisfied with what arrived or claims they were stiffed.

We are still doing detailed temperature studies on the Brewtus, now that we have a unit tricked out with a PID and the ability to play games with different configurations.  However, the message that comes through pretty clearly is that "right out of the box"  the machine delivers excellent stability and the variance at the group head is tiny.  As you anticipated, it has none of the extremes that I had with my HX.  And I do like to "see" the brew water temp on the display, not count seconds and ounces of flush to guess at the temperature.

So I am happy with the Brewtus and I haven't seen any real dissapointment by any of the owners.  WLL chose to bring it in without some of the aesthetic add-ons, but seems willing to order them for those of us who want to dress it up.   Kitt
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zakglass
Senior Member
zakglass
Joined: 17 Mar 2004
Posts: 360
Location: Austin, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Pulser
Grinder: Macap M4; Baratza Maestro...
Drip: Technivorm MoccaMaster CD
Posted Thu Mar 17, 2005, 8:09am
Subject: Re: I'm about to just put the names on the wall and start throwing darts....
 

jrtATL Said:

I've pulled a few shots on brokencup's S1.  I would prefer his 53mm Pf to my 58mm PF anyday.  Not only is it heftier than mine, it also produces, in theory, richer shots.  The theory is that each drop of water has to pass through more coffee to exit the PF, resulting in richer extraction.  Not sure if I buy the theory, but I'd definitely buy the machine if I had the cash.  

Jeremy

Posted March 17, 2005 link

Yup. I got to play with the S1 at Chris' in Albany. It's nothing but a gorgeous machine in all respects, including the very substantial portafilter. No magic to 58mm, and sometimes the exception beats the standard. Factor in the fact that you can get pretty much all of the good tampers at 53mm, and there's no reason at all why this is a negative to this machine. At this point, S1 is hands down my next machine whenever it is that next machine is possible.

-e.
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JeremyR
Senior Member
JeremyR
Joined: 24 Jan 2003
Posts: 256
Location: Wellington
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: yes
Grinder: yes
Vac Pot: yes
Drip: occasionally
Roaster: yes
Posted Thu Mar 17, 2005, 8:50am
Subject: Re: I'm about to just put the names on the wall and start throwing darts....
 

jrtATL Said:

I've pulled a few shots on brokencup's S1.  I would prefer his 53mm Pf to my 58mm PF anyday.  Not only is it heftier than mine, it also produces, in theory, richer shots.  The theory is that each drop of water has to pass through more coffee to exit the PF, resulting in richer extraction.  Not sure if I buy the theory, but I'd definitely buy the machine if I had the cash.  

Jeremy

Posted March 17, 2005 link

I don't buy the theory. Each drop of water passes through more coffee, but it passes through more quickly as a result of the smaller diameter. There is an optimal amount that you can extract from the beans, normally controlled by grind size but also affected by pressure, time and tamp.

As for the portafilter size, I think there's a lot to be said for the standard 58mm. You can experiment with different baskets (I'm a fan of the gaggia double) you have a much bigger selection of tampers to choose from, and if you should lose the portafilter while moving hme say, you're not limited to just the machine's original, which may become unavailable or extortionately priced in the future.

Anyone who has seen and held the S1 portafilter (in person) would never, EVER call it a "baby".

Obviously not true.
Jeremy
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JonR10
Senior Member
JonR10
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 10,376
Location: Houston, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: E61 Legend, Livietta,...
Grinder: Robur, B-Vario-W
Vac Pot: Hario Tabletop, Yama...
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: 1-lb US Roaster, Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Mar 17, 2005, 9:58am
Subject: Re: I'm about to just put the names on the wall and start throwing darts....
 

Geez - I didn't think the thread title would lead to throwing darts like THIS!  (:-o)

JeremyR Said:

Each drop of water passes through more coffee, but it passes through more quickly as a result of the smaller diameter.

Posted March 17, 2005 link

????    I don't see the logic in that.  
Wouldn't you still pull ~2 ounces in ~25 seconds?  The difference is that for the S1 basket that water will contact MORE coffee grounds by weight or volume (unless you use a 58mm triple).

JeremyR Said:

There is an optimal amount that you can extract from the beans, normally controlled by grind size but also affected by pressure, time and tamp.

Posted March 17, 2005 link

Agreed - and it seems to me like this remains the case independant of PF body geometry.

JeremyR Said:

... there's a lot to be said for the standard 58mm. You can experiment with different baskets (I'm a fan of the gaggia double) you have a much bigger selection of tampers to choose from, and if you should lose the portafilter while moving hme say, you're not limited to just the machine's original, which may become unavailable or extortionately priced in the future.

Posted March 17, 2005 link


Agreed, those are valid points.

JeremyR Said:

Obviously not true.

Posted March 17, 2005 link

Apparently so  ;-))

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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