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Expobar Office
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Expobar Office  
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coffeebeing
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coffeebeing
Joined: 22 Mar 2002
Posts: 335
Location: Long Island,New York
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Zaffiro,Silvia,...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini,Rocky,Solis...
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Drip: Cusinart Brew Central,...
Roaster: Cafe Rosto, Hearthware...
Posted Mon Aug 19, 2002, 12:43pm
Subject: Expobar Office
 

Anybody have experience with this machine?  Comparisons to previous machines owned, service issues etc?  I've read the one favorable review in here and was wondering if there was any other feedback.

Thanks !

 
George W.
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jim_schulman
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jim_schulman
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,772
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Tue Aug 20, 2002, 12:14pm
Subject: Re: Expobar Office
 

The only owner mentioned in the alt.coffee archive is Alex Yeh, who reviewed the machine here. Now he's selling it on ebay packaged with an Innova flat burr/doser in order to buy a superauto.

Search groups.google on "Expobar Office" to get the details.

PS. If someone were to offer me three superautos for my Tea, I'd grab my baseball bat. Enough said.

 
Jim Schulman
www.coffeecuppers.com
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coffeebeing
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coffeebeing
Joined: 22 Mar 2002
Posts: 335
Location: Long Island,New York
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Zaffiro,Silvia,...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini,Rocky,Solis...
Vac Pot: Yama,Cafetino,Silex
Drip: Cusinart Brew Central,...
Roaster: Cafe Rosto, Hearthware...
Posted Tue Aug 20, 2002, 12:40pm
Subject: Re: Expobar Office
 

another_jim Said:

The only owner mentioned in the alt.coffee archive is Alex Yeh, who reviewed the machine here. Now he's selling it on ebay packaged with an Innova flat burr/doser in order to buy a superauto.

Search groups.google on "Expobar Office" to get the details.

PS. If someone were to offer me three superautos for my Tea, I'd grab my baseball bat. Enough said.

Posted August 20, 2002 link

Yep..did all the google searches and also read the alex review.  I was hoping for some more input.  I'm not necessarily going to buy one but like to scope out the market. I am also looking at the non E61  (Livia 90, Bezzerra BZ99 and Gensacos) vs the E61 stuff (Tea, Millenium, Giotto..). For a little more than I want to spend I can throw in the Wegas,Renekas,..etc. I'm leaning towards the Livia 90 but would love to be convinced in other directions.

I have a friend who has a superauto and even though I was able to tweak it better than what he had set it at, it was about a 6.5 on a scale of 1 to 10 for me. If I pulled shots like that on my Mini/Silvia combo I would be upset and think something was wrong.

 
George W.
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jim_schulman
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jim_schulman
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,772
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Thu Aug 22, 2002, 6:37pm
Subject: Re: Expobar Office
 

The machine's specs look fabulous at any reasonable price, and esprecially at $750 -- 1.7 liter boiler, thermosyphon/preinfusion head, brass and copper internals, stainless case, and a water tap. The only cut corner seems to be a missing boiler pressure dial.

It's not quite in the Giotto/Livia looks class, but it's better looking than the Oscar.

I see Wholelattelove is carrying it, and they usually shy away from machines liable to have high return rates. They're a grat outfit, and will probably answer emails if you ask them how it compares to other machines.

I personally don't like being an early adopter, but if that's your style, this one looks like it could be a winner.

 
Jim Schulman
www.coffeecuppers.com
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slooowr6
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Joined: 14 Jan 2002
Posts: 32
Location: sunnyvale
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: PV Export
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Drip: SwissGold
Roaster: Gene
Posted Thu Sep 5, 2002, 1:55pm
Subject: Re: Expobar Office
 

Expobar Office is a really nice machine. The only reason I'm selling mine is because I get lazy sometime and I'm willing settle on less quality espresso. To be fair to Expobar you are comparing it to machine $300-400 more that already indicat what a bargain Expobar is. I think performance wise Expobar very capable. The group head has a heating loop keeps the group head really hot after 30min. I saw a Liva once in person in a cafe in SanFrancisco. Personaly I'll stil choice Expobar over Livia. In the perfect world I'll keep my Expobar and get a superauto so when I'm in the mood for great espresso I can fire up Expobar. But I can't afford to keep both.
^_^
Alex
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wll
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Joined: 24 Jan 2002
Posts: 7
Location: Victor
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 Auto
Posted Tue Sep 10, 2002, 7:16pm
Subject: Re: Expobar Office
 

I can't speak solely for the office as the first one we received to test out was damaged. So we set up that giant copper domed Athenea which is overdressed Office. The thing makes damn good espresso. Todd & Gary (tech & president) use this machine exclusively at the office now. It's not an E61 group head by name but the look & technology is identical. We were looking for a good machine to fill that huge price gap between the Silvia and the Livia. We found it. It performs just like the specs show. I still love my Livia at home and Giotto at the office but if money was an issue the Office is a steal. Hope this helps somebody.
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jim_schulman
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jim_schulman
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
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Location: Chicago
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Thu Sep 12, 2002, 7:08pm
Subject: Re: Expobar Office
 

coffeebeing Said:

Apparently my first posted request got lost.  Anybody have experience with this machine?  Comparisons to previous machines owned, service issues etc?  I've read the one favorable review in here and was wondering if there was ny other feedback.

Thanks !

Posted August 19, 2002 link

By a twist of fate, I had a chance to pull a few shots and look at the innards of Alex's former expobar, which found a new home with a Chicago area altie.

First off. This machine pulls a shot that compares to those I get from my Isomac Tea (I was using my house blend, but am relying on memory to make the comparison). The head is E61-like and has the same thermal and shot pull qualities.

For an HX machine, it's a remarkably small and counter friendly package. Very narrow and low, but deep (they have to put the stuff somewhere, so its laid out in depth), an easily accessible water tank, and no safety switch to cut off the machine of the tank gets low (so take care to keep it filled, if you buy it). The same features make it rather less impressive looking than the $1000 machine, it looks more like a big home machine than a small commercial one. It's also very quiet, with the Ulka pump suspended in air held by a brace.

The innards: The brewing component are brass and copper, and have excellent quality. Unlike the Oscar, a hot water tap and vacuum breaker are included. Corners have been cut on the electrics (a standard dp/dt relay (but easily swappable) rather than a solid state one, and plastic, rather than fiberglass insulated wiring. The case and frame are also a thinner guage than on the Italian models. My feel is that none of these corners affect reliability, so they make very good sense for a low cost/high performance design.

I'm less enthusiastic about the missing pressure guage, boiler status light, and inaccessible pressurestat. I felt somewhat blind when operating the machine, although it didn't affect shot quality.

I can't say for certain, since an afternoon isn't nearly enough, but with what I have seen, I'd give it the nod over the Oscar in the budget HX category.

Entirely off-topic. There was an Elektra lever sitting next to the Expobar, so we pulled some comparison shots. The result: Spring levers make seriously good espresso! The Elektra shots were clearly better than the Expobar (and I suspect any of the semi-commercials) in the brighter varietal flavors, which came out major league delicious (Yemen rules!). The Expobar shots did better in sweetness, mouthfeel, and crema. If one could merge the best of both, one would have an LM league machine. From an espresso quality standpoint, the Elektra is worth it's price for those who value the varietal flavors in espresso. It's less of a good bet for crema and body hounds.

 
Jim Schulman
www.coffeecuppers.com
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coffeejunkie
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coffeejunkie
Joined: 11 Sep 2002
Posts: 281
Location: Essex Junction, Vermont
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Espresso: La Marzocco GS3
Grinder: Compak K10WBC, Baratza Vario
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Posted Thu Sep 12, 2002, 8:51pm
Subject: Re: Expobar Office
 

Hey Jim,

How was the steam output on the Expobar? I would think it must be quite adequate considering the 1.7 liter boiler. I'm thinking about upgrading soon, and I'm pretty much looking at the Expobar or Wega Mininova. I like the looks of the Giotto, but it's steaming reputation and price pretty much puts it out of the picture.

Chris
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ilVecchio
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Joined: 22 Jun 2002
Posts: 179
Location: Tucson Az
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Cremina, Elektra Leva
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Fri Sep 13, 2002, 6:51am
Subject: Re: Expobar Office
 

coffeejunkie Said:

Hey Jim,

How was the steam output on the Expobar? I would think it must be quite adequate considering the 1.7 liter boiler. I'm thinking about upgrading soon, and I'm pretty much looking at the Expobar or Wega Mininova. I like the looks of the Giotto, but it's steaming reputation and price pretty much puts it out of the picture.

Chris

Posted September 12, 2002 link


Many thanks to Jim who made a long trek to my home for the tweaking of the Expobar.  For a bonus, he brought a generous sample of his house blend, and a superb bottle of wine.  

Yes, steam output is quite adequate for a home machine.  Alex, the previous owner, had done quite a bit of custom work on the steam tip to allow for just that right amount power with control.  I can't tell you what steaming is like, unmodified, right out of the box.  With the Micro Casa a leva, steam is so powerful that I have trouble with control.

Hope that all of this helps.

Joel
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phaelon56
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phaelon56
Joined: 11 Feb 2002
Posts: 1,144
Location: Syracuse, NY
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: LM 4 group , Isomac Tea,...
Grinder: Major, Super Jolly,...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos
Drip: Fetco, Melitta
Roaster: Sivetz , Diedrich
Posted Fri Sep 13, 2002, 8:03am
Subject: Re: Expobar Office
 

What's the deal with steaming on the Giotto - is it too powerful to allow for easy control or does it need a tip modification to perform at its best?  I'm looking ahead to a machine upgrade and despite the great stuff I'm reading about Zaffiro and Tea (and Expobar) I seem to be fixated on the Giotto.  If the resons for buying the other machines rather than Giotto are strictly $$ oriented it's understandable (but I'll wait and save my pennies for longer).  If for some reason the Giotto is not as good for steaming then I really need to know which machine in the sub $1,200 category is best for that purpose. 90% of my espresso consumption at present is lattes - it may shift more to straight espresso if I'm pulling better shots but the milk drinks will remain important to me.

 
Owen O'Neill
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