pumpkinscastle Senior Member Joined: 10 Jan 2008 Posts: 247 Location: Cincinnati, OH Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Quickmilll Vetrano Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Posted Mon Jan 3, 2011, 6:56pm Subject: Chris Coffee's new Joystick steam and hot water arms...
I saw that Chris' Coffee has introduced a new joystick arm/wand on some of their machines (new Vetrano etc.).
Has anyone had the chance to try those? They look cool and I was thinking for a moment of retrofitting my Vetrano with them. However, they cost $70 per piece. Also, do they arrest in one position so that the steam stays on while steaming? If they're just working when toggled/held down, then that would be less than ideal for me. I'm already busy with the steaming pitcher and pulling the shot. I don't have a third hand.
I am curious about your comments, especially of those who have first-hand experience with these wands.
I talked to Roger from Chris' Coffee today, and even he didn't have any first-hand experience with them yet.
JasonBrandtLewis Senior Member Joined: 9 Dec 2005 Posts: 6,598 Location: Berkeley, CA Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -... Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -... Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup Drip: CCD, Chemex Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Mon Jan 3, 2011, 8:46pm Subject: Re: Chris Coffee's new Joystick steam and hot water arms...
If that is true -- I have not used the new controls on the Vetrano, but I do have an Elektra -- then they stay on in any position. There is a video of the Elektra controls somewhere on HB -- I'll see if I can find it -- but you definitely do not need three hands.
Posted Tue Jan 4, 2011, 9:44am Subject: Re: Chris Coffee's new Joystick steam and hot water arms...
I acutally asked Chris directly and here is the answer I got
"Up down or all around it will stay in the on position until you push them toward the center. You can partially open them as well but in a partially open position you need to hold it where you want it. "
Posted Tue Jan 4, 2011, 9:50am Subject: Re: Chris Coffee's new Joystick steam and hot water arms...
Joystick controls intrigue me. It's sort of the best of both worlds between a ball valve (that you manually manipulate), and the slider levers used on Simonelli and Spazialle machines. On the other hand, I usually keep my hand on the valve while steaming anyway for subtle pressure changes, so I'd probably be more prone to knock it off accidentally than a rotary control :)
For what it's worth, Bezzera has been using these for a while as well. Probably others, too.
robca Senior Member Joined: 7 Nov 2010 Posts: 36 Location: Kirkland, WA Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: La Pavoni Professional.... Grinder: Zassenhaus; Baratza Vario;... Roaster: iRoast
Posted Tue Jan 4, 2011, 8:21pm Subject: Re: Chris Coffee's new Joystick steam and hot water arms...
I very recently got my BZ07, and I was mildly worried about the steam wand "joystick" controls, and I only used the rotary ones before. I love it, actually :-).
If I need manual control, I can lower it and hold in place where I have just the right amount of steam (the BZ07 one locks in place only when pulled up, in every other position acts as a manual control). To steam a latte, I pull it up and it locks in position. The stop the steam, one quick tap and it moves back to center, immediately stopping the flow. It's much easier to brew coffee and steam at the same time, and quickly turn off the steam even when distracted.
Bonus: since it's impossible to over-tighten it like a normal rotary knob, supposedly the valve lasts a lot longer
+2 :) And Salvatore, Vibiemme, and I believe Giotto.
There's pros to each. It's easier to hold a specific reduced output without fluctuating it with a rotary, easier to cut steam on a joystick. I'd say both are equal durability and quality, just different methods of using it....I'd be curious to try a joystick style sometime....though I'm perfect happy with my non-compression ball valves :)
I have a feeling the joystick & lever designs have more to do with preventing repetitive stress injury in commercial environments than with durability or steam performance. Rotating those knobs all day would create a nightmare for the wrists, where a joystick or lever is a vertical motion. For home, we may drink a LOT of coffee, but not THAT much :) Still, the sticks look fun to use!
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