Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
Low-Use Espresso Machine Worth Upgrading?
Green Unroasted Coffee
Free shipping. Save 15% on variety pack, use 'variety' at checkout
www.madbeanscoffee
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Low-Use Espresso...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 5 last page next page
Author Messages
fpmr96a
Senior Member
fpmr96a
Joined: 16 Feb 2008
Posts: 226
Location: Connecticut
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quisinart, Aeropress
Grinder: Rocky, Grindmaster 825
Drip: Capresso, Bodum Press
Roaster: BBQ and Gene
Posted Mon Jan 17, 2011, 6:55am
Subject: Low-Use Espresso Machine Worth Upgrading?
 

I am a home-roaster that loves espresso but has limited time to make it.  I work way too much (day and night) and while I'd love to have espresso drinks in the morning, don't have time for it all. I make a pot of drip as fast as humanly possible in the morning (grind and then brew) and still barely make it out the door on time.  My wife and I do love our espresso drinks, but realistically only drink them on the weekend.

I'm also not the fastest barista, which is likely part of the issue, and I'm especially slow in the morning.  I love making our drinks on the weekend, in the afternoon and/or after dinner, but not being a morning person I can't get myself to deal with it all so early (about 5:30).  Interestingly, after I've had a few cups of drip (actually 4), I have the energy to make espresso drinks but of course it's too late and no need for more caffeine at that point.

Anyway, I have a Cuinsart machine (ok, laugh now ...) and it actually makes descent shots.  I give a lot of the credit to my freshly roasted beans.  I'd like to upgrade my machine (because I love new toys), but keep questioning the decision due to my expected continuation of the pattern - making espresso drinks mostly on the weekends only.  I'm considering the Andreja and the Mini Vivaldi  at this point.  Also, these machines probably want to be used regularly as opposed to sitting with water in the boiler most of the time.

A super-auto is out of the question. I'd rather continue with my drip than get one of those.  I've actually considered getting a manual pump machine, as it seems like the time I'm actually making espresso drinks is always when I have plenty of time to deal with it and am not in a hurry.

What to do... what to do ....

Andrew
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Jan 17, 2011, 7:17am
Subject: Re: Low-Use Espresso Machine Worth Upgrading?
 

I guess I don't really understand the question.

A machine on a timer is ready to go when you are, grind, dose, tamp, pull and you are done. Are you making milk drinks?? If so, then I could see a little more problem with a SBDU machine early in the morning.

I get up at 3 AM and my machine turns on at about 2:30. By 3:30, I am making my first shots of the day, by 3:45, I have made my two double straight shots and my 6 shot, 20 oz Latte, so in 15 minutes, I have pulled 5 doubles and steamed 12 oz of milk, cleaned up everything and am relaxing until 4 AM when I need to leave for work.

What kind of drinks are you making and just what do you expect to get out of a machine upgrade?

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
fpmr96a
Senior Member
fpmr96a
Joined: 16 Feb 2008
Posts: 226
Location: Connecticut
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quisinart, Aeropress
Grinder: Rocky, Grindmaster 825
Drip: Capresso, Bodum Press
Roaster: BBQ and Gene
Posted Mon Jan 17, 2011, 7:31am
Subject: Re: Low-Use Espresso Machine Worth Upgrading?
 

Wow ...  how do you make all of those drinks so fast?   I would be making capps for me and lattes for my wife in the morning, if I were to make them in the morning.  I think part of my problem is that I seem to make a giant mess.  Grinding, extracting, and even frothing seem to happen fast enough.  It's the cleanup where I spend all of my time.  My wife is a neat freak so if everything isn't perfectly clean afterward, she will be mad ...    Another issue is that I can barely spell my name upon getting out of bed.  Several cups of coffee and I'm ready for action, but beforehand it's not good.

Regarding what I'm expecting to get  from an upgrade, I'd like to be able to extract and steam w/o any waiting.  Also, would like to be able to push lots of drinks through when entertaining ...
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Jan 17, 2011, 7:58am
Subject: Re: Low-Use Espresso Machine Worth Upgrading?
 

I guess it is all about multi tasking. My SJ grinders, run on a timer so I don't weigh per shot, the timer takes care of that. My machine is a HX so pulling shots and steaming at the same time isn't an issue. My machine is a full auto, so it stops when 2 oz has been brewed (really it can be set to anything but my normal double shots are 2 oz)

A better machine is MUCH faster than what you are using. There is no wait for the boiler to change temp. There is no shortage of steam either with my 2.5 L boiler.

My grinders are doser models so grinding the next shot while pulling the first is no big deal, the ground coffee is waiting for me when I am done cleaning the PF from the last shot. The doser also cuts down on mess as the grounds are contained in the grinder and I have a tray under the doser to catch any strays.

A quick wipe with a dry paper towel then a damp one and all is clean. My grinders sit against the back of the counter and are pulled forward to be used so while they are in the forward position, they get dusted with a natural bristle paint brush and then they are pushed back into the storage position thus leaving the "dirt" where it is easy to get to.

It is hard to imagine how much time you are wasting with a SBDU machine until you try a machine that has more ability. A starter machine can indeed make good shots, they just take a while.

If you move up to a HX or DB machine (they both make great coffee, it just depends on your budget and the way you work) you will see a large improvement in your ability to be consistent, shot to shot, improve your quality and gain the much need speed you are looking for. You will be spending your time with your guests DRINKING coffee, not making it.

For your use, you need a machine that has a vacuum breaker, this will allow the use of a timer to turn it on without your need to bleed the false pressure from the boiler with every from cold startup.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
fpmr96a
Senior Member
fpmr96a
Joined: 16 Feb 2008
Posts: 226
Location: Connecticut
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quisinart, Aeropress
Grinder: Rocky, Grindmaster 825
Drip: Capresso, Bodum Press
Roaster: BBQ and Gene
Posted Mon Jan 17, 2011, 8:36am
Subject: Re: Low-Use Espresso Machine Worth Upgrading?
 

I am a little concerned that if I end up only using on the weekend, it would be bad for the machine.  I know these machines want to be used (like a car) and with water sitting idle in the boiler(s) all week, might be bad for it ...    I've not had any problems with my cuisinart, operating on weekends only, but it doesn't have boiler.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
TheMadTamper
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Nov 2010
Posts: 1,246
Location: US
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Salvatore SES; Izzo Duetto...
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC, K8 Fresh,...
Drip: /Pod: Bunn MCP
Roaster: /Other: Blender - BlendTec...
Posted Mon Jan 17, 2011, 9:40am
Subject: Re: Low-Use Espresso Machine Worth Upgrading?
 

calblacksmith Said:

I guess it is all about multi tasking. My SJ grinders, run on a timer so I don't weigh per shot, the timer takes care of that. My machine is a HX so pulling shots and steaming at the same time isn't an issue. My machine is a full auto, so it stops when 2 oz has been brewed (really it can be set to anything but my normal double shots are 2 oz)

A better machine is MUCH faster than what you are using. There is no wait for the boiler to change temp. There is no shortage of steam either with my 2.5 L boiler.

My grinders are doser models so grinding the next shot while pulling the first is no big deal, the ground coffee is waiting for me when I am done cleaning the PF from the last shot. The doser also cuts down on mess as the grounds are contained in the grinder and I have a tray under the doser to catch any strays.

A quick wipe with a dry paper towel then a damp one and all is clean. My grinders sit against the back of the counter and are pulled forward to be used so while they are in the forward position, they get dusted with a natural bristle paint brush and then they are pushed back into the storage position thus leaving the "dirt" where it is easy to get to.

It is hard to imagine how much time you are wasting with a SBDU machine until you try a machine that has more ability. A starter machine can indeed make good shots, they just take a while.

If you move up to a HX or DB machine (they both make great coffee, it just depends on your budget and the way you work) you will see a large improvement in your ability to be consistent, shot to shot, improve your quality and gain the much need speed you are looking for. You will be spending your time with your guests DRINKING coffee, not making it.

For your use, you need a machine that has a vacuum breaker, this will allow the use of a timer to turn it on without your need to bleed the false pressure from the boiler with every from cold startup.

Posted January 17, 2011 link

+2

15 min for 5 doubles, one pitcher, and cleanup?  Not bad, you're running a bit ahead of me, I'd say, mostly due to pre-grinding :) I do 4 doubles and 2x16oz pitchers + cleanup (including water backflush, quick pf wiggle, and group/gasket brushing) + chocolate & stir if doing it as a mocha in about 20min.  Though volumetric dispensing is evil ;)  I'd get too much blonding in the shot for my anal retention to handle... :)   And I'd say you're lightening fast at doser cleanup...I can't mange to work that fast in a doser, thus I use the doserless K3 for mornings, and save the doser for single-dosed evenings and weekends.  When I DO clean up the doser from the K10, which I've greatly sped up with the use of a little shop vac, I spend a good 6 minutes on that alone.  Though it's factory-new in appearance when I'm done.  K3 is slow though....

Anyway, I agree and can't overstate all you've said.  Even on my weekend runs, I pump out double the number of drinks in half the time on my HX than I did with Silvia.  It really is hard to imagine the kind of speedup we're talking, but there's a big difference between the ridiculous temp surfing of an SBDU versus the walk up, flush, lock, pour...again and again...of an HX or DB (yes, DB needs a flush too for different reasons.) Rapid steam with no turnaround time makes milk drinks even POSSIBLE (on Silvia it was a rarity for me to make one since it was painful.) And the fact that hot water doesn't affect temp stability makes americanos easy and fast too.  So if time constraints are your major issue, yes, ditch the SBDU and upgrade :)

You still need to work on your timing with a grind/tamp/dose if you're slow there, but for everything else, you can do a lot in a little time.  And you don't have to be as obsessive about cleanup as some of us :)

I also agree....somewhat....about a vac breaker.  That issue drives me crazy at times with my machine (no vac breaker), more than I imagined it would....on the other hand, I've learned to USE the lack of breaker in the mornings to my advantage.  It prevents the HX from overheating water before I release the steam, so I give it a minute to recover after releasing the vac manually, and it's pretty much ready to brew without a pre-flush needed.   I usually just give it a short flush to get the thermosyphon spinning.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
TheMadTamper
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Nov 2010
Posts: 1,246
Location: US
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Salvatore SES; Izzo Duetto...
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC, K8 Fresh,...
Drip: /Pod: Bunn MCP
Roaster: /Other: Blender - BlendTec...
Posted Mon Jan 17, 2011, 9:44am
Subject: Re: Low-Use Espresso Machine Worth Upgrading?
 

fpmr96a Said:

I am a little concerned that if I end up only using on the weekend, it would be bad for the machine.  I know these machines want to be used (like a car) and with water sitting idle in the boiler(s) all week, might be bad for it ...    I've not had any problems with my cuisinart, operating on weekends only, but it doesn't have boiler.

Posted January 17, 2011 link

Don't worry, unless you're putting it in cold storage for months, it'll be fine if you only use it on weekends.  If you're doing that, I'd slightly suggest HX over DB, not due to the machine's safety, but just for flavor so you don't have to have water that's been sitting in the metal boiler pickup up flavors in your brew path (for shots.)  HX doesn't boil the brew water, it just passes it through a metal block that passively pulls heat from the steam boiler.  Though honestly you'd be fine with HX or DB.  It's just a water boiler, it's not like you need to worry about radiator coolant, belts, and gasoline separation :)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,422
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 17, 2011, 10:55am
Subject: Re: Low-Use Espresso Machine Worth Upgrading?
 

calblacksmith Said:

I guess I don't really understand the question.

Posted January 17, 2011 link

That makes two -- or is it three? -- of us . . .

Andrew, not meaning to pile on, but -- like many of us here -- I too have my machine on a timer.  i don't get up as early as Wayne does, but my timer turns my machine on at 5:00 am.  By the time I get up at 5:30, the machine is ready to go.  Pull a straight double shot, drink it, clean up; feed the dog; clean up; make one double cappuccino for me, two double-shot lattes (wife and daughter), clean up and then wake up wife and daughter with their lattes, it's 6:00 and I can relax until 8:00 when I leave for the office . . .  

Cheers,
Jason

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
rotwang
Senior Member
rotwang
Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 150
Location: New Mexico USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Pure
Grinder: Pharos, KyM,  Sözen, PeDe
Vac Pot: nope
Drip: No..Cezve
Roaster: nope
Posted Mon Jan 17, 2011, 11:11am
Subject: Re: Low-Use Espresso Machine Worth Upgrading?
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

....clean up and then wake up wife and daughter with their lattes, it's 6:00 and I can relax until 8:00 when I leave for the office . . .  

Posted January 17, 2011 link

This is the solution, in reverse.  You need to train someone to wake you up with a latte.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Jan 17, 2011, 11:43am
Subject: Re: Low-Use Espresso Machine Worth Upgrading?
 

rotwang Said:

This is the solution, in reverse.  You need to train someone to wake you up with a latte.

Posted January 17, 2011 link

That is the best answer of all! LOL!!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
showing page 1 of 5 last page next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Low-Use Espresso...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Find the Right Machine...
Package deals on the best machines from Izzo, Quick Mill, Rocket, La Marzocco & more.
www.clivecoffee.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.499170064926)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+