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Need Help Finding First (Last) Serious Semi Auto Espresso Machine
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Need Help...  
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ccolton
Senior Member
ccolton
Joined: 23 Jan 2012
Posts: 132
Location: Wilmington DE
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07
Grinder: Le 'lit PL53
Posted Mon May 7, 2012, 6:59am
Subject: Re: Need Help Finding First (Last) Serious Semi Auto Espresso Machine
 

Hi Jason,

I love this machine!

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

Then again, there's always the new Elektra T1 . . .

Posted May 5, 2012 link

No, don't worry, not in the market yet!  But I love this machine!

Chris
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ccolton
Senior Member
ccolton
Joined: 23 Jan 2012
Posts: 132
Location: Wilmington DE
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07
Grinder: Le 'lit PL53
Posted Mon May 7, 2012, 7:02am
Subject: Re: Need Help Finding First (Last) Serious Semi Auto Espresso Machine
 

Rick,

I love that one too!

rsinger Said:

I hate (not really) to muck things up a bit...  but just for fun take a look Here.

Posted May 6, 2012 link

Chris
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,376
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 May 7, 2012, 7:13am
Subject: Re: Need Help Finding First (Last) Serious Semi Auto Espresso Machine
 

(Danger! Danger! Warning, Will Robinson -- Thread Drift Approaching!)

Chris,

I have the previous incarnation of the Elektra T1, as you can see from the photo above.  
  • mine has a 7-button panel, versus a 5-button panel on the new one;
  • mine is actually a touch-pad, rather than "real" push buttons;
  • mine has a pressurestat, the new version does not;
  • mine doesn't have a "night programming" mode, while the new version does.

The rest of the specifications and features appear, at a glance, to be the same.  I bought mine before the last round of price hikes and paid $3,129.  The price for the new version is $2,995, or a savings of $134.00.

Cheers,
Jason

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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rsinger
Senior Member
rsinger
Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 187
Location: Boca Raton, Florida
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: OE Pharos - #136!!  ;)
Posted Tue May 8, 2012, 12:14pm
Subject: Re: Need Help Finding First (Last) Serious Semi Auto Espresso Machine
 

Hey all:

I hate (not really) to muck things up a bit...  but just for fun take a look Here.



Well.........  I just couldn't resist!  I'm having so much fun with the Strega, and now that I found Panther Coffee in my own back yard... It's the best time I've ever had in this game!


- Rick

 
New Bezzera Strega
OE Pharos: #136!!
Silvia's a virgin.....  again! (and sold)
Brasilia Cappuccino Del-1 Hx (sold too)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/66189160@N04/sets/72157628015297112/show/
http://espressoproject.blogspot.com/2008_10_01_archive.html
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ccolton
Senior Member
ccolton
Joined: 23 Jan 2012
Posts: 132
Location: Wilmington DE
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07
Grinder: Le 'lit PL53
Posted Wed May 9, 2012, 7:52am
Subject: Re: Need Help Finding First (Last) Serious Semi Auto Espresso Machine
 

Hi Jason,

Well...discount and all, it's still out of my price range:-).  But that doesn't mean I can't lust!

All excess money is currently being diverted to boat restoration!  (now that's a thread drift)  

Chris
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PamelaF
Senior Member


Joined: 1 May 2012
Posts: 8
Location: Jupiter, FL
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto II
Grinder: Mahlkonig K30 Vario
Posted Wed May 9, 2012, 1:10pm
Subject: Re: Need Help Finding First (Last) Serious Semi Auto Espresso Machine
 

Deep breath.

Thanks everyone for the great equipment suggestions!   I've preliminarily narrowed my machine choices (I think) to the Duetto II, the VB "DD", and the Rocket DB if it becomes available this month.  

Here is a list of some of the attributes/differences I could glean of/between the IAD2 v VBDD (thanks Randy for your great web info):


IAD2:
  PID for group and steam boilers
  Double wall insulation of exterior
  Steam boiler is insulated (brew boiler is not)
  Larger brew boiler (.8L)
  No burn steam wand
  Option of 15 or 20 amps (both boilers heat simultaneously @ 20 amps;   either/or @15 amps, but should not be noticeable in home environment)
 

VBDD:
  Designed to run on not more than 15 amps.  Proprietary power regulation automatically controls percentage of power between boilers for energy     conservation
  PID for brew boiler only
  Horizontal Steam boiler.   Pre-heating exchanger pipe sits at the bottom and feeds brew boiler.  Temperature of steam boiler regulated by                                          pressure stat.
  Insulation of both steam and brew boilers


As far as grinders go, Jason, you are 100% correct that there are many machine/grinder options.  The Elektra is a bit much for me.   I'm loving the Mahlkonig K30 Vario as well as the Baratza Vario-W.   OK, and in theory, I am intrigued by the Bezzera Strega.  Great burrs analogy - I think I'll be happiest with flat.

Cheers,
Pamela
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clumeng
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Aug 2006
Posts: 351
Location: Ann Arbor
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vivaldi II, 67 Cremina
Grinder: Vario, Maestro, Pharos
Vac Pot: Aeropress
Drip: Technivorm, Chemex
Posted Wed May 9, 2012, 2:37pm
Subject: Re: Need Help Finding First (Last) Serious Semi Auto Espresso Machine
 

In the range of machine and grinder you are thinking you will blow away what you get with Nespresso no problem.  I think you are hitting the range where experience and barista technique is going to the be largest variable.  All of the machines in the range you are looking are designed to last a decade(s).   Rocket DB is currently vaporware as it isn't in the wild that much for people to know about reliability.

An advantage of the D II is the option to pour over or plumb in - I'm not sure about the timer options for each.  Those two issues: plump in and timer are game changers for me in terms of convenience.

IMHO the Vario gets most home users 80-90% of the way there to really good expresso.  The titans will get you up in to the amazing espresso range that my palate probably can't get to IF you have the skills to make it happen.  The titans are really designed for heavy use which is why there are tricks to get it to work in a single dosing environment like the home - really depends on how you are going to use it.  

If it's looks you are going for the strega is very interesting and unique.  If I were starting over or if a couple of grand were burning a hole in my pocket it would be near the top for me.

Here is another way to go - get a cheap HX or single boiler (?used silvia) and a Vario - make sure that home espresso is in your lifestyle (maybe already is with nespresso in some way) and learn ALOT about the barista side of the equation.  Then sell the machine for an upgrade once you decide what you value/want.  I learned a ton about the process of making espresso with my Silvia/rocky, what I valued, what I didn't need - was able to recoup 75% of the cost by selling and then made the jump up to what I decided I really needed/wanted in a machine.
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JJC
Senior Member
JJC
Joined: 2 Apr 2012
Posts: 56
Location: Santa Barbara
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Breville 900Xl, Saeco...
Grinder: Compak K3
Roaster: Behmor, Nesco
Posted Wed May 9, 2012, 5:43pm
Subject: Re: Need Help Finding First (Last) Serious Semi Auto Espresso Machine
 

Just to confuse you further.

There is the Breville dual boiler.

Which meets all your requirements except the plumbable.
The best pour over in the world and tons of feature like built-in clock to turn on and off and shot timer.
Plus all stainless construction, PID on the group and the boiler and on and on.
Look at Mark's preview where he compares it to a GS3.
Right at the top on the reviews page.

Just saying, great machine.
And a lower price than you have been considering.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,376
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 Wed May 9, 2012, 8:35pm
Subject: Re: Need Help Finding First (Last) Serious Semi Auto Espresso Machine
 

Obviously, I can't speak to the Rocket.  Between the Izzo Alex Duetto II and the Vibiemme "DD," it's probably six of one, half-a-dozen of the other.  I'd probably go for the Izzo . . . that said, bear in mind that I've had great customer service from BOTH Chris' Coffee and 1st-Line -- so I don't think you'd go wrong with either vendor.  Don't hesitate to call either vendor and ask them questions!

/ / / / / /

As far as the Breville DB is concerned, many people have purchased this new-to-the-market machine and are quite happy with it.  On the other hand, historically speaking, Breville has been a brand to avoid, known for unreliable products and bad customer service; it was a machine to avoid!.  Now -- to be fair -- it certainly appears that, to date, the BDB has changed that.  As I said, many people who've purchased this machine do like it.  For me, personally, I am still in the let's-wait-and-see camp, as it hasn't been out long enough to have any sort of a track record yet.  It looks promising, but "only time will tell" (as they say).  Another thing:  the BDB is not in the same class as the other machines you're looking at.  The Izzo Alex Duetto II, the Vibiemme "DD," and the Rocket DB -- and the Quick Mill DB, for that matter -- are all firmly, solidly in the Prosumer (or even "small commercial") camp, whereas the BDB is definitely in the consumer camp.

Cheers,
Jason

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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SteamPunk
Senior Member
SteamPunk
Joined: 4 Feb 2011
Posts: 47
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto2,  VFA...
Grinder: Compak K3 'touch'
Roaster: Behmore 1600
Posted Thu May 10, 2012, 5:38pm
Subject: Re: Need Help Finding First (Last) Serious Semi Auto Espresso Machine
 

the Izzo Alex duettoII "My Way" is the winner!
Just kidding, I'm biased, though I don't have one complaint about mine,
which has had daily use for the last 17 months.

And as far as quick warm-up, I rarely leave mine on, unless I know I'm
pulling again within the next hour.
It takes ten minutes at most to heat up the boilers to full temperature, then just a quick
flush to get the group up to temp, and away you go.

As far as grinders go, your smart in knowing not to skimp.
I believe doserless is the only way to go.
The K10 is a great choice, the best quality, my only concern is the amount of residual grind?
Though again I have no complaints with my Compak k3 touch, I'm saving
for a Compak k10 one day!
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