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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 662
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 1:12am
Subject: Newbie - The best machine for my needs, Recommendations?
 

Hello everyone.

I apologize if this is yet another "Newbie doesn't know anything, what's the best machine?" kind of posts, but I'm afraid it is. Unfortunately, it's also my first post. I'm also going
to try my best to follow the probationary period rules, relying on other members to suggest things for me. :) Then maybe a few posts later, I can describe my experiences entering
into the wonderful world of espresso coffee.

So, a bit of background on me. I'm primarily a drip coffee drinker, having moved from a blade grinder and a cheap multi-cup machine to a K-Cup machine.
My first foray into Espresso was purchasing a stove top capuccino maker, but I really don't like having to wait, standing around the stove waiting for it to pop. It's too slow to use before
going to work and it's a pain in the rear to clean.

I also wondered why the capuccinos from it tasted like !@#$% and like nothing I was getting from the local coffee shops. After reading this forum I now know why. Anything that could be
done wrong was being done wrong. :-)  (I was pre-grinding everything and storing it in airtight jars and I was using a blade grinder to do it. This almost seems like a crime here! :-) )

Before I go any further, I know that I need to buy a new grinder. It seems to me like anything that costs more than $300 will do the job quite nicely, but that's for another forum.

So, I started out looking in the electronic big box stores and I was pretty put off by what I saw. Everything kind of came across as cheap, flimsy, plasticy and would probably
have a relatively short lifespan. I'm not a big fan of "disposable" machines. When I buy an appliance, I want it to last at least 10-15 years.

It seems to me that purchasing a new espresso machine and grinder should be considered a major purchase, like buying a front-loading washing machine or a refrigerator, not like a toaster or a kettle.
Otherwise, if one tries to cut corners, lots of compromises have to be made to keep the price down, which leads to more frustration, a negative experience and the problem of,
"It's never as good as the coffee shop." kinds of drinks.

This forum has really helped me learn a lot of concepts. It's somewhat overwhelming. I've never pulled a shot in my life, but I'm afraid it will be more of a frustrating experience
than a pleasurable one when I do finally pull the trigger, power it up and make my first drink. (I realize that sink shots are a reality and part of the learning process.)

On a previous post, a poster basically put forth a few questions which I would be happy to answer. I could really use all of your expertise so that I don't make a mistake which I
may regret later.

First, budget. My budget is not applicable. A good machine that does what I need costs what it costs. It seems to me that a single boiler machine looks like a huge compromise in
order to keep the costs down. (I'm going to apologize now to anyone I may have offended.) While I really am big on "Bang for your buck", I would rather go without making
compromises, save my pennies and buy the right thing the first time.

I would see myself making primarily milk drinks, like lattes or capuccinos. I may make the occasional espresso. I like to enjoy one (Or two) drinks in the morning (Either an Espresso or Latte/Cap,
depending on my mood.) before I go to work and one drink in the early evening. I occasionally have a small amount of guests over, so I could see having to make around two to
six drinks in succession on some days. I could see myself making roughly 15 drinks per week, since my wife isn't much of a coffee drinker. (She loves Mochas though!)

I would definitely rely on using an appliance timer because I'm not a morning person and I usually get up at the "last second", grab my lunch, have a coffee and go. Any recommendations here?

As far as plumbed in vs reservoir, I would prefer the latter because I think a plumbed in machine would be complete overkill for what I'm trying to do. :) I don't mind taking the time to fill a machine.

As far as power is concerned, it isn't important. I don't currently have any 20 amp circuits now, but it seems to me that a lot of 20 amp machines can be configured to run on 15 amps temporarily.

So, after reading the forums a bit more it seems that either an HX or Dual Boiler machine would do the trick. However, I live in Western Canada so it seems like my options are a little bit more limited
when it comes to service, support, etc. I wouldn't mind buying a used machine as long as I could find a place which would be able to support it should it break down or I need technical support.

Well, there's my long winded story. What comes to mind? Recommendations? Suggestions? Thank you very much for your time.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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lotusblackbox
Senior Member
lotusblackbox
Joined: 7 Jul 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Sydney
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 9:20am
Subject: Re: Newbie - The best machine for my needs, Recommendations?
 

Got no idea sorry :)
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Joel_B
Senior Member
Joel_B
Joined: 9 Oct 2007
Posts: 1,823
Location: Pacific NW
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Astra Mega II
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, Virtuoso
Vac Pot: Yama 5 cup
Drip: nope, french press
Roaster: Behmor, WP, BBQ drum
Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 11:03am
Subject: Re: Newbie - The best machine for my needs, Recommendations?
 

Qualin, first off welcome!

I have to say thats probably one of the best firsts posts I've seen.  Really.  Sifting thru, trying to put it all together can be really daunting and youve done an amazing job on your research. MUCH better than I did lol.

The fellow I'm sure you're referring to with the questions for machine recommendations is jasonbrandtlewis.  A bit of our resident machine encyclopedia lol.  Hopefully he chime in here.

I'd like to touch on budget a little bit.  We could give you recommendations that will like suit you at $1100 (USD) and something that will work at $6000.  Both will likely work for you but it does come down to what you want to spend.  Difference is build quality, features, power, etc.  so if budget truly isn't an issue then great! If there is a terminal limit, it really helps us cater to that. So just some clarification would be helpful.

In the spirit of budget, you've accounted for a decent grinder, but when considering budget you need to keep the overall price in mind.  That is, don't buy a $6k machine with a $300 grinder.

Based on your usage, a HX or double boiler (DB) will suit your needs.  Both are callable of great espresso, both are great for multiple drinks, but process is a little different.  Entry level HX machines start a little over $1k for an NS Oscar or Bezerra and only go up from there.  $1500-2500 range opens yourself up to a lot of options for a HX machine.  Just for starters, might want to look at the quickmill line. Look here just for some reference: http://www.chriscoffee.com/

DBs generally start around $2000 and go up from there.  

You'll hear a lot about which is best, but HX and DB both have advantages and both will make great espresso at home, so just keep that in mind.  Take a look here to learn a little more about the HX machine: http://www.home-barista.com/hx-love.html

Reservoir vs plumb in is an issue of convenience. Plumb in is convenient especially with a HX due to the cooling flushes, but I've had both and it's really just an issue of convenience.  Neither is underkill nor overkill.  If it was available I'd take plumbed but that can take some other considerations that may or may not work for you.  Non plumbed wouldn't discourage me from a machine either.

I know I haven't suggested anything too specific, but for me I'd probably start with a quickmill vetrano or vibiemme for a decent  Well equipped HX machine and a Alex duetto or la marzocco gs3 for a double boiler.  There's a lot of choices out there so it's hard to narrow to just a couple but certainly ask questions if you have them about specific machines.

And great to have you here :-)

EDIT: sorry, not entirely sure what's available in Canada nor candadian pricing.  I do know Chris coffee and 1st line ship to Canada.  Both are respected vendors here.  And this is a very niche business and is generally a on line mail order transaction.  So while having a local company for support is ideal it isn't always possible so don't immediately discount a company outside your area.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,172
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 12:22pm
Subject: Re: Newbie - The best machine for my needs, Recommendations?
 

^ +1  especially to the compliment on your first post and the great reply. I don't think there's much to add.

However, you might also want to consider deciding between fully automatic and semiautomatic.  

The lack of a plumbed in setup can prevent you from being able to pre-infuse.  This is a minor thing, IMO, but it might be a deal breaker from some people.

I'd also suggest you at least consider looking at lever machines.

I'd like to also emphasize how important the grinder is.  I think you should probably move your minimum baseline to $500 (for NEW).  If you end up with a prosumer machine in the 2k range, you'll be happy to splurged on the grinder.  It's really the more important part of the set up as well.  In other words, you'll be better off with a stellar grinder and an entry level machine, than the other way around.

Welcome to CG and good luck!

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 662
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 7:45pm
Subject: Re: Newbie - The best machine for my needs, Recommendations?
 

Joel_B Said:

Qualin, first off welcome!

Posted July 7, 2012 link

Thank you very much. I figure on a board like this, it's best if I tread carefully and let everyone know how much I've learned so far, etc.

Joel_B Said:

I'd like to touch on budget a little bit. We could give you recommendations that will like suit you at $1100 (USD) and something that will work at $6000.  

Posted July 7, 2012 link

OK, Well, after doing some research, it seems to me, (And correct me if I'm wrong) that a no compromise espresso machine would be somewhere around the $1.5k-$2.5k mark.
A no-compromise espresso grinder seems like it's roughly around the $300-$500 mark. From what I've read, a "Do it all" kind of grinder will work, but a lot of them don't
work all that well for grinding espresso. I'm not sure if I'm skilled or fussy enough to care about getting a stepless grinder, but if the cost difference isn't all that much, then why not?  

Joel_B Said:

Difference is build quality, features, power, etc.

Posted July 7, 2012 link

Well, commercial grade components as well as a decently long warranty are very important to me, especially when I'm talking about spending a lot of money on a machine.
I'm fussy that way. :-) I like to hear about companies which stand behind their products. It irks me to read reviews on a $2.2k machine to find out that the company that built it
cheaped out on a $25 part. Or worse, one machine I've read about which basically has a function to stop working after about 6,000 drinks, requiring "professional service" to get it
descaled. That would be one way to make me extremely cranky in the morning.

Heh.. It seems to me like some espresso manufacturers are like audiophile equipment manufacturers. Lots of them sell antiquated technology at state of the art prices. :-) :-)

Joel_B Said:

Just for starters, might want to look at the quickmill line.

Posted July 7, 2012 link

Those look like decent machines. I took a look on Chris's Coffee like you suggested. The La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II looks like a great option for me. (Please note, Admins,
I am not endorsing this machine, I'm just wondering what other people think about it!) It seems to offer everything I'm looking for in a machine, like Dual Boilers and Manometers,
an auto-on timer, a PID for precise temperature control and it's an automatic machine to boot! I personally don't care about rotary vs vibratory pumps, so that's not really an issue for
me. Unfortunately, The La Marzocco GS/3 is a bit outside my budget, especially when there are cheaper machines out there which pretty much do everything this machine will. :-)

The Quick Mill Andreja is about $50 cheaper than the Mini Vivaldi, so maybe I don't see it, but I don't see the value in paying slightly less for a machine with considerably
less features. Is there something I'm missing here?

To put my thoughts into perspective, I spent $1.9k on my washing machine with the expectation that it will give me at least 15 years of trouble free service. I expect to get the
same level of service and longevity from whichever machine I eventually decide on purchasing. Especially considering that this is what I typically spend when I'm building a computer
system for myself, the downside being is that I only typically get about 5 years out of a computer before it's obsolete.

Joel_B Said:

I do know Chris coffee and 1st line ship to Canada.

Posted July 7, 2012 link

My biggest concern with purchasing from an American company is the horrendous customs charges which I'd get hit with. There is a Canadian company I know of which sells the
machines we are talking about, but I can't mention them yet. :-)

Thank you for all your input so far.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 662
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 8:27pm
Subject: Re: Newbie - The best machine for my needs, Recommendations?
 

emradguy Said:

you might also want to consider deciding between fully automatic and semiautomatic.  

Posted July 7, 2012 link

Automatic machines seem like an excellent plus to me. Push the button, single shot comes out. Push another, double shot comes out. No shot timer required.
There's also the bonus of using it like a semi-auto if I wanted. The only reason why I'd consider buying a semi-auto over an automatic is cost, in all honesty.
If I can get an automatic machine for the same cost as a semi-auto machine, why not?

emradguy Said:

Can prevent you from being able to pre-infuse.

Posted July 7, 2012 link

I don't think that lacking pre-infusion would be a deal breaker for me. From what I've read so far, pre-infusion is supposed to prevent channelling, but it
doesn't really affect the taste of a drink.

emradguy Said:

I'd also suggest you at least consider looking at lever machines.

Posted July 7, 2012 link

Well, I don't want to post off-topic so I'll make a post in the lever machines forum about that.

I went to a Boutique Coffee equipment place and my jaw nearly hit the floor when I saw one selling for $1800. My thoughts were that lever machines would be
considerably cheaper because they lack a lot of hardware that a pump machine has. Apparently not. The only thing going through my head at that time was
"RIPOFF!". (I'll apologize again if I have offended any lever machine lovers here.) If spring-type lever machines sold somewhere in the $500-1k range, they
would probably be an option. I don't think I'd be interested in buying a completely manual (ie. Non-spring type) lever as I don't think I could get consistent
shots out of it. I'd be too worried about under or over extracting to the point of OCD.

Maybe an affordable used spring-type lever machine may be an option if I can find one for cheap enough, as a "starter" machine before I even think about
considering a dual boiler. However, if I'm going to spend $1k on one of those machines, I may as well just save my pennies anyway.

emradguy Said:

I think you should probably move your minimum baseline to $500 (for NEW).  

Posted July 7, 2012 link

OK. I will keep that in mind. I have a whole set of questions involving that. :-) Thanks for your input!

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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Joel_B
Senior Member
Joel_B
Joined: 9 Oct 2007
Posts: 1,823
Location: Pacific NW
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Astra Mega II
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, Virtuoso
Vac Pot: Yama 5 cup
Drip: nope, french press
Roaster: Behmor, WP, BBQ drum
Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 8:36pm
Subject: Re: Newbie - The best machine for my needs, Recommendations?
 

qualin Said:

Thank you very much. I figure on a board like this, it's best if I tread carefully and let everyone know how much I've learned so far, etc.

Posted July 7, 2012 link

Well good job my friend. Again I commend you for being able to present it all.  There's so much info and it's so easy to get lost. Clearly you stuck with it and we're able to sort it out.


qualin Said:

OK, Well, after doing some research, it seems to me, (And correct me if I'm wrong) that a no compromise espresso machine would be somewhere around the $1.5k-$2.5k mark.

Posted July 7, 2012 link

Oh there's always compromise lol. But I think youre just within that range.  It gets you into a decent HX machine and a few options of DB machines.  Within that range the espresso won't bet any better only features, materials, components, build quality, etc.

qualin Said:

A no-compromise espresso grinder seems like it's roughly around the $300-$500 mark. From what I've read, a "Do it all" kind of grinder will work, but a lot of them don't
work all that well for grinding espresso. I'm not sure if I'm skilled or fussy enough to care about getting a stepless grinder, but if the cost difference isn't all that much, then why not?  

Posted July 7, 2012 link

Don't completely agree with this.  $300-500 is the entry level and the Are definitely compromises.  Probably the two notable in that range are the Preciso and Vario by baratza.  Both decent grinders nd I've liked the little experience I've had with each.  These grinders produce a grind quality of some commercial grinders and are well suited to a home environment both in size, operations, and grind retention.  But there are compromises.  A baratza won't have the build quality of a mazzer or macap.  Nor will it produce the grind quality of a very high end mazzer (*ahem* robur).  But we're talking $400 not $2000. Nor will a mazzer be as well suited for home environment. So again, there's always compromises.

Stepless isn't about your skill or your fussiness.  Espresso is a sensitive extraction process in that the smallest changes can make huge differences in the cup.  Having that ability to truly dial in a grind isn't a luxury with espresso, it's a necessity. I say stepless, but the micro adjustment of the baratza is near stepless so it'll suffice. None the less I miss the micro adjustment of my macap.

qualin Said:

Those look like decent machines. I took a look on Chris's Coffee like you suggested. The La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II looks like a great option for me. (Please note, Admins,
I am not endorsing this machine, I'm just wondering what other people think about it!) It seems to offer everything I'm looking for in a machine, like Dual Boilers and Manometers,
an auto-on timer, a PID for precise temperature control and it's an automatic machine to boot! I personally don't care about rotary vs vibratory pumps, so that's not really an issue for
me.

Posted July 7, 2012 link

Unless rules have changed, I believe you're allowed to mentione brands, ask questions, offer some insight etc, but not necessarily endorse or flame. Loosely stated. Not a mod or admin here so don't take my word for it, but that's the spirit of the law so to speak.  Yeah, the mini Vivaldi packs a lot of features in for the price.  I personally wouldn't buy one based on the 49mm portafilters.  I'm not saying this is limiting to your espresso it's just personal preference.

qualin Said:

Unfortunately, The La Marzocco GS/3 is a bit outside my budget, especially when there are cheaper machines out there which pretty much do everything this machine will. :-)

Posted July 7, 2012 link

Lol, you and me both. But good to narrow down the budget.

qualin Said:

The Quick Mill Andreja is about $50 cheaper than the Mini Vivaldi, so maybe I don't see it, but I don't see the value in paying slightly less for a machine with considerably
less features. Is there something I'm missing here?

Posted July 7, 2012 link

Vivaldi has some nice features in a compact package, but the andreja is a decent machine too.  For starters, the Ls is a DB and the andreja is a HX. Different machines to start with.  The andreja has e61 lever group, all metal vs the plastic and smaller group of the Ls.  The andreja is in the upper end of prosumer HX and Vivaldi is on the entry level of consumer DB. You may find the Vivaldi is for you but the andreja isn't outrageously priced.


qualin Said:

My biggest concern with purchasing from an American company is the horrendous customs charges which I'd get hit with. There is a Canadian company I know of which sells the
machines we are talking about, but I can't mention them yet. :-)

Posted July 7, 2012 link

No, I understand.  I used the two companies as reference.  Customs is its own deal so won't comment on it.  You'll likely pay more for the same item in canada but no customs, support your country business, easier transport if there is a problem etc.  I'd certainly look within Canada if I were you, but not familiar enough to make any recommendations there.
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Joel_B
Senior Member
Joel_B
Joined: 9 Oct 2007
Posts: 1,823
Location: Pacific NW
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Astra Mega II
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, Virtuoso
Vac Pot: Yama 5 cup
Drip: nope, french press
Roaster: Behmor, WP, BBQ drum
Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 8:45pm
Subject: Re: Newbie - The best machine for my needs, Recommendations?
 

Qualin just to comment in the semi auto, vs auto.  If you have the auto you'll be glad you had it but you won't miss it if you get a semi auto.  And another kudos for knowing the difference.  I've had both and currently own a automatic.  I use it nothing more than a safety feature in case Im not paying attention.  Otherwise I operate it like I would a semi auto.

Regarding preinfuision, using line pressure for preinfuision is only one method of reinfusion.  For instance a vibe pump has a natural ramp up in pressure offering a "preinfuision". Likewise a e61 offers a preinfuision by having a spring loaded chamber to fill up.  The idea for plumbing in shoud be about convenience with the ability to preinfuision being secondary. Ymmv
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sn_85
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2011
Posts: 134
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Andreja Premium
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 8:51pm
Subject: Re: Newbie - The best machine for my needs, Recommendations?
 

qualin Said:

The Quick Mill Andreja is about $50 cheaper than the Mini Vivaldi, so maybe I don't see it, but I don't see the value in paying slightly less for a machine with considerably
less features. Is there something I'm missing here?

My biggest concern with purchasing from an American company is the horrendous customs charges which I'd get hit with. There is a Canadian company I know of which sells the
machines we are talking about, but I can't mention them yet. :-)

Posted July 7, 2012 link

I think you're talking about the Mini Vivaldi Version I, which is $1849.  The Version II is $1995 so it's $200 more than the QM Andreja Premium.  The big issue with the Mini Vivaldi is that it is a resevoir machine only.  You have no option to plumb down the road.  The Andreja Premium is both a resevoir and plummable machine.  Should you choose to plumb sometime down the road you just buy the plumb-in kit.  That's not possible with the Mini Vivaldi.  There's also no built in pre-infusion which costs another $80 for the La Spaz and it lacks a no-burn steam wand.  Both features are present on the QM AP.  Looks are subjective but some people prefer the classic Italian styling on the QM machines whereas the La Spaz is a little more modern with it's curves, plastic panels, and wide body.  That's more of a preference thing however.  None of this is meant to bash the La Spaz, it's a great machine, but merely to mention some of the differences between the two machines.  

Also I don't see why you're hesitant to mention the Canadian retail store.  No one minds if you mention their name, we know you don't work for them.  I'm guessing you're talking about idrinkcoffee.com.  They advertise on here anyways so it's really not a big deal.  We're all here to help and if you, or any other member, knows where to find a great deal on a machine I think it only benefits the community to share it.  But seriously, buy Canadian.  Should there be any warranty issues I think you're SOL if you buy it from the US (depends on the retailer but I do know idrinkcoffee will not cover warranty for US customers).
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 662
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Sat Jul 7, 2012, 11:39pm
Subject: Re: Newbie - The best machine for my needs, Recommendations?
 

sn_85 Said:

I think you're talking about the Mini Vivaldi Version I, which is $1849.  The Version II is $1995 so it's $200 more than the QM Andreja Premium.

Posted July 7, 2012 link

Isn't the Mini Vivaldi Version I a discontinued machine now? It seems to me that spending the extra $146 is worth it to get better temperature control and dual manometers.

sn_85 Said:

The big issue with the Mini Vivaldi is that it is a resevoir machine only.  

Posted July 7, 2012 link

I'll keep that in mind. I don't think that I'll make enough drinks that refilling the resevoir will be an issue. I'll keep your suggestion in mind as an option though! Thanks!

sn_85 Said:

There's also no built in pre-infusion which costs another $80 for the La Spaz and it lacks a no-burn steam wand.

Posted July 7, 2012 link

They certainly get you on the options, yikes.. $80 for the pre-infusion chamber and $45 for a no-burn steam arm.

sn_85 Said:

La Spaz is a little more modern with it's curves, plastic panels, and wide body.  

Posted July 7, 2012 link

I'll be the first to admit that I like the looks of both machines. I personally prefer the more modern look, but again, that's a preference thing. I showed my wife a picture
of a Bezzera Magica E61 machine, she thought it was ugly. I couldn't care either way. She's more concerned about the amount of counter space it would consume. From
what I can tell, HX machines certainly seem to have a large space advantage over dual boiler machines.

I will admit that the Bezzera and Quick Mill machines certainly look like they are much narrower than the La Spaz, counter space is at a premium where we live.

sn_85 Said:

Also I don't see why you're hesitant to mention the Canadian retail store.  

Posted July 7, 2012 link

Heh, just afraid of violating forum rules. I've been looking at both idrinkcoffee and Capuccino King. I went to the latter place and was scared off, mostly because they carry very
boutique equipment. After reading your forums, visiting a few coffee sites, I think I would like to keep everything, including grinder, around $2500 if at all possible. It seems like
that seems to be a decent budget. The La Spaz with options coupled with a Baratza Vario seems like it would be teetering just on the edge of what I'm looking for from a budgetary point of view.

sn_85 Said:

Should there be any warranty issues I think you're SOL if you buy it from the US (depends on the retailer but I do know idrinkcoffee will not cover warranty for US customers).

Posted July 7, 2012 link

Yeah, that's one of my largest concerns. I know these machines can be complicated and I certainly would like someone to turn to if I need help. This is why I would be very
leery of buying anything from ebay (Even if it was a smoking deal) unless I could get warranty support from the vendor.

I really appreciate your input. I will certainly consider Quick Mill as an option.. It seems like they have a machine for everyone with a lot of different price points and with good value.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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