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Buying a new machine, breville?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Buying a new...  
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 620
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Fri Sep 14, 2012, 7:39pm
Subject: Buying a new machine, breville?
 

So I am upgrading from a le'lit but I'm not sure what to do.

I like the crosslands, but I dont know much about the company, and Ive read about poor design elements (lame PF, water tank, etc)
I like the Ascaso Steel duo, but there isn't any pre-infusion, no PID, etc.
I like the Quick Mill Sylvano, but even with its 750ml boiler, PID, and opv, it to my knowledge anyway, lacks a pre-infusion setting.

I also am impressed with the Breville dual boiler, it looks amazing and has everything I want. But I am nervous about spending this much cash on a machine that I cant even descale myself.


Does anyone have any input or recommendations? I have a decent grinder for now (Ascaso i-1d) Im just nervous about making the plunge into HX/DB machines without taking all possible options into account.


Thanks!

UPDATE: 18/9/12
I have after much consideration become very interested in the breville dual boiler. Does anyone have personal experience with this machine? Im looking at not only build quality and capabilities as all these machines will be an upgrade from my le'lit, but more importantly costumer support and longevity.

Thank you all, this forum has been my saving grace for so many years now.


UPDATE: 27/9/12
My budget has become a bit wider and was wondering about a few other machines.

How do people feel about the Rocket Giotto/Cellini? There are rotary and vibration pump models, e61 brew head, manual pre-infusion, etc. I did notice there is no PID, but my understanding is that on a HX machine you really don't need one. Suggestions?

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Path Coffee Roasters (PortChester, NY) Feather in cap espresso.

Cold Brewing:
Gimme! (ithaca, NY) Moca Java

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,391
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Sep 14, 2012, 9:40pm
Subject: Re: Buying a new machine
 

I really like my CC1. I have the spouted PF and naked, so not sure what you mean by lame, their both very nice. Or by the water tank being a poor design? Its actually smart, I have low cabinets and machines with tanks in the rear are a pain in the ass where I have my setup in the kitchen, same for some side ones. This one pull right out and to the side for easy quick filling. I've found it to be a great consistent machine. Even when you open it up the internals are laid out well. Bill has excellent customer service as well.

The Silvano is a great machine as well. Breville is really unbeatable for the money, about the only negative thing is for Breville handling descaling every (4 years?) I think. But their building service centers across different coast for the future. My friend has the BDB and it is a kick ass machine, not one problem in the close to year he's owned it and it gets used a bunch daily. It has a water filtration setup hence why full descaling is years away.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,391
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Sep 14, 2012, 9:42pm
Subject: Re: Buying a new machine
 

Double post
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,051
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Fri Sep 14, 2012, 9:55pm
Subject: Re: Buying a new machine
 

Your options are various. Answer the usual questions to come to an answer:

  • What do you expect from a machine upgrate?
  • How many cups per session, per das, and per week will you be making?
  • What kind of beverages do you primarily prefer? Straight espresso or espresso based milk drinks?
  • Do you have the option to go plumbed?
  • What's your budget?

And keep in mind that, unless you own a high class commercial grinder, you can always do better as far as the grinder is concerned. Most of the time, the difference in espresso quality and comfort will be more noticeable than a machine upgrade. Don't get me wrong, your Ascaso is a nice, capable home grinder,  but is has its drawbacks: it's pretty loud, and the plastic shute causes static.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 620
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Sat Sep 15, 2012, 8:47am
Subject: Re: Buying a new machine
 

NobbyR Said:

Your options are various. Answer the usual questions to come to an answer:

What do you expect from a machine upgrate?
How many cups per session, per das, and per week will you be making?
What kind of beverages do you primarily prefer? Straight espresso or espresso based milk drinks?
Do you have the option to go plumbed?
What's your budget?

And keep in mind that, unless you own a high class commercial grinder, you can always do better as far as the grinder is concerned. Most of the time, the difference in espresso quality and comfort will be more noticeable than a machine upgrade. Don't get me wrong, your Ascaso is a nice, capable home grinder,  but is has its drawbacks: it's pretty loud, and the plastic shute causes static.

Posted September 14, 2012 link

I would like to move into the "next tier," so to speak, of espresso machines with this upgrade. By this I mean, I would like a PID, pre-infusion if possible, and something more than a single small boiler.

I usually end up pulling several shots a day, making cappuccino's as well, so decent steam is something Id like, and really expect at that level.

I don't want to plumb the machine, I move around quite a bit for school (research & residency programs) and I imagine this would lead to many upset tri-state are landlords.

I would like to stay under $1200, but preferably under $1000.

my grinder is something I debated upgrading as well, but seeing as I currently ave a working grinder that produces consistent shots, and my machine is in disrepair, I am putting that upgrade off for a while. Also, I have the doser model, that after several years of scratching and wear, has lost most of its static generating potential.

Thanks, and if you know of any other brands or vendors please let me know (currently browsing 1st line, SCG, Prima)

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Path Coffee Roasters (PortChester, NY) Feather in cap espresso.

Cold Brewing:
Gimme! (ithaca, NY) Moca Java

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 620
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Sat Sep 15, 2012, 8:52am
Subject: Re: Buying a new machine
 

CMIN Said:

I really like my CC1. I have the spouted PF and naked, so not sure what you mean by lame, their both very nice. Or by the water tank being a poor design? Its actually smart, I have low cabinets and machines with tanks in the rear are a pain in the ass where I have my setup in the kitchen, same for some side ones. This one pull right out and to the side for easy quick filling. I've found it to be a great consistent machine. Even when you open it up the internals are laid out well. Bill has excellent customer service as well.

The Silvano is a great machine as well. Breville is really unbeatable for the money, about the only negative thing is for Breville handling descaling every (4 years?) I think. But their building service centers across different coast for the future. My friend has the BDB and it is a kick ass machine, not one problem in the close to year he's owned it and it gets used a bunch daily. It has a water filtration setup hence why full descaling is years away.

Posted September 14, 2012 link

On your CC1, how does the hardware feel? Is there a lot of plastic (knobs, casing, etc). I have to say it is a nice looking machine, but Im also afraid of it having so much for so cheap and what risks there are then for damage.

Have you descaled this machine yet? How was that done with the thermoblock?

do you produce a great deal of steam drinks?


How stable is the brew temp? does the boiler size affect your ability to pull multiple shots significantly?


My statement about the PF was really meant to be cosmetic, it doesn't have the shape I expect in commercial machines, and locks in at a weird angle.


Most importantly, have you had any (even minor) issues with your cc1. this wouldn't prevent my purchase, only make me aware of better care practices.

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Path Coffee Roasters (PortChester, NY) Feather in cap espresso.

Cold Brewing:
Gimme! (ithaca, NY) Moca Java

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Sep 15, 2012, 10:28am
Subject: Re: Buying a new machine
 

I played with one at the Coffee show and talked to Bill.  I was impressed with it.  It is not the same as owning one but it felt pretty good to me.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,391
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sat Sep 15, 2012, 12:24pm
Subject: Re: Buying a new machine
 

On your CC1, how does the hardware feel? Is there a lot of plastic (knobs, casing, etc). I have to say it is a nice looking machine, but Im also afraid of it having so much for so cheap and what risks there are then for damage.
Feels nice and solid to me. Not a lot of plastic, it's all metal except for the drip tray (has a metal grate) which lot's of machines have unless you start spending $$$, the two front knobs and steam knob on the side are plastic but feel good and especially the two front ones have a smooth precise feel when turning them (again more $$$ machines with plastic knobs as well), and the water tank is plastic which is normal. Even when you open it up all the internals are placed and laid out well inside.

Have you descaled this machine yet? How was that done with the thermoblock?
Yeh it's just like any other machine, descale the boiler like normal and then switch to steam to just run the thermoblock in sets like you would for the boiler.

do you produce a great deal of steam drinks?
Not many since in FL summers last thing I want is a hot drink lol, but I've made steam drinks and it has fast steaming ability and recovery when switching to go back to brew. Makes great microfoam too, and steaming is basically endless as long as there's water.

How stable is the brew temp? does the boiler size affect your ability to pull multiple shots significantly?
Found it to be very stable and consistent. No boiler size doesn't matter b/c it's always filling and has powerful elements keeping it stable. It's not quite as fast as pulling shot after shot after shot after shot like you can do on a more upscale h/x or dual boiler machine but that's a given. We're always making ice lattes though and by the time a shot is done, and I've made the drink the temp is already back to whatever setting I have it at before grinding the next shot give or take some seconds here or there, pretty fast recovery for a single boiler.

My statement about the PF was really meant to be cosmetic, it doesn't have the shape I expect in commercial machines, and locks in at a weird angle.
Not sure what you mean, it goes in and locks to the right like basically any machine?? Save for a few that lock to the left. Both are normal 58mm PFs

Most importantly, have you had any (even minor) issues with your cc1. this wouldn't prevent my purchase, only make me aware of better care practices. None really, and I bought mine used as the previous owner upgraded to a new Rocket. Some early machines had some error messages so Bill sent out electric emi filters to put in which I did even though I've never had an error and neither did the previous owner. I did have the puck get stuck to the screen a couple times even at a lower dose when I went to pull the PF off but that could be do to humidity (South FL) and maybe not packing as tight as normally since other machines will do the same thing here and from what others have posted online regarding humidity and the 3-way valve. Thought I had an issue but talking to Bill and seeing what others posted, it can happen to anyone. I also have to lock my PF in farther than what others seem to do (I'm around the 5:30 mark and others are just after 6 or so) but that is most likely b/c the gasket pry has to be replaced since the previous owner used it a lot and we do as well, that happens on any machine as well when gasket needs to be replaced. Bill also upgraded the group head piece to a dense plastic vs metal which gives extremely stable temps as it doesn't need to heat up and doesn't absorb heat from water, so the water flows right to the puck at accurate temps, the metal/brass piece was pretty dense at 9oz I think for being so small. I think before people were seeing temps off a few degrees here and there as that metal piece absorbed heat from the water. I put the plastic one in he sent and measuring temps I don't think there's anyway to get more accurate and stable temps unless you drop money on a nice h/x with e61 head, Breville DB with it's PID controlled group head etc.

Can't really beat it in it's price range, Rancillio doesn't really care about the consumer market hence why they've barely touched the Silvia all these years and the way out of date Rocky grinder while other companies have upgraded machines within it's price range that just outperform it. And then if you do buy the Silvia new + PID well your already into entry h/x territory or the Quickmill Silvano which is just a plain better machine (single boiler and thermo like the CC1 but it has a separate pump for the termo letting you brew and steam at the same time), I really like the Silvano but I'd pry find myself spending a bit more if I wanted one to get the Breville but that's just me, the Silvano is still an excellent machine.
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,051
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Sat Sep 15, 2012, 8:52pm
Subject: Re: Buying a new machine
 

Unless you want to pull shots and froth milk simultaneously, I'd say the Crossland CC1 would be your best choice. With its thermoblock enhanced steaming you have enough steam until the water tank runs dry, and in contrat to other SBDUs you don't even have to wait for the boiler to cool down before you can pull the next shot. It also comes with a PID ex factory and offers programmable preinfusion among other features. IMHO that's a lot of value for money in that price range.

As far as your grinder is concerned, it's capable enough but worth an upgrade. But it'll do.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,869
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Sun Sep 16, 2012, 12:44am
Subject: Re: Buying a new machine
 

acasabia Said:

I like the Quick Mill Sylvano, but even with its 750ml boiler, PID, and opv, it to my knowledge anyway, lacks a pre-infusion setting.

Posted September 14, 2012 link

I have made decent espresso on machines with and without pre-infusion. That large boiler capacity and mass and adjustable OPV (along with the PID) allow the Silvano to make very good espresso even with no pre-infusion. The solid and thick stainless steel case and drip tray give it the look and feel of an expensive, well built tool. It might not be the cheapest of your options, but more often than not you get what you pay for with espresso machines and everything else.

Here is a not quite side by side photo I took a while back so you can make a visual comparison:

EricBNC: IMG_0982 500.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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