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Upgraditis strikes - narrow semi-auto ~$1500
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Upgraditis...  
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dyqik
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07 PM
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso...
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Bona-Vita, CCD, Aeropress.
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Modded Poppers
Posted Wed Sep 26, 2012, 7:36am
Subject: Upgraditis strikes - narrow semi-auto ~$1500
 

I've just moved apartments and upgraditis has struck - my new apartment has a fully fitted kitchen, and so my previous solution of using my 230V PID'd Gaggia Classic on a cart, with a 1500W transformer on a shelf underneath won't wash any more.  Space is limited, and we are renting, so I'm looking for a narrow machine.  I have a Preciso and an Ascaso I-1 for grinders for the moment (the Preciso is my preferred one, as I can use it for drip, vacpot etc on the counter, the non-clumpiness of the grind and because of the low grounds retention).  So my requirements are

  • 1-2 doubles first thing every morning.
  • 1-2 doubles plus at least one latte/capp etc. on weekends.
  • Other occasional use, including steaming milk for hot chocolate and hot water for tea would be nice.
  • Narrow - not much more than 10-11" wide.
  • Steam arm on the left - it's on the right on the Gaggia, and this does not work in the kitchen layout.
  • Water reservoir - self contained.  Plumbing in is not an option, but a line for the drip tray is possible.
  • Timer operation or quick warm up time.
  • Around $1500 all in.
  • It'd be nice if the boiler is insulated to reduce the electricity bill a bit.

I don't particularly care about new/second hand (the keen eyed will see that I'm enquiring about the Salvatore in the BST forum).  Ability to work on and repair/mod the machine is a definite major plus, which steers me away from the BDB.  I'm leaning towards the Quickmill Anita or Bezzera BZ07 as new options at the minute.  Anything available in a deep red will also help the machine gain approval with my SO... ;)

Opinions?  What other machines should I be looking at?

The Gaggia will make a nice Christmas present to my brother who's back in the UK...
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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 880
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Wed Sep 26, 2012, 7:46am
Subject: Re: Upgraditis strikes - narrow semi-auto ~$1500
 

Oscar pretty much fits your description, with the caveat that hot water for tea is drawn through the group, making keeping the group head and screen clean a priority. And it is available in an attractive red.
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dyqik
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07 PM
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso...
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Bona-Vita, CCD, Aeropress.
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Modded Poppers
Posted Wed Sep 26, 2012, 7:55am
Subject: Re: Upgraditis strikes - narrow semi-auto ~$1500
 

GVDub Said:

Oscar pretty much fits your description, with the caveat that hot water for tea is drawn through the group, making keeping the group head and screen clean a priority. And it is available in an attractive red.

Posted September 26, 2012 link

I'd sort of discounted the Oscar because of the width - it's 12" wide -  and because I'm considering spending a bit more than that.  The width is a bit more critical than the color, but you're right, it is a fairly good fit now that I think again, and one or two inches isn't really an issue.  I'd quite like an e61 based machine, because... SHINY!, the ability to fit a thermometer to the group and because I haven't had one before, but I'm still exploring options.
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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 880
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Wed Sep 26, 2012, 8:10am
Subject: Re: Upgraditis strikes - narrow semi-auto ~$1500
 

Keep Oscar as a backup plan. If I had $1500 to spend and was buying new, considering your constraints, I'd be seriously considering a QuickMill Anita.
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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 Wed Sep 26, 2012, 8:29am
Subject: Re: Upgraditis strikes - narrow semi-auto ~$1500
 

I'd also look at the Vibiemme Junior HX for $1369.  It's only 9" wide.
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dyqik
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07 PM
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso...
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Bona-Vita, CCD, Aeropress.
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Modded Poppers
Posted Wed Sep 26, 2012, 9:30am
Subject: Re: Upgraditis strikes - narrow semi-auto ~$1500
 

sn_85 Said:

I'd also look at the Vibiemme Junior HX for $1369.  It's only 9" wide.

Posted September 26, 2012 link

Thanks for that!  I'd not come across this machine before - this blog has a useful picture for my size comparisons - the author has a Preciso and Classic next to the machine...
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hotwasabipeas
Senior Member
hotwasabipeas
Joined: 19 Aug 2011
Posts: 183
Location: New Albany, Ohio
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1, NS Oscar,...
Grinder: Baratza Vario 886
Drip: Flavia SB100 (makes a hot...
Posted Wed Sep 26, 2012, 9:58am
Subject: Re: Upgraditis strikes - narrow semi-auto ~$1500
 

What about the Expobar Office Lever Plus?  It's got the steam arm on the left (I can't find the width measurement unfortunately). It's on sale for only $1127: Click Here (www.wholelattelove.com)
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dyqik
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07 PM
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso...
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Bona-Vita, CCD, Aeropress.
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Modded Poppers
Posted Wed Sep 26, 2012, 10:03am
Subject: Re: Upgraditis strikes - narrow semi-auto ~$1500
 

hotwasabipeas Said:

What about the Expobar Office Lever Plus?  It's got the steam arm on the left (I can't find the width measurement unfortunately). It's on sale for only $1127: Click Here (www.wholelattelove.com)

Posted September 26, 2012 link

Ah, thanks.  I'm not so sure about the look of the Expobar, but it's on the list.  For my own records, the dimensions are 10.25" wide, 17.5" deep and 15" tall (found via Amazon).

Why do so many manufacturers and sellers not list basic facts like the dimensions of the machine? (or explicitly state whether they are heat exchanger or double boiler designs?).
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nhokt
Senior Member


Joined: 16 Sep 2009
Posts: 22
Location: MA USA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: QM67
Grinder: Vario
Posted Wed Sep 26, 2012, 5:10pm
Subject: Re: Upgraditis strikes - narrow semi-auto ~$1500
 

I was recently on a very similar search, with the added requirement that I wanted a PID'd double boiler. The Quick Mill QM67 is what I ended up with and I am very happy with it and based on your usage I think you would be happy with it also. Bonus is that CCS is next day shipping to MA.
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dyqik
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07 PM
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso...
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Bona-Vita, CCD, Aeropress.
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Modded Poppers
Posted Thu Sep 27, 2012, 4:45am
Subject: Re: Upgraditis strikes - narrow semi-auto ~$1500
 

Hmm, the QM67 is a bit too expensive, and I don't really need a double boiler - I don't make that many milk drinks, and I'd like to use the cooling flush to play with temperature on the fly a bit for the espresso.  I'm leaning to the Vibiemme Jr HX at the moment - the smaller boiler appeals as it should reduce the warm up time in the morning (although I'll still use a timer to get it started), and I like the position of the pressure relief outlet very close to the grille, and that of the gauges - I'm over 6', so gauges on top the machine make sense to me.  I'm not so sure about the position of the power switch, low down just above the drip tray and under the hot water wand though.  I guess that's easy to move though.

Are there any known issues with the Jaeger pressure stat or other parts on that machine - I see a lot about Sirai pressure stats around here, but how much difference is that likely to make in the first few years of use?
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