Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 5:04am Subject: Re: Advice - Isomac Tea or Bezzera BZ-09 / BZ-10
I can only comment on the Isomac TEA. I went from a Silvia to an HX, the ability to brew and steam at the same time is really nice. I owned an earlier version Isomac TEA, i liked the lever activation of the pump vs the push button on the Bezerra, other than the typical group gaskets and vacuam/pressure stat replacements it was pretty much a rock solid machine.
It is a moderate steamer using the optional new Isomac .09mm single hole tip, the power switch and gauges up high are nice, you can easily see the gauges and they dont get splashed with water/coffee. The brew boiler is not insulated and you have to remove the outer shell to adjust the OPV valve. Other machines in this price category offer insulated boilers and easy to access OPV valve adjustments. There is no front panel flex when inserting the port filter handle. Espresso quality is very good, syrupy crema filled shots.
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 6:26am Subject: Re: Advice - Isomac Tea or Bezzera BZ-09 / BZ-10
I have a BZ07 (coming from a Gaggia Classic), and although I don't necessarily prefer the button activation, it's fine. The hot water tap location looks weird, but is actually OK in use. Get a smaller three hole tip than the standard though - the stock tip is too fast for a single milk drink, and marginal for a two small lattes, particularly if you are used to the steaming power of a SBDU.
The active electrically heated group head and thermal design is very nice though - flushing requirements are pretty minimal, and the warm up time is pretty fast, as the head runs slightly cool, while the water in the HX is too hot, so the flush warms the group and cools the overheated water at the same time. There's only a second or two of water dance, and you get reasonable (although somewhat variable due to the group thermostat dead band) results even without a 'cooling' flush (a bit like not temperature surfing on my Classic). It's been really hard to get a sink shot on this machine, even if you forget to flush! The other nice thing about the Bezzera group head is that it dismantles from the machine with 3 Allen bolts, giving very easy access to change the gasket and clean behind the shower screen without working upside down.
The one oddity is that the shower screen is lower relative to the portafilter than on many machines, so you have to dose a bit shorter than is possible on other machines. However the triple filter from my Gaggia naked PF fits both my Bezzera naked PF and the stock PF, so I can dose up to 19.5-20g in either, although I'm really limited to 15g in the stock double baskets. Like the TEA, the brew boiler isn't insulated, and you have to remove the lid to get to the OPV. The BZ10 is mostly identical to BZ07 (with various models of each), except that it has a brew gauge as well as the boiler gauge.
faaparasite Senior Member Joined: 19 Jun 2003 Posts: 290 Location: Dallas Metroplex Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Bezzera BZ99 Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly Drip: Technivorm
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 9:40am Subject: Re: Advice - Isomac Tea or Bezzera BZ-09 / BZ-10
I have the BZ-99 which is an older machine that's no longer made or imported into the US. Internally it's quite similar to the BZ07 series and the Livia 90 machines. I haven't kept up with the BZ-09/10 so I'm not sure if it uses the same or similar boiler/grouphead.
What I can say is that the reason Bezzera machines are so popular is because they are absolutely capable of making an excellent espresso. I have owned my BZ-99 for many years. I have no problems with disposable income. If I thought I could drop a grand or two and get a significantly better shot, I would, but as yet I haven't found anything that convinces me this would be the case. Another nice thing about the Bezzera is I have had no problems finding replacement parts for the rare occassions when I have needed them. The only major breakdown I have had is the p-stat failed, which I replaced with a PID. Since it uses most of the same parts as the Livia 90, things like baskets, portafilters, grouphead gaskets, etc. are easy to find.
I have a scace device and a datalogger and have found my machine is capable of repeatable +/- .6 degree F temperature variations across a 25 second shot. The only down side I have found is that in order to get a consistently stable shot, I have to set my boiler to relatively low temps (216-218 F range). While this produces a very nice espresso, steaming is not so great, unless I bump my boiler temp up significantly on the PID. Since I rarely make milk based drinks, this is not really an issue for me.
uziduzit Senior Member Joined: 15 Oct 2012 Posts: 22 Location: Brockton Expertise: I like coffee
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 5:21pm Subject: Re: Advice - Isomac Tea or Bezzera BZ-09 / BZ-10
I own a Isomac Tea and recently upgraded to a Brewtus Duo Rotary. Aside from being quieter I don't see much of a difference which is a compliment to the Isomac since the Brewtus is a more expensive machine.
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