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Machine with no plastic-hot water contact
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Machine with no...  
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bagscoffee
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2012
Posts: 10
Location: VA
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Mon Dec 10, 2012, 5:36am
Subject: Machine with no plastic-hot water contact
 

Hey folks.  Been reading the forums for a while, as the wife wants a machine for Christmas (God bless her, cause I can't wait to use it!).  She has asked for a machine that doesn't put hot water in contact with plastic.  Plastic casings, reservoirs, cold water lines are fine at this point. I'd rather not get into a discussion about the validity of this request. Rather, I'd like to pull from the expertise available here, since I know you guys have seen the insides of a lot of machines. If you'd like, you can assume I'm a clueless hippie that also happens to really like good coffee. :D

Cost is an issue, in that I can't spend three grand on a Junior Casa DT1.  However, I'm willing to spend enough to get a machine that meets the above criteria. Chris Coffee recommended the Silvano, which appears to be a nice machine.  Are there any other suggestions for similar or less money?
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frank828
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Posts: 581
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Posted Mon Dec 10, 2012, 5:42am
Subject: Re: Machine with no plastic-hot water contact
 

i havent been deep in many machines but the one i have(NS Oscar) doesnt have plastic come in contact with the brew water after the boiler.  The plastic on the machine is in the cold water reservoir before the boiler.  I'm sure it gets warm from the heat coming off the boiler but nowhere near the temps of the brew water.   All the water/steam lines coming off the boiler are metal as far as i remember.  

i would guess that most prosumer/commercial machines would be similar.
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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 Mon Dec 10, 2012, 7:44am
Subject: Re: Machine with no plastic-hot water contact
 

Anything prosumer orientated from the Gaggia Classic up should fill this request - unless you are including things like valve components, gaskets, o-rings etc. which are impossible to avoid at any level.

I know you said you don't want to argue the point of avoiding plastic, but it'd help if you could define "plastic" better - does this include rubber or synthetic gaskets, teflon or nylon valve seals and thread tape or what?  "plastic" is as about a precise a term as "metal" or "chemical".  In any case, a lot of machines use brass, which in California at least means they have lead warning stickers on them.  </rant>
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,475
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 Dec 10, 2012, 7:56am
Subject: Re: Machine with no plastic-hot water contact
 

dyqik Said:

Anything prosumer orientated from the Gaggia Classic up . . . .

Posted December 10, 2012 link

That's the first time I've ever seen the Gaggia Classic described as a prosumer machine.  It's not -- at least not by what I have understood the word "prosumer" to mean.  Could you please explain why you think the Gaggia Classic is a prosumer machine?

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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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 Mon Dec 10, 2012, 8:02am
Subject: Re: Machine with no plastic-hot water contact
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

That's the first time I've ever seen the Gaggia Classic described as a prosumer machine.  It's not -- at least not by what I have understood the word "prosumer" to mean.  Could you please explain why you think the Gaggia Classic is a prosumer machine?

Posted December 10, 2012 link

I didn't call it a prosumer machine.  But it has a different market to a Nespresso or a Super-auto, which is one end of the continuum from things like the Gaggia Gran to GS3s and Speedsters.  Possibly I mean semi-auto or auto machines, but I didn't have a useful word for those to hand.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,475
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 Dec 10, 2012, 8:05am
Subject: Re: Machine with no plastic-hot water contact
 

Welcome, Drew, to CG.  Rather than guess about a lot of machines that we haven't examined for ourselves, I would think your best bet would be to call one of the main vendors and ask them about plastic.  That said, my experience is in line with Frank's -- neither of my machines have plastic tubing after the boiler.

Just from a design perspective, I can't see using plastic -- except in the teflon-lined "no burn" steam arms, and I don't own a machine with that feature . . . not because of the plastic, but because it restricts the steam volume.

As far as recommendations for specific machines -- and with the admonition that you will have to verify about any issues of plastic when speaking to the vendor -- let's take it from the top . . .

Standard Questions:
1)  What kind of drinks do you like/want to make?  (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's capabilities.)
2)  How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself needing to make at ay one time? (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's ability to work continuously.)
3)  How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself making in any given week?  (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's durability.)
4)  Can you plumb a machine directly into the water supply, or do you want/need a pourover machine with its own reservoir?
5)  Do you have a 20-amp circuit available, or only a (standard) 15-amp circuit?
6)  What is your budget for a new machine?  Does that also include a grinder?  If not, what is your budget for a grinder?

Do not skimp on the grinder.  Do notskimp on fresh beans.  Read The Four M's of Espresso & Babbie's Rule of Fifteens.

Cheers,
Jason

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,475
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 Dec 10, 2012, 8:10am
Subject: Re: Machine with no plastic-hot water contact
 

dyqik Said:

I didn't call it a prosumer machine.

Posted December 10, 2012 link

I'm sorry, but apparently I misunderstood.

dyqik Said:

Anything prosumer orientated from the Gaggia Classic up . . .

Posted December 10, 2012 link

Certainly sounds like you're calling the Gaggia Classic a prosumer machine to me.  Then again, it's entirely possible; after all, English is my first language, and "GHOTI" is pronounced "fish."

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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bagscoffee
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2012
Posts: 10
Location: VA
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Mon Dec 10, 2012, 8:12am
Subject: Re: Machine with no plastic-hot water contact
 

I'd like to avoid plastic as much as possible.  I realize there are gaskets and seals involved, but I definitely don't want any plastic/rubber/silicone tubing.  Also not interested in a burn-proof steam wand.  My wife has spoken with several of the e-tailers (hence the Silvano suggestion), and as I understood it, the Gaggia (Baby Twin) has a plastic steam wand? (Apologies if that's incorrect)

I apologize, I've skirted protocol in what is essentially a "what machine to buy" thread.

Standard Questions:
1) I'll be drinking espresso, but the wife will be doing strictly milk drinks.
2) In the morning we'll be rushing to get our drinks made while we get the kids ready for school. So, probably two double shots every morning
3) Easily 20-30 "pulls" per week, as we'll both be having after-dinner drinks, and will be using it throughout the day on weekends.
4) I can plumb, but that's not a big concern right now.
5) 15A only
6) A good grinder will be purchased with the machine.  We'll say that budget for the espresso machine only is $1000.

Ability to pull shots and make steam simultaneously would be nice. At the very least, I don't want to have to wait to steam milk.

Edit: I have no experience with a home setup.  We're lucky that, despite living in the sticks, we have an excellent coffee shop within walking distance with very capable baristas using fresh, quality beans.  I know what I like when it comes to espresso, and I would have been content to continue overpaying for coffee.  The wife is the smart one in the family and has seen the error in that logic.  I only know what I've read and seen, and from the pictures I've viewed on the internet, it appears that some machines use plastic tubing after the boiler. I'd be happy to be proven wrong in that assessment, as I'm certainly not opposed to spending less on a machine.  Hope that makes sense.
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frank828
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Posts: 581
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Posted Mon Dec 10, 2012, 8:19am
Subject: Re: Machine with no plastic-hot water contact
 

bagscoffee Said:

6) A good grinder will be purchased with the machine.  We'll say that budget for the espresso machine only is $1000.

Posted December 10, 2012 link

curious about what your budget for the grinder would be.

keep in mind the grinder is almost always more important than the espresso machine.

in my extreme case, which in these parts is not unheard of, i've been bouncing around the idea of pairing a 900-2500 dollar grinder with my 500 dollar used espresso machine
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frank828
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Posts: 581
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Posted Mon Dec 10, 2012, 8:21am
Subject: Re: Machine with no plastic-hot water contact
 

bagscoffee Said:

I only know what I've read and seen, and from the pictures I've viewed on the internet, it appears that some machines use plastic tubing after the boiler.

Posted December 10, 2012 link

hmm i wonder what pictures you're looking at.  to an untrained eye, my machine would appear to have plastic tubing after the boiler but in fact the tubing is only attached to the pressure release valve and the 3-way solenoid valve.  These tubes do not come in contact with the beverage that the machine is producing.  The tubes exit into the drip tray to be discarded.
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