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Decision Time Breville or Nuova Era
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Decision Time...  
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,278
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 Sun Dec 16, 2012, 7:08pm
Subject: Re: Decision Time Breville or Nuova Era
 

Let me ask you a question, if I may . . . (if I may not, then feel free to ignore this post).

scanfield Said:

I have a La Nuova Era Cuadra and it's been a good machine . . . That said, if I were going to buy a new machine tomorrow, I would probably pick the BDB only because after having had a HX machine for a while, I'd like to try a double boiler.

Posted December 16, 2012 link

I understand wanting to try something different.

scanfield Said:

The HX machine can do just about anything . . .

Posted December 16, 2012 link

What can't it do?

scanfield Said:

. . . but I wonder if a double-boiler machine wouldn't be easier?

Posted December 16, 2012 link

Easier at what?

scanfield Said:

For example, if I get some coffee with instructions that call for 198 degree water, I'm only guessing with my machine. I think the BDB would be easier to be more consistent.

Posted December 16, 2012 link

Probably not . . . or not by much.  DB's need flushes, too, just as HX's do.  And while I readily acknowledge that temperature matters -- can you really taste the difference between a shot pulled at 198, versus 199?  And what happens if you "get some coffee with instructions that call for 198 degree water," but it turns out that you pull it at 199?  Does the coffee self-destruct?  Does the shot taste like $#|+?  Or, what if it turns out you actually prefer the shot you pull at 199 over the one you pulled at 198?!?!?

I'm not picking on you, but it seems to me that a) there's no difference in the cup between shots pulled on an HX or a DB, but more importantly, b) I think we sometimes try to get so exact, so precise, when it's all up to our own individual palates, and not some scientific exactitude.  WE -- you, me, and all the people here -- taste espresso with our own individual taste buds -- we aren't evaluating some scientific experiment, waiting for the results from the Gas Chromatograph to tell us the contents . . . we're tasting it, and what might taste great to you might not be what tastes great to me . . . and vice-versa.

Just food for thought . . . .

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


Joined: 21 Nov 2011
Posts: 181
Location: Texas
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Nuovo Era Cuadra
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sun Dec 16, 2012, 9:23pm
Subject: Re: Decision Time Breville or Nuova Era
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

What can't it do?

Posted December 16, 2012 link

Provide hot water in a reasonable manner. I don't know if a double boiler machine is any better. Before I bought this machine, I had envisioned using the hot water outlet for things like making tea. Now I find out that it's really only useful for descaling.

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

Easier at what?

Posted December 16, 2012 link

The BDB has lots of neat stuff built in to it like a timer and pre-infusion capabilities. I think it would be fun to play with.

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

can you really taste the difference between a shot pulled at 198, versus 199?

Posted December 16, 2012 link

Probably not. But my machine seems to be a bit tempermental when it comes to cooling flushes. The window between sour and bitter seems to be about as wide as the zone between freezing and magma on my shower. I'm guessing it has a lot to do with the ambient temperature.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,278
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 Sun Dec 16, 2012, 9:41pm
Subject: Re: Decision Time Breville or Nuova Era
 

As I said,

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

I'm not picking on you . . . Just food for thought . . . .

Posted December 16, 2012 link

But in the FWIW mode, I use my HX for hot water ALL the time!

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,474
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Sun Dec 16, 2012, 9:53pm
Subject: Re: Decision Time Breville or Nuova Era
 

scanfield Said:

Provide hot water in a reasonable manner. I don't know if a double boiler machine is any better. Before I bought this machine, I had envisioned using the hot water outlet for things like making tea. Now I find out that it's really only useful for descaling.

Posted December 16, 2012 link

If you want hot water just pull some shots without coffee in the PF. The dilution rate of water on a small commercial or prosumer machine is pretty quick. I have a 2.5 l boiler, bigger than yours and a LOT bigger than the steam boiler on the BDB. When pulling water through the hot water wand, I can get about 10oz of water that is useable for something like tea, the first water comes out at boiling then quickly drops due to the influx of water into the boiler. If this happens so fast on a fairly large boiler, how fast is it going to happen on the MUCH smaller BDB steam boiler??????


scanfield Said:

The BDB has lots of neat stuff built in to it like a timer and pre-infusion capabilities. I think it would be fun to play with.

Posted December 16, 2012 link

Most machines have preinfusion built into them. The BDB uses the pump being pulsed to do it while other machines such as those based on the E61 GH have a spring piston to perform the same function. Does your brew pressure gauge jump straight to 9 bar or does it take about 5 seconds to climb there? Yep, that is preinfusion.

A timer, simple, place one on the wall and it is as good as built in, better really because you can replace it should you need to without sending the machine in for service and a hugely higher price than a wall timer.


scanfield Said:

Probably not. But my machine seems to be a bit tempermental when it comes to cooling flushes. The window between sour and bitter seems to be about as wide as the zone between freezing and magma on my shower. I'm guessing it has a lot to do with the ambient temperature.

Posted December 16, 2012 link

I know that I can't taste 1 or even 2 deg difference, and I have tasted a lot of espresso. I get the results I like with a fairly constant routine, Flush 6 oz of water into my cup (2 pushes of my brew button on my volumetric machine) then dose tamp and pull the shot, in not much more time than it takes to read about it (a lot less than it takes to type about it) If the second or third shot of the session, just dose, tamp, bump the brew button to flush grounds and lock and pull. Very consistent results time after time. YMMV!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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washburned
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Nov 2012
Posts: 31
Location: napa
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra II
Grinder: Baratza vario
Posted Sun Dec 16, 2012, 9:54pm
Subject: Re: Decision Time Breville or Nuova Era
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

As I said,

But in the FWIW mode, I use my HX for hot water ALL the time!

Posted December 16, 2012 link

Should I consider you a vote for the HX route?
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,278
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 Sun Dec 16, 2012, 9:57pm
Subject: Re: Decision Time Breville or Nuova Era
 

washburned Said:

Should I consider you a vote for the HX route?

Posted December 16, 2012 link

My vote was already cast HERE.

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


Joined: 23 Nov 2012
Posts: 31
Location: napa
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra II
Grinder: Baratza vario
Posted Sun Dec 16, 2012, 10:10pm
Subject: Re: Decision Time Breville or Nuova Era
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

My vote was already cast HERE.

Posted December 16, 2012 link

Yes it was sorry I read it but did not realize it was the same person. I plan on calling first line tomorrow and see what they have to say about the Bezzera vs the la nuova. Thanks for the suggestion
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scanfield
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2011
Posts: 181
Location: Texas
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: La Nuovo Era Cuadra
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Mon Dec 17, 2012, 5:33am
Subject: Re: Decision Time Breville or Nuova Era
 

One other factor to consider is that BDB is likely available locally compared to buying something over the internet. I know Williams-Sonoma sells them and one reason I would consider buying from them is that you could get the machine and have a period of time where if you don't like it, you can return it for a full refund. I'd still check with them if you buy it to make sure though.

1st-Line doesn't let you do this and they do make it very clear before you buy it what the terms are. You sign an agreement saying you are buying a commercial machine and returns are not accepted (if my memory is correct).

That said, I haven't heard of anybody having a bad experience with 1st-Line. I have only positive things to say about them.

All of this is reverse if you happen to live within driving distance of 1st-Line. They would win hands down in that case.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,474
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Dec 17, 2012, 6:33am
Subject: Re: Decision Time Breville or Nuova Era
 

scanfield Said:

One other factor to consider is that BDB is likely available locally compared to buying something over the internet.

Posted December 17, 2012 link

And on a slightly similar note, I can buy crap coffee on every corner and if I want good coffee, I need to make an effort to get it.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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washburned
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Nov 2012
Posts: 31
Location: napa
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: La Nuova Era Cuadra II
Grinder: Baratza vario
Posted Mon Dec 17, 2012, 9:22am
Subject: Re: Decision Time Breville or Nuova Era
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

+1

+1,000!

My first impulse is to say "no."  Then again, it may be, but I'd prefer the Bezzera BZ07 for $100 more.  (Note: I always add 10% to people's budget, because I figure it's in reach.)

MY advise to to talk with 1st-Line.  Ask them about the differences between the Nuova Era and the Bezzera, and what provides the biggest bang for the buck.

Posted December 16, 2012 link

I just got off the phone with them. The person I spoke with owned and prefered the Nuova in part because of the e-61 group head and then the ascetics. Both of which the Bezzera does not.

cafeespresso Said:

I don't think either is a wrong choice. I 'upgraded' from HX to the Breville, and I can tell you the Breville is a great machine. On the Breville I have gained more consistency on the shots, but I'm still struggling with the steam. Like everything, there is a learning curve.



Also, where are you getting the Breville at 900? Amazon? I think that deal is dead.

Posted December 16, 2012 link

Its actually 930 once tax is figured in through direct buy, I have a friend with an account
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