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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 Tue Dec 18, 2012, 2:08pm
Subject: Re: Decision Time Breville or Nuova Era
 

scanfield Said:

My honeymoon phase lasted about 2 hours.

Posted December 18, 2012 link

Hmmmm . . . well, I've been married for 10 years, and I'm still in love, so --

scanfield Said:

I made so many bad espressos in the beginning that I had severe buyers regret for the first month or so. Then as I managed to get a decent shot once in a while, my happiness trended up.

Posted December 18, 2012 link


Hmmmm . . . well, I've been making espresso for so long that I have to stop and think how to make it any other way!  In 1976, I had a Pavoni Europicola and a blade grinder -- want to talk "frustration"?  But in 1976, there was no internet, no CG, and no one to help me . . . the biggest problem?  I would pull a good shot just often enough to make me continue thinking there was hope!  (Sort of like playing golf when you don't know what you're doing, but you make that ONE perfect shot, and you want to be able to make it again.)  After two years, though, I gave up, and got a Coffee Gaggia and a Gaggia MDF burr grinder.  I used that setup, and was perfectly happy, until I discovered this site (and HB) and knew that "better" was out there.  In 2006, I got my La Val; in 2008, my Elektra -- and I've never looked back!  

scanfield Said:

It probably peaked when I realized that I was routinely (ie 75% of the time) making coffee as good as the cafe in my neighborhood.

Posted December 18, 2012 link

I'm probably at 95 percent . . . well, actually, it's probably 100% for my neighborhood, 95% for the area . . . to MY taste which, after all, is all that matters in this situation -- what do I think of my espresso, versus the espresso I can buy in a café.

scanfield Said:

Now I'm finding that my interest in coffee is waning a little because it's become a very mundane routine.

Posted December 18, 2012 link

Yes, consistent excellence can be sooooooooo boring!  ;^)

scanfield Said:

I'm wondering what everybody else does to maintain their interest in coffee? I ordered some big latte cups from Intelligentsia to play with some latte art and find myself thinking about getting into roasting. What other frontiers are their (sic) to explore?

Posted December 18, 2012 link

Latte art, roasting, siphon prep . . . tea, wine, gardening . . . .

 
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 Tue Dec 18, 2012, 10:01pm
Subject: Re: Decision Time Breville or Nuova Era
 

I have been reading so much that it is getting more confusing to me. We will be using the machine to primarily make milk drinks. I feel like I am reading conflicting reports as to whether the HX or DB is better for steaming. Or is it just a matter of preference?
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cafeespresso
Senior Member


Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 107
Location: South Florida, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Pulser
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Roaster: FR 8+, SC/Turbo CO
Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012, 7:30am
Subject: Re: Decision Time Breville or Nuova Era
 

washburned Said:

I have been reading so much that it is getting more confusing to me. We will be using the machine to primarily make milk drinks. I feel like I am reading conflicting reports as to whether the HX or DB is better for steaming. Or is it just a matter of preference?

Posted December 18, 2012 link


At the 1000-1200 price range, I think a BDB and HX should be about equal in steaming power.
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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 Wed Dec 19, 2012, 7:35am
Subject: Re: Decision Time Breville or Nuova Era
 

cafeespresso Said:

At the 1000-1200 price range, I think a BDB and HX should be about equal in steaming power.

Posted December 19, 2012 link

I want to stay in this price range. But is there any big gains to be found by spending a bit more?
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JohnLyn
Senior Member
JohnLyn
Joined: 15 Aug 2011
Posts: 244
Location: Golden, BC, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldy
Grinder: Vario
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Toastess popper
Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012, 7:54am
Subject: Re: Decision Time Breville or Nuova Era
 

washburned Said:

I have been reading so much that it is getting more confusing to me. We will be using the machine to primarily make milk drinks. I feel like I am reading conflicting reports as to whether the HX or DB is better for steaming. Or is it just a matter of preference?

Posted December 19, 2012 link

Needless to say, the best thing would be to go to a shop and try the different steamers. the shopkeeper can also show you how to steam well regardless of the machine. I had a BDB and the steaming was excellent. A tad slow but it produced excellent microphoam. you won't be disappointed with that.

Big gains when you spend more money?? It is the law of diminishing returns. The main thing that I have gained by spending almost twice as much is a reputation for reliability with technicians that can fix it, or help me fix it,  if need be.
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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 Wed Dec 19, 2012, 7:58am
Subject: Re: Decision Time Breville or Nuova Era
 

washburned Said:

I have been reading so much that it is getting more confusing to me. We will be using the machine to primarily make milk drinks. I feel like I am reading conflicting reports as to whether the HX or DB is better for steaming. Or is it just a matter of preference?

Posted December 18, 2012 link

In the abstract, there is no difference between an HX or a DB -- either in the quality of the espresso in the cup, or in the ability to steam.  In other words, merely because Machine A is an HX and Machine B is a DB will not affect the machine's capability to steam.

In the Real World, steaming power is based upon several factors -- the size of the boiler, the setting of the Pstat/PID, and so on.  So, for example, my Elektra T1 has a 6.0L boiler and can steam pretty much all day long, making drink after drink after drink, and it won't have any problem steaming a 12-ounce pitcher, a 20-ounce pitcher, or a 32-ounce pitcher.  Compare this to a Gaggia Classic with a 3.5 OUNCE boiler -- it can steam one drink, and it's done.  (Sometimes bigger IS better.)

So you can't say that which is better for steaming, an HX or a DB?  There is no answer to that.  It's like asking, which is better made, a convertible or a pickup truck?  But if you want to ask which is better, Specific Machine A compared to Specific Machine B? -- that's an answerable question.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

You seem to be on the verge of "Analysis Paralysis."  You want someone to tell you "Get this."  The truth is, this IS a lot like buying a car.  How much difference is there, really, between the equivalent models of a Toyota and a Honda?  Is the difference between them so great that one sucks and the other is terrific?  Will you be ecstatically happy if you buy one, and suicidally depressed if you get the other?  Obviously (hopefully) not.

You have narrowed it down to a Breville DB or a Nuova Era.  Stop.  Take a deep breath.  Pick one.  You have heard read why some people love their Breville DB, and why others will not recommend it.  You have read why some people love their Nuova Era (and probably, why some don't, although I can't remember that).  You have even read a suggestion or two of other machines that you have -- for one reason or another -- rejected.  

At some point, you simply need to pull the trigger.  No amount of continuing dissection will be of any further assistance.

I know what I'd do, but I'm not you, so pick one and don't look back . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,479
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 Wed Dec 19, 2012, 8:01am
Subject: Re: Decision Time Breville or Nuova Era
 

As a rule of thumb, the bigger the boiler, the bigger the heat element, the more steam power there will be on tap.

There can be TOO much too, if you only steam 8 oz of milk and the machine only has an ON/off button style system for activation of the steam system, you can have problems keeping the milk in the pitcher, let alone getting a nice texture in the milk.

Either of those machines should have enough power to take care of a drink at a time. If you were to want to steam more than that, say 16 oz, it may take a little longer but they should be able to take care of business.

Where you run into problems with steam power is in the starter class machines with small or smaller boilers, the SBDU machines, nearly every one of them, in that class, a Sylvia will steam better than a Krups but neither will be near the same as a HX or DB machine.

 
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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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,219
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012, 8:16am
Subject: Re: Decision Time Breville or Nuova Era
 

JohnLyn Said:

Needless to say, the best thing would be to go to a shop and try the different steamers. the shopkeeper can also show you how to steam well regardless of the machine. I had a BDB and the steaming was excellent. A tad slow but it produced excellent microphoam. you won't be disappointed with that.

Big gains when you spend more money?? It is the law of diminishing returns. The main thing that I have gained by spending almost twice as much is a reputation for reliability with technicians that can fix it, or help me fix it,  if need be.

Posted December 19, 2012 link

Yeh the Breville steam is a little less powerful then some other machines, however it makes some of the smoothest velvety microfoam I've seen, and let's you work the milk easily.
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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 Wed Dec 19, 2012, 9:10am
Subject: Re: Decision Time Breville or Nuova Era
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

In the abstract, there is no difference between an HX or a DB -- either in the quality of the espresso in the cup, or in the ability to steam.  In other words, merely because Machine A is an HX and Machine B is a DB will not affect the machine's capability to steam.

In the Real World, steaming power is based upon several factors -- the size of the boiler, the setting of the Pstat/PID, and so on.  So, for example, my Elektra T1 has a 6.0L boiler and can steam pretty much all day long, making drink after drink after drink, and it won't have any problem steaming a 12-ounce pitcher, a 20-ounce pitcher, or a 32-ounce pitcher.  Compare this to a Gaggia Classic with a 3.5 OUNCE boiler -- it can steam one drink, and it's done.  (Sometimes bigger IS better.)

So you can't say that which is better for steaming, an HX or a DB?  There is no answer to that.  It's like asking, which is better made, a convertible or a pickup truck?  But if you want to ask which is better, Specific Machine A compared to Specific Machine B? -- that's an answerable question.

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

You seem to be on the verge of "Analysis Paralysis."  You want someone to tell you "Get this."  The truth is, this IS a lot like buying a car.  How much difference is there, really, between the equivalent models of a Toyota and a Honda?  Is the difference between them so great that one sucks and the other is terrific?  Will you be ecstatically happy if you buy one, and suicidally depressed if you get the other?  Obviously (hopefully) not.

You have narrowed it down to a Breville DB or a Nuova Era.  Stop.  Take a deep breath.  Pick one.  You have heard read why some people love their Breville DB, and why others will not recommend it.  You have read why some people love their Nuova Era (and probably, why some don't, although I can't remember that).  You have even read a suggestion or two of other machines that you have -- for one reason or another -- rejected.  

At some point, you simply need to pull the trigger.  No amount of continuing dissection will be of any further assistance.

I know what I'd do, but I'm not you, so pick one and don't look back . . .

Posted December 19, 2012 link

"Analysis Paralysis"  Now that is funny because it is so true.  Not to stray from your good suggestion of pick one and be done. But I would like  to know why you like the bezzera over the cuadra?
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bagscoffee
Senior Member


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

Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012, 9:52am
Subject: Re: Decision Time Breville or Nuova Era
 

In addition to information overload, I'm shopping for a machine that's technically for my wife, so it has to be relatively simple and she has to like it.  In the end, I went to a large retailer and bought the BDB.  If I hate it, or she hates it, or it sucks or it breaks down, I have the option to return it.  That made pulling the trigger much, much easier for me.
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