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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > HX...  
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cuznvin
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Joined: 6 Oct 2011
Posts: 656
Location: NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: MACAP M4 Stepless /Baratza...
Drip: YouBrew
Posted Mon Dec 17, 2012, 7:31pm
Subject: HX Recommendation
 

After doing countless searches, reading unending threads and reviews and thinking I have decided that I should get a DB machine as my first espresso machinine, I am now thinking that I really shouldnt be spending over $2000 on a machine since I have no experience.  SO, Im thinking I should go for a less expensive HX machine Or do you all think I should just go for the DB (Vibiemme DB or Vivaldi Dream T)

What HX machines do you all suggest that has PID, good steaming power, reliability and puts out great espresso/crema. Im thinking Vibiemme.. My grinder will be a Vario or Vario W. Thanks for your help..
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,113
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Dec 17, 2012, 7:41pm
Subject: Re: HX Recommendation
 

Although your budget is important, the choice between DB and HX is really typically made on how one might want to operate.  If you've read as much as you say, then you already know the difference.  I'm not sure if finding out you don't like making espresso is going to feel any better after spending $1800 vs $2400 on your machine.

I'm not trying to sway you either way, but to me, if you're going to spend $450-$550 on a grinder, $1500-$2500 on an espresso machine and then another couple of hundred on accessories, you're pretty much jumping in with both feet, so I don't see the difference.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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cuznvin
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Oct 2011
Posts: 656
Location: NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: MACAP M4 Stepless /Baratza...
Drip: YouBrew
Posted Mon Dec 17, 2012, 7:47pm
Subject: Re: HX Recommendation
 

emradguy Said:

Although your budget is important, the choice between DB and HX is really typically made on how one might want to operate.  If you've read as much as you say, then you already know the difference.  I'm not sure if finding out you don't like making espresso is going to feel any better after spending $1800 vs $2400 on your machine.

I'm not trying to sway you either way, but to me, if you're going to spend $450-$550 on a grinder, $1500-$2500 on an espresso machine and then another couple of hundred on accessories, you're pretty much jumping in with both feet, so I don't see the difference.

Posted December 17, 2012 link

I guess I was just thinking the $500 savings would pay for the grinder. Now I realize the only Vibiemme with PID is the DB...I didnt want to bother with cooling flushes and temp surfing but I guess I am flushing either way.. Guess I am just confused with so many choices
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Ben_C
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Joined: 2 Dec 2012
Posts: 15
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Dec 17, 2012, 8:14pm
Subject: Re: HX Recommendation
 

I can sympathise - I have been going through this for the last few months.  To start with, every machine from Silvia up (and some below) is capable of making a great espresso.  I believe it is the ease and repeatability (and adjustability) that increase with budget - to a point.

I have come to the opinion, derived almost entirely from reading, that the routine of pulling a shot with a DB machine is marginally more forgiving than a HX machine.  This is because I think a shot pulled with overheated water is more likely to be a disaster than under temperature water.  For me, that means my wife is more likely to pull a decent shot with a DB machine than a HX machine.   Of course there are exceptions, for instance the Elektra HX machine is supposed to be very forgiving. Additionally I am aiming for an automatic to make the process easier (I can set it up and either of us can expect a good shot).

So really it comes down to aesthetics, build quality and "brand factor" - what you want to see sitting on your bench for the next x years.  If you're a fiddler, that last bit is probably a non-issues because you'll turn machines over regularly, for others it may be the one machine for 5+ years.  

Unfortunately (?) if your budget is not too tight, this means the choice of machine is very wide with little in the way of "absolute" guidance.

Cheers Ben
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cuznvin
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Oct 2011
Posts: 656
Location: NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: MACAP M4 Stepless /Baratza...
Drip: YouBrew
Posted Mon Dec 17, 2012, 8:16pm
Subject: Re: HX Recommendation
 

Thanks Ben! And being that I dont have experience the DB may be easier for me also..
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,113
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Dec 17, 2012, 8:28pm
Subject: Re: HX Recommendation
 

You'll probably soon get posts on here about how easy the cooling flush is, to bring the water temp at the group to where you want it.  It'll become second nature, so if that's the only thing stopping you, then you should ignore it.  With a DB, you actually need to do a warming flush.  There is really no need to put a PID on a HX machine, and this is why you won't find them that way (well, there may be a couple exceptions).

Shots too hot, shots too cool...doesn't matter, both suck...just in different ways.  The hot ones are overbitter and the cool ones are oversour.
EDIT:  What I left out, which Wayne jut reminded me of (thanks, Wayne)...is that the further you go from "the right temp" the more off the flavor goes, and for sure a couple of degrees won't matter, but when you get extreme, then that's where you'll notice it.  What I was trying to point out was that when you get outside the range of acceptable temp sways, the direction outside the box doesn't matter.

Once you get in HX/DB range...

Ben_C Said:

...it comes down to aesthetics, build quality and "brand factor" - what you want to see sitting on your bench for the next x years...

Posted December 17, 2012 link

of course, you do have to decide which machine type you want first.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,775
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
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Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
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Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Mon Dec 17, 2012, 8:36pm
Subject: Re: HX Recommendation
 

There really isn't an ants hill worth of difference between the two when it comes to the shot in the cup. One is not worlds easier than the other to work. It is sooooooooo much more effort to describe the way to flush on a HX machine, than it is to just do it. It really is not hard and once you do it the first time you will wonder what the big deal was all about. Can you drive a stick shift car? Think of EVERY step you need to do that once you learned to do it, it becomes second nature and you do not think of any of it, you just do it.

On paper the long list of instructions to drive a manual transmission car seems MUCH more complicated than just putting the stick on D and pressing the gas, the result is the same, the car goes down the road, you get where you are going. There is a learning curve with HX but not NEAR the curve it is on a SBDU machine.

A PID is only of value on SBDU and DB machines, there are HX machines made with them but that is only because the less educated consumer thinks that it will make the shots better, it will not on a HX machine, REALLY!

If you rather a DB then that's fine, buy one. The coffee in the end is the same. Some will fret over 1 or 2 deg and claim that it will spoil the shot, REALLY??? I can not taste the difference and I guess I can live the rest of my days in ignorant bliss by not making a big deal with 1/10 deg accuracy in temp.

 
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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cuznvin
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Oct 2011
Posts: 656
Location: NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: MACAP M4 Stepless /Baratza...
Drip: YouBrew
Posted Mon Dec 17, 2012, 8:49pm
Subject: Re: HX Recommendation
 

calblacksmith Said:

There really isn't an ants hill worth of difference between the two when it comes to the shot in the cup. One is not worlds easier than the other to work. It is sooooooooo much more effort to describe the way to flush on a HX machine, than it is to just do it. It really is not hard and once you do it the first time you will wonder what the big deal was all about. Can you drive a stick shift car? Think of EVERY step you need to do that once you learned to do it, it becomes second nature and you do not think of any of it, you just do it.

On paper the long list of instructions to drive a manual transmission car seems MUCH more complicated than just putting the stick on D and pressing the gas, the result is the same, the car goes down the road, you get where you are going. There is a learning curve with HX but not NEAR the curve it is on a SBDU machine.

A PID is only of value on SBDU and DB machines, there are HX machines made with them but that is only because the less educated consumer thinks that it will make the shots better, it will not on a HX machine, REALLY!

If you rather a DB then that's fine, buy one. The coffee in the end is the same. Some will fret over 1 or 2 deg and claim that it will spoil the shot, REALLY??? I can not taste the difference and I guess I can live the rest of my days in ignorant bliss by not making a big deal with 1/10 deg accuracy in temp.

Posted December 17, 2012 link

More confusion..lol.... Are there any HX machines(brands) that you would say hold the temp better than others and dont need a long flush?

Lets say the flush is too long or too short. Would the temp be way off or just a degree or two as you put it. I am not so worried about a degree or two and doubt I will be able to tell the difference.
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Ben_C
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Joined: 2 Dec 2012
Posts: 15
Location: Vancouver
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Dec 17, 2012, 8:56pm
Subject: Re: HX Recommendation
 

If I can add to my previous reply - it is mainly confusing because of all the information available on the web, both factual and opinion.  The reality is a lot more simple, buy a machine from a reputable brand and you will be able to learn to make great coffee and live forevermore in happiness!  Like others have said on this board and elsewhere, local support for your machine is more important than which machine you get.

Life was simpler before the interwebz!  

Cheers Ben
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cuznvin
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Oct 2011
Posts: 656
Location: NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: MACAP M4 Stepless /Baratza...
Drip: YouBrew
Posted Mon Dec 17, 2012, 8:59pm
Subject: Re: HX Recommendation
 

Ben_C Said:

If I can add to my previous reply - it is mainly confusing because of all the information available on the web, both factual and opinion.  The reality is a lot more simple, buy a machine from a reputable brand and you will be able to learn to make great coffee and live forevermore in happiness!  Like others have said on this board and elsewhere, local support for your machine is more important than which machine you get.

Life was simpler before the interwebz!  

Cheers Ben

Posted December 17, 2012 link

Unfortunately, there arent any espresso machine dealers on Long island. (shocked)  I guess Chris Coffee is the closest (hours away) and then I have to pay tax on top of it..
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