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Used Isomac Zaffiro Espresso Machine vs. Used Oscar Simonelli
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Used Isomac...  
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,030
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 10:20am
Subject: Re: Used Isomac Zaffiro Espresso Machine vs. Used Oscar Simonelli
 

I never over fill my drip tray and do not feel it is small.  But I catch almost all the water in a cup or shot glass for reuse.  And after the upgrade I almost miss a bit more water for warming cups.  I use a hose sprayer from the sink to fill the tank and it is pretty easy to do and zero mess.

If you are handy you can fix up Oscar and they are a bargain used.  New there are probably cooler looking machines for the same money but used it is serious BANG for the BUCK. It needs an added valve for putting on a timer but other than that it is a great little work horse.  

I would hate to have to send my machine off to descale and not be able to get parts if needed.  The shipping and price to pay someone to work on it would probably mean it would not last as long as one I can work on.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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MightyQuinn
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MightyQuinn
Joined: 28 Feb 2013
Posts: 22
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Just starting

Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 11:52am
Subject: Re: Used Isomac Zaffiro Espresso Machine vs. Used Oscar Simonelli
 

You guys are all so funny!  Okay so I think NEW would be a better way for me to go then.  So the battle of Silvano Quick Mill vs. Simonelli Oscar begins!!  lol.  I am an espresso girl.  I drink 2 doubles in the morning as does my husband and my mom who visits.....so, in the morning we want something that can give us our 12 shots presto.  Occasionally we have guests and they may want a cap.  So, considering all this, which machine can put up with us so we don't kill each other on who gets the first 4 shots??

Maybe the caffeine is getting to us....maybe we should switch to a high dose brew of chamomile?? lol

Opinions???

Oh, and now....what about this Nuova Era Quadra joining the mix??  

Contenders:

Silvano Quick Mill
Simonelli Oscar
Nuova Era Quadra

who is going to handle the 12 shots back to back??
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,874
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 11:53am
Subject: Re: Used Isomac Zaffiro Espresso Machine vs. Used Oscar Simonelli
 

Markarian Said:

I'm obviously biased, but the Oscar is a Heat Exchange machine, which means better temperature stability and the ability to steam milk at the same time (not that it matters for straight shots). Still, the Oscar is a light prosumer machine, NSF4 rated for light cafe use, the Isomac is a Single Boiler, Dual Use machine, which are more entry-level. The Oscar has one of the largest boilers of any home machine out there, to my knowledge, at 2.3 Liters.

Posted March 1, 2013 link

+1

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC
Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One
Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB
Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 1:47pm
Subject: Re: Used Isomac Zaffiro Espresso Machine vs. Used Oscar Simonelli
 

Let me explain some of the terminology so our crazy talk makes more sense:

SBDU: Single Boiler, Dual Use -- This is like your Rancilio Silvia, cheap Saeco, or DeLonghi or Kitchenaid home machines. A little boiler about the size of a soda can that has to heat up for both steam and hot water. Because of the small boiler doing double duty, you have to "temperature surf" or visually gauge how hot it is. Having a PID controller does help this.

Thermoblock: These include the Silvano and the Crossland CC1, which are like the above, but include a little labyrinth structure made of metal, which heats the water into steam as it flows toward the steam wand. They work well, but from what I understand are a bit prone to failure.

Heat Exchange: (Nuova Simonelli, La Nuova Era, and almost everything else) The lion's share of high end home machines and commercial machines are in this category. Basically it means that the brew water runs through a loop of tubing inside the boiler, which is heated by the boiler, but actually never comes in contact with the boiler's water. They have large boilers which can steam drinks until your arm gets tired. For a straight shots girl like you, the HX uses a thermosyphon to circulate always-hot water to the brew group to keep it hot.

Dual Boiler: Just like it sounds, one boiler for steam, the other for brewing coffee. There's the Breville Dual Boiler, which is a home machine, and then a bunch of machines that cost $2400, so I won't dwell on them.


If you want a NEW machine, and you can spend $1050, I would recommend the Oscar. It has the largest boiler of any of the home machines and has decent temperature stability for brewing shots. It's plastic case is easy to keep clean and surprisingly sturdy. The Oscar uses a professional Sirai pressurestat, which is a box that tells the machine to stop heating the water once its reached the correct pressure. It's adjustable as well. If you haven't seen it, the teardown video me, Coffeenoobie, and Plindy put together shows the heavy duty components inside:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yK_z80DrqdI

If $1050 is too rich for your blood and you need to stay under a grand, get the Cuadra. Not only does it have a relatively large 1.7 liter boiler, but it has the E61 group head which allows you access to a lot more accessories, as well as a thermometer for monitoring temperature. You will have the steam power on hand to make lattes much more easily than a thermoblock machine.

If you don't think you'll EVER make lattes, even for friends or family, the Silvano will probably serve you very well. It's just there are more versatile machines out there for a similar price.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,030
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 2:31pm
Subject: Re: Used Isomac Zaffiro Espresso Machine vs. Used Oscar Simonelli
 

I am betting if you wait you will find a used one on craigslist in the LA area.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,867
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 7:58pm
Subject: Re: Used Isomac Zaffiro Espresso Machine vs. Used Oscar Simonelli
 

Markarian Said:

Let me explain some of the terminology so our crazy talk makes more sense:

Thermoblock: These include the Silvano and the Crossland CC1, which are like the above, but include a little labyrinth structure made of metal, which heats the water into steam as it flows toward the steam wand. They work well, but from what I understand are a bit prone to failure.

If you don't think you'll EVER make lattes, even for friends or family, the Silvano will probably serve you very well. It's just there are more versatile machines out there for a similar price.

Posted March 2, 2013 link

Still wrong about this class of machine - both have a boiler just like a double boiler machine to make espresso. The thermoblock heats the water to make steam. This is true for the Silvano and the Crossland CC1. Both are acceptable steamers and both will pull a decent shot with easy repeatability thanks to the electronic boiler temperature control (PID). Both are capable steamers as well but use different designs to accomplish this task. As I mentioned before, the Silvano uses a separate pump to supply water to the steam thermoblock and will make steam until the water reservoir runs dry - and will pull a a shot at the same time.

The Crossland steam thermoblock draws heated water from the shot boiler which means it can't steam and pull a shot at the same time. The benefit of using heated boiler water means the steam thermoblock on the Crossland does not have to work as hard to heat the water so the steam thermoblock can be a smaller, less expensive unit but still get the job done.

As I have mentioned, I have an Oscar too - it is a superior steamer but will not pull a superior shot of espresso. I seldom make milk drinks so this was of limited value to me. Heating a 2.3 liter boiler to pull a couple ounces of espresso was not something that fit my usage pattern. If you are into big milk drinks then it is a good machine choice though.

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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Winnisk
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Jan 2013
Posts: 20
Location: Moonstone Ontario
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Silvano
Grinder: Vario
Posted Sat Mar 2, 2013, 10:43pm
Subject: Re: Used Isomac Zaffiro Espresso Machine vs. Used Oscar Simonelli
 

As a Silvano owner who drinks straight shots as well as milk drinks, I have to say that you will not have to worry about making lattes for yourself, occasional small parties, friends and family if you so choose. Mine more than does the job.

From a versatility standpoint, the Silvano is not going to churn out milk drinks like a small cafe. If that is what you want, or if your focus is on steaming ability in general, then I am sure the Oscar is a better choice.

Since that isn't what I need, or ever expect to need, I prefer the ease of temperature control that the PID on the Silvano gives me. It consistently and conveniently allows me to pull wonderful shots of espresso with relative ease. Your six doubles in the morning will be a joy! The pressure gauge and the ability to adjust pressure without opening up the machine are also nice features. In addition, when I am just sticking to espresso, I can turn off the steam and save energy.

I see that Chris' Coffee sells both the Oscar and the Silvano. You could always give them a call, talk to them about your needs and see what they suggest.

Good luck. I am sure that which ever way you go, you will be happy.
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,867
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Sun Mar 3, 2013, 1:30am
Subject: Re: Used Isomac Zaffiro Espresso Machine vs. Used Oscar Simonelli
 

Winnisk Said:

As a Silvano owner who drinks straight shots as well as milk drinks, I have to say that you will not have to worry about making lattes for yourself, occasional small parties, friends and family if you so choose. Mine more than does the job.

From a versatility standpoint, the Silvano is not going to churn out milk drinks like a small cafe. If that is what you want, or if your focus is on steaming ability in general, then I am sure the Oscar is a better choice.

Since that isn't what I need, or ever expect to need, I prefer the ease of temperature control that the PID on the Silvano gives me. It consistently and conveniently allows me to pull wonderful shots of espresso with relative ease. Your six doubles in the morning will be a joy! The pressure gage and the ability to adjust pressure without opening up the machine are also nice features. In addition, when I am just sticking to espresso, I can turn off the steam and save energy.

I see that Chris' Coffee sells both the Oscar and the Silvano. You could always give them a call, talk to them about your needs and see what they suggest.

Good luck. I am sure that which ever way you go, you will be happy.

Posted March 2, 2013 link

Now that post deserves a +1!

Always good to hear from someone with experience rather than speculation guiding their opinion...

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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MightyQuinn
Senior Member
MightyQuinn
Joined: 28 Feb 2013
Posts: 22
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Just starting

Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Posted Sun Mar 3, 2013, 2:57am
Subject: Re: Used Isomac Zaffiro Espresso Machine vs. Used Oscar Simonelli
 

Thank you all for all your advice!  I will speak with Chris' Coffee on Monday.  It sounds to me that both the Oscar and the Silvano are nice machines and yes, I am trying to stay close in the budget of $1000.    Like Winnisk said, "I am sure that which ever way you go, you will be happy".  :-)
Monica
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,867
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Sun Mar 3, 2013, 7:10pm
Subject: Re: Used Isomac Zaffiro Espresso Machine vs. Used Oscar Simonelli
 

Markarian Said:

A quick aside: Eric, if the drip tray on the Oscar is small than the one on the Silvano must be usable as a bathtub!

Posted March 2, 2013 link

The Quick Mill Silvano comes with a 45 ounce stainless steel drip tray, so it is pretty large really.

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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