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Triadawake
Senior Member
Triadawake
Joined: 19 Mar 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Kernersville, NC
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Mar 19, 2013, 3:49pm
Subject: Schaerer VS. UNIC? and What about WMF? 2 step machines
 

Which Super Automatic is best overall?

   I am the manager of Awake Café in Triad Baptist Church. Our church runs about 1,500 people every Sunday morning. We have 3 services one at 8:45, one at 10, and one at 11:15. In between the services our coffee shop gets flooded with mocha thirsty members for 20 minutes. We serve as many as we can with our Commercial Manuel Astoria 2 group. This machine just is not cutting it, though. We have 20 minutes to produce as many specialty coffees as we can. Everyone loves lattes as our most popular drink is the White Chocolate Mocha. Currently, We can make about 30 hot lattes in 20 minutes, and we are turning away probably 100-200 people from getting a drink every Sunday morning because our line is so long, and there is not enough time to wait and make it to the service or Sunday School on time. That is my situation, so here are my questions.

   First off, I realize there is no machine out there that can produce enough coffee for hundreds of people in 20 minutes, but I want to serve as many as I can. My baristas are volunteer, so they are no where near professional. They need buttons to push to froth milk and make espresso fast and easily. This is why I am in the market for a super automatic espresso machine 2 step, and price is not an issue. I just want to know which machine and which company is best. I have done countless hours of researching and calling people, and I am tired of it, but my search is narrowed down to 2 brands, possibly 3. I hear the top two big dogs out there are Schaerer and Franke, and they are the most used. I hear Schaerer is a little better than Franke, only because when something goes wrong, there parts are cheaper. Then there is UNIC, which from what I have heard, has only been in the states for 5 years, and they supply some Googles, Cheesecake Factorys, and Olive Gardens. There machines are made of almost all metal parts on the inside, and they are extremely expensive. Then I know little about WMF, their machines are repaired by Schaerer I think. These three are what I have come down to- Schaerer, UNIC, and WMF.

   Here are the questions I need answered: What machine is best and fastest latte producing machine for each company?  (Like Ambiente or Coffee Art plus), Are refurb machines trust worthy? How is each company's service record? How well is their customer support? Do they have parts available in the US? What major coffee shop chains do they supply? Do you know of any places that have UNICs or WMF near Kernersville, NC? Do you know places neutral technicians or neutral managers I could contact to find out more about UNIC and WMF? Now. I will go into specific detail on what I know and am curious about in each company. taking to salesman all the time gets the same result, they all think their machine is best. That is why I need third parties to help!

Schaerer-

    Most people tell me they are the best overall. Schaerer themselves would say that the coffee Art Plus is the best machine for me, but most third party distributors say the  Ambiente PS is the way to go because it has been out longer, and there are more servicers and part available. Third parties say the Ambiente is a proven reliable machine over the past 15 years. Is that true? I love the way the Coffee Art Plus looks, though, and Schaerer says that the plus is the same as the Ambiente with more features, which is true, but with having more features do the features break or mess up more than the Ambiente? If price were a problem, Would you buy an Ambiente refurbished from a reliable comapny at half the price of a art plus? Art plus 12,500-13,500 and Ambiente refurbished 5,000-7,500. What is the best choice? I know Schaerer is reliable in every way from parts to service to performance , but I just wonder is there anything better/faster? Now, Don't forget to overall compare Schaerer with UNIC and WMF.

UNIC-

    UNIC scares me, because a lot of people have never heard of them, but I have yet to hear muck bad/negative about their machines, reliability, service, or parts. Plus, The Tango Duo is a 2 group super automatic and could surely out produce any one group super like the art plus if working properly. It is very expensive like 20,000+ but I would probably get it If i knew it was the best. What do you know what the UNIC machines and company? What about the Tango SOLO too? I am interested in either two SOLOs or one DUO, possibly two Duos in the future. Do you know of any coffee shop/cafe chains that have UNIC super automatics? Heard anything about UNIC putting out a new touch screen super automatic? Know cafes, hotels, business, or resturants I could contact about UNICs reliability, parts, service, and machone speed, and how they like their machine?

WMF-

    I don't even know what WMF stands for, but I know their machines are similiar to Schaerer because of the finesteam and espresso dispenser head. What have you heard about  with service, parts, machine speed, and reliability of WMF? The bistro 2 step (no chocolate) is what I am interested in. Do they supply an major chains with super automatics? Know any coffee shops, cafes, resturants, hotels, or businesses that I could contact to ask their about their machine and how they like it?

Conslusion: I am sure I am forgetting something about all the info I have gathered over two weeks, but this is most of it. I really need some input so I can finalize my search. I understand that every super automatic will need to be serviced sometime in its lifetime, but which machine needs it least? Which one has the cheapest parts? and Which has the fastest and best service? Which machine will make the most and fastest consistent lattes?

PS- Anybody know anything about the Franke Foam Master? It is there new machine coming out soon, I believe.

Triadawake: UNIC Tango Duo.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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chiror0b
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Mar 2013
Posts: 10
Location: Auburn
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: mypressi
Grinder: hario mini mill
Posted Tue Mar 19, 2013, 10:08pm
Subject: Re: Schaerer VS. UNIC? and What about WMF? 2 step machines
 

You could add this one for cheap and expand your capabililties...  
"espresso super automatic   for sale  schaerer ambiente"
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,854
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 Mar 20, 2013, 4:09am
Subject: Re: Schaerer VS. UNIC? and What about WMF? 2 step machines
 

Austin,
Welcome to the board.

I fully understand what your situation is. I have thought of starting a similar service at my church but that is on hold Now.

We have a couple of members that sell superautos but the majority of the members here are not using SA machines commercial or otherwise. On the whole we are dedicated to getting the most from our semi auto machines, tweaking and pushing the limits of what they can do and to get the best possible espresso we can regardless of the technology involved.

I am sure you will get good information but it might take a little time for the more knowledgeable members in these machines to see your thread.

I know that production speed is your focus in this thread but I want to just say that if you are not already doing so, the biggest thing you can do aside from equipment is to use FRESH coffee, less than two weeks from the day it was roasted. This will be more expensive but the boost to quality is huge.

Again, welcome and hang in here, I'm sure someone will chime in with some helpful info that you are looking for.

 
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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Triadawake
Senior Member
Triadawake
Joined: 19 Mar 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Kernersville, NC
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Mar 20, 2013, 9:20am
Subject: Re: Schaerer VS. UNIC? and What about WMF? 2 step machines
 

Chiror0b
    How long have you had your Ambiente? Why are you selling it exactly? I doubt I would buy a used machine, maybe refurb, but not used.

calblacksmith
    Thanks for the welcome!

    Do the know the members that sell supers or the brands they sell? I am not really looking for salesman, but I will listen to them. I would really like to hear from techs and coffee shops that have had experience with supers.

    I am prepared to wait. I have a bit of time to decide on the machine I want. I will hang in there!

    We do used fresh roasted espresso beans from a local roaster, and it is very good espresso I must say!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,854
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 Mar 20, 2013, 12:37pm
Subject: Re: Schaerer VS. UNIC? and What about WMF? 2 step machines
 

Commercial posts are really not allowed so do not fear a sales pitch. They are just members who work in the industry both in sales and repair so they can offer good insite into this aspect of the coffee world

 
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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alanfrew
Senior Member
alanfrew
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 643
Location: Melbourne
Expertise: Professional

Posted Wed Mar 20, 2013, 11:32pm
Subject: Re: Schaerer VS. UNIC? and What about WMF? 2 step machines
 

Given your criteria you might be better off checking out your nearest McCafe, because you can be sure that there will be a fast, efficient local sales and service backup for whatever they have installed. The McD machines I've seen  worldwide have been Schaerer, Thermoplan, WMF, Cimbali and Rancilio/Egro. The only setup that could make a dent in the sort of traffic you're talking about was a dual group Cimbali in Rome. Even the fastest superauto can only turn out 2 x 30ml espressos per 30 seconds. If milk is the major concern you need a dedicated fridge/steamer/cappucinatore to keep up, providing steamed milk in measured doses on demand.

Alan
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