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Livia vs E61 machines
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Livia vs E61...  
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coffeebeing
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Posted Thu Jun 27, 2002, 5:02am
Subject: Livia vs E61 machines
 

I know there are some folks that have owned a Livia and have upgraded to an E61 type machine(Millenium,Tea,Giotto etc) and I was wondering if one of you could tell me how the experiences with machines compares? I may be looking over the next month or 2 to upgrade from Silvia (I do have a good home lined up for her) and have been fixating on these groups of machines.

Thanks

 
George W.
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jim_schulman
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Posted Thu Jun 27, 2002, 7:31pm
Subject: Re: Livia vs E61 machines
 

I'm not one of the people who've switched, so I've avoided replying. But since nobody's biting, and I've had some email contacts with a few switchers, I'll venture a reply.

Bear in mind that Mark owns a Livia and has a few E61s in for assessment, so you'll soon have more than hearsay to go on.

I don't think temperature stability and shot quality are an issue, but I think ease of use may be. Judging by the emails, my own experience with the Isomac Tea and people's reports of getting up to speed with the Livia, I have the feeling that the E61s are more fault tolerant. In particular:
  • I had no difficulty getting great shots with a Mulino grinder and an undersized tamper, whereas Livia owners reported difficulties. I get better coffee flavors with my new Innova, but the espresso basics of crema, body and sweetness flowed out of the E61 at shot times of 18 to 35 seconds. I believe this is due to the very long pre-infusion time (5 seconds) conditioning the puck.
  • It's almost impossible to badly mess up on shot temperature. I've had the boiler at every level from 0.9 to 1.4 bar. As long as one runs water till it stops steaming, one gets 90 to 95C shot temperatures time after time. Like all HX machines, it takes practice to get it narrowed down from there, but it'll be in the right ballpark even for a brand new owner. I believe this is due to the head's weight - it makes temperature control a breeze.

The Feinschmecker test rated the E61 Giotto higher than the Bezzera version of the Livia. But I wouldn't be very surprised if Mark found that the Livia can manage a slightly better job at its best than the E61s, since the big mass and preinfusion could actually detract from the ultra-finest level of possible control.

 
Jim Schulman
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MarkPrince
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Posted Thu Jun 27, 2002, 9:33pm
Subject: Re: Livia vs E61 machines
 

I guess I should post an update on the status of Isomac machines making their way to me.

Because of a severe communication problem (language), I did not get the Isomac Millenium and Zaffiro I was supposed to pick up at the Tea and Coffee Expo in Vancouver last month.

I'm still waiting for the machines. I think Chris is still trying to convince the Isomac guy to ship them to me.

In the meantime, I may be getting some of the "lower" end Isomacs (non E61 models) and these are in a container ship right now, crossing the ocean.

I still think I will be getting the two Isomac E61 machines, the Millenium and Zaffiro (the latter is notable for being a single boiler machine, but with the E61), but right now, I don't know when they will arrive.

Cheers

Mark

 
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coffeebeing
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Posted Fri Jun 28, 2002, 4:08pm
Subject: Re: Livia vs E61 machines
 

CoffeeKid Said:

I guess I should post an update on the status of Isomac machines making their way to me.

Because of a severe communication problem (language), I did not get the Isomac Millenium and Zaffiro I was supposed to pick up at the Tea and Coffee Expo in Vancouver last month.

I'm still waiting for the machines. I think Chris is still trying to convince the Isomac guy to ship them to me.

In the meantime, I may be getting some of the "lower" end Isomacs (non E61 models) and these are in a container ship right now, crossing the ocean.


I still think I will be getting the two Isomac E61 machines, the Millenium and Zaffiro (the latter is notable for being a single boiler machine, but with the E61), but right now, I don't know when they will arrive.

Cheers

Mark

Posted June 27, 2002 link

This will be great!  I can hold off as I am still enjoying my Silvia but the additional input will be much appreciated.

 
George W.
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CraigA
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Posted Sat Jun 29, 2002, 11:47am
Subject: Re: Livia vs E61 machines
 

coffeebeing Said:

This will be great!  I can hold off as I am still enjoying my Silvia but the additional input will be much appreciated.

Posted June 28, 2002 link

I'm in the same boat. I've owned Silvia for 13 months now,(can't believe I'm going to say this..but),I am seriously looking at the Isomac Millenium. I love that E61 grouphead & the pre infusion lever!!   Maybe I'll just PID Silvia instead...hmmm

CraigA: Millenium.jpg

 
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CraigA
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Posted Sat Jun 29, 2002, 5:50pm
Subject: Re: Livia vs E61 machines
 

I can hardly wait for Mark to put the machines through their paces & the detailed reviews that will follow. Mark you said you're getting the Isomac Millenium & the Zaffino. Are you(will you)get a Tea also? (wishful thinking on my part!)

 
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blkeagl
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Posted Fri Sep 6, 2002, 6:36pm
Subject: Re: Livia vs E61 machines
 

Is it me or doesn't the Tea look like a better value than the Millenium?

Aethetics aside (I actually prefer the Tea, but see how some might prefer the Millenium), the Tea appears to have all the same features and ADDS another pressure gauge for the pump. More information can never be a bad thing.

Or am I missing something?

Tarik
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jim_schulman
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Posted Fri Sep 6, 2002, 7:07pm
Subject: Re: Livia vs E61 machines
 

blkeagl Said:

Is it me or doesn't the Tea look like a better value than the Millenium?

Aethetics aside (I actually prefer the Tea, but see how some might prefer the Millenium), the Tea appears to have all the same features and ADDS another pressure gauge for the pump. More information can never be a bad thing.

Or am I missing something?

Tarik

Posted September 6, 2002 link

The Millenium is a newer model. The Tea is not set up for plumbing-in, it's missing holes for the piping. I think, but I'm not sure, that there is a plumb in option for the Millenium.

 
Jim Schulman
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MarkPrince
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Posted Fri Sep 6, 2002, 7:57pm
Subject: Re: Livia vs E61 machines
 

I dunno about a plumbed in option, but I can tell you a lot of the Millennium's extra bucks is in the outer skin and frame design. That huge, thick chunk of polished and curved steel costs a mint to create in the relatively short runs (50 units a time) the upper end Isomacs go through.

I was told that the outer skin for the Livia, polished, mirror steel, runs about $100 a unit just to make. That gives you an idea of the cost.

I'll know more in a few weeks. Chris has put a Millennium in the mail to me for review on the website sometime down the road.

Mark

 
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blkeagl
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blkeagl
Joined: 11 Mar 2002
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Posted Tue Sep 10, 2002, 11:48am
Subject: Re: Livia vs E61 machines
 

I haven't called Chris Coffee or anyone else who sells them yet to discuss them, but near as I have been able to learn so far from reviews etc., the Tea has an extra gauge and the Millenium extra looks (again, subjective). Surely there's more difference?

another_jim Said:

The Millenium is a newer model. The Tea is not set up for plumbing-in, it's missing holes for the piping. I think, but I'm not sure, that there is a plumb in option for the Millenium.

Posted September 6, 2002 link

I was under the impression from the consumer reviews that Tea was also able to be plumbed in. Not so?

I'm likely to select one of these E61 ~$1k level machines before the end of the year, so I've been reading a lot to learn the difference.

If the main difference is that the Millenium is newer and has higher production costs, but similar features the choice is easy. The plumbing would be nice, but not required. :-)

I'm wondering how they compare to the WEGA Lyra and Livia 90 though.

Tarik
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