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The Cheapest Brewing and Frothing - Livietta T2, BDB, Oscar, Anita
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Webbles
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Webbles
Joined: 9 Jan 2013
Posts: 14
Location: IN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia (v1 from...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky (white)
Posted Thu Dec 5, 2013, 1:21pm
Subject: The Cheapest Brewing and Frothing - Livietta T2, BDB, Oscar, Anita
 

All,

Looking for your advice. I have a Starbucks Barista (+Naked PF, Breville Grinder, Gram Scale, and Fresh Redbird Espresso) and I have a ton of company. I have quickly become known as making great cappuccino (even latte art) and I LOVE making drinks for my guests. I don't have a ton of money to spend on nice equipment tho. (None, according to my wife;-)  

The dilemma:  I am tired of spending 30 mintues to make 4 drinks. (I do two at a time, pulling double shots then frothing enough milk for two). This DOES NOT work well. I REALLY want a faster machine for as little money as possible. I have been doing some research on machines that allow for simultaneous brewing and frothing. I have found the Breville Dual Boiler, Nuova Simonelli Oscar, Quick Mill Anita, and Pasquini Livietta T2.

Right now I'm gravitating toward the T2. I am afraid of the BDB, the Anita is at the top end price-wise, and the Oscar is just ugly. My main question is this: Are there any Livietta T2 users out there that can give me their experience? Or anyone 'in the know' about them? I don't want a piece of crap that brews and froths poorly.

I will also accept any advice about the other machines mentioned or any machines that I should be considering. (Again, think LOW Price). I will not accept any advice on Grinders at the moment. =)  I KNOW I will need to upgrade my grinder if I'm going to be anything less than an OGRE that falsly claims to make "espresso."

Please be kind. Remember, I've been pulling shots on a Barista SIN 006.  There's a reason the model number is SIN.  ;-)

 
Life is too short to drink cheap espresso!
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,468
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 Thu Dec 5, 2013, 1:34pm
Subject: Re: The Cheapest Brewing and Frothing - Livietta T2, BDB, Oscar, Anita
 

In the price range of what you are asking about, listed in the BST right now,
http://coffeegeek.com/forums/members/buysell/651255

It is the next level up from what you are considering and if I were looking to speed things up, it is hard to get much quicker. No question about build quality and you will be banging out drinks faster than you EVER thought you could.

A unrelated review on our website, note the MSRP of the machine.
Click Here (coffeegeek.com)

 
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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takeshi
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takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 935
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Thu Dec 5, 2013, 1:55pm
Subject: Re: The Cheapest Brewing and Frothing - Livietta T2, BDB, Oscar, Anita
 

Webbles Said:

I am afraid of the BDB, the Anita is at the top end price-wise, and the Oscar is just ugly.

Posted December 5, 2013 link

I don't have experience with any of your candidates but it sounds like you have to decide which is your biggest priority among budget, looks and performance and where you're willing to compromise on those as well.  While I agree that the Oscar isn't a looker it does seem to perform from what I've read.  Quickmill and Chris Coffee are almost always a safe bet from what I've seen as well.  I'm not a Breville fan but my prejudice against big box store espresso machines is based on experience from over a decade ago so it's certainly possible that may not be relevant these days.

Webbles Said:

Are there any Livietta T2 users out there that can give me their experience? Or anyone 'in the know' about them? I don't want a piece of crap that brews and froths poorly.

Posted December 5, 2013 link

No experience but there are reviews right here on CoffeeGeek:
http://coffeegeek.com/reviews/consumer/pasquiniliviettat2

Webbles Said:

I will also accept any advice about the other machines mentioned or any machines that I should be considering. (Again, think LOW Price). I will not accept any advice on Grinders at the moment. =)  I KNOW I will need to upgrade my grinder if I'm going to be anything less than an OGRE that falsly claims to make "espresso."

Posted December 5, 2013 link

If minimizing your spend now means you can increase your grinder budget then definitely do so.
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JPF
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Joined: 3 Jun 2010
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Location: NJ
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Espresso: Mini Vivaldi, Pre-millenium...
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Roaster: Behmor, Poppery I
Posted Fri Dec 6, 2013, 10:58am
Subject: Re: The Cheapest Brewing and Frothing - Livietta T2, BDB, Oscar, Anita
 

In the Oscar price range, but not ugly IMHO, is the Bezzera BZ07 at $1,199. Haven't used it, but it was a machine I considered seriously for several reasons including the toggle switches for steam and water.  It also has a really small footprint for a quality HX.

Here's a decent video.

 
Living the caffeinated life.
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dwRK
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Joined: 14 Sep 2013
Posts: 90
Location: Houston
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Dec 8, 2013, 12:36am
Subject: Re: The Cheapest Brewing and Frothing - Livietta T2, BDB, Oscar, Anita
 

there are so many more machines up to the Anita level of $1600...

something different...la nuova era cuadra...$1350

still on cyberweek offer...faema carisma...$1500

btw...the livietta t2 is a dual thermoblock machine...i think it is expensive for what it is...
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JPF
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Joined: 3 Jun 2010
Posts: 221
Location: NJ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mini Vivaldi, Pre-millenium...
Grinder: Dosered SJ, Resurrected...
Vac Pot: Yama Siphon
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: Behmor, Poppery I
Posted Sun Dec 8, 2013, 6:29am
Subject: Re: The Cheapest Brewing and Frothing - Livietta T2, BDB, Oscar, Anita
 

dwRK Said:

btw...the livietta t2 is a dual thermoblock machine...i think it is expensive for what it is...

Posted December 8, 2013 link

+1

 
Living the caffeinated life.
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frcn
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frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
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Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
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Posted Sun Dec 8, 2013, 8:08am
Subject: Re: The Cheapest Brewing and Frothing - Livietta T2, BDB, Oscar, Anita
 

Get a used, cheap machine. Use yours to brew and the other to steam. Cal it a backwoods double boiler!

 
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Coffeenoobie
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Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
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Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sun Dec 8, 2013, 9:08am
Subject: Re: The Cheapest Brewing and Frothing - Livietta T2, BDB, Oscar, Anita
 

That is not a bad idea till you can save up for what you want.

 
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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boar_d_laze
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 722
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sun Dec 8, 2013, 10:56am
Subject: Re: The Cheapest Brewing and Frothing - Livietta T2, BDB, Oscar, Anita
 

Everything on your list, as well as the Carisma, Cuardra and used S1, and including the Livietta (don't buy it!) represents a huge upgrade from what you have now.  

Not to put too fine a point on it, your Starbuck's Barista is a piece of crap for making espresso generally, making espresso for groups especially, and for any kind of steaming.  It cannot be temped meaningfully, much less consistently.  There is no grinder good enough to make the Barista even marginally "good."  

If your coffee is better than Starbucks -- which I don't doubt -- it is only because you're using better beans.  Starbucks actually uses good -- and now foolproof -- equipment; which only goes to show the limits of equipment in the face of horrible roasts.

If you do buy a better espresso machine, you'll have to learn to "temp."  Not so much learn to temp the given machine, but learn to temp by taste, as a part of the process of "dialing in."  If you want to make consistently good espresso -- and you do -- there's no getting around it.  Two of great things about a good espresso machine is that you can temp in a way which will allow you to dial in (in other words, temp is easily repeatable), and it won't fight you while you do.  

Seattle Coffee Warehouse has extended their "Cyber Monday Sale" and is currently selling a Crossland CC1 (v1.5) + Vario combo for $1000.  I have no idea SCW will extend the sale price.  While it's not the pinnacle of equipment, the CC1 is as inexpensive as you can go for a user-friendly, high feature, "good," new setup.

I had a gen 1 CC1 for a month and thought that it redefined "entry level" for me, to the point that I thought it rendered SBDUs (single boiler dual use machines, which use the same boiler for brewing and steaming, and require you to wait while they change the boiler temp for the desired function) -- especially the Silvia -- obsolete.  I recommend against anything less.  In fairness though the CC1 is cranky about distribution (how you make the puck) and has limited steaming performance.  

The QM Silvano is a step up from the CC1, although steam is also thermoblock driven and also the weakest performance point.  But, alas, no huge discount.  

If I were buying a machine as a gift for someone just starting out in good espresso, it would be the BDB or Carisma.  The BDB is the friendliest, and the Carisma a large step up (or so we're told, it hasn't been around long enough for meaningful reviews) in build quality from the Cuadra and Anita; a much better steamer than the CC1, Silvano or BDB; plus it's the latest thing and the ladies love it.

The least expensive grinder in the "good" class is the Baratza Vario, which runs $450 new.   If you're going to spend close to $1000 for an espresso machine, it doesn't make sense in my mind to get anything less.  And by the way, that should also lend some context to how good a deal the SCW CC1/Vario is.  

FWIW, I'm the guy who wrote the Cimbali review Calblacksmith posted above, and will be happy to answer any questions you have -- with the proviso that there are significant differences between the S1 for sale and the DT/1 Casa which is my daily driver.  

BDL
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