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Upgrading to a new set up, need advice
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Artis
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Mar 2014
Posts: 4
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Posted Sat Mar 1, 2014, 3:11pm
Subject: Upgrading to a new set up, need advice
 

Hi All, Im new to the site but have read it for years for tips and advice.  I have a rancilio silvia/rocky set up on a nice steel drawer with storage and ground disposal.  Well its been a good run but now I would like to upgrade to a better set up, 2500-2750 is my target.  Ive looked at the exobar but have read some odd issues and wondered if anyone could recommend a set up that they use or have used.  Thanks a ton for the help I really appreciate it.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,372
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sat Mar 1, 2014, 4:58pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading to a new set up, need advice
 

There are hundreds of different possibilities, all of which could be fine for you . . . or not, depending upon your needs.

To begin with, take a look at these Standard Questions:
1)  What kind of drinks do you like/want to make?  (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's capabilities.)
2)  How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself needing to make at ay one time? (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's ability to work continuously.)
3)  How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself making in any given week?  (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's durability.)
4)  Can you plumb a machine directly into the water supply, or do you want/need a pourover machine with its own reservoir?
5)  Do you have a 20-amp circuit available, or only a (standard) 15-amp circuit?
6)  What is your budget for a new machine?  ($2500-2700.)  Does that also include a grinder?  If not, what is your budget for a grinder?

One option is the setup that I use in my office daily, pictured below:  a La Valentina, which -- not in the picture -- is now paired with a Baratza Vario.  Est. total:  $2374.

A few of the many other options for machines would include (in alphabetical order):
-- Bezzera BZ10 ($1699)
-- Isomac Millenium v3 ($1749)
-- Izzo Alex Tre ($1995)
-- Quick Mill Andreja Premium ($1795)

re: Grinders -- spend as much as you can and overbuy on the grinder!

JasonBrandtLewis: office.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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Artis
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Mar 2014
Posts: 4
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Posted Sat Mar 1, 2014, 5:18pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading to a new set up, need advice
 

Jason- Thanks a ton for the quick reply.  I have a standard electrical setup and don't intend to plumb it just use a refillable tank.  I make 20-25 drinks a week, the vast majority being espresso not lattes etc. Ideally it would be a faster heat up as opposed to a slower.  I was looking at 2500-2700 in aggregate if possible but can go higher for a proper set up from a technical and aesthetic perspective.
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Artis
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Mar 2014
Posts: 4
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Posted Sun Mar 2, 2014, 2:53pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading to a new set up, need advice
 

I really like the looks of the izzo, thanks,! What grinder would you recommend to pair with one of those choices? Thanks a ton.
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 615
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Sun Mar 2, 2014, 4:14pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading to a new set up, need advice
 

Artis Said:

I really like the looks of the izzo, thanks,! What grinder would you recommend to pair with one of those choices? Thanks a ton.

Posted March 2, 2014 link

you're looking at mazzer, compak, quamar.. essentially any of the larger model grinders. I dont personally like the vario, while I see it has its usefulness as a capable little grinder, I think its overpriced and over-featured for what you really need pulling shots. If this is an espresso only grinder (as it should be) you really want anything stepless (or close to stepless). Larger burrs reduce grind time and improve grinding consistency. in terms of price, you're looking between $500-1k on the grinder alone.

Mazzer/Rio are an industry standard. Excellent build quality, heavy grinders with some nifty tools inside (static reduction, floating burrs, removable grind trays). They're pricey but worth it. A mazzer mini would do the job, a SJ even better, anything more is overkill for home use.

Quamar is what I use. Priced well, built well, runs well. Similar to a mazzer on the machine side of things (burr size and motor) but lacks some of the finer details; microadjustment instead of stepless, no spring floating burrs (may jam more easily), no anti-static grid). All that aside I've used mine heavily for over a year now and love it. I would definitely buy another if I ever had a reason. might I add its easy to program, as is the mazzer.

Compak is nice, I used one when I was sampling grinders to buy. It has all the features that matter but I didnt like the plastic, I didnt like the noise (not that its much more than the other models), but what I really hated was that in order to adjust the timed dosing, you had to get under the machine and turn a dial. This was troublesome for me, especially considering the digital options on the mazzer and quamar weren't to expensive (relatively speaking).

I hope this helps, there are other grinders out there, but these are the ones I feel most comfortable recommending. If you were getting a smaller machine I'd say the vario is fine enough, but since you're buying a real prosumer grade model,  I think it would be a shame to limit you to a consumer market grinder. Its a cool grinder, but theres a reason its not used in commercial espresso settings.

Artis Said:

Hi AIve looked at the exobar but have read some odd issues and wondered if anyone could recommend a set up that they use or have used.  Thanks a ton for the help I really appreciate it.

Posted March 1, 2014 link

I assume you're talking about all of the "my brewtus wont reach full pressure," issue threads. 90% of these can be solved by cleaning the OPV, and another 9% by adjusting the grind.  The machine is by no means perfect and there definitely are some defect models out there. However I've worked on mine as well as a friends who had similar trouble and it always seems like the pressure issues are more of a user/prep problem more than anything else. People seem nervous to adjust their grinder as their beans age and this machine seems more picky about it than some others I've worked with.



If you can, I strongly reccomend going to a place where you can see these machines in person... Also measure the space and hight you have on your counters as this is an issue many people tend to forget about :)

Best of luck!

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Gimme! Piccolo Mondo Espresso Blend
http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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Artis
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Mar 2014
Posts: 4
Location: Chicago
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Posted Sun Mar 2, 2014, 4:56pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading to a new set up, need advice
 

Thanks Anthony I appreciate it.  I stopped by a place today that had a pasquini livid g4 semi auto, that looked like a very solid machine or me, not that I do put love my Silvia but it is time.  Any thoughts on that machine? I agree the grinder is key and will take a look at each of your suggestions.  My counter top is going to be the issue but that's on me.  Thanks again
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 615
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Sun Mar 2, 2014, 5:21pm
Subject: Re: Upgrading to a new set up, need advice
 

I saw another thread discussing the G4. I dont know much about it other than it looks nice, its HX, and it has that fancy font all over it.

Personally, for the money I think a dual boiler is a better option. Once, you get over $1600 you might as well push it :D

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Gimme! Piccolo Mondo Espresso Blend
http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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