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Pulled the trigger last nite, upgraded my Gaggia Classic
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Pulled the...  
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toyman
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Oct 2012
Posts: 50
Location: PA
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Expobar Office Lever Plus,...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Cuisinart
Posted Wed Mar 12, 2014, 6:34am
Subject: Pulled the trigger last nite, upgraded my Gaggia Classic
 

So, for the past few weeks, I've been researching machines and figuring out how to get the most machine for my money.  I know that all will not agree, and also that machine X was only $XX more, but I was at the top of my budget.  So, here's how the story goes.  Purchased Gaggia Classic and Baratza Preciso in October 2012.  It's been great, and I've had great shots and shots that I should've put down the sink.  Thought about PID'ing it, but decided I didn't want to put more money into it and started researching an upgrade.  I was initially drawn to the Expobar Brewtus IV, since it had everything that I've read about being good.  Double boiler, PID, dual gauges, plumbability, rotary pump, and good looks (IMHO).  It also had a reasonable (for the features) price at $2k.  I thought I was going to start my new maker fund and get it early next year.  Then I started researching/looking at HX machines.  Made a nice spreadsheet of features and pricing and one unit stood out above the rest, the Expobar Office Lever Plus.   It didn't have all the upgrades of the Brewtus (PID, rotary, Double Boiler), but my use is only 7-10 drinks per week, and make a cap for my daughter, maybe 2x a month.    So, last nite I called WLL, where I bought my Gaggia, and spoke with a knowledgeable rep.  I ended up getting a great deal on the machine, some beans, and a bottomless portafilter.  It should be here by the middle of next week, and my Gaggia will be up for sale shortly thereafter.

The other machines that were in the mix were:
Bezzerea BZ07 PM & DE.  Both had PID, the DE could be Plumbed, and the PM had dual gauges. Both had heated group head, but not E61.  ($1,400 & $1,600 respectively)
Fiorenza Volante.  E61, Rotary, Plumbed, & Dual Gauge.  This was my main alternative, but it was out of stock.  ($1,500)
Quick Mill Anita.  E61, and Dual Guages.  ($1,600)

Expobar Lever Plus.  E61, Plumbable, Dual gauge, and largest boiler at 1.8L.  ($1,200)
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,046
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Wed Mar 12, 2014, 6:45am
Subject: Re: Pulled the trigger last nite, upgraded my Gaggia Classic
 

Congrats on you new machine. Please, tell us how it works out for you.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,786
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 12, 2014, 8:39am
Subject: Re: Pulled the trigger last nite, upgraded my Gaggia Classic
 

Making a decision is hard and what is ideal for one person is not even on the list for the next person. Congrats on the purchase and do let us know all about it when you get it :D

 
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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toyman
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Oct 2012
Posts: 50
Location: PA
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Expobar Office Lever Plus,...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Cuisinart
Posted Wed Mar 12, 2014, 9:53am
Subject: Re: Pulled the trigger last nite, upgraded my Gaggia Classic
 

Will do.  Just got shipping confirmation so it may be here early. Can't wait to fire it up.
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takeshi
Senior Member
takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 979
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Wed Mar 12, 2014, 10:28am
Subject: Re: Pulled the trigger last nite, upgraded my Gaggia Classic
 

toyman Said:

So, for the past few weeks, I've been researching machines and figuring out how to get the most machine for my money.

Posted March 12, 2014 link

Grinder would be the place to look but enjoy the new machine!
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toyman
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Oct 2012
Posts: 50
Location: PA
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Expobar Office Lever Plus,...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Cuisinart
Posted Wed Mar 12, 2014, 1:26pm
Subject: Re: Pulled the trigger last nite, upgraded my Gaggia Classic
 

takeshi Said:

Grinder would be the place to look but enjoy the new machine!

Posted March 12, 2014 link

I'm aware.  Need to keep the wife happy with the kitchen décor, and it seems that the 2' tall grinders aren't as eye pleasing as the chrome espresso maker.  (Not that I'm complaining either)  Grinder will be in the future mix, after I recover from this expenditure.  

Can I put this machine on a timer?  I've not read anything specific about this machine.
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toyman
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Oct 2012
Posts: 50
Location: PA
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Expobar Office Lever Plus,...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Cuisinart
Posted Tue Mar 18, 2014, 6:55am
Subject: Re: Pulled the trigger last nite, upgraded my Gaggia Classic
 

OK, I got my new Expobar Office Lever Plus yesterday.  The one consistent knock I read about this machine was the poorly written owners manual.  Wow, the reviews don't do it justice.  I got thru it, but it is pretty bad.  I fired it up, let it heat while I cleaned things up and pulled a few shots dialing in my grinder.  The bottomless portafilter is pretty cool to watch and by the third pull it was looking thick and honeylike.  I still have a lot of work to do, but very drinkable shots, knowing theres much better that needs to come out of the barista.  This machine is substantial and substantially bigger than my Gaggia Classic. It looks great and build quality seems very good.  I did notice that some of the non-visible, low use parts are a little thinner than the main housing and that is fine with me.  My main, short term knock, which I was aware of before my purchase, is filling the reservoir.  You need to remove your cups (and anything on top of the machine) to pull out the res.  It's a short term issue as I intend to plumb this in.  Here's a pic.

toyman: expobar 4.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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