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Nuova Simonelli Elli HX -Any thoughts?
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Grimsthorpe
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2014
Posts: 25
Location: Surrey
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Apr 6, 2014, 9:25pm
Subject: Nuova Simonelli Elli HX -Any thoughts?
 

Okay, I am off for a 6 month, yes 6 month junket to parts unknown, and I cannot bring myself to drink what is commonly referred to as "coffee". Yes, I know that sounds terribly snobbish, but those pod things were a huge step up last year!
So, for the life of me I cannot get the Gaggia "Coffee" to make a really presentable espresso (purchased for the trip), and then I saw the ad for this Nuova Simonelli Elli. The few reviews I could find were pretty good and seemed to compare it favourably to a Rancilio Silvia.
Anyway, I have bargained to the point of $275. It is in pretty reasonable shape, but just wondering what I should look out for. If I should just walk away?
You guys know way more and I have absolutely valued your input. I want a nice full bodied hot cup of coffee and the ability to quickly steam to a rich thick milky heaven. Too much to ask?
Help!
Any and all suggestions are more than welcome.
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Grimsthorpe
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2014
Posts: 25
Location: Surrey
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Apr 6, 2014, 9:41pm
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Elli HX -Any thoughts?
 

Can I add just one more question? I know the big picture answer, but for the next 6 months, is there a grinder out there for under $100 that I can use to get through this year. I'm already pushing it on the espresso machine -monetarily. And no the comrades in coffee won't chip in, although I may just ask them to pay per cup!
Thanks!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,740
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 Mon Apr 7, 2014, 5:59am
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Elli HX -Any thoughts?
 

Elli is the older version of the Oscar, a CLEAR large step up from Sylvia. It is an old design but if operating properly, it will be vastly better than Sylvia while offering the ability to steam and pull shots at the same time, unlike Sylvia which is a SBDU machine. Long term on Elli well parts may be getting harder to find but with a little clever work you may get other parts to fit.

Grinder under $100, the ONLY choice is to go with a hand cranked grinder, new, powered grinders START at $350 and used ones are not much less.

 
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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OliveOil
Senior Member
OliveOil
Joined: 20 Jan 2008
Posts: 65
Location: WI
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: NS Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W
Drip: Breville YouBrew
Posted Mon Apr 7, 2014, 6:12am
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Elli HX -Any thoughts?
 

calblacksmith Said:

Grinder under $100, the ONLY choice is to go with a hand cranked grinder, new, powered grinders START at $350 and used ones are not much less.

Posted April 7, 2014 link

2nd a hand grinder, like the Hario.  My Breville Smart Grinder was $200 and is great for drip, but was barely, if even, capable of working with my Oscar.
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,219
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 Mon Apr 7, 2014, 7:27am
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Elli HX -Any thoughts?
 

Sorry to be Debby Downer, but it might not be the best scheme to purchase a thirty year old espresso machine, which you've never seen in person, and will -- undoubtedly -- need at least some repair, for duty on the road.  

Plus, with its manual fill requirement, and difficult to temp "dragon" nature, it was a PITA to begin with.  Hard to believe I know, but espresso machines have undergone some postive changes in the forty years since the Elli was designed.  

If you absotively posilutely need an espresso maker for travel, consider a Mypressi Twist.  An Aeropress is not quite espresso, but a good travel companion.  In your shoes, and I've been there brother, I'd take a really good press (like an Espro), a kettle which can operate on the voltages you'll see, and a really good hand grinder (like the Lido 2).

GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER
There are a lot of Hario lovers in CG, but -- IN MY OPINION -- at its best and with all modifications, the Hario is a poorly performing, messy, PITA (there's that word again); and is a unverse removed from good hand grinders like the Hasugrind, Lido 2, or (if you're really going to go for espresso) the Pharos.  The best things you can say about grinders like the Hario, Kyocera and Porlex is that they're cheap and portable.  

Good luck,
Rich
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Grimsthorpe
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2014
Posts: 25
Location: Surrey
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Apr 7, 2014, 7:58am
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Elli HX -Any thoughts?
 

Thanks folks! You have confirmed both sides of the argument for and against this purchase, which means I'm going to have to go investigate this machine. If I can pick up a solid working unit that is far superior to a Silvia, well, I'm going to have to look in to it.
The grinder is going to be a challenge. Dare I say it has been a real grind so far? Please forgive, I'm just into my second magnificent cup!

Other than turning the machine on, playing with all the buttons, and producing some coffee and frothed milk, is there anything else I should do?
I am thinking I should at least open the box up and see how clean the guts are. Look for leaks etc.

Once again I appreciate this forum, how respectful you all have been to a newbie, and all the really helpful information you are willing to share. It has been a big help in allowing me to produce  some amazing coffee.

This forum works. There are some pretty dysfunctional ones out there. It makes you appreciate forums like this all the more.
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Whitcoatsyndrom
Senior Member
Whitcoatsyndrom
Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 175
Location: Roanoke, VA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Office Pulser
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Newco-OCS 12
Roaster: HG/BM
Posted Mon Apr 7, 2014, 12:15pm
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Elli HX -Any thoughts?
 

boar_d_laze Said:

Sorry to be Debby Downer, but it might not be the best scheme to purchase a thirty year old espresso machine, which you've never seen in person, and will -- undoubtedly -- need at least some repair, for duty on the road.

Posted April 7, 2014 link

I really have to agree with Rich there.  I know $275 for an HX machine with the Nuova Simonelli name on it is attractive, but there are much, much better deals to be had.  Keep your eyes on Craigslist and the buy sell forum here and you'll come across something far more reliable/newer at a similar price.  I recently picked up a used machine made in 2006 that is often compared to the Oscar (modern version of the Elli) for $275.  Now it was a great find...but it just goes to show that those awesome deals ARE out there if you're willing to be patient. Also, if you are traveling on the road, check craigslist wherever you stop and a bunch of new doors open!

How old is your Gaggia Coffee?  Are you looking to purchase a machine just to travel with or will this machine also become your household/stationary unit?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,740
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 Mon Apr 7, 2014, 2:27pm
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Elli HX -Any thoughts?
 

Rich, not a Debby Downer, a voice of caution. Much like me and ... UH, .... other makes of machines :P

All of life is a trade off, a thing here and loosing a thing there. I did say it was the older version, true enough and I guess the unsaid thing is that if it was replaced, then the newer one is ASSUMED to be better and a revised edition. There are issues with Elli for sure, if it was a instant choice of right now, Elli or Sylvia, I am inclined to go Elli. Taking your time is a virtue and it is no less true here. Good deals do come about but not every day.

YMMV!

 
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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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 855
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Londinium I, Arrarex...
Grinder: Gaggia MD85, Dienes Mokka,...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Abid Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Mon Apr 7, 2014, 2:57pm
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Elli HX -Any thoughts?
 

I love my Ellimatic (the autofill version of the Elli) and it was my main machine until I got the Londinium I. Now it's my backup. But, I would hesitate to jump on one again, knowing what I do now about the difficult of obtaining parts. Replacement portafilters are virtually unobtainable, with the best option buying a regular NS pf and doing extensive filing of the ears, the people who used to have the heating elements seem not to anymore, and if anything ever happens to the group head or boiler, you're pretty well horned. But if you're a Mr. Fixit type, and want to learn how an HX works, the Elli/Ellimatic are a good choice for taking apart and putting back together. Not a lot of proprietary parts in there, so with a tubing bender and a source of standard plumbing parts, there's not much in there you can't fix, aside from the elements already mentioned.
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Grimsthorpe
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2014
Posts: 25
Location: Surrey
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Apr 7, 2014, 3:05pm
Subject: Re: Nuova Simonelli Elli HX -Any thoughts?
 

I am going to go have a look at the unit. My journey begins in 2 weeks, and this is the best potential deal I've seen. If it doesn't work out, then I am probably heading off with the Gaggia Coffee Deluxe, which will not be a disaster. I'll attempt a few tweaks and see if I can't pump up my crema.
Still, if it pulls a really nice shot.... How do you walk away from that?
Thanks for all of this folks!
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