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I need help deciding which espresso to buy
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > I need help...  
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firebuilder
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Mar 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Oklahoma
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Maestro
Vac Pot: Bodum
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: US Roaster 12kg
Posted Fri May 23, 2014, 7:51am
Subject: I need help deciding which espresso to buy
 

I am wanting to buy an espresso maker for home and have looked and read all sorts of everything on the Rancilio Silvia and the Crossland CC1. We also have a La Nuova Era Cuadra at work that I use a couple times a week. I have a Baratza Vario-W grinder that I plan on using with my new machine. I would like to keep from spending more than $600 for just a machine but I am will to buy a Cuadra if I have to for good coffee. I plan on making double shots, americanos and lattes. I guess the main question I have is that on the Crossland CC1 you can adjust the temperature of the water and on the Cuadra you can't. Can someone explain why or what the difference is and if it really matters to be able to adjust water temperature?
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,051
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri May 23, 2014, 9:54am
Subject: Re: I need help deciding which espresso to buy
 

Please read the sticky and answer the questions. As far as what level of machine to buy for "good" coffee.  This is very user specific. If we know more about your needs, wants and resources, we'll be best able to help you find what you seek.  What's good to one, may be swill to another. Many of us, here, started with entry level gear and upgraded over the years (self included).  This hobby/craft/addiction can be a very long journey.  Consider that as one gains more experience and improves their process, their measure of quality shifts, so that what was once "good" may become "acceptable" (or even unacceptable) over time...and what was once unachievable excellence may become the norm.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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firebuilder
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Mar 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Oklahoma
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Maestro
Vac Pot: Bodum
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: US Roaster 12kg
Posted Fri May 23, 2014, 10:39am
Subject: Re: I need help deciding which espresso to buy
 

Thanks for the reply, I have read many posts on the Sticky and have not found the answer to my question which is,
'' I plan on making double shots, americanos and lattes. I guess the main question I have is that on the Crossland CC1 you can adjust the temperature of the water and on the Cuadra you can't. Can someone explain why or what the difference is and if it really matters to be able to adjust water temperature?''
I repeat, my question is: Does the ability to control the temperature on a CC1 make it a better machine than the Cuadra? If so, then what is better about the Cuadra than the CC1
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,207
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 Fri May 23, 2014, 11:11am
Subject: Re: I need help deciding which espresso to buy
 

You don't get some very basic stuff about espresso machine temping.  Don't worry about it, you're part of a very large group.  

The CC1 is a "hybrid."  It uses a "brew boiler" with a heater in it for brew water, and a thermoblock for steam.  The heat of the water in the boiler is controlled by an electronic device called a PID.  The user can adjust the temperature of the brew water by adjusting the PID.  

The Cuadra is an HX.  It uses a steam boiler with an "HX" (heat exchanger) reservoir in it.  The heat in the boiler not only produces steam but also heats the brew water in the HX.

Water enters the steam boiler and is heated to well above boiling in order to produce steam at pressure.  Water enters the HX from a separate plumbing circuit than the brew boiler's, and is heated by the heat energy in the steam boiler.  When the pump is turned on, water flows out of HX and into the group. As old, overheated water exits, it is replaced with unheated, cooler water. The user controls the brew water temperature in an HX machine by flushing water through the HX.   That cools the water in the HX, so that (after flushing), it has the proper brew temperature.  

With a little bit of practice, the flushing routine (called "the water dance," btw, and not "temperature surfing," which is something else) can be used to control brew temperature to fair accuracy.  

Getting the right temperature to within a few degrees F is extremely important.  Coffee which is brewed to hot will be bitter; and coffee which is brewed too cold will be sour.  Different coffees brew best at different temperatures, so every new coffee needs to be dialed in for the right temperature by taste.  

It's a little faster and easier to dial in an HX than a machine with a PID brew boiler.  It's a little more convenient to use a PID machine for successive shots, once the right temp has been determined.  If you always use the same coffee, a PID controlled machine is less trouble.  If you change coffees daily, an HX is quicker.  If you try something new every week or so, it's a push.  

Once you've mastered the basics of temping -- basics which apply to both the CC1 and Cuadra -- either will temp as well as the other.  Nevertheless, they're very different machines and you may find that one suits your needs, budget and/or aesthetics better than the other.  

GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER.

Rich
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firebuilder
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Mar 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Oklahoma
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Maestro
Vac Pot: Bodum
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: US Roaster 12kg
Posted Fri May 23, 2014, 11:52am
Subject: Re: I need help deciding which espresso to buy
 

Thank you thank you thank you! I knew there was a lot I wasn't understanding:))) Learning coffee is a journey.....
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,051
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri May 23, 2014, 12:01pm
Subject: Re: I need help deciding which espresso to buy
 

boar_d_laze Said:

You don't get some very basic stuff about espresso machine temping.  Don't worry about it, you're part of a very large group.  

The CC1 is a "hybrid."  It uses a "brew boiler" with a heater in it for brew water, and a thermoblock for steam.  The heat of the water in the boiler is controlled by an electronic device called a PID.  The user can adjust the temperature of the brew water by adjusting the PID.  

The Cuadra is an HX.  It uses a steam boiler with an "HX" (heat exchanger) reservoir in it.  The heat in the boiler not only produces steam but also heats the brew water in the HX.

Water enters the steam boiler and is heated to well above boiling in order to produce steam at pressure.  Water enters the HX from a separate plumbing circuit than the brew boiler's, and is heated by the heat energy in the steam boiler.  When the pump is turned on, water flows out of HX and into the group. As old, overheated water exits, it is replaced with unheated, cooler water. The user controls the brew water temperature in an HX machine by flushing water through the HX.   That cools the water in the HX, so that (after flushing), it has the proper brew temperature.  

With a little bit of practice, the flushing routine (called "the water dance," btw, and not "temperature surfing," which is something else) can be used to control brew temperature to fair accuracy.  

Getting the right temperature to within a few degrees F is extremely important.  Coffee which is brewed to hot will be bitter; and coffee which is brewed too cold will be sour.  Different coffees brew best at different temperatures, so every new coffee needs to be dialed in for the right temperature by taste.  

Posted May 23, 2014 link

agreed

boar_d_laze Said:

It's a little faster and easier to dial in an HX than a machine with a PID brew boiler.  It's a little more convenient to use a PID machine for successive shots, once the right temp has been determined.  If you always use the same coffee, a PID controlled machine is less trouble.  If you change coffees daily, an HX is quicker.  If you try something new every week or so, it's a push.  

Posted May 23, 2014 link

I don't see how it's faster and easier to use a HX.  With a HX, you flush water that's too hot from the line, then pull shots until your heart's content.  With a PID machine, you set the brew temp via programming. Then you probably have to flush the line to increase the brew group temp slightly…and then pull shots til your heart's content. Since it only takes a few moments to reprogram the brew temp, it's not really inconvenient.  It's not like you're going to be reprogramming it every day (if you are, then you should be looking at HX machines - my opinion). The inconvenience comes when you have to wait until the "new" temp is achieved…but we're only talking 10-20 minutes to stabilize. I do agree, that if you're going to change beans frequently (like especially in the same day or even same session) a HX is the way to go.

I think the Cuadra is going to steam better, but I can't say that from experience…so, it's something you should definitely research.

Last, I'm glad you read the sticky.  Again, it would be helpful if you would take the time to answer the questions posed there…the ones about power supply, reservoir, space limitations, etc.  I think we've got a decent sense of your budget. Your grinder will be just fine for the foreseeable future.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri May 23, 2014, 12:17pm
Subject: Re: I need help deciding which espresso to buy
 

CC1 steams good, actually incredibly smooth and velvety micro foam as it's so well controlled. However any h/x is going to beat a single boiler/thermoblock for steaming easily as far as power/speed are concerned (generally speaking, something like the GS3 is just as fast and powerful steaming as an good h/x).
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,207
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 Fri May 23, 2014, 1:05pm
Subject: Re: I need help deciding which espresso to buy
 

emradguy Said:

I don't see how it's faster and easier to use a HX.  With a HX, you flush water that's too hot from the line, then pull shots until your heart's content.  With a PID machine, you set the brew temp via programming. Then you probably have to flush the line to increase the brew group temp slightly…and then pull shots til your heart's content. Since it only takes a few moments to reprogram the brew temp, it's not really inconvenient.  It's not like you're going to be reprogramming it every day (if you are, then you should be looking at HX machines - my opinion). The inconvenience comes when you have to wait until the "new" temp is achieved…but we're only talking 10-20 minutes to stabilize. I do agree, that if you're going to change beans frequently (like especially in the same day or even same session) a HX is the way to go.

Posted May 23, 2014 link

Ron,

That's the situation pretty much as I described it.  I don't understand the quibbles.  

I also don't understand how you think the "10 - 20 minutes" it takes to make one temperature movement dialing in some PID controlled machines (others are faster) is on the same order of convenience as the three or four minutes it takes to establish the right temp with an HX.  

I don't recommend one system over the other.  Most folks aren't that careful about nailing the dial-in temp.  That makes it hit or mess either way, and my opinion is that unless the buyer either never or constantly change coffees, the choice between using a PID or an HX is more about personality than anything else.  Some people love the digital readout.  Some people like the routine of flushing.  

Many people choose a PID controlled machine in the belief that they can pick a generic temp for the PID that's good for all coffees and leave it there.  Even though it's "wrong," I don't see it as a problem... if they're happy, I'm happy.  And wotthehell wotthehell, a lot of people are insecure about dialing in by taste, and find comfort in setting the PID to a generic 93 or 94C in the belief that even if isn't right, at least its close.        

As to the grinder, I forgot that the OP had a Vario when I posted, and agree that it's a perfect choice to pair with something in the CC1 class.    

Rich
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri May 23, 2014, 2:12pm
Subject: Re: I need help deciding which espresso to buy
 

Or just stick Erics Thermometer on the group, heh, best of both worlds :p . I would do Erics Guage on any E61, not sure if it works with other groups?
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,051
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri May 23, 2014, 3:47pm
Subject: Re: I need help deciding which espresso to buy
 

boar_d_laze Said:

I also don't understand how you think the "10 - 20 minutes" it takes to make one temperature movement dialing in some PID controlled machines (others are faster) is on the same order of convenience as the three or four minutes it takes to establish the right temp with an HX.

Posted May 23, 2014 link

My point is that if you intend to use the same beans for a while, it's set it and forget it on a PID (except for the flush), until you change beans…and setting it isn't much of a deal. By "a while" I mean on the order of days or weeks. Again, it's just my opinion that it isn't a big deal to access the programming, set the "new" the temp and let it readjust. I can't say I've ever been in such a rush that I either couldn't wait 10 minutes or so, or that I didn't have plenty of other things to do, such that I was standing around staring at the wall waiting for the machine to stabilize at the new temp.

As for quibbles.  You said it's faster and easier to use a HX. I agree that's the case when you change beans a lot…when you don't, I think it's about the same. I don't mean it as a quibble…but since someone who doesn't know is asking, I feel it's valid to offer another opinion…especially one that differs slightly.  Heck, how many times do people simply quote a prior post and add "+1" or "agree", or something else along those lines?  I'm sorry man, I really don't see anything wrong with my post. And if you're issue is also that I restated what you did…well, I've seen many people do that too…including you…and I don't see anything wrong with that either. As a professional educator, I understand how sometimes people don't get a point when one person says it, but when it's said in a different way, the little light goes on. I've been teaching for 30 years in one form or another and I've seen it thousands of times.

So...cheers to you my friend!

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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