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where can I buy an ISOMAC Zaffiro or Amica?
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mclcooper
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mclcooper
Joined: 25 May 2014
Posts: 4
Location: washington, DC USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun May 25, 2014, 1:19pm
Subject: where can I buy an ISOMAC Zaffiro or Amica?
 

I live in the US in the Wash, DC area. After reading lots of reviews, I had wanted to get the Zaffiro:

- makes really good espressos
- steams milk well even tho it seems there is a couple of minute warm up time

The Amica seemed to fix some issues with the Zaffiro as far as usability and thermostats wearing out.

Also, I liked the look of both.

Does anyone know where I can buy one of these - preferably the Amica?

robert
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boar_d_laze
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,257
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 May 25, 2014, 4:19pm
Subject: Re: where can I buy an ISOMAC Zaffiro or Amica?
 

I believe the Amica is currently out of production and the Zaffiro isn't sold in the US. There a message in those facts if you care to listen.  

If you're ever going to steam, do yourself a favor and don't buy an SBDU.  If you' will only ever use the machine as a shot puller, don't buy an SBDU without a PID or some other from of electronic temperature control.

It takes a few months with something better than an SBDU before you appreciate how inconsistent and limiting they are.  

The most cost-effective entry-level setup in espresso today is the CC1 + Vario for $1000 at Seattle Coffee Gear (SCG); and I'm sure you can get the same price from other retailers if you ask them to price match.  

Rich
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DavecUK
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Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,415
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon May 26, 2014, 4:26am
Subject: Re: where can I buy an ISOMAC Zaffiro or Amica?
 

Zaffiro and Amica are in no way machines that have kept up with the times, or cut it against modern machines. Isomac didn't change their designs for a very very long time....probably why they were eventually bought out.

Much better machines available from other manufacturers....loads of retailers no longer sell Isomac.
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mclcooper
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mclcooper
Joined: 25 May 2014
Posts: 4
Location: washington, DC USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon May 26, 2014, 5:55am
Subject: Re: where can I buy an ISOMAC Zaffiro or Amica?
 

How about Quick Mill Alexia or Anita?
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DavecUK
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Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon May 26, 2014, 6:40am
Subject: Re: where can I buy an ISOMAC Zaffiro or Amica?
 

mclcooper Said:

How about Quick Mill Alexia or Anita?

Posted May 26, 2014 link

If you like em, they're fine, decent quality manufacturer, who keeps with the times.. Lots of machines around, just try and pick one appropriate to your needs and buy from a dealer who can offer the support you need as well. Very important to use a good dealer. Chris Coffee is very good (I've no affiliation, with them, I'm in the UK), but by all accounts they do a really good job and have a good selection of machines.
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boar_d_laze
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,257
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 May 26, 2014, 7:26am
Subject: Re: where can I buy an ISOMAC Zaffiro or Amica?
 

mclcooper Said:

How about Quick Mill Alexia or Anita?

Posted May 26, 2014 link

The Alexia is another SBDU.  What's the attraction?

The Anita is about as good and about as expensive, as compact HX, E-61s get.  It's only weaknesses, to the extent they are weaknesses at all, are those inherent to the class.  There's a lot of HX competition in and below the price range, nearly but not all compact, E-61.    

(In case you don't know, E-61 is a type of group; the first group designed for a straight pump machine to include pre-infusion.)    

Obviously, you not only want a good machine, but -- given the wide degree of differences within that "good" classification -- also want one which will suit you better than others.      

Based on what you've been asking, it seems you've done a lot of homework but it's included a lot of old information and dealer descriptions which have overly-influenced your conclusions.  Maybe we should start breaking down the market a little and figure out whether a DB, HX or hybrid will work best.    

But first, what's your total budget for machine AND grinder?

GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER

Rich
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mclcooper
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mclcooper
Joined: 25 May 2014
Posts: 4
Location: washington, DC USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon May 26, 2014, 10:40am
Subject: Re: where can I buy an ISOMAC Zaffiro or Amica?
 

The grinder is a ten year old Starbucks burr grinder. Other than the issues people have with Starbucks, I can't tell if it is good or bad. It's a burr grinder, has granular control for me to make the grind finer or coarser; and I've been able to take it apart and clean it.

I drink several espressos or macchiatos every day; and my wife has a "milk" drink - latte/capp.

If I pay $2K, I think I'll have gone too far - especially when something breaks. I'm expecting to pay $1K & up.

Another point, on the continuum between: lots of electronics that will sense when I'd like a coffee & use enhancers for the crema & steaming AND something where I drill my own well for water & forge my own stainless steel in the garage, I'm closer to the latter.

My preference is to have control over how the shot is drawn so I can make better shots; and to be able to figure out how to fix things. Perhaps my looking at the ISOMACs & Quick Mills was to get away from the automatic and super-automatic espresso makers that seem very popular.

Having the ability to steam milk around the same time as pulling a shot seems interesting - vs a several minute wait.

I hope this helps.
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,391
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 Mon May 26, 2014, 10:12pm
Subject: Re: where can I buy an ISOMAC Zaffiro or Amica?
 

mclcooper Said:

My preference is to have control over how the shot is drawn so I can make better shots; and to be able to figure out how to fix things. Perhaps my looking at the ISOMACs & Quick Mills was to get away from the automatic and super-automatic espresso makers that seem very popular.

Posted May 26, 2014 link

Can we be very specific with terminology?  I think it will help . . . and so I would ask your indulgence and ask you to take two minutes and read THIS post regarding the various types of espresso machines available.

The ONLY type of machine that will let you "have control over how the shot is drawn" completely is a manual lever machine.  Once you start working with a spring-lever machine or, certainly a pump, you lose some control . . . so what?  Most of us all have pump-driven machines.  OK, so let's move on to the boiler:  SBDU, HX, and DB pump-driven machines always permit you to have control over your shot . . . temperature, grind, dose, duration/volume . . . all these, and more, can be controlled with any machine.  You could by a Strada, or similar machine that will let you do "pressure profiling," but few of us actually do that at home, and very few third wave coffee houses have these machines.

If a machine has a pump, it is called an "automatic" of some sort:  if you grind the beans, load the basket, lock in the portafilter, and then start and stop the pump yourself, it's called a semi-automatic; if you grind the beans, load the basket, lock in the portafilter, and then the machine shuts off after a pre-programmed volume of water has been dispensed through the grounds (although you can ALWAYS stop the pump yourself!), it's called a full-automatic or a volumetric, machine.  (And don't forget:  YOU are the one who programs the volume.)

The ONLY machines where you have little-to-no control is the dreaded super-automatic, which -- contrary to what you seem to think -- are NOT very popular at all around here (or on HB).  It grinds, it doses, it pumps, it does everything . . . and usually you pay for the convenience, not for the quality of what you get in the cup.

mclcooper Said:

The grinder is a ten year old Starbucks burr grinder. Other than the issues people have with Starbucks, I can't tell if it is good or bad. It's a burr grinder, has granular control for me to make the grind finer or coarser; and I've been able to take it apart and clean it.

Posted May 26, 2014 link

Starbucks never made grinders; they are rebranded Capressos (IIRC).  And they aren't very good.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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mclcooper
Senior Member
mclcooper
Joined: 25 May 2014
Posts: 4
Location: washington, DC USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue May 27, 2014, 8:03am
Subject: Re: where can I buy an ISOMAC Zaffiro or Amica?
 

Jason,

Thanks for the specific terminology. Based on your statement:

"if you grind the beans, load the basket, lock in the portafilter, and then start and stop the pump yourself, it's called a semi-automatic;"

then I'd say I would prefer a semi-automatic machine.

Would you recommend certain machines with this + my earlier description?

Bob
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1stline
Senior Member
1stline
Joined: 24 Jan 2002
Posts: 496
Location: Freehold, NJ USA
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Undisclosed
Grinder: Indisclosed
Vac Pot: Bodum Electric
Drip: None
Roaster: None
Posted Tue May 27, 2014, 8:54am
Subject: Re: where can I buy an ISOMAC Zaffiro or Amica?
 

DavecUK Said:

Zaffiro and Amica are in no way machines that have kept up with the times, or cut it against modern machines. Isomac didn't change their designs for a very very long time....probably why they were eventually bought out.

Much better machines available from other manufacturers....loads of retailers no longer sell Isomac.

Posted May 26, 2014 link

Just a suggestion.. one may want to look at Isomac's web site. The Zaffiro has a stainless steel boiler now along with a cool touch wand. We do not sell nor import the Zaffiro/Amica into the USA at this time.

As an fyi... Isomac has been making subtle improvements behind the scenes. Hence, one may need to look further then reading the forums on different web sites. Sometimes, the improvements are so subtle that we do not realize them until we get the machine.

 
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Jim Piccinich
Business Partner
1st-line Equipment, LLC
www.1st-line.com

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