Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
Suggestions for a reduced-feature super automatic
Don't suffer bad espresso
Package deals on the best machines from Izzo, Quick Mill, VBM, La Marzocco & more.
www.clivecoffee.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Suggestions for...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
Author Messages
JS0981
Junior Member


Joined: 3 Jun 2014
Posts: 4
Location: Northern California
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Jun 3, 2014, 6:44am
Subject: Suggestions for a reduced-feature super automatic
 

Thanks to all for participating in this forum.

I am seeking advice on a replacement super automatic espresso machine with limited features.  I hope this is posted in the correct location.  Please move it if it should be elsewhere.  

First, I will answer the eight suggested questions.
1)  I want to make espresso, mostly for Americanos.
2)  I mostly make one double shot at a time.
3)  I generally make four double shots per day, totaling 28 in a week.
4)  I can you plumb a machine directly into the water supply, although I would prefer not to.
5)  I have a 15-amp circuit.
6)  My budget for a replacement machine is $1,000, including its grinder (I want a machine that incorporates a grinder.)
7)  I am willing to buy used.  I have the skills to repair used equipment.
8)  I want a reduced-feature super automatic to replace a Saeco Royal Digital Plus.  

I have found over ten years with this machine that I almost never use the steaming system.  We heat the water for Americanos in a separate electric teakettle that also serves my tea-drinking spouse.  I have been using Costco’s 3-pound premium dark roasts, which I keep, sealed, in the freezer between bean hopper refills.  The grinder on the Royal Digital Plus grinds these oily beans without trouble on the next to finest setting.  I would like to reduce the size of the machine from the Royal Digital Plus, which is 14-3/4” wide, 17-3/4” deep, and 15-1/2” high.  A smaller size is part of the reason for wanting a reduced-feature machine.

You can see in the above that I am not, and will probably never be, a Coffee Geek.  I hope that you will be gentle and let me know if a machine like what I seek exists, and what you think of that machine.

I will post my experience when I have found and used a replacement.

Thanks.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,023
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 Tue Jun 3, 2014, 7:22am
Subject: Re: Suggestions for a reduced-feature super automatic
 

Welcome to CoffeeGeek!

This being a forum mostly of coffee aficionados, it is not the optimal place to ask for superautomatics, because most espresso lovers here don't hold those machines in high regard. As far as espresso quality is concerned, they are always a compromise favoring convenience over quality. So if your aim is to brew good quality Americanos, you should probably take a look at semiautomatic machines paired with a decent grinder. A SBDU will probably meet your needs. Now from your point of view, that's what I'd call a reasonalbly reduced-feature espresso machine.

 
***
"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)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,356
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Jun 3, 2014, 9:49am
Subject: Re: Suggestions for a reduced-feature super automatic
 

Any reason you don't want a sbdu machine? Super-autos don't make espresso, even $$$$ commercial ones can't compete with a low end sbdu machine, espresso taste more like a 15 second gusher which will make an Americano taste mehhh. 1K bucks will get you a CC1 and Vario grinder. You'll see a massive improvement in shots with fresh roasted beans (not store bought) = far better Americanos. Then down the road if you want to make latte's etc, you have the ability to steam very nicely. You already use a kettle for water so your set there, a machine that brews at the right temps and can be adjusted (CC1) + Vario + Fresh beans + kettle water = kick ass Americanos.

Not much info or support to be found on here for superautos, one of the single serve forums might be better for that.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,094
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 Tue Jun 3, 2014, 10:20am
Subject: Re: Suggestions for a reduced-feature super automatic
 

SBDU stands for single boiler dual use.  That means the same boiler is used sequentially for two different purposes - brewing and steam.  The CC1 has a boiler for brew water, but uses a thermoblock instead of the boiler for steam.  Properly speaking the CC1 is a hybrid, and not an SBDU.    

That said, the CC1 could be an excellent choice for brewing Americanos or (preferably) long blacks.    

As always.... GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER

Rich
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,356
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Jun 3, 2014, 12:27pm
Subject: Re: Suggestions for a reduced-feature super automatic
 

True, the CC1 and Silvano are kinda odd ball hybrids lol, think their the only two machines like this with that separate thermoblock?

OP are you deadset on a superauto, or would you consider a semi-auto and separate grinder? Your coffee (Americanos) would be far better.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,368
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 Tue Jun 3, 2014, 1:35pm
Subject: Re: Suggestions for a reduced-feature super automatic
 

JS0981 Said:

I am seeking advice on a replacement super automatic espresso machine with limited features.  I hope this is posted in the correct location.  Please move it if it should be elsewhere.

Posted June 3, 2014 link

No worries, and welcome to CG . . .

JS0981 Said:

First, I will answer the eight suggested questions.
1)  I want to make espresso, mostly for Americanos.
2)  I mostly make one double shot at a time.
3)  I generally make four double shots per day, totaling 28 in a week.
4)  I can you plumb a machine directly into the water supply, although I would prefer not to.
5)  I have a 15-amp circuit.
6)  My budget for a replacement machine is $1,000, including its grinder (I want a machine that incorporates a grinder.)
7)  I am willing to buy used.  I have the skills to repair used equipment.
8)  I want a reduced-feature super automatic to replace a Saeco Royal Digital Plus.

Posted June 3, 2014 link

The problem, John, is that we generally tend to frown upon super-automatics as few, if any, make coffee that we (as CoffeeGeeks) find worth drinking.  So here are my thoughts, as they occurred to me reading your post for the first time:

a)  Why aren't you interested in an SBDU machine?  
b)  Have you ever tried any of the Nespresso machines?
c)  Machines with a built-in grinder are horrible for the beans --> you sure you don't want an SBDU and a separate grinder?

OK, now that that's out of the way . . .

IF you are willing to consider something other than a super-auto, I'd listen to Rich and take a serious look at the Crossland CC1.  That and a decent grinder will result in much better coffee than you're drinking now.

OTOH, if you want to stay with a super-auto, that's fine, too.  Unfortunately, I fear few of us have any depth of experience with them; you're best bet may be to either talk to the folks at, say, Sur La Table or (better yet) the people at Seattle Coffee Gear.  another option would be to look at Saeco's website to find a machine with fewer features than the Royal Digital Plus . . . the Commoner Analog Minus perhaps??? ;^)  Seriously, you also might want to look at Saeco's Factory Outlet, too . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
SproBro
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Feb 2014
Posts: 48
Location: Topeka, KS
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: CC1 v1.5
Grinder: Compak K10PB, Vario
Posted Tue Jun 3, 2014, 1:42pm
Subject: Re: Suggestions for a reduced-feature super automatic
 

Glad we got the basics out of the way.

The Breville oracle 980XL seems pretty cool to me for this kind of situation. Automatic grind/dose/tamp, lock it in and push the button. You get real espresso, and I believe it has a hot water dispenser. The grinder is likely subpar, but it is built in. It isn't huge, but its 2k$, and will do you better than any superauto machine. Plus if you par graded to an espresso grinder, your machine would still be very capable. There is a little fuss with adjusting the grind/dose/tamp to dial in your shots.

The biggest stumbling block for you I see with this however would be the need to use freshly roasted coffee beans, because old grocery store beans well.....simply don't work properly in a real espresso machine- its a bit like trying to plug an electric plug into a gas line, it just doesn't work.

*Par grade being the minimum accepted standard.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
JS0981
Junior Member


Joined: 3 Jun 2014
Posts: 4
Location: Northern California
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Jun 3, 2014, 1:43pm
Subject: Re: Suggestions for a reduced-feature super automatic
 

CMIN Said:

True, the CC1 and Silvano are kinda odd ball hybrids lol, think their the only two machines like this with that separate thermoblock?

OP are you deadset on a superauto, or would you consider a semi-auto and separate grinder? Your coffee (Americanos) would be far better.

Posted June 3, 2014 link

Well, about the superauto, I think you folks are convincing me.  I have looked at the CC1, and it looks excellent.  I understand that the result would be better.  

I have, what I thought was a pretty good burr grinder, a Solis Maestro, with 18 click settings for fineness.  Given the discussions I see here, it's probably considered no good, so I'd appreciate grinder replacement recommendations.  From videos I have watched, it looks like suitable grinders dispense directly into the cup, which the Maestro does not.  I apologize for not knowing the correct terminology.  There is lots to learn.

You need to know that I'm old and my sense of smell, and probably taste, has been damaged by something like strep throat I had a couple of years ago, so refined taste is something I lack.  I don't want to go overboard on things I won't be able to appreciate.

Just the mention of "long blacks" was educational.  I had never thought of the value of reversing the espresso/water order to preserve the crema.  I know now!

I appreciate the assistance offered here.  Thank you.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,356
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Jun 3, 2014, 3:44pm
Subject: Re: Suggestions for a reduced-feature super automatic
 

yeh none of us are superauto fans, not even really b/c of being "geeks" (heck my setup cost nowhere near what others setups are), but it's just worth it for good coffee. Friend had a Jura C9 and well it sucked, majorly, he thought it was decent b/c it's all he knew, then he tried my setup which cost way less (his machine was like 2k) and it wasn't even close and he saw the huge difference. Even if your not drinking straight shots, or lattees etc, a good semi-good and a good grinder (like the vario) lets you take that great shot and make a great Americano. Fresh beans are important too, look into getting fresh roasted beans, not store bought. Most of the entry machines under 1k aren't the best for Americanos b/c of lacking hot water dispenser, but you already use the kettle anyway so your good to go there.

If a superauto does stop working out of warranty, it won't matter how handy you are, a lot of parts are proprietary to manufacturers in superautos, hence why people end up having to send in for work sometimes costing almost what a new machine goes for, or just chucking in the garbage even if it was  1k+ machine.  Friend sent that Jura in once and think the bill was just over $700 to fix including evaluation cost or whatever they called it, could've bought a new semi-auto (which he does have now).

Superautos do have their place, something like an office setting for quick push button drinks, many don't care as they don't know nor have had better coffee, same people who think Charbucks is the cats meow. But if your on here, hope we can open your eyes to better coffee ;)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,368
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 Tue Jun 3, 2014, 4:06pm
Subject: Re: Suggestions for a reduced-feature super automatic
 

CMIN Said:

. . . something like an office setting for quick push button drinks

Posted June 3, 2014 link

Just for the record, Chris, I have an Ala di Vittoria "La Valentina" 1-group HX prosumer machine in my office.  ;^)

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Suggestions for...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Cafe Solutions
Commercial sales and service, nationwide installation, equipment leasing options.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.394167900085)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+