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What kind of machine should I buy?
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > What kind of...  
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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 866
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 Tue Oct 30, 2012, 7:45am
Subject: Re: What kind of machine should I buy?
 

qualin Said:

ow, I don't have any personal experience with this particular machine that I linked to, so I'm not the right person to ask in regards to recommending it for use with your business or not.

Posted October 30, 2012 link

This actually points out one of the key things the OP needs to do - talk with people who have experience both with specific espresso gear, and with people experienced in the whole business. As I touched on before, as a musician and avid amateur chef, in addition to my coffee obsession, I've seen a lot of friends decide to start restaurants/coffee shops/nightclubs/music venues/bakeries and the like. The vast majority of them haven't panned out, mostly because of poor planning, under-capitalization, lack of understanding of local markets - mostly factors that aorse because of diving in without sufficient preparation. Get a plan together, figure out actual costs as best you can, and have the local SBA (Small Business Administration) office review things with you and help hone the plan.
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ButterflyBeans
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Joined: 29 Oct 2012
Posts: 5
Location: Windsor, CO
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Oct 30, 2012, 8:10am
Subject: Re: What kind of machine should I buy?
 

Ok. Where do I begin? First, I'm so excited everyone or anyone, has responded. When I posted the question, I sort of thought no one would really care and just blow me off.
Ok, the place we are buying was run this summer as a 'drive-in' serving hamburgers, onion rings, etc and soda, ice cream, blizzards. So every piece of equipment is included, commercial freezer, fridge, soda dispenser, soft serve ice cream machine, mixers, grill etc. I have looked into the state and county requirements as well as talked to the health inspector, who will meet with us before we close. The only thing it doesn't have is a cash register/inventory system, inventory and coffee machines. We are paying on a as we go cash basis. This isn't a business we need to survive, if it doesn't work, we will shut it down. My husband has all the business smarts in this case. I want an Astoria Jada AK machine. I know you guys will think I'm crazy because of my lack of knowledge and this expensive machine. My son will be there consistently to manage/run the business while my husband and I will go there during school breaks(different states).
That is why we want a machine that is super easy to run, because even if I get training, I won't be there all the time. Competing with Starbucks is void and null because the closest one is an hour away.
So do I know anything about espresso? I can make myself a latte everyday, but I couldn't choke down coffee or espresso without any milk or sugar or syrup to save my life. Now you really think I'm nuts......
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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 866
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 Tue Oct 30, 2012, 8:47am
Subject: Re: What kind of machine should I buy?
 

With a super-automatic like the Jada AK, there's not a lot of training, mostly because, other than the beans you choose to put in it, you don't really have a lot of control over the final product.

Not going to try and talk you out of it, and for a market that's not intended to be a serious espresso place with a dedicated barista who's devoted to making exceptional coffee, it's likely your best bet.
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ButterflyBeans
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Joined: 29 Oct 2012
Posts: 5
Location: Windsor, CO
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Oct 30, 2012, 8:54am
Subject: Re: What kind of machine should I buy?
 

But do you think it's a good quality type of machine? And, it's not the beans that would make exceptional coffee but the machine? Ok, I am reading the intro to espresso and I see the grinder is the star of the show. But feel free to throw out any other machine ideas.
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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 866
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 Tue Oct 30, 2012, 9:05am
Subject: Re: What kind of machine should I buy?
 

What makes great coffee (specifically great espresso), as the Italians say, are the "4 M's" - Miscela (beans), Macinazione (grind), Macchina (machine), and Mano (the hand of the barista). With a super-auto, the last three of the four are basically out of your control, at least as far as easy adjustments go. So the only thing you can do is make sure that you're getting the very best beans you possibly can.

If you're not going to be serving a lot of espresso, my personal choice would be a more basic one or two group volumetric dosing machine and a good grinder, which should cost quite a bit less than the AK, then have your son and yourself get some pro barista training. It's a slightly more complex solution, but you'll make much better coffee.
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NobbyR
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NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,051
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 Oct 30, 2012, 9:20am
Subject: Re: What kind of machine should I buy?
 

GVDub Said:

... With a super-auto, the last three of the four are basically out of your control, ...

Posted October 30, 2012 link

I disagree. I'm far from being a fan, but IMHO the 4 Ms apply to superautomatics as well:
  1. Only with top quality fresh beans you'll get the best possible coffee.
  2. Unforunately the integrated grinders of most superautomatics are inferior, but they need to be dialed in just like any grinder with a portafilter machine. The better you can do that, the higher the quality of your coffee drinks will be.
  3. There's a difference between common consumer superautomatics and prosumer (like the QuickMill 05009 Monza) or commercial machines, as far as programmability and temperature stability are concerned, for example. So the type of machine is important.
  4. Only a superautomatic adjusted and maintained by an experienced user (I refuse to call it barista!) will brew the best possible coffee.

I'm not saying that those coffee makers can brew excellent espresso. I strongly believe that they don't. But with a high end superautomatic it might be drinkable.

 
***
"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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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 866
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 Tue Oct 30, 2012, 9:31am
Subject: Re: What kind of machine should I buy?
 

Nobby, please note I didn't say "completely out of your control", but "basically" as your shot to shot control is extremely limited. I've seen people try and get exceptional espresso out of high-end super-autos. They simply don't give you the tools. Depending on your definition of "drinkable", they might be able to accomplish that, but by the time you've done that much twiddling, you might as well just take control of the entire process, providing that your ultimate concern is quality, not convenience.
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,051
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 Oct 30, 2012, 9:38am
Subject: Re: What kind of machine should I buy?
 

Well, George, you're right. Superautomatics are mostly about convenience and less about quality. However, people tend to think that superautomatics are low maintenance. And a lot of those machines are badly taken care of. But actually a superautomatic will be high maintenance, at least if you want to keep up minimum quality.

 
***
"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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GVDub
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2008
Posts: 866
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 Tue Oct 30, 2012, 10:34am
Subject: Re: What kind of machine should I buy?
 

NobbyR Said:

Well, George, you're right. Superautomatics are mostly about convenience and less about quality. However, people tend to think that superautomatics are low maintenance. And a lot of those machines are badly taken care of. But actually a superautomatic will be high maintenance, at least if you want to keep up minimum quality.

Posted October 30, 2012 link

I've always been of the "fewer moving parts the better" school. The less stuff there is to break down, the easier it is go keep it going well. In no small part because, when maintenance is complicated people have tendency to let things go a little longer before fixing it.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Oct 30, 2012, 11:22am
Subject: Re: What kind of machine should I buy?
 

Be sure to get a service contract if you get a super auto.  They are expensive to repair.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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