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A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > A variety of...  
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,745
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 Tue Oct 1, 2013, 6:31am
Subject: Re: A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
 

I would be glad to have you over as your schedule permits.
I live in Riverside and work in Long Beach so I do commute a bit too (for those not living here, that is 60 miles, each way) I wake up at 3am, out the door by 4 and at the vanpool lot by 4:30 LB by 5:30 start at 6, stop at 2:30 back to Corona by 3:40 and if no errands, home by 4 or so.

Sat is OK for me, and weekdays after 4:30 (hey, gotta have time for bathroom etc!) Sat aft 9 or so, let me know.
I can have a thermoblock machine, Sylvia, M32, ECM E61 and a 2 gp Brazilia commercial available for use. For grinders, SJ, Major, NS md65 and A.C. (my daily grinder) I expect to only be working with espresso, so I only listed espresso stuff, I do have more :D

I recommend that you hold off on purchase until after we talk in person and I can really help direct you to something that fits your needs but I can work with whatever you have, regardless of what that is.

 
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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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,068
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 Tue Oct 1, 2013, 7:20am
Subject: Re: A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
 

Wayne, I don't know if you saw the post I typed a month or so ago about desiring to start up a custom consulting service similar to what you're describing.  As you're already setup for it and looking at your jobsite closing down, you might want to consider it.  I have no doubt you'd be great at it.  I'm sure there are a lot of people we never see on CG who would be interested in paying you a consulting fee at your home for what you've just offered for free (out of your love for coffee and all it entails, and helping people out).

Bran-man (sorry, I haven't looked up your name yet).  Yes, you're looking at a double edged sword....go to Wayne's and find out you can't resist something more than you can afford, or don't go there and miss out on one of the most excellent learning experiences you've been offered in years (probably).  Only you can decide!  For me, espresso is like The Borg (resistance is futile and I have been assimilated)...therefore, I have taken up Helen's (Coffeenoobie) advice.  I have a couple of empty mustard crocks near my machine filling up with every quarter and dollar coin I can get my hands on.  I'm up to about $400-500 over the past year or so.  My goal...well, I'm now on the fence, but leaning toward the latter of...a $1k HG one grinder or a $1.5k Mahlkoenig K30 Vario grinder.  My Xmas wish list includes "cash towards a grinder" amongst other toys.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,745
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 Tue Oct 1, 2013, 8:36am
Subject: Re: A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
 

LOL!

HEY, I am not the Espresso Whisperer or anything, just a guy who likes to play with stuff and loves coffee.

 
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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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,068
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 Tue Oct 1, 2013, 8:51am
Subject: Re: A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
 

calblacksmith Said:

LOL!

HEY, I am not the Espresso Whisperer or anything, just a guy who likes to play with stuff and loves coffee.

Posted October 1, 2013 link

lol, but there are probably a fair number of people who could use and would be willing to pay a small fee for an advice session before they go out and spend the money on some gear...and you certainly know what you're talking about...and are well known to be conscious enough to offer advice tailored to the inquirer.  Well, anyhow, just a though for a little side business, if you end up with too much time on you hands.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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branmuffin17
Senior Member
branmuffin17
Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 68
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Tue Oct 1, 2013, 12:56pm
Subject: Re: A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
 

Hi Wayne,

This Saturday might work out well, perhaps earlier in the day rather than later.  Would you like to chat over the phone to work out details?  If you want to start by contacting me via my personal e-mail, I did put it in my profile...let me know?

If my Vario gets here by then, should I bring it too?

And your commute is way worse than mine...maybe the hours (insanely early hours, I see why you love coffee!) help keep the time close, but my home is only 23 miles from work...just takes me about an hour each way in rush-hour.

I thought that I learned patience as a kid so that I could appreciate it as an adult, NOT so that I could apply it again!!!  Hahaha...but no, everyone's advice has been great, so thank you.  I'll hold off on that 20% off BDB for now...coupon is good until sometime in November anyway.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,745
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 Wed Oct 2, 2013, 4:32pm
Subject: Re: A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
 

For anyone following this topic, we have a get together planned for sat it should be fun!

 
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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jwoodyu
Senior Member
jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 849
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Thu Oct 3, 2013, 5:52am
Subject: Re: A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
 

calblacksmith Said:

For anyone following this topic, we have a get together planned for sat it should be fun!

Posted October 2, 2013 link

Good for you Wayne very cool but it is a little bit of drive from Michigan.

Looking forward to the update Saturday afternoon.

 
Yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
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branmuffin17
Senior Member
branmuffin17
Joined: 24 Sep 2013
Posts: 68
Location: Santa Ana, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Sat Oct 5, 2013, 3:21pm
Subject: Re: A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
 

Firstly:  A huge thank you to Wayne!  Great host, great information, very easy to talk with him.  He had set up a thermoblock (which we didn't touch), a modified Rancilio Silvia w/ PID, and a single group, plumbed automatic commercial.  We also saw a double group commercial and an ECM that he said was essentially a big brother to (I think) the Rocket Cellini Premium Plus.  He had (I think) a Super Jolly doser and doserless, as well as a commercial grinder.  I got to tamp for the first time, pull some shots, froth some milk, and just overall see the process.  What an awesome experience for a newbie such as myself (and my wife).

And yes, as tglodjo said...I have machine and grinder envy.  So...here's where I'm currently at with my thought process.

Grinder
I previously indicated that I got a Baratza Vario from Chris Coffee's Buyer's Remorse, and I think for the time being, that is plenty of grinder for me.  For the small footprint it has, it's the right choice for the space we've chosen for the grinder and machine.  Doesn't mean it wouldn't be nice to have a stepless, though. =)

Machine
For the last few days I've been quiet, I've been looking more and more into alternatives to the BDB, which up until this point, we had really been zeroing in on purchasing.  But first, to reiterate about why the BDB?  My wife and I like the modern look, and the various options, bells/whistles, and other, thoughtful engineering things it has going for it.  I like the idea that the settings will allow me to tinker with the variables, when I get to that level.  I'm also heartened to hear of Breville's support for this machine (even out of warranty), as it sounds like they're making a push to change their previously poor reputation when it comes to espresso machines.  I've gotten some good, detailed responses from Breville directly, as well.  And then I'm also considering the successor to the BDB...the BES920XL...which should be coming in perhaps the next couple of months.  I've found some Australian shop sites that have already put a placeholder up for the new version, with an expected date of around the end of October.  Not sure when it would be coming stateside, though.  The various forum discussions on the 920 sound like Breville is working hard to listen to the people and doing the best they can to make the best machine for the price point.  That makes it very, very tempting for me.

For Wayne to have hosted my wife and I so generously, and based on his concerns about the Breville brand, which are absolutely justified in my mind, to continue considering a Breville product makes me feel a bit traitor-ish.  But Wayne was quick to say that although some people have experienced problems with the 900, there have been others that have had great experiences with it...and that it's just important for me to choose the best machine FOR ME.  So...not counting out the BDB900/920 yet.

In any case, I've been re-opening my eyes to the various options out there.  It seems there's just a bit of a jump between the price of a BDB (retail $1,200, around $1,000 on sale through various means) and the next level of machines (various HXs).  To be clear, we don't want to spend more than $1,200 or so on the machine.  I've been looking at:

*(slightly wistfully, because of the price) Rocket - Cellini Premium Plus
*Bezzera - BZ07
*La Nuova Era - Cuadra

Reading the forums on the Cuadra, it sounds like I JUST missed the last of the 1st-Line.com Cuadras at the extremely awesome sale price (I think they were going for $1,000 or $1,100).  At this point in time, if it was still at that price, I would place my order NOW.  I just LOVE the style of these machines.  Also in minor consideration is the Oscar, but I personally don't like the look of that machine.  I know the end product (the espresso) is what really matters, so I feel shallow in saying that, but there it is.  And after showing me how to work an HX, I have much less concern about using one in comparison to a dual boiler w/ PID.

Wayne also said there are always opportunities, if you know where to look, to get a used commercial grade machine for significantly less than even a BDB...though they would likely take some restoration work, and I'm just not a handy tinkerer like that.  This may be the way we go...it'll depend a lot on what kinds of sale prices we might find on other machines.

In talking about our setup, and how our machine is going to go right next to our fridge, it sounds like we may have the option to have a direct water line/plumb.  Not sure if we would take that option...probably will depend on which machine we end up choosing.

So yeah...after visiting Wayne, it's opened up our options, not narrowed them down, and now I'm potentially looking at getting a machine in the next few months, rather than RIGHTNOWLIKEIWANTIT.  Thanks a lot, Wayne.  Hahahaha...hopefully I'll be smart and use some patience.  No promises.  As always, any ideas, thoughts, comments, etc., please throw them out...I'd love some more feedback.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,745
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 Sun Oct 6, 2013, 6:41pm
Subject: Re: A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
 

Brandon, it was great to spend a few hours with you two, too:-)  I/hope you do keep looking until you find the right machine for you and don't settle for something less than what you really want just because it is available now.

There are a lot out there to look at, you have seen a couple of different machines I have and I hope that it gave you a little more information to work with.

PS, the pumpkin muffins were fantastic!

 
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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jwoodyu
Senior Member
jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 849
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Sun Oct 6, 2013, 6:59pm
Subject: Re: A variety of questions!  (CC1, Vario, BDB, eBay, SCG, etc.!)
 

Wayne, I will say it again that was just outstanding of you sir.

"All to often we give up what we want most for what we want now."
Somebody way smarter than me

 
Yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
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