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Next upgrade after Oscar and Baratza
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Next upgrade...  
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atytse
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Oct 2013
Posts: 26
Location: Beijing
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Nov 6, 2013, 9:04am
Subject: Next upgrade after Oscar and Baratza
 

Hi all, I just started with my coffee journey half a year ago and back then purchased an Oscar Nuova and a Baratza Virtuoso. As I make progress in my own skills and understanding, what are the next upgrades that I should be looking at?

I like Oscar for its separate water tank (live in China so don't have good access to tap water) and its size (very compact, don't have a big apartment). What would you recommend next?
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,110
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 Wed Nov 6, 2013, 9:15am
Subject: Re: Next upgrade after Oscar and Baratza
 

grinder grinder grinder...the sooner the better.

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


Joined: 9 Oct 2013
Posts: 26
Location: Beijing
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Nov 6, 2013, 9:22am
Subject: Re: Next upgrade after Oscar and Baratza
 

What would be a good upgrade for Baratza? Should I go for something like Macap or Mazzer?
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,110
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 Wed Nov 6, 2013, 9:28am
Subject: Re: Next upgrade after Oscar and Baratza
 

Both of those (Macap and Mazzer) will serve you well for years and are excellent choices.  However, if you want to stick with Baratza products (I got the vague idea from your reply that you do), you'll need either a Preciso, Vario or Forte to make it worthwhile.  There are other great choices for espresso only grinders, some better than others. Which is best for you will depend a lot on your budget, space available on your counter and aesthetic preferences. Without that information, it's very difficult for anyone here to make a sensible recommendation.  Macap and Mazzer both make consumer and commercial models, so that's another dichotomy you should consider.  Also, you need to decide if you'd be willing to buy a used grinder, as you can often find used commercial grinders in good shape for consumer prices.  Of course, some people won't ever buy anything used, so it's a personal decision.

 
.
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: 1,375
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Wed Nov 6, 2013, 9:43am
Subject: Re: Next upgrade after Oscar and Baratza
 

Sounds like your just starting out, no need to upgrade your machine, the Oscar is a stout and proven espresso machine. It's your grinder holding you back, you need the Preciso or Vario not the Virtuoso. And then you have other more commercial "built" grinders like Mazzer, Macap etc. Vario is bang for the buck going toe to toe with much more expensive grinders as far as taste in the cup.
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DanoM
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 372
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Wed Nov 6, 2013, 3:06pm
Subject: Re: Next upgrade after Oscar and Baratza
 

Grinder upgrade first.  The Baratza Vario is a nice grinder.  Their Forte is an "upgrade" to the Vario that some like.
You can also go with the professional grinders you were mentioning as they will last for a long, long time.

If you want another machine, not a replacement, then I would suggest you give a lever machine a try.  I have an NS Oscar and a La Pavoni Professional, and these days I just use the La Pavoni.  They are compact, nice looking (to many people), and make great espresso once you learn.  Though, if you have young kids around the La Pavoni may be a problem as the boiler is exposed and could burn young hands.  (It will burn older hands just as well, but you should be old enough to learn where to touch in time.  My Pavoni used to singe my skin from time to time, but I don't even notice it's hot these days - just learned where to touch and where to avoid.)

There are many lever machines that are fun to work with.
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atytse
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Oct 2013
Posts: 26
Location: Beijing
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Nov 6, 2013, 6:42pm
Subject: Re: Next upgrade after Oscar and Baratza
 

Once again thanks all for the reply.  

I would value size of the grinder and its ease of use/maintenance. Definitely don't need something for commercial since I only brew like 2 cups a day.

Not particularly stuck to Baratza but Vario does look like a great upgrade.
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 619
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Wed Nov 6, 2013, 7:14pm
Subject: Re: Next upgrade after Oscar and Baratza
 

atytse Said:

Hi all, I just started with my coffee journey half a year ago and back then purchased an Oscar Nuova and a Baratza Virtuoso. As I make progress in my own skills and understanding, what are the next upgrades that I should be looking at?

I like Oscar for its separate water tank (live in China so don't have good access to tap water) and its size (very compact, don't have a big apartment). What would you recommend next?

Posted November 6, 2013 link

The oscar is a solid machine, unless you want a PID, keep it. Get a grinder, a compak, a mazzer, anything more specialized for espresso.

As someone who has a PID'd machine, I can tell you that temp variations of even 2 degrees can drastically change your coffee, and are useful as freshness declines. However I would never argue they are essential, and mine stays at about the same position for most of the time. The first few weeks I tweaked it constantly, now I just leave it alone unless I have an issue.

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Path Coffee Roasters (PortChester, NY) Feather in cap espresso.

Cold Brewing:
Gimme! (ithaca, NY) Moca Java

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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