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Thread: First time buying a machine for cafe

  1. #1
    Junior Member steven13's Avatar
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    Red face First time buying a machine for cafe

    hi everyone,

    i run a small cafe with mum, been open a year now, and do about 20 pw.

    my entire 6 year ft career baristing, i have only ever used the same grinder, machine and bean.
    supplied by Vittoria; Mazzer Jolly, Faema Due 2 Group & Vittoria Oro beans.

    i recently tried a new bean, and it was crazy, the crema.. i had never extracted anything like it.
    after that i thought if i had my own machine i could use different beans and make better coffees for the people.

    however, the people cant see the coffee machine, which is fine now but i feel wasteful if i get something eg slayer..

    so i guess in short, what commercial machine would you recommend if you could sacrifice aesthetics?

    oh and also, both cafes almost immediate to the left and right currently sport LM's. so maybe something different?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member BalthazarG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven13 View Post
    hi everyone,

    i run a small cafe with mum, been open a year now, and do about 20 pw.

    my entire 6 year ft career baristing, i have only ever used the same grinder, machine and bean.
    supplied by Vittoria; Mazzer Jolly, Faema Due 2 Group & Vittoria Oro beans.

    i recently tried a new bean, and it was crazy, the crema.. i had never extracted anything like it.
    after that i thought if i had my own machine i could use different beans and make better coffees for the people.

    however, the people cant see the coffee machine, which is fine now but i feel wasteful if i get something eg slayer..

    so i guess in short, what commercial machine would you recommend if you could sacrifice aesthetics?

    oh and also, both cafes almost immediate to the left and right currently sport LM's. so maybe something different?
    Hi Steven! Welcome to Coffee Snobs.

    1) What's your budget (or at least a rough budget)?

    2) Secondly - when you say wasteful, do you mean wasteful because people can't see it, or wasteful because it's too expensive? Or both?


    I know its nice to show off a sexy machine to others, but remember - just because you don't get a Slayer, doesn't mean you necessarily have to sacrifice aesthetics. Mind you, the aesthetics are primarily there for you to appreciate first and foremost. The customers are a secondary consideration.

    Having read your post it seems no matter what you choose, people won't be able to see the espresso machine regardless. So why not at least pick something you like to look at?

    3) 1-group, two-group, or three-group?

    4) Pump or lever?

    Let's proceed from there.
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  3. #3
    Member GunBarista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven13 View Post
    hi everyone,

    i run a small cafe with mum, been open a year now, and do about 20 pw.

    my entire 6 year ft career baristing, i have only ever used the same grinder, machine and bean.
    supplied by Vittoria; Mazzer Jolly, Faema Due 2 Group & Vittoria Oro beans.

    i recently tried a new bean, and it was crazy, the crema.. i had never extracted anything like it.
    after that i thought if i had my own machine i could use different beans and make better coffees for the people.

    however, the people cant see the coffee machine, which is fine now but i feel wasteful if i get something eg slayer..

    so i guess in short, what commercial machine would you recommend if you could sacrifice aesthetics?

    oh and also, both cafes almost immediate to the left and right currently sport LM's. so maybe something different?
    This is very exciting!

    There is a huge jump from using Vittoria but nothing too drastic. Just out of curiosity though, which bean did you try?

    Also, how many kg's of coffee do you do a week? This will help in picking out the right machine for you.

    If you're throwing around names like LM and Slayer then your budget I'm assuming will be around $10,000 - $30,000
    in which case you might as well look at the San Remo Opera or a Kees Vander Westen Spirit if LM isn't what you want.

    However, if you just want something to hide in the corner then you can't go wrong with Wega, Nueva Simonelli, or even Rocket.

    (psst, I have a 3group Wega Polaris in Chrome sitting around doing nothing. I decommissioned it after I decided that people would rather see a LM on my counter instead. PM me if you wanna know more about it)

    To answer your question, what commercial machine would I recommend if I could sacrifice aesthetics?
    a Wega Concept.
    Great machine (amazing actually) Just down right ugly! XD
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  4. #4
    Junior Member steven13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BalthazarG View Post
    Hi Steven! Welcome to Coffee Snobs.

    1) What's your budget (or at least a rough budget)?

    2) Secondly - when you say wasteful, do you mean wasteful because people can't see it, or wasteful because it's too expensive? Or both?


    I know its nice to show off a sexy machine to others, but remember - just because you don't get a Slayer, doesn't mean you necessarily have to sacrifice aesthetics. Mind you, the aesthetics are primarily there for you to appreciate first and foremost. The customers are a secondary consideration.

    Having read your post it seems no matter what you choose, people won't be able to see the espresso machine regardless. So why not at least pick something you like to look at?

    3) 1-group, two-group, or three-group?

    4) Pump or lever?

    Let's proceed from there.
    hello BalthazarG, and thank you very much!

    1) i dont really have a budget, and understand that some machines are up to 30k. literally sandwiched between 2 LM's so i guess that sort of sets the bar. but i think a 30k is a tad much for mine small cafe.

    2) some machines boast fine craftmanship and aesthetic detail, which i will appreciate, but cannot share this feeling with the people, so i feel it is wasteful beauty. like a flower that only blooms in the dark sort of thing. i like to share.

    3) never had an issue with 2, but never even considered 3. workspace in front of the machine is limited, so for a wider 3 group, i may not be able to use both steam wands.

    4) pump or lever? for steaming milk or extracting espresso? im used to the Faema, and i like fast. spinning dials and knobs looks like it could be stressful on the wrists, but i've never actually used one to know for sure.

    thank you so much for your help =)
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  5. #5
    Senior Member BalthazarG's Avatar
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    Just out of curiosity though, which bean did you try?
    I'd like to know this myself!

    If you're throwing around names like LM and Slayer then your budget I'm assuming will be around $10,000 - $30,000
    in which case you might as well look at the San Remo Opera or a Kees Vander Westen Spirit if LM isn't what you want.
    Now we're really in business! They are two seriously sexy machines. I might cheekily add the San Remo Cafe Racer to that red hot list.

    Sorry Steven, but I can't top Gun Barista's advice here (not just the quotes I highlighted, but his whole message). I started off asking you some general questions, and he took up the reins and just ran with it. I've read quite a few of his posts before, and he knows what he's talking about.

    If budget is not a concern and you don't give two hoots about the law of diminishing returns when it comes to exorbitant widgets, pick what you damn well like. And if you love it enough, who's to say you can't later sneak it into your own home (while substituting a cheaper/uglier alternative in the cafe)? At least then you can invite a whole medley of friends and regular customers over to bow down at the shrine. Goddamn right.

    If, however, you'd like to keep your budget "within reason", then IMHO the Rocket Linea Professionale is about as nice as they come before you start hitting the big leagues. A 2-group retails for around $8750, and the 3-group for a squeak over $10,000.

    Just out of curiosity, which particular LMs are the cafes adjoining yours using? The reason I ask is because the LM Stradas look much more distinctive than the other models.

    For the sake of the argument, let's assume your "rivals" (huh!) are using LM Lineas/gb5s/fb80s, and you picked a Strada. Your selection would still be far more distinguished and stylish. But for that price, I still think there are better options (cue Gun Barista's magisterial line-up).

    Don't worry, it's a tough assignment this - especially when you're spoiled for choice. And if you're really bogged down by indecision, remember a quote by British comedian Tommy Cooper: "I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not quite sure". Then you won't feel so bad.
    Last edited by BalthazarG; 19th January 2017 at 02:12 PM.
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  6. #6
    Member GunBarista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven13 View Post
    hello BalthazarG, and thank you very much!

    1) i dont really have a budget, and understand that some machines are up to 30k. literally sandwiched between 2 LM's so i guess that sort of sets the bar. but i think a 30k is a tad much for mine small cafe.

    2) some machines boast fine craftmanship and aesthetic detail, which i will appreciate, but cannot share this feeling with the people, so i feel it is wasteful beauty. like a flower that only blooms in the dark sort of thing. i like to share.

    3) never had an issue with 2, but never even considered 3. workspace in front of the machine is limited, so for a wider 3 group, i may not be able to use both steam wands.

    4) pump or lever? for steaming milk or extracting espresso? im used to the Faema, and i like fast. spinning dials and knobs looks like it could be stressful on the wrists, but i've never actually used one to know for sure.

    thank you so much for your help =)
    ok, I might just have a machine for you from this clarity.

    You can grab a Victoria Arduino Black Eagle 2 group for around the $16k-$18k mark. It has everything you want as well as everything you need,
    and more than you didn't know to wanted or needed haha...

    It's a gorgeous machine, but it wouldn't mind being tucked away, unlike a Kees or a San Remo where you'd want it to be the centrepiece because it's a gorgeous piece of machinery - The Black Eagle is more low-key and minimalist in styling. My partner has a three-group in her cafe and she adores it.
    Last edited by GunBarista; 19th January 2017 at 05:13 PM.
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  7. #7
    Member GunBarista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BalthazarG View Post

    Now we're really in business! They are two seriously sexy machines. I might cheekily add the San Remo Cafe Racer to that red hot list.

    ...I've read quite a few of his posts before, and he knows what he's talking about.

    Just out of curiosity, which particular LMs are the cafes adjoining yours using? The reason I ask is because the LM Stradas look much more distinctive than the other models.

    For the sake of the argument, let's assume your "rivals" (huh!) are using LM Lineas/gb5s/fb80s, and you picked a Strada. Your selection would still be far more distinguished and stylish. But for that price, I still think there are better options (cue Gun Barista's magisterial line-up).

    Don't worry, it's a tough assignment this - especially when you're spoiled for choice. And if you're really bogged down by indecision, remember a quote by British comedian Tommy Cooper: "I used to be indecisive, but now I'm not quite sure". Then you won't feel so bad.
    You're too kind @BalthazarG and your advice is also on point.
    There's much to think about when it comes to buying the right machine for your cafe. However, we can talk all night about this but your return-on-investment will be your best guide. Most coffee machines regardless of your initial investment (within reason which I think is fair to say is best between $15K - $30K setup) should be paid off within 3 to 5 years. To help with that, you can lease commercial equipment via a financial service operator such as SilverChef and get it on a Rent-Try-Buy lease.

    In the cafe business, money isn't an obstacle as long as you have a positive cash flow. Your challenge is to keep that positive cashflow going by any means - if it means that you need to take out a $20K lease on equipment so you can set yourself up with a Black Eagle and a Mythos grinder then blow your competition out of the water by better marketing your business as you really make your mark and move into the specialty coffee arena.

    This is why my question about how many kg's a week you do is crucial. It'll also be nice to know what your competition are doing as well, that way you'll know how much to forecast for in (hopefully) growth so you can justify the upgrade and find out how your ROI will pay for it (how long it'll take)

    Please note: I'm not qualified nor am I trying to advise you on your business. These are purely my own opinions based from past experiences that may not be suitable to everyone.
    Last edited by GunBarista; 19th January 2017 at 05:12 PM. Reason: Grammar
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  8. #8
    Member GunBarista's Avatar
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    One more thing, If you can't buy the equipment outright or via lease then approach a reputable coffee supplier and strike a deal with them.

    For example, if you are doing 15-20kgs a week then you could agree to do a Machine and Grinder setup with your contract (assuming for a minimum of 12 months) and your repayments would be included to the cost of your coffee beans per kg (most likely to be around the $28 - $35 a kg)

    From my past years as a cafe owner, a 3 group LM Linea and Mazzer Robur cost me $28 dollars a kg to keep.

    The only trade-off with doing this deal with the coffee company is that you will never own these machines.. but gives you the flexibility to move around.
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  9. #9
    Junior Member steven13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GunBarista View Post
    One more thing, If you can't buy the equipment outright or via lease then approach a reputable coffee supplier and strike a deal with them.

    For example, if you are doing 15-20kgs a week then you could agree to do a Machine and Grinder setup with your contract (assuming for a minimum of 12 months) and your repayments would be included to the cost of your coffee beans per kg (most likely to be around the $28 - $35 a kg)

    From my past years as a cafe owner, a 3 group LM Linea and Mazzer Robur cost me $28 dollars a kg to keep.

    The only trade-off with doing this deal with the coffee company is that you will never own these machines.. but gives you the flexibility to move around.
    hi GunBarista,
    i actually replied to your post right after BalthazarG , but im not sure why it didnt go through..

    at the moment i do roughly 20 per week, hopefully 25 by end of 2017.

    i've always been on a contract with vittoria coffee, they supplied most of the basic startup equipment from grinder to umbrellas and cups.
    i guess im borderline fanboy but its all i know.. only after trying a different bean, my mind was opened to the advancing modern world.

    i used the darker roast from Equilibrio, they were my only hope when everything was closed during the xmas break and my poor planning left me short of coffee.
    i had to adjust the grinder like a million times but once i got it right... i nearly melted at the sight of viscous honey like texture that left nearly 20ml of dissipating crema post extraction.. also the espresso base was more 'sticky' so my coffee art suddenly improved.. however it seems to be missing that sour ish taste, like super smooth but i dont know its not well rounded enough for my palate that is used to vittoria. but i've tried everything i can with vittoria and couldn't achieve that consistantly even with my best double ristretto..

    im gunna check the Victoria Arduino Black Eagle.

    thanks again for all your help you guys are awesome.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    steven13 certainly, don't stop tasting! Keep on tasting more and more beans from a broad range of roasters! There's this whole other world out there waiting for your taste buds :-)

    What's your client base like compared with the other two cafes nearby you mentioned?

    What are they doing that you're not?

    Are those other two cafes really good ?

    What do they do really well?

    How is what you're thinking of doing going to compete with that ?

    Is this part of revamping/overhauling the cafe ?

    Certainly can lease that equipment if your turn over is high enough to pay for it. If not, then what?
    I believe there are specialty roasters out there that will get you the VA Black Eagle goodness mentioned above as part of some package deal.
    (Probably similar package to what you experienced with Vittoria except with much tastier specialty coffee beans and better equipment)

    If you wanted to start by shelling out less... (and not meaning to push the LM barrow) but at 20 coffees / week wouldn't a LM GS3 AV would still be over kill and save you money over other options discussed and give you extra space and spare coin left for a grinder, puqpress and automagical milk dispensing system (and still coin left over) ?

    That aside, there's plenty of commercial 2 group machine options between $3.5k and $9k - some with some e61 styling or levers if that's your thing.

    Good luck thinking things through.


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  11. #11
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Im thinking 20 to 25 is kg not coffees
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  12. #12
    Junior Member steven13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matth3wh View Post
    steven13 certainly, don't stop tasting! Keep on tasting more and more beans from a broad range of roasters! There's this whole other world out there waiting for your taste buds :-)

    What's your client base like compared with the other two cafes nearby you mentioned?

    What are they doing that you're not?

    Are those other two cafes really good ?

    What do they do really well?

    How is what you're thinking of doing going to compete with that ?

    Is this part of revamping/overhauling the cafe ?

    Certainly can lease that equipment if your turn over is high enough to pay for it. If not, then what?
    I believe there are specialty roasters out there that will get you the VA Black Eagle goodness mentioned above as part of some package deal.
    (Probably similar package to what you experienced with Vittoria except with much tastier specialty coffee beans and better equipment)

    If you wanted to start by shelling out less... (and not meaning to push the LM barrow) but at 20 coffees / week wouldn't a LM GS3 AV would still be over kill and save you money over other options discussed and give you extra space and spare coin left for a grinder, puqpress and automagical milk dispensing system (and still coin left over) ?

    That aside, there's plenty of commercial 2 group machine options between $3.5k and $9k - some with some e61 styling or levers if that's your thing.

    Good luck thinking things through.
    hi matth3wh , there is currently 5 coffee shops virtually within 50m. i dont stress too much over my neighbours but i do notice some things. the only expectation is marginal improvements for a better cup of coffee for the people. their displayed majestic LMs boasts themselves, but machines dont make coffee, humans do.

    i understand the vast array of beans that exist, but i am not adventurous. i would most prefer a bean most similar to that of vittoria, because it is what i am used to, but more viscous.

    i guess its sort of an overhaul, but as subtle as possible.. not as much for the business as it is for my own personal interest.

    old fashioned and minimal, i was never too captivated by puq presses, spring tampers, OCD etc.. though i do not doubt their quality and functionality, to me they sort of take away from the craft. so they sort of just end up on my barista bucket list to try once. for some reason, i have alessi and motta's, jibbi jugs and a bunch of funny ones.. but the ones i most prefer were made-in-china's 10 bucks from the phone repair shop down the road..

    a lease plan is probably the most ideal. personally i dont think turnover could bare a new 30k slayer, if it did i wouldn't need a slayer.

    i was planning on using equilibrio, but i dont understand the term 'speciality' coffee.

    there ARE a wide range of machines, some more cost effective than others. which is why im here. and wow i never knew such a supportive community existed..

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    All good advice. My thoughts are if you want to attract folk and make your coffee not the run of the mill 'starbucks' then it will come down to the bean or blend. The next is the set up to get the desired taste. Most of the coffee I buy away from my favorite shop, could easily be used as drain cleaner. I jest a bit. There was a coffee shop in Perth in a similar situation. A coffee lover took it over, changed the bean blend, retrained the baristas, re calculated the dose/time etc and became an icon for great coffee. It was wow, I even did a barista course there. It changed hands and I moved on. I went back last year for a coffee - it was so sad, it had lost the plot again and was struggling with the competition.
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  14. #14
    Junior Member steven13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dumiya View Post
    All good advice. My thoughts are if you want to attract folk and make your coffee not the run of the mill 'starbucks' then it will come down to the bean or blend. The next is the set up to get the desired taste. Most of the coffee I buy away from my favorite shop, could easily be used as drain cleaner. I jest a bit. There was a coffee shop in Perth in a similar situation. A coffee lover took it over, changed the bean blend, retrained the baristas, re calculated the dose/time etc and became an icon for great coffee. It was wow, I even did a barista course there. It changed hands and I moved on. I went back last year for a coffee - it was so sad, it had lost the plot again and was struggling with the competition.
    i agree. atm everything has vittoria on it, and i dont want to upset the rep or company, so the last thing ill change is the bean.

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    Yes, you indicated you were under contract. It sounds as if the beans are (very) old. The old beans do not have the gas/oil to release that give that 'head' on the extraction. It may be possible get their beans just roasted to see if it makes a difference. The beans may not be roasted in Australia. If you are stuck with Vittoria beans then I would not buy anything. If you will only make a few 'unofficial' coffees with 'private' beans then something like an Giotto R58 would be my suggestion. But to go all out on a super machine will disappoint you with your current beans. These are just my ramblings.
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  16. #16
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    Cool

    Hi Steven

    One of our popular-with-the-locals cafe just switched from Vittoria (everything like you describe = Faema Ambassador + Mazzer SJ) to Pablo & Rusty with Victoria Aduino machine and Mythos grinders. The owner who I'm on speaking terms with is very happy since the change. The coffee is heaps heaps better and they're using great equipment. Staff are happy with the change. Consistency is better. They gave their cafe a lick of paint and colour while they were at it too. The change in look and fresh paint and new machine signals a positive change to your customers!

    Did I stop as soon as I saw the change and go visit them to get a coffee? Yes!
    Have I gone back for more coffees since they changed? Yes!
    Do I actually have hope for decent coffee in our town now and can now recommend them to visitors? Yes!
    Am I like a politician now, asking and answering my own questions? Yes :-)

    Bottom line is you need to be happy with what you're making and proud of the coffee you're serving.

    In my experience Vittoria has been drinkable from a few cafes as milky coffees but I've never liked the coffee enough to say to anyone "go there and have a nice cup of coffee." Sure there were heaps of regulars who kept going there but if you're keen to try something new I say go for it. :-)

    Definitely shop around like GunBarista mentioned and approach some good coffee roasters to see what they can do on the equipment side for you.
    Quote Originally Posted by GunBarista View Post
    If you can't buy the equipment outright or via lease then approach a reputable coffee supplier and strike a deal with them.
    While you're considering tasting coffees, it's worth sampling some of Andy's award winning roasted beans while you're at it - Coffee Snobs Bean Bay.
    I highly recommend trying the Fiefy's Latte Art - Organic if you're serving up lots of milk based coffees. Great crema and taste.

    Also worth doing once in a while. Go and have a coffee from your cafe-neighbours (wear a cap?) and see what standard the coffee bar is set at in the area. :-)
    Last edited by matth3wh; 19th January 2017 at 11:35 PM.
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  17. #17
    Member GunBarista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matth3wh View Post

    Did I stop as soon as I saw the change and go visit them to get a coffee? Yes!
    Have I gone back for more coffees since they changed? Yes!
    Do I actually have hope for decent coffee in our town now and can now recommend them to visitors? Yes!
    Am I like a politician now, asking and answering my own questions? Yes :-)

    Also worth doing once in a while. Go and have a coffee from your cafe-neighbours (wear a cap?) and see what standard the coffee bar is set at in the area. :-)
    ...Plus everyone's comments are all on point, I just don't know how to multiple quote people haha

    If you're serving Vittoria and maintaining 20kg's a week then you're doing something right.
    ..Could you approach a new coffee supplier, strike a deal and increase your business to maybe 30kgs a week?
    To be honest, I'm not sure anymore.
    Let's take Pablo and Rusty's for an example. They will set you up nicely with a Black Eagle and Mythos which will turn your business around. However, Pablo and Rusty's coffee is very different to Vittoria... you will no doubt gain more customers by serving specialty coffee but you'll also lose a lot of your old customers because you don't serve coffee to their taste anymore... In which case the change you've made is too drastic.

    If you're tied to Vittoria by loyalty and relationship then that's ok. 20kg's a week is pretty good for a cafe with 5 competitors around... actually that's pretty awesome. In which case let's flip this whole thing around:

    Have you thought of printing your own cups?
    Are you allowed to rebrand Vittoria as your own? (your own umbrellas, coffee bags, wind barriers, etc.)

    I think what's important now is to make your customers identify you as you, and not as a Vittoria coffee.

    Next, I'll probably look at sneaking in 'Guest Roaster Of The Week' and maybe start doing single origins first for your black coffees.
    It'll be great if you could upgrade your whole setup, at least something better than a Faema Due 2 Group so you can really showcase your single origins well. (an E61 at least...) and see how you go from there.

    I wouldn't want to compromise your 20kg's a week, especially with 5 competitors around. Best to do is move slowly and strategically. Your demographic likes what you're serving so keep it consistent for now.

    ps. How's the Jibbijug? I almost made a purchase on them a few days ago.... :P
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  18. #18
    Senior Member BalthazarG's Avatar
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    This has turned into the most terrific thread. So many helpful suggestions from all of you. Nobody being petty or egotistical, nobody shutting anybody else down, and no PC Police to tell us all what we can or can't say. Brilliant! Why doesn't this happen more often?

    I think a 30k is a tad much for my small cafe.
    Yes it certainly is. Given your cafe is a small one, do you think you could get away with using a 1-group? I know you're used to the Faema 2-group, and I'm assuming you probably want another 2-group. I'm just trying to help you keep costs down.

    If it turns out you can indeed get away with using a 1-group (depending on how busy your cafe becomes, regardless of size), then who says you can't get a Slayer for a reasonable enough price? I don't think even the 3-groups cost $30k.

    I know, I know - there's the issue with unseen beauty, but still: (Ebay link removed)

    (Not that I'm necessarily advocating buying from Ebay, just saying - it's often surprising what you can turn up just from poking around the yard like a nosy chicken).

    Your challenge is to keep that positive cashflow going by any means - if it means that you need to take out a $20K lease on equipment so you can set yourself up with a Black Eagle and a Mythos grinder then blow your competition out of the water by better marketing your business as you really make your mark and move into the specialty coffee arena.
    Yes, exactly! We have both a coffee lover and an astute businessman here being mindful of both ROI, while also allowing for the suggestion of additional specialty coffees to be introduced incrementally.

    Steven - you wouldn't (or at least shouldn't) upset Vittoria unless you switched coffees completely, but that's not what your intention appears to be. So I don't think there's anything to worry about for now. Many, many cafes have more than one bean on the go at any one time.

    If you wanted to start by shelling out less... (and not meaning to push the LM barrow) but at 20 coffees / week wouldn't a LM GS3 AV would still be over kill and save you money over other options discussed
    Matt, your typo regarding Steven churning out 20 coffees per week instead of 20kg per week definitely gave us all a good chuckle, however your follow-on advice still reaped a gold nugget in my brain. I know Steven is leaning away from LM, but perhaps he should still be open-minded enough to consider a GS3 2-group? He could probably find one for $12k, or maybe a bit less?

    The reason being that the GS3 2-group costs around $6,000 to $7,000 less than the Black Eagle. *No disrespect Gun Barista, it was still an excellent suggestion. I'm merely assessing the possibilities from a purchase price angle.

    Anyway, that's my two cents worth (until further notice). Like David said above: "These are just my ramblings".
    Last edited by BalthazarG; 20th January 2017 at 03:20 PM.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member BalthazarG's Avatar
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    I'm going to finish off by being a cheeky prick here: I reckon Steven secretly wants a Slayer, and is hoping to find the appropriate justification to get his grubby mits on one! Otherwise he wouldn't have mentioned it in the first place.

    Don't you, Steven!? Eh!?
    Last edited by BalthazarG; 20th January 2017 at 03:21 PM.
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  20. #20
    Site Sponsor K_Bean_Coffee's Avatar
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    A good looking and cheap commercial machine is the Expobar Ruggero. It's basic but reliable and fully customisable.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    First time buying a machine for cafe

    +1 for Ruggero multiboiler and leaving yourself money for all the other stuff.

    Gov still give all your < $20k capital expenses like this an instant tax write-off ?!
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  22. #22
    Junior Member steven13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GunBarista View Post
    ...Plus everyone's comments are all on point, I just don't know how to multiple quote people haha

    If you're serving Vittoria and maintaining 20kg's a week then you're doing something right.
    ..Could you approach a new coffee supplier, strike a deal and increase your business to maybe 30kgs a week?
    To be honest, I'm not sure anymore.
    Let's take Pablo and Rusty's for an example. They will set you up nicely with a Black Eagle and Mythos which will turn your business around. However, Pablo and Rusty's coffee is very different to Vittoria... you will no doubt gain more customers by serving specialty coffee but you'll also lose a lot of your old customers because you don't serve coffee to their taste anymore... In which case the change you've made is too drastic.

    If you're tied to Vittoria by loyalty and relationship then that's ok. 20kg's a week is pretty good for a cafe with 5 competitors around... actually that's pretty awesome. In which case let's flip this whole thing around:

    Have you thought of printing your own cups?
    Are you allowed to rebrand Vittoria as your own? (your own umbrellas, coffee bags, wind barriers, etc.)

    I think what's important now is to make your customers identify you as you, and not as a Vittoria coffee.

    Next, I'll probably look at sneaking in 'Guest Roaster Of The Week' and maybe start doing single origins first for your black coffees.
    It'll be great if you could upgrade your whole setup, at least something better than a Faema Due 2 Group so you can really showcase your single origins well. (an E61 at least...) and see how you go from there.

    I wouldn't want to compromise your 20kg's a week, especially with 5 competitors around. Best to do is move slowly and strategically. Your demographic likes what you're serving so keep it consistent for now.

    ps. How's the Jibbijug? I almost made a purchase on them a few days ago.... :P

    thank you to everyone for contributing, i have learnt heaps. great community..

    yeah, i could maintain vittoria and be fine, because i do enjoy their coffee. but the substitute bean was just such a joy to work with. i finally understood honey like texture. though the flavour was missing just that sourness that i never knew my palate needed. but after going back to vittoria, i felt sort of restrained. and watching the more watery extraction only made me miss being mesmerized by honey like texture.

    hi matth3wh, ill definately try snobby beans, thanks. but i am not expecting the machine or bean to increase kg, i just want equipment that allows me to completely express my personal interpretation of a lattè, or short mac or doppio. today i was told that steam wand pressure on some machines correspond to how far the lever/dial is, and i really want that. i was also told to consider 3 group, disregarding the factor of volume, but for a lower temperature extraction setting that perhaps a secondary lighter roasted bean may prefer.

    balthazerG, i do want a slayer, as much as id like a ferrari. but if i had the money, i probably wouldnt buy neither. i checked out the black eagle, its got some gravitronetric feature that seems innovative and useful. but i also looked at the down right uggs wega concept, and im actually more drawn to the concept.
    and i guess your right if it came down to an LM being most ideal id opt for it. just three consective LMs, opposed to just something else is just preferred.

    GunB, i tried for a guest roast but currently all my equipment is vitt, even both grinders. i really want to start by just getting my own equipment for that freedom.. i saw some wega had transparent casing looked cool. as for the jibbijug, its great, but i still use my generic one. mainly because i feel its more tailered to her style than mine.

    will keep doing my homework! thanks to everyone again!
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  23. #23
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Forget a 1-group, as you own a cafe you'll know that your coffee output isn't spread evenly across the week but is featured by peaks and troughs. A single group won't handle the workflow & output during the peaks and keep your customers happy.

    Your customers are your number one asset, without them you don't have a business,

    Your second biggest asset is your customer relations.... if you can't keep them happy they simply won't show up.. and it's not just the coffee that will keep them happy.Plenty of good advice on this thread from some good people with experience, as well as the usual..... or at least what has become the new normal.

    If you are on a 'contract' with Vittoria it will detail the specifics and may have a total exclusion of all other beans running through their machines. It will also outline the steps needed to end the contract. If you are on a minimum supply and/or term of contract then work out when you can leave with no penalty, get all your ducks in a row then be ready to pull the trigger. I would also advise against signing another contract with another supplier when you are ready to leave; I have known of people threatened with court action simply because they wanted to make a decision about what is their own business. If you want machinery supply as well as coffee then look for a Supply Agreement arrangement.

    The best thing for any serious cafe owner who is serious about their coffee is to own their own machinery, make their own decisions about which coffee goes through it and to promote their own shop on any umbrellas, barriers, cups and takeaways.

    Unless you're well cashed up or can access plenty of credit that won't hurt your cashflow or are just driven by insatiable desire then spending circa $30k on a Slayer is overkill at 20kgs/week. Put your money into consolidating your growth then maybe buy a Kees Spirit or whatever takes your fancy at the time but do your thorough research on the machine you choose. Do you, for instance, know the history of the Slayer V1 and V2? But it looks like you have perspective on that score.

    The term 'Specialty' coffee has many connotations these days but if you have a look here, you can see its origins ....https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specialty_coffee
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  24. #24
    Junior Member steven13's Avatar
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    ahh, so speciality coffee is essentially a grade of the bean used. i was in contact with a speciality roaster promptly after posting my initial thread, though states apart, in 45min, he provided much insight as well as business advice.

    and yes chokkidog, i have thoroughly considered this transition, and understand that it is a big one. the current goal is by mid year if not the end. i have also already planned re-branding like having my own umbrellas and barriers. but currently i dont have cash nor credit just conviction.

    i think the slayer is awesome, from the name to design. but i feel its too high end for me, and that i may not be able to do it justice..

    i dont think i could survive a single day with 1 group. unless 2 1 groups.

    overwhelming

  25. #25
    Junior Member steven13's Avatar
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    update;

    i am currently considering the ruggero or a rocket. the pompei's lever looks fun..

    i want to own my own equipment, so i may purchase exclusive from a coffee supplier. i really want the freedom.

    kvdw's are really something.. but i think at the end of all this, i may either go overboard or just get another Due..

    may i ask if anyone has used a 'fun' machine? having only ever used buttons; are levers, knobs and dials as fun as the appear?
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  26. #26
    Senior Member 2muchcoffeeman's Avatar
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    For mine, Greg (chokki) hit the nail fair square a few posts ago.

    If you are under contract with Vittoria, what you should do is absolutely nothing until the contract period is over, or you will find yourself subject to legal action before you have had time to scratch yourself- and they'll be using your cajones as dental floss...

    My understanding is that they don't often lose court cases for breach of contract and you will most likely end up in court.

    If the coffee is disappointing, they appear to have a fresh(er) "restaurant blend" which can actually be quite passable if expertly pulled. Maybe you just need to get you some of that...Discuss it with your rep.

    As for their branding, if I see it, I see a message that says the coffee is likely to be bitterly disappointing and the bloke who owns the cafe is under contract and can't do anything about it. I cut out the middleman and just choose a better offer elsewhere...

    2mcm
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  27. #27
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2muchcoffeeman View Post
    For mine, Greg (chokki) hit the nail fair square a few posts ago.

    If you are under contract with Vittoria, what you should do is absolutely nothing until the contract period is over, or you will find yourself subject to legal action before you have had time to scratch yourself- and they'll be using your cajones as dental floss...

    My understanding is that they don't often lose court cases for breach of contract and you will most likely end up in court.

    If the coffee is disappointing, they appear to have a fresh(er) "restaurant blend" which can actually be quite passable if expertly pulled. Maybe you just need to get you some of that...Discuss it with your rep.

    As for their branding, if I see it, I see a message that says the coffee is likely to be bitterly disappointing and the bloke who owns the cafe is under contract and can't do anything about it. I cut out the middleman and just choose a better offer elsewhere...

    2mcm

    As usual excellent advice Chris.
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  28. #28
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2muchcoffeeman View Post
    For mine, Greg (chokki) hit the nail fair square a few posts ago.

    If you are under contract with Vittoria, what you should do is absolutely nothing until the contract period is over, or you will find yourself subject to legal action before you have had time to scratch yourself- and they'll be using your cajones as dental floss...

    My understanding is that they don't often lose court cases for breach of contract and you will most likely end up in court.

    If the coffee is disappointing, they appear to have a fresh(er) "restaurant blend" which can actually be quite passable if expertly pulled. Maybe you just need to get you some of that...Discuss it with your rep.

    As for their branding, if I see it, I see a message that says the coffee is likely to be bitterly disappointing and the bloke who owns the cafe is under contract and can't do anything about it. I cut out the middleman and just choose a better offer elsewhere...

    2mcm
    Spot on Chris.

    We have been wholesaling coffee for cafes and restaurants for 9 years.

    Let me assure you if you have a contract with Vitoria, YOU WILL BE PAYING TO GET OUT OF IT BEFORE TERM.

    There has been lots of interesting information in the previous posts.

    Let me give you my summary, we have also been supplying commercial machines for 9 years, so we have some experience.

    Don't even think of a single group machine.
    Its nice that people are suggesting Slayers etc, but I don't think that is really in your budget.
    People do stop and look at machines and judge a café from the outside before they enter. IMO an Expobar is a not " a head turner"
    If you want something reliable and affordable think Wega or Nuova Simonelli.
    The Victoria Arduino Black Eagle is a great machine, the current machine for the WBC. However it is expensive. if its just outside your budget maybe consider their new WHITE EAGLE. It has the Nuova Simonelli Aurelia internals but in the VA body. It is a head turner!

    There has been lots of great advice here but its your money... and your decision.

    Cheers

    Antony
    Last edited by Casa Espresso; 24th January 2017 at 09:59 AM.

  29. #29
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casa Espresso View Post
    People do stop and look at machines and judge a café from the outside before they enter.
    I certainly agree with this statement, I'm one of them that do this, they say you cant judge a book by it's cover, however you can get a pretty good feel for what to expect.

    As well as the machine scope out the general ambience, is it busy or do the barista's look like they're killing time waiting for the next customer/victim.
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  30. #30
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    I look at grinders and listen for them running. If it has a doser and runs continually i dont have a coffee
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  31. #31
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    This is the White Eagle or if you are thinking leva the VA Athena leva
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  32. #32
    Site Sponsor K_Bean_Coffee's Avatar
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    That Athena is just beautiful Antony. Wow!

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    The ACS Vostok might be worth a look. Lever machine so has the theatrics for a cafe (though that might lead to RSI claims). Some more tech than most lever machines too. Dual boilers and a PID for each group. Can be had up to a 4 group.

    I'm just a home user so not sure of the requirements/limitations of cafe use.

  34. #34
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    For the OP - it really comes down to who you want to attract to your cafe. If you want the tiny percentage of the population that is on coffeesnobs and home barista then get a machine that has that kind of appeal within your budget. Can tell you that for an average cafe however, 99% of the customers don't know a simonelli from an Expobar from a Slayer and go there because the coffee tastes good, the cafe looks nice and the service is good. I would go with reliability and performance.
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