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Thread: Alex Duetto IV - First impressions

  1. #1
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Alex Duetto IV - First impressions

    So this morning I picked up my new machine from Antony at Casa Espresso. After placing an order sometime ago Im glad to say the wait was over and i was able to get it home and pump out a couple of shots to test the water. For anyone who reads this now and in the future I just wish to say i have come from a Expobar Minore which i owed for 5 plus years. the Expobar never missed a beat but like many on here seeing all these newer machines can get you wanting a newer machine. That said as much as i looked i kept thinking the Expobar had not missed a beat, so should i upgrade?

    So having had the Alex Duetto for a little over 2 hours now at home I wish to give you a brief run down of my thoughts so far. I wont compare it anymore to the Expobar...

    Straight out of the box you can see there has been alot of care put into the presentation of the machine and what comes with it. The machine is heavy I will say that much. When on the bench with the legs on its sits pretty nice and gives a shiny presence. Straight away you can see the quality of the build and the detail put into the machine itself. after turning it on you soon quickly realize the machine is quiet when the pump is on.
    the adjustment of the pressure was handy in the position it was as I did have to make an adjustment as it was set only at approx 8 bar. This would be more fiddly on many other machines, but this was simple and done in a few seconds.

    I mentioned to Antony, i really like the PID colour, not red, not blue just a subtle white colour if you can call white a colour. The water and steam knobs, look nice and work really well. The Pressure from the steam is something I have to say i need to get use too... A few steam tips to choose from also. The distance between the drip tray and portafilter is a real plus, it makes the machine look well balanced and allows my partner to use taller glass cups for her coffee.

    First shot came out a little quick, i put this down to the grinder being somewhat off and my partner adjusting it to use for something else sometime ago... This said the taste was pretty amazing. I was surprise as on my old machine it would have been evident the shot to taste sour, this didn't. After making some adjustments i got the coffee dialed in and was pulling great shot. As i said the machine is almost silent, which is a good thing for early mornings when the SO complains about hearing the Coffee machine going. She wont be complaining anymore... She wont hear it and came now make great coffee.

    As mentioned its been a little over 2 hours, but so far i dont have any doubt this machine is worth the money it is and will provide great coffee going forward. Its Durable and elegant at the same time. Anyone looking to buy one of these I think you are going to be impressed by the look and the coffee it can make.

    I wish to thank Antony from Casa Espresso for the good service, he kept me up to date with when the machines was coming. It made it very easy to buy this through him.

    Want to know anymore please ask.

    Chris
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Classy machine mate...

    Mal.
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  3. #3
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    beautiful machine, congrats
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  4. #4
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    Looks awesome... and by the sounds of it you are going to experience many years of enjoyment
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Jono_Willmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeechris View Post
    So this morning I picked up my new machine from Antony at Casa Espresso. After placing an order sometime ago Im glad to say the wait was over and i was able to get it home and pump out a couple of shots to test the water. For anyone who reads this now and in the future I just wish to say i have come from a Expobar Minore which i owed for 5 plus years. the Expobar never missed a beat but like many on here seeing all these newer machines can get you wanting a newer machine. That said as much as i looked i kept thinking the Expobar had not missed a beat, so should i upgrade?

    So having had the Alex Duetto for a little over 2 hours now at home I wish to give you a brief run down of my thoughts so far. I wont compare it anymore to the Expobar...

    Straight out of the box you can see there has been alot of care put into the presentation of the machine and what comes with it. The machine is heavy I will say that much. When on the bench with the legs on its sits pretty nice and gives a shiny presence. Straight away you can see the quality of the build and the detail put into the machine itself. after turning it on you soon quickly realize the machine is quiet when the pump is on.
    the adjustment of the pressure was handy in the position it was as I did have to make an adjustment as it was set only at approx 8 bar. This would be more fiddly on many other machines, but this was simple and done in a few seconds.

    I mentioned to Antony, i really like the PID colour, not red, not blue just a subtle white colour if you can call white a colour. The water and steam knobs, look nice and work really well. The Pressure from the steam is something I have to say i need to get use too... A few steam tips to choose from also. The distance between the drip tray and portafilter is a real plus, it makes the machine look well balanced and allows my partner to use taller glass cups for her coffee.

    First shot came out a little quick, i put this down to the grinder being somewhat off and my partner adjusting it to use for something else sometime ago... This said the taste was pretty amazing. I was surprise as on my old machine it would have been evident the shot to taste sour, this didn't. After making some adjustments i got the coffee dialed in and was pulling great shot. As i said the machine is almost silent, which is a good thing for early mornings when the SO complains about hearing the Coffee machine going. She wont be complaining anymore... She wont hear it and came now make great coffee.

    As mentioned its been a little over 2 hours, but so far i dont have any doubt this machine is worth the money it is and will provide great coffee going forward. Its Durable and elegant at the same time. Anyone looking to buy one of these I think you are going to be impressed by the look and the coffee it can make.

    I wish to thank Antony from Casa Espresso for the good service, he kept me up to date with when the machines was coming. It made it very easy to buy this through him.

    Want to know anymore please ask.

    Chris
    So glad it arrived safely, I'm a huge Alex fan and this is sometime very special, congrats and enjoy. It looks brilliant too.
    coffeechris likes this.

  6. #6
    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeechris View Post
    Want to know anymore please ask.
    Yeah, just wondering when you're inviting us all over for a sample
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  7. #7
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnafunk View Post
    Yeah, just wondering when you're inviting us all over for a sample
    Long drive for you mate, but sure we can work something out next time your down.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Classy machine mate...

    Mal.
    Mel, I hope you spotted a couple of the Espresso cups i bought from you on top of the machine.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Had a bit more time to play with the machine this evening as we had friends over. Loving it and getting use to it. I will say for me so far the pressure out of the steam tip is to the point i will have to get use to it. So far ive been unable to master the milk. That will come in time. So far I have no questions or gripes.

    Chris
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  10. #10
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Very nice!! Congrats!

    Cheers

  11. #11
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeechris View Post
    Mel, I hope you spotted a couple of the Espresso cups i bought from you on top of the machine.
    I did notice the little NPs sitting in pride of place, and wondered about that...

    Mal.
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  12. #12
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    Nice work Chris
    Looks great.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    You learn something new everyday....

    With the Alex Duetto, you get a number of steam tips. I never thought much about this as the Expobar came with just the one. As mentioned I have found the steam pressure to be extremely powerful, so powerful ive been unable to achieve what i would call my own preferred texture of Milk. After failing again this morning I though maybe i should go with a different tip. Not thinking about it i only assumed the less holes the easier it would be to control. When i looked in the box i expected to see a 1 hole steam tip, which there was not. I remember the Expobar had a 3 hole steam tip so decided to go with that appose to the 2 hole. Straight away it was a big change and i was able to achieve what i would normally.

    Chris
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  14. #14
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    If it comes with the 4 hole 1mm diameter tip (pretty sure it does), give that a go. I have used this config on a couple of different machines with good success.

    At least you can experiment with them all and see what suits you. Some will be better at larger milk volumes.

    Cheers
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  15. #15
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    You've got to love the attention to detail that Izzo puts into all their products, as do Rocket Espresso too of course.
    Don't know of too many others that do this...

    Mal.

  16. #16
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Thanks guys will do. After changing it over and noticing a difference it made, it actually made me think I should give the others ago and see what difference it makes.

    Mel, i must say in my original post about this I wanted to and forgot to mentioned im sure other machine makers put the attention to detail in to their machines like Izzo have. Its what makes it hard for someone looking at a new machine. Alot of the time you find prices are very similar and the ins and outs of them are similar from one maker to another. It comes down to looks when you have a price range in mind these days.

    Chris
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  17. #17
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Hi Chris,

    Great all is going well.

    I knew you were keen to pick it up when you were waiting outside the showroom before we had opened on Saturday morning!

    Remember there is one other variable you can change with steaming and that is the pressure in the steam boiler. All easily adjustable through the PID control

    Cheers

    Antony
    www.casaespresso.com.au
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  18. #18
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Another nicely presented option from Izzo.
    Optional coloured handle options including taps, lever, group handles and a white handled tamper.
    All nicely presented.
    Well done Izzo, we are impressed.

    Cheers

    Antony
    Www.casaespresso.com.au
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  19. #19
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    So 2 weeks in - how’s ownership of the new Izzo going Chris... a worthwhile upgrade for the Expobar?

  20. #20
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Hi Mfluder,

    Like many of us when purchasing something which can be pricey, we tend to think in the back of our minds am i making the right choice and do i need it?? Maybe in some way i dont need it as the Expobar was going well but I feel i made the right choice and i haven't once felt i didn't need to buy this machine. I wanted something new.

    I cant explain how but in someway its more ergonomic, as silly as it sounds and it seems to take me alot less time to make. The main thing for me is it very forgiving when making coffee, I was struggling at first to get the grind right, but that wasn't the machines fault and part of the struggle may have been that the coffee was already tasting good even though it wasn't with in my preferred extraction amount/time.

    The one big thing is the look, I loved the Expobar, but I have to say the finish on this is beautiful. To answer the question, yes its been a very worth while upgrade.

    Chris
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  21. #21
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casa Espresso View Post
    Hi Chris,

    Great all is going well.

    I knew you were keen to pick it up when you were waiting outside the showroom before we had opened on Saturday morning!

    Remember there is one other variable you can change with steaming and that is the pressure in the steam boiler. All easily adjustable through the PID control

    Cheers

    Antony
    www.casaespresso.com.au
    I have to admit two thing.... 1. Yes i was very Keen to pick it up!! 2. I have a very bad habit of always being very punctual

    steam is going well now and producing great milk. The entire machine is also easy for my partner to use as she was a little hesitate at first.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member saroadie's Avatar
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    Joined the club this afternoon.

    20180508_154158.jpg

  23. #23
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    You wont be disappointed, good purchase
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  24. #24
    Senior Member saroadie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeechris View Post
    You wont be disappointed, good purchase
    I'm already making better shots than my old machine. Only need to be off roster now to have good play. Caffeine intake reduced due shift work.

    @coffeechris have you plumbed yours in?
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  25. #25
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    I haven't plumbed mine in, its crossed my mind many times (actually it crosses my mind every time i use it).

    My previous machine was an Expobar Minore, although this was a great machine it took me sometime to really get a good shot and be able to do it consistently. When i got the Duetto, like you I was pulling great shots on the first day.
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  26. #26
    Senior Member saroadie's Avatar
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    Yes, I'll bet plumbing in crosses your mind often.

    I received my machine on Tuesday and I certainly noticed the increased water usage of the E61 machine during 2 short sessions of making a few shots compared to my previous machine. It meant more frequent refills of the tank and so I had plumbed it in by Wednesday evening. Having recently fitted a Brita C150 finest and 3 way sink mixer in the kitchen, it was only a few hours pottering to make water to the Alex happen. Certainly there's pros and cons to plumbing but my last 5.5 years of tank filling are behind me now. The drain is still to be done but I'm collecting a few small bits and will have a crack at it in the next week. Meanwhile emptying the drip tray is way easier and quicker than refilling the tank.

    My journey was 2 consecutive Breville Dual Boiler machines. To be fair they're a great idea and for what they are make a good training ground. Achilles heel is the complexity vs price equation means 2.5 -3 years life until problems start.
    I'm confident the Alex will outlive both Brevilles by a large margin. It also looks like a Lamborghini Miura compared to the Breville's N12 Nissan Pulsar.

  27. #27
    Member Morgz's Avatar
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    I have an Alex Duetto II which is now nearly 8 years old. Apart from a two year period when I was out of the country, it has been used every day without missing a beat; the only item needing attention being the PID after an LED segment failed. Clean Alex regularly and I'm sure you'll get many years of faithful service as well. My latest addition has been a wifi switch; I now tell Google Home to turn it on before I get out of bed, or turn it on using my phone before I get home. Best idea ever :-)
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  28. #28
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    I have the Duetto II and loving it. I too got the wifi switch ages ago, so awesome!! And unfortunately my PID LED segments are disappearing. I will have a crack at fixing the display module in the PID when I get a chance, will write up about it when I do.

    They are a quality bit of kit, looks great under the bonnet!

    Cheers
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  29. #29
    Senior Member saroadie's Avatar
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    I have now competed the drain plumbing and am loving the convenience of a fully plumbed machine.

    I did notice after plumbing in the water supply that a change (downward) was required to the pump pressure as brew pressure went up. This was easily done after a quick chat with Chris at TC to get the correct procedure and now I'm all set. Shots are superb.

    Like @coffeechris, I've found the milk is taking time to master. I'm just having some issues with good even integration, stretching is easy. I haven't noticed much difference switching from 2 hole to 3 hole tips so I may try out the 4 hole tips if I'm still not there after a bit more technique tweaking.

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