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Thread: Bezzera Magica e61 review - user experience 3 months on

  1. #1
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Bezzera Magica e61 review - user experience 3 months on

    Hi Snobs,

    I thought I'd post a little bit about my Bezzera Magica purchasing experience and thoughts about this machine at the 3 month usage mark.

    First up, thank you to Renzo and Ofra at Di Bartoli. They were helpful for questions and prompt to reply via social media or IM. Very friendly people and a great in store, no pressure environment. Also, I'm sure the wafting roasted coffee and brews being churned out in store certainly adds to the overall joy of the experience. Made me want to quit my day job and work in coffee full time. Back to reality.

    I'd gone in to take my Bezzera BZ02 for a service and a look at the possibility of purchasing a new machine.
    I considered other machines in store but for me the Magica seemed to be excellent value for the specs and I wanted to spend the least $ possible.

    2L copper boiler; 4L water tank; 1450w heating element; shares these similar spec to other Bezzera machines such as Domus, Strega, Mitica.

    Weight:22.7 Kg; Width:300mm Depth:425mm Height:415mm

    Things I liked about the buying experience at Di Bartoli: (noting this is similar to most site sponsors at CS who do a great job of looking after buyers)
    * Useful bundled extras at the time of purchase.
    * Free offer of training with purchase.
    * Free sample coffee to get you going;
    * Friendly staff.
    * Coffee smells permeating the store
    * Suggestion to try to sell second hand first rather than trade in.
    * No pressure to buy or select one particular machine over another.

    Things on this machine that could be improved:
    * slightly wider drip tray; think this is common to a few different manufacturers;
    * slightly quieter vibe pump; noise isn't bad but the setup could be improved when compared with other manufacturers;
    * low water light; water light is on by default and then goes off to show not enough water.

    Probably just me, but if you do a portafilter jiggle to clean the group head with the blind filter to give a quick water clean, you'll likely get some water just over the edge of the tray, but it is minimal and probably common to a lot of machines.

    Things I like about this machine:
    * makes very tasty coffee, very consistently;
    * less finicky than the older BZ02 BZ99 models.
    * great temperature stability after the usual e61 heat up time (20-25 minutes)
    * great steaming power delivers excellent micro foam and steams milk quickly.
    * decent water tank size fits our drinking and cleaning habbits.
    * you can easily take off the cup tray with all the cups on board and fill up the water tank.
    * levers for steam and hot water.
    * deep drip tray.
    * easy to clean drip tray and stainless.
    * AISI 304 commercial grade polished stainless steel - mirror finish looks great in kitchen.
    * manufacturer office in Brisbane with guaranteed trade in value after 5 years.

    Summary:
    Overall build is great for the price. I really like the coffee produced by this machine. And I really like how quickly you can produce silky microfoam. Noticed this improvement over the BZ02 with it's smaller element and boiler. Can make more coffees in less time and do all the rinsing and cleanup.

    I happily drink coffee any which way. Aeropress, V60, cold brew, Espresso, piccolo and flat white/caps yum, yum, yum. I'm fortunate to have a wife and wider family who enjoy good coffee. What I notice about this machine is our increased coffee consumption. :-) I frequently find that we finish a coffee made on this machine and then think to myself, I'd really like another coffee, that was really good. I look at my wife and she will often signal for another coffee soon after. We often have friends say they are spoiled by having coffees at our place as when they get cafe coffee elsewhere they are finding themselves disappointed. We can quickly point to the machine and the good quality roast coffee beans as I know this machine helps make achieving great espresso coffee easier.

    There's lots of HX E61 based group machines out there that will do an excellent job and I doubt you'd be greatly disappointed with any of them but with the same spending limit, I'd happily buy this machine again and I'd happily recommend a visit to Di Bartoli.



    Last edited by matth3wh; 14th November 2016 at 12:32 AM.

  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Great write-up Matthew...

    Our eldest son also has a Magica (for a couple of years now, and also bought through Di Bartoli) and he loves his Bezz too...
    I've been fortunate enough to sample several brews over time and they have all been great.

    Happy brewing mate,
    Mal.
    Last edited by Dimal; 14th November 2016 at 11:31 PM.
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  3. #3
    Site Sponsor Di_Bartoli's Avatar
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    Woohoo! what an awesome write up Matt and even greater images!

    So happy we could have contributed to a growing coffee consumption in your home...

    And an absolute pleasure having you and Mrs as part of our FB community too...

    Totally agree regarding the pump noise level. This has been communicated to factory and hopefully we can see some improvement soon. Is it on par with similar machines, but we do want to make our own brand model stand out!

    Have fun playing and keep us posted!

    Ofra
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  4. #4
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    Bezzera Magica e61 review - user experience 3 months on

    One thing I wondered about trying for this machine is either a three tip or four tip steam hole.

    Any suitable options?

    NOTE: current steaming speed is quick but I'd be interested to see how a 3/4 would go.


  5. #5
    Site Sponsor Di_Bartoli's Avatar
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    We found that the Magica's steam distribution is best channelled via the 2 holes tip for microfoam. As far as I know there are no compatible 3 or 4 holes tips
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Di_Bartoli View Post
    Woohoo! what an awesome write up Matt and even greater images!

    So happy we could have contributed to a growing coffee consumption in your home...

    And an absolute pleasure having you and Mrs as part of our FB community too...

    Totally agree regarding the pump noise level. This has been communicated to factory and hopefully we can see some improvement soon. Is it on par with similar machines, but we do want to make our own brand model stand out!

    Have fun playing and keep us posted!

    Ofra
    Just wondering if the pump nose level on Magica is the same as other Domus variants (Galetea, Mitica, etc)? Looks like Magica has a slightly smaller footprint (30mm vs 36mm wide) than its cousins.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    I believe the Magica and Domus use the same pump. Here's a video comparing the pump noise of the Domus (left) to the La Pavoni Cellini (right).
    https://youtu.be/j7inMosH4Z4
    I believe they all use the same vibe pump (EX5), the difference is the mounting (brackets) and the layout I think. Thanks for the video.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    No worries. Mounting brackets can make a big deference to noise. ....just look at the Profitec Pro 500 as an example of what a bit of German smarts can do. It's as quiet as many rotaries.
    A Domus vs Magica noise comparison would be interesting.
    Your msg inbox is full.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Interesting discussion, I have always felt the pump on the Domus Galatea to be a bit on the noisy side, contacted Bezzera QLD, said they would get back with a solution, never did.

    So, brackets, any suggestions for a quieter pump mounting option for the Bezzera Domus Galatea?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    No worries. Mounting brackets can make a big deference to noise. ....just look at the Profitec Pro 500 as an example of what a bit of German smarts can do. It's as quiet as many rotaries.
    A Domus vs Magica noise comparison would be interesting.
    Whilst I agree Profitec Pro 500 is a very quiet machine and build quality is superior, it is not in the same price bracket as the Bezzeras.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    I considered a bunch of alternatives when purchasing but ended up looking in the 2L boiler range...
    Expobar office leva for a few hundred less than Bez with smaller boiler and smaller water tank delivered in a smaller foot print. Expobar have high wattage element which is likely to more quickly heat / balance smaller boiler size.

    Specifications:

    Configuration: Single boiler with heat exchanger
    Boiler: 1.5 litres
    Power: 2000 watts
    Dimensions: 260 mm (w) x 380 mm (h) x 470 mm (d)
    Weight: 25kg
    Water tank: 2.9 litres

  12. #12
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    Expobar Minore IV - usually slightly more expensive than the Bez but with the benefits (?) of changing you over to PID dual boiler country.

    Expobar Minore Specifications
    Functionality: Semi Automatic Control
    Power: Single Phase
    Maximum Installed Power: 10 amps
    Boiler Size: 1.5 + 1.5ltr
    Boiler Composition: 99.9% Pure Copper
    Automatic Boiler Filling: Yes
    Manual Boiler Filling: No
    Water Reservoir: 2.750ltrs
    Heating Element Power: 2 x 2000 watts
    Hot Water Outlets: 1
    Steam Outlets: 1
    Steam Pressure Gauge: Yes
    Inbuilt Pump Type: Vibration
    Standards Compliance: CE
    Product Dimensions (mm): 260W x 440D x 400H
    Product (Net) Weight: 30Kg
    Shipping Dimensions (mm): 345W x 530D x 490H
    Shipping (In Carton) Weight: 34Kg

  13. #13
    Site Sponsor Di_Bartoli's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    My advice is to stretch to a high end HX
    Couldn't agree more. If between the Minore and any high end HX, massive difference on built quality, simplicity and lower repair cost for the life of the machine.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Interesting discussion, I have always felt the pump on the Domus Galatea to be a bit on the noisy side, contacted Bezzera QLD, said they would get back with a solution, never did.

    So, brackets, any suggestions for a quieter pump mounting option for the Bezzera Domus Galatea?
    https://youtu.be/V5ru_-VcTLw?list=PL...J5g8rZG_vo0I4_

    As you can see from the above video profitec uses special mounting brackets which I think that's reason its quieter than other machines using the same pump.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by matth3wh View Post
    I considered a bunch of alternatives when purchasing but ended up looking in the 2L boiler range...
    Expobar office leva for a few hundred less than Bez with smaller boiler and smaller water tank delivered in a smaller foot print. Expobar have high wattage element which is likely to more quickly heat / balance smaller boiler size.

    Specifications:

    Configuration: Single boiler with heat exchanger
    Boiler: 1.5 litres
    Power: 2000 watts
    Dimensions: 260 mm (w) x 380 mm (h) x 470 mm (d)
    Weight: 25kg
    Water tank: 2.9 litres
    May I ask if the OPV on your Magica is set 9 or 11-12 bar? If the former can you hear a high-pitched noise as suggested by some posts here.

  16. #16
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by symphonie View Post
    if the OPV on your Magica is set 9 or 11-12 bar? can you hear a high-pitched noise as suggested by some posts here.
    Hi Symphonie. I believe that Di Bartoli request pump set to 9 bar. I've not noticed high pitched noises here just normal vibe pump tones.

    I think I know what you're referring to though as my old BZ02 had a higher pitched squeal at times when pulling a shot.

    Is this what you're referring to?

    I have seen a YouTube video discussion with Luca Bezzera saying they factory set to 11-12 bar but in AU the Bez Bris factory / Di Bartoli set to 9.

    I'll see if I can find a link for it.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by matth3wh View Post
    Hi Symphonie. I believe that Di Bartoli request pump set to 9 bar. I've not noticed high pitched noises here just normal vibe pump tones.

    I think I know what you're referring to though as my old BZ02 had a higher pitched squeal at times when pulling a shot.

    Is this what you're referring to?

    I have seen a YouTube video discussion with Luca Bezzera saying they factory set to 11-12 bar but in AU the Bez Bris factory / Di Bartoli set to 9.

    I'll see if I can find a link for it.
    Here's what I am referring to.

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...g-machine.html

  18. #18
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    Yeah, no loud whine when using the machine.

    The Di Bartoli team and other resellers can speak more towards this point and to the history as to what has changed since 2008 when it was mentioned in this thread.

    Could be also using a slightly different ver pump / mouting / config as well since then.

    On a different note, I thought I'd add a few extra pics... cup holder from the top and some coffee portafilter action shots.



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  19. #19
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    They look like the usual rubber mounting brackets but with separate bracket to mount the rubber to the chassis (normally the rubber brackets are one piece L shaped. )

    The other thing I have noticed is the stiffness of the in and out tubes can transmit pump noise. And what the pump mounts are connected to can also affect the total noise.

    Interesting no one has tried fitting a large mass damper to the pump, it should have. A positive influence on reducing the vibration and noise.

    Cheers
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  20. #20
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    For the issue of the drip tray not being long enough to catch all the potential group drips, this seems to be common to many machines, I guess to make them more compact overall (the Faema e98 was ok but it was huge). I either use a small plastic container half off the tray when doing the PF back flush jiggle, or slide out drip tray slightly for the PF jiggle, then lock in PF, slide tray back and end the shot.

    I had a Domus Galatea II and found it built very well. The front panel setup for example is much stiffer than on the Alex Duetto II, which flexes noticeably.

    Cheers
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  21. #21
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    Hi artman

    Yeah, in the domain of the commercial machines I guess to catch that.

    I've been using a glass cup most time when doing the cleaning so I can see all the old coffee particles are cleaned out.

    I start off giving the shower screen a quick clean off with pallo brush and then finish off with group head PF rinse/jiggle and then water back flush if no more coffees to be made.

    At the end I give the trip tray a quick dose from the hot water tap and tip that all in to the sink. The heat helps it self dry nice and quickly.

  22. #22
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Good tip re the hot water and drip tray, didn't think of that! Derrr....

    Cheers

  23. #23
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Another factor I noticed while doing the PF jiggle today, is that with the E61 group, the mechanism between the shower screen and front panel adds depth, so the group sits relatively close to the front of the drip tray. the e98 is a different design and I'm pretty sure the group sits further back and closer to the front panel, more chance of nothing splashing in front of the drip tray.

    Cheers
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    Has anyone insulated the boiler or added sound deadening to the Magica?

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    Sweet read

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