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Thread: Cooling flush on a Bezzera Mitica Top

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    Cooling flush on a Bezzera Mitica Top

    Hi folks. My old ECM Rocket packed it in and has led me to a new Bezzera Mitica Top. I've been using it for a couple of weeks now and have followed my standard cooling flush routine. The thing is that I get none of the steamy splutter I used to get with the Rocket, the absence of which would define the end of my cooling flush. Is it possible I don't need a cooling flush with the BMT? I assumed that all HX machines by design required a cooling flush. Is it possible the machine is not calibrated correctly and running too cool? My steam is great. Pressure of shots is about 9 bar. My pucks are definitely wetter than those with my Rocket but maybe I just haven't dialled in my grind and/or grind quantity. The double basket is definitely deeper than that of the Rocket and I'm compensating with extra grinds.

    It'd be great to hear from other similar Bezzera machine owners or indeed any other CSers in the know on the topic. I'm also going to reach out to the store where I bought it but there's no substitute to first hand owner experience, in my view.

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    Hey Bigrizz,

    There should not be any need for a cooling flush on an HX that has been set up for the Australian market. There are a few threads discussing this if you search around.

    Cheers, Dave

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    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    Fear not Bigrizz. Your machine is working well and as intended.

    What baskets are you using?

    If stock baskets, then it's worth weighing out your doses ( if you're not already doing this ) to keep an eye out for changes and work toward what dose works best with that basket.

    I've had success with 18g VST baskets in the Bezzera double spout PF.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigrizz View Post
    Hi folks. My old ECM Rocket packed it in and has led me to a new Bezzera Mitica Top. I've been using it for a couple of weeks now and have followed my standard cooling flush routine. The thing is that I get none of the steamy splutter I used to get with the Rocket, the absence of which would define the end of my cooling flush. Is it possible I don't need a cooling flush with the BMT? I assumed that all HX machines by design required a cooling flush. Is it possible the machine is not calibrated correctly and running too cool? My steam is great. Pressure of shots is about 9 bar. My pucks are definitely wetter than those with my Rocket but maybe I just haven't dialled in my grind and/or grind quantity. The double basket is definitely deeper than that of the Rocket and I'm compensating with extra grinds.

    It'd be great to hear from other similar Bezzera machine owners or indeed any other CSers in the know on the topic. I'm also going to reach out to the store where I bought it but there's no substitute to first hand owner experience, in my view.
    Your Bezzera is running spot on Bigrizz. Not needing a cooling flush shows that it is actually set up correctly.

    As for the wet pucks, I would look at your dose. Generally a wet puck indicates under dosing.

    The Mitica is, IMO at the top end of home domestics. For some reason it doesn't seem to get much recognition here which is unusual when you consider how popular the newer and less established Profitec ( and to a lesser extent ECM Germany ) brands are.

    Styling queues between the three brands should give you a little hint... rumour has it that not that long ago it was actually Bezzera who made the parts, or most of the machines for ECM (and Profitec)

    Cheers

    Antony
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    Last edited by Casa Espresso; 29th April 2017 at 09:29 PM.
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    Did you allow enough time for the grouphead to fully warm up? It could be that your BMT has a flow restrictor in the thermosyphon loop that your old machine may have lacked. Secondly: even though they may not have been fully dialed-in, how did your shots taste so far? Unless they were distinctively sour, I wouldn't worry too much.

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    which mean good design is more important than who made the parts? For me Profitec or ECM does offer more bling than the bezzera regardless of where they are made.



    Quote Originally Posted by Casa Espresso View Post
    Your Bezzera is running spot on Bigrizz. Not needing a cooling flush shows that it is actually set up correctly.

    As for the wet pucks, I would look at your dose. Generally a wet puck indicates under dosing.

    The Mitica is, IMO at the top end of home domestics. For some reason it doesn't seem to get much recognition here which is unusual when you consider how popular the newer and less established Profitec ( and to a lesser extent ECM Germany ) brands are.

    Styling queues between the three brands should give you a little hint... rumour has it that not that long ago it was actually Bezzera who made the parts, or most of the machines for ECM (and Profitec)

    Cheers

    Antony
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    I thought that a HX machine, by its design, develops what I call a "thermal unbalance" when it rests for a while; the water Inside the HX runs hot, approaching the steam temperature (but remaining liquid due to the elevated pressure), while the grouphead runs slightly cool because of heat loss to the environment. The flush not so much cools the grouphead, but equalizes the HX and the grouphead to the target brew temperature. If not to get rid of sizzling hot water, wouldn't the flush stabilize conditions and improve shot consistency ?

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    The brilliance of the HX design is that the movement of the water through the boiler and through the group is controlled so that the temperature is relatively stable. The brass group acts as the fine tuner of the heated water that runs through into the puck. There are a number of controls in place. These can be modified, as in the case of Australia, so the brew water temp is corrected for the beans we use. In AU we require a lower temp. In EU because of different beans their temp is closer to boiling point so a cooling flush is needed to remove any steam. Grey Imports are not set up for AU, so cooling flushes maybe needed.
    My tuppence worth!
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    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    No harm in flushing sine water through as a rinse but not required for cooling

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    Quote Originally Posted by symphonie View Post
    For me Profitec or ECM does offer more bling than the bezzera regardless of where they are made.
    Bought a smile to my face, try as I might, have never been able to pinpoint the taste difference "bling" adds to the cup, perhaps my taste is simply underdeveloped.
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    Quote Originally Posted by symphonie View Post
    which mean good design is more important than who made the parts? For me Profitec or ECM does offer more bling than the bezzera regardless of where they are made.
    The point was there is more than just a minor parts association between Bezerra and ECM, at least there was according to the Chinese whispers of the Italian coffee machine industry . That's a whole other thread !
    Here's a photo of an Ecm and the Mitica, not much bling difference that I can see
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    "My stainless steel box is better!" "No, my stainless steel box is better!"
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casa Espresso View Post
    The point was there is more than just a minor parts association between Bezerra and ECM, at least there was according to the Chinese whispers of the Italian coffee machine industry . That's a whole other thread !
    Here's a photo of an Ecm and the Mitica, not much bling difference that I can see
    Not much between the two appearance wise, my preference is for the Mitica, to my mind more attractive layout and stylish design, Bezzera have a reputation for quality espresso, longevity and reliability, not saying ECM don't meet these criteria however from personal experience as well as observation Bezzera certainly do.

    Don't forget the pedigree, Luigi Bezzera patented the espresso process in 1901.

    Yep! I know, my bias is showing again, someone has to defend Mazzer grinders and Bezzera machines.

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    Not that I'm weighing into the debate, but just curious - got any photos of insides of these two machines Antony? Curious to know if they have the same internal layout as well. One assumes that the chrome (by that I mean the whole external look) is largely low priority for the R&D budget, and most of the work goes on inside.
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    Quote Originally Posted by readeral View Post
    Not that I'm weighing into the debate, but just curious - got any photos of insides of these two machines Antony? Curious to know if they have the same internal layout as well. One assumes that the chrome (by that I mean the whole external look) is largely low priority for the R&D budget, and most of the work goes on inside.
    Hi Al, no I haven't but it's a good point.

    You have got me searching for some now

    Cheers
    Antony

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    My brother in law has the Mitica and I have the Pro500. He recons his has more bling and mine is more German functionality, thus the Mitica delivers much more psychosomatic varietals than mine.😕. I beg to differ.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umpqua View Post
    My brother in law has the Mitica and I have the Pro500. He recons his has more bling and mine is more German functionality, thus the Mitica delivers much more psychosomatic varietals than mine.. I beg to differ.
    That's exactly what we need!! Sibling rivalry regarding the sibling rivalry!! Classic. Let the battle begin.

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    ECM vs Bezzera.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZBt7ykfI6k&t=630s

    To my untrained eyes, The things i like about the ECM over the Bezzera are all copper tubings, easier to adjust OPV, more sensible internal layout (subjective), quiet pump mounting brackets, insulated boiler, stainless steel portafilter (again subjective) etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveD View Post
    Hey Bigrizz,

    There should not be any need for a cooling flush on an HX that has been set up for the Australian market. There are a few threads discussing this if you search around.

    Cheers, Dave
    Thanks Dave. I'll search harder. I focussed my search on Bezzera machines so might widen to cooling flush non machine specific.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by symphonie View Post
    ECM vs Bezzera.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZBt7ykfI6k&t=630s

    To my untrained eyes, The things i like about the ECM over the Bezzera are all copper tubings, easier to adjust OPV, more sensible internal layout (subjective), quiet pump mounting brackets, insulated boiler, stainless steel portafilter (again subjective) etc.
    Hello Symphonie,

    The machine in the link is the Bezzrera Galetea with a vibrating pump. The models we are talking about here are the ECM Tech and Mitica with rotary pump. Very different beasts in terms of OPV / rotary pump adjustment and pump mounting brackets. I am also not sure if the group handles are stainless.

    We just received an ECM Tecknika Rotary into stock today. I might lift the lid on it tomorrow and do a side by side comparison with the Mitica Rotary

    cheers

    Antony
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    Quote Originally Posted by readeral View Post
    Not that I'm weighing into the debate, but just curious - got any photos of insides of these two machines Antony? Curious to know if they have the same internal layout as well. One assumes that the chrome (by that I mean the whole external look) is largely low priority for the R&D budget, and most of the work goes on inside.
    Hi Al,

    We got an ECM Technika in stock today. Ill lift the lid and post some photos

    Cheers

    Antony
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    Quote Originally Posted by matth3wh View Post
    Fear not Bigrizz. Your machine is working well and as intended.

    What baskets are you using?

    If stock baskets, then it's worth weighing out your doses ( if you're not already doing this ) to keep an eye out for changes and work toward what dose works best with that basket.

    I've had success with 18g VST baskets in the Bezzera double spout PF.
    G'day matth3wh. I'm using the stock baskets. Good advice on the dosing. My Rocket would take 22g, which is nowhere near enough for the BMT double basket. I've upped it to 25g and I reckon it's still not quite there as my pucks are still wet. That seems a lot of coffee to me.


    I've been messing with my tamping technique, which is probably not helping. My Rocket routine was fill the basket to level then tamp lightly with weight of tamper. Continue filling to slightly overfull then level with my finger. Tamp to 15kg pressure (using my Eazytamp). With my BMT, I've been skipping the first tamp step and just filling the basket then levelling and tamping.


    I think I'm going to go back to my original routine and just fill the basket and observe the subsequent pucks then reverse engineer the weight of beans I need to be using.


    Am I overthinking this? It shouldn't be that hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Casa Espresso View Post
    Your Bezzera is running spot on Bigrizz. Not needing a cooling flush shows that it is actually set up correctly.

    As for the wet pucks, I would look at your dose. Generally a wet puck indicates under dosing.

    The Mitica is, IMO at the top end of home domestics. For some reason it doesn't seem to get much recognition here which is unusual when you consider how popular the newer and less established Profitec ( and to a lesser extent ECM Germany ) brands are.

    Styling queues between the three brands should give you a little hint... rumour has it that not that long ago it was actually Bezzera who made the parts, or most of the machines for ECM (and Profitec)

    Cheers

    Antony
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    Thanks Antony. Yes, agree I need to mess with my dosing to stop the wet pucks. And yes, I also agree the Mitica doesn't get a lot of air time around here compared to the German competitors and the Giotto. I wanted a machine I could plumb (having already owned a plumbed machine). My shortlist was the ECM Technika and Giotto Rocket Evoluzione. The Mitica wasn't even on the radar as I didn't know it existed, despite having been an avid CSer for some years. It was purely the recommendation of the shop that led me to the BMT. After seeing them in the flesh and doing some more research, the BMT ticked all the boxes. Rotary pump, plumb capable, great construction and classic design. I didn't realise how much I'd love the levers. Instant and mindblowingly powerful steam. Once I dial in my technique to get consistent and repeatable shots, I reckon she'll be my 'forever' machine. I don't know how you'd ever say it lacks 'bling'. I love it.

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    Wow, it looks crowded in there! You could drive a truck through my old ECM Rocket but it had no tank. Plumb only.

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    Quote Originally Posted by degaulle View Post
    Did you allow enough time for the grouphead to fully warm up? It could be that your BMT has a flow restrictor in the thermosyphon loop that your old machine may have lacked. Secondly: even though they may not have been fully dialed-in, how did your shots taste so far? Unless they were distinctively sour, I wouldn't worry too much.
    Yes, definitely warmed up. Generally 30 mins at least. I'm not sure about sour. I thought my shots tasted more acidic, if that's what you mean? My chief tester (wife) thought the same. That's using the same bean going from my Rocket to the BMT. That said, I would still say the shots were good. Just different to my Rocket. I put that down to just not having quite got the machine figured out yet. It took me a while to get to that happy place with the Rocket too.

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    ECM, would be curious to know if AU spec machines are different.


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    Quote Originally Posted by bigrizz View Post
    Yes, definitely warmed up. Generally 30 mins at least. I'm not sure about sour. I thought my shots tasted more acidic, if that's what you mean? My chief tester (wife) thought the same. That's using the same bean going from my Rocket to the BMT. That said, I would still say the shots were good. Just different to my Rocket. I put that down to just not having quite got the machine figured out yet. It took me a while to get to that happy place with the Rocket too.
    More acidity suggests a lower brew temp on average, all else (beans, dosing, grind setting, tamp) being equal. This is not bad necessarily. "Acidity" is a feature that is valued by most coffee aficionados, "sour" usually has the negative connotation of being too acidic. It could be your BMT has been tuned differently than your previous machine such that it requires a minimum to no flush to nail the brew temperature to your liking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by degaulle View Post
    It could be your BMT has been tuned differently than your previous machine such that it requires a minimum to no flush to nail the brew temperature to your liking.
    Yes, I think you're on the money there. I saw a Youtube video where they state the machine needs very little cooling flush. Thanks for your reassurance that all is ok.

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    Is the boiler nickel plated? It's not stainless steel, right? All the specs I've read say it's copper so guessing the silver colour is a plating?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigrizz View Post
    Is the boiler nickel plated? It's not stainless steel, right? All the specs I've read say it's copper so guessing the silver colour is a plating?
    AFIK the boilers in all Bezzera's home use machines are nickle-plated copper, yes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dumiya View Post
    The brilliance of the HX design is that the movement of the water through the boiler and through the group is controlled so that the temperature is relatively stable. The brass group acts as the fine tuner of the heated water that runs through into the puck. There are a number of controls in place. These can be modified, as in the case of Australia, so the brew water temp is corrected for the beans we use. In AU we require a lower temp. In EU because of different beans their temp is closer to boiling point so a cooling flush is needed to remove any steam. Grey Imports are not set up for AU, so cooling flushes maybe needed.
    My tuppence worth!
    So Australians use different beans? Really? Sorry but I find that hard to believe. Yes, we have a tiny amount of home grown beans but the vast majority of beans are sourced from the same places around the world and roasted using the same machines used in Europe, right? Are you saying that we blend differently in Australia? I find that hard to believe too.

  33. #33
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    Hi bigrizz,

    You are right we don't use different beans. We use the same beans as the Italians, Americans, everyone. The big producers are the south American countries.

    What is different here is that our roasting is different. There is a tendency to roast lighter here as compared to the darker Italian style roasts. Different roasts and blends do react differently to different group head temperatures.

    Some of the darker Italian roasts with high Robusta content like a higher temperature, some of the lighter 100% Arabica blends like lower temperatures.

    Although not from an espresso machine a great example is Andys different brew temperature he was using in the Brazen at MICE this year. One was at 92 degrees the other 89 or 90? Andy will correct me if I am wrong. The difference in flavour was pronounced! Both were excellent brews, but the lower temperature sample had a distinctive sweeter taste.

    Cheers
    Antony
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigrizz View Post
    Yes, definitely warmed up. Generally 30 mins at least. I'm not sure about sour. I thought my shots tasted more acidic, if that's what you mean? My chief tester (wife) thought the same. That's using the same bean going from my Rocket to the BMT. That said, I would still say the shots were good. Just different to my Rocket. I put that down to just not having quite got the machine figured out yet. It took me a while to get to that happy place with the Rocket too.
    Agreed, acidity is not necessarily bad. A certain amount of acidity is actually preferable in a well balanced espresso. There are a lot of factors at play here from temperature to roast.

    It would seem to me that the machine is operating as intended, its just operating at a different temperature giving a different flavour combined with different baskets and dosing requirements.

    Keep at it, I'm sure your not far faraway from getting the best out your new Mitica!

    Cheers

    Antony
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casa Espresso View Post
    Hi bigrizz,

    You are right we don't use different beans. We use the same beans as the Italians, Americans, everyone. The big producers are the south American countries.

    What is different here is that our roasting is different. There is a tendency to roast lighter here as compared to the darker Italian style roasts. Different roasts and blends do react differently to different group head temperatures.

    Some of the darker Italian roasts with high Robusta content like a higher temperature, some of the lighter 100% Arabica blends like lower temperatures.

    Although not from an espresso machine a great example is Andys different brew temperature he was using in the Brazen at MICE this year. One was at 92 degrees the other 89 or 90? Andy will correct me if I am wrong. The difference in flavour was pronounced! Both were excellent brews, but the lower temperature sample had a distinctive sweeter taste.
    Aha, gotcha. Thanks for the clarification, Antony. Interesting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigrizz View Post
    G'day matth3wh. I'm using the stock baskets. Good advice on the dosing. My Rocket would take 22g, which is nowhere near enough for the BMT double basket. I've upped it to 25g and I reckon it's still not quite there as my pucks are still wet. That seems a lot of coffee to me.
    Hi bigrizz... hopefully you're making some progress.

    I'm surprised no one else replied to your 22-25g dose bit. Your stock Bezzera double basket is likely to be 14-16g dose range.

    Are you using a naked/bottomless portafilter or the standard supplied double spouted portafilter?

    Be interested to see a pic or two or even a video of your current steps.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by matth3wh View Post
    Hi bigrizz... hopefully you're making some progress.

    I'm surprised no one else replied to your 22-25g dose bit. Your stock Bezzera double basket is likely to be 14-16g dose range.

    Are you using a naked/bottomless portafilter or the standard supplied double spouted portafilter?

    Be interested to see a pic or two or even a video of your current steps.
    Matt you are right,

    22 - 25gr and still maybe under dosed with the standard baskets. Somethings seems a miss. A pic or video as Matt suggested would help

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by matth3wh View Post
    Hi bigrizz... hopefully you're making some progress.

    I'm surprised no one else replied to your 22-25g dose bit. Your stock Bezzera double basket is likely to be 14-16g dose range.

    Are you using a naked/bottomless portafilter or the standard supplied double spouted portafilter?

    Be interested to see a pic or two or even a video of your current steps.
    Yep, happy to run up a video and post it. May not happen until the weekend though. Weekday mornings at ours are sheer mayhem with two young kids. Thanks matth3wh.

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    I have a Mitica with a vibration pump. In retrospect, I do wish I got a TOP but anyway, it's a fantastic machine! Cooling flush is needed when I go to make the first shot but from shot to shot it's pretty good! Especially when it's paired with my Mazzer Super Jolly. I'm with you Yelta! Although, I do like my VST baskets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by readeral View Post
    Not that I'm weighing into the debate, but just curious - got any photos of insides of these two machines Antony? Curious to know if they have the same internal layout as well. One assumes that the chrome (by that I mean the whole external look) is largely low priority for the R&D budget, and most of the work goes on inside.
    Hi Al,

    The ECM with no clothes.

    Certainly neat and sensible layout.

    One thing about the ECM rotarys , they are super quiet!

    Next week i will strip down a Bezzera and we will compare

    Cheers

    Antony
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    I had a Bezzera Domus Galatea II and now have an Alex Duetto II.

    I loved the look of the galatea, all the curves etc (subjective of course). I am not sure why, but the finish on the case of the Bezzera looked better than the Alex to me, the shine seemed deeper and more glossy if that makes sense. Also the Bezerra has a thick steel backing behind the faceplate/group and a substantial steel frame. The stiffness of the group was noticeably better (no flex locking in PF) than the Alex. the alex chassis is all stainless but I cant see the powdercoated steel on the bezerra rusting anytime soon, it looked top quality.

    Both great machines, both have positives and negatives, both make ripper brews. I would imagine this being the case between many machines as you get towards the mid/high end. I doubt one could find any machine without any flaws?

    Cheers
    Dimal and matth3wh like this.

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