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Thread: Cafe Roma to Ikon upgrade worth it ?

  1. #1
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    Cafe Roma to Ikon upgrade worth it ?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi CSers. I currently have a Cafe Roma (fixed wand) with unpressurised basket teamed with an EM0480 that works quite well (still getting the hang of it all). I was looking at upgrading to an Ikon but am undecided whether there would be a worthwhile improvement. Has anyone experience of both machines that could offer some thoughts? thanks.

  2. #2
    Caffeine Junky
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    Re: Cafe Roma to Ikon upgrade worth it ?

    Welcome hotjava.

    I have experience with the Ikon and the Sunbeam EM4800, which is a pretty similar machine to the Cafe Roma.

    As youre probably aware, the major difference between them is that the CR is a thermoblock machine whilst the Ikon is a boiler. You may be able to temperature surf to some extent on the Ikon to try and optimise results.

    My guess is that you wont see a huge improvement by upgrading to the Ikon. Ive been into my espresso for around 3 months now and feel I still have considerable improvements to make in my tamping, dosing and grinder setting knowledge. It does not help that I have lots of different pieces of equipment to play with.

    Once you feel youve mastered these, you can then start playing around with different blends of beans or even start roasting yourself with a popcorn machine.




  3. #3
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    Re: Cafe Roma to Ikon upgrade worth it ?

    Hi hotjava, I have no experience with other machines but I have used my Ikon daily for the last 6 weeks...
    Here is my humble noob opinion...
    I got the Ikon as my 1st coffee machine and am pretty impressed with it...for the money I paid ($110) it was a bargain. *I purchased mine 2nd hand but it is brand new. *
    I like the feel of the machine...it is sturdy and the group handle is nice and solid unlike many of those other cheaper models that have those flimsy light handles...I also like the steam wand which is moveable in all directions. Sure, you have to wait about 5 secs until you can froth your milk after pulling a shot but that does not bother me. *We drink only Lattes here at my house so I have no opinion or experience on the quality of esspresso it makes. *
    The Ikon comes with pressurised baskets. I will be buying the non-pressurised versions soon as I get a grinder.

    I dont really see a worthwhile gain for you with the Ikon over your current learning machine.

  4. #4
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    Re: Cafe Roma to Ikon upgrade worth it ?

    Hi guys,

    yeh - Im sure youre right that the improvement would not be that great. I guess from a bang-for-buck improvement perspective the next step is to home roast.

    My thinking however was also to get away from the aluminium thermoblock. From the staining on the aluminium portafilter I hate to think what the thermoblock might look like. I ditched all my aluminium pots/pans years ago due to the health concerns. I like the idea of the stainless boiler instead.

  5. #5
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    Re: Cafe Roma to Ikon upgrade worth it ?

    You raise a valid point with the aluminium and water scale. Its something I am concerned about here in Perth and was pleased to realise I had fluked it with the Ikon...I imagine it would taint the taste of your coffee...suppose it also depends on what your local water is like and whether or not you filter it. Rainwater used to be a popular choice in Adelaide, dont know if it still is...its perfect for coffee machines.

    have a read through the general section I think it is about water filters and such...it may well be a worthwhile mini-upgrade in that case...

  6. #6
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    Re: Cafe Roma to Ikon upgrade worth it ?

    Hi purple,

    Adelaide water quality is pretty disgusting. For many years it has been one of the very few places around the world where international ships refuse to take on water.

    Ive been using an inexpensive Brita water jug for quite a while now with very good results. You can really taste the difference.



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