Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: San Marino & BZ35 Machines

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    3

    San Marino & BZ35 Machines

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi, long time reader - 1st time poster
    I have outgrown my old Krups and am planning to upgrade. Due to budget constraints I am considering purchase of a 2nd hand HX machine.
    I have noticed a few San Marino machines available, in particular the Lisa Junior, however cant find any reviews on the geeky site or specifications. Are these machines bagged under a different name? Are they a good/reliable machine?

    Another option is a 2nd hand BZ35e ,in very good condition, being sold through a coffee roaster, however it has a vibe pump. According to the current specs this machine should have a rotary pump. Were BZ35s ever made with a vibe pump?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,498

    Re: San Marino & BZ35 Machines

    Hi notea4me,

    Welcome and good to see you posting!

    Dont know anything about San Marino other than the name and that CoffeeParts have some spares (a good sign as they keep them in stock and at a good price).

    The BZ35 is an excellent machine. Some (non plumbed in) versions were made with vibe pumps..... if you have a tank, it is hard to fit a normal rotary pump because of its size- so many manufacturers (Bezzera included) fitted the much smaller vibe pump to these machines.

    I think Id go for the BZ..... they have an excellent reputation and several members have BZ machines (but without knowing the relative price being asked, condition etc - its just a guess)

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    2,334

    Re: San Marino & BZ35 Machines

    San Marino is made by CMA. They also do WEGA and some other brands. as far as I know the internals of these machines are the same.

    The San Marino is a beauty to steam milk with. It was the first commercial machine I ever made coffee on. Shot wise, if you can tame all the variables....its a cracker of a machine. If I had the money, Id probably have no qualms in buying an old Lisa Jnr. Mind you, drip tray was a bitch to clean. It wasnt removable as far as I knew back then...but then again, I never tried to lift the whole tray off....I just took the grills off...washed them, cleaned the tray and replaced the grills.

  4. #4
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Warwick, QLD
    Posts
    16,978

    Re: San Marino & BZ35 Machines

    Gday notea4me and welcome to CoffeeSnobs [smiley=thumbsup.gif],

    The advice from the blokes above is pretty good and doesnt need adding to from me. In the end, I guess its got to come down to the value represented for each individual machine as the machines (with all things being equal) are capable of producing excellent espresso on an ongoing basis so long as you do your part, the beans are fresh and ground just before brewing, etc.....

    I bought a 2nd Hand Bezzera a little while ago called a MiniBar, which is based on the hardware used in a BZ-35 and does in fact use a Rotary Pump (almost new from the look of it). Luckily for me it had been well looked after, regularly serviced and cherished by its owner before I came along. Its a 15-20 year old machine though and a little bit rough around the edges from a cosmetic viewpoint, and with me being a particularly picky kind of bugger, Ive stripped the machine down to its essentials and am now in the process of getting it all back together, just waiting for the chassis and outer panels to come back from the powder-coaters and then I can get stuck in.

    In the end, I suppose the machine will owe me around the $1,000 mark including the original purchase price but the way I look at it, when its all finished and pulling some excellent espressos, I will own a machine that retails now for just under $3,000 and in my view, Ill be $2,000 in front ;D.... Gotta be happy with that.

    So, I guess the moral of the story is, if you are pretty handy with tools and possess a technical bent of mind, buying a 2nd-Hand machine may represent very good value but if you have to pay someone else to do the necessary work for you, then you could be up for a lot more money than just the original purchase price. Something to keep in mind. By the way, current model BZ-35 machines are available with the option for either a Vibe Pump or a Rotary Pump depending on how they have been specified so it is not unusual for one to be fitted with a Vibe Pump, its a bit of a luck of the draw thing with a 2nd-Hand unit.

    Anyway, which ever way you go all the very best with your purchase and hope you get a lot of fun out of which ever machine you decide on. All the best,

    Mal.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,530

    Re: San Marino & BZ35 Machines

    San Marinos are notorious for running hot. I have a CKX, which is very similar to the Lisa Junior manual. Before tuning, I would have to flush at least 400-500mL before pulling shots, and about 250mL between shots. Since tuning, I only need to flush about 200-250mL pre-shot.

    I think the older versions of San Marino (c. mid 90s) had problems with the black box, and required extensive $$$ for repairs. The problems have been rectified as far as I know with the newer models.

    Solid machine, but you have to know how to work it. Steam power is full on with the San Marino. Downside; if it comes down to any major problems, you have to go through Saeco Australia for servicing.

    For the drip tray, you cannot remove it very easily. I simply flush it after each use with water. I also have a hose running from the drip tray into the sink for drainage. Otherwise it is a PITA.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,176

    Re: San Marino & BZ35 Machines

    Both I and a good friend own BZ35es with the vibe pump fitted. The vibe pump is a fluid-o-tech unit, which is commercial grade in that it can run continuously without overheating (supposedly). While they are louder than rotary pumps they do offer some advantages. They are much cheaper to replace, offer a slower ramp up to brew pressure, making the shot preparation a little more forgiving, and they can be run either directly pumbed in or from an external tank. The cons is that they are louder (but not too bad). Shot wise I dont think youll be able to discern much difference. So it really isnt a worry.

    The good thing about the BZ35e is that it is really well built. It is easy to clean. Spares are readily available from Barazi in Brisbane (they import Bezzera to Australia and are great to deal with). Also temperature management is simplified on the BZ35, requiring only a cooling flush of about 200 ml (depending of the pressurestat setting). Steaming is also excellent with the stock 4 hole tip. I can steam a single drinks worth in about 8 seconds and once you get the hang of it, its microfoam every time.

    In short the BZ35e is a great, solid and well built and very well laid out machine capable of making espresso based drinks of the highest quality.

    Cheers,

    Mark.

    BTW: You can convert the BZ35e to a rotary pump, as the chassis is the same. However itll cost a lot. Ive been running mine with an external rotary just to see how it would go (by bypassing the vibe pump) and didnt notice any improvement in my shots but I did notice a greater tendency for channelling.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    1,951

    Re: San Marino & BZ35 Machines

    Quote Originally Posted by Wushoes link=1170939926/0#2 date=1170942091
    San Marino is made by CMA. They also do WEGA and some other brands. as far as I know the internals of these machines are the same.
    Not even close! The WEGAs have E-61 thermosyphon groups (or very similar). The San Marinos (or, at least, the Lisa) basically have a massive chunk of metal that comes off the top of the boiler.

    Another option is a 2nd hand BZ35e ,in very good condition, being sold through a coffee roaster, however it has a vibe pump. According to the current specs this machine should have a rotary pump. Were BZ35s ever made with a vibe pump?
    I wouldnt worry too much about it, unless you want to plumb the machine in. Most of the vibe vs rotary shootouts have concluded that there isnt a huge taste difference.

    Also temperature management is simplified on the BZ35, requiring only a cooling flush of about 200 ml (depending of the pressurestat setting).
    200mL?! I seemed to remember you saying that it was only a few seconds ... are you running a rotary pump with relatively high throughput?

    Cheers,

    Luca

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    2,334

    Re: San Marino & BZ35 Machines

    Quote Originally Posted by luca link=1170939926/0#6 date=1171019392
    Quote Originally Posted by Wushoes link=1170939926/0#2 date=1170942091
    San Marino is made by CMA. They also do WEGA and some other brands. as far as I know the internals of these machines are the same.
    Not even close! The WEGAs have E-61 thermosyphon groups (or very similar). The San Marinos (or, at least, the Lisa) basically have a massive chunk of metal that comes off the top of the boiler.
    Thanks for the info...I knew they werent e61 or a clone...

    I never had any problems with the SMs running hot.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,530

    Re: San Marino & BZ35 Machines

    Mine was hot as hell before tuning it down. Nothing like a 500-600 mL cooling flush :P And that was before I could pull a shot. Then another 200-300mL between shots. Luckily Im only making 2 at a time, otherwise Id have been filling the tank up every few minutes.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    2,334

    Re: San Marino & BZ35 Machines

    Maybe the one I worked on was already tweaked. :D

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,530

    Re: San Marino & BZ35 Machines

    I also wish the pressure gauge worked. Its been out of action for at least the last year.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    1,176

    Re: San Marino & BZ35 Machines

    Quote Originally Posted by luca link=1170939926/0#6 date=1171019392
    Also temperature management is simplified on the BZ35, requiring only a cooling flush of about 200 ml (depending of the pressurestat setting).
    200mL?! *I seemed to remember you saying that it was only a few seconds ... are you running a rotary pump with relatively high throughput?
    Ive upped the pressurestat for awesome steaming performance. 200ml was only a guestimate and on the high end. Its about half a bowl shaped cappuccino cup or about 2/3 a tulip shaped cup. About 2 sec of water dance and two to three sec beyond that.

    My flow rate is a bit high as Im using a high capacity rotary (about twice the capacity of those used for 4 group machines). Nothing wrong with overkill though...

    Cheers,

    Mark.


  13. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    3

    Re: San Marino & BZ35 Machines

    Wow
    Thank you for your response its been very helpfull. After much deliberation I decided to purchase the 2nd hand BZ35e which a coffee roaster is selling on behalf of a client for about $1200 (a bit expensive compared to a certain auction site but at least Ive had the opportunity to inspect the machine, look inside and pull some shots of coffee). The machine is approx 4yr old, has been used in a domestic installation only, has a vibe pump and has to be plumbed in.

    Hopefully after purchasing a Rancilio Rocky grinder of a fello snob member Ill be set for the next learning curve...good bye Krups

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    3,498

    Re: San Marino & BZ35 Machines

    notea4me

    Well done on your purchase.

    That seems to me to be quite a good price for a 4 year old machine of that quality, and with domestic use - especially seeing you have been able to inspect it!

    Id be very wary of buying something like a S/H coffee machine from that site.... there are too many things which could be in need of urgent attention - and cost a lot of money to get them fixed....

    There are some genuine sellers.... but there are also a lot of .......... ::)

    You certainly will notice the difference compared to the Krups :)



Similar Threads

  1. !!SOLD!! bz35
    By black_bull in forum SOLD
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 11th November 2008, 08:23 PM
  2. please help my bz35
    By black_bull in forum Brewing Equipment - Extreme Machines ($3000+)
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11th July 2008, 12:06 AM
  3. [m]: please help my bz35
    By Dimal in forum Brewing Equipment - Pointy End ($1500-$3000)
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11th July 2008, 12:06 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •