Dont forget the La Cimbali Junior/Faema E98 S1
Just starting to think about upgrading to a second hand single group commerical machine. There seem to be a number of machine brands that are in the market place and am interested in hearing peoples opinions on the pros and cons of a few of the machines.
The ones that seem most popular in the home market are the Bezerra and the Boema. Have also seen San Marco but not too many other options. Im sure that there are heaps but I havent seen too many.
Any opinions or advice on what to start to look for? Im more than happy to get an older machine as a project but confused on what to look for. I have no problems plumbing in the machine.
thanks in advance
Dont forget the La Cimbali Junior/Faema E98 S1
The Carimali seems to be fairly common on this board and looks like a good machine for secondhand money. I recall reading somewhere that they were standard issue as one of the fast food joints for a while, so do come up second hand.
See http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1175840909 for a piccy.
There seems to be a myth that commercial machines are somehow better than prosumer machines and that second-hand commercial machines represent great value. The fact is that with both prosumer machines and commercial machines there are some that are totally crap, some that are OK and some that are absolutely brilliant.
From what I can tell, the only reliable way to tell whether or not a machine will produce decent coffee is to actually make coffee on it. Even then, though, your information will only be as good as your frame of reference. The frame of reference problem also pollutes most of the information that you get online - very few people actually get a chance to spend significant time using different machines and a lot of people seem to improve their barista skills and palates as a result of upgrading to a new machine, so its pretty difficult to work out how to weigh one persons totally happy and satisfied opinion against anothers. Then there are, of course, differences in each individual peoples tastes - for example, there are a number of machines that keep on cropping up that I wouldnt touch with a ten foot pole and I know some people with fantastic palates who dont like the machines that I like.
You can take the above as optimistically or as pessimistically as you like. The pessimist would just say that its exceptionally difficult to pick out the machine that you would truly want to have if you had all of the information that you would like at your disposal. The optimist would be happy with whatever he or she had. The pragmatist would just try out as many different options as he or she could before going with what seemed best.
With second-hand commercial machines, the one thing that you can be pretty sure of is that you will end up with a plumbed-in machine with a rotary pump. Everything else can vary immensely. I suppose that the best advice would first be to realise that its very much a case of caveat emptor and plan on doing a lot of repair work, which can be costly and time consuming. The next best piece of advice would be to check the availability of spare parts and knowledge for any machine that you are looking at buying.
Best of luck!
Hah! You can say that again! I have a machine in a quite a number of parts, ready to be reassembled. I just have to order some gaskets, find some new fasteners and find the time to put it back together. ::)Originally Posted by luca link=1218085736/0#3 date=1218114718
I can sympathise DS. ::)Originally Posted by Wushoes - David S link=1218085736/0#4 date=1218120279
I know that Boemas are rated amongst the worst commercial machines out there, but their biggest problem according to most is build quality. Three questions:
1) Is build quality the main problem with Boemas (and other less desirable commercial brands)?
2) Assuming you could get one in reasonable nick, would build quality be a problem in a home setting (given that it relates most directly to longevity)?
3) How are these (and similar low-end commercial) machines in terms of the "in the cup" factors like temp and pressure stability?
Thanks Luca, I really appreciate your advice and guess that one of the more specific questions that come from your advice would be
Which machines have better support / spares / general advice than others?
For example I have heard that Boema is excellent at supporting even very old machines and are very helpful to deal with.
Im not too concerned about spending a fair bit of time on repair work and would enjoy the challange. I think that one reason for thinking about the commerical machines over the prosumer equivalent is that the commerical machines seem easier to get a hold of. I havent seen many prosumer machines that people are selling off but there seem to be quite a few single group commericals that are changing hands.
After all of this there is still the sales pitch to my wife prior to any cash being spent....
Like everything in life, its all relative.Originally Posted by luca link=1218085736/0#3 date=1218114718
There are great gains to be had from even modest changes in the beginning. After that, I suspect its increasingly micrometrical!
Can I just add a subjective view - and without the benefit of having other commercials to work with such as would be Lucas experience.
My 1995 FAMEA Due is easy to get parts for and easy to work on and fit. I am a shiny pants but found changing the pressure-stat diaphragm, steam valve seals, and group head seals, pulling apart the pump, adjusting the pump pressure, cleaning the pump bypass valve, all relatively easy. The thing I love about the this machine is the heavy duty build of everything - it will outlast me with care.
I also love the espresso quality - and consistency that comes with big hunks of brass. I would have thought that a commercial machine, irrespective of type would also blow the doors of prosumers for quick and quality espressos and milk stretching when a party is on. I love being able to easily keep up when the house has 15 -20 adults in it all putting in orders!
The basic maintenance parts are not expensive at all from what I have found but that also may be dependant to an extent on the manufacturer and how common their machines are.
Thanks to all for your advice. Im very interested in getting a machine but now need to determine the best place to get one. Ive started to look on evil bay and am surprised at how little some of the machines go for... but have no way of knowing what condition they are really in. Also started to have a look at some of the commerical auctions but have the same issue with those really.
Any other ideas about where to pick one up from? Any one got an old machine sitting in the shed that I can get for a low cost ???? (worth an ask)
I got mine out of the Commercial equipment section in our local Quokka = Trading Post
Start with the Yellow Pages - search for commercial coffee or kitchen supplies or whatever. You can even get hits with "used commercial coffee" I did a searh on faema and there was one place in Sydney listed that specialisied in used commercial equipment but Im not going to mention a non-sponsor.
A lot of these places dont have websites so it sounds like a bit more than letting your fingers do the walking. Another possibility is 2nd hand joints but it sounds like it might be a lottery finding one that has an old commercial espresso machine gathering dust. What about auction joints that specialise in solvency sales e.g ex-restaurant, cafe equipment?
I wonder why you would specifically want an ex-commercial machine. I think Lucas advice was pretty good.
Has anyone suggested silver chef as they have ex lease/rental units for sale with warrantee?
They have now. No single groups among the used stuff.Originally Posted by KK link=1218085736/0#13 date=1218245773
mod edit- commercial link removed
EDIT: Sorry about that chief :-[
I bought a 1-group commercial machine from an auction site and seem to have been reasonably lucky, although theres horror stories out there. While hunting down parts Ive come across a couple of small places that roast and provide machines to local businesses and theyve had old machines just sitting around. In general theres not much profit margin in the old machines compared to installing new ones and supplying beans. If theres such a place near you, go and make friends and see what they have available.
Thanks to all for the advice. Im still in the hunting phase and may continue for a while. After looking at a couple of Boemas Im not sure that theyll fit all that well in the kitchen - They are huge. So almost thinking of a 2 group machine downstairs where it isnt in the way but close enough for making coffee. They are only slightly bigger than the Boema and not as popular as single groups so often cheaper.
Did like the post on the Carimali rebuild - looks like a really nice unit. Also had a bit of a play with a Bezerra BZ35 of my brothers but would need more time to pull a reasonable shot.
Ahhhhhh too many options .... but after being back at home after time away I still think that my little Saeco VV does a better job that most coffees that Ive bought away from home. So there is no rush!
I have just picked up a 2 group off fleabay after looking for a while at single groups. Seems anything decent in a single group was going for $500-1000. The bigest problem was always getting one shipped from anywhere in the country due to the weight.
My recent 2 group purchase cost me $123.73 ;D + 2 second hand portafilters $69. A good flush and a rough clean on the weekend and I will see if it fires up this weekend before stripping, descaling and cleaning really commences ::) Worst comes to worst at this price I will break it up and seel it for parts :(
I saw that machine that you picked up. It looks like it will be a proper job to restore. One constraint that I have with some of those machines is that there are more machines that appear in Sydney and Melbourne with fewer in BrisVegas.
I do know that I can get a 1 group Boema for $450 that looks alright but would need to get portafilters for it (about $80). Still a bit concerned about overall size of the unit. Would think that Id need to replace the feet with much smaller feet - I dont think that the unit needs to be so far off the bench.
more to think about
I would think that in most cases the clearance under commercial machines is to allow space for the discharge line and power cable. With a little effort, it also helps when giving the bench under the machine a bit of a clean. ;)
yes she is a roughy Some metal work needed to finish the job (maybe chrome rather than paint) :) I will give the electrics some testing tonight to make sure the smoke wont come out of me before firing it up :o
I fully expec the project to be over $500 when finished and around the $800 if I go chrome ;D
Diamond C Services has a new type of machine now about 3k for 2 group brand new, seems good machine for the price, best not 2 buy secondhand as there will be 2 many issues latter on.
But I wanted the plaything :) not the thing ;)
There is any ammount of decent 2 groups out there on fleabay or even a few in my litle town gathering dust if I went looking. If it turns out to be a turkey $200 so far is not a problem 8-) By the time I have stripped it down I will know if it has any shortcomings or potential problems. If I wanted to open a coffee shop then diferent story I would have gone the reco newer option.
Off home to play :)
I just picked up a single group rancilio s24 around 9yrs old - the internals look to be in evry good condition, although a descale is prob in order as the machine has been garaged for awhile. Good solid build quality with a 3.9lt boiler and a built in water tank. Cant wait to run some water through it and see how the machine pulls up... now, if only I can figure out how to prime the boiler...
You know the rules Pat..... Gotta have lots of Pre and Post resto photos... ;)
I just sent my mean machine back to the place of purchase as I was assured that it was working properly, even though it had been benched for awhile. Even if do manage to get it up and running without too many problems, I think it will still need a thorough descale. But yes, I agree, photos are in order!