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Thread: Single group with tank for light commercial use

  1. #1
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    Single group with tank for light commercial use

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all

    My sister in law runs a takeaway food place and she wants to put in a small machine to service the takeaway market. She's been experimenting with a 3 group coffee cart outside the shop for a few months but for various reasons now needs to put in small machine inside the shop.

    Based on the coffee cart sales she only expects to do 40-60 coffees per day with no significant rush at any part of the day. Plumbed-in isn't an option based on location in the shop, so it needs a tank (filtered water is available). Also, operator skill needs to be fairly low as all shop staff will operate it, and this is in the middle of Melbourne CBD, so the coffee needs to be relatively ok. (She's not trying to compete with top drawer coffee)

    Price isn't a huge factor, this shop is owned by a very rich guy and is essentially part of a much bigger company.

    I'm thinking a GS/3 AV is the way to go, as it satisfies the two most important criteria of being small and having a tank, as well as being fairly easy to operate. $6k is more than she wants to spend, but isn't a deal breaker.

    Are there any other options I should put in front of her? Can the GS/3 definitely handle 50 coffees a day, 5 days a week?

    Cheers
    Jonathon

  2. #2
    TC
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    I wouldn't recommend it for this use. Too fiddly to fill.

    If it has to be a one group tanked machine, suggest she consider the Iberital Handi. Iberital Handi (L’Anna) | Talk Coffee

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    Thanks Chris, looks like a good option to consider, and $$$ cheaper.

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    ..Or Rancilio Epoca tank. Solid commercial single group.
    Even with only 40-50 coffee's per day, they will get tired of topping up that tank very quickly.
    There are options for simple "auto fill" additions to tank machines though.
    rancilio-epoca.jpg

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    you can also consider a plumbed machine with something like a 'flojet' pump ive seen used at the local barista competition. They use the standard water dispenser 15L bottles. That way you have a 15L 'tank' and even have 2 bottles, so you can cycle them. also opens you up to a wider choice of machines. You can even hook up a filter system to the pump.
    Not sure how much volume the pumps are able to handle but dont think 50-60 cups a day is necessarily super large volume anyway.

    Chris has em on his site here http://www.talkcoffee.com.au/shop/fl...ensing-system/

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    Thanks, I've heard good things about the flojet. But in this case they're trying to keep the setup as simple as possible, in particular being about to move the machine around the bench as needed.

    The Epoca looks good, and as an ex-Silvia owner brings back great memories.

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    Although I've just seen that the Epoca has the Silvia's water tank, which means filling it up constantly.

  8. #8
    TOK
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    Jonathon. For 40 to 60 coffees a day, here are some more things to think about before going into this and making a mistake...

    Take note that many models with an internal water reservoir usually wont have a drain fitting.

    So there is more to it than just the in-convenience of filling. There is the even bigger IN-CONvenience of emptying a small drip tray or more to the point, always forgetting to do so and ending up with a flood on and below the bench. For that number of coffees, I would negate anything that doesnt have a drain.

    The smaller machines are also IN-convenient to use in that light weight machines will also move around the bench when you insert the group handle..

    The situation has hairs on it. In an ideal situation you would never put a semi-commercial machine into a commercial situation no matter how small the turnover requirement is.

    Straight off the top of the head, without knowing the exact situation and without the benefit of discussing with you / your Sister I.L. etc, however trying to be practical in terms of what you "should" be using in the situation for the number of coffees specified, I would place a full size commercial 1 group on the bench & forget about "moving it around". It is, where it is.

    Place say a 10 litre potable water container of size and shape of your choice to suit the situation, behind it if it is against a wall. Remove the braided flexible water inlet hose from the machine and replace it with a john guest quick fit hydraulic hose, and run the end into the water container. Fit up a suitable filter just to make sure it doesn't suck particles up and cause blockage in the inlet solenoid valve. Your sister will have to make sure she checks the container, because there wont be an auto cut out if the container is run dry.... You can of course put the container under the machine of there is room.

    Don't forget to adjust the water pump pressure in consideration there is no mains pressure behind it....

    Drain out of the drip tray as per a regular commercial fitment BUT just drain it into a container under the bench. Say...a 5 litre container just to pick an arbitrary figure. Again...check and empty often or it will cause problems. Make sure the drain hose only goes into the top of the container say...a couple of inches...just enough so it cant come out easily, because if you stick it down the bottom of the container you will get air locks in the line when the dregs level reaches the bottom of the hose, and it will cause an overflow of dregs onto the bench at the machine, while the dregs container still has plenty of room in it.

    Like I said...off the top of my head, because I don't like to see people using semi commercials in situations they are not designed for (underspecification) that will then actually cause management problems (if she does get 40 to 60 a day)....

    KISS principle. Go for a nice simple heat exchanger machine of good breeding that will make an excellent workhorse and make excellent coffee regardless... I like BFC machines. Thoroughbreds are for race courses, and prima donnas are for the stage.

    Hope this helps.

  9. #9
    TC
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    I agree with TOK.

    Epoca- no way. It's not appropriate for a commercial situation.

    Ideally a 1 group or perhaps 2 group compact commercial (which the Handi is), filtration and if a water container is used, a non-return valve on the inlet to protect the pump.

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    Thanks TOK, that all sounds like very sensible advice.

    Alas businesses that are the plaything of the rich owner's wife (my SIL's boss) often don't make sensible decisions, but I appreciate the advice and I'll pass it on.

    Cheers
    Jonathon

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    TOK
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    I understand ("plaything business thing"), and I appreciate your kind words.

    Hope it helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Epoca- no way. It's not appropriate for a commercial situation.
    .
    odd ? ....considering how many you see in restaurants, bars, and clubs, ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    odd ? ....considering how many you see in restaurants, bars, and clubs, ?
    Have you seen many, or even any, single group non-plumbed-in Epocas in restaurants, bars or clubs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinitasse View Post
    Have you seen many, or even any, single group non-plumbed-in Epocas in restaurants, bars or clubs?
    ....Yes.......

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    If multiple staff are going to operate it I would go dual boiler, not heat exchanger. Getting the the temperature right for the HX takes a bit of skill to master.

    for only 50 or so coffees a day most of the prosumer double boiler machines would do you. You can get a La Saziali mini vivaldi for around $2.2k that would get you by.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    ....Yes.......
    It would appear that our social lives are very different then

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    And... don't forget La San Marco's Flexa 85 E, a Commercial double boiler machine with a 5+ litre water tank that can be plumbed in down the road if priorities change. Circa $2499

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    TOK
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    Quote Originally Posted by TRRR View Post
    If multiple staff are going to operate it I would go dual boiler, not heat exchanger. Getting the the temperature right for the HX takes a bit of skill to master....
    ...and there we go again, needlessly complicating matters that should be quite simple. Commercial size machines have larger boilers than semi commercial machines and are as a consequence a great deal more thermally stable. It has already been stated above that most semi commercial (prosumer) models will not be suitable, and this will be regardless of whether they are HX or dual boiler type.

    Also, good name brand and model machines have better control than el cheapo brands and models. Not all HX machines behave in the same ways so to make comparisons between HX and dual boiler machines on a "general basis" is not really kosha.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    ...and there we go again, needlessly complicating matters that should be quite simple. Commercial size machines have larger boilers than semi commercial machines and are as a consequence a great deal more thermally stable. It has already been stated above that most semi commercial (prosumer) models will not be suitable, and this will be regardless of whether they are HX or dual boiler type.

    Also, good name brand and model machines have better control than el cheapo brands and models. Not all HX machines behave in the same ways so to make comparisons between HX and dual boiler machines on a "general basis" is not really kosha.
    The commercial machines are designed to run continuously to be temperature stable. for 50 coffees a day there will be long idle periods so I would advise the poster to go for a machine that have a group at a well maintained temperature where people can just push a button at any time and get a reasonable coffee.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TRRR View Post
    If multiple staff are going to operate it I would go dual boiler, not heat exchanger. Getting the the temperature right for the HX takes a bit of skill to master.

    for only 50 or so coffees a day most of the prosumer double boiler machines would do you. You can get a La Saziali mini vivaldi (sic) for around $2.2k that would get you by.
    Sorry- but misinformation yet again. I look forward to the day we stop reading this regurgitated stuff which just does not apply to good gear.

    The mini-vivaldi is not an appropriate machine for commercial applications and although we sell it, we would not supply it for this application.

    A dual boiler will be no easier to manage than a well configured, much simpler heat exchanger.
    Last edited by TC; 27th August 2014 at 10:38 AM.
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