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Thread: Espresso Machine Upgrade time!

  1. #1
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    Espresso Machine Upgrade time!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey there Snobs!

    So Iíve been trawling on here anon. for quite a while, soaking in different opinions and fads as they come and go over the years. Friends have come for advice for upgrades, and made purchases, so figured now itís my time for some advice from those in the know!

    Itís time for me to dive into expresso much more seriously, so am looking to overhaul my basic setup at home into something more elaborate Ė both machine and grinder. The spanner in the works is that Iím also toying with the idea of setting up a cart and selling espresso at a popular park next to my home on weekends. Iíd love some advise on how to best invest my cash, or go a bit harder and lease-to-buy instead Ė and also the ďrisksĒ (if any) involved of plumbing via filtered water bottle (Iím in WA, so 15L Naturalis Water Bottles Ė not a plug btw) as I will need to be mobile at times. I feel like right now, Iím looking for the ďsafestĒ option I could get away with in the event the park thing doesn't work out and I'm stuck with a multi-group at home...... so thinking more in the 1 group style, but would like to have some sort of idea at what point itís going to struggle Ė Iím also ok with trying to convince myself a 1 or 2 group slayer is exactly what I need ;P Ė and that being said.Ö

    Fine Tuning Question:
    Pressure Profiling. I have 0 experience with anything espresso pressure related, it certainly looks like something Iíd love to discover/play with, but should I give a toss? How much difference is this actually going to make, vs the cost of jumping up to a machine that supports it?

    Regular espresso consumption in my household is 2 per day, most-to-all with varying amounts of milk (Mac/Piccolo/FW), and up to 10 across a weekend (friends etc), so 4-5 per sat and sun. Should I start with the weekend Cart venture, Iím estimating 20 coffees per sat and sun (40 weekend total). I really have no idea how itís going to go, but wanted to ensure I could cater for some ďsolidĒ use over the course of 2 x 1-2hour periods each day (1 in the morning, 1 early afternoon, of each day). I';m not sure how that flow of traffic is going to work, but I'm sure as soon as word gets around I'll be pushing more out at one time, instead of spread out across the time more evenly

    My loose budget at this stage is $5k - $7k

    Machines Iíve been eying off are: Profitec 700 / Vesuvius / Slayer (couldnít help myself)

    Purchase Question #1
    Can get away with a real solid 1 group, and if so, at what point (qty wise) do you think it might start to struggle (eg, steaming might get shady after x cups / boiler could only handle x cups per session). Whatís your recommendation?

    Purchase Question #2
    Can your recommended machine handle the bottled water pumping thing (something Iíve not done, but have seen) and is there anything I should be concerned about with that method?

    Purchase Question #3
    I assume grinding is still Mazzer vs Compak, and Mazzer is still winning? (although maybe only slightly these days?) Recommended grinder for this situation? A Mini should cut it right?

    Purchase Question #4
    Are there leasing/lease-to-buy/hire purchase options out there for these sort of machines? Not sure what deals are out there or where to start looking for finance, as I want the flexibility to get whatever machine I decide, vs whatever the agent will allow? Financing would simply mean I can/will spend more on a machine and gear Ė so pushing it out to maybe a $10k budget.

    Thanks in advance for any tips/advice/feedback/trolling you provide!

  2. #2
    Member MrWhite's Avatar
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    I would suggest you also consider a La Marzocco GS/3. I run one of these on a cart with a flojet bottled water set up which is powered by a generator. I have yet to see the machine 'struggle' in terms of recovery (40-50 cups per hour) but the single group is definitely limiting when it's really busy.

    For a grinder the mazzer mini will be way too slow for a cart. If mazzer is your thing you would need to step at to at least a super jolly or major. I use a Kony-e and super jolly e. They are both workhorses.

    Sorry I have no idea about leasing options.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #3
    TC
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    My opinion FWIW....

    You should think hard re is this a wannabe or commercial venture? If it's commercial, you need a 2 group compact MINIMUM as you will get orders for 2 strong coffees. You will also need grinders which are fit for purpose. As such a single group and mini regardless of what they are- are wannabe. A tricycle will not cut it if you want to ride with the big boys.

    You probably need 2 machines- one for home and one for work unless you want to run a 2 group at home and move it each time you need to. Don't worry about pressure profiling etc. I can assure you your clients won't give a toss. They want good coffee.

    So, my advice is to create 2 briefs and then purchase appropriate machinery rather than one poor compromise not suited to either location. SilverChef will assist once you are all ABN'ed etc.
    Dimal, chokkidog and DaveD like this.

  4. #4
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    40-50 coffees total over a weekend doesn't sound like a commercial venture. How long would it take to make back $7000? A looooong time. A $2000 prosumer machine could easily handle 20-30 coffees a day, but obviously there's no chance of growing any 'business' with this level of equipment. But as Chris pointed out you can also spend $7000 and still have a very limited set up as far as output goes. So yeah it does sound like you need to make that choice as to whether this is a potential new business or if you just want a nice coffee machine for yourself that you can also make some pocket money with on the weekend.

  5. #5
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    Buying & setting up a mobile espresso bar to sell only 20-50 coffees per day , sounds more like a charity exercise than a commercial venture !
    if you are simply wanting to support your local youth soccer day occasionally, ...fine you can do that with your domestic kit of choice. Your friend won't worry about minor delays or issues.
    but if you are seriously thinking of a viable commercial venture, then you will need a much more carefully selected set up that you can rely on to perform consistently....minimum 2 group, power source , etc etc.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Bosco_Lever's Avatar
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    Saw this unit in Adelaide. They custom make them, and have a well thought out design. Looks fantastic.
    Attached Files Attached Files
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosco_Lever View Post
    Saw this unit in Adelaide. They custom make them, and have a well thought out design. Looks fantastic.
    yes, it is a neat set up...
    ...but I don't quite see how it answers the OPs requirements ?.....in particular...
    .....My loose budget at this stage is $5k - $7k
    ...and...
    .....I’m looking for the “safest” option I could get away with in the event the park thing doesn't work out and I'm stuck with a multi-group at home......

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bosco_Lever's Avatar
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    $5-7k budget is for machinery.
    I did not supply an answer to that question.
    The OP did say they were "toying" with the idea of a cart.
    If you are going to sell coffee you need a portable setup. What I showed is a cost effective option that councils will approve. If someone is under the illusion that $5-7k will cover the cost of a cart and machinery, then they would be better of staying in the pub playing with their oldfella.
    BeanBrat, Dimal, chokkidog and 1 others like this.

  9. #9
    TC
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    Hate to say it but I really wonder if this thread is legit...

    We've seen plenty of recent "hang the bait out" threads from noobs who then don't reappear.

    When I first replied, I was considering if it was worth the time as the trusty silly detector was tripped by the first post which bordered on ridiculous.

    Currently, I'm smelling fish and it's been in the sun for 3 days now. No sign of the OP since it was posted....
    gonzo89 and sprezzatura like this.

  10. #10
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    Hey sorry, I thought I'd get notified of responses, but I must have missed a check-box or something it seems.

    Thanks a lot for the feedback, I'm certainly not looking for a silver bullet solution, so all advice is well taken and appreciated! (even the coffee cart spotted in SA - looks neat).

    To be honest, I'm not looking for this to be a giant commercial venture, but I am trying to find the sweet spot for this investment that may or may not work out - obviously I need to consider if it does prove to be quite successful and have to upgrade substantially vs it not working out and I end up with a sweet home machine....

    To elaborate on the situation, this is not so much a massive commercial venture - my house is just in a very fortunate position, with a very kind setup, and being a coffee guy I figured I could make some coin on the weekends selling some great coffee as over the course of living here (only 9 months) have never seen a park so active on weekends. I'm not planning to travel around to places and be a mobile coffee guy, I'm just planning to set up at the front of my house and share the coffee to large number of mums/dads/park-goers there to park. The "cart" situation is just logistics, needing to be able to wheel the kit from inside to outside to set up, and back again end of the day.

    Thanks for the tips on the grinding situation, and I do have a friend with a mini and notice the slow speed. I am expecting that as word gets out, that instead of people coming in one or 2 at a time over the course of a few hours, they will all arrive on bulk before their kids play their sports (or after) - so speed might not be a factor initially, but expect it will be within a month or 2.

    I'm not sure I'm totally convinced on a 2 group though? I mean, it's probably the smartest thing to do, and it might be more me having a psychological issue with a real good 1 group being still a "home" thing, vs a 2 group being a "holy sh1t I'm a business now" - is there as much variety/experience out there with 2 groups as there are 1 groups? They seem like the middle child... would love some tips.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrWhite View Post
    I would suggest you also consider a La Marzocco GS/3. I run one of these on a cart with a flojet bottled water set up which is powered by a generator. I have yet to see the machine 'struggle' in terms of recovery (40-50 cups per hour) but the single group is definitely limiting when it's really busy.

    For a grinder the mazzer mini will be way too slow for a cart. If mazzer is your thing you would need to step at to at least a super jolly or major. I use a Kony-e and super jolly e. They are both workhorses.

    Sorry I have no idea about leasing options.

    Hope that helps.
    Thanks for the feedback here MrWhite. The GS/3 is not something I considered so I did a bit of online "research" and this sure looks like it might be a great fit for what i'm looking to achieve. It does push my budget a little bit though, was there another machine that might have been more around the $5k mark that you were considering at the time? Or you knew what you wanted and just went right for it?

  12. #12
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    Add the linea mini to your list

  13. #13
    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrboots2u View Post
    Add the linea mini to your list
    And then remove it. Ripoff for the RPP.
    Vinitasse and readeral like this.

  14. #14
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    How would a GS3 stand up to the rough and tumble of commercial life, even on a small scale...
    I thought that they were somewhat fragile...

    Mal.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    How would a GS3 stand up to the rough and tumble of commercial life, even on a small scale...
    I thought that they were somewhat fragile...

    Mal.
    My thoughts are if you want a commercial one group LM, you buy a Linea.

  16. #16
    Member MrWhite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    How would a GS3 stand up to the rough and tumble of commercial life, even on a small scale...
    I thought that they were somewhat fragile...

    Mal.
    My GS3 seems to hold up just fine and having owned one for a few years now I personally wouldn't describe a GS3 as 'fragile'. Mine gets moved around a lot and as with most things appropriate care needs to be taken.

    Interestingly there are also a couple of mobile outfits in Melbourne who use dual GS3's on their carts. Good idea in that they are able to scale their setup (one machine for smaller events or two for bigger events) and it's much easier to lug these smaller machines around than some big heavy 1 or 2 group fully commercial rigs and also easier to tap into available power supply at different locations.



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