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Thread: Final upgrade - but the waters are muddied!

  1. #1
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    Cool Final upgrade - but the waters are muddied!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi y’all, from Alabama - new to CS and looking for advice, sorry to bother.
    i started with a Gaggia Classic, moved on to Breville 900 and then a 920 when Breville could not repair. Current grinder is a Vario. I have had plenty of practice, but still working on the ‘Mano’ part of the equation. I have saved me pennies, and am now ready for my ‘forever’ Macchina and Macinazione.

    My delightful dilemma - I have long coveted a GS3 MP, but lately, as this is becoming my hobby, am diverted by the Rocket R9 one, and (gasp) the new Decent Pro+! Unfortunately, in lower Alabama, it is impossible to view any of these machines ‘in the metal’.
    Factors involved:
    Space constraints to 450mm under cabinet height, for both machine and grinder.
    Plumbing would be a major undertaking, but I am used to filtering my water, filing reservoir and emptying drip tray. (Hence no Slayer in my future.)
    I am enamored with the Decent’s (and the R9 one’s) technical whiz-bang factor, but wonder about the loss of dual boiler functionality. Both the Decent and the R9 one are relatively new and unproven.

    Any input from owners of the machines would be much appreciated.

    I am also thinking an under cabinet, single dose capable, magical mystery grinder to go with. Ceado E37S is on the short list. I may just start another thread in the grinder forum.

    Thank you for any advice, and sorry to be a pain. In the absence of hands-on examinations, the advice of my fellow coffee fools is essential before spending the kind of dough of which we speak.

    Dan

  2. #2
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    Just a personal thought from way back. When I lived in the US for a while, I had a manual lever Electra and a 110V GS3 - which was swapped after three weeks for another 240V GS3 (just like I was used to earlier in Oz). IMO the 110V GS3 was barely acceptable - it ran out of puff at the third or fourth shot which the 220V one never did. Also, the manual lever Electra always made better "one off" coffee regardless of what I did to either of the GS3s.

    When I returned to OZ "post nasty divorce and kinda broke" I survived on a Mahlkonig Vario gen2 and a variety of "technically inferior to the 220V GS3" semi auto machines and still managed to produce decent coffee - I reckon the grinder is way more important until you can tinker with the shot like a manual lever. When finances improved I didn't replace the GS3 although an Olympia Cremina (best manual lever I know - another Swiss gem) was very tempting. I now have three Varios - one gen3, one of the gen2s has the optional steel burrs. Grinder is totally sorted for home use nowadays...

    I am now waiting for a Decent DE1Pro with the gen 1.1 grouphead - which should be shipping this week. Hopefully it can match / surpass a manual lever without all the arcane rituals involved in getting a manual lever to produce a great cuppa.

    So I guess I would suggest you try either a top quality manual lever - with all the fluffing about that needs if you want more than one shot at a time - or "take a punt" on the Decent.

    Hope this helps.


    TampIt

  3. #3
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    Thoughtful and useful advice Tamplt! Having been there myself, I can say congrats and commiseration on the divorce. Hope she didn't get the coffee gear!
    The Pro+ is looking very tempting! Another thought is that it is half the price of the GS3.
    You must be happy with your Varios, a d I must say I have been happy also.. Everyone says the grinder is perhaps more important, so knee-jerk looking at new ones suitable for single dose. Various single doses just fine though.

    Dan

  4. #4
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    To support TampIt’s statements.

    I’m a long term Cremina user and as the only coffee drinker in the house love it.

    Over the silly season it was our turn to host the hordes so there were 7+ coffees required 3 or 4 times a day.

    The Cremina seriously sucks at managing that workload and I’d suggest if you expect to require multiple coffees on a regular basis you look elsewhere.

    Cheers
    Peter

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danioro View Post
    Thoughtful and useful advice Tamplt! Having been there myself, I can say congrats and commiseration on the divorce. Hope she didn't get the coffee gear!
    The Pro+ is looking very tempting! Another thought is that it is half the price of the GS3.
    You must be happy with your Varios, a d I must say I have been happy also.. Everyone says the grinder is perhaps more important, so knee-jerk looking at new ones suitable for single dose. Various single doses just fine though.

    Dan
    G'day Danioro

    Coffee gear: she did... plus a few other assorted things including some limbs she didn't think I needed.

    Malhkoenig Vario: Still the only grinder I know of which does not have any bad domestic habits worth noting (i.e. no mess on the bench even after a few years of use, no static, no clumping, dead even particle spread until the chamber fills). Note: the steel burrs are useless for espresso, however they do pourovers / cold steep etc better than any home grinder I have encountered. The (standard) ceramic burrs on a gen2+ are only suitable for the Turkish (better than my specialised Turkish hand grinder!) to (the coarse end of the) espresso grinding range.

    Quote Originally Posted by SanderP View Post
    To support TampIt’s statements.

    I’m a long term Cremina user and as the only coffee drinker in the house love it.

    Over the silly season it was our turn to host the hordes so there were 7+ coffees required 3 or 4 times a day.

    The Cremina seriously sucks at managing that workload and I’d suggest if you expect to require multiple coffees on a regular basis you look elsewhere.

    Cheers
    Peter
    G'day Peter

    Cremina - yep - more or less a better version of the Electra - think Swiss engineering precision vs Italian designer look (complete with an decorative eagle on the top). I have lived with a Cremina for a few weeks at a time on occasion. I know of no manual lever that can match it, and the initial appearance of "silly pricing" gets cheaper every time you use one. If the Decent Pro doesn't really cut it, I will have one of these on the bench full time in the next few weeks / months.

    Brilliant first coffee and then the temptation to introduce it to the nearest wall mounts with every consecutive shot. I feel your pain at trying to make 7 on the trot. FWIW, the Electra was even worse for multiple shots.

    Enjoy your cuppa and have a great 2019.


    TampIt
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  6. #6
    Zee
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    I was considering the R9 One in place of a GS3 MP, but in the end, the "it's anew machine" thing, and the touch screen being needed to do things like activate hot water, and especially the fact that it looks to be a very poor touch screen anyway, one that even a $50 cheapie Android phone will be superior to, made me forgot the R9 One. I'm sure it'll be a great machine, I'm just not convinced that will be the case now, as opposed to after 2-3 years of development.

    For the record, we're using it in a small scale commercial environment, and I'm not convinced either of these will do better than other machine may achieve that are half the price. Unless you're looking to smash many shots in a row...

    Z...

  7. #7
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    Those touch pad machines are lame. Get back to the art, vintage lever gives you reliable standout espresso without the hooha. Plumb in to unlock preinfusion. Mine a Brugnetti Aurora
    Dr_Dave likes this.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Malhkoenig Vario:

    The (standard) ceramic burrs on a gen2+ are only suitable for the Turkish (better than my specialised Turkish hand grinder!) to (the coarse end of the) espresso grinding range.
    Hi Tampit,

    I just noticed in the above quote that you indicate that the gen 2+ Mahlkonig Vario with ceramic burrs is only capable of up to a coarse espresso grind. This is the first time I've come across this point in your posts and until now thought that the Vario was the grinder to get for both coarse and fine espresso.

    If the Vario doesn't do fine espresso, what grinder would you recommend? I keep reading good things about the Macap M2M, M2D, M4M, and Compak K3. Some of these are even around the $500-$600 price mark.

    Thanks.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nickwalt View Post
    Hi Tampit,

    I just noticed in the above quote that you indicate that the gen 2+ Mahlkonig Vario with ceramic burrs is only capable of up to a coarse espresso grind. This is the first time I've come across this point in your posts and until now thought that the Vario was the grinder to get for both coarse and fine espresso.

    If the Vario doesn't do fine espresso, what grinder would you recommend? I keep reading good things about the Macap M2M, M2D, M4M, and Compak K3. Some of these are even around the $500-$600 price mark.

    Thanks.
    A Turkish grind is finer than espresso, so Vario would be good for Turkish (suuuper fine) to espresso (fine, and up to a coarser grind for larger doses or certain bean types). But not so much for coarser filter brew grind as far as I can gather
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  10. #10
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    @simonsk8r Funny that I had assumed that Turkish was at the coarse end. Thanks for clearing that up. Looks like the Mahlkonig Vario is going to be just fine.
    simonsk8r likes this.



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