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Thread: La Marzocco Linea Classic or Kees Van Der Westen Mirage for office?

  1. #1
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    La Marzocco Linea Classic or Kees Van Der Westen Mirage for office?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi guys. Been a while since Iíve been around these traps and canít find my old login details so its time for a new oneÖ

    Anyhow, our company is moving office and Iím sorting out the new coffee machine (replacing our aging 2 group Wega). I can get a decent result out of my Bezzera and Compak at home but happy to admit I donít know much about commercial machines and what would be main decision factors for an office environment. So besides doing my own research, Iíd be keen to hear if you guys have any advice or opinions.

    Have set a budget around the $7k for machine + grinder. Not concerned if itís a brand new machine or re-furbished.

    A couple of recommendations that have come my way so far have been. These fit our budget (am surprised how much lower than RRP some of the packaged quotes have been):

    La San Marco 100 Sprint Electronic 2 group (new) https://www.lasanmarco.com/series-100.php
    La San Marco 100 T Touch DTC 3 group (new) https://www.lasanmarco.com/series-100.php
    La Marzocco Linea Classic 3 group (re-furbished) https://au.lamarzocco.com/machine/linea-classic/
    Kees Van Der Westen Mirage 3 group (re-furbished) https://keesvanderwesten.com/mirage/


    Now, I donít know much about the commercial machines but I know enough to know that the bottom 2 units are pretty damn impressive and are big dollars brand new. So very surprised they are within budget. So what am I missing? These machines would be rubbish at this price and we should ignore them??? Or are they a bargain and we should grab one based on reputation alone?!


    Some considerations would be:

    • We only have about 30 staff. And only a few of us are what you call ďconcernedĒ with good coffee Ė the rest seem to think anything coming out of a fancy machine must be fancyÖ!
    • 6 or so Kgs of coffee a week I guess
    • Power and plumbing is not an issue
    • Got a large space available (1.5m bench space)
    • We donít want to be constantly requiring fine tuning/adjusting the machine to get decent results. We wont have the time, energy or patience to devout to doing this. So it needs to be robust Ė not sensitive to constant adjustment.
    • Busy times are most of the morning and 1 hour in the arvo. The rest of the time its mostly dormant.
    • No more than 10 people milling around the machine at any one time
    • Good portion are milk based drinkers
    • Re grinder, not planning to skimp here. Within our target price range we can get something like Mazzer Jolly E, Eureka Atom, Profitec Pro T64.



    Cheers for any input!

  2. #2
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    I have no experience with these machines, but I look after a LSM 85E 2gr at my church. I would want to know what size the portafilters are on the LSM machines because to my knowledge most LSM machines have their proprietary 54-55mm groups. It's quite annoying to try and buy accessories for. Otherwise the 85E is a tank that will pump out shots as long as you can keep going. The steam tips on ours are very aggressive and take some getting used to, but they heat milk very quickly. We got the refurbished machine and SM92A grinder with new burrs for $3k I think (half new price).

    I don't know exactly if the Linea Classic is the machine I'm thinking of but I know there is a smaller machine made to look similar to the full size Linea but is rubbish in comparison. Worth checking that out.

    If it was me I'd go the Mirage for the looks!

    I have an Atom at home, and as long as you keep the level of the beans in the hopper consistent it produces consistent a grind size. With either of the small hoppers they need to be typed up fairly regularly. For your use you'll want the large hopper, I've never used one so I can't say how often you'll need to top it up. With the small hoppers I would not recommend it for inattentive operators and high volume.

  3. #3
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    Many thanks for the input ninja - especially about the Atom. I've got no experience with the Atom but it was getting a good recommendation (not the Jolly though - believe it can be quite inconsistent). I think your thinking of the Linea Mini - which is small. The Linea Classic is a full size machine and comes with LMs proprietary saturated group.

    I agree, the Mirage does look brilliant. But am struggling to work out what the catch is. Surely a 2nd hand machine in appropriate condition cant be had for that sort of money?!

  4. #4
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    FWIW, the original Linea (not the Linea Mini) is probably the best machine I know of for a fuss free business or cafe. Half a dozen of my friends have them in cafes I helped set up over the years and they have been pumping a high volume of shots out trouble free for extended periods. They are also faster to recover than almost any other machine I know of - try 403 shots in just under three hours (from the actual till receipts) without breaking a sweat (unlike the barista at the time - she deserved every cent of her bonus!). The main other advantage of a Linea is the tremendous shot power which gives it a pretty wide tolerance for "Barista snafus". Not zero maintenance, however largely fuss free and very easy to keep clean.

    For "non specialty coffee cafes" I would always a Mazzer Major grinder. That will give as good a coffee as a majority of CS aficionados can achieve at home under far less stressful conditions - and in a high volume environment for a decade or so.

    For home use - totally different recommendation from me. To be balanced about the subject, a really good home setup (& barista) will have an edge in coffee quality, however it cannot possibly achieve anything like the volume or the low maintenance.

    Just my two cents.


    TampIt
    PS: Of course, the Linea takes standard baskets - made by VST. Says it all about the quality really (FYI, LM sponsored the VST research and now use the results of their support).
    Last edited by TampIt; 4 Weeks Ago at 09:21 PM. Reason: Added PS

  5. #5
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    Unless you know the condition of a second hand machine, it's a risk. Think lime scale damage or a pin hole leaking boiler ... So go in eyes open and/or get a long warranty!

    With your budget, you can also go new and get a temperature stable, easy to live with E61 HX commercial and T64 office coffee machine.

    charlie
    Dimal likes this.

  6. #6
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    Thank you very much Tampit. That’s extremely helpful info and experience for us. Especially the feedback about “tolerance for Barista snafus”. Exactly what I wanted to find out.

    Based you that, and my weekend of internetting (unfortunately the commercial machines don’t really get discussed much on forums….), the Linea is looking to be the top of the list.

    Again, cheers!

  7. #7
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    Thanks Charlie. The machine is coming with a only 3 month warranty. I could perhaps negotiate a longer period (or include it for extra). Based on your experience do you think 3 months is too short?

    And thanks for the link to the Lelit Giulietta and Profitec Pro T64 grinder combo you guys carry and recommend. Appreciate the recommendation - definitely food for though. I haven't heard of Lelit - but there is a lot of stuff I dont know about! Shame you are not in Melbourne so I could come and kick the tyres. Iíve bought some stuff from you over the years, but think it would be a struggle to make this level of purchase from a non-Melb based mob. But Iíll definitely have a think about it.

  8. #8
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    For your second hand options, consider that electrical and mechanical components generally have a limited life (hours of use). So if you're looking at a commercial that has been on 24/7 for, say 5 years, then having to replace a board, for example, in the short term shouldn't come as a complete surprise. Also, and possibly a bigger issue, if the water filtration over the life of the machine hasn't been perfect, then scale will cause issues with blockages and corrosion. So if at all possible find out the machines history. If you don't know the history, then extended warranty is an insurance policy but will also come at a price.

    As long as you're aware of the possible costs of rectification and you add that risk to the initial buy price and still come up with a overall deal that you're happy with, I say go for it. You might be lucky and have years of trouble free use. But if you do need to replace an expensive component in, say 12 months, then hopefully you'll be able to afford it. I think bottom line with second hand purchases of commercial machines is that you don't spend your whole budget on the initial purchase. Leave yourself a contingency fund.

    If you want to have a look at a Lelit Giulietta in Melbourne that's easy to arrange. PM sent!

    charlie
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