Results 1 to 18 of 18
Like Tree11Likes
  • 1 Post By Brewster
  • 1 Post By Dimal
  • 1 Post By liamo
  • 3 Post By Casa Espresso
  • 1 Post By Di_Bartoli
  • 2 Post By CoffeeHack

Thread: setup advice - single boiler or double boiler for flat whites/lattes?

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    10

    Smile setup advice - single boiler or double boiler for flat whites/lattes?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    hi everyone,

    noob here deciding on a setup to get me started in my home barista journey. i have done some reading around the forum and elsewhere. my wife and i usually prepare flat-whites/lattes/cappucinos and rarely drink long blacks and don't drink espressos.

    i am looking at the lelit/NS oscar/ECM/rancilio machines at the moment which appear to be within my price range.

    question: some people insist i need a dual boiler setup/HX to prepare milk drinks but from what i can see in some of the videos, single boilers are perfectly fine - e.g. lelit pl41temd, silvia, ecm casa iv?

    please advise thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    1,006
    Go single boiler if you are an espresso drinker and occassionaly have a milky drink. Otherwise invest in a HX/dual boiler.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    10
    can you elaborate on why saoye

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    CHC NZ
    Posts
    7
    With a single boiler you have to wait for it to get up to steaming temp, with a DB or HX there is a boiler for the brew water and another for the steam so the steam is always ready along with the brew water.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Brewster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Maitland, NSW.
    Posts
    202
    Hi (Andy?), and welcome.
    Don' t know what your budget is, but as your coffee of choice is milk based, then I would suggest:
    1-2 coffees per session, single boiler will suffice.
    More than 2 per session, if you can afford it, go for a HX. I know a couple of people in this category who purchased a single boiler but upgraded to a HX within a year.
    Some of the site sponsers have good buying guides on their web sites which will elaborate further.
    Good luck with your purchase.
    Ps, don't forget a quality grinder and freshly roasted beans from a specialty roaster to ensure great coffee.

    cheers
    Mal
    Last edited by Brewster; 10th December 2016 at 07:30 PM. Reason: Spelling
    andysydney2003 likes this.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by mdrawde View Post
    With a single boiler you have to wait for it to get up to steaming temp, with a DB or HX there is a boiler for the brew water and another for the steam so the steam is always ready along with the brew water.
    i can wait the 2-3 mins (or 5 mins) it takes to get up to steam temp. it doesn't really bother me right now. i guess my question is more - does the 2-5 minute wait "spoil" the final preparation (i.e. the latte or flat white or cappuccino?) i can't imagine it does given the number of quality single boilers out there?

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by Brewster View Post
    Hi (Andy?), and welcome.
    Don' t know what your budget is, but as your coffee of choice is milk based, then I would suggest:
    1-2 coffees per session, single boiler will suffice.
    More than 2 per session, if you can afford it, go for a HX. I know a couple of people in this category who purchased a single boiler but upgraded to a HX within a year.
    Some of the site sponsers have good buying guides on thier web sites which will elaborate further.
    Good luck with your purchase.
    Ps, don't forget a quality grinder and freshly roasted beans from a specialty roaster to ensure great coffee.

    cheers
    Mal
    i find the rationale for getting HX/dual boilers because there is less wait slightly difficult to understand. my understanding is that HX machines take 10-15 minutes to reach brew temps anyway? so what you save in time between brewing and frothing you lose in the initial HX startup time?

  8. #8
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Warwick, QLD
    Posts
    17,122
    Welcome Andy...

    I'd advise a visit to a specialist retailer and in particular, one or more of our Site Sponsors, who could then demonstrate the differences between the machine types, their pros and cons and narrow your choices.

    Several Site Sponsors also have buyers' guides on their websites too and definitely worth perusing those...

    All the best,
    Mal.
    andysydney2003 likes this.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    37

    setup advice - single boiler or double boiler for flat whites/lattes?

    You'll need to wait a fair while for a good single boiler to heat up too. Perhaps not as long but still 10-25mins depending on machine. E61's will take 20-30 mins regardless of HX or single boiler.

    As stated, for 1-2 milky drinks it's fine using a single boiler, just a couple of minutes waiting for the steam to come up to temp.

    For me, the bigger problem is making more than a couple. Once you've brought the machine up to steam temp it's way too hot to then use as an espresso machine. You need to flush heaps and/or wait to get the temp back down to brew again.

    No drama if you never entertain
    andysydney2003 likes this.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    SYD
    Posts
    584

    setup advice - single boiler or double boiler for flat whites/lattes?

    If you're making milkshakes, HX minimum. Otherwise you'll be upgrading within a year.

    As for warmup time, most users run a timer switch to switch the machine on ahead of time.

    Go into a good dealer and see the machines in the flesh and discuss your needs, would be a good next step.

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    10
    thanks for all the reply guys. hmmm... seems like i may have a problem between needs and budget and starting up.

    my budget is sitting around 1-2k (yup fairly broad) and i make one flat white for myself and one for my wife in the morning everyday, another flat white midday and one more late arvo. that's about max for my household. in terms of entertaining we have families over every few weeks or so but coffee is not always ordered. so i'd say that's of secondary importance. primary importance is our morning coffee and my home barista journey.

    dual boilers and PID machine (plus decent grinder) probably out of my budget isn't it?

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    The Dandenongs
    Posts
    641
    Wouldn't be too far off if you're willing to go second hand. People sell long lasting, meticulously maintained, quality stuff on the for sale section here. Have a look, & let us know how you get on.

  13. #13
    Site Sponsor
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Frenchs Forest NSW
    Posts
    760
    Welcome Andy,

    For your requirements (one or two milk coffees at a time), a single boiler machine will be fine. Out of your shortlist, the Lelit PL41TEMD has the fastest heat up time (10 minutes) and leaves plenty of room in your budget for a great grinder,

    charlie

  14. #14
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    763
    Quote Originally Posted by andysydney2003 View Post
    i find the rationale for getting HX/dual boilers because there is less wait slightly difficult to understand. my understanding is that HX machines take 10-15 minutes to reach brew temps anyway? so what you save in time between brewing and frothing you lose in the initial HX startup time?
    The heat up time issue is not so much about the initial time as both single boiler and HX machines take time to heat up, HX machines maybe longer then a single boiler.

    The drawback of a single boiler is that you have to wait for the steam pressure to build up after making a coffee or the boiler pressure to drop down after steaming to move to the next stage. This is because steam pressure is too hot for coffee brewing and the brew temperature is not hot enough for steam so you need to wait while the machine adjusts.

    If you are making two or three coffees in a row most people can live with this but any more the extra time becomes noticeable.

    With an HX machine you can steam milk and pull a shot simultaneously.

    We have had quite a few people coming back to us within 12months of buying a single boiler machine looking to upgrade to a quality HX

    Cheers
    Antony
    Brewster, Dimal and Magic_Matt like this.

  15. #15
    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    1,006
    I have a single boiler, and a couple of HX machines, getting to temperature on turning the machine on is the single boiler's strong point getting to temp much faster due to the smaller boiler. The annoyance is more so the wait for the steam and then the priming after steaming or run the risk of burning the element out. No need to prime with a HX, ability to steam and pull a shot at the same time. I drink espressos only but when entertaining a dinner group of more than 2 then the HX is an asset, and we entertain quite often.

  16. #16
    Site Sponsor
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    929
    Hi Andy,

    For your budget I'd probably be looking at 2 combo options:
    1. The Oscar and the Eureka Mignon. The Oscar is an HX (so no wait up time) and the a Eureka is a sturdy, great matching, stepless grinder

    2. The AMC Alfi is a new heat exchange with fairly forgiven head, sleek design, small footprint and high legs for easy cleaning. If you stretch a little the budget, you can accommodate also the Anfim Haus Grinder.

    Good luck!
    Dimal likes this.

  17. #17
    Senior Member CoffeeHack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    121
    Quote Originally Posted by andysydney2003 View Post
    in terms of entertaining we have families over every few weeks or so but coffee is not always ordered.
    You may find that if you make decent coffees at home that coffee is requested quite often. It's like some of my usual visitors give me their order before even saying hello!
    Brewster and Di_Bartoli like this.

  18. #18
    Site Sponsor
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    929
    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeHack View Post
    You may find that if you make decent coffees at home that coffee is requested quite often. It's like some of my usual visitors give me their order before even saying hello!
    So true



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •