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Thread: Advice on new machine.

  1. #1
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    Advice on new machine.

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I realise that there are a lot of threads already regarding various machines, but they all seem to shoot either too high or too low with regards price.

    Ive been using a borrowed Rancilio Silvia for the past 3 months and have enjoyed the experience thoroughly and I think very highly of the Silvia. However, the machine is now being taken back by its owner and Im now looking for something to replace it. Whilst a Silvia obviously would jump onto my shortlist I was wondering what I could get if I spent a bit more - around the $1000 to the $1200 mark available in Melbourne.

    The Silvia met my needs very well and so to justify the additional expense it would need to be quite a bit better - e61 grouphead, PID control or something of the sort.

    Is there anything that would cover these bases? Or do I need to be looking at the $2000+ mark with the Expobar Brewtus, LaScala Butterfly and ECM Giotto?

    Cheers.

  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on new machine.

    Hi 2MC,

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs [smiley=thumbsup.gif].....

    At the lower end of the price range you have nominated, you can buy yourself into the lower end (price-wise that is) of the HX line of machines such as the Simonelli Oscar or the Expobar Pulser Semi-Automatic shown here....http://tinyurl.com/a2mhy.

    Both of these machines can be found for the $1,000-$1,200 range from some retailers and both are very capable. I guess if you are possibly considering the Expobar Minore, then other machines in a similar class can be found from a number of manufacturers and are available from a number of our site sponsors who could advise you far better than I on the pros and cons between one machine over another to suit your purposes.

    Cheers,
    Mal.

  3. #3
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    Re: Advice on new machine.

    Whats the Expobar Office Pulsar SA like?
    That seems to be nicely within my price range - what is it like to live with? Maintenance and back flushing? Temperature stability? etc.

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    Re: Advice on new machine.

    Cant speak for the Expobar, but have had a Nuova Simonelli Oscar for 6 months or so. Purchased for $1150 so it is the ballpark for you. Main downside people highlight is plastic shell - this doesnt worry me - there is enough stainless steel to keep clean in my kitchen already. Ive had the hood off though and the insides are impressive - a very solid well built piece of machinery. Id recommend taking a look inside any machine before purchase if you can. Make sure you have good after sales service no matter what you buy. Ive had to rely on the Nuova Simonelli rep rather than the retailer for support and I wish it was the other way round. BTW the retailer was not Melbourne based. Good luck.

  5. #5
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    Re: Advice on new machine.

    Im sure if FC comes back from holiday hed give a good recommendation as well.

  6. #6
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    Re: Advice on new machine.

    Im with Mal.

    The Expobar is a lot of machine for the money. Note that some of them apparently run hot and require massive cooling flushes. If this is the case, talk to the person that sold it to you. The importers are able to fix the thermosyphon restrictors to fix this.

    Dont know too much about the NS machine, but I like their grinders and commercial machines. (I dont like Rancilios commercial machines ;P)

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Re: Advice on new machine.

    Whats the difference, besides the look, between the Office Pulsar and the Office EB61? From what Im reading, theyre both e61 style machines with HX, just that the EB61 has the group exposed.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on new machine.

    Gday 2MC,
    Looking at a few sites on these machines, it appears that the Office Pulser SA is not an E61 group head, where as the Office Leva is an E61. *Have a look at this link and you can do a side by side comparison quite easily. http://www.wholelattelove.com/compar...ubCategoryID=1.
    Hope this helps,
    Steve.

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    Re: Advice on new machine.

    Im not sure that thats right, Steve. WLLs webpage says that the pulsers group has a thermosyphon. Their description of the EB61 says that it has an E-61 group. (Wrong; it has and EB-61 group, which is trivially different, so as to avoid royalties, from what I can understand) The discriptions are only vaguely different and I find it difficult to believe that Expobar would use different parts ... makes much more sense to just use the same group for all of their machines. When they made the brewtus, they just used stuff that they had lying around, so no reason to believe that theyd change ... this would be a good question for a vendor to work out how much support they could actually provide you.

    Cheers,

    Luca

  10. #10
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    Re: Advice on new machine.

    Ok, next qn :P What are some reputable vendors to deal with in Melbourne?

  11. #11
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    Re: Advice on new machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by toomuchcaffeine link=1139751058/0#6 date=1139852142
    Whats the difference, besides the look, between the Office Pulsar and the Office EB61? From what Im reading, theyre both e61 style machines with HX, just that the EB61 has the group exposed.
    Hi again 2MC,

    Regarding your query above, Luca is on the money here..... Both machines are E61 Group machines or EB61 to be more precise. The differences between the two are significant after this though, the EB61 you are referring to is a "Leva" machine, in that it uses a lever to activate the Pump, Pre-infusion and the 3-Way Valve processes. The Office Pulsar is like most other E61 machines on the market in that it uses electrical switches/push buttons to initiate these processes. Also, as you can see, the Leva machine is entirely clad in polished s/s and has significant additional differences "under the hood", with dual boiler design and a simple PID control to maintain brew water temperature within the ideal range.

    As highlighted earlier, some of these differences attract a higher premium, especially since the Minore is a relative newcomer to the Australian market and is a veritable "must have" for some very keen coffee snobs and geeks. You cant go wrong with either though, they are both extremely capable machines and I doubt any but maybe owners of the most sophisticated palates would be able to distinguish espressos made on either machine.

    Reputable retailers in Melbourne should include the guys at The Coffee Company when considering Expobar machines. There is at least one other but I cant remember the name of them but someone else here might. I know "mattyj" is the proud owner of an Expobar Office Pulsar so maybe if you drop him a PM, he can give you some additional information. All the best 2CM,

    Mal.

  12. #12
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: Advice on new machine.

    I certainly recommend the coffee company -- great range, friendly service, good prices. The best latte I ever had was made for me there as I waited for the demo machine to warm up.

    Robusto

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    Re: Advice on new machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by robusto link=1139751058/0#11 date=1139908910
    I certainly recommend the coffee company -- great range, friendly service, good prices. *The best latte I ever had was made for me there as I waited for the demo machine to warm up.

    Robusto

    Lattes at Coffee Company are good but only a few doors up the road at 320 Carlisle St, Balaclava is Batch Espresso and and its coffee is exceptional. ;)

  14. #14
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    Re: Advice on new machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1139751058/0#10 date=1139897306
    Quote Originally Posted by toomuchcaffeine link=1139751058/0#6 date=1139852142
    Whats the difference, besides the look, between the Office Pulsar and the Office EB61? From what Im reading, theyre both e61 style machines with HX, just that the EB61 has the group exposed.
    Hi again 2MC,

    Regarding your query above, Luca is on the money here..... Both machines are E61 Group machines or EB61 to be more precise. The differences between the two are significant after this though, the EB61 you are referring to is a "Leva" machine, in that it uses a lever to activate the Pump, Pre-infusion and the 3-Way Valve processes. The Office Pulsar is like most other E61 machines on the market in that it uses electrical switches/push buttons to initiate these processes. Also, as you can see, the Leva machine is entirely clad in polished s/s and has significant additional differences "under the hood", with dual boiler design and a simple PID control to maintain brew water temperature within the ideal range.

    As highlighted earlier, some of these differences attract a higher premium, especially since the Minore is a relative newcomer to the Australian market and is a veritable "must have" for some very keen coffee snobs and geeks. You cant go wrong with either though, they are both extremely capable machines and I doubt any but maybe owners of the most sophisticated palates would be able to distinguish espressos made on either machine.

    Reputable retailers in Melbourne should include the guys at The Coffee Company when considering Expobar machines. There is at least one other but I cant remember the name of them but someone else here might. I know "mattyj" is the proud owner of an Expobar Office Pulsar so maybe if you drop him a PM, he can give you some additional information. All the best 2CM,

    Mal.
    Just a few things that I dont think were quite on the money, Mal:

    (a) For clarification, the EB-61 is an old-skool-looking HX with exposed grouphead. When Todd from WLL approached Expobar about making the Brewtus, they just used the chassis from this. The EB-61 is still available, and is a more expensive HX than the Pulser.

    (b) E-61 (and EB-61) groups have three lever positions; on, off and preinfuse. The group will deliver its own smooth preinfusion, which is often cited as a reason why true E-61s are so forgiving. You can extend preinfusion by leaving the lever in the preinfuse position; something that you obviously cant do with a flip button. BUT preinfusion requires line pressure, so there is practically no difference between the preinfusion of the two machines - they use vibe pumps and water tanks. In other words, Im pretty sure that the preinfusion position on the lever in vibe pump E-61s does nothing. Could a giotto owner confirm?

    (c) RE: temperature; try it!

    Cheers,

    Luca

  15. #15
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    Re: Advice on new machine.

    Quote Originally Posted by luca link=1139751058/0#8 date=1139882842
    Im not sure that thats right, Steve. *WLLs webpage says that the pulsers group has a thermosyphon. *Their description of the EB61 says that it has an E-61 group. *(Wrong; it has and EB-61 group, which is trivially different, so as to avoid royalties, from what I can understand) *The discriptions are only vaguely different and I find it difficult to believe that Expobar would use different parts ... makes much more sense to just use the same group for all of their machines. *
    From what Ive gathered, the Pulser models use a cheaper thermosyphon design than the E(B)-61 used on the Leva and Minore/Brewtus. I think this is because the Pulsers are controlled by switches so there is no way for the preinfusion to activate (which may not work properly in any case - see thread on alt.coffee).

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    Re: Advice on new machine.

    Id rung up coffeelovers.net.au and was informed that on the whole, the pulsar and the EB-61 are the same machine.
    Id been reading on coffeegeek.com that the isomac zaffiro is a superior machine for espresso making and that it is the same price as the Office - but Ive found that the cheapest the Zaffiro goes for is around the $1500 mark and the SA office is around the $1200 mark. Is there a better price for the Zaffiro around?
    In any case, if this differential cant be closed, Ill order the SA office along with a Mazzer Mini.

    Thanks for all the info guys.

  17. #17
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    Re: Advice on new machine.

    "on the whole" can mean a lot of things.

    If you make milk drinks, dont buy the Zaffiro - it takes a loooong time to transition from brew to steam since the boiler is very large (hence temp stability => the reputation for great espresso)

  18. #18
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    Re: Advice on new machine.

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    by "on the whole" it means that the EB61 will pull the same shots as the SA office pulsar. It just has a better looking exterior and the lever operation.



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