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Thread: Help choosing machine

  1. #1
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    Help choosing machine

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all, I am a coffee addict from Dunedin NZ. I want a great machine for home, but with the option of using it as a back up machine for a cafe if needed. (My long term goal is to open an espresso bar) I am looking at a professional 1 group at this stage. I have found on Trade-me which is like e-bay, 3 machines and would love some advice. What do you think of these ??
    Carimali Uno E rotary pump 1.6kw 1 group $400
    Promac CME-ME 2 Group $1500
    Astoria CKE with a Rocky Grinder $1000

    I had a play with a Vibiemme Domobar Super the other day, a great machine but just to pricey for me.

  2. #2
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    Re: Help choosing machine

    If youre even thinking of putting it in an espresso bar, you NEED a rotary pump. Your customers will flee if they hear a vibe pump!

    Id get something with a thermosiphon or saturated group head ... which means that Id be avoiding the Astoria.

    When it comes to 2nd hand machines, its caveat emptor all the way. If I were putting a machine in an espresso bar, Id damned well want to know that there was someone I could call if - when - something goes wrong with it.

    Best of luck,

    Luca

  3. #3
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    Re: Help choosing machine

    Thanks for your reply, if i do get the doors open to my espresso bar one day it will have a brand new La Cimbali or something similar I just want something for home in the mean time and thought I might be able to use it as a "back-up" eventually. I dont know much about small machines at all.

  4. #4
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    Re: Help choosing machine

    Greetings BNS,

    anything that someone might put in at home wont ever be suitable as a backup for a cafe. Firstly, if you buy a semi-commercial to put in at home it will be too small to use in a cafe and secoindly, you dont actually need a backup.... modern esp machines are reasonably reliable, & if you have engaged a good supplier/service provider, any problems occuring in the cafe will be dealt with swiftly.

    In the event you wanted to go get the back up machine, you would find that by the time you went home, took it out, deliverted to the cafe, pulled the other out of the way, and connected up your back up, the original machine in the cafe was repaired hours ago.........!

    Lastly, the type of cheap, ratty, obsolete old commercial machines that occasionally end up in someones home, usually couldnt hack it if placed back into a commercial situation.. Theyre past it, which is why they are for sale, cheap, in internet auction sites.

    So really, Id advise that if you want a nice coffee machine at home, just go and buy one that is suitable for you & your home and when you open your cafe, buy something that will be able to handle the pace.

    Regardz,
    FC.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Help choosing machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1149421809/0#3 date=1149460270
    anything that someone might put in at home wont ever be suitable as a backup for a cafe.
    Unless you are a nut like some of us who install a La Cimbali M-28 2-group on their kitchen counter. ::) :o ;D

    Java "Well and truely whacked" phile

  6. #6
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    Re: Help choosing machine

    Well yes Java I take your point,

    some enthusiasts will *put a commercial machine in at home, that is not past it, and others on the other hand will get something that is past it, but will recondition it to work as good or better than new.....as many in this list have.

    But by far the majority that put commercial machines in at home will pick up something cheap and nasty, wont do it up, and thats just it...these are the machines that have come out of work because they were past it, *and are not suitable as a back up at all.

    If you really were going to have a "back up", then it should be a good late model mahcine in good nik capable of handling "the pace", of a suitable size. Of the above only the Promac is of suitable size, but the prices indicate "tired" equipment. *None of this is said to inflame, but rather, to be helpful in the context of the topic.

    Regardz,
    FC.



  7. #7
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Help choosing machine

    I agree FC, I was just taking the opportunity to point how well and truely whacked some of us around here about our coffee. ;D

    Java "One of the few, One of the proud, One of the whacked!" phile

  8. #8
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    Re: Help choosing machine

    Being "wacked", is a pre requisite for being in the coffee game in general@!

    Regardz,
    FC
    !

  9. #9
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    Re: Help choosing machine

    Hi, thanks for your advice, and yes I am the type to put a commercial machine on my kitchen bench !! Yes I dont no much about espresso machines, but learning all the time. Forget the comment about a back-up machine i just want to produce the best espresso I can and also practice my latte art, train my teenager etc.. before I open my own shop, why not start on a commercial machine.

    Thanks again

  10. #10
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    Re: Help choosing machine

    Dunedin is a nice place. I used to live in Christchurch. It is a good time of the year to hibernate and enjoy espresso from a nice machine.

    I agree that the idea of having a machine at home as a backup is probably not workable. It is conceivable though that if you picked a machine carefully it could work but if you really wanted a backup machine you should probably get a new or near new one for home.

    The real usefulness of your concept of a backup machine is as a tool to convince your wife to spend $4000 on a nice brand new single group commercial machine for your house. If the cafe never comes off you will then have a beautiful machine that will last you for decades as a home machine.

    I have a now ten year old Bezzera BZ-40P at home which I bought for $800 and which I spent a lot of time but not much money reconditioning. I am now very very happy with it. It has two 1400W elements and a 3.4L boiler and a rotary pump. This is really the minimum machine that could be considered a commercial machine and most commercial single group machines have 5L boilers.

    I also spent $330 installing a two cartridge in line filtration system, the first cannister being a sediment filter and the second a carbon polyphosphate cannister. If you want a plumbed in commercial machine then a filtration system is essential and must be calculated in the cost.

    Another issue is that a commercial machine needs to be plumbed in which means a hole in the kitchen bench for the filtered water supply and the drain.

    I think that if you really love your coffee, dont be afraid to spendup on a nice plumbed in machine. It is worth it, believe me.

    If you buy a machine second hand, and an older machine though, be prepared to get your hands dirty. Many of them require stripping right down and descaling. This is not an impossible job though and is do able by the average guy without expert help. Well, maybe a few questions on the forum if you get stuck!

    None of the machines on your list by the way sounded appealing!

    Im not a big fan of these fancy looking prosumer machines. Id rather get a commercial single group machine with a nice fat rotary pump all plumbed in.

    Hey, this is just my preference. I can at least say though that having done just that, that I am a happy man.

    Grant

  11. #11
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    Re: Help choosing machine

    Hi, thanks for your reply. I must clarify I am of the female species !! My husband just goes along with whatever crazy plan I come up with. I have trained him well.
    I appreciate your comments regarding the machines listed above, my budget wont stretch to $3000-5000 at the moment, to get what I would truley like hence the search on trade-me. We own our house so putting a hole in the bench is no problem, the stripping down and descaling my prove a challenge but a good way to learn about how they work. Dunedin is a great place to live, some nice espresso in the city but pretty cold at the moment.

  12. #12
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    Re: Help choosing machine

    Yes,

    It can be a big step getting a plumbed in machine as you have the cost of the filtration system before even putting the machine in.

    Coffee machines though are pretty simple things. You will find with older machines that they are scaled up which usually means that they need stripping down and descaling. Often this is all that needs to be done and after that they may go for years without trouble. Cafes will often sell them at this point as descaling is very labour intensive and therefore expensive with shops charging about $1500 for an overhaul.

    With a bit of care and some time you can make it an interesting centerpiece to your kitchen and something that can make good espresso between admiring glances...

    :)

    Dunedin is a good place for an espresso machine.

    Grant

    PS. Picture of my baby. Lesson here is get a second hand one that looks good!


  13. #13
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    Re: Help choosing machine

    That picture is too clean! I suspect no real espresso brewing takes place there at all. Its probably just a cardboard cutout. :P

  14. #14
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    Re: Help choosing machine

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Sparky:

    It is easier to use Photoshop to clean the machine than real elbow grease...

    ;D

    Grant



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