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Thread: Giotto v Minore II shootout....

  1. #1
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    Giotto v Minore II shootout....

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Well- we gave it a shot today with two machines ready to rock, a whole heap o beans- some light, some dark, some SO...

    What did we find?

    Giotto...
    Great build quality as we all know
    Best shots were those which were updosed (dose and collapse due to relatively high shower screen)
    Works superbly out of the box with typical espresso blends
    Some shots appeared a touch brighter and more refined
    Shipped at just under 10 bar according to PF gauge- but can be tweaked
    Requires a cooling flush- circa 50ml?
    Milk texture ability at 1.1 bar superior to the Minore II (which shipped at 1 bar boiler pressure - but can be adjusted by removing the outer cover)

    Minore
    Surprisingly good build quality- stainless steel is better than the prototypes
    Best shots were updosed (bench tap)- shower screen a touch lower than the Giotto so smaller overall dose...
    Pump pressure MUST be tweaked- it shipped at over 12 bar- I had adjusted it to 9.5 bar....The pump didnt sound happy at less than that...
    Temperature tweakability is fun...if you have a good palate and enjoy your espresso....
    Requires a warming flush -probably also in the vicinity of 50ml
    Textures very well- but a tad more slowly than the Giotto (mainly related to the size of the holes in the tip in my opinion)
    This machine will probably give its best results in the hands of a skilled opeartor with a great palate


    BUT- the biggest factor influencing the performance of the machines was the person on the end of the group handle. Despite doing our utmost with the available machinery, we were unable to remove the barista variability factor entirely from each shot and with the variation in shower screen height, there is probably more primary extraction in the Giotto shots...

    Some tasters prefered one or the other...but the tastings were not blind, so personal preference was most likely a significant factor...

    So- both are great machines.....If you like running roast profiles outside the range of typical espresso or just love fiddling with switches and knobs, you might prefer the adjustability of the Minore...If you want sex appeal and great shots with espresso SO or blends- you might choose the Giotto...but....BOTH MACHINES produce fantastic espresso and texture superbly in the hands of a skilled operator...

    I think its safe to buy the machine you like *;)

    Chris




  2. #2
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    Re: Giotto v Minore II shootout....

    Yeah, no machine was clearly better than the other.

    Build

    In terms of build, there are a few areas where the machines differ. The expobars have awesome, deep drip trays, but the top is the standard sheet of metal with holes through it that most machines have, so it collects a bit of mess on top of it. The giotto has a shallow drip tray (probably needs emptying after four or five shots) but the wire screen that fits on top of it doesnt allow espresso muck to pool up on top of it. The expobar has a reservoir that cant be filled in situ without a funnel. The ECM reservoir (updated on this years giottos) has nifty little handles on it so that it can be lifted out easily, or you can just fill it in situ

    Steaming

    I thought that the giotto was awesome in the steaming department (600mL jug), but I didnt really try the brewtus. The giotto had an experimental tip on it that was not as good as the stock tip. Kinda reminded me of steaming on a La Marzocco Linea. The expobar didnt thrill me, but thats just a matter of tweaking - you could take the shell off and dial the pressurestat up* pretty easily. Hell, you could also get the apparently awesome steam tip from Pedro at coffeeparts or just buy the giotto steam arm and retrofit it to get identical, if not better, steaming out of the expobar. So both should be fine for milk drinks.

    Tweakability

    Obviously the expobars temperature tweakability was easy and pretty cool, but I though that you could do a fair bit with the giotto as well. For example, you can flush and brew immediately or flush and wait 30 or 40 seconds to get a hotter first part of the shot. Getting at the pressurestat to adjust that is fairly easy, too; you just need to take four screws off the top; you could probably even tweak the pstat* through the cup warmer holes. Anyhoo, we didnt bring screwdrivers to tweak the giotto, so I guess that that bit goes largely un-tested. What is true is this: if you dont have a really, really consistent technique, temperature control will be utterly lost on you.

    I brought along a rather amusing coffee to see how much we could tweak the giotto: a light-roasted and stale Kimmel. Tweaking the grind was far, far more important than anything else. We flushed the machine until the steaming stopped, then waited about 45 seconds until brewing to allow the water at the start of the shot to heat up and, combined with a very short pour, Chris was able to mute a surprising amount of the acidity. There is no doubt, though, that tweaking the grind was far, far more important than tweaking the flush. And, to prove a point, no matter how good your machine, grinder and technique are, nothing rescues stale coffee!

    With regards to all of this tweakery that Im constantly talking about, I dont think that this is something to even think about if its your first machine. The beauty of buying from someone like Chris is that you will not be shipped a machine that has not been bench-tested and tweaked to the point where all of the variables are in a useable range. This means that you can safely just focus on developing technique for the first six months or so ... hopefully just with one blend thats roasted by a consistent commercial roaster for you, so as to eliminate that variable. Getting a consistent dose, for example, is actually very difficult.

    Overall

    Overall, I find it difficult to imagine being disappointed with either machine. Each has its own idiosyncracies and can be expected to out-perform the operator. If I had to choose one, Id probably ... uhh ... go for ... the giotto. I guess. Just because the idea of playing with a heat exchanger machine has some novelty for me because Im using either single boiler or multiple boiler machines these days. But really what Id ideally want to do is to swap machines around every few months ;P Or buy both. One for upstairs and one for downstairs. In terms of grinders, on the other hand, Chris and I both agreed on our mutual hatred of stepped adjustment!

    A huge thankyou to Chris for giving us the opportunity to turn up late ( :-[)... err ... I mean, to play with your toys!

    Cheers,

    Luca

    *I know that I talk about dialling the pstat around a lot, but remember that these things are fragile - you can wreck them if you dont tweak carefully. If you smash them, theyre something like $50 or $100 to replace ... not that hard of a job. And dont expect vendors to be sympathetic. In fact, if you take the top off your machine, dont expect any vendor to be sympathetic if anything goes wrong!

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    Re: Giotto v Minore II shootout....

    Yeh thanks to Chris for taking the time to allow us to play around with his machines. *What was to be a shoot out session between two machines with blind tastings to judge espresso quality became more of a play session which was more fun than scientific. *This was probably a more approriate and realistic goal as the most significant factor was the person side of the portafilter (which the other guys pointed out). *I agree with the previous posts, there was no clear winner.

    The guys have already addressed machine features, steaming ability, build quality, and tweakability so Ill focus on findings from the newbie of the group on the day.

    To recap on the day, we had a number of blends to play with. *An experimental blend from St Ali (5 days post roast), Blend X from St Ali (5 days post roast), Black Cat (8 days post roast), and Lucas 8 day old Kimmel.
    None of the blends were at their peak. *The St Ali blends were still too gasey (about a day off its peak) and the Black Cat was going rancid. *Without enough of each blend to properly dial in, everyone had a bit of a play on both machines. *

    Early on the shots from the Giotto seemed to blonde quickly (about 10 - 15 seconds) compared to the Minore (25+ seconds) with the same coffee volume and portafilter. *Updosing the Giotto helped prevent early blonding, but the lower shower screen on the Minore didnt allow the same coffee volume to be loaded. *

    While dialling in the Giotto some of the shots seemed bitter. *There was a fine line between brighter and bitter. *With Chriss expertise, many of the shots coming out of the Giotto were brighter than those out of the Minore. *Shots from the Minore seemed sweeter than those of the Giotto (when Chris was pulling them). *According to a couple of the onlookers, shots from the Minore seemed more balanced.

    Getting all of the factors right on the Giotto seemed to be based on experimentation and taste. The temperature display on the Minore made it easy to tweak the temperature to the right temperature for the blend. *

    It was interesting that the quality in the cup varied widely between people operating the machines. *It was clear that technique was the biggest factor in producing a quality cup. *Once both machines are dialed in and a consistent technique is discovered, it is likely that both would produce high quality coffee.

    If I was to chose a machine out of the two, my preference is the Minore. *To quote the guys at home-barista (http://www.home-barista.com/brewtus-...onclusion.html), the Brewtus (Minore) Advantage is "ease, consistency, and repeatability".

    Again, thanks to Chris for donating his time to let us play with his machines. *It makes it a pleasure to deal with guys in the industry with his level of passion and enthusiasm. *

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    Re: Giotto v Minore II shootout....

    Echoing the previous posts, all I could conclude was that once a person steps up to such expensive pieces of equipment, one needs the skills justify paying those bills.

    I was very aware about the importance of operator skill and repeatability, but nothing quite like tasting the results. I went back that week and did the Pulling Shots course at Angliss, highly recommended for anyone wanting to further their education/understanding of extractions. The things done are easy enough to do at home, but the average homeboy wouldnt have access to multiple baskets (14g , 16g & 18g), naked group handles etc...

    http://coffee.angliss.vic.edu.au/advanced.htm

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    Re: Giotto v Minore II shootout....













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    Re: Giotto v Minore II shootout....

    Hey,
    Im wondering if the rotary pump for the Minore II has to be plumbed-in to the main supply? could it be draw water from another tank?

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    Re: Giotto v Minore II shootout....

    AFIK, just a matter of a pump tweak to tell it that its not on mains.....youd wanna be using filtered water tho....

    2mcm

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    Re: Giotto v Minore II shootout....

    Yer drawing water from a filter water tank, Because i read some rotary pumps require 3-6bar to keep the pump working.

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    Re: Giotto v Minore II shootout....

    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee Kid link=1150532202/0#7 date=1155256029
    Yer drawing water from a filter water tank, Because i read some rotary pumps require 3-6bar to keep the pump working.
    I thought that most of them were rated to lift water about 2m ...

    Dont forget that one of the benefits of plumbing in under pressure is that you get to control the preinfusion with the middle lever position, which is otherwise useless if you have a vibe pump or a reservoir. I think ...

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Re: Giotto v Minore II shootout....

    So when you choose to use the rotary pump you can still use the water reservior but more silent? or does a rotary pump means its plumbed in?

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    Re: Giotto v Minore II shootout....

    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee Kid link=1150532202/0#9 date=1155285448
    So when you choose to use the rotary pump you can still use the water reservior but more silent? or does a rotary pump means its plumbed in?
    The rotary pump and motor take up the space that the reservoir would usually fit into for the brewtus. So it is intended that you plumb in the machine, but you could run it off an external bottle.

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    Re: Giotto v Minore II shootout....

    Probably best to run from an external filtered water tank might be good, think running straight from a main will build up to much scale to quickly. So how does the rotary pump adjust its pressure? still by an OPV?

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    Re: Giotto v Minore II shootout....

    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee Kid link=1150532202/0#11 date=1155287254
    Probably best to run from an external filtered water tank might be good, think running straight from a main will build up to much scale to quickly. So how does the rotary pump adjust its pressure? still by an OPV?
    Im not sure if its just me, but I have to wonder why you would bother?

    Seems to me that you either get rotary and plumb it in or just get a vibe pump and use the tank...you have the option of changing your mind later and doing the conversion then....One would have to wonder why youd want to have 20 litres of water hanging around in a tank slowly going green? :-? Am I missing something here???

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    Re: Giotto v Minore II shootout....

    Not 20L... Only about 8-10L of filtered water and it makes it easier to add water to it but still can be plumb-in to the mains if wanted and the rotary pump is quiter then the vibe pump isnt it?

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    Re: Giotto v Minore II shootout....


    I use a 5l external reservoir on my machine. It used to be a vibe pump machine, but I have now replaced the pump with a rotary. The external reservoir means water temp stays constant. Its easy to see and fill and the rotary pump is sssssilent in comparison. Thats enough of a reason for me to swap. The other reason was pressure stability, but thats a technical detail that only pertains to my particular machine and an engineering afterthought.

    I have a pressure gauge mounted directly to the rotary, so now setting and adjusting the pressure is easy peasy lemon squeezie.

    Pre-infusion would be nice though. The rotary really slams the pucks.

    Cheers,

    Mark.

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    Re: Giotto v Minore II shootout....

    How is the pressure adjusted on a rotary pump? an OPV??

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    Re: Giotto v Minore II shootout....

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by Coffee Kid link=1150532202/15#15 date=1155342178
    How is the pressure adjusted on a rotary pump? an OPV??
    There is an adjustment mechanism built into the pump.

    Java "Not as adjustable as I used to be!" phile



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