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Thread: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands...

  1. #1
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    Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands...

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi, Im a newbie to this forum and to the world of good home made espresso generally - although I have been a coffee addict for as long as I can remember.
    I live in Rarotonga, an island in the South Pacific, and made my coffees using a little Saeco Via Venicia which recently gave up the ghost. Since then, I have become increasingly interested in home prosumer machines (no doubt a familiar theme to many here). I am also paying a small fortune in espressos and flat whites at our only decent cafe here on the island.
    I have been doing a lot of reading up on hx espresso machines and their pros and cons. I was looking at all the usual suspects, including VBM, the Rocket, Expobar etc, as well as all the grinders - there certainly is a wealth of information out there, which can be quite daunting for newbies absorb all at once - but I think I have a pretty good handle on flushing regimens, dosing, tamping, timing, and so on - but I digress.
    The problems I face here in Rarotonga are: exhorbitant power costs; large distance to replacement parts and service; and regular clean water (although we do have the bottled filtered stuff here).
    I have considered having my (future) machine on a timer to minimise power costs, and am obviously attracted to a machine with a tank, but most importantly I want something that is extremely robust. Then I discovered lever espresso machines - which seem like the answer to my situation. I understand these are easier to maintain (having less electronic parts, pressurestats etc) and so shouldnt cost me as much in the long term - (shipping heavy machines back to Australia or New Zealand would be a bit of a nightmare, I think). They probably draw less power as well (?). The Elektra Leva Machine in particular looks like a work of art. However, I aso understand the learning curve on these machines is steep. The Ultimate Taste after all, is what we all want in our coffee, and consistently.
    Taking all that into consideration, I was hoping that I could glean some more advice from the pros on this forum as to which way I should go for a machine that can deliver great tasting coffee, but also exist happily in a rather harsh isolated tropical environment.
    Any thoughts?!!!



  2. #2
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    Welcome Josh

    I started with a HX Machine
    I am thinking about your harsh and possibly salty environment

    Get a machine with a stainless steel chassis and casing
    With a good grinder eg Macap, Mazzer

    I suggest to download free skype and call Chris at Talk Coffee <<<<
    A CS sponsor and quiz him as he is a wealth of knowledge

    KK

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    Hi Josh and welcome to CS!

    First, Id like to 2nd KKs recommendation to speak to Chris.

    Im sure some of our CS electrical gurus have measured power consumption to the milliamp and will be able to provide you with specifics, though I think youll be pleasantly surprised.

    Agree with your remarks about the learning curve for lever machines, and yes, they are pretty. In regard to the HX machines youve mentioned, theyre built to last a lifetime. Thats not to say something cant go wrong with them...just that it rarely does.

    No matter what you decide, the issue regarding water quality can be addressed with something as simple as a Brita Jug, or with a more permanent (read long term-savings) water filtration system. Bombora, another Site Sponsor, are water specialists, and will be able to provide you with a solution.

    All the best!

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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    Quote Originally Posted by Koffee Kosmo link=1223064102/0#1 date=1223075031
    Welcome Josh

    I started with a HX Machine
    I am thinking about your harsh and possibly salty environment

    Get a machine with a stainless steel chassis and casing
    With a good grinder eg Macap, Mazzer

    I suggest to download free skype and call Chris at Talk Coffee <<<<
    A CS sponsor and quiz him as he is a wealth of knowledge

    KK

    Hi Josh,

    I think KKs advice is the go..My suggestion is a simple HX machine which is robust, reliable and easy (for you) to repair with a bit of assistance if required. Some good examples built on a stainless chassis include the Diadema Junior Extra, VBM Domobar Super.

    Happy to assist if I can and we can ship anywhere.

    regards

    Chris

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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    Gday Josh ...

    Id second what KK suggested in terms of getting on Skype with Chris to talk options.

    Also, as KK mentioned, Id be particularly wary of the impact of salt-air & poor water quality on any machine you go for. Get a marine-grade filter to circumvent corrosion, & back-flush regularly.

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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    Ok thanks very much for the prompt response guys... appreciate that. I am going to be in Canberra next week for a 5 day meeting - which was why I was thinking about options out of Australia - possibility of taking it with me as excess baggage and saving on shipping costs!
    Anyway, appreciate all your comments - the salty air thing was a good point, and something to be wary of - but I suppose with these things being brass, copper or stainless steel, that they are fairly hard wearing anyway. I guess I could get a thick cloth/canvas cover made up for it when not in use as extra protection.

    Thanks again for your help - Im sure Im no the only one out here in the middle of the Pacific wanting one of these machines!

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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    If you are heading to Canberra then a visit to http://www.cosmorexcoffee.com.au/ would be a worthwhile too. With the water supply on the island is it coming from a desal plant or ground water as some good filtration sounds like it might be in order unless you want to run the new machine on bottles?

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    If you are visiting Canberra make time to visit
    CosmereX Coffee (special prices for coffee snobs members)
    See,use and play around with the machines and grinders
    And then take your choice of machine home on the plane

    KK


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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    to slow kk ;)

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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    Quote Originally Posted by beanflying link=1223064102/0#8 date=1223082176
    to slow kk ;)
    Only by seconds??
    Both replies are 11.01 :o
    KK

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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    Actually I was one step ahead of you both ;-) I was already planning to go visit their shop. Hope I can sneak out of the meeting at some point to do so though! I guess nothing beats seeing these machines up close and personal aye?
    Oh, and go the Sea Eagles!!

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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    To assist you in the quality of your work when you get home you owe it to your employer ;)

    On my 3rd double for the morning so fast typing until the shakes set in :)

    Oh and GO THE STORM ;D

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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    Good stuff Josh,

    Can I suggest that you make an appointment with Attilio rather than just turn up at the Cosmorex door. This will guarantee that you talk to the man with all the answers ;)

    Have a close look at the Diadema Junior Extra and maybe a Macap M4/M4D whilst youre there. Youll also be able to grab some fresh brown beans to pop in the boot as well.

    The bonus is you can take a machine back with you will be lower shipment costs and youll be able to get some GST $$$ back when your machine gets another stamp on its passport.

    Good luck with your shopping!

    Chris

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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    Beanflying,

    The islands water is from basic catchments up in the valleys, minimal filtration (just filters through some sort of gravel) to the tap - can often get very muddy after a heavy rain. Those of us that drink from the tap have iron guts - the tourists that try doing the same often come off second best!

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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    Ok thanks Chris will do. Can you claim back the GST in Oz? Do you know if it is possible do this at the international terminal in Sydney? I was actually wondering about that..

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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh link=1223064102/0#14 date=1223083844
    Ok thanks Chris will do. Can you claim back the GST in Oz? Do you know if it is possible do this at the international terminal in Sydney? I was actually wondering about that..
    You should be fine Josh,

    In Melbourne you can do it just after you pass through passport check. You front with your tax invoice for the goods and GST is returned to your credit card. Sydney is no doubt similar...I am not sure if there is a spending cap (i.e max refund value)...

    regards

    Chris

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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    Hi Josh,

    from memory the GST can be claimed back when you hit $400 as a tourist. There is a form *::) I will have a quick poke around and see if I can find it.

    Mimimum filtration 3 stage if you want the machine to last Course sediment Fine sediment and then a Carbon by the sounds of it especially after rain.

    edit actually $300 as a tourist http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=4646

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    Sounds like the machine is going to be the easy part. For the water--how about a rain-water tank? I used rain water in my last machine for over 20 years, never de-scaled, and when it finally wore out (the group holder lugs on the machine failed!) the boiler was fine upon disassembly.
    Greg

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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    Cheers guys... thanks for all your help. Will let you know my progress..

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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    Hi beanflying,

    I checked out the Customs exemptions online with the link you provided - the Tourist Refund Scheme TRS - it only applies to hand luggage i.e. stuff you can actually take on board the plane with you, so I think I am out of luck with that one... a bit hard to drag a 25 kilo coffee machine onboard and then squeeze it into the overhead compartment!!
    Nevermind, itll still work out cheaper with the saving on shipping costs methinks.


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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh link=1223064102/0#19 date=1223102444
    Hi beanflying,

    I checked out the Customs exemptions online with the link you provided - the Tourist Refund Scheme TRS - it only applies to hand luggage i.e. stuff you can actually take on board the plane with you, so I think I am out of luck with that one... a bit hard to drag a 25 kilo coffee machine onboard and then squeeze it into the overhead compartment!!
    Nevermind, itll still work out cheaper with the saving on shipping costs methinks.
    :-[ ....damn...My goof- I wasnt aware it was for carry on only...

    Plan B is to have one shipped over. That way no GST is charged but any applicable duties and taxes are paid by the purchaser on import.

    Chris

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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    Hi Josh,

    the term carried onboard is to do with it being acompanied luggage as distinct to shipped by normal freight means. I have had customers of mine use this claim back specifically on larger items. If you are concerned drop them an email just to make sure but it has been fine in the past.

    "However, if those goods are oversized, for example a case of wine, they must be sighted prior to check-in at the Customs Client Services counter."

    ALSO

    Customs officers at the TRS facility need to be satisfied that the goods are being taken out of Australia either as hand baggage or checked-in baggage.

    Goods are then tagged and paperwork filled at customs money refunded then you just check the box as normal luggage at the airline counter. The airlines dont care so long as the box doesnt go boom *:o

    Best of luck

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    Re: Espresso Machines in the South Pacific Islands

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Awesome thanks for clearing that up... most helpful - I will flick the customs people an email just to be on the safe side...



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