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Thread: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

  1. #1
    Mainey
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    Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi this is my first post here, Im searching for relevant (factual) information ;)
    Some of my terminology may be incorrect, but Im sure you will understand what I am meaning.

    I have read and searched for information on the DeLonghi ESAM6600 to no avail
    Link-> http://www.delonghi.com.au/products/product_details.asp?Model=ESAM6600

    I have read many many many posts about coffee machines here and on other similar sites and the basics appear to be that a serious coffee machine must have two boilers and be able to froth and pour at same time, should have a good quality adjustable grinder etc

    The DeLonghi 6600 does appear to have the specs suitable and with the available 6 or was it 8 year warranty (for $80) it should be a realistic machine, I believe.

    So what Im asking is can some one tell me any known problems with the service (agents in WA) or problems known but not openly spoken about here, that I have found anyway, I mean why in hell would I want to spend some serious money on a machine that makes coffee when I work for the best restaurant and coffee house in town anyway :-?

    Thanking you in anticipation ;D

    Mainey . . .

  2. #2
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Serious coffee (espresso) machines DO NOT need two boilers. There are LOTS of really great machines out there which are heat exchanger (HX) machines. A good HX machine has no problem pulling a great shot at the same time as steaming milk.

    The machine you are looking at is a member of the class that is referred to as "Super Autos." You fill it with water, pour in beans, and it makes te espresso with the push of a button. I have never heard of one that can make an espresso as good as a talented barrista. These machines are quite complicated in that they grind, dose, tamp, brew the espresso, then clean themselves for each shot. Repair has the potential to be expensive as well.

    before purchasing one of these I would highly suggest spending sometime with one and sampling the beverages they make. Everyones standards vary, but I can guarantee that I can make a better espresso than that machine. Additionally, making a cappuccino or latte at home using the "traditional" methods using a separate grinder and espresso machine is a bit messy and detail oriented and is not for everyone. it takes time to learn to do it well.

    On the other hand, if you have been drinking the sort of drek that is often dispensed at coffee shops, tat machine may be sufficient for your needs.

    In one sentence: "Super auto espresso machines transform the task of making a mediocre espresso-based beverage as easy as pushing a button."

    With that machine, the problem may not be the quality of the servicing agent, but the amount of time the machine may end up spending with them.

    If you really are set on a super auto, take a look at the Jura line.

  3. #3
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Mainey welcome to Coffee Snobs.

    In order to help you with your decision you need to list what you want and need from a machine.

    This will help us give you some options, to help you decide which equipment to spend your money on.

    For $3000 you can make some of the best coffee you will ever taste.
    But I dont believe the Delonghi can do it.

    Effort is rewarded.
    A semi-automatic needs more input from the operator than the mere push of a button.
    That input results in better output.

    You said you "work for the best restaurant and coffee house in town".
    What experience do you have in making coffee?

  4. #4
    Mainey
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Randy G,
    Im presently reading your "Espresso! My Espresso!" website and am gathering information from there too !!

    Above you post "there are LOTS of really great machines out there which are heat exchanger (HX) machines" will you please name for me these machines and can you explain why they are different "great machines" as this is the very information Im seeking here on CS, by asking for the information that will give me the knowledge to make a correct buying decision (for me) remembering Im not a coffee aficionado at all just a guy who just wants a very good coffee made with-out too many hassles ;)

    You say on your website "A home-level, pump powered espresso machine will cost from about $120 and you can spend well over $1000 for a quality home machine" what Im seeking is the name of these machines that will do the job adequately, and if its under a grand I will be much happier too :)


    Thunda,
    All I really want is a "machine" that will make a cup of coffee for me. I dont want to spend too much time doing things as Im often in a hurry and would prefer to press a button, have the coffee pour out into the cup and then drink it.
    I do expect it to taste at least as good as, if not better than, the average commercial coffee shop cuppa.

    Im not too interested in doing the time consuming work that (appears) to be required to get what is called a fantastic coffee.
    Ive picked this machine because it (apparently) does everything for me, Im not a Coffee Snob in any way and the idea of paying only $2100 (not rrp $2990) appeals to my bank manager too ;D

    I have NIL zero zilch experience out front making coffee, however Im a dab hand in the kitchen ::)

    Mainey . . .

  5. #5
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Hi and welcome Mainey

    Randy’s site that you refer to is based in the USA so prices and some models of machines will be different to Australia

    From experience with our office machine and also while visiting clients I have found that Jura brand of super automatic machines give you best results

    We have a Jura at the office purchased from Gilkatho a CS sponsor (Brisbane)
    Client’s machines I refer to are 3 Saeco and 1 Jura
    I can pick the difference in taste and the Jura makes better coffee

    One comment I should make is that super automatic machines prefer a bean with lower oil content as oils tend to clog up the mechanism
    Also regular cleaning maintenance will keep it working like new

    Good Luck

    KK

  6. #6
    Mainey
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    KK,
    I looked at the Gilkatho site and the *"Jura Impressa C5 Home Espresso Machine" *DOES look impressive ;D
    But is similar retail price ($2995) as DeLonghi

    I would like to be informed if there is any (technical) differences between the two models that will make any *real* difference to the making of the coffee ???

    Mainey . . .


  7. #7
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Hi Mainey

    The Jura to my best recollection is Swiss Made primarily for commercial use so the smaller home machines are just that smaller commercial machines

    I am uncertain on the country of manufacture of the DeLongi it may pay to do some checking

    Technically speaking most manufacturers make similar machines albeit with small difference’s

    In my opinion it’s the 1) design 2) quality of the parts and components that really make the difference
    As there is different grades of steel this also applies to plastics

    KK
    Edit
    As a CS member you may get a discount from Gilkatho *all you have to do is ask
    Also ask if they have a service agent in WA for peace of mind

    KK

  8. #8
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Hi Mainey and welcome.

    If youre a dab hand in the kitchen I can fast see you becoming a passionate CoffeeSnob with a HX and grinder despite your first desire to just push a button...

    Admittedly it causes a little more mess and takes a few more minutes, but Id choose that any day over a super-auto with the kind of money youre looking at spending.

    Is it going to be your home machine, or one that resides at work?

  9. #9
    Mainey
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Intellidepth,
    This machine will reside on the kitchen bench at home :)

    Thats what I cant understand, why would I want any mess and have to wait, if we totally forget the $$s, why not go Automatic ?

    Is it the difference in the coffee taste is so much better from a HX machine ?
    If this is the case, surely there must be a logical reason why the coffee from a HX machine does taste better ?

    Mainey . . . .

  10. #10
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    A semi-auto machine gives the user much more control over the brew. With a little effort this means you are able to fine tune the shot (fineness of the grind, amount of coffee dosed, distribution, tamping etc.) to extract the way you like to drink it.

    From what I have heard getting a super-auto to brew optimally requires some effort also.

    If you have good espresso available at work you might want to explore alternate brewing methods at home - such as french press (plunger), drip, aeropress etc. These are relatively simple/forgiving but only if you are able to freshly grind the beans.

    This would mean your outlay would be on a decent grinder. Which could come with you if you do decide to go on down the espresso road later on.

    However If all you are wanting is to get that latte/cap at home make sure you do your research and expect a learning curve either way you go.

  11. #11
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Mainey,

    Ive never had a really good coffee from a superautomatic - but thats not to say it cant be done.

    Some problems which Im aware of..... the beans are exposed and heated in the machine.... and therefore go stale more rapidly than those in a machine with an external grinder.

    You can adjust the grind and dose (to an extent) with a superautomatic - but because people want "press button" coffee - this is generally not done as the beans age - so the resultant espresso quality suffers

    The mechanism is quite complex inside of these machines..... and the probability of failure increases as the square of the number of possible points of failure ..... i.e. say 3 times as many possible points of failure = 9 times more likely to fail..... 4 times more then 16 times more likely to fail. (Both these are conservative compared to the real added complexity) Have a browse here to read comments from owners who have their machines in for repair more often than at home....

    And re taste, Javaphile tested a $6K (from memory ::)) La Cimbali superauto up against his 20 year old La Cimbali *semi auto..... and the semi automatic produced far better tasting espressos. He put that down to (at least in part) the torturous route that the extracted espresso had to pass along before making it into the cup.

    To me, a Superautomatic is a bit like those "pre mix" softdrink dispensers used at some fast food chains where the flavouring, sodawater etc is dispensed direct into the cup and mixed there.... compared to the taste of the "real stuff" straight out of a bottle - it never tastes as good - convenient - yes but lacking in quality.

    After all, if these superautomatic machines were really any good, there would be no need for skilled baristas in restaurants and cafes...... any old waiter (or even the customer themselves) could push a button and get a great coffee (saving heaps of dollars - and making more profit for the establishment)......

    But Baristas are still being employed! ;) ;)

    And if you do want to get the best possible quality coffee out of a superautomatic you need to be prepared to do more than just press a button.....

    Also take out an extended warranty - the longest you can get - as you will almost certainly need it.

  12. #12
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Hi Mainey, apart from everything else that has been said above, you really will be left wondering either way, unless you take the opportunity to compare and make your own personal assessment as to which type of machine suits you best.

    Talk Coffee have outlets in both Sydney (cuppacoffee) and Melbourne, and although we dont sell superautos, we do have a wide range of quality HX machines that you can compare side-by-side. So if you live in either of these cities, youre most welcome to contact me either via pm, email, or phone, and I can arrange a demo for you. Either Chris or myself will provide you with the pros and cons of each machine and give you the opportunity to make an informed decision.

    cheers
    Den

  13. #13
    Mainey
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    well this coffee machine thing is getting a bit interesting now :-/
    today I was told to get a "stove top" jug or boiler (whatever is the correct name) and buy a very good quality burr grinder, it was explained the burr grinder makes the correct sized grains with the oils and everything done best for making good tasting coffee.
    I know its a long way from an Automatic system but has the information any credence at all, or is it folk story :-[

    Mainey . . .

  14. #14
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Its true that a good grinder is most important.
    Personally I find stovetops too finicky.

    An Aeropress makes a quick and very nice coffee.
    My wife actually prefers her long blacks now made this way rather than with my machine.

    cuppacoffee sells them.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Mainey

    May I be bold and suggest that you take a coffee appreciation course there must be one in WA possibly a TAFE

    In these courses they run through Machine types, coffee styles, grinders, milk frothing, hands on learning ect ect
    In fact all that you need to give you an understanding of the whole process

    You will then be able to make a decision and possibly save some money in the process by choosing a machine that is right for you.

    Remember knowledge is power

    Good Luck

    KK

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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Mainey link=1224084507/0#12 date=1224158812
    today I was told to get a "stove top" jug or boiler (whatever is the correct name) and buy a very good quality burr grinder, it was explained the burr grinder makes the correct sized grains with the oils and everything done best for making good tasting coffee.
    Mainey . . .

    Mainey,

    All will agree, regardless of the style of coffee you prefer, that you need freshly roasted beans and a quality grinder...... without those two ingredients you dont have a snowballs chance in hell of making a good coffee.

    For my taste (and everyone varies somewhat here)....

    For long blacks the best flavour is from more lightly roasted beans using a vacuum brewer (I have a 1940s Cona)....
    A close second is the Plunger/French Press....
    Stovetops I dont find as good personally..... and an espresso added to water to make a long black is also not as good (to my palate)....

    But once we start talking milk based drinks - a real espresso machine is the only thing which will make the grade.....

    Even here there is something far, far more important than the machine itself - and that is the nut at the end of the portafilter (or pressing the go button on a superauto if you must)...... The operator needs skill and knowledge to get the most out of any machine (and to choose the most appropriate machine for that matter)..... And as KK has said above, acquiring that knowledge and developing those skills is what is really needed if you want to get really good (great) coffee.

  17. #17
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    That is not bad advise. A good grinder, purchased from a coffee equipment supplier (keep away from department stores), and a good stove top will make a very drinkable coffee.

    Then as time goes on you will want better, so then go and pick up a less expensive manual machine, like the Gaggia Clasic or the Racillio Silvia. Then in a couple of years you will be hooked and wanting an even better manual machine.

    At least that was my story and Im glad I took the journey. Ive just ordered a small manual Boema commercial machine.

    I have a friend who spent over $2000 on a Jurah fully automatic thing and I can make a better coffee in about the same time with my Gaggia Clasic which cost $450. But I also spent $600 on a grinder.

    :-/I hope all of this is helping you and making thing harder. :-/

  18. #18
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    [ch65279]My last sentence was meant to say “I hope all of this is helping you and NOT making things
    harder” ;D

  19. #19
    Mainey
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    The information supplied to date is *all* against an automatic machine for the best tasting coffee ;) ;)

    Mainey . . .

  20. #20
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    You have too much going on in this for me to recommend a machin, and I think for you to make a reasonable decision as well at this point. On one hand you want an excellent cup of coffee and want to know about HX machines and such, but on the other you just want to push a button and get a great cup without the hassle. You might as well as shop for a push-button, souffle machine.

    There are plenty of HX machines capable of making great coffee.. I know because I own one (the VBM Domobar Super lever) . But all the HX espresso machines depend on:
    - Quality, fresh coffee
    - Good water
    - A high quality grinder
    - Attention to detail in preparation

    The one exception I have seen is a Nuovo Simonelli machine that is computer controlled. I have seen this make an amazing cup of coffee with a portafilter only half filled with coffee and not tamped at all— just shaken a bit to level and locked into the machine. These machines cost MANY thousands of dollars (like 6 or 7 USD I think) and depend on being plumbed in as well as powered by 220 volts.

    Remember that the early chapters of my blog-ish pages were written in late 2000 when I had little to no knowledge of what great espresso was nor what it took to make it. Back then, when first shopping, I thought that $120 USD was plenty to spend on an espresso machine. My current machine sells for about $1700 USD.. *That is currently mated to a $1500 USD grinder!

    No, you do not need to spend that much.. but it helps! * ;)

    Espresso is the highest art form of coffee. It is the peak of the pyramid. While OK espresso that is drinkable can be had from a superauto, the very best can only be had with effort.

    If you want the best cup of coffee, while spending the least amount possible, and do so as easily and quickly *with as little attention to detail and possible, here is the solution:

    1 - get a good grinder. If you think that you MIGHT want to make espresso in the future with a "real" espresso machine, look for a quality grinder in the $400-900 range or so. I really like the Mazzer, and the best investment in that range is a used Super Jolly, but any burr grinder will be sufficient.

    2 - Get an Aerobie Aeropress. You have to really work at making a bad cup of coffee with this thing— about the only way is to buy bad coffee.

    Espresso is a journey, not a destination. There just happen to be lots of stops for coffee breaks along the way.

    The supreauto machines you seem to favor may be adequate for your tastes. But for that much money I highly suggest taking some of the coffee you like and find a shop with one of these machines and have them make you some coffee. Think of it as a test drive. For that kind of money you owe it to yourself to do so.

    Also look into how accessible the various parts are. Some superauto machines have to be sent in for service if a rock gets into the grinder.

    Yes, I am an enthusiast... I just realized how deep I am into all this- I looked over at the ads on this page, saw the Pullman Tamper ad (the one with the Hottop Roaster photo with the Aussie map...), and thought to myself, "Thats my roaster...!" No, I dont mean I own one like it.. I mean that is actually MY roaster, the photo of which I took when I did some graphics work for Hottop!

  21. #21
    Mainey
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Have now talked to some local coffee machine users :)
    have been advised the coffee delivered from the machine I thought was good was not really delivered to the cup steaming HOT, and required drinking reasonably soon to be fully enjoyed.

    Some used the DeLonghi ESAM3400, which is still a fully Automatic coffeemaker with a double water heating system which allows switching from espresso to *MANUAL* frothing of the milk and back again without delay and can deliver rich, creamy froth.

    When these variations are pointed out, as in the water temperatures eg; 72° is the same in both machines, but the milk is only 52° in the #6600 whereby the manual frother model ESAM3400 will give variable milk temperature, as you can make it any temp you desire, because you control the time, therefor the coffee is hotter in the cup it makes the buying decision a bit more logical (to me) ;)


    I thank all those who have replied to date *:)

    I believe I now understand just that little bit more of the workings of coffee machines and can now settle for a machine that I believe will look just terrific on my kitchen bench with its nice clean lines ::)

    I understand this machine will do as I desire, which is to simply make drinkable coffee reasonably quickly
    as Ive said Im not a genuine coffee snob just some one looking for a quick reasonable tasting caffeine fix at home and when I want it with-out too many hassles and messy cleanups.

    Mainey . . .



  22. #22
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Hi again Mainey,

    Sounds like youve had the opportunity to try the coffee produced by the superautos youve been considering and come to the conclusion that you like what you see and taste. If thats the case, then go for it.

    Your choice may not be popular here, but coffee is such a personal thing, if it makes you happy, then thats whats important.

    All the best! :)

  23. #23
    Mainey
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Can I ask what temperature you guys actually drink your coffee ::) ::)

    By that what I mean is, what temperature is the coffee in the cup when you drink it ??

    Mainey . . .


  24. #24
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    The espresso is brewed at around 91-96*C and probably in the 80s when it reaches the cup, the milk is no hotter than 65, I prefer around 60 (burning happens around 68-70^ so this is a safe buffer zone. ^depending on the milk - maybe higher or lower).

    So... A touch over 60*C.

  25. #25
    Mainey
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Yes, our coffee machine at work brews at 95° and the coffee in the cup is about 62° :)

    DeLonghi have a new machine coming out in November, the ESAM5450 Perfecta easytronic coffee and cappuccino maker.

    Its Semi automatic as it has the manual frothing system with adjustable froth degree and you can choose to have either a short espresso or a very long coffee, and you can try between a strong or extra mild aroma.
    So as I understand it the coffee temperature is variable.

    So many choices are available in coffee machines, each shop or salesman has his own favorite model and according to him/her the other machines are just not as good, but giving no reason to back up their statement sends me to the front door :(

    Mainey . . .




  26. #26
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Mainey link=1224084507/20#24 date=1224717978
    DeLonghi have a new machine coming out in November, the ESAM5450 Perfecta easytronic coffee and cappuccino maker.

    Its Semi automatic as it has the manual frothing system
    Mainey . . .
    Hi Mainey,

    Just to save confusion, manual frothing does not make the machine a Semi automatic - it is still a Super automatic (with the same problems as the rest of the pack!)

    The definitions are as follows:

    Manual...... you grind, tamp, and manually extract the coffee (by pulling a lever generally - to produce the pressure on the puck) The machine only controls the water temperature.
    Semi Automatic..... still grind and tamp..... but a pump does the work of extraction - you start and stop the extraction
    (Fully) Automatic..... still grind and tamp manually..... the machine has a pump and a volumetric system..... you start extraction - the machine stops it automatically after the set volume is extracted.
    Super Automatic..... it grinds, tamps, has a pump, stops extraction automatically at a set volume of extraction..... it does the lot!

    Milk texturing is not part of the definition..... but generally Super Automatics do that as well for you (often not very well :()

  27. #27
    Mainey
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    From their website:

    "Products - Coffee machines » Fully Automatic - ESAM5450 - Perfecta Plus"

    Maybe then can I can suggest it works like the commercial machine at work, the girls only have to froth the milk ??

    You suggest "it is still a Super automatic (with the same problems as the rest of the pack!) "
    can I ask:
    (a) what are the very specific problems ?
    (b) Is it only relevant to DeLonghi machines ?

    Mainey . . .

  28. #28
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Mainey link=1224084507/20#26 date=1224744155

    You suggest "it is still a Super automatic (with the same problems as the rest of the pack!) "
    can I ask:
    (a) what are the very specific problems ?
    (b) Is it only relevant to DeLonghi machines ?

    Mainey . . .

    Mainey,

    Welcome to the superauto 101 lesson ;) ;D

    A super auto does everything for you, as I said above....

    It grinds the coffee (which is held in an internal hopper - going stale quickly as it is heated in the machine (heat is one of the enemies of coffee beans)
    It is then transferred to the internal portafilter where it is tamped by the machine
    The PF is then sealed by the machine and water pressure is applied to the puck
    The espresso extracted then flows (generally via a torturous tube path) out into the cup.

    How is all this done? By lots of levers, wheels, motors, gears..... all controlled by an on-board computer - and computers dont like water, steam and heat - all of which are in a coffee machine.

    They are also complex and need a lot of maintenance.... and most users of these machines only want "press button" coffee - so it doesnt get done.

    Complexity means unreliability, complexity means potentially expensive repairs..... and routine maintenance if all is to work properly.

    And they are made for a price..... far more complex than say a Silvia...... and yet relatively cheap considering how complex they are.... and cheap plastic parts and manufacture.... less reliable!

    Compare the above process to a Silvia..... there are NO levers, wheels, gears, motors, electronics (computer).... just a vibrator pump and a heater... The Silvia is made out of solid metal.... not mainly plastic like a super auto. The Silvia (and most other Semi-automatic machines) will last for ever! The only thing to wear out or "get out of alignment" is the operator ::)

    My automatic had the computer board replaced a couple of years ago (it is now over 20 years old but has had a few computer replacements in that time)..... the rest of the machine is all solid metal.... but that is the weak spot!

    Super automatics (especially Jura) have their place - generally in an office environment. They have to be well maintained and serviced and will then last some time if this is done. But if not looked after (which is generally the case) they will spend more time in for repair than being used!

  29. #29
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    My semi-auto is now 2 years old.
    In that time Ive changed the group gasket twice.
    The only maintenance has been regular cleaning with Caffetto, of which Im still on the first jar.
    Total maintenance cost to date is less than $20.

  30. #30
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Might be overdue for a descale TG - I always used filtered water and still found traces of calcium. ;)


  31. #31
    Mainey
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1224084507/20#29 date=1224758209
    I always used filtered water and still found traces of calcium. ;)
    Dennis can I use the filtered water from a Thermos water filter jug and expect it to be good ??



    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1224084507/20#28 date=1224757239
    My semi-auto is now 2 years old.
    In that time Ive changed the group gasket twice.
    Thundergod, what is the "group gasket" ?
    Is it also on the DeLonghi #ESAM5450 ?
    If so, is it expensive and can it be done by someone who can handle a spanner ?

    Mainey . . .


  32. #32
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Mainey link=1224084507/20#30 date=1224776220
    Dennis can I use the filtered water from a Thermos water filter jug and expect it to be good ??

    Mainey . . .
    Hi Mainey, I have no experience using a thermos water filter jug, so cant comment. I do know that descaling products from either Bombora or Cafetto are inexpensive, of good quality, and work! So for the sake of a few dollars and a little time, I dont know why you wouldnt just do it?

  33. #33
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Mainey link=1224084507/20#30 date=1224776220

    Thundergod, what is the "group gasket" ?
    Is it also on the DeLonghi #ESAM5450 ?
    If so, is it expensive and can it be done by someone who can handle a spanner ?

    Mainey . . .
    Mainey,

    A "group gasket" is the seal which the portafilter fits into when you screw it onto the group. It prevents the water (at 9 bars) from leaking out of the group assembly - ensuring it flows only through the puck and into the coffee.

    All machines would have some form of seal. What form it takes in the #ESAM5450 I dont know..... and if it is end user replaceable (or even available as a spare for purchase) you would need to ascertain from Delonghi.

    The difference is maintaining a manual/semi-auto/automatic is like maintaining a pushbike..... most things an end user can do themselves if they choose. Maintaining a super-automatic is more like maintaining a car - you can do most of the work yourself but is far more complex and you have to know what you are doing. Most owners would have these machines maintained by a professional just like their car...

    By the way, I do all my own car maintenance - including engine rebuilds....... but certainly wouldnt recommend everyone try that!

  34. #34
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1224084507/20#29 date=1224758209
    Might be overdue for a descale TG - I always used filtered water and still found traces of calcium.
    Probably dennis.
    I have always used filtered water but have been meaning to finally get around to a descale.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mainey link=1224084507/20#30 date=1224776220
    Thundergod, what is the "group gasket" ?
    Is it also on the DeLonghi #ESAM5450 ?
    If so, is it expensive and can it be done by someone who can handle a spanner ?
    All machines have one.
    Its the gasket that seals the top of the basket when the portafiler is locked in to the group head.
    I dont know how much they are for a DeLonghi but they are cheap for my machine.
    Dont count on that though because I recently paid a fortune for one plus a spacer for the Sunbeam 6910.


  35. #35
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Mainey link=1224084507/20#30 date=1224776220
    Thundergod, what is the "group gasket" ?
    Is it also on the DeLonghi #ESAM5450 ?
    If so, is it expensive and can it be done by someone who can handle a spanner ?

    Mainey . . .
    Hi Mainey,

    I think that you may get some value out of espresso #101...Might I suggest that you have a read through home-barista, or perhaps even better, enrol yourself in a coffee at home class.

    As a superauto, the DeLonghi doesnt have a group in the traditional sense and there are no user servicable parts.

    As others have said previously, the coffee is decidedly average- at best, and you will need to allocate funds for frequent service. Stories of a few hundred dollars per year are not unheard of. Consensus here is if it must be superauto, you need to spend up and buy Jura. You will still not get the quality we get when we use our machines.

    For mine, if you want to push a button, get a talented barista to do it for you and pay accordingly. If on the other hand, you want to take risks with your hard-earned, spend away. When you purchase a Chinese appliance rather than an espresso machine, you can only expect appliance performance.

    One thing I would recommend is to check where your local service centre is. I am sure that youll get to know them well if you purchase a superauto.

    2mcm

  36. #36
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    2mcm,
    so what is, or where do I get information on "espresso #101" ??

    What model Jura do you recomend ??

    Is the DeLonghi #ESAM5450 made in China ??


    (as I said in my heading - Im a Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge )
    The questions may seem common sense to you - BUT you have that information

    Mainey . . .

  37. #37
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Mainey link=1224084507/20#35 date=1224805968
    2mcm,
    so what is, or where do I get information on "espresso #101" ??

    What model Jura do you recomend ??

    Is the DeLonghi #ESAM5450 made in China ??


    (as I said in my heading - Im a Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge )
    The questions may seem common sense to you - BUT you have that information

    Mainey . . .
    mainey- have a good read in home-barista.com

    Its a great place to start learning. Also, even though you say you "work in the best restaraunt and coffee house in town", there might be some value in going to some of the better coffee places in town: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?board=WA :-?

    In my experience, its best to stay away from businesses which state they are the "best in town". Invariably, they arent ::)

    Seems to me that if you had experienced the best coffee in WA, no way would you be considering a superauto.

    2mcm

  38. #38
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Mainey

    You mentioned that you have kitchen experience. *Perhaps a reasonable kitchen analogy to what many of your respondents have been saying is to consider making a chocolate cake. *You could go the superauto route and buy a White Wings cake mix in a box from Woolies, mix as directed and cook as directed. *The end result would be a reasonable, average cake.

    Alternatively, could could select your ingredients, taking care to choose a high grade butter, fresh eggs, premium chocolate, good quality bakers flour, etc. *Then mix your ingredients using the application of knowledge to achieve the best outcome, after which you would cook it at a temperature, and oven level, that produced the optimum outcome. *

    Both approaches would produce a cake, and both would be edible at a base level. *However the more carefully crafted product with the application of quality throughout the process will give a much better result in the mouth. *Same with fully auto machines versus buy the coffee and grind and brew it yourself. *

    Good luck, you have had some great advice from extremely knowledgable people.

    S

  39. #39
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Hi Mainey,

    I was going to post this yesterday but realised it was 3am and thought Id go to bed :-) So some people have already covered this but anyway...

    I generally drink espresso so I decided to time how long it takes me to make a coffee on a semi-auto. It took 2 minutes total. 1 minute to grab the beans, grind & tamp them, 30 seconds to make the coffee & 30 seconds to clean up. Making a milk coffee would take a bit longer of course...

    If you are near Perth then I would recommend checking out Velvet Espresso & Epic Espresso as they were two cafes I was impressed with when I was there a year ago.

    It is hard to decide on what to buy, because as you mentioned, everybody will tell you that their stuff is the best. If you have the time then I would find somebody selling semi-auto coffee machines who can show you whats involved in making coffee on them. That way you will know if a semi-auto or super-auto is best for you.

    And as previously mentioned, dont forget about fresh coffee beans. Without good coffee beans you wont get a good cup of coffee.

  40. #40
    Mainey
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    2mcm,
    so what is, or where do I get information on "espresso #101" ??

    What model Jura do you recommend ??

    Is the DeLonghi #ESAM5450 made in China ??


    (as I said in my heading - Im a Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge )
    The questions may seem common sense to you - BUT you have that information

    Mainey . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by 2muchcoffeeman link=1224084507/20#36 date=1224806120
    mainey- have a good read in home-barista.com

    Its a great place to start learning. Also, even though you say you "work in the best restaraunt and coffee house in town", there might be some value in going to some of the better coffee places in town: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?board=WA *:-?

    In my experience, its best to stay away from businesses which state they are the "best in town". Invariably, they arent ::)

    Seems to me that if you had experienced the best coffee in WA, no way would you be considering a superauto.

    2mcm,
    I live in Busselton, 320 klms south of Perth on the WA coast.
    Yes, I work in the best restaurant and coffee house in town, no question about that, as its a small tourist town.
    As to my statement "best in town" yes, they are my own words and my opinion, not those of the establishment.

    The following Ive copied from CS web site:
    Cena Pizzeria
    Last Updated by Grendel on Jan 20
    Who: Cena Pizzeria
    What: Incredible Pizza and great coffee
    Where: 59 Queen St, Busselton
    When: Saturday, 19 January 2008
    Coffee: Fiori Coffee

    This is the only coffee establishment mentioned in Busselton and its definitely not one of the better Coffee shops in town.
    Ive had Pizzas from there and yes agree they are the best in town as its had new management recently.




    Yes, Its very obvious I dont have any experience at all making coffee
    Thats the reason I named this thread *" Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge"

    I have admitted it up front, Im seeking relevant and honest information from you, the people who will know far more about making coffee and the relevant coffee machines that will do it too.

    However, I do know the DeLonghi Coffee machines are made in Italy, (not China)
    but I dont know the technical differences between DeLonghi and the Jura Coffee machines, when I ask the question it still remains unanswered?

    When I ask some direct questions they dont seem to be answered, which is a bit difficult to comprehend
    unless they are answered in such a way I dont even understand it as an answer to my own question?

    Sincerely hope this post does not upset coffee snobs members as it is my own thoughts on what I dont know.

    Mainey . . .

  41. #41
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Quote Originally Posted by Mainey link=1224084507/20#39 date=1224844343
    However, I do know the DeLonghi Coffee machines are made in Italy, (not China)
    but I dont know the technical differences between DeLonghi and the Jura Coffee machines, when I ask the question it still remains unanswered?

    Mainey . . .

    Mainey,

    Many "made in Australia" products (Im not just talking coffee machines here) are made in China - although you wont find it on the product. There are rules (only some of which Im aware of) which allow the "made in Australia" logo to be used- and Im sure the same applies to "made in Italy" .

    One, which I have personal experience with, relates to PCs..... IBM used to "make" PCs in a plant at Wodonga.... from boards imported from America - employing lots of local people..... but more than 50% of the value of the PC was in "off shore bits" - so sorry, no made in Australia certification....

    A firm in Queensland imported fully assembled PCs from Taiwan.... Put them in a cardboard box here which over doubled their sales price (VERY, VERY expensive cardboard box >:().... and they got the Department of Admin Services "made in Australia" tick!!!! (They employed very few local people) Shortly thereafter IBM closed their factory here with the loss of lots of Australian Jobs.....

    Is the DeLonghi similar?... I really dont know..... but would be surprised if they didnt use cheap Chinese labour or they wouldnt be able to achieve their price point..... Italian living standards are almost identical to Australian, their wages are similar...... and why is it that all other "genuine" Italian made coffee machines (far less complex than a Superautomatic) are very expensive? It certainly raises a question in my mind....... regardless of what is claimed! Maybe they are using cheap robotic labour ::)

    Re technical differences *between DeLonghi and Jura

    They are both superautomatics..... both make espresso.... both need maintenance.... etc etc...

    BUT the Jura is made in Switzerland..... where the DeLonghi is made ????

    Whats the difference between a Hyundai and a Mercedes or BMW? They are all cars.... they all take you from A to B...... its just the Mercedes or BMW are better built, use better quality components and will last longer, be more reliable etc...... (and go faster in more comfort ;))

    The difference in both the coffee machines and the cars is "under the skin".... not clearly visible to the normal observer..... but there is a difference and that difference will become apparent after some time.


  42. #42
    Mainey
    Guest

    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    JavaB,


    The DeLonghi has a label on it stating "made in Italy" just as the Jura has a "made in Switzerland" label, so if the DeLonghi is actually not made in Italy, but in China, as your reply implys: "but would be surprised if they didnt use cheap Chinese labour"
    Makes me wonder how we would know if the Jura is in fact made in Switzerland *>:( *because as you suggest the country of manufacture labeling system cant be trusted to be true and correct!


    You say: "Re technical differences *between DeLonghi and Jura, They are both superautomatics..... both make espresso.... both need maintenance.... etc etc...
    BUT the Jura is made in Switzerland..... where the DeLonghi is made ???? "

    So I can only assume, if the DeLonghi is actually made in Italy and it is similar to the Jura, as I have NOT had any replies advising any reasonable differences between the two makes, when comparing similar models (not the top model in one range verses the bottom in the other range) the two machines are probably similar and its just a matter of appearance *:-/

    As I have said, I have no idea, Im only asking questions and not getting qualified answers to this point !
    Looks like an Email to DeLonghi is the only way to get factual answers on their products :-)

    Mainey . . .


  43. #43
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    There has been a whole heap of (ignored) informed comment here. Jura machines are way superior to DeLonghi (wherever they are made).

    We read about "best coffee place in town" and yet I continue to be surprised by no interest at all in the coffee process. Bring out the DeLonghi and lets all chow down on some Papa Guiseppes too I reckon ::).

    CSers, I reckon it might be time to lock up the troll food ;)

    2mcm


  44. #44
    Senior Member GregJW's Avatar
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    According to wikipedia, Delonghi do manufacture much of their product in China. Which specific machines/components is conjecture.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DeLonghi

    However, coming from a group of coffee devotees, the anecdotal information is that (regardless of where theyre made) their coffee machines are less reliable than other makes. This has also been my experience (in respect of friends superautos).

    Im like most CSers, however - this is all academic as I wouldnt have a superauto if it was given to me.

    Greg



  45. #45
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    HI Mainey

    Having just dumped my 2 year old Gaggia Syncrony as it was economically unfixable I think I have some experience of the world of super automatic coffee machines and as I now own a semi I can tell you there is not a lot of difference in the amount of work you have to do.

    The Gaggia needed flushing before every brew and the screen cleaning once a week (a screw driver job in an ackward position). If you dont do this the coffee will taste like road tar in about 3 weeks. Then there is the more normal maintenance necessary to keep it clean every 3 weeks. If you clean it in the sink with hot water to get rid of the coffee oil build up you need to re grease the plunger arms and the arm moving mechanism.

    On top of this you get one good brew and 2 poor ones as the dosing and tamping doesnt seem to be reliable.

    A semi is more work to get on top of but easier in terms of maintenance and getting a consistent coffee. I can put out a coffee in the same time as the super auto I had.

    If you ask around many people have these machines under the stairs where they have given up on them. Dont do it mate it aint worth it.

  46. #46
    Mainey
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Confusion absolutely reigns supreme *:-[

    Greg,
    Yes, the Wikipedia web site does state:
    "DeLonghis 2001 acquisition of the struggling British appliance maker Kenwood Limited gave DeLonghi access to Kenwoods Chinese factory. *
    As a result, many of DeLonghis products are now made in China, while design and engineering remains in Italy."

    When I read it I was infuriated and phoned DeLonghi, I was informed DeLonghi makes Air Conditioners and many and various other household appliances too, and yes, some of these lesser expensive items are made in the recently acquired Kenwood factory in China, but definitely NOT any Coffee makers in question :)

    DeLonghi advised me ALL automatic coffee machines are definitely made in Italy, and each machine is individually labeled and tested prior to being exported !!
    Hoping this information clears up any country of manufacture misunderstandings !

    Mainey . . .

  47. #47
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Mainey,

    Whilst I admire your persistence at finding out where the DeLonghi is made....

    I cant understand why you are wasting your time.

    I have had a DeLonghi coffee machine (semi-auto) and it was a piece of cr@p!! Made absolutely bad, bad espresso...... And others I know have had similar experience with other DeLonghi coffee machines...

    I have several DeLonghi products (not coffee related but general white goods) and they are work very well (After all DeLonghi are a white goods manufacturer).....

    So you are choosing the worst possible type of machine (super automatic) made by a maker with a poor track record in this area (DeLonghi)....

    You are either a masochist or someone who has a commercial interest in promoting DeLonghi coffee machines.... but not someone interested in listening to genuine advice and help.... :-/

    As Chris said above.....

    CSers, I reckon it might be time to lock up the troll food...
    Yep, time to lock down this thread..... its going to go nowhere... fast ::)

  48. #48
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    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Yes guys....I think its time to call time on this thread....

    Good luck with your purchase Mainey- whichever direction you ultimately take....If you blow your dough, dont say you werent warned ;)

    2mcm



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