domestic or commercial
Ok, there have been 100s of posts on CoffeeSnobs over the years about superauto coffee machines... most negative, some positive and instead of hijacking one of those threads I have started a new one. *
This thread will be more about the positives ok... OK!
I can see the need for a superauto "super-duper" machine and I would like to know what the best of them are.
It needs to:
- Make a good shot of coffee.
- Add hot water (eg: long black without running it all through the puck)
- Add frothed milk (without a jug)
- Keep the milk cold
- Be easy to clean/maintain
Most of the grind-on-demand vending machines are reasonable (considering the bad coffee they use) but they tend to use powdered milk. *Places like drive-through McDonalds have monster superauto machines *that meet the above criteria but I dont know anything about the actual machines and I assume there are smaller ones that have similar function.
Does anyone know of some models that meet the above?
domestic or commercial
I guess commercial Graham... but fairly low usage.
eg: a small office or restaurant type scenario.
I dont have a customer in mind but I know a lot of places that serve crummy coffee because it isnt their focus. Not worthwhile training staff or having the human overhheads required to make good coffee on a manual, "messy" machine.
The math might workout to something like:
A $5000 machine over a 2 year period is only $10 a day (work day) which is a small price to pay for something that at the press of a button could make a pretty good coffee.
10 coffees a day at $2 each would pretty much break-even for small work social club or similar office environment.
Im not sure if the Jura fits point 2 of your criteria Andy, though another range thats probably worth a look is from La Cimbali.
Im pretty sure they have a pre-set hot water dispenser that would work for those long blacks.
This is what I mean about "understanding" automatics......they are not the same as a conventional pump driven esp machine....
Just as a conventional pump driven esp machine is not the same as a stove top esp machine......
On a well set up auto using a good blend, we reckon you CAN run a long black through the puk. We dont however run them to fill a cappuccino cup but stop them at about 2/3. Its after that that it gets yuckie and to reiterate, it is dependent on set up and blend (and the individual).
This is because, autos generally brew a much milder wet coffee than a conventional machine. As there is is less extraction of oils for a given volume of liquid, we find you can extract for a bigger volume before it starts to taste off.
If you add clean hot water to an auto brewed espresso, the resulting *long* will be a little too mild...dependent on individual taste.
as you have pointed out
autos work entirely different to convental handle machines
trying to compare the two is impossible
where you might have a vbm at home, you might have to put up with an auto in the office.
not everyone can or should use a conventional machine
but anyone (almost) can push a button, and get consistant quality coffee
in many offices, an automatic machine, will have in excess of 10 times the use, than if a conventional machine was being used
10 -15 sec pours
some with thermoblocks,single and double,
others with boilers (200ml -6L) single, single HX, double and double HX
group mechanism full plastic, plastic/ metal combination, stainless to solid brass
cheaper units (<10k) generally have domestic ulka pumps (or similar)
some machines have up to 5 of these pumps
others have rotary pumps
single grinders and double grinders, in some cases the two grinders are set up to grind at the same time, others for a different coffee
10amp 240 volt single phase to 32 amp three phase
and lots of electronics and switches to control the process
cost $500 - $30k
and you generally get what you pay for
make servicing them interesting
at a Maccas store in seven hills last week
they have 2 autos side by side
one machine is 4mths old and has done over 18000 coffees
a lot of the macca machines are over the million cups
people who genarally critisize autos, have no idea of the amount of work they do for the little amount of cleaning and repair
now back to the subject
on the bench at present i have a customers Quickmill 5000 automatic
made in Italy+
can make 1 black or milk coffee at a time or use milk frother for hot chocs
full external plastic body
2 ulka type pumps
1.5lt brass 2 piece boiler with HX
2 way valve for hot water
3 way valve for coffee and steam
Autmatic milk delivery can be done at same time as the coffee
no manual frother
hot water dispenser- only works when coffee valve closed
has a metal gearbox to drive the metal brew system,
this has a small footprint
is well made and the rear of the machine is easily accessed for servicing
cleaning cycle easy to use
sells for about $3500
i have two of these as rental machines, which i picked up second hand and refurbished.
the site runs cleaning flush 3 times daily and i run a cleaning tablet monthly
easy to service, not a lot of electronics, electronics positioned out of the way
i looked at selling these, well worth the dollar, but not good backup
have been told things have improved, an will be looking into them again
machine is imported through melbourne (not a site sponsor) and spares are available but at a premium price
Ive had a succession of Jura machines over the years, and whilst they may not be the cheapest, they certainly do make (IMHO) the best coffee out of the usual range of suspects.
In dealing with a few different super autos in an office environment, Ive found that the Saeco machines tend to be very plasticky, fiddly, laborious to clean, and dont really produce a particularly good coffee. Ive also heard that servicing them is an expensive process, and its normally easier and cheaper to just replace them.
The Jura machines tend to pretty much look after themselves. They rinse/clean/descale as needed. The cleaning cycle lasts around 25-30 mins. Whilst it does clean itself, you need to be around to empty the drip tray and re-fill the tank as needed (it beeps like a banshee to tell you when). The other small gotcha with the Jura machines is the steam wand on the machines that arent fitted with an autofrother. Unless youre fairly good with remembering to rinse/clean them after use, they can get scorched milk build up on the outside and inside. Not a difficult one to clean off, and reasonably easily avoided simply by wiping the outside, and running extra steam through after use to blow out any excess milk inside the nozzle. In the event that the nozzle does get dirty, dropping the nozzle in the drip tray (to soak) during the next cleaning cycle cleans it out pretty well.
Over all, my admittedly biased, preference is for the Jura machines. As long as theyre regularly serviced, theyre much like the energizer bunny... (keep going and going and going)
Servicing the Jura machines.... the parts in the Jura machines are designed to be modular and thus easily replaceable... unscrew/pull-out/slot in new one.
So far, mines done just over 50,000 coffees. 17,000 of which in the last 2 years, and never missed a beat.
we have a WMF super automaitic in my parents restaurant. They are German made and designed for serious commercial use. It is quite the work horse. For espressos and long blacks it is not too different to a PF machine. Milk coffees arent bad, the auto frother is quite good (for what it is) and has a separate refrigerated compartment for the milk. The only real maintenance is to sanitise the milk frother and its draw tube.