Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Worth upgrading to BZ-99S ??

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    126

    Worth upgrading to BZ-99S ??

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I would like to ask the collective snobs view on upgrading to a Berreza BZ-99S.

    I can get hold of a 2nd hand unit for a bit over $900.

    The machine is identical internally to the Pasquini Livia 90.

    Ive been itching to upgrade from the my Gaggia Classic for some time....

    My only real concern with this unit is that it has a vibe pump, from what Ive read rotary pumps are the go...better crema etc etc

    Do you consider the vide pump a major draw back?

    Does the price seem resonable for this machine?

    Would you consider this a resonable upgrade for a budget of say 1k?

    Craig A

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    200

    Re: Worth upgrading to BZ-99S ??

    I dont have first hand knowledge of that model but I have read a lot of research on vibe vs rotary and some pretty thorough testing (blind a/b) concluded that their is no discernable taste difference at least on the Cimbali test rigs. A rotary pump will also be much more expensive to replace should it fail and will obviously need plumbing in.

    I recall quite a few BZ99 users wanting to upgrade when I researched the Livia 90 a while ago for my daughter who was living in the states at the time, Illy was running a killer deal which would have bought the cost down to around $US300.

    Unless aesthetics are a big deal Id prefer a more commercially oriented beast but thats just my opinion

  3. #3
    .
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    2,312

    Re: Worth upgrading to BZ-99S ??

    Hello Craig:

    "I would like to ask the collective snobs view on upgrading to a Berreza BZ-99S."
    Would be a decent upgrade from the Gaggia.

    "My only real concern with this unit is that it has a vibe pump, from what Ive read rotary pumps are the go...better crema etc etc "

    A non issue....nothing wrong with vibrating solenoid pumps both in the way they perform, or in their service life expectancy...bear no relationship to more / or less crema, which is attributable to other factors having nothing to do with type of water pump fitted.

    "Do you consider the vide pump a major draw back?"
    Not at all, in fact in domestic use it may well be an advantage because in my experience in the service industry, we get less failures in vibrating pumps than we do in rotary impeller pumps...and the replacement cost is quite a bit less...for no difference in the level of performance in domestic use as already stated.

    "Does the price seem reasonable for this machine?"
    If it were to be in such good condition as to be suitable for a "new machine buyer", then it would be a steal, but this is really dependent on condition, age, & you as an individual and what you think rather than what anyone else does. Its around half new replacement cost, which is a reasonable rule of thumb to apply to a good used item...no?

    "Would you consider this a resonable upgrade for a budget of say 1k?"
    Sure, but if you are looking at just value for money for that price you should have a look at the Vibiemme Domobar Super 1 group machine and La Pavoni Jolly grinder in the "equipment for sale" section towards the top of this web site. The pair are being offered for the same price.

    Hope this helps.

    Regardz,
    FC.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    1,072

    Re: Worth upgrading to BZ-99S ??

    Craig:

    They are an excellent machine, user "Zlatrox" has a BZ-99 and is very happy with it. I have the big brother BZ-40P which I LOVE.

    The rotary pump is nice to have. Whether it works better than a vibe pump is hard to say but the rotary pump sounds impressive!

    The only advantage that I can discern is when refilling the boiler, the rotary pump will pump at a much higher rate than a vibe pump will so it will refill the boiler quicker. I notice when refilling after drawing a cupful of water it refills in possibly five seonds or so.

    The Bezzeras have passively heated groups and mine takes about 45 minutes to heat up. The BZ-99 though should heat up much quicker as the boiler and the group are closer. The BZ-40P is quite temperature neutral when it comes to pulling a shot ie. the water comes out close to target temperature even without purging. No burnt shots.

    The other great thing with the Bezzera is that they publish schematic and electrical diagrams on them, free on the internet.

    Oh, and they have removable heat exchangers which is a great idea if problem does occur.

    Grant


  5. #5
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,713

    Re: Worth upgrading to BZ-99S ??

    Vibrating pumps are essentially an electro-magnet device whose simplicity will give years of trouble-free life, while still providing the substantial pressure required for coffee extraction. (A similar gadget to those which provide the air bubbles in home aquariums. They run round the clock, year after year without stopping).

    The quality and quanity of crema produced in domestic machines utilising them beats that in cafes using commercial machines with the bulkier, more complex, more expensive rotary pumps.

    I would not give that aspect of your intended purchase a second thought.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    126

    Re: Worth upgrading to BZ-99S ??

    Thanks for the feedback guys,

    Im going to have a look at it today, not sure of its age or condition etc.

    Details I do know are:
    BZ-99S
    mains water connected
    brand new heating element and new pressure switch

    I figure at this price if I dont like it I can always sell it for what I got it for.


    Im not in a great rush to upgrade as long as I have a larger machine before Christmas etc
    As for daily usage it main 2-4 a day during the week, but the weekends we normally have family or friends over and it anywhere from 4-10 coffee at a time! + Seconds.....real PIA with the classic, as Im stuck behind it for ages :(

    FC,
    How do you rate my chances of finding a 1grp commercial machine in good nic/suitable for basic refurb for say around 1k?
    Know of any?
    Most seem to be 2grp...not preferred but I would consider if the $$ are right.

    I looked at the machine you mentioned above not really interested in that type of machine+ I already have a mazzer mini so no need for a grinder.

    Cheers,
    Craig A

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    1,072

    Re: Worth upgrading to BZ-99S ??

    Craig:

    I just this minute looked on ebay and there is a new near single group Boema for sale but the seller has forced the buying to start at $1100 but it may be worth it as it is near new.

    Andy Freeman has a Boema. I think they are a good machine.

    I like the single group commercial machines. Bulletproof with a nice big rotary pump and plumbed in. They are big though.

    The BZ-99S sounds really good. though You cant go wrong and certainly wont regret buying one.

    Grant

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    126

    Re: Worth upgrading to BZ-99S ??

    Quote Originally Posted by wattgn link=1129710827/0#6 date=1129761663
    Craig:
    I just this minute looked on ebay and there is a new near single group Boema for sale but the seller has forced the buying to start at $1100 but it may be worth it as it is near new. *
    Thanks Grant,
    Ive been keeping a very close eye on ebay, there are a couple of machines that have my interest, but I afraid all the single groups go for way more than 1k plus shipping :-[. However 2grp machines seem to go cheaper and I havent ruled out one yet. Thanks for keeping an eye out.

    Craig A

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    1,072

    Re: Worth upgrading to BZ-99S ??

    Craig:

    The two group machines are lovely. If you have room and dont mind the extra power they use. They typically have 8 - 12 litre boilers depending on the model. You normally need a special plug and a separate fuse for them.

    The rancilio on evil bay looks particularly nice.

    The two group machines are worth a fortune brand new but sell cheap and three group machines evidently are even cheaper, almost giveaways.

    Single group machines however are a different story and hold their value very well indeed as they appeal to home users like us.

    Grant

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    184

    Re: Worth upgrading to BZ-99S ??

    Quote Originally Posted by mauricem link=1129710827/0#1 date=1129718232
    I dont have first hand knowledge of that model but I have read a lot of research on vibe vs rotary and some pretty thorough testing (blind a/b) concluded that their is no discernable taste difference at least on the Cimbali test rigs.
    That was a test carried out by a person with years of experience on the Cimbali and a CoffeeGeek whose abilities in taste and espresso testing are probably amongst the very top end in the Geek community. I suspect in the end it is all about the user in any even - but pressure adjustment is possible/easier than with a vibe.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    1,072

    Re: Worth upgrading to BZ-99S ??

    Alec:

    Rotary pumps are nicer than rattley vibe pumps and have higher flow rates which makes it quicker to fill the boiler.

    There are evidently other pumps out there too. Sparky was telling me about one.

    I have to say though that a huge rotary pump, while impressive, seems like overkill.

    On the other hand a vibe pump really does look like it should be supplying air to your goldfish tank.

    Both vibe pumps and rotary pumps can be noisy although you can do things to quieten them down such as rubber mounting them or covering them in bubble wrap(yes really).

    Grant

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    126

    Re: Worth upgrading to BZ-99S ??

    Well Ive had a change in plan.

    I had a look at the BZ-99S, its in good nic as described.

    I stumbled across an old BZ-40 that has a blockage, the machine basically needs a pull down cleanup and hopefully away we go. all for $160 :o

    Its the old Bezzera shape and also is a vibe pump unit.
    Its also currently a tank unit but a fitting and a hose and it all plumbed in.

    Im still on the hunt for a new machine but this will be an interim upgrade over the classic
    Ill post some pic and start a new thread when I get home.

    Craig



  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    1,072

    Re: Worth upgrading to BZ-99S ??

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Craig:

    Interesting.

    The BZ-40P has a 3.4L boiler with twin 1400W elements and a 130ml heat exchanger as opposed to the 70ml on the BZ-99.

    It is a lovely machine. If you can plumb it in then that is a bonus.

    $160, sounds like a steal.

    The great thing is that they are so easy to work on and every part, nut and bolt is available from Barazi. You can phone Jack at Barazi too if you need him although I can probably help you a fair bit.

    I guess start by taking out the heat exchanger and having a look inside the boiler with a torch and see how scaled it is before stripping it all down. This might help you find the blockage too.

    A word of warning, copper lines are delicate so you will need a good metric spanner set and be careful as they twist like spaghetti, kind of appropriate really. The other thing is be careful getting the heating elements or the heat exchanger out. You may need a pneumatic wrench of whatever they call them as they are in very tight. Use teflon plumbers tape on all joints too as it is heat proof.

    All the best,
    Grant




Similar Threads

  1. Popcorn popper - is it worth upgrading?
    By kaloolabmeb in forum Roasters
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 5th December 2009, 12:01 AM
  2. Is it worth upgrading?
    By alskeiru in forum Brewing Equipment - Midrange ($500-$1500)
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 25th February 2008, 01:27 PM
  3. VBM levetta worth upgrading to?
    By Geedubya in forum Brewing Equipment - Midrange ($500-$1500)
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 31st January 2008, 07:31 PM
  4. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 23rd January 2008, 10:22 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •