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Thread: La Scala coffee machine

  1. #1
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    La Scala coffee machine

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi,

    Im squeaky new on the forum, this is my first post. Im doing some research for a friend of mine who wants to buy a good coffee machine.

    Ive read quite a bit on this subject the last few days.
    At some point I was reading some reviews on La Scala Butterfly machine and I noticed that the picture of the machine which looks different than the pictures of the same machine I saw on the websites of some Australian companies that sell the same machine.

    That made me curious .. does someone know if its because the model sold in Australia is different or because the machine pictured on coffeegeek is old/very old? Thanks! *

  2. #2
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    Re: La Scala coffee machine

    Have done a bit of research on the subject too, a mate of mine has the butterfly and has just about convinced me to buy one as well.

    There are 3 different butterflys, the manual, the semi auto and the auto, they also come in stainless finish or coloured.
    I have only seen the manual model for sale in Australia, around $2090 + $250 for the stainless version, if you get a better price than this please let me know.
    Andrew

  3. #3
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    Re: La Scala coffee machine

    In case youre not sure:

    Manual = lever
    Semi-auto = manual on/off switch
    Automatic = volumetric (machine pours a set volume)

    What is it that attracted you to the Butterfly? What other machines have you considered. There are many other machines available with similar specifications for you to choose from.

    I dont believe any of our sponsors sell the Butterfly, however if you were to contact them explaining what your friends usage & budget is, Im sure theyd be able to give you some alternatives.

    You can email all the sponsors at once by writing to SiteSponsors@coffeesnobs.com.au

    Alternatively you can work through the list on the left of page to find ones near you which you can call/visit.

  4. #4
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    Re: La Scala coffee machine

    Personally, I like the butterfly particularly because it is well made inside and out, and the retro look appeals to me as well, still open to suggestions. (not wanting to threadjack or anything).

  5. #5
    TC
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    Re: La Scala coffee machine

    I personally think that the machine looks really rough externally and internally as well. For the $$$, my opinion is that the Expobar Office eb-61 leva offers better build, performance and functionality. The lack of ball-jointed wands on the one I saw made it a deal breaker and was part of our decision not to range the machine.

    I think there are many better options at similar prices.

    Chris

  6. #6
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    Re: La Scala coffee machine

    I fawned over the Butterfly several years ago when my then coffee supplier started selling them. At th time there was no way I could even think of affording one.

    And now over the last few years, Ive had the chance to see what else is around, and it does bring the Butterfly into sharp relief.

    I dont have anything personally against the machine, but I do agree with Chris in that there are better machines around for the price.

    Best bet is to hit up a sponsor or two in your state, go see their wares, and have a chat. :)

    Cheers,

    Caff.

  7. #7
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    Re: La Scala coffee machine

    Hi
    Quote Originally Posted by 747B7167706277242227150 link=1252916196/3#3 date=1253865185
    Personally, I like the butterfly particularly because it is well made inside and out, and the retro look appeals to me as well, still open to suggestions. (not wanting to threadjack or anything).
    Plenty of alternatives with a similar retro styling:

    Diadema Junior Extra
    Expobar Office Leva
    Rocket Giotto
    Vibiemme Domobar Super
    Isomac Tea
    Isomac Millennium
    Expobar Minore
    ....and more

    Tell us more about your requirements in a coffee machine and there are plenty of people here willing to give advice. Also, have you set yourself a budget yet and do you have a grinder?

    Where are you located? We have a great list of sponsors on the left of page.

  8. #8
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    Re: La Scala coffee machine

    I guess its time for a Butterfly owner to comment.

    I havent found the build quality issues that Chris spoke of but I did purchase mine some 3 years ago. *A lot can happen to a companys product/production quality in that time. *Given Chriss experience in the subject his comments are not taken lightly but on balance, another experienced machine provider that also has lots of panels off repair experience (perhaps the one caffine_fiend speaks of) rates them quite highly indeed. *What to do?

    With regards to my in service experience, after 3 years of punishment it hasnt had a single thing go wrong with it and the SS remains untarnished (I live on an island 100m from salt water).

    Price wise, I paid a good five hundy less for mine than the going Aussie price so may skew my bang for buck perceptions against what else is available in the Australian market.

    I personally do like the look but it is on the industrial end of the aesthetic scale. *Giotto machines and their brethren certainly beat it in the bling category.

    As for whats in the cup...Im happy with it. *But as I havent done a side by side comparison with other machines, I dont feel qualified to comment on relative merits. *(If anyone has btw, please speak up!) :)

    In 18 months I will move to an obscenely beautiful piece of visual artistry that happens to make great coffee. *It will be an emotional purchase and Ill have to sell my first born to the devil to pay for it but hey, thats CSery. *:P *Until that happens, Im quite content to stay with my lil Scala.

    So finally, for me:

    Plusses: Reliability, bang for buck, what gets to the cup, sturdy.

    Minuses: Lack of ball jointed steam wand, Some SS polished single side only, non-drained drip tray, steam tip.

    Best wishes with your selection and ultimately, if you invest in the grinder and the nut on the end of the group handle (through training), the machine will be almost insignificant!....almost. *Hehehe * :D


  9. #9
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    Re: La Scala coffee machine

    As a previous owner I think very well built. only problem I had after about 4 or 5 years use was a dripping steam wand. that was a bit of a pain to change as valve design is different in different models (I think from memory they are the same as Isomac).

    If I weere to buy in this range again I would get something that has parts commonly available (ie, single group commercial). then you know in 10 years time when they dont make your model anymore and your machine breaks you will be able to easily fix it.

  10. #10
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    Re: La Scala coffee machine

    When shopping for a new machine I was keen to view the Butterfly after reading about it online with many rave reviews, but after seeing it, especially parked next to a VB Domobar and Giotto I was put off. The butterfly didnt look/feel as refined especially with that plastic grate on top. :o

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    Re: La Scala coffee machine

    I have a parts list for the Butterfly if anyone wants it, just PM me a email address and I will happily forward it on. On one of my flights of upgrade fantasy I was in contact with LaScala, I found them most helpful and I requested the parts list as I thought it would give me a idea what was inside.
    I dont think it is fair to compare a Butterfly to a Giotto or VBM, Exoobar Leva, Isomac Tea or Bezzera BZ07 would be closer to the price point and relevant compromises that need to be made to get there.

  12. #12
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    Re: La Scala coffee machine

    I have had the Butterfly for about 3 years and am very happy with it. I guess my only complaint as highlighted by others relates to the steaming...lack of power and non flexible wand. I got mine second hand at about half the retail price otherwise may have spent more time comparing with other HX machines. Its not as elegant looking as say the Giotto but I kind of like teh simple lines and "industrial look". Having said that it hasnt missed a beat and I am very happy with the results I have been achieving on this machine.

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    Re: La Scala coffee machine

    This thread is probably finished, but I just came acroos it and felt the need to add my twenty cents worth.

    I bought the Butterfly over all the other E61 levetta machines for 2 reasons.
    1. I couldnt find a bad review anywhere (unlike with other machines)
    2. It offered me more of what I wanted for the money - great build quality, two litre boiler, large drip tray and a stainless body - all for *$2010 at the time.

    I have had this machine now for two years and it has never missed a beat and makes stunning coffee (as Im sure all the E61 machines will do). The larger boiler capacity was big factor for me because I wanted a machine that would make up to 10 coffees one after the other, each as good as the last. The smaller the boiler the fewer cups before the machine needs *to reheat.

    I liked the design - kind of retro and chunky. There were certainly some flashy alternatives on offer which were either hugely expensive or had a minimum feature set. So the question for me was Do I want this machine to impress my friends by the way it looks or do I want it to make great coffee? Im in it for the coffee, folks!

    If appearances were more important, maybe the expensive but charismatic top-end *Isomac or the ECM Giotto (at one stage called the Rocket Giotto) would have got the nod.

    Really the only fault with the Butterfly is the underwhelming instruction manual that came with it. So that others could find out about this great machine and how to get the best out of it, I wrote my own and I included some close-up images as well.. You can find it easily enough by Googling "la scala butterffly"


  14. #14
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    Re: La Scala coffee machine

    Quote Originally Posted by 747776797467150 link=1252916196/12#12 date=1259822484
    If appearances were more important, maybe the expensive but charismatic top-endIsomac or the troubled ECM Giotto (now made somewheere else to get the quality control up) would have got the nod.
    Can I ask why you think the Giotto is troubled?

  15. #15
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    Re: La Scala coffee machine

    Quote Originally Posted by 40637A69750C0 link=1252916196/13#13 date=1259827123
    Quote Originally Posted by 747776797467150 link=1252916196/12#12 date=1259822484
    If appearances were more important, maybe the expensive but charismatic top-endIsomac or the troubled ECM Giotto (now made somewheere else to get the quality control up) would have got the nod.
    Can I ask why you think the Giotto is troubled?
    Hi Lovey,

    To be honest, I dont place a great deal of respect in two pretty much identical posts from a newbie- both of which lead to a commercial site promoting non coffee services for sale *:-?.

    The only aspect of Giotto which is troubled is that its one of the highest selling machines in its class in the world and rather than looking to an owner of one machine, our site sponsors- many of whom sell the Giotto are far better qualified to comment on the relative merits of the two machines.

    The OP also incorrectly states that the Giotto is "made somewhere else". This is also rubbish. The Giotto has always been made in Milan Italy. For a short period, Rocket Espresso (NZ) also assembled the Giotto Classic under license to ECM Milan and then sold it as the Rocket e-61 in New Zealand. At that point, ECM were producing the Giotto Premium and a host of commercial machinery as well out of Milan.

    Rocket liked the company so much, that they purchased ECM lock stock and moved to over to Milan to oversee production of the Giotto range.

    The LaScala is a good machine built to a dramatically different price point and its obvious.

    2mcm

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    Re: La Scala coffee machine

    Hi Lovey,

    After a private conversation with 2MCM I have modified my post to better reflect the current situation with the Giotto. But the reason I made the comment was that, at the time I bought my machine I was seriously considering the Giotto. My local coffee roaster sold the Giotto exclusively at the time but told me there had been an issue with a batch of boiler pipes (made in Holland, I think he said) having too small flarings on one end and that the machines from that batch had all failed resulting in the contents of the boiler ending up on the bench. Long story short, he had lost confidence in ECM and ceased to stock them. I had just discovered the La Scala machine and he got one in for me, which I bought. He told me that the Giotto was going to then be made in NZ under the Rocket brand name.

    As I had bought my machine and am just a home user, my curiosity with E61 comparisons ceased at that point and I had no reason to continue researching these matters.

    I posted what I last knew to be the case and I am endebted to 2MCM for enlightening me to the fact that they went back to making the machines (of original quality) in Milan.

    This all serves to make the point that saw me join this discussion forum in the first place. All E61 machines are likely to be of similar quality and its likely that our personal prejudices and lack of up-to-date knowledge seem to be what causes all the fuss. Just buy the machine that has the features that work for you and, chances are, it will be great. From my experience the La Scala Butterfly is as well made as any other machine. There are some close-up internal images on the internet that support that.

    As I am new here, I have not yet posted my review of this excellent machine, but I intend doing so.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: La Scala coffee machine

    Welcome to CS abclar!

    Quote Originally Posted by 3635343B3625570 link=1252916196/15#15 date=1259910431
    All E61 machines are likely to be of similar quality
    Alas, if only this were true!


  18. #18
    Senior Member skidquinn's Avatar
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    Hi All
    Looking for some advice on a rebuild of a La Scala Butterfly. After a full tear down, new element, new solenoid, pstat and descale, I've got the machine functioning well. However I think there is still an issue with the pump or OPV. When taking water from the boiler through the hot water tap, the pump kicks on (good), but seems to take a long time to refill the boiler (much much longer than my Rocket Evo). When the pump is refilling the boiler there is a pretty steady flow of water through the return tube back into the water reservoir.

    Is it possible that there is something stuck in the OPV which is diverting part of the flow back to the tank? I did descale the OPV, but didn't take it apart completely.

    Any help is appreciated.
    Thanks

  19. #19
    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    An alternative possibility is that you've got something wrong in the rebuild and have restricted flow in the boiler refill pipework to the point that the OPV operates.

    You could distinguish between the two by disconnecting the pipework immediately after the OPV. If the diversion continues, check the OPV. If it doesn't, check the boiler refill.

  20. #20
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    Thanks. Could be a possibility for sure. I had to replace the boiler inlet elbow as it was the thing that caused a bunch of issues with a hairline crack & leak.

    Thinking about it now, when using the group, the pressure seems to be fine through there (although I have no way of testing). The shots that I've made are great. So does this mean that its likely not the OPV and more likely flow restricted into the boiler, which is kicking the OPV into action?

  21. #21
    Senior Member skidquinn's Avatar
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    Update on this one. I checked last night whether water flows back into the water tank when engaging the group. It does. At about the same flow as when the boiler is refilling.
    Is there a way to test the pressure at the group without specific equipment? When I compared the flow rate out of the empty group with my Rocket Evo, I got about 2 cups of water in 30 seconds compared to 1 cups with the Butterfly in the same time? No idea whether anything can be deduced from this though?

    Given both the boiler refill and group seem to be restricted, is it fair to say I may have something in the OPV that's preventing it shut off / seal completely (ie. pressure set too low on the OPV)?
    Last edited by skidquinn; 14th December 2018 at 12:35 PM.



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