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Thread: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

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    any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all
    Im needing to upgrade from my untrusty old Sunbeam 6910 as it seems to be slowly dying. *My machine gets used for 4-6 coffees (majority milk based) a day, and occasionally 10-12 in a row when friends are around.
    I planned on upgrading to an Isomac La Mondiale ever since I first saw a picture of one. *I recommended it to a mate a couple of months ago and hes apparently rapt with it. *I never really considered any other machines, but now that Im about to bite the bullet, Ive started getting distracted by other options (Giotto PP, VMB DS, Minore III).

    The Isomac is the only machine that Ive seen "in the flesh", I have no idea where I can see any of the others even if I go to Perth. * Im in Bunbury WA, approx 200km from Perth and another plus for the Isomac is that they apparently have a local service agent here - something not even Sunbeam can offer. *Again I dont know if any of the other brands can be serviced here.
    The one Isomac I looked at had a lot of marks around the ISOMAC stenciling in the top panel - hopefully it would polish out.
    Regarding reliability Ive read one sponsor question Isomacs quality, while a post from Di Bartoli says they only had 2 warranty returns in 2 years.
    Regarding my other options, my wife prefers the look of the Giotto - shes not real keen on the Isomacs design or size, even though I think the Mondiale looks quite impressive. *And the Expobar is appealing with the dual boiler and PID - down sides being the supposed inferior finish and extra complexity. *
    Is having a local service agent a good enough reason to buy an Isomac, or should I seriously consider something else? *Would the Alba or Millennium be a better value choice than the Mondiale?
    thanks
    Geoff

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    You have many options in the same price range
    You should also look at the Bezzera range for value & reliability

    Now I will be the first to say this so it will be at the top of your mind

    Choose your grinder carefully and dont skimp on quality as it will be false economy
    The grinder you choose with any machine will determine the coffee it produces

    If these service agents can work on an Isomac La Mondiale E61 machine they should be able to service most brands
    It only takes a phone call to ask ;)

    KK

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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    Its a nice machine and when set up correctly, runs well. The deal breaker for me is that there is virtually zero real estate on top of the machine so room for a couple of cups and thats it.

    These form over function design decisions puzzle me- and the Mondiale isnt the only example of this....

    Chris

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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5E7A737370704A5E7A66787A150 link=1254042759/1#1 date=1254044475
    Choose your grinder carefully and dont skimp on quality as it will be false economy
    The grinder you choose with any machine will determine the coffee it produces

    If these service agents can work on an Isomac La Mondiale E61 machine they should be able to service most brands
    It only takes a phone call to ask * ;)

    KK
    Thanks KK
    I checked again and I was mistaken about the service agent. *I found a site selling Isomacs that mentioned a local service agent, but it was for servicing commercial machines, not warranty repairs. *For warranty it links back to the Coffee Works Express website - distributor?? *That sort of removes the only thing that was steering me towards the Isomac, so Im back to considering my options...

    My espresso machine is bothering me more than my grinder, so Ill probably buy the machine first, then work on the grinder in the next couple of months. *Im sure the old em0480 can get me by for an extra few weeks...

    Quote Originally Posted by 4174797E4A567A73737070150 link=1254042759/2#2 date=1254057735
    The deal breaker for me is that there is virtually zero real estate on top of the machine so room for a couple of cups and thats it.
    this isnt a big concern for me as I dont tend to store my cups on top of my machine

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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    Cooper69s
    Congrats on planning to make the plunge.
    Im a proud owner of the Isomac Tea and can only tell you of its quality build.
    But just to back up what Kosmo was saying :

    Quote Originally Posted by 557178787B7B4155716D73711E0 link=1254042759/1#1 date=1254044475
    Choose your grinder carefully and dont skimp on quality as it will be false economy
    The grinder you choose with any machine will determine the coffee it produces
    I owned a sunbeam em4800. The cheapest thermoblock system you can get. I was using preground coffee before I upgaded to the em0480 grinder with an unpressurised basket. It raised the bar by about 200% in texture and taste!! Even with a lower class machine.

    I now own the Isomac Tea and the mazzer mini manual and the coffee is even better. This would be partly due to higher temp and pressure stability with the HX but im sure the main difference is the grinder.

    Happy hunting
    John

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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by 487D7077435F737A7A79791C0 link=1254042759/2#2 date=1254057735
    The deal breaker for me is that there is virtually zero real estate on top of the machine so room for a couple of cups and thats it.

    These form over function design decisions puzzle me- and the Mondiale isnt the only example of this....
    Hi Geoff
    Cooper S,

    I think you are asking all the right questions.....
    PERSONALLY , I would not worry about not being able to use the top section for cup storage.... as Chris highlighted , you will find that half of the machines in this category, that can store cups on top of them , you have to remove the cups to refill the tank & I reckon thats a nuisance...... So your sort of damned if you do or damned if you dont. ... ( my thoughts)

    I would also put a large wieght of the decission making in the fact that there is a local dealer who will standby the product they are selling..... just think of the worse case scenario, of packing and shipping your pride and joy (maybe joy).... it becomes a worry !!!!

    If I was in the position to look for a new machine I probably wouldnt have included the Mondiale , though I do like its looks and consider very worthy.....I also like the attributes of the VBM , Bezzera Galatea, Diadema DJE..... these 3 are placed on par with the Mondiale in the market ,......... your choice.

    But as to another questioned you asked I think the Millenium is placed very well in its market and would let you purchase a quality grinder + machine under $3k and the Millenium as with all these machines would meet your needs easily...

    hotshod



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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    My Expobar Leva has plenty of real estate on top for cups and with the side rails from the MinoreII or III the cups can stay on when removing the top to fill with water.

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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by 507C7C637661252A40130 link=1254042759/3#3 date=1254070831
    For warranty it links back to the Coffee Works Express website - distributor??
    Hi Cooper69S,

    Coffer Works Express is the Isomacs importer. Any Isomac agent who retails the brand has their own specific warranty arrangements with the importer, so you would need to check it on a case by case basis.

    In Di Bartoli case, well cover all our WA sales warranties locally, using various local agents, some specialize in one brand, others covering few.

    Happy to provide more information on local technical support, just PM me for more details.

    Also, with regards to choosing an Isomac, Alba? Tea? Millennium? Mondiale? youre welcome to ring us on 02 9389 9892 for a detailed comparison analysis to help you out with your choice.

    Ofra


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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by 407C617A707166737B70140 link=1254042759/6#6 date=1254097104
    My Expobar Leva has plenty of real estate on top for cups and with the side rails from the MinoreII or III the cups can stay on when removing the top to fill with water.
    The Expobar looks like very good value on paper. *I just dont want to buy it on value alone, if Im going to wish later on that Id spent an extra few $$ on something else. *Ive already gone from a $400 Sunbeam to a $700 Sunbeam and I plan on this being the final upgrade...
    I made a bit of a spreadsheet up to compare models and ended up with a short list of 10 options *:-/
    looks like:
    best value - Expobar Leva / Isomac Tea / Millennium
    best control - Expobar Minore III
    best design (visual) - Giotto, Mondiale
    best steam - VBM DS Lever
    others - Diadema / Bezzera (didnt find much to make them stand out from the rest - based on specs)

    Its a bit tough trying to decide without actually seeing the machines...

    about the grinder - Im a bit confused as to what exactly is going to make all the difference if I buy a better one. *the cheapie sunbeam seems to grind fairly consistently. *Is it the lack of adjustment that is the problem with it? *I know its very messy but that doesnt affect the taste. *Theres a few posts on here saying that the difference after getting a better grinder was massive - Im curious as to why?

    thanks
    G

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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    [QUOTE=436F6F706572363953000 link=1254042759/8#8 date=1254116145]
    Quote Originally Posted by 407C617A707166737B70140 link=1254042759/6#6 date=1254097104
    *Ive already gone from a $400 Sunbeam to a $700 Sunbeam and I plan on this being the final upgrade...
    Hahahahaha I bet it wont be!

    I bought a Giotto 2 months ago and justified it to my wife by saying I will never have to upgrade again. Im already starting to sniff around to see what else is out there.

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by 797872617F7A60130 link=1254042759/9#9 date=1254121016
    Hahahahaha I bet it wont be!
    Yep, that and "Im not going to buy any more green beans from BeanBay" must be the two statements made on CS that most deserve a "Yeah, right" response.

    Flynn "Not this black duck" aus.

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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    "... half of the machines in this category, that can store cups on top of them , you have to remove the cups to refill the tank & I reckon thats a nuisance."

    The Mondiale is in the other half. In fact, that was one of the things
    that we liked about it, not having that nuisance.

    " ... virtually zero real estate on top of the machine so room for a couple of cups and thats it ..."

    I just counted what sits on ours: two espresso and three ~ 170ml
    glasses. Seems reasonable to me!

    "Its a bit tough trying to decide without actually seeing the machines..."

    Couldnt agree more. For example, looking at a Giotto and a
    Mondiale side by side, it was instructive to compare the small
    and somewhat difficult to remove driptray on the Giotto with
    the larger and very easily removed one on the Mondiale.

    FWIW were very happy with the look, feel and performance
    of our Mondiale. But would probably also be with many of the
    others in this category.


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    TC
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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    All valid points Hazchem,

    As stated, I reckon the Mondiale is the best resolved of the Isomac machines. No manufacturer has made the perfect machine yet and I doubt its possible. We all have our own deal-breaker preferences. There are aspects of my e-61 and GS/3 which irritate me ;)

    One minor correction on the Giotto. The revised drip tray on the Giotto Premium plus and Professional now slides straight out. It could however be larger. At least its user friendly now ;)

    Chris

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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    The grinder is important because once the quality is lost it cant be regained.

    So you start with the best quality beans, then the best roasting, best storage, best grind, best extraction. Notice that the espresso machine is LAST.

    Other than looks and longevity the best grinder is the one that grinds each bean in equal sized pieces. The larger the range from small to large in the grounds the more likely you are to have some grounds over-extracted and some under-extracted.

    An excellent grinder is a precision machine, and precision costs. Remember that the grounds are in contact with the water for only 25-30 seconds and all the good flavours need to be extracted and all the unpleasant flavours left behind.

    A good coffee bar will spend $3000 on a Robur or similar and then buy a machine from twice that. You are looking at a $3000 machine, the grinder could easily be 1/2 that.

    Good hunting.

    Greg

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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    Hi Geoff,

    Id have to ditto what most of the others have said, particularly GWs last comment about the grind size consistency. With a cheap conical like the Sunbeam that has plastic burr carriers and bushes, it only takes a slight amount of wear for the centre burr to be able to move off centre a bit; as soon as a bean starts to get ground it pushes the centre burr hard against the other side and you get a larger gap on one side of the centre burr than the other, meaning beans on one side will get ground finer than the other. The extra force against the bush will also tend to wear it quicker, so the older it gets the quicker it wears. Ill qualify those comments by saying I havent heard of this happening with the Sunbeams but I did have a Cunill once and the screws supporting the motor / centre burr were loose (same effect), and even with the burrs touching (only on one side as I later discovered) I was still getting plunger-grind coffee out of it.

    By contrast, something like the Mazzer Mini or the Compak K-3 Elite or Touch are flat burr grinders so theres not so much lateral force as in a conical (though conicals are reported to give a slightly better result in the cup; but not if particle sizes are all over the place!). They also have brass burr carriers and are built like tanks so will last 10 times as long as the Sunbeam for only about 3-4 times the price. The grind doesnt drift out with time, and youre likely to get much better consistency than with the Sunbeam.

    Dan Jolly (mutual friend to the rest of you reading this! :)) has a Mazzer Mini if you wanted to check one out in the metal next time youre in Perth. You might also like to read that comparo did on the Compak / Mazzer some time ago http://www.coffeetamper.com.au/kb/reviews/mini-k3/ as the Compak is a worthy contendor for less dollars. The Touch version (doserless) is cheaper again.

    As to the machine, I know specs and reviews are about the only thing to go on when you dont have one in front of you but dont get too hung up about specs on paper. Within reason they all do the same job and theyre probably all within 2-3% of each other in terms of what comes in the cup. Its far more likely external factors will influence your decision, such as reported reliability, local service agents, and your personal preferences on aesthetics, functionality and usability (e.g. do you want to be able to quickly adjust brew temp without lifting the lid? Y -> Minore, N -> others). Im sure many here whove seen various machines in the metal would concur that their final choice was often settled by viewing the machines and having a oh I didnt realise this bit looked like that moment.

    Good luck!
    Greg

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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    I posted a couple of opinions about this machine a while back. My dad bought one about 3 years ago. Observations:

    - Pulls great shots, he is getting true cafe-quality coffee out of it.
    - Reliability has been so-so - its been back to the shop several times for both in- and out-of-warranty repairs (whereas by 18-month-old Giotto has been faultless).
    - Build quality isnt as good as say the Giotto. Portafilters weigh noticeably less than those on a Giotto.
    - Steam want is actually good and pressure is good.
    - Very much a form-over-function machine.

    On the whole I rate it as a very good machine, definitely worthy of consideration, perhaps not the rock-solid build of a Giotto but capable of very good coffee.

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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    thanks for all the feedback so far... *Ive discovered a couple of places in Perth where I might be able to see the other machines but wont be for another couple of weeks. *at this stage Im still very undecided. *It turns out that the local Coffee Machine shop here is an Isomac agent and also a warranty service agent which is good - the idea of packing a machine up and sending it away (like Ive done several times with the sunbeam) isnt very appealing. *so +1 back in favour of the Isomac range...

    regarding the grinder question, if it turns out that I wont see any benefit in buying a machine more expensive than a Tea (or Millennium) then I might look at including a grinder as well. *If the other machines are worth the extra money though, Ill put up with the Sunbeam for a bit longer and look at a grinder later on. *might even be better to do that as then Ill get to appreciate the new grinder more when it arrives and it will be obvious whether the improvements come from the machine or grinder...

    Considering the machine will be primarily making milk drinks, is there much difference between the different machines with the time required to steam milk for 1 or 2 drinks?
    Does the larger boiler on a vbm (2.7L) give it an advantage over the 1.2L Tea? *I saw a video of Scottie Callaghan demo-ing the vbm and he steamed milk for one drink in about 15 seconds. *my sunbeam takes at least an extra minute compared to that so I was very impressed. *Would the smaller machines take longer than the vbm?

    If I wanted to steam a larger volume of milk (eg for 2 coffees and 2 hot chocolates all at once) would the larger boiler machines handle that better?

    thanks
    Geoff


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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1E32322D382F6B640E5D0 link=1254042759/16#16 date=1255516975
    Does the larger boiler on a vbm (2.7L) give it an advantage over the 1.2L Tea?
    Yeah sure does ..... If your serving a wedding party , but if your talking regular dinner party the Tea or Millenium would easily cope.... easy

    Quote Originally Posted by 1E32322D382F6B640E5D0 link=1254042759/16#16 date=1255516975
    Would the smaller machines take longer than the vbm?
    Possibly might be 10 seconds difference , maybe not.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1E32322D382F6B640E5D0 link=1254042759/16#16 date=1255516975
    If I wanted to steam a larger volume of milk (eg for 2 coffees and 2 hot chocolates all at once) would the larger boiler machines handle that better?
    Of course it would .... but by what degree???
    For regular domestic use .... your usage is sounding minimal to me .... the big VBM will work all day and knock out a couple of hundred shots ( maybe thousands ) , but that is not your expectation or usage.
    I have not used the Tea , but I reckon it would do 6-10 lattes without even blinking .
    Perhaps if you had 2 operators ... one doing shots and the other stretching milk at the same time it might run out of puff ..... but real world, in your kitchen , that doesnt happen.

    But now you are also looking at a different price point , and other machines will come into view .....

    Good Luck

    hotshod


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    Gra
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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by 654949564354101F75260 link=1254042759/16#16 date=1255516975
    If I wanted to steam a larger volume of milk (eg for 2 coffees and 2 hot chocolates all at once) would the larger boiler machines handle that better?
    Hi Cooper69s

    I have a Isomac Tea and I am very happy with its performance I too only drink milk base Coffees and I find that even with the Boiler being a moderate steamer compared to the VBM it just keeps on going.

    Also the tea is very easy to get silky milk where as the VBM takes some practise.

    Cheers Gra...

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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    The reason the La Mondiale isnt more popular, I think, is that the Minore & Domobar Super & Domus Galatea all used to be a few hundred $$ cheaper, with the bezzera offering build quality + styling, the domobar offering HX + massive steaming and the minore offering PID. now theyre all on a more level playing field, I dont think you can look at or past any of them - go with the one that feels right.

    Frankly (in my opinion, that is) none of these machines are bought or sold on spec if you want to be happy. Theyll all steam like trains, all extract to a similar degree and all have their strengths and weaknesses (eg. on/off flick wands on the isomac vs. domobar super nasty triangles).

    I spent a couple of hours on the phone to Ofra and Renzo @ Di Bartoli, and then went in and spent a few hours, then bought the Galatea. Perfectly happy with that, I went back to Di Bartoli and spent a few more hours before buying the Domobar Super. Even having the Galatea on the bench didnt help me differentiate between the 5-6 they had to offer. Dont let a supplier talk you into one - talk yourself into the one you find you want! 8-)

    good luck with your purchase!

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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    thankyou all for your advice and suggestions. After changing my mind almost every day for the past couple of weeks (VBM DS... Giotto... Mondiale... ) I ended up going with my first choice of the Mondiale. The main reason was the local agent, but it was tough. reports in this thread suggested a Giotto would have been more reliable, but getting to a service agent 200km away would be a hassle. Hopefully the Isomac treats me nicely - it does look great on the bench!! I asked them if theyd calibrate it for me before I picked it up and they said they would, but I think it needs some more adjustment - Ill start another thread about that...
    Geoff

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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    Good on you Geoff , Im sure youll luv it.

    Pictures to be posted at the earlist opportunity ...!!!!!!!

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    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Re: any reason the Isomac La Mondiale isnt more popular?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6A6D76716A6D66020 link=1254042759/21#21 date=1256378968
    Good on you Geoff , Im sure youll luv it.

    Pictures to be posted at the earlist opportunity ...!!!!!!!

    Yes, we need pictures :)



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