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Thread: Newbie w Diadema Unico Splendour, Eureka MCI

  1. #1
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    Newbie w Diadema Unico Splendour, Eureka MCI

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

    I signed up just last night after being impressed with all Id read on CS over the wend whilst researching what to buy. You guys & gals helped me work through all the finer points of what to look for to suit my needs so thanks for that!

    I had a Sunbeam Caffe Latte that died on Saturday morning. I am not very experienced with coffee-making at all, but do enjoy drinking it ;).

    The Sunbeam was all Ive ever had. In fact I had two of them - the first was a dud and so I got a warranty replacement. The second one lasted about 4 years I guess. My partner and I make about 36 cups a week - I have soy, he has full cream. Decided that I wanted a twin boiler or HX for that - plus for when we have guests, which is pretty often. And we have two kids - miss 1 and mr 5 - so we need our caffiene quick in the mornings!

    Almost every time I googled for a review on a particular machine, I ended up on CS with a wealth of info to read. I got sold on Attilios advice on a few threads and then suddenly felt quite priveleged to be living in Canberra ;D.

    By the time I had figured out that what I wanted was available at Cosmorex, it was Sunday - so I had to wait until today to get my new toys. And I had to send my partner down there to spend my cash while I went to work :(. One day Ill get out there in person!

    He ended up getting a good package deal on the Diadema Unico Splendor plus a Eureka MCI grinder and a couple of bags of beans thrown in, served by a bloke called Nathan - thanks!

    Tonight I have set it up and started to figure out the right settings etc. I used some old crap beans to test the functions on the machines for a bit, then ground some of the Cosmorex beans and had my first cup. It was hotter than I was used to - and the taste was superior to what I had been making on the Sunbeam (sorry - stuffed if Id know what to say thats more descriptive* :-[ Smoother perhaps?).

    Anyway, practice makes perfect - and I still have lots of practice to do and fine tuning my technique and machine settings to figure out! Theres so many variables. Im not sure if my grind is too coarse or too fine (it seemed to produce more crema when finer?). Also have been playing with the level of coffee in the filter basket - it doesnt seem to want to be level to the top like the old Sunbeam - like it needs almost 5mm clearance?

    Any Splendour owners out there willing to share tips with a newbie owner who hasnt much clue what shes doing yet but is keen to learn?

    And great forum BTW - very much sold me on the concept of upgrading, learning from others vast experiences to enjoy better coffee, and buying locally supported products. Oh - and I guess I also get a gleaming new array of chrome in my kitchen, so it looks like I know what Im doing! :)

    Cheers!

  2. #2
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    Re: Newbie w Diadema Unico Splendour, Eureka MCI

    Hi MySunbeamDied,

    Many thanks for the kind words. Im happy if my advice here has helped you reach a confident decision. Plus, Im always glad to see one of our machines go to someone who is keen to get the best out of it.

    Will also pass on your feedback to Nathan.

    Please keep in touch as you develop your skills and feel free to drop into Cosmorex with any questions. In many cases our staff will be able to give you a quick tip or show you something that will get you on the right track quickly.

    As for dosing, you are right that the Splendor requires a few millimetres of "headroom" in the basket. Youre looking for a level where a) the handle can lock in without excessive force and b) the puck after extraction is firm (not soft or muddy) and shows an impression of the shower screen.

    This may be one of those things that its easiest to learn by seeing...so, again, feel free to drop in and ask.

    Thanks again, and all the best!

    A.

  3. #3
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    Re: Newbie w Diadema Unico Splendour, Eureka MCI

    Hey, Just got myself a second hand Unico Splendor on ebay so Im with you MySunbeamDied.
    Need as many tips as I can get as I really have very limited knowledge in this subject.
    Will pop into cosmorex, say hello and get some cleaning supplies and coffee. Just missed them today got there too late. :)

  4. #4
    Junior Member chaddy's Avatar
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    Re: Newbie w Diadema Unico Splendour, Eureka MCI

    Hi
    Great choice of machine. I swapped the original steam tip with a 614723-A* 2 hole tip from Coffee parts

    http://www.coffeeparts.com/accessories/steam-tips

    I just find it easier to use than the 4 hole

    As for the second hand machine give it a good descale and clean with something like Clean Machine Triple Action and maybe replace the resin water filter in the tank

    http://www.clean-machine.com.au/Triple_Action_Domestic_Descale_Liquid_100ml_-_Clean_Machine.html

    A good quality grinder is a must with these machines and lots of practice :)

  5. #5
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    Re: Newbie w Diadema Unico Splendour, Eureka MCI

    Hey,
    Getting to know the machine quite well now. Getting some great shots.
    Talked to the friendly people at cosmorex and did get a back flush cleaner, worked great.
    My Machine had the two hole tip on it when I got it but I have blocked one of the holes as I found it easier to get microfoam.
    Will get some others though just to see the difference.

  6. #6
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    Hi, just wondering if anyone can give me some advice on a couple of machines im looking at , one is the BFC UNICO SPLENDOR and the other is the Nuova simonelli musica , any ideas ?

  7. #7
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    Hi Dodge56,

    Having just gone through this process myself and having just purchased a Unico Splendor I can certainly recommend them. Some initial thoughts from me below.

    - really a quality build inside and out for the unico (took a peak under the covers and the quality of the parts involved and machine engineering were incredible) send me a PM if you'd like to see some pics of it. I found the splendor better in this department

    - both 2 really different looking machines, one quite modern and one quite nostalgic (horses for courses on that one )

    - Be prepared to have a warm up time of about 30 mins for the unico. Not sure if the musica has a similar warm up time but presume it would be close

    - shot forgiveness factor with an E61 group head has been enjoyable

    - both I feel will get you similar results , I went for durability, build quality and looks and felt the unico came out tops in that area by a fair bit.

    - repairability of a e61 is also another reason I went for the unico. The commonality of parts means this may be cheaper to repair if and when needed

    The nuova simonellis are great value machines without a doubt and will get you similar results just depends on if you wanted a bit more durability , e61 , nostalgic looks, repairability

    These were some of the thought processes I went through before finally making my decision. Hope it helps you out.
    Dimal likes this.

  8. #8
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    Oh and get yourself a bottomless portafilter asap regardless of which machine you get as that will help consolidate any learnings and shortcomings in technique fairly quickly resulting in better coffee for you!

  9. #9
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Actually, when comparing, the "Nuova Simonelli Oscar II" is probably a better bang for buck machine than the Musica, and really nice to look at as well.

    Mal.

  10. #10
    Member kammy's Avatar
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    Great purchase! Our Unico is now in its 7th year and apart from a couple of seals, and a new pump just replaced this year have had no other issues at all. Steam valve seat/seal needs looking after but are easy to replace and are small teflon material. I have also turned one of my portafilters into a naked with a hole saw. Very good move as it not only lets you sort out your dosing and tamping practice, but allows more head room for taller glasses etc if you use.
    I back flush regularly without chemical, and do a chemical back flush ever 4-6 months and remove and clean shower screen at the same time. I used to pull the lever cam system down and re grease at least once a year too, but have not bothered more recently. Parts are available from several suppliers online, including pumps for around $50 when you eventually need one. Mine was still working but was noisy and sqeeky and sometimes cut out when really hot.
    We live in FNQ and machine only needs 10-15 mins to be at op temp in most weather, and a small cooling flush after its sat idle for a while. I just flush until the water is cool enough to not steam when released. I sometimes cater and do coffee at garage sales etc and have put out over 60 shots in a morning and have not felt at all I need a more powerful machine. Filling the 3 lt water container when I have a gap in demand means water supply is really no issue. She pulls 6 cups on average every morning just for our family so is regularly used!
    When I began to use it after an Em6910 it took me several days to get the hang of the twin hole steam wand, but it will come with some practice and finding the right swirl spot in your jug and correct milk height is important. I also had to re learn my dosing also as I had gotten used to overdosing the sunbeam to get a decent shot and have found that unnecesary with the Unico dounble shot basket which is quite decent capacity. I think from memory I dose at about 20-22 grams which brings it up pretty well to the shower screen. I dont use the single basket ever.
    Happy days and hang in there working on your tecknique.
    Love our Splendor!! Cheers.

  11. #11
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    Have just purchased a Unico - very happy so far - interesting to see suggestions for changing the steam wand - I take it that is for smaller quantities of milk? Getting a good texture to the milk remains a challenge!



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