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Thread: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

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    Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Am looking to buy a machine in the $2,000-$3,000 range and after a little research have narrowed it down to either the Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore.

    Just wondering if anyone can advocate either for or against lashing out on either machine.

    Worth adding weve never actually owned a machine before so I suppose that makes us n00bs, but regardless were serious enough about our coffee to be willing to fork out for a machine whichll last the distance and produce excellently and consistently for the long haul.


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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Streety link=1181199671/0#0 date=1181199671
    Am looking to buy a machine in the $2,000-$3,000 range and after a little research have narrowed it down to either the Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore.

    Just wondering if anyone can advocate either for or against lashing out on either machine.

    Worth adding weve never actually owned a machine before so I suppose that makes us n00bs, but regardless were serious enough about our coffee to be willing to fork out for a machine whichll last the distance and produce excellently and consistently for the long haul.
    No contest in those two....The Minore II hands down....At the very least, you should consider the Giotto/Vibiemme Domobar Super and perhaps some Diadema or Bezzera in amongst them?

    2mcm

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Why so? Can you elaborate? Whats the problem with the Gaggia?

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Streety link=1181199671/0#2 date=1181205852
    Thanks for the feedback.

    Why so? Can you elaborate? Whats the problem with the Gaggia?
    Hey Streety- lots to talk about there in relatives pros and cons...Happy to discuss with you if youd like to give me a buzz. Ill try not to write a thesis here ;)

    2mcm

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Ive never heard of the Gaggia TS, but I for one would be interested to know a bit about it in a brief comparo chart or something if you can provide Chris? Also useful for subsequent people with the same question...

    Greg

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Info and PDF files can be found here,

    Mal.

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    The Gaggia is another HX machine but Id be inclined to stay away from the SS boiler (as I am led to believe) and the steam wand looks like its off a Saeco. Why not consider a Vibiemme instead?

    The Minore II is dual boiler and much more thermostable. Our pimped Giottos are also performing beautifully :)..

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Thanks again for the input thus far...certainly willing to further consider some of the other makers suggested if their products stack up.

    Just on the Gaggia, weve been given the option of having an alternative, commercial-grade steam wand fitted.

    The Bezzera and Vibiemme look interesting machines...will evidently need to a little more reaearch.

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    The website shows the Gaggia as having a copper boiler. The steam wand looks like the same one as their domestic machines, though :P

    It looks like it has the same perferated showerscreen and dispersion disc arrangement as the domestic machines too :o

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    theres a new player emerging after further research.

    Dont suppose anyones aware of a site in Melbourne where the Bezzera Domus Galatea can be viewed?

    Alternately, the Bezzera BZ99s looks intriguing too. :D ;D :o 8-) :-? ::) :P :-/ >:( Yes Im confused.

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    2muchcoffeeman, is the Minore II really worth considering against the Ciotto or the Domobar Super ? I know its got 2 Boilers etc and should therefore have great temperature control etc but made in Spain ? Its also very blocky and ugly - such big feet ! Like Uma Thurman"s . I also am trying to decide between the above machines as well as the new Domus Galatea (which might be better left alone till it irons out any teething problems ? ) but there doesnt seem to be any defining factor to help.

    hotdog

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    HD,

    For me, no...I believe in keep it simple- this will ultimately lead to lower running costs and reliability IMHO...That said, some prefer dual boiler and if thats the case, its Minore II, La Spaziale Vivaldi S1 or LM GS3 in order of $$ to $$$$

    In addition there are significant differences in build quality. If you are in Melbourne, I have Vibiemme, ECM, Makin and Expobar on the bench....Come have a look...

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    2muchcoffeeman,
    unfortunately Im in Sydney where its been raining cats and dogs and blowing a gale for the last 24 hours - wish i was in Melbourne where the sun shines 363 days a year - hang on, thats Brisbane isnt it ?
    hotdog

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Di Bartoli have a Minore you could look at.

    (You dont notice the feet after a while and they are high enough to clean under the machine easily.)

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1181199671/0#13 date=1181294966
    Di Bartoli have a Minore you could look at.

    (You dont notice the feet after a while and they are high enough to clean under the machine easily.)
    ;D ;D ;D Yeah...a bit like banging your head against a wall...after a while it doesnt hurt ;D ;D ;D

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Quote Originally Posted by hotdog link=1181199671/0#10 date=1181278623
    Its also very blocky and ugly - such big feet ! Like Uma Thurman"s
    I couldnt care less about how big Umas feet are, from the ankles up shes absolutely gorgeous and Im sure thats what a lot of Minore owners feel about their coffee mistresses too ;),

    Mal.

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    very well said, Mal -I think Umas gorgeous too. Guess the trick would be to pretend youre seeing Uma every time you look at a MinoreII.
    hotdog

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Lest anyone thinks I am knocking the MinoreII let me mention that it is high on my short list of to buy, along with Giotto, Domus Galatea and Domobar Super -as I cogitate ,it seems to me that the big plus for MinoreII is (not only the Uma factor but also )that it enables fairly precise rendering of temperature at the Group Head if this is in fact what it does as I am clearly no expert - perhaps somebody could elucidate.
    hotdog

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    The MinoreII is a good example of technology applied inappropriately. The E61 group head is desgined to themosyphon overtemp water from a HX to prevent the group getting cold when idel. In practise, it usually works too well and the group is too hot an requirea a cooling flush before use if it has been idling.

    With the MinoreII, there is a group boiler that is controlled by a PID so fairly precise temps can be set but because the E61 group works on a temperature differential, it ends up being cool (plus it wastes a small amount of power by providing a heat loss path from the brew boiler) so you still need a fluch if it has been idle but to heat it up rather than to cool it down.

    A group on boiler design would have been much more appropriate for this machine as it would stay very close to the boiler temp at all times but it probably wouldnt look as appealing.

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    "Guess the trick would be to pretend youre seeing Uma every time you look at a MinoreII. "

    - not good for the concentration! Kill Bill one and two just could not have been made with anyone else!

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaanage link=1181199671/15#18 date=1181614390
    The MinoreII is a good example of technology applied inappropriately.
    All this applies equally to the Isomac Zafirro - form over function.

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaanage link=1181199671/15#18 date=1181614390
    The MinoreII is a good example of technology applied inappropriately. The E61 group head is desgined to themosyphon overtemp water from a HX to prevent the group getting cold when idel. In practise, it usually works too well and the group is too hot an requirea a cooling flush before use if it has been idling.

    With the MinoreII, there is a group boiler that is controlled by a PID so fairly precise temps can be set but because the E61 group works on a temperature differential, it ends up being cool (plus it wastes a small amount of power by providing a heat loss path from the brew boiler) so you still need a fluch if it has been idle but to heat it up rather than to cool it down.

    A group on boiler design would have been much more appropriate for this machine as it would stay very close to the boiler temp at all times but it probably wouldnt look as appealing.
    Agreed that the Minore requires a flush and that a saturated group would have been great....but then it might look like a GS3!

    2 points of correction on this one Greg:

    1. Its not a PID, Its more like a fridge controller. Calibration to + or - 1 degree C
    2. The offset from the display to actual group temp is settable so an accurate indication can be obtained.

    regards

    Chris

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Yep,

    Thats correct Chris, from what Ive been able to dig up around the traps, the Minore II uses a simple Proportional controller and with the ability to offset the actual error read on the display, it works extremely well,

    Mal.

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2muchcoffeeman link=1181199671/15#21 date=1181709935
    2. The offset from the display to actual group temp is settable so an accurate indication can be obtained.
    Again, this is a workaround for the group being used in a situation it was not designed for.

    And it is not a perfect solution as the offset may be set for the group being cool when idle but then the boiler temp is too high! For a single shot, the inherent stability of the E61 head (its great strength) will damp the temperature rise so that the shot temp is not too high but if shots are pulled in a fairly rapid succession, then the group head temp will rise to that of the boiler so the shot temps will be too high.

    I am not saying that the MinoreII is at all bad - it is far, far more temp stable than most machines. What I am saying is that it could easily be better for less cost and lower complexity (I like elegant solutions).

    Quote Originally Posted by 2muchcoffeeman link=1181199671/15#21 date=1181709935
    1. Its not a PID, Its more like a fridge controller. Calibration to + or - 1 degree C
    I had forgotten that Expobar used a simple temp controller rather than a PID to control the brew boiler temp. This is an example of clever design with appropriate technology being used. The use of the steam boiler as a preheat (via HX) for the brew boiler prevents big temp swings in the brew boiler when fresh water enters so a simple, cheap controller can be used rather than a more complex and expensive PID.

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Yes kaanage,

    That is one aspect of the advantages/disadvantages of using an E-61 variant group on a machine like the Minore II... It also has a very elegant design for managing the actual shot pour with pre-infusion as well. Other manufacturers have come up with pseudo pre-infusion techniques in their design but I dont think any of them do it as well as the E-61 and siblings.

    It would be interesting to hear from Minore owners who have had occasion to use their machines to supply groups of people at large gatherings, etc to gain an insight into the machines actual performance, rather than its theoretical performance...

    Mal.

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Ive had 2 large gatherings in the last 3 months where weve made ~50 coffees each time.

    The machine performed magnificently in my opinion.

    To me, it was a wonderful thing to be able to knock out drink after drink with very little effort.

    Even the 4 coffees at the end of dinner with friends is a good feeling. All done inside 5 minutes.

    Some friends are even getting adventurous and asking for espresso, long black or machiattos.

    All feedback has been positive thus far, but they are my friends, so they may not complain even if I served a bad one.

    In short, Im happy with it!

    Brett.

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Yar yar, have knocked out swags of coffees in a sitting on my Minore. Works like a charm. With a skilled operator *(ie I consider myself to be responsible for any crap that comes out of it, not machine function) this machine produces coffee equivalent to most commercial machines I have worked with.

    But really, the number of posts on this machine that criticise the stumpy legs. *Anyone would think that they were integral to coffee production or it was an arranged marriage. I cant understand why more comments arent made about the Minores CAVERNOUS drip tray. Surely this is worthy of some Hollywood actress allegories - it certainly made me purchase the Minore over less well endowed machines. *8-)

    Across the range of prosumer machines in this class, there will be a point of issue that can be raised about all of them - aesthetic, boiler, PID, deformed legs, whatever. At the end of the day, they all brew great espresso, when used properly, and will give years of service commensurate with the price point. *Ya just have to decide whether you are a legs man or a tray man. ;D


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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    I have to agree with you there Baristacrat re the drip tray.
    I only have to empty mine about once a week.

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1181199671/15#24 date=1181721423
    It also has a very elegant design for managing the actual shot pour with pre-infusion as well.
    There was a very interesting experiment done on alt.coffee a while ago with full commercial vs prosumer machines (I think Greg Scarce was involved - could have been Barry Jarrett) and they came to the conclusion that preinfusion only really works with a fully plumbed in machine since the mains pressure forces a decent amount of water into the puck. This allows the puck to gently expand to the showerscreen before water gets pumped in, which is the whole point of preinfusion. With tank machines, only a small dribble of water will seep into the top of the puck, mainly through capilliary action, in any reasonable pre-infusion period so the preinfusion has very little chance of affecting the shot.

    That was their conclusion and it makes sense to me (Ive added a little to the analysis).

    I would expect the MinoreII to be able to outperform quite a few commercial machines, within its heating capacity, since the brew boiler makes it inherently more temperature stable than a direct HX machine (the vast majority of commercial machines).

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1181199671/15#27 date=1181741667
    I only have to empty mine about once a week.
    Do you ever find an ecosystem developing by the time you dump the drip tray? ;)

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Quote Originally Posted by kaanage link=1181199671/15#28 date=1181782703
    There was a very interesting experiment done on alt.coffee a while ago with full commercial vs prosumer machines (I think Greg Scarce was involved - could have been Barry Jarrett) and they came to the conclusion that preinfusion only really works with a fully plumbed in machine since the mains pressure forces a decent amount of water into the puck. This allows the puck to gently expand to the showerscreen before water gets pumped in, which is the whole point of preinfusion. With tank machines, only a small dribble of water will seep into the top of the puck, mainly through capilliary action, in any reasonable pre-infusion period so the preinfusion has very little chance of affecting the shot.
    Hmmm,

    Only partly true as it doesnt take into account where this "anomaly" is recognised beforehand and engineered accordingly,

    Mal.

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Anomaly? If you are talking about the preinfusion without mains head pressure, then there is no anomaly.

    But a really good check would be if one of the MinoreII owners would preinfuse and then remove the PF from the group and knock out the puck. The level of preinfusion would be obvious - if Im wrong, then Ive learnt something!

    (long time gap during edit)

  32. #32
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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    You figure it out mate, you seem to have everything else figured out,

    Mal.

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    Sure pal

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    Re: Help...Gaggia TS or Expobar Minore?

    In the interest of keeping things nice, Im locking this thread down.



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