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Thread: E61 Shuttle review

  1. #1
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    E61 Shuttle review

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    E61 Shuttle Review
    This can also be viewed via Google Docs
    http://docs.google.com/document/edit?id=1XQ8uOvM1v-7oo5W2L5gzU1Bu0u5sLBvQZ3RSCCDJ2JI&hl=en

    There are a number of links to pictures within the article. The pictures are quite sizeable (EG: Large version of the photo is linked).
    If you would like to see all pictures in a smaller set to begin with, you can go there via this link.

    It is also worth mentioning that some pictures look like the machine is a little dusty. This is due to the fact that it was packed very securely for transport in a fair amount of polystyrene and bubble wrap. The white dust is from the polystyrene and I was too keen to get it on the bench and running to do a full blown clean and polish!

    Contained in the box:
    Machine
    1 x group handle with double basket and double spout
    1 x group handle with single basket and single spout (not pictured)
    1 x tamper. Unsure of make.

    The machine itself is nice and shiny out of the box. *It is a good looking unit.
    The base has 5 small rubber feet. These are screw in feet that are adjustable to a point. One on each corner and one in the centre near the front of the machine.
    I found it quite fiddly to get the feet to give me a nice solid (and level) base. Probably a minor thing, but considering the overall weight of the machine, I felt that it should have been easier to get a solid footing for it on the bench. I would also like to see an option of taller feet. I felt the machine lacked a little clearance between steam wand and bench, but I am 200cm tall, so that might cloud my judgment.

    • Steam wand on left side. Cool touch, 2 hole tip, full movement.
    • 3 position lever for the brew area.
    • Hot water tap on right side, full movement and quite a good length I think.
    • Rather large black plastic handles for both the steam wand and the hot water tap.
    • A metal toggle on/off switch with a green light to indicate ‘on’.
    • Single gauge above the power switch.
    • Exposed E61 Group.

    The water tank is removable, but does not have to be removed for refilling in day to day operation.
    I removed it for a wash being that this was the first time in use. There is a snug fitting lid with 2 holes in it covering the water tank opening. This comes off without fuss.
    There are 2 wire handles attached to the interior of the tank. The return line pokes in at the top via a little slot for it. There is no drawing line. The water for the machine is all fed directly from the bottom of the tank. There is a brass valve at the base of the tank that seals when removed from its’ place, although I never tested how effective it was with a full tank coming out of the machine.
    In day to day operation, I would refill using a water jug and a funnel in one hole of the water tank lid. As with many machines, overfilling is always something to watch out for. You would get used to the process very quickly.
    The water tank holds around 3 litres.

    The drip tray is a little small for my liking. About 500ml capacity which is quite a shock to the system when you are used to drip tray capable of holding just over 2 Litres! I thought it would be a major nuisance, but it turned out not to be the case.
    However, the drip tray does not seem to fit terribly well. There is quite a bit of play side to side.
    It did not leak or suddenly overflow. The grill that sits inside the tray allows you to clearly see when it is getting to the full stage.

    I ran a couple of tanks of water through the machine to begin as I was the very first to use it by the look.

    The vibe pump on this unit is not overly loud to my ears. I actually found it a little quieter than my current machine. *I have no actual dB measurements to share, just an opinion that it is not too bad.

    Once I had flushed the machine, I was ready for the first shot.
    I began by using the supplied double group handle. Whilst this worked perfectly well, I quickly decided to swap to my own group handle and basket as I figured it was one less variable to add to the equation.

    Being an E61 group, my La Marzocco handle fit without any issues. Possibly because the supplied group handle also appeared to be a La Marzocco.

    I found the shower screen on this machine slightly lower than what I am used to, so I needed to grind a little finer and dose a little less. Since I was sinking the first shot, it was no big deal anyway.
    Puck after shot.

    Being a HX, I found it was very important to purge water prior to locking in your handle for a shot. The water was a little hot and would ‘spit’ for a few seconds and then settle down. This is pretty common behavior and only a short purge was required.

    The steam power is very impressive. *It took me a few tries before I got some decent microfoam. No fault of the machine at all, this was ALL operator driven. *I steamed using both 300ml and 600ml jugs, no issues at all. I did not try a 1L jug, but have no doubt the machine would cope easily.

    Recovery time between shots/steaming is minimal.
    Recovery time for drawing 500ml of hot water is significant. More than 4 minutes, but then that is not what the machine is designed for. Small amounts of hot water (EG: Long blacks) did not cause an issue for recovery time.

    All in all, I was quite happy with how the machine performed and if you are in the market for an entry level HX , this should certainly be on your short list.

    Is it a slam dunk recommendation ? No.

    There are a number of machines that I would put in a similar class to this unit and I think when you are at the point that you are ready to drop around $2K on a coffee machine, you should try and get a hands-on test of all that are on your list. Sometimes, you might find the extra couple of hundred dollars delivers something you really like, sometimes you will find the cheaper machine ticks the boxes for you, but I would always try to actually use one before spending your chunk of change.

    Some other pictures:
    Top of machine
    Fully loaded with cups on top.
    During Pour
    Art attempt 1 – lite milk
    Art attempt 2 – full cream


    The machine was generously supplied for review by E61.

    The opinions stated in this review are mine alone.

    Brett Campbell .

  2. #2
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Thanks for the review! When you say there are a number of machines you would put in the same class as this machine, could you list which ones?

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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Great write-up brett, thanks ;)

    Just a few questions....

    Quote Originally Posted by 272035232E381E70787878410 link=1273652395/0#0 date=1273652395
    There are a number of machines that I would put in a similar class to this unit
    Id also be intrigued to know what machines you would put in the same category.....for 2K

    From what i read of your review,it looks like a GPP on a budget.....is it assembled the same way(cheaper)? Does it feel solid, Can you see a $1000 difference?

    Whats the internals like, what pstat does it have, what differences in the boiler between the GPP and the shuttle, eg endplate, materials used etc.....is it running hot with normal boiler pressure? or where you able to lower the pressurestat to compensate for this and if so, how much steam did it lose? when you say "didnt try a 1 lt jug" could you try it, i know a few GPP users have worried about not being able to steam a 1 lt jug(not me, i can ;D)

    And last question, are you going to pack up your house, delete your CS account and disappear off the face of the earth with your new Shuttle?(No pun intended ;D) or is it not worth it?


    cheers mate
    warren



  4. #4
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 6064425B5B5E415659370 link=1273652395/2#2 date=1273707433
    Great write-up brett, thanks ;)

    Just a few questions....

    Quote Originally Posted by 272035232E381E70787878410 link=1273652395/0#0 date=1273652395
    There are a number of machines that I would put in a similar class to this unit
    Id also be intrigued to know what machines you would put in the same category.....for 2K
    Well, looking through some sponsor pages, I see the following ballpark prices for other HX machines.
    Isomac Tea - $2185
    Bezzera BZ707-P - $2200
    Expobar Office Leva - $2149
    Wega MiniNova - $2399

    The E61 is the cheapest, but as I say, sometimes you might find the extra couple of hundred delivers an important difference. Try them out.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6064425B5B5E415659370 link=1273652395/2#2 date=1273707433
    From what i read of your review,it looks like a GPP on a budget.....is it assembled the same way(cheaper)? Does it feel solid, Can you see a $1000 difference?
    Dont know. Have not used a GPP.

    Quote Originally Posted by 6064425B5B5E415659370 link=1273652395/2#2 date=1273707433
    Whats the internals like, what pstat does it have, what differences in the boiler between the GPP and the shuttle, eg endplate, materials used etc.....is it running hot with normal boiler pressure? or where you able to lower the pressurestat to compensate for this and if so, how much steam did it lose? when you say "didnt try a 1 lt jug" could you try it, i know a few GPP users have worried about not being able to steam a 1 lt jug(not me, i can ;D)
    Didnt open it up, so I did not check the internals. Perhaps Chris or Luca will be able to answer that (I dont know if Luca has the unit yet).

    As for the 1L jug, the only reason I didnt try it was I did not have a reason to prepare that much milk at once. I could have done it just to prove it was capable, but my experience with the other sizes led me to believe it would cope with the 1L without issue.
    [/QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by 6064425B5B5E415659370 link=1273652395/2#2 date=1273707433
    And last question, are you going to pack up your house, delete your CS account and disappear off the face of the earth with your new Shuttle?(No pun intended ;D) or is it not worth it?
    Well, I no longer have the unit. It has moved along to the next step of CS testing.
    Chris from Talk Coffee had it on the bench last weeked for people to come and see at his shed, and I believe Luca is next to test.

    Im sure Luca will be a lot more technical that me in his write up.

    Brett.




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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 2B2C392F2234127C7474744D0 link=1273652395/3#3 date=1273709620
    Well, looking through some sponsor pages, I see the following ballpark prices for other HX machines.
    Isomac Tea - $2185
    Bezzera BZ707-P - $2200
    Expobar Office Leva - $2149
    Wega MiniNova - $2399
    Would you personally pay extra for one of these machines over the Shuttle?

    This is a genuine question as i think this machine has the potential to be a category killer :oif it fits the bill.....

    I know this will be YOUR personal opinion, but thats what this review was for, YOUR opinion....

    I have a GPP and love it to bits, and wouldnt swap it for anything in ITS category, thats my personal opinion

  6. #6
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    May be worth noting at this point that I was quoted $2K for a BZO7-P by a sponsor (brand new, not demo) a couple of months ago.

  7. #7
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 191D3B222227382F204E0 link=1273652395/4#4 date=1273712687
    Quote Originally Posted by 2B2C392F2234127C7474744D0 link=1273652395/3#3 date=1273709620
    Well, looking through some sponsor pages, I see the following ballpark prices for other HX machines.
    Isomac Tea - $2185
    Bezzera BZ707-P - $2200
    Expobar Office Leva - $2149
    Wega MiniNova - $2399
    Would you personally pay extra for one of these machines over the Shuttle?

    This is a genuine question as i think this machine has the potential to be a category killer :oif it fits the bill.....

    I know this will be YOUR personal opinion, but thats what this review was for, YOUR opinion....

    I have a GPP and love it to bits, and wouldnt swap it for anything in ITS category, thats my personal opinion
    Warren,

    I cant really answer if I would buy one of the other machines I mention over the Shuttle as I already own an Expobar Minore II.

    I can probably say I would buy an Expobar Minore III ahead of the Shuttle if my machine died, but they are not really in the same category in my opinion.

    All I am saying is you need to be happy with your purchase.
    Buying a machine like this needs to be a personal thing. Get to try machines, feel how they operate.

    You might dislike the controls on machine A. Do you want to compromise and go ahead with that machine, knowing it will be your daily routine for the next x years?

    Or for $200 more, you might prefer the controls of model B. It could be as simple as that.

    Im not saying to anyone - "This is what you should buy".
    Im saying - "This is how it performed".

    People have to make their own mind up as to what machine they want to drop 2K+ on. I cant make that decision for them, and I dont want to.

    I used it, it performed well, it made good coffee.
    If youre in the market for an entry level HX, you should consider it.

    Simple as that really.

  8. #8
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 3B3A30233D3822510 link=1273652395/5#5 date=1273713321
    May be worth noting at this point that I was quoted $2K for a BZO7-P by a sponsor (brand new, not demo) a couple of months ago.
    And thats the beauty of talking to sponsors when you have a short list of machines.

    Like I said - ballpark.

  9. #9
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 474055434E587E10181818210 link=1273652395/6#6 date=1273713880
    I used it, it performed well, it made good coffee.
    If youre in the market for an entry level HX, you should consider it.
    And I guess thats what we were all waiting to hear. Was something made in China going to cut it against the Europeans.

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    Senior Member bennett's Avatar
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 0B0F293030352A3D325C0 link=1273652395/4#4 date=1273712687
    I have a GPP and love it to bits, and wouldnt swap it for anything in ITS category, thats my personal opinion *
    Its really hard to comment on something like that. I have a VBM domobar Jr and I wouldnt swap it for anything in any category. Ive owned it for 2-3 months now and I feel were on the same page now, I love her and she loves me ;D.

    What Im trying to say is that anything in this quality field is going to be loved by the owner. If I had a GPP, Im sure I would love it also once I became familiar with it.

    I guess Bretts job was to see if it made good coffee and was a capable/easy to use machine and his review agrees that it can make good coffee. Hopefully Luca and Chris will be able to determine if its up to par internally with the Europeans and as such comment a bit about internal quality and design. And I guess the final piece of the puzzle will come when people start buying the machine and it develops either a good or bad service track record.

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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 36313A3A312020540 link=1273652395/9#9 date=1273727025
    I guess Bretts job was to see if it made good coffee and was a capable/easy to use machine and his review agrees that it can make good coffee. Hopefully Luca and Chris will be able to determine if its up to par internally with the Europeans and as such comment a bit about internal quality and design. And I guess the final piece of the puzzle will come when people start buying the machine and it develops either a good or bad service track record.
    Agree with many of the comments above..

    However a SOE (one size fits All) does not always work.. If it did every one would have DCMs *;D

    1: Market placement is a very interesting field and today; Sunbeam has done a great job of breaking new ground..

    2: The Autos get pushed because people are lazey and believe the hype.. They then think nothing of spend the $$$$ *3 or 4k is nothing to some homes and many offices. *HN and GG etc sell many to small offices..

    3: Temp surfing etc is not acceptable to the masses, and why should it be ?

    4: I want my milk and coffee NOW... *Has to do both at the same time.

    5: Dont want to burn my fingers.. Too late now *;)

    6: Press a button OR manual... * *

    I strongly believe that this is where Sunbeam has made it hard for the HX and others to compete....

    Ya build quality is one thing but 99% of people buy with their wallets every time and deals... Besides warranty will cover any issues *:o ;D :D

    7: CS is not *the market place to look at / evaluate market placement.. We are a specific market *target and even within this small section; there are sub sections.

    One has to keep ones focus on the big picture at all time..

    Comments from my wife are more valuable than a dozen CS; if I take market placement and product placement into consideration.

    8: We all twinge about steam strength and stretching milk.. The large majority of the mass see this as one up man-ship and elitism....

    They want frothy milk and not to have to, spend 6 months trying get *it.

    One hole tip.... *One has to remain focused... *Our passion clouds our perception of Functionality Vs Needs Vs Wants.

    CS can change tip as and if he wants and knows this.

    The masses: Sell with the option of Home VS Dinner party option....

    Small milk jug / bigger milk jug - *single hole / 3 hole - one group / Two groups

    Appeal to the egos.... Sell the Want with Perceived functionality and option to boost ego and peer standing....

    $$$ that the supporting partner will not cringe at.. *

    The NEED, will come later *;D





  12. #12
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 5B5C57575C4D4D390 link=1273652395/9#9 date=1273727025
    I guess Bretts job was to see if it made good coffee and was a capable/easy to use machine and his review agrees that it can make good coffee. Hopefully Luca and Chris will be able to determine if its up to par internally with the Europeans and as such comment a bit about internal quality and design.
    Yes, thats how I interpreted things.

    To clarify, the shuttle spent some time with us to allow interested CSers to view it and pull some shots against our Giotto demo- given that it was initially compared to it.

    While Pete was with me, we pulled both machines down and took about 70 photos which illustrate the differences. These will be made available to those CSers who are reviewing the machine to use as they see fit.

    I will not be making public comment on the shuttle unless E-61 requests my comment as we dont sell the machine and comments made could be interpreted as biased or manipulative.

    Luca and AM both know their stuff and may choose to use the photos in their forthcoming reviews.

    Chris

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    A_M
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 4D787572465A767F7F7C7C190 link=1273652395/11#11 date=1274317128
    may choose to use the photos in their forthcoming reviews.
    What photos *;D *

    I was hoping e61 would be providing a top of the line Canon Digital SLR with special macro lenses and *a BT *flash system. Maybe even a HOT operator as well. *If not Coffee2Di4 can stand in *;)

    Opps.. Must have had extra meds this morning *:D

  14. #14
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    WATCH THIS SPACE!

    The eagerly awaited Luca Costanzo Review of the Shuttle is on its way soon!

    E61 SHUTTLE CONTROL

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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 1C6F68590 link=1273652395/13#13 date=1276845258
    WATCH THIS SPACE!

    The eagerly awaited Luca Costanzo Review of the Shuttle is on its way soon!

    E61 SHUTTLE CONTROL
    Anything soon? *::)

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    A_M
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Some rough weather in the outer stratosphere I thinks..

    Expected a touchdown today..

    Once again disappointed; just like my wife, when it comes to me helping around the house..

    We live in hope that each new day brings us something new to look at..

    I have a camera ready (Thanks Gra from the GC) and some time, so it will not be an over night slap and tickle (Other CSér will be welcome to come and have a look )...

    I have a few issues with any review.. CONTEXT and SCOPE.. *As they are also the hardest to manage and to have understood by those looking on.... *

    1: Technical any item can be given a value with a reference to a common base..

    * Retractable power cord
    * Does the plug have a finger hole to allow positive release actions, if needed
    *


    2: Functionality is all together different...

    New user with no background / *Some one starting out / Young CSér */ Old Hand CS / *Home use with a few party guests / *small gatherings but at what through put...

    Thus every one would have different needs / wants / expectations...

    • Even with out seeing the unit... I am comfortable that it will make a good / great coffee... *If the user/s has some understanding and the consumables are up to scratch..


    Many go on about steam power... *Again.. The same old arguments will surface... *(Remember - Fit for purpose)


    Home user doing one or two milk drinks a day or *Church on Sunday and doing 45 plus large flat whites / mug a chinos in 30 - 45 min post service...

    Pedantic and nonsense issues such as Steam power / Noise / Vibration / *10 or 20 shots in a row / *thickness of the steel etc etc *can only be considered in context and are nothing more than “TBM”; *in an effort to sway a *user, who is lacking maturity, to open their wallet wide.

    The user has to consider their Needs VS Wants Vs Bling Vs *Peers... *It is here the suppliers need *to step up and have training and education options at hand.

    A $3500 flat screen TV gets much more use and plays a bigger part in the family’s use of free time... * And after a couple of years, gets tossed or dumped - For the latest model, as the old one is out dated as to features that are now MUST haves...... *(No trade in or *Second hand market as functionality is no longer there - users are blinded by PR and BLING)

    $ for $ the Coffee machine is a bloody expensive piece of plain copper and steel.. *

    And not very cost efficient.... A simple roaster and plunger or drip etc. is a better all-round *option... But boys and girls; just got to have expensive toys. 8-) 8-)



    PS.. Even when the shuttle lands...

    If it is any where near as dangerous as some units I have seen recently. *It will need to be re worked, before being allowed to be plugged into to the wall socket.. *And for me to mod; that will require authorisation etc etc etc..

    Fingers crossed all will be OK... However if not; rest assured that the unit/model will be in the future *:)


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    A_M
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    The SHUTTLE HAS LANDED !!!


    Well... I am not sure BUT my wife said; that she heard a comoation out the front and as a result. *A beat up and rather heavy box was now waiting for me at the bottem of the front stairs.....

    I got her to invite my Daughters close friend over for dinner and a board game or two... *

    Suggested that whel he was there, he might be able to assist in rolling/Sliding said box inside...

    When I get back from Melbourn... *I have 3 very heavy days and nights of equipment ungrades and system re builds..

    But with any luck; I should be able to see what physical state the SHUTTLE is in..

    Note: Rather that confusing people with my approch... *Stage one will be a like a story book.. *Lots of pics and coments etc as to technical observations...

    Just remember... *Fit for Purpose *is very subjective due to many variables and am sure it will make a great coffee.. * *User and raw product, in addition to how it is set up will also be a key factor...

    So will that be 9bar or some where between 9 and 12.5 *?

    Temp surfing / cooling flushes ..... *With out dual boilers etc temp management is always a factor that even the best need user involvement...

    Stay tuned for the picture show..

    PS.. Assuming it is in a fit state to run *;)



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    A_M
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Now; wait till the review comes out on the Shuttle

    1: Electrical = One of the better units I have seen - from a safety point
    2: Make a Coffee = Sure Can
    3: Built like a Brick Sh1t House = Not
    4: Super grade SS and hand polished by elves = NO
    5: Got some rough bits about her = Yep


    Not sure of the $$$, but if it at the bottom end, then a true contender as a entry HX and would be my pick any day; over a EM6910 or Silvia


    But always remember...

    Its about what in the cup and better to have a educated CSér using a more manual system; than a very expensive Super AUTO

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    TC
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Hydraulically? Layout?

    Whatever happened to Lucas review? :-?

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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 0B3E3334001C3039393A3A5F0 link=1273652395/18#18 date=1278803908
    Hydraulically? Layout?

    Whatever happened to Lucas review? *:-?
    Arr the detail is to come...And like Luca, I am busy and off to Perth for a week... * I guess when ya not doing this as a living and the process is a little adhoc...

    Does one do up templates, follow some basic rules/formats/defined scope, context, work to a plan or just whack it down... *Either way, one is going to be questioned or reminded that something was forgotten and that is what add to the issue... Validation.

    So while I have had some time to inspect the hardware... (No cord retract option)

    Putting it all together AND *in an easy to read format, will take a little time yet.. (including the usual disclaimers)

    AM

    PS. Thanks E61 for the Opportunity.

    Should be ready to ship home in say two weeks.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 547B72706758747B74727078707B61150 link=1273652395/19#19 date=1278805234
    (No cord retract option)
    That would be very annoying if it were a vacuum cleaner. ;D

    Quote Originally Posted by 4174797E4A567A73737070150 link=1273652395/18#18 date=1278803908
    Whatever happened to Lucas review?
    Ho hum.

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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Hi Guys,

    Sorry, Ive been busier than expected with eofy at work and havent had a chance to finish it off. Next week, I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0B2A2121263C4F0 link=1273652395/20#20 date=1278808361
    Quote Originally Posted by 4174797E4A567A73737070150 link=1273652395/18#18 date=1278803908
    Whatever happened to Lucas review?
    Ho hum.
    Whats that supposed to mean?

    Cheers,
    Luca

  23. #23
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 657C6A68090 link=1273652395/21#21 date=1278809687
    Dennis wrote on Today at 10:32:
    Talk_Coffee wrote on Today at 09:18:
    Whatever happened to Lucas review?


    Ho hum.


    Whats that supposed to mean?
    Conventionally, it means, "boring and dull". I become bored and disinterested when a project loses momentum, particularly when launched with fanfare and enthusiasm.

    This is possibly a flaw in my own personality. Fortunately, tardiness is not another trait of mine.


  24. #24
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Yep, me too....

    Initial fanfare made direct comparisons of build quality and performance to that of the Giotto and Rolls v Bentley. The only Asian machine I had previously seen the guts of was the Diamond and that was Tata, not Ferrari, nor Rolls or Bentley. *::) No amount of work was going to transform that into a good machine.

    As Luca has had close access to both machines (Giotto PP at work), hes best to make comparisons IMHO.

    Peter and I had a very good look inside and took plenty of really interesting comparison pix and I then pulled a heap of shots. Ill be very interested to hear what others think. E-61 has my feedback on what we saw.

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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Chris

    Did you end up posting the pics online?

    Roger

  26. #26
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 6E5E454B4458495E7F4548492C0 link=1273652395/24#24 date=1278821228
    Chris

    Did you end up posting the pics online?

    Roger
    No Roger,

    We dont range the machine and we were not asked to review it. The machine spent a weekend on display at the shed. A few CSers visited to have a gander and that was it for us. The machine then went to Luca for review.

    Chris

  27. #27
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 7D5C5757504A390 link=1273652395/22#22 date=1278817746
    I become bored and disinterested when a project loses momentum
    For a moment I became interested again and decided to check in on this thread for any sign of the reviews.

    But no, nothing to see here.

    Bored and disinterested again.

  28. #28
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 75545F5F5842310 link=1273652395/26#26 date=1279874945
    I become bored and disinterested when a project loses momentum *
    Dont worry Dennis new Mission Reports are on their way *:)

    It seems as if End of Financial Year duties distracted the last two Mission Controllers - Luca and Angermanagement, however, they have both been working feverishly away on their reviews and assure me their findings will be posted here soon.

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the CSrs who have generously and unselfishly contributed their time and efforts. A machine review, particuliarly of a new machine, is a huge undertaking and the committment and professionalism from everyone who has assisted has been awesome.

    The depth of knowledge, willingness to share and support from the CS community is absolutely remarkable.

    The next Shuttle launch is planned for this week and will land in the far west.

    So far we have had successful missions to Victoria, NSW, Queensland and now WA. We would love to land a Shuttle in the NT, SA and beautiful Tasmania.

    Are there any CSrs from these states prepared to accept a Shuttle Mission?

    Over and Out
    Shuttle Control

  29. #29
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Hi guys,

    As Matt pointed out, I have had more on my plate than usual and than I would expect. *Sorry for the delay, but I would point out that doing a review that is worthwhile takes a little effort and I hope that it is understandable that this review hasnt been my top priority; I dont have any interest in the success or failure of the machine, nor have I received anything for writing this review other than the opportunity to use the machine.

    Dennis, it is heartening to see your interest and support for your espresso-machine vending competitor.

    Thank you to Matt to giving me the opportunity to play with his toys, for being so supportive of a review that paints a less than rosy picture of the machine and particularly for finding a courier that could deliver and pick up around my work hours. Thank you to Chris for sending me photos of the internals.

    Cheers,
    Luca

  30. #30
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    I have posted this review here with photos embedded in it: http://pourquality.blogspot.com/2010/07/shuttle-espresso-machine-review.html

    Part I

    Introduction

    Domestic e61 heat exchanger machines have been on the market for quite some time now and for all of that time, they have been quite expensive. Lately, with the rise and rise of specialty coffee, we have seen an increased interest in these machines, part of which has coincided with an increase in prices of these machines as a consequence of the Australian dollars fluctuation against the Euro. All of this has created a climate where there is a business case for sourcing out decent machines made in a country with a lower cost of labour and a more favourable exchange rate and bringing in a pricing model where the importer sells direct -as opposed to adding a markup to support a reseller network - in order to deliver a cheaper machine to the consumer. This is exactly what e61 has done in bringing the Shuttle into Australia from China. Of course, whilst this might be a recipe to cry "knock-off", none of these things actually gives any indication as to the quality of the machine and the coffee that it creates. For this reason, I was interested and grateful to Matt from e61 to be given the opportunity to explore the machine.

    This review is written with people who might be interested in buying this machine in mind. This means that I will make reference to other domestic espresso machines that I have used and even a few commercial machines. These references will be comparisons to tease out a little more about the Shuttle, seeing as this machine falls to be evaluated against a market of competing products, but are not intended to give any sort of insight into those other machines.

    Finally, I want to touch on the issue of reviewer independence in this review. To Matts credit, from the outset he accepted that I am only interested in writing this as a totally independent review and that I might not have anything nice to say about the machine. I have sent Matt a copy of the text of this review in advance so that he could comment on it; that resulted in one amendment, which was to correct my original error in saying that the machine was manufactured in Taiwan and not China. Our arrangement was basically this: I get to use the machine free of charge to me, but get nothing else. I cover all costs of coffee.

    Espresso

    Espresso is the most difficult part to get right in any espresso machine. If I were in the market for an espresso machine, I would give the most weight to this part and little weight to the rest of it.

    Espresso - Taste Test

    To evaluate the machine, I tasted a few different coffees that I am fairly familiar with.

    The first was a commercial espresso blend comprising Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Kenyan and central american coffees at a medium to light roast level. This is a fairly difficult blend to work with, but is capable of delicious results. I chose this blend because the result in the cup would give me the most information about how the machine was functioning. The espresso was thin, sour, metallic and dominated by grapefruit flavours (presumably from the Kenyan component) at all dose levels, with the contribution from the yirgacheffe overwhelmed.

    The second that I chose was a commercial espresso blend that was slanted more towards heavy body and chocolatey sugar browning flavours. I chose this because it is a coffee that has proven itself to have mass appeal. The espresso was a little bitterer and ashier than I expected, even at coarse grinds, high doses and fairly fast flow rates. The coffee also seemed to blonde out towards the end of the pour (but I note that this is something that I have noticed with a lot of domestic espresso machines).

    I tried a few other coffees and struck gold with some home roast Tanzania Blackburn Estate Shade of September Microlot. This was a failed filter roast that went slightly too far. Too light for most espresso machines, on the Shuttle it produced a sweet, rich shot with loads of berry goodness and a lively acidity. The fact that this coffee performed well illustrates a good point about domestic espresso machines and most commercial espresso machines; seeing as people don’t tweak brew temperatures, people will tend to gravitate to blends that suit their machines, which is always a consideration to take into account when reading reviews and posts online.

    These taste tests, together with the steam flashing from the group, made me suspect that the machine was running too hot.

    Espresso - Numbers

    I borrowed a Scace device and portafilter pressure gauge from Craig at 9 Bar Espresso Services in order to test out the machine. The first thing that I did when the machine arrived was to run the pressure gauge and see it settle at around 9 bar brew pressure. I used the brew pressure gauge before packing the machine up and got a reading of 11 bar. I should note that this was using a blind gauge.


    The Scace device read brew temperatures between 104C and 99C. For reference, the Giotto at work put out brew temperatures between 94C and 89C.

    Temperature measurements should be taken with a grain of salt, in that there are a myriad of factors that can give rise to inaccuracies. The Scace device does a fantastic job in creating a platform for repeatable measurements, but it is still important to be aware of sources of error, such as probe and multimeter error. In this case, the actual value of the reading may be out by a few degrees. For what its worth, boiling water read 104C on the particular multimeter that I was using, which implies that the “true” brew temperatures were in the range of 100C to 95C. As an aside, the difficulty in measuring brew temperatures is something that people should consider when reading espresso machine reviews that give a passing reference to “temperature stability” or similar without giving any insight into their measurement process. Similarly, brew pressure measurements need to be taken with a grain of salt, as measurements taken from the gauge built in to the machine will vary depending on where the gauge sits in the internal plumbing on the machine - so two different models displaying the same brew pressure on the internal gauge might actually have different brew pressures when measured at the head. Measurements at the group head depend a little bit on the measurement device; I seem to remember that the rule of thumb is to subtract about one bar from the gauge reading for blind gauges.

    In terms of how these numbers scrub up, I think that we can infer fairly safely that the brew temperature is on the high side. I should note that there is no "correct" brew temperature; most espresso blends will perform well somewhere between about 89 and 96C, depending on roast levels. Im a little more hesitant to draw conclusions about brew pressure; I think that this is not a variable that has been well explored, seeing as most machines are set at the "holy grail" pressure of 9 bar ... using whatever gauge is most handy! That said, I suspect that lower brew pressures might be a little more forgiving for the domestic e61 HX market.

    Milk - Use

    In contrast to espresso, milk performance is fairly straightforward and easy to evaluate. To test out the milk, I tried frothing on a few 350mL jugs in a row. There was certainly enough steam available, such that I actually found it a little difficult to control. My housemate, a professional barista, thought that the steam was great, which suggests that it might just be a matter of spending the time to get the right
    technique.

    I did notice that the "no-burn" steam wand got uncomfortably hot after steaming a few jugs in a row. This is consistent with the performance of other steam wands with inserts that I have used on domestic machines, such as the Giotto that I have at work.

    Milk - Numbers

    The Shuttle was able to steam enough milk for a single milk drink, using a 350mL jug, in 16 seconds. In comparison, the Makin Espresso Maver machine also takes 16 seconds and the Giotto that I have at work takes about 26 seconds. A La Marzocco FB-80 can do it in 10.

    In my review of the Makin Espresso Maver machine, I noticed that a good predictor of steam performance is the amount of time that it takes for the steam boiler to drop to 0.7bar, seeing as at this boiler pressure the milk isnt being moved around enough to be worthwhile. When the steam valve is fully opened, the Shuttle drops to 0.7 bar boiler pressure after 33 seconds. In contrast, the Makin Espresso took 85 seconds last time I checked and the Giotto at work takes about 28 seconds.

  31. #31
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Part II

    The Machine


    This section is just some brief notes on the build aspects of the the machine.

    The Good:

    Stainess steel frame - wont rust as compared with a powdercoat steel frame, which can rust where the powdercoat chips off. That said, I have to note that the courier dropped the machine that I used and as a result the section of the frame holding the drip tray had bent.

    Stainless steel tank - makes sense, given concerns over the past few years of materials leeching from plastic. The tank has a valve fitted to the bottom so that it can be pulled out, filled and dropped back in, though the over pressure hose must be maneuvered back into place.

    Wire grill over drip tray - you dont get as much crap collecting on the top of it and transferring to the bottom of the cup. Of course, the tradeoff for this is that you can see more of the muck that collects in
    the drip tray. The opposite extreme is the metal plate drip tray cover of the giotto; see the photo below to see how much mess collects on top of it after a few shots. At work, I have to wipe the drip tray after
    every use.

    Internal components - whilst the machine is made in China, the components all seem to be components that have been used in other machines. The brain box is from gicar and the pressurestat is from CEME. I note, though, that I didn’t get to strip the machine down - instead, this is based on the tear-down photos sent to me by Chris.

    Stainless steel body - seemed to polish up very easily.

    Boiler is insulated - presumably a good thing in terms of energy savings, but query whether in this instance it isnt another factor making the machine run hot. Nonetheless, having the machine come with a boiler insulated from the factory means that there shouldn’t be any need to consider embarking on this task yourself.

    The Bad:

    Double portafilter spouts - these sit forward and, so, make it impossible to wedge the portafilter against the bench for tamping; they are also a little wide for pouring two both streams of a double shot into a single espresso cup. The Giotto has the same issue.

    Drip tray - the drip tray is far too small, particularly if you want to flush a large amount of water through it - I was emptying every shot or two, which is basically totally impractical unless you have your machine right next to the sink, in which case it is still annoying. I keep a bucket under the bench to empty the giotto drip tray into.

    Water tank cover - the water tank cover has two holes punched into it for handles. Things like dust, dirt and ground coffee can fall through these holes. Again, the giotto has the same problem.

    Stainless steel tank - the fit and finish on this was somewhat poor, in that some of the edges were fairly sharp. To my mind, this is a bit of a problem on the part of the machine that your fingers are going to get near the most often.


    Drip tray grate - as great as it was to see a wire drip tray grate, it was irritating that the drip tray grate did not sit flat in the drip tray.

    No brew pressure gauge.

    Boiler pressure gauge - I found it somewhat hard to read, as the markings are not at the numbers that I am used to; eg 0.9 bar instead of 0.1 bar.

    Conclusion

    As I flagged before, for me an espresso machine purchasing decision should come down to espresso performance. In this case, I can’t honestly say that I was thrilled with most of the espresso produced by the machine. It may be that this is simply due to the machine running too hot, which is something that can be cured in a number of ways. I understand that E61 has requested modifications to the machine to address this problem. If these work, this machine might be worth revisiting as a good value
    proposition.

  32. #32
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 362F393B5A0 link=1273652395/30#30 date=1280573674
    see the photo below
    :question

  33. #33
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 1E223F242E2F382D252E4A0 link=1273652395/31#31 date=1280590523
    Questioning
    Quote Originally Posted by 263F292B4A0 link=1273652395/29#29 date=1280573586
    I have posted this review here with photos embedded in it: http://pourquality.blogspot.com/2010/07/shuttle-espresso-machine-review.html
    Check the link for images thundergod...

  34. #34
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 637A6C6E0F0 link=1273652395/30#30 date=1280573674
    Drip tray grate - as great as it was to see a wire drip tray grate, it was irritating that the drip tray grate did not sit flat in the drip tray.
    hi luca,

    the photo of the drip tray grate seems to be one of a laspsaziale vivaldi, but I could be wrong. :)

    aaron

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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Nice review Luca. Well thought out, put together and comprehensive.

    Will you get to try out the machine again once the little issues are fixed to offer a review or to update the review in line with the finished consumer product? As it currently stands though it sounds as if it may be the goods with a few small tweaks. Id just like to know if it is the goods once the tweaks are completed.

    I guess my concern for the machine/sellers is if it will be able to find buyers, especially when good Euro machines often pop up in specials or are priced in the low to mid $2000 bracket and lets be honest, are generally prettier on the shelf and may be favoured just because they are European.

    Fortunately its not my problem and Im happy to have a diverse range and glad to know that other countries are coming up with genuine competitors to the Euro machines.

  36. #36
    levercrema
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 6E776163020 link=1273652395/30#30 date=1280573674
    [b]Part II

    Double portafilter spouts - these sit forward and, so, make it impossible to wedge the portafilter against the bench for tamping
    Screw-on spouts no? Isnt it just a matter of using thread tape to stop the spout from turning all the way? This is like most of the ones Ive seen anyway.

  37. #37
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Interesting review Luca,

    The shuttle lived at the shed for a week before heading to you and we noted many of the aspects of the machine you referred to. It was running hot.

    The machine is very loosely based on early Giotto premium layout and many of the limitations of this chassis design were evident in the shuttle. The chassis was quite fragile in the machine we saw: the one reviewed by you and AM. We supplied comparative photos of the internals to illustrate the differences as well. The link can be made public with E-61s permission.

    One concern with the machine was that water left in the "stainless" tank was very rusty within about 3 days- so I think this aspect of the machine needs to be redesigned. There is stainless and then there is stainless.

    I sent comments on the machine to E-61 for his consideration.

    There are quite a few contenders at the $2k price point now and as per usual, its prudent for any prospective purchaser to evaluate the available options.

    Chris

  38. #38
    Senior Member bennett's Avatar
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 093C3136021E323B3B38385D0 link=1273652395/36#36 date=1280623045
    There are quite a few contenders at the $2k price point now and as per usual, its prudent for any prospective purchaser to evaluate the available options.
    Spot on Chris. If it costs $2K, then that is not really budget. There are HEAPS of quality machines in the $2k-2.5 range. If they want to create a niche eg budget-imitation-quality it should be priced at about $1500, so prospective buyers will be deciding between euro single boiler or chinese Hx. At $2K most people would stretch a little further and get a good small euro Hx. Unless of course E61 is genuinely wanting to go head to head with the Euro Hxs eg GPP ?? Then I think theyre in trouble....

  39. #39
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 6A7773767D7D180 link=1273652395/33#33 date=1280612349
    Quote Originally Posted by 637A6C6E0F0 link=1273652395/30#30 date=1280573674
    Drip tray grate - as great as it was to see a wire drip tray grate, it was irritating that the drip tray grate did not sit flat in the drip tray.
    hi luca,

    the photo of the drip tray grate seems to be one of a laspsaziale vivaldi, but I could be wrong. *:)

    aaron
    There are two drip tray grate photos. One is of the giotto drip tray; thats the dirty sheet metal tray. The other is of the shuttle drip tray; that is the one that accompanies the quote you have extracted. If what you are trying to say, though, is that your la spaziale tray doesnt sit flat, then thats interesting to know, particularly as that machine isnt cheap.

    Cheers,
    Luca

  40. #40
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 2F263526312031262E22430 link=1273652395/35#35 date=1280617076
    Quote Originally Posted by 6E776163020 link=1273652395/30#30 date=1280573674
    [b]Part II

    Double portafilter spouts - these sit forward and, so, make it impossible to wedge the portafilter against the bench for tamping
    Screw-on spouts no? Isnt it just a matter of using thread tape to stop the spout from turning all the way? This is like most of the ones Ive seen anyway.
    You could turn the spouts around 180 degrees, but if you did that then cups woul have to be positioned very close to the edge of the drip tray. A better solution would be to replace the spouts with the spouts that come with the silvia and the expobar machines (IIRC), which basically sit parallel with the hole.

    Cheers,
    Luca

  41. #41
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 40474C4C475656220 link=1273652395/37#37 date=1280624334
    Quote Originally Posted by 093C3136021E323B3B38385D0 link=1273652395/36#36 date=1280623045
    There are quite a few contenders at the $2k price point now and as per usual, its prudent for any prospective purchaser to evaluate the available options.
    ... Unless of course E61 is genuinely wanting to go head to head with the Euro Hxs eg GPP ?? Then I think theyre in trouble....
    Quote Originally Posted by 73574D4F405B220 link=1273652395/34#34 date=1280613936
    I guess my concern for the machine/sellers is if it will be able to find buyers, especially when good Euro machines often pop up in specials or are priced in the low to mid $2000 bracket and lets be honest, are generally prettier on the shelf and may be favoured just because they are European.
    The generalisation that "of course" European machines are better runs contrary to my intention in reviewing this machine, which was to actually review the machine rather than relying on generalisations.

    People often generalise that "the Italians know best" when it comes to espresso. Ask most people who know anything in Australia and they would be horrified at the thought of making espresso italian style - by pre-grinding everything. So if people are prepared to accept that Italians arent the be-all and end-all of espresso knowledge, why should people presume that Europeans are the be-all and end-all of espresso machines? Most of the recent progress in espresso machines used by high-end espresso bars in Australia has been from La Marzocco (based in Italy, but run and possibly owned by Americans) and Synesso (based in the USA). Conversely, there are HEAPS of totally crap espresso machines coming out of Europe; obviously you can set up a european company that does no research, builds machines from standard parts and cuts corners just as well as you can do that anywhere else in the world ... perhaps even more easily, seeing as parts will be easy to come by and people might rely on baseless generalisations! Even if you do want to rely on generalisations, I dont think that it logically follows that Chinese = bad. If the cost of manufacturing in China is lower than in Europe and the machine lacks a retailer mark-up, then surely this points to the conclusion that if the Chinese machine is priced similarly to the European machine, the Chinese machine delivers more machine for your money! If you want to buy something based on a generalisation about the country that it comes from, buy a sham wow. Like they say, its made in Germany. Germans make great stuff. And if it turns out to be wrong, youre out much less cash than you would spend on an espresso machine!

    The sentiment that this machine is worse than a european machine breaks down to the idea that this machine offers a certain feature set and european machines offer a better feature set. I tried to give a good idea of this machines feature set from my review. I didnt give a comparative idea of every european machines feature set. I think that it is totally unfair to draw the generalisation that all european machines are better when the Shuttle was up for detailed evaluation and every single european machine was not. Indeed, there are a number of european machines out there that I dont have many nice things to say about.

    People who might be interested in buying the shuttle should compare the Shuttle with other particular machines that they might be interested in buying. Not with generalisations. Unfortunately, most internet reviews arent really all that helpful. Many of the most thorough reviews are not impartial; they are from people who sell the machines or people who have just shelled out a large sum of money on a machine that they need to believe is good. Surprisingly, most reviews give little insight about the characteristics of espresso produced by the machine being reviewed and how the machine is affecting those characteristics. Most reviews will give some sense of how good the espresso is, but that is an opinion that will be personal to the reviewer and based on their experience of other coffees, so if a reviewer has only ever had poorly prepared coffee they will be stoked when they get their own machine. The reviews that give temperature measurements often fail to address the difficulties in taking those measurements. Things are said and repeated on the internet so many times that they take on the aura of "facts", but are actually generalisations or opinions that are wrong in the context of the review.

    All of this means that if you are in the market for a domestic espresso machine, the most reliable way to make the best purchase will be to first build up your palate. Taste great coffee at the best cafes in your city and, ideally, around the country. Develop a preference for particular coffees and particular styles of extraction. Get to know a particular blend that is fairly consistent. Then take that blend and try it out on every machine that you are considering buying. If you settle on an e61 HX espresso machine before you develop a mature palate for coffee, then you run the risk that you will end up with an espresso machine that directs the development of your palate and preferences to the coffees that perform best on that machine.

    There is good news and bad new for espresso machine buyers. The good news is that since the early implementation of restrictors on Expobar and Makin HX machines in Australia many espresso machine vendors are reporting that they have also taken care to make sure that the brew temperature on the machines that they sell is something sensible, so your chances of getting a total lemon are probably a lot less than they would have been five years ago or if you were buying an e61 HX in another country. Also, the proliferation of standard parts, including group heads, in the e61 HX category and the inherent temperature variability of these machines suggests that the difference between machines might be small. The bad news is that all of these are assumptions and generalisations, none of which will help you when you come to making up your mind about a particular machine.

    My interest in all of this is the development of the market for the consumer. To that end, I think that its great to see competition on prices, but only if it is accompanied by decent information about the relative merits of whats on offer so that consumers can make an informed decision.

    Cheers,
    Luca

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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    I think you misinterpreted or I wasnt clear in what I was saying.

    I didnt mean that the machine was in any way inferior to a European machine at all (besides cosmetics), I meant that it may be a hard sell to get people to believe it due to ingrained bias. Especially when cosmetically it isnt as pretty as a lot of Euro machines in the same price range.

    It looks like a no frills machine cosmetically (no matter how good it is or how much expense has been spent where it actually matters) but has the price tag to put it head to head with some machines where real work has gone into making them aesthetically amazing.

    Not a major issue for people willing to judge it on its merits and to buy it by testing it cup for cup with other machines. But if it was sat on a store shelf I cant see it drawing too many people towards it with its looks. Im unsure how large a part looks play in the expensive side of coffee machines sales, but Id imagine its still larger than some would expect.

    Beyond that I think that there is a perception (no matter how incorrect) that Euro is best for coffee machines in much the same way as cars. It doesnt matter that Mercedes arent the most reliable machines at the moment, lots of people would still rather have one than a car half the price merely based on their perception that the cars are well engineered and reliable.

    I 100% agree that a machine should be taken on its own strengths and weaknesses rather than generalisations or opinion. But I think the Shuttle may struggle to break into the market when its priced against machines with a solid and established pedigree. If it cant it would be a shame. Choice is never a bad thing and competition is rarely bad for the consumer. I just hope people are willing to give it a chance to speak for itself rather than dismissing it based purely on its place of manufacture.

    I was going to buy the Gee as I believe it to be the best machine under $1000, the only reason why I didnt was because I decided to spend the extra for a decent HX which is a class no sub-$1000 machine can compete in no matter how well its made/features it has. But the Gee offers a PID at a price not much different from its main competitors who are PID-less. Whereas the Shuttle is relying on its ability to stand side by side and take on the Euros with no tricks up its sleeve. It will be great if it can, but I still think convincing people its as reliable, as well put together, as well thought out and designed will be difficult, now matter how true it is.

  43. #43
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Yep, cool, I think were on the same page. I think youre right; the e61 hx market is pretty crowded and its not one where consumers can draw clear distinctions between the merits of different products. As you say, this means that a lot rides on reputation, perception and risk aversion and new entrants to the market will tend to struggle.

    Cheers,
    Luca

  44. #44
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    The Shuttle looks pretty good to me, and certainly comparable to machines by isomac, expobar, even VBM.

    Machine too hot:
    Is it easy enough to adjust? If so, not a major problem; its not uncommon for factory adjustments to be out by a few degrees or more. The retailer should do a test run & adjust if required, or it could be done DIY.

    Spouts too far forward: Wouldnt be an issue for me, as I dont jam the filter on the bench when I tamp. Can you lean on the spouts instead?

    The small drip tray:
    How many coffees worth of drips can it hold? Less than 8 might be annoying. If it ran cooler and didnt require a cooling flush, would that improve the drip tray situation?

    Stainless tank that rusts:
    This is a problem to me, and could worsen over time. Would a plastic tank (from VBM etc) fit? Could be an easy fix.

    I wonder if Shuttle will come to NZ??

  45. #45
    TC
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 677F7178786D140 link=1273652395/43#43 date=1280727364
    he Shuttle looks pretty good to me, and certainly comparable to machines by isomac, expobar, even VBM.
    Hi skelly.....

    Its a big call to make the sorts of comparisons you are attempting to make without examining the machines referred to in detail. If there is a big difference in price, there will be a reason for it.

    You would be best comparing it with other entry level HX machines, and then do it in the metal rather than with a photo or two...Keep in mind that every machine is built to a price point. :-?

    Chris


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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 5A435557360 link=1273652395/38#38 date=1280625965
    There are two drip tray grate photos.One is of the giotto drip tray; thats the dirty sheet metal tray.The other is of the shuttle drip tray; that is the one that accompanies the quote you have extracted.If what you are trying to say, though, is that your la spaziale tray doesnt sit flat, then thats interesting to know, particularly as that machine isnt cheap.

    Cheers,
    Luca
    hey luca
    my bad, didnt realise that the first pic was the giotto tray.
    the laspaz tray looks identical to the shuttles but does sit nice and flat though.

  47. #47
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 524A444D4D58210 link=1273652395/43#43 date=1280727364
    The Shuttle looks pretty good to me, and certainly comparable to machines by isomac, expobar, even VBM.
    It seems to me like that statement contains a whole bunch of assumptions about the merits of the machines that you have listed. If you are looking to buy a machine, you must either satisfy yourself that those assumptions are reliable or admit to yourself that you are happy to make a decision based on questionable considerations.

    For what its worth, I think that there are quite a few products out there that have a loyal following and their share of rave reviews, but are sorely in need of some benchmarking against their competition. But it wont happen; people will keep on regurgitating the opinion that those products are great, then other people will read those opinions, conclude that all of those people must be right, buy the product, rave about it without having a frame of reference to be able to credibly do so and the cycle will continue.

    Like Chris said, there is a reason for the price of every machine. So ask yourself where are your dollars going? Once you spend more than whatever the entry level machine costs these days, what do you get? Better performance? Reputation? Fatter margins for importers and distributors? Better looks? Improved reliability?

    Machine too hot:
    Is it easy enough to adjust? If so, not a major problem; its not uncommon for factory adjustments to be out by a few degrees or more. The retailer should do a test run & adjust if required, or it could be done DIY.
    The two common ways to manage brew temperature on e61 HX machines are to adjust the pressurestat or to adjust the flow through the thermosyphon. Pressurestat adjustment can feasibly be done at home, subject to the usual caveats that you are fiddling with the insides of a machine that could give you a fatal electric shock and that it is possible (or so I have heard) to damage your pressurestat by adjusting it incorrectly. Thermosyphon flow adjustment can be done equally easily if you have a variable thermosyphon valve fitted. No domestic e61 HX machines and very few commercial HX machines have such valves fitted, presumably because there isnt a great business case for incurring additional manufacturing expense to fit machines with an adjustable thermosyphon when few consumers know what a thermosyphon is, let alone wanting to adjust it. Thermosyphon flow adjustment is usually achieved by fitting restrictors, which are basically a piece of material with a hole of a particular diameter that is fitted in the thermosyphon piping. Playing around with a whole bunch of different restrictors is far from practical at home. There are a few other ways to adjust brew temperature in e61 HX machines, but they are not commonly used and are even less practical at home.

    Thats the adjustment side of the equation, but it overlooks the important part - how do you know that the adjustment is correct? The answer is that you either have enough experience tasting coffee brewed at different temperatures to be able to adjust temperature based on taste or you have a scace device and you calibrate it. Few people buying an e61 HX machine for the first time will have either.

    Spouts too far forward: Wouldnt be an issue for me, as I dont jam the filter on the bench when I tamp. Can you lean on the spouts instead?
    Sure, but (a) the spouts could damage the bench, so you probably want to have a rubber tamping mat and (b) even if you do have a rubber tamping mat, spouts that are tamped on tend to pick up crap from the bench, which will then be washed into your cup. So theres a lot to be said for tamping in a way that doesnt leave the spouts touching the bench, rather than spending your life cleaning spouts.

    The small drip tray:
    How many coffees worth of drips can it hold? Less than 8 might be annoying. If it ran cooler and didnt require a cooling flush, would that improve the drip tray situation?
    I think that I was emptying it every few shots. You wont find a machine that doesnt require a flush, particularly not an e61 machine. The question is how much of a flush it will require. A small drip tray is a problem even if you are fine to empty it frequently because it makes it more likely to spill.

    Stainless tank that rusts:
    This is a problem to me, and could worsen over time. Would a plastic tank (from VBM etc) fit? Could be an easy fix.
    I dont know; the tank has a valve at the bottom, so you would need a tank with a valve in the same position. The giotto tank might work; I dont know, but you would need to allow for the return hose to the tank. If you are the type that worries about these things, you will then need to consider whether or not anything is leeching from your plastic into the water in your machine - particularly given that if you run your machine for a while the plastic will spend a long time at relatively high temperatures.

    Cheers,
    Luca

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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Thanks for answering my questions, Luca.

    I guess we all have to make assumptions until the Shuttle lands in stores alongside machines from other manufacturers.

    Until then, weve heard the shuttle compared to the Giotto - maybe not the most obvious choice of comparison but, given E61s "bold" naming & design of their machine, a direct comparison was bound to be made.

    On price, specification and quality of fit & finish, the Shuttle appears to be more similar to the Expboar Office, Isomac Tea, etc... is that not the case??

    The main thing is, to a prospective buyer, that the Shuttle be included on a "shortlist" in the $2000 category. I think thats been answered nicely by you & fatboy.

  49. #49
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 2D353B3232275E0 link=1273652395/43#43 date=1280727364
    I wonder if Shuttle will come to NZ??
    Hi Skelly,

    Weve launched a few Shuttles around Australia now and have a few more missions to complete.

    Wed be delighted to schedule a launch to NZ within the next few months though.

    Are you prepared to accept a Shuttle Review Mission?

    Shuttle Control *8-)

  50. #50
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    Re: E61 Shuttle review

    Quote Originally Posted by 233A2C2E4F0 link=1273652395/40#40 date=1280629179
    My interest in all of this is the development of the market for the consumer. *To that end, I think that its great to see competition on prices, but only if it is accompanied by decent information about the relative merits of whats on offer so that consumers can make an informed decision.

    Cheers,
    Luca
    Could not agree more and have taken the liberty to Quote you...

    In addition there were a number of Assumptions that I made and any number of personal biases came to the fore. *Thus things like cooling flushes and any number of every day issues kept getting in the way. *Remember, I use a DCM and have been spoilt.

    Further more; *Luca, fatboy and others have really given the unit a good workout as to - "can it make a coffee and steam milk".

    I took it to a family BBQ and we did OK (the biggest issue was uber fresh beans, a not so great grinder and me)*:-X *

    Will the person who moves from a cheep no name bran Aldi unit, who also buys roasted beans or even pre ground with a 2 year expiry; be in a real position determine what defines a great machine..... *I doubt it. * Thus any number of us more experienced *people in the cafe (complain about f... everything) culture will always question why and how some one could love /like or even use, what they do.

    Thus I sort of took a slightly different tact *8-)

    Executive Summary:

    Like many rough gems found in the most interesting places; time will have the final say as to; how well it scrubs up, if it can be polished and if the public approve.

    That being said; I was neither shocked or disappointed at what I found and experienced.

    With the right beans, grinder, along with a decent mug both below the group and behind it. The Shuttle can pull a good shot and has no problems with milk.

    As to is it *Fit 4 Purpose - Only YOU can be the real judge of that, because we all want something a little different.

    For those who feel inclined; the linked pdf may be worth a quick peruse.

    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=UTYZFOY3






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