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Thread: under use an S26 or push VBM piccolo/Zaffiro/Exobar Office to limits??

  1. #1
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    under use an S26 or push VBM piccolo/Zaffiro/Exobar Office to limits??

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    HI all, Ive been scouring this forum for months after being truly bitten by the god-shot bug a few years ago, so heres my first post (be nice to the newbie!)

    I have had the unfortunate blessing of being able to use a friends LaPavoni Pub EM for 18mths after her cafe didnt do so well. The machine was in great nic (fastidiously cleaned by yours truly) and pumped out shots like no tomorrow. I also have the privilege of using our community groups commercial 2 group machine a few hours a month.

    Problem-The Pub EM has been given back to be sold, my replacement budget is limited and I just cannot settle for a weak machine.
    Question- Do I go for a used S26 (or similar) and barely use its full potential or do I go for a new Piccolo/Zaffiro/Office Semi-Auto and live with their dinner party limits?

    I can see plenty of "good cond. just serviced" S26 or similar machines on EvilBay for pretty reasonable money but fully understand that this is much more machine than I need (machine footprint is no issue). Heatup time was a problem with the Pub, almost eliminating early morning shots (unless I neglected my cleaning routine) and fear this with S26. I do really love the look of the Piccolo and Zaffiro and only think I will test their limits at the most boisterous of dinner parties. I also imagine they would be much more fun/interesting to pull shots on that semi commercial machines.

    I guess Im being presumptuous in thinking that other people have had the midrange-home Vs small-commercial dilemma before but would appreciate all comments and experiences. Bottom line is, I dont want to fork out hard earned cash for a purchase I will later regret, or get hit with upgradeitis any earlier than necessary.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Caffeine Junky
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    Re: under use an S26 or push VBM piccolo/Zaffiro/Exobar Office to limits??

    I dont think a single group commercial would be out of place at home, that is my longer term aim and Im the only coffee drinker in the house. I would be very wary of any second hand commercial machine on ebay.

    If you entertain regularly and go for a domestic machine you should really only consider HX models, which rules out the Piccolo & Zaffiro. The Expobar Office would do the job, although you may want to search for previous threads on this machine. From memory there are reports of it running pretty hot. You may want to throw the Nuova Simonelli into the equation, I use one in the office and am very happy with it.

    If you can afford a little more I would highly recommend considering the current deals being done on Diadema machines by several sponsors. $2K can get you a Junior Plus Semi-Auto or Lever machine. Bargain.

  3. #3
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    Re: under use an S26 or push VBM piccolo/Zaffiro/Exobar Office to limits??

    i reckon if you can find the right 1 grp commercial then buy it.......

    I love my 1 grp Brug, fully plumbed. sure its ugly, bit old, takes a bit of heating up. but once ready to go it just keeps on churning them out all day with no fuss.....

    here is a pic of it in the corner and a 2 grp San Marino next to it
    who needs an oven *:D

  4. #4
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: under use an S26 or push VBM piccolo/Zaffiro/Exobar Office to limits??

    Quote Originally Posted by 6D6F71726F74737A1D0 link=1274323395/0#0 date=1274323395
    Problem-The Pub EM has been given back to be sold, my replacement budget is limited and I just cannot settle for a weak machine.
    Question- Do I go for a used S26 (or similar) and barely use its full potential or do I go for a new Piccolo/Zaffiro/Office Semi-Auto and live with their dinner party limits?
    I would look at the Bezzera BZ35 or the BZ40

    KK

  5. #5
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    Re: under use an S26 or push VBM piccolo/Zaffiro/Exobar Office to limits??

    Welcome and the First rule of coffeesnobbdom in my book "there is NO such thing as overkill" ;)

    Any of this style of machine will be around 25-30 minutes minimum heatup in the mornings anyway so if that is a problem then a timer is in order so your right to brew when you surface. I spent over a month running a 19L 3 group boiler for 1-2 shots in the mornings 45-50 minute heatup on reduced power 8-) I dont think it will matter what machine brand or type or size there is much to be won or lost here.

    Anything secondhand from the bay of evil should be viewed with susspicion regardless of sellers comments. Keep an eye out here for some more reliable results.

    From a cost point of view and if you have the space for it even a 2 group compact will be normally cheaper than a 1 group so dont dismiss them out of hand.

    Happy hunting.

  6. #6
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    Re: under use an S26 or push VBM piccolo/Zaffiro/Exobar Office to limits??

    Thanks all for the replies.

    Caffeine Junky - true, but the HX machines really start jumping up in price, I wll be pushing my luck to get 1500 for the piccolo (I guess Im sort of skipping the silvia/rocky combo, but its not out of the question). Surely the Office has an adj. pressurestat?!

    Maheel - Love it! the size doesnt bother me, the Pub took up 1/3 of my counter space but my wife didnt mind when she tasted the cup, she was only mad cos now theres only 1 or 2 place she will now buy coffee cos her standard has gone up.

    Koffee Kosmo - Ive seen a few of the Bezzeras floating around, but moreso the BZ99 (is that lower down than the 35 or just manual version?) but their still on the pricey end for me. Ive just bought a house, not a good time to be splashing out +2K

    Beanflyin - yes, a timer is definitely getting purchased, but really, a 3grp, wow. I guess if I could, I would too.

    I was fully anticipating to do some sort of strip down/descale of any machine I bout from ebay, just figured that to be part of the deal when getting a semi-comm machine for under $1k, but you guys are really putting me off, is it that risky?

  7. #7
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    Re: under use an S26 or push VBM piccolo/Zaffiro/Exobar Office to limits??

    PeteL

    Unless your well versed in the mystic arts of espresso machine rebuilding or willing to pay a kings ransom to a technician I would steer clear of the second hand commercial option.

    Between the three options you have listed at the circa $1500 price point and considering you expect to do bursts of coffee in a short time in a hosting environment the Expobar Office Semi-Auto would be your best bet. If it was just ones and twos at a time the other machines would be sufficient. Of course the expobar comes with trade offs at the price it sits at.

    I have a client who has a Expobar Office Control in his office (same machine but with volumetrics) and they have been happy with it. See the link for their experiences with it: http://www.supremeroasters.com.au/Testimonials/testimonials.

    That said and acknowledging that you are already skipping the Silvia level you would be very well done by to invest at the 2k mark with the Diadema price at the moment being a huge incentive to do so. Alternatively look at the For Sale section of the site and look for a pre-loved HX from a snob that has looked after. Still then you have to be careful of scale build up if it hasnt had the proper filtration and then coupled with age. Do not trust ebay for domestics.. they are on there for a reason.

    Where abouts are you located? Perhaps a local sponsor will be able to assist.

    Happy Hunting!

    Roger
    Supreme Roasters
    0410 292 962

  8. #8
    Caffeine Junky
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    Re: under use an S26 or push VBM piccolo/Zaffiro/Exobar Office to limits??

    Quote Originally Posted by 23213F3C213A3D34530 link=1274323396/5#5 date=1274401084
    I was fully anticipating to do *some sort of strip down/descale of any machine I bout from ebay, just figured that to be part of the deal when getting a semi-comm machine for under $1k, but you guys are really putting me off, is it that risky?
    Just consider how hard commercial machines need to work and the effect of wear & tear. Also consider that most business owners are not going to sell a machine and spend $8K+ on a new one unless they absolutely need to. Look into the cost of spare parts, in particular control boards and add to that the hourly rates of technicians.....yes it can be very risky.

  9. #9
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    Re: under use an S26 or push VBM piccolo/Zaffiro/Exobar Office to limits??

    Weve got an S24 sitting in our kitchen and its great as our everyday machine. It takes about 45m to warm up though.*Also portable (though heavy) so we can do outdoor events etc. Would buy it again.

  10. #10
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    Re: under use an S26 or push VBM piccolo/Zaffiro/Exobar Office to limits??

    Ok, second hand commercial is now completely off the list.
    And can I just say how cool it is that the site sponsors are not only able, but willing and eager, to contribute here. Very cool.

    Roger - I would love to go up that next level but my budget just wont stretch (trust me, if I won the lottery I would have an array of GS/3s to match that days cuff links).
    So what exactly are the trade offs and are they acceptable for the ones and twos in anticipation of the sporadic tens, or will the non HXs slow(er) performance in the event of the tens just be part of the charm and sensory build up?



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