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Thread: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

  1. #1
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    Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight


    Hi All
    Please ignore this if its too taxing to reply. I guess Ill pick things up the more time I spend in here but I have a lot of question I need to answer before I replace our fully auto Saeco Stratos with a H/X machine.

    Perhaps Ill start with the oddest questions
    Im thinking of something like the Rocket cellini, is this class of machine going to be fussy and impractical.
    Most days it will get used twice in the morning and possibly at one other point during the day. On weekends however I might need to make 15 straight coffees. Will a machine like this run out of heat after the fifth coffee and make me wait for 10min to warm up again???
    The other issue is how much power will it consume if we leave it on all the time during the day in anticipation of making a coffee?? Im guessing they dont have a power saving mode. Do most people just turn them on when they want to make a coffee and wait for the 15min for the machine to get hot?

    Right so as far as the brand/model of machine is there anything commonly used which gives it and advantage in terms of access to spares and parts and crazy people who want to mod them etc. I guess Im looking for the Silvia of the H/X machines, if there is one.

    Im not sure about plumbing or not. It seems like a lot of money for the plumbing and Im guessing you cant add that to the machine later on.

    Oh also Ive talked myself into the idea that I need a burn proof steam wand? It this sensible?
    And the Rockets have a nickle plated boiler, it that a gimmick, or does it stop corrosion or something??

    What grinder of this class of machine? Rocky??

    Is a second hand machine or older two head pro machine worth considering?

    Finally do people consider buying these machines from overseas or does it always pay to buy in australia.

    Any help would be welcome.

    Thanks
    John

  2. #2
    TC
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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Welcome to CS jquin,

    Can I suggest you employ a little judicious use of the quick search tab >>>>^^^^

    These questions have been asked many times over and debated comprehensively.

    You will find your answers easily.

    Happy browsing ;)

  3. #3
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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Yep you should be able to find all your answers through the search function. FWIW here are some responses:

    The nickel question is one I hadnt come across before....I assume its for corrosion resistance.

    Dont think the Cellini is imported into Australia....from a quick google search looks like a E61 HX machine. A high quality machine that has been correctly calibrated by the retailer will actually make it pretty easy to get excellent quality coffee. Less expensive machines or ones that are not correctly set up are the ones which are fussy and impractical.

    Any of the semi-commercial HX machines should be able to pump out 15 drinks.

    Personally I would not leave my machine on all day just in case I may want to make a coffee at some stage. Also 15 is not going to be enough warm up time for most machines, its more like 30min. In the case of E61 machines you want 9lbs of brass to get to a stable temperature.

    Plumbing is one of those things that is nice to have in a domestic setting but certainly not essential. If you did have a plumbed machine you probably wouldnt want to go back to a tank machine. Not all machines can be plumbed (at least without modification) so this does restrict your choice somewhat but on the other hand it tends to be at the pointy end of prosumer machines that plumbing is offered.

    Cool touch steam wands are nice but if you dont have one you tend to learn very quickly not to touch the wand.

    In terms of availability of parts, if you go for a E61 HX machine, many of the parts are common and will be easily available.

    The cheapest grinder Id recommend for these types of machines is the K3 Push, which is about the price of the Rocky anyway, but better. With the K3 Push and Breville Smart Grinder, I think the Rocky has become almost obsolete.....had a damn good run though.

    A 2 group commercial machine would be overkill for your situation, although that certainly hasnt stopped many CSers before. Consider youll need a 15A plug or modify to lower the Watts. You also want to be careful buying ex-commercial equipment.

    I would never buy a machine from overseas. Too many risks which outweigh the cost savings....best to read a couple of threads about imports on this site.

    Lastly I think you should be speaking to a professional such as one of our fine sponsors listed to the left of the page.

    Where are you located and have you set yourself a budget for machine and grinder (as well as water filtration and sundries)?

    Welcome to CS!





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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Thank you. That was very helpful :)

    Oh yes Im adelaide based so Im guessing Coffee Craft may be able to see me something???

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Caffeine Junky has pretty much answered everything - I would reiterate buying in Australia (for standards compliance) and from a sponsor (for "tweaking" it past the factory settings).

    Quote Originally Posted by 3E25213D3A540 link=1323945566/0#0 date=1323945566
    Im not sure about plumbing or not. It seems like a lot of money for the plumbing and Im guessing you cant add that to the machine later on.
    Some rotary machines have the ability to draw from a tank or be plumbed in, so you could use a tank now and plumb it later. They could no doubt come with fittings for converting the drip tray to a "sink". For making 15 drinks in a row this would be a nice, but not necessary, spec.

    Youll want a plumbed in water filter, which could provide your machine via a tap for now, and then you could add a "T" piece later to join it to your machine, if you wanted to future proof your plumbing!

    If you do the math youll find your only spending a few cents leaving it running - remember its not full on all the time, the element cycles as necessary. I think the Minore IV has a lower-power mode where you can switch off the steam boiler until you need it, if you really want to go that way.

    :)

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Thanks Iain.

    I think my next issue will be to find out which machine I want and find who stocks it in Adelaide.

    I think I dont want to go over $3000 for the machine itself and Im guessing PID is a waste for HX unless you like to experiment.


    The cellini is what Im thinking I want but need to check out the ISOMAC millennium and Bezzara Range also Id like to take a look at the La pavoni Lever to see if I want to go that path.

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Quote Originally Posted by 6D76726E69070 link=1323945566/5#5 date=1324001499
    I think my next issue will be to find out which machine I want and find who stocks it in Adelaide.
    Good luck...

    Id recommend waiting until 9Bar Adelaide opens in February as youre in a bit of a wasteland at the moment when it comes to machine specialists.

    Id recommend a chat with a sponsor to try to hepl you focus your attention on the right class of machines and to clear a few misconceptions ;)

    Cheers.

    Chris

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    jquin Coffee Craft started stocking Bezzera about a year or more ago so they can definitely help you out there.* Their website is not up to date so dont rely too heavily on the information there.

    If you want to go there for a lengthy chat, try to avoid peak hours when theyre busy making coffee for customers.

    The last few times Ive been there they didnt have any La Pavoni levers on display.* They had mostly Isomac and Bezzera machines. Not many retailers can have everything on display.

    As Chris mentioned 9Bar are opening in just a few weeks so that will be worth hanging out for.* Hopefully some grand opening specials for you :)

    Whoever you buy from ask if they bench test the machines before selling them.* Most machines tend to run at a higher than ideal pressure and need to be calibrated.

    As iaindb pointed out you need to budget for water filtration, especially here in Adelaide.

    Lastly I would not disregard buyin from interstate.* I bought a machine off Chris from Talk Coffee and was 110% satisfied.* Was planning to buy my next machine off him this year but recently took a 45% pay cut to change careers so that is on the backburner* :(


  9. #9
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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Gday and welcome jquin!

    There are quite a few CSers in Adelaide. Id be happy to let you have a bit of a play with the 2 machines I have here, if that helps you.

    Personally (using that wonderful hindsight thing) Id urge you to consider getting a decent grinder first. Irrespective of your choice of extraction device, the grinder makes a stonking big difference. For the class of machine youre looking at you need something decent.

    Ive personally had Rocky, Compak K3T and the Macap M4. The Macap runs rings around the other 2 (the Compak isnt bad - just NOISY).

    And as Caffeine Junky said - dont ignore the sponsors. My Silvia came from Chris too ;)

    Cheers
    /Kevin

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    ive fallen in love with the bezzera domus galatea but i still might go with the rocket.
    looking through the pages here there are lots of issues raised with the rocket. are they more popular or less reliable?

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Quote Originally Posted by 3B2024383F510 link=1323945566/9#9 date=1324086640
    ive fallen in love with the bezzera domus galatea but i still might go with the rocket.
    looking through the pages here there are lots of issues raised with the rocket. are they more popular or less reliable?
    I bought a Bezzera Domus Galatea from Coffee Craft on South Rd a little over 18 months ago and have never regretted it, beautiful machine, well built and very reliable.
    Cant comment on the Rocket, have never used one, they do seem to have quite a good reputation. :)
    PS, have never seen an issue raised with a Galatea.

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Quote Originally Posted by 6C77736F68060 link=1323945566/9#9 date=1324086640
    ive fallen in love with the bezzera domus galatea but i still might go with the rocket.
    looking through the pages here there are lots of issues raised with the rocket. are they more popular or less reliable?
    At a rough guess Id estimate that there may be 10 or 20x as many Rockets around and issues are proportional to the number in the wild. Theyre very good machines are are those of plenty of other brands.

    Quote Originally Posted by 55676872676A736B060 link=1323945566/10#10 date=1324088859
    PS, have never seen an issue raised with a Galatea.
    How many Bezzeras have you seen Santa? My experience would suggest that reliability is on a par and as per usual, its more in the court of the end user than the manufacturer. Abuse any machine and you will kill it.

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Thanks again guys.
    It may come down to styling and at the moment I just LOVE the Bezzera. I only wish it had an anti-burn wand.
    Im guessing there are no third party after market insulated wands for the Bezzera?

    Still I havent seen the Giotto in the flesh yet so its all still an open question.

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Bezzera will have more steaming power. But in terms of shot quality, what is the general consensus?

    One comment I have read about Bezzeras in general is the shower screen sits quite low in the group head so updosing may?/may not? be possible.

    Out of interest does the galatea have thermosyphon restrictors?




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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    I only know of 2 places in Adelaide who sell the Giotto and only one which is likely to have them on display. Will PM you with details.

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    My recommendation is that if you are locked into buying local, wait for 9Bar. Their pricing will certainly be better, and more importantly, they have the expertise to repair and service the machine and also to set it up correctly.

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Ive got time on my side so Ill check out 9bar when it opens

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)


    Quote Originally Posted by 55676872676A736B060 link=1323945566/10#10 date=1324088859
    PS, have never seen an issue raised with a Galatea.

    Suggest you re read my statement, "I said have never seen an issue raised" (meaning on a forum) I did not say I have never seen an issue, mind you I havent, but thats not saying much, as you suggest I have not actually seen many in the flesh. :)*

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Exactly. Its a good thing to quantify your experience lest a potential buyer join the wrong dots.

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Quote Originally Posted by 596C6166524E626B6B68680D0 link=1323945566/18#18 date=1324160948
    Exactly. Its a good thing to quantify your experience lest a potential buyer join the wrong dots.
    Ahhh, one of them that always has to have the last word, seen them before. ::)

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Ahh,

    one of them that sets up his reply so that anyone that replies to that looks like they have to have the last word...seen them before too.

    So the person who might have replied has to have an each way bet on doing so. The devil you do, and the devil you dont.

    A lot of people in these forums give advice based on an experience of one only piece of equipment, and it is seen by all the world as being some kind of experienced advice, and some use it as a basis of making decisions on what they want to buy.* Its great for clients to love their machine especially when it is a great step up from their previous equipment, but theres a lot of bias and misinformation in that, rendering a lot of internet "research" to be questionable in fact.

    My opinion is that is what Chris was trying to say, without getting into what some people may view as "lecturing".

    I understand this viewpoint may in some quarters be seen as "the traders" in the group supporting eachother,* and I cant help that. It is simply my view.

    Hope that helps.

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Oh crap, Im taking a break from a philosophy of religion forum because of the polemic only to find it has followed me here *I had a laugh*

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Not having an anti-burn steam wand is not a problem if youre the operator of the machine. If numerous people are using it, then i can see a benefit. Youd have to be careless and inexperienced to touch a hot steam wand.
    If its a problem, then a short sleeve of silicon can be put over the wand. My VBM has this from factory and it works very well.

    15 coffees in a row is quite a lot for a machine that has a 2L reservoir. You could run out of water, and thats annoying.
    A machine with a big 3L + reservoir would be better, or get a machine that can be refilled easily or plumbed in.
    Plumbed machines are usually quieter as well, which is good in social situations...if your budget and bench top can accommodate it, go plumbed.


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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Quote Originally Posted by 564D4955523C0 link=1323945566/12#12 date=1324098794
    I only wish it had an anti-burn wand.
    You could always attach a rubber grip, theyre sold in various places in various sizes especially for coffee machines - doesnt cover the whole arm but at least you can move it without burning yourself!

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Some machines will be able to have a cool touch wand added after market, some may not.

    I have a cool touch wand on my Expobar and I do love it, but it is important to realise that cool touch wands can get hot too. Obviously not as hot as a non cool touch, but after making 4 or so on my machine, I still dont want to be touching the wand, so as mentioned above, you learn to operate your own equipment pretty fast.

    One burny ow-ows is usually all it takes!

    Brett.

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Quote Originally Posted by 415A5E42452B0 link=1323945566/9#9 date=1324086640
    looking through the pages here there are lots of issues raised with the rocket

    Which Rocket model are you talking about? I have seen older machines that have been refurbished and some that have been brought back to new condition after not being maintained but I dont recall issues with machines sponsors have sold.

    As for cool touch steam arms. IMHO the main benefit from them is not so you dont burn yourself but rather they are much easier to keep clean as the milk doesnt burn onto the steam arm.

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Quote Originally Posted by 2139373E3E2B520 link=1323945566/22#22 date=1324595852
    Not having an anti-burn steam wand is not a problem if youre the operator of the machine. If numerous people are using it, then i can see a benefit. Youd have to be careless and inexperienced to touch a hot steam wand.
    * If its a problem, then a short sleeve of silicon can be put over the wand. My VBM has this from factory and it works very well.*

    15 coffees in a row is quite a lot for a machine that has a 2L reservoir. You could run out of water, and thats annoying.
    A machine with a big 3L + reservoir would be better, or get a machine that can be refilled easily or plumbed in.
    Plumbed machines are usually quieter as well, which is good in social situations...if your budget and bench top can accommodate it, go plumbed.
    The Bezzera has a 4 litre reservoir and comes with a rubber anti burn sleeve on the steam arm. :)

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    The rubber sleeve is all you need.
    bezzeras are pricey but beautiful. Now I find theyre powerful, too. Id love one myself :)
    Giottos are great too, though. Its nice to have choice.

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Until convinced otherwise Im going the Bezzera

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Quote Originally Posted by 0A1115090E600 link=1323945566/28#28 date=1325247307
    Until convinced otherwise Im going the Bezzera
    A good choice

    I have owned 2 and soon to add to the bench
    The new Bezzera Lever machine

    KK

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    Re: Noobie H/X buying advice (a million questions)

    Bezzera Domus Galatea is on its way ;D ;D

    We ended up with a reconditioned unit. Ill let everyone know how it turns out.
    Now all that is left is to pick the grinder :-/
    Im thinking K3

    BTW has anyone got the two group galatea?? It is soooo beautiful!!!! Mind you the price is $$$$$$$$$$$$$ :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o :o



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