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Thread: to buy or not to buy

  1. #1
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    to buy or not to buy

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi everyone

    I want to buy a good and reliable coffee machine for a small cafe gallery( in Melbourne),that will last me a long time and won't cost a fortune,( like everyone else) 30tish cups, 2 cups at the same time..maybe something semi commercial, considering Rocket Giotto or Alex Duetto. Just heard of Synesso? What are your opinions of these? Would appreciate your suggestions.
    Thanks
    Season

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    Welcome to CS.

    Cafe Galleries can really take off and a "Semi Commercial" simply wont cut it, you need a 1 group commercial machine, the usual permanent water connection, with requisite price tag whatever that may be for the requisite equipment. Suggest you speak with some one local to you with professional / commercial experience for ongoing after sales service and support, suggest site sponsor Talk Coffee for a start.

    Expect your 1 group commercial machine could soon enough need upgrading to atleast a compact 2 group.

    Buy a "semi commercial" at your peril. It may be less dollar outlay but.....you dont go into bus driving and try to get by with a holden commodore sedan...

    Attilio
    very first CS site sponsor.

  3. #3
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    Hi
    Synesso Hydra single group is around $10,000 (in WA)
    (it has a electronic controls remote (or on cable?) to the set up of most if not all functions)
    Just thought I would mention this in passing!
    I dream..............

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    Thanks for the advice Attilio,
    I absolutely agree..but not sure how many we'll make a day. Just about to start, in a month or so. I've been on CS for some time, just trying to figure out if there is anything similar to what we need...what others are talking...Service and support are crucial! If there is anyone from Talk coffee I'd appreciate your advice...or anyone with a good advice. It would be gallery first and then..excellent coffee!

    Season

  5. #5
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    Hi Season and welcome,

    I'm here, but not quite sure as to how to best advise you.

    I agree with Attilio- that you would be best with a full 1 group commercial. Nevertheless if you want to stick a toe in the water and have a succession plan for your purchase- well maybe.

    I think you'd be better with an Alex Duetto than an EVO in this scenario and you would be best to fully plumb it in. That way, if/when things take off, you can pretty much instantly swap in a full commercial machine.

    Hope that helps and do feel most welcome to call if you would like to chat further.

    Chris

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    Hi Chris,
    you and Attilio are both right when it comes to group 1 commercial, and I'd probably do that, but if I can get something solid for 4-5K ..not 10 ..and like with french cars, when you need parts they cost you a house. I'd appreciate any advice you can give me.
    Season

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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Hi Season,

    Some think that a viable commercial business can be built using home gear; not me, though I agree with Chris re Alex (I have one) but at $3.5k (about) it's a big outlay for something you may want to replace inside 6 months (not sure but a couple of pots of tea might slow the steam down for a minute). Re-selling home gear that's been used commercially may have some repercussions re value when trading up.

    To serve consistent quality coffee you need equipment that will do the job and personally I'd be looking at a dual boiler 1 group such as the La Marzocco GS3. 5k+@9Bar)
    Being a gallery I'd be trying to convince the bank manager that nothing short of a Kees Speedster would do!!;-) but that's just me.
    Buy a grinder that you will keep past any machine upgrade. Grinder= most important element of your coffee making, (the 1st being the hands/brain that makes the coffee).
    I would suggest a decent planar such as a Super Jolly or Major.
    When only making a handful of coffees daily a conical might be too costly in terms of the required purging volume which becomes waste. (i.e. Robur-e retains 30 gms which should be purged if not used within a couple of minutes). In most commercial settings I don't like doser grinders- in the wrong hands they equal stale coffee.
    It is most important that you start the coffee side of your business on the right foot. Have you done any training/barista courses? Do you know anywhere that you could spend an hour or two behind a commercial machine a few times? Have you considered purchasing the coffee equipment ahead of opening and setting it up at home, learning how to use it in private?

    We are always on a learning curve but I don't advise making your first customers your guinea pigs.
    Making excellent coffee consistently is like lining up the planets, it's applied science and not something that just happens.

    Hope your ideas are taking shape.

  8. #8
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    Hello Season,

    Re Quote "...To serve consistent quality coffee you need equipment that will do the job and personally I'd be looking at a dual boiler 1 group such as the La Marzocco GS3. 5k+............I would suggest a decent planar such as a Super Jolly or Major......In most commercial settings I don't like doser grinders- in the wrong hands they equal stale coffee....."

    I am afraid the above could confuse for reasons of:

    a) If I am not mistaken, this suggests that NON dual machines cant deliver consistent quality coffee....which I am afraid, is simply wrong. To serve consistent quality coffee you need equipment that will do the job and if you purchase a good name, tried and proven, conventional, commercial espresso machine (meaning "heat exchanger" or HX type) there is no doubt it will enable you to serve consistent quality wet coffee to your clients. Should you wish to spend more money and go a dual boiler, for whatever reason, that is also well and good but it does not preclude you from serving good consistent coffee with a good HX type machine. HX machines have the advantage of being quite a deal less expensive than dual boiler machines. There are also multi boiler PID controlled machines but they also cost a good deal more than HX, and I understand you wish like to remain within a "reasonable" budget. All types of commercial machines used in commercial situations require you to have a good source of after sales service and support.

    b) There are some excellent planar grinders on the market, and just to clear up any misunderstanding that could arise from the above, most of them including I believe SJ and Major ARE in the main, doser grinders. You will easily learn to operate the doser grinder to obtain on demand fresh grinds, just as most of the rest of us who are into quality coffee, already do. That is to say, just because many "regular" cafe (eateries with a coffee machine) owners purvey stale coffee grinds from their doser grinders, doesnt mean the quality end of "wet" coffee sales does.

    Hope that helps.

    Additionally, I have been attempting to send you a PM through the site but there is still a "bug" happening that wont allow a message to get through from me to you.

    If you would be so kind as to send my office an email at:
    contact@cosmorexcoffee.com.au

    and head it up with:
    "Please forward to Attilio".....
    it will get to me and I can send you my detailed reply.

    Rgdz,
    Attilio
    very first CS site sponsor.
    Last edited by Fresh_Coffee; 19th September 2012 at 03:07 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    FC ....... Wrong on both counts.
    The Op is asking for opinions and suggestions. I gave mine.
    My reply to the OP doesn't give an opinion about single boilers so your inference is incorrect , your comments re single boilers tho', are correct but
    effective choices in a 1 group single boiler might be limited.
    Both grinders mentioned are available as doserless, once again my suggestion, which springs from my opinion.
    My experience indicates that a lot of the best coffee outlets in Melbourne use doserless grinders.

    Season, as FC says above, seek out someone local who can give you informed, balanced and considered advice.
    Talk to Chris@Talk coffee.

  10. #10
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    Season,
    ..if you are serious about making this a business, then do your "due diligence" and go discuss your needs and requirements with one of the sponsors / suppliers as suggested.
    If coffee is going to be a focus of the business , the be sure you have the skills, training, knowledge, equipment and products to do it correctly
    Dont waste time asking for opinions from us on a forum, because , you know what they say about opinions ! ..every one's is different !
    Good luck with the endeavor.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Bosco_Lever's Avatar
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    I agree with Attilio, and provided the exact advice to friends of mine. They opened a small business, where wet coffee sales are a sideline. Their coffee supplier did not supply any equipment, but they bought second hand machines, and may upgrade as business increases. Their outlay was under $2k for a 2 group commercial HX machine and a grinder, including a full service to get the machine operational (it had stood unused for 3 months). As their business grows, they will work with their coffee supplier to investigate the best route for any upgrade of machinery. They have no intention of outlaying big dollars for big name coffee machines and expensive grinders. A good coffee supplier and trained staff are their paramount concern. I know plenty of establishments who actually own and run HX machines, reasonable doser grinders, and sell a good cup of coffee. More importantly, they make MONEY, and are not insecure in any silly belief that flashy dual boiler vampire killing equipment is required. They run a business and consult their accountant and analyze ROI.
    A cafe at a prominent upmarket shopping "precinct" that I frequent, changed hands. The new owners now use Toby Estate coffee and installed a KVW Mirage and a couple of Roburs. Looks magnificent. Coffee is still very average, due to the barista's technique, she has a lot to learn, despite the attitude portrayed. Thin watery espressos at $4 a pop are not the recipe for return visits. My previous machine, a 10yr old Boema matched with a Gino Rossi grinder produced superior coffee to what I have been served by this establishment.
    My advice, do not outlay too much until you are very comfortable with what you are doing. Good coffee suppliers may have refurbished machines at a very reasonable price. This makes more BUSINESS sense, and that is after all what you are attempting.
    Building a coffee shrine so that clients come to you and worship the machinery, and throw money at you for the privilege, sounds good, but I doubt any lending institution will give it much consideration.
    season likes this.

  12. #12
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    I think that any commercial venture, no matter how small needs to be approached with professionalism if it is to be successful.

    Would I buy from a gallery cafe with a small domestic machine? Nope- no matter what it was. A gallery cafe with a tidied up junker? Nope- as in my experience, this is more likely than not operated by someone who couldn't give a rat's about the coffee and is merely chasing a buck.

    People shop with their eyes first and then some who purchase coffee employ their palates as well. CS'ers represent a subset of some....

    You need to get them in the "front door" first and then have enough happening to entice them to part with their hard-earned. If you don't hook them, the coffee will be an after thought: i.e the thought that they have after they have left your site.

    Season, my opinion is with Attilio. You need a good looking 1 group commercial and a suitable grinder. It will ultimately be less expensive to do it right first time rather than punt on an unknown quantity in a castoff- which may or may not go pop tomorrow. If you cannot allocate the funds right now, look at GoGetta/Silverchef et al to spread the financial load. Also allocate wages and operating expenses for the weeks/months/year that it takes you to turn a profit.

    Good luck, and we're happy to help if we can.

    Chris

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    Senior Member Bosco_Lever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    I think that any commercial venture, no matter how small needs to be approached with professionalism if it is to be successful.

    Would I buy from a gallery cafe with a small domestic machine? Nope- no matter what it was. A gallery cafe with a tidied up junker? Nope- as in my experience, this is more likely than not operated by someone who couldn't give a rat's about the coffee and is merely chasing a buck.

    Chris
    I did not advocate a tidied up junker, and do not appreciate what you infer. There are many businesses that have gone out of business by overcapitalizing, and not being able to make payments. There are plenty of machines available second hand that look very good and are better than what many coffee chains have. There are many very good second hand coffee machines for sale, because many establishments have closed down. The machine my friends purchased was in excellent condition, looks great and was a bargain as the seller had closed down and was trying to sell everything off. They had thought coffee machine equals big profit and spent big dollars. They did not do their research properly and their venture failed.
    As blend52 stated, do your due diligence.

  14. #14
    TC
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    No worries Bosco. You may notice that my post was directed to the OP, not towards you. My opinions are based on my experience.

    Like you and yours, I'm entitled to them!

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    INFORMATION OVERLOAD>>I'm not an engineer to know so much about pressure or boilers, how many bars etc... or plumbing. Also no intention in being in coffee business per se, but I appreciate a good coffee and would love my client to get one. Expect about 30 cups a day. I took some time to 'investigate' and machine should be reliable and simple. SIMPLE .. servicable by people in the industry... The more I want (manual, spring lever...)the pricier it gets and my head hurts. At the end I figured I'll need years to understand it all, but one machine stood out (actually two)- Izzo Alex Duetto and Pompeii (I believe Pompeii is more commercial and more expensive).
    Can anyone tell me more about their experience if they have one of these..or have experience in fixing or selling them!!
    Thanks Chris and Atillio, that was a good start..
    Season

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by season View Post
    Can anyone tell me more about their experience if they have one of these..or have experience in fixing or selling them!!
    Yes- We're the importer. You're welcome to call for a chat season.

    Chris

    Edit- There is one person in Australia who owns both (technically). He's due to collect his Pompeii in October.
    Last edited by TC; 19th September 2012 at 08:59 PM. Reason: added further information

  17. #17
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by season View Post
    INFORMATION OVERLOAD>>I'm not an engineer to know so much about pressure or boilers, how many bars etc... or plumbing. Also no intention in being in coffee business per se, but I appreciate a good coffee and would love my client to get one. Expect about 30 cups a day. I took some time to 'investigate' and machine should be reliable and simple. SIMPLE .. servicable by people in the industry... The more I want (manual, spring lever...)the pricier it gets and my head hurts. At the end I figured I'll need years to understand it all, but one machine stood out (actually two)- Izzo Alex Duetto and Pompeii (I believe Pompeii is more commercial and more expensive).
    Can anyone tell me more about their experience if they have one of these..or have experience in fixing or selling them!!
    Thanks Chris and Atillio, that was a good start..
    Season
    Mate, I'd give Chris and/or Atillio a call/email. And before doing so maybe have a think about precisely how the machine fits into your business model (do you expect it to pay for itself eventually? are your 30 cups/day spread out or in concentrated bursts like openings? What is the likelihood that your 30 cups/day might increase? etc).
    Cheers
    BOSW.

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    Hi everyone and thanks,
    good point Barry..it'll be spread during the day..my partner has experience with making good coffees and we have a business for 15 years in architectural presentation, so it's not like coffees are our priority. We wanted to open a gallery for our business but to offer a good coffee, too. And I love a good cup,too. I'll try to contact Atillio or Chris one of these days. My partner is saying we won't tolerate those who can't appreciate a good coffee. hehe..anyhow if someone has experience with those two Izzo machines I'd love to hear from them.
    Cheers
    Season

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    Hi again
    Yes, Bosko is also right..maybe good robust second hand machine then something electronic and new, that won't last long! Still waiting if any of you has something to say about machines you're using regarding durability..especially if it's Izzo.
    Thanks
    Season

  20. #20
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    Cheap, good, reliable. The relationship is actually this:


    pick a spot in or on the triangle.

    Greg



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