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Thread: And the race is on, Expobar Leva, Isomac, Vibiemme and Diadema

  1. #1
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    And the race is on, Expobar Leva, Isomac, Vibiemme and Diadema

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have being pouring over old post and it seems this question is asked over and over every few years, at first I thought about not asking it again, but I expect models have changed over the years, maybe improvements have been made, features added.

    I thought getting the money together would be the difficult part of the equation, but as time passes the pile grows larger, and now that I almost have the money it's the machine that is causing the headaches.

    All of the above machine are within a $100 to $200 of each other, and partnered up with a MacapM2M grinder, sit a little over $2500, except for one Sydney business selling the Isomac Tea Due for $1795, add the M2M and the package comes to $2220.

    Now providing the Isomac stands up equal against the others in quality and performance, the price makes it a clear winner. Right ?

    I will give this more thought, and even though I have checked out all the sponsors websites, I will give them the opportunity to provide me with their preference of machine package and price, through the CS quote form to all sponsors.

    All opinions and thoughts on the above machines welcomed

    Cheers
    Tony

  2. #2
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    I reckon price is just part of the equation.

    How do the boxes tick for quality,reliability,ease of use and after sales service?

    For the funds being spent, I would aim for gold stars as much as possible. A few hundred dollars less might be false economy.

    Not sure where you live and wonder have you been able to see, touch and drool over any of these machines?

    If I was spending $2500, I would really want butterflies of excitment about the proposed machine.
    Just my .2cents


    Eta..... Excitement over grinder is included as being the unit purchase.
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  3. #3
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    I would be careful of a machine that is a few hundred dollars cheaper at one vendor versus another. Quite often these are grey imports and not compliant with Australian electrical standards. They are also usually set up for darker roasted coffee. Just make sure that in saving some dollars, you're not missing out on warranties and after sales service.

  4. #4
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    Hi Tony,

    Not a race, rather a considered purchase. This decision like choosing a partner- you two are going to spend some time together. If you make your decision solely based on a money race, it will be the wrong decision.

    Machines are pitched at different levels of quality and you will get pretty much what you pay for. Isomac machines are cheaper- because they're cheaper.

    You're welcome to make contact should you wish. I'll pass on "the race" though.

    Cheers

    Chris

  5. #5
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    Can I be naughty and say I have to giggle at the name Isomac Tea for a espresso machine?

    Not quite the same ring.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Gavisconi007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveD View Post
    I would be careful of a machine that is a few hundred dollars cheaper at one vendor versus another. Quite often these are grey imports and not compliant with Australian electrical standards. They are also usually set up for darker roasted coffee. Just make sure that in saving some dollars, you're not missing out on warranties and after sales service.

    DaveD- can you give some examples of registered Australian vendors selling so-called "Grey Imports"? I wouldn't have thought that a few hundred dollars price difference on a purchase of $2500 would be any more than fair market competition at play, however given your assertion of "quite often" perhaps you could elaborate with specific examples?

  7. #7
    TC
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    Hi Gavisconi,

    Specific examples? Pass.

    There are a few drop ship companies registered as Australian businesses and I'm betting they pay no tax, GST nor do anything other than move Australian funds overseas. Whilst there may be an "address" and even a phone #, stock is EU out of Europe- which is where warranty is as well. Australian staff? Yeah sure.

    There are plenty of threads on grey imports and a little searching will reveal them. Drop ship companies don't deserve, nor should they receive free plugs here. We clean up their shite on a monthly basis by picking up the pieces (often literally). We also pay for the privilege of being CS sponsors.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member readeral's Avatar
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    Googled that price and machine - doesn't necessarily look like a grey import business, but certainly a low overhead business as they don't have a shopfront. Further evidence is that the ABN is not registered for GST. So that means either they ARE grey import - OR they sell less than $75,000 worth of stock per year. Answers why they don't have a shopfront, but looks like most of the business comes through Ebay anyway, as they're the reviews they choose to upload to their webpage.

    At less than $75k of sales a year, there's no full time employees, no financial capital to back the business, and clearly no relationship with distributors as the photo of the La Marzocco GB/5 offered on the site is a photo taken of a picture of the machine on the La Marzocco webpage. Still maybe not grey import?

    And after sales service given by their less than full time staffer:
    What would returning the machine be like? What would a warranty claim be like? Is there a warranty? Is the machine set up by the seller to be suitable for your use, and if you had a problem, would they be make any adjustments themselves, or would you be directed to a coffee mechanic? Will they do your annual service in house? So many questions...

    I'd go with the established sellers, where you don't need to worry if the shoestring budget 3 year old business will be around in a year.

    And then there was this that I dug up, but it's more for humour than anything else: https://www.facebook.com/PublicNotic...15614661895681 - Might be a bit of a problem for the purchaser though if they went with the bank transfer payment option, rather than paypal.. Hmm, maybe they do make more than $75k per year after all. I'd prefer to be able to walk into the business and lay down my $2k (on card) and walk away with a machine. If I can't get a tax invoice, I don't buy.

    Of course. This is all conjecture. But funny what you can find on the internet if you spend a few minutes looking.

    Make of it what you will - $200 more dollars well spent on piece of mind in my opinion.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member readeral's Avatar
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    Another two minutes on their website almost all but confirms drop ship grey import from italy - with regards to their roaster:

    "Coffee Roasting Process
    Although [Retracted business name] was created as a typically Australian coffee, expert European techniques proved to be the only way to deliver the high quality products. Brambati, a roasting machine so advanced that it had to be imported directly from Italy, had all the answers."

  10. #10
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    Schpiel to lure gullible lemmings...

    Same as saying that Alfas are so advanced that they had to be imported from Italy as well. Der!
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    Greenbean, I saw somewhere that the isomac tea is pronounced tee-arr, or something like that.

    Readeral, I don't know the rules about naming names, but the business I saw was a shop, with an address in Sydney, so I thought, hey, its a shop so it must be all good. I have to say it is all very confusing, I had no idea things could be so complicated.

    While it may of only taken you two minutes on their wedsite to deduce and find out what you did, it's not the same for everyone, this is a new game for me and I haven't learnt all the rules yet, but with help from posters like yourself I am learning, and decided to do a little checking, did you know that not all of the CS Sponsors are GST registered, so I am guessing this alone doesn't mean a business is doing the wrong thing. The facebook link you provided was interesting, but of course hard to make judgements not knowing the full story. If only everyone was as honest as I am.

    Chris, I can tell your passionate about the business your in, you have been around for a long time, you seem to answer more CS member questions than any other sponsor, I have asked myself the question, when do you get a chance to do any work, your always on here.

    Perhaps you have misinterpreted, and have read more into the title of my post than what there really is. I guess thats the problem with reading words and not being able to listen to a persons voice. The Melbourne cup has just been on, there are 4 machines I am looking at all very close in price, and in the running for me to pick one of them, I choose to use a little humor in my post, (as I have just done a few lines up when asking if you get any work done), I can see I need to use those little yellow faces to help me out.

    Your right it's not a race, well not a very fast one anyway , I have been saving for two years now, putting a little bit aside each month, it also takes me a while to make up my mind, it won't be a rushed decision, but I think I would be like most, I guess I get a little excited at the prospect of a bargain.

    I am a tradesman running my own business and deal with customers wanting to buy their own power points, light switches, lights etc from Bunnings or Masters or the internet, they think they are getting a better deal not knowing that what they are buying is not the same quality as the gear I supply, it takes a very small amount of money away from me and upsets me that people think I will be ripping them off, so I understand your frustration.

    I will try and phrase my posts a little better in the future, what I was trying to get from CS members, was input on which machine would be the better choice given they are all around the same price. From previous posts, back in 2010 and 2011 your preference was for the Diadema and Vibiemme, as I stated in my original question, the reason I asked the same question again some 5 years on, is because I thought models may have changed over the years, maybe improvements have been made, features added.

    The weekend is almost here and business can wait until next week, as I said earlier, I will give everyone the opportunity to provide me with, "their preference of machine package" for my price bracket, using the CS quote form to all sponsors. Not asking anyone to enter into a race for my business, or enter a price bidding war.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member readeral's Avatar
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    Hey Tony, sorry if it seemed like I was having a go at you - not my intention! Hard to communicate tone in a forum (and I'd just finished an exam, so was pretty animated anyway).
    I guess what I was doing was walking through my thought processes when making a decision about whether to work with a company, and how I filter out "lowest price is best" thought processes from my brain, cause the pull is strong! And for this business, was trying to carry you along with my 'thinking out loud', not to shut you down but to save any potential heartache.
    For the record, it wasn't two minutes, but about 30. Wish I could do that in 2 minutes! Does take a bit of digging, but I'm getting practiced by now... Maybe I'm too sceptical :-/
    I'm not sure which site sponsor isn't gst registered, had a quick look through them all - only coffee-a-roma trades under a different ABN (listed on their website) so a little trickier to find their gst status, otherwise seemed all fine! But I guess that was just one piece of evidence in the whole process.

    I guess - if you can walk into the shop, talk to the salesperson, build a relationship and get a sense for their business - then that's your best bet.

    After all my research, I decided I liked Jet Black the most - I could see their interactions here, I could see their commitment to service, and I could walk into the place and let Charlie talk me through my machine options. And it honestly was very helpful to go in the flesh - that'll be the best way for you to discern between those machines in the end. I heartily recommend Jet Black - it'll be worth your time, and they might be able to do you something good. See what the quote comes back.

    All the best with it.
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    Hi Readeral,

    No worries mate, as you say its very hard to communicate tone in a forum, we all have individual personalities, written expression was never my strong point at school, and it hasn't improved over the last 30 years.

    I agree all the way with you and everyone else who recommends going into a shop to look at, to touch and feel and try out different machines, but I live 8hours away from Sydney, 16h from Melbourne, it's been 3 years since my last visit to Sydney, and I guess thats why I am here on this forum, to hit you guys up for as much info as possible, that includes machines you have now, machines you used to have and maybe machines you would like to have in the future, where you purchased them from and your overall results on the purchase.

    I can't find anyone local who sells espresso machines offer than the big retailers, Harvey and his mates. I don't want breville or sunbeam, so for me there is every chance I will make my purchase over the net, I don't think I can go wrong with any of the machines I am looking at if I buy new and from an authorised agent/dealer. JetBlack is high up there on my list of suppliers, I am at their site daily, checking on the specials, new and used, they carry a varied range of stock and are competitive as is the other sponsor you mentioned, coffee-a-roma.

    What I need is opinions from users on machines in my price bracket, once I have decided on a machine we can then have a debate on where the best place to purchase is. Out of interest, what is your current machine, do you like it ?

    Hope the exam went well for you, what are you studying.

    Cheers
    Tony

  14. #14
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    Some piccies from an older thread. Make a note of post 10 as well.!

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...-vibiemme.html


  15. #15
    Senior Member readeral's Avatar
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    I've got an ECM Technika IV - I think it's great. I reviewed it here http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...xperience.html If I hadn't been so keen on the plumb in options, I would have gone for the Profitec 500. If Charlie can do you good on that machine, I'd highly recommend it. I saw them both in person and had a play.

    This ECM is my first machine, a small step above your price bracket, and dropped that much coin in the hope that it would avoid any desire to upgrade, which short of getting a GS/3 or Vesuvius (haha never) from Talk_Coffee, I think I've managed it. I've not been in this game long either - since June when my neighbour lent me his Silvia for a month and suddenly (to my wife's dismay) years of pent-up coffee nerdery resulted in our coffee machine purchase.

    I guess it's a privilege to live near site sponsors for things like annual services, but it seems like you're a handy enough bloke to be able to manage it's upkeep yourself probably anyhow.

    And it was an ancient greek exam ;P

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    I would love to sit down and chat about ancient greek while having a coffee with you, a game of chess would even top the day off better. I am half way through the Persian Fire, by Tom Holland at the moment. Xerxes is building his forces headed for Greece.

    I am more a fan of ancient rome, got through Masters of Rome series ,by Colleen McCullough, loved all of them and have recently started the Aeneid by Virgil, but it's hard going, also started to learn Latin so I could read, Commentarii de Bello Gallico, Caesars Commentaries on the Gallic War. It's funny when I now think back to when I was younger, you would of had to tie me up and torture me to read a book.

    My wife, who is not a coffee drinker, although loves the smell of coffee, is struggling to come to grips with the amount of money I am going to spend, but she came and told me the other day that her garden now has around 600 bromeliads, (not all bought, some are pups grown from a parent plant), but maybe I need to remind her how much that may of cost her.

    Nice work with the review on your machine, very in depth and informative. It will be nice when I can do the same, if , I mean when I make up my mind
    readeral likes this.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Brewster's Avatar
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    Hi Tony.
    Having recently purchased a new machine myself, I thought I might share a few of the things that influenced my final decision.

    After spending a lot a time researching, I came up with a short list of 5 machines before I started getting serious. I live 2hrs north of Sydney so I dropped in on a couple of site sponsors on different occasions to get up close to the machines. Although the machines I was looking at were of similar quality, I soon narrowed the list down to 2. Just seeing the machines lined up on the bench side by side was much better than looking at pictures on a web site.

    Talking to the guys with experience over a range of machines at different price points was also very helpful. Except for site sponsors and a few others, most of us can only speak about the machine we own without having any experience with a range of others brands.

    My final choice was between the same 2 machines as readeral. I went for the Profitec 500. It really did end up being the toss of a coin, but thought I would go for taps instead of levers for the steam and hot water.

    I'm not trying to talk you into either of these machines as, combined with a quality grinder, I recognise they are both out side of your stated price range. My best advice to you from my own experience is to try to find a way into a specialist retailer to have a look and play with machines on your list. At these prices, it comes down to small personal choices, taps vs levers, size of drip trays, amount of clearance for cups, looks etc. You just can't get a similar experience from a web site no matter how well you research.
    Best of luck.
    Mal
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  18. #18
    Senior Member readeral's Avatar
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    I set myself a month from my initial research to make up my mind, for two reasons:

    1. I didn't want to go insane
    2. I didn't want my prices to go up too far! I started off dreaming about a Breville Double Boiler, but soon decided that if I was going to drop in the $1000s rather than hundreds, I'd prefer purchase something for the long haul (not only quality, but satisfaction). At that point I knew I'd be in trouble without some time as well as financial limit.

    On the price front, my wife still doesn't quite understand why we had to spend so much on a machine *shrug* What else are tax returns for?! I want to point out that we're spending basically all of our discretionary funds on a USA trip, but decided not to play that game. Experiences will always feel undervalued to me, and equipment undervalued to her. She thankfully does drink coffee, so as soon as she's competent to use it, I'm hoping she'll have more buy in. For your wife - find a roaster that can offer you a really sweet chocolatey nutty Brazilian coffee, and make her a latte .

    Things that a less thought about - being neither looks NOR performance related! - but more important than machine owners might like to admit is things like the volume of the drip tray, how easy it is to remove, the volume of the internal tank and how easy it is to fill, and the footprint of the machine (which you really can't get much sense of without seeing them next to each other). Might make all the difference for you.

    I read Aeneid in my undergraduate - sadly I don't have latin, so was in English. I entirely agree with it's difficulty! Although often comes down to what translation you have to be honest. Homer was far easier in my opinion Hopefully one day I'll read it in the greek, but for now I'm only venturing as widely to learn koine greek. And I'm afraid I'm far better at making coffee than I am at chess (contrary to my detail oriented nature, I haven't bothered to learn enough classic moves).

    I've tried to triangulate where you are, Goondiwindi is my best bet. It's probably wrong, I initially thought you were out West, but if it's not - worth a trip to Brisbane?

    [Edit - just saw in another post you're 30 mins from Lismore.. defs worth doing a road trip to Silipo!)
    Last edited by readeral; 7th November 2015 at 05:54 PM.
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