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Thread: Where to view and buy in Adelaide, VBM Super Lever & Giotto R58

  1. #1
    tai
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    Red face Where to view and buy in Adelaide, VBM Super Lever & Giotto R58

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello everyone,

    I've read my way through quite a bit of the forum and have learnt so much, so thank you to those who contribute. Anyway, I'm at the point where I want to physically touch both machines and get local advice.

    Does anyone know where in Adelaide I could look at a VBM or Giotto expresso machine?

    I'm essentially after an expresso machine with a double boiler, rotary pump and does steam well (and a conical grinder).

    Any thoughts appreciated.

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    Rio Coffee may have the Giotto 58. Haven't found a VBM on display yet. The Giotto has my eye at the moment.

    Gary
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    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    I bought a VBM from Simply Coffee in Kent Town a good few years ago.

    Greg
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    tai
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    Thanks Gary, I will head in there this week and Greg, I'm going to give them a call to see if Simply Coffee still carry them. Their website doesn't give much away.

    Whilst, I have my eye on a Grinder I don't expect to get hands on with before I buy, I've narrowed things down to two coffee machines, so I really need to physically see them before I decide, as there isn't much between them.

    As an additional bit of advice... are the heat up times from cold roughly the same in both machines? Does anyone know, or would have an informed guess?

    I'm also not receiving notifications to posts, not sure if anyone else has this issue. Not really an issue, but just thought I'd mention it in case it's a wider problem.

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    Why not go to the Double Shot Coffee Fiesta this weekend? Machines on demo and everything coffee in one place. I don't know whether the Super Leva or R58 will be there, but there will be a Pro 700 on demo!

    charlie

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    tai
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    Yeah Charlie, I've only just read that it's going to be on, and unfortunately for me I've a commitment on Sunday that I can't wiggle out of. Looks like it would be a great event to go to.

    ...and Gary I forgot to mention re the R58, I read somewhere in some forum or post to a review that the R58's had some body/frame issues (and I don't know which version that related to). Also, not sure how accurate that comment was, but from memory it was someone who noted them coming back to a supplier. Wish I had bookmarked the comment, all I did was make a note on my notepad about it.

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    Ah too bad. I was there last year and it was excellent. FWIW the Pro 700 is on display at Complete Cafe Services when it's not on duty at the Double Shot Fiesta,

    charlie

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    tai
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    Are you going again this year Charlie? Really wanting to go, but only found out about it perhaps a minute or two before your post.

    I had a brief look at Complete Cafe Services, but for some reason thought they were wholesale only.

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    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by tai View Post
    I read somewhere in some forum or post to a review that the R58's had some body/frame issues
    Hi tai,

    Do keep in mind that happy owners rarely post their thoughts to the internet.

    We have sold well over 100 R58 machines without issue. It's all about percentages....

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    tai
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Hi tai,
    It's all about percentages....
    Yes, I do realise that. That is why I've included the R58 in my final two choices, and it's a fair point to make. The more units sold, will possibly also push up the fault %.

    The fault(s) with the R58 I recall reading though was not appearing to be from an owner but more a tech (and could have been based in the US). If I could find the comment I would post here - so I'll have a look for it whilst I've a bit of time and I'll edit it into this post.

    (Edit)
    I've not quite found the exact place I saw the comment, but this post, covers the problem I read about. Ignore the post topic, it's not about the pump failure... it's about the frame of the R58. The post I originally read said that a I think US supplier stopped shipping them as the frame would bend in freight. Something to do with the weight of the boiler/electrics versus the group head side. The boiler side may of been forcing itself into the other, if handled incorrectly (I think). Not sure if this means it's b/c it's not one piece or is welded on etc. Either way, just thought I'd be transparent with my comment by providing some reference. It still hasn't put me off the R58, but it is something that is in the back of my mind. I'm sort of hoping this problem if it was one, has been sorted.

    http://www.home-barista.com/espresso...t23870-20.html
    Last edited by tai; 23rd February 2016 at 11:56 AM. Reason: additional information

  11. #11
    TC
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    May have been in early V1 versions which never came to Australia. Impossible on current V2.
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    tai
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    May have been in early V1 versions which never came to Australia. Impossible on current V2.
    Thank you Talk Coffee, has put my mind at rest.

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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tai View Post
    expresso machine?
    Hi tai and welcome to CS!

    You still have some reading to do!! ........

    EXpresso should only be used when referring to pods, as pods are not ESpresso! ;-D

    Good luck with the machine purchase but try not to be influenced too much by something

    someone said once.....on the internet.

    A genuine ongoing issue will be all over all the web forums in real time....not buried and hard to find.
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    tai
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    Quote Originally Posted by chokkidog View Post
    Hi tai and welcome to CS!

    You still have some reading to do!! ........

    EXpresso should only be used when referring to pods, as pods are not ESpresso! ;-D
    ...just a typo, whilst I write professionally, I'm dyslexic and often auto correct gets the better of me and my own speed. Whilst I didn't notice the typo, I'm not going to correct it, it feels more honest that way.

    To be fair, the fault I referred to was seemingly quite common in that model, I recall even some in-video you tube comments, but I just wasn't paying that much attention to note where they were.

    I appreciate the welcome, but it felt a bit counterproductive in doing so, as I'm feeling it was a bit condescending in tone.

    No worries though.

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    tai
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    Thanks for the help everyone, I went to two places suggested here above and unfortunately, neither carry VBM, but they do carry Giotto (but not the model I was wanting to look at).

    I was told today in one the shops that my preference for a double boiler versus HX may be a false economy. It was explained to me that in making a few milk drinks in a row, my second tank would run dry, whereas the HX would be one continuous source of water. Anyone add or contradict this view?

    I'm also wondering why VBM was 'once' stocked by both shops, but not anymore.

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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tai View Post
    I was told today in one the shops that my preference for a double boiler versus HX may be a false economy. It was explained to me that in making a few milk drinks in a row, my second tank would run dry, whereas the HX would be one continuous source of water. Anyone add or contradict this view?

    I'm also wondering why VBM was 'once' stocked by both shops, but not anymore.
    Odd advice, tai. In a dual boiler machine the larger boiler is the steam boiler so the reference to 'a few milk drinks in a row.....' doesn't really make sense. The brew boiler is the smaller of the two boilers so, as far as that statement goes, it wouldn't matter which coffee drinks you were making

    Apart from that, the boilers are designed not to run dry! There is an autofill device fitted which activates the pump. They might run cooler if they cannot recover brew temp against the amount of coffee being made in a given time but quality machines can cope with quite a workload.

    My previous machine was an Alex Duetto II, it never had any problems with temp stability or recovery, even when making 40+ coffees in a 1&1/2 hour wedding breakfast session. Steam for milk was a breeze.

    The only provision re HX (Heat Exchange) vs, DB (Dual Boiler) for a first time purchaser is that DB's are more suited for espresso as the brew temp can be tweaked, these days often via a PID (Proportional-Integral-Derivative) Controller. HX machine temps are maintained via a pressurestat device.

    These days they are quite accurate with a small deadband. The point is that nuances in minute manipulations of brew temp via a PID will be lost (drowned) in milk, if milk drinks are the norm. Therefore an HX will do the job just as well but generally at a cheaper price.

    VBM are top quality machines, no question. The answer to your question resides with the shop owners. Supply chains, importer, distributor relationships and locations may all play a part. As does the false popularity that the internet bestows on some machines over others when being considered by vulnerable and/or insecure first time purchasers....... Some machines have an internet derived and driven fashion icon desirability.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tai View Post
    I was told today in one the shops that my preference for a double boiler versus HX may be a false economy. It was explained to me that in making a few milk drinks in a row, my second tank would run dry, whereas the HX would be one continuous source of water. Anyone add or contradict this view?

    I'm also wondering why VBM was 'once' stocked by both shops, but not anymore.
    Hi tai,

    Yes- definitely weird advice and if that is actually what they're saying, they really don't know what they're talking about. Your preference may well be "false economy", but that would more likely be related to how you choose to brew, rather than their ridiculous rationale- if that's what they think...

    Both Rocket and VBM are excellent, but different and FWIW, we ship to Adelaide all the time and have service in place.

    If you'd like to call for some no BS pros and cons, you are most welcome to...

    In the meantime, Buying Guide- Espresso machines | Talk Coffee may assist you in cutting through a little of the misinformation.

    Chris
    Last edited by TC; 25th February 2016 at 04:38 AM.
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    tai, To be polite 'they got it wrong!". Neither the HX or the DB can pull water out of the air. They both have a common reservoir for extraction and steaming to draw from. I suppose if you make 40 or 50 cups after the other you will run out of water with either type.
    For me at home the DB R58 is quieter and good temp control (double PID), but I make 12 Flat Whites one after the other at work with an Giotto Premium HX and it works well too, and the folk reckon it the best tasting local coffee (perhaps because it is free!).

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    Quote Originally Posted by dumiya View Post
    Neither the HX or the DB can pull water out of the air. They both have a common reservoir for extraction and steaming to draw from. I suppose if you make 40 or 50 cups after the other you will run out of water with either type.
    Not the air.... but certainly mains water if your machine is plumbed in!

    Dumiya points out an obvious that I overlooked, given that I only deal with plumbed in machines.....

    If you run any machine off the built in reservoir and make multiple coffees it can empty the reservoir

    but the machines you are looking at will not let the boiler run dry.

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    tai
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    Quote Originally Posted by chokkidog View Post
    Odd advice...

    ...The only provision re HX (Heat Exchange) vs, DB (Dual Boiler) for a first time purchaser is that DB's are more suited for espresso as the brew temp can be tweaked, these days often via a PID (Proportional-Integral-Derivative) Controller. HX machine temps are maintained via a pressurestat device.

    These days they are quite accurate with a small deadband. The point is that nuances in minute manipulations of brew temp via a PID will be lost (drowned) in milk, if milk drinks are the norm. Therefore an HX will do the job just as well but generally at a cheaper price.

    VBM are top quality machines, no question. The answer to your question resides with the shop owners. Supply chains, importer, distributor relationships and locations may all play a part. As does the false popularity that the internet bestows on some machines over others when being considered by vulnerable and/or insecure first time purchasers....... Some machines have an internet derived and driven fashion icon desirability.
    Great response Chokkidog, tks.

    Disappointed by the lack of knowledge in one shop (although they were very nice) and now further disheartened by the inaccurate advice in the other (and the same sales person wanted to sell me a complete different brand I knew nothing about or had seen before for a special deal, which made me feel uncomfortable). Same person told me I didn't need to get them serviced, as 'there was nothing to service in them'. I don't present as ditzy (I believe), perhaps it's just women who are told gobbledegook? In a limited local market, I'm disappointed by my choices.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Hi tai,

    If you'd like to call for some no BS pros and cons, you are most welcome to.

    In the meantime, Buying Guide- Espresso machines | Talk Coffee may assist you in cutting through a little of the misinformation.

    Chris
    Tks Chris appreciate it, I'll try and give you a call tmw or Friday

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    I would give serious consideration to what Chris mentioned above.
    He is a highly reputable specialist retailer and like he says, he has professional service facilities at his disposal in your area, so you will never be left in a lurch....

    We would all love to be able to put our hands on the machines of our choice for sure. In our case, we live in a rural/regional area of QLD and do not have access to any kind coffee equipment retailer, to say nothing of a specialist retailer. We have been very well looked after by Chris at Talk Coffee for many, many years and have no hesitation in recommending his business to you. There are probably thousands of fellow CSers who feel the same way....

    Mal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tai View Post
    ....the same sales person wanted to sell me a complete different brand I knew nothing about or had seen before for a special deal, which made me feel uncomfortable...
    That to me reeks of unspoken "we get a better margin on machine Y". I call it stock a machine to get them in the door and then do the utmost to maximise profit- regardless of the requirements of the client.

    Poor, poor form....

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    tai
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    Quote Originally Posted by dumiya View Post
    tai, To be polite 'they got it wrong!". Neither the HX or the DB can pull water out of the air. They both have a common reservoir for extraction and steaming to draw from. I suppose if you make 40 or 50 cups after the other you will run out of water with either type.
    For me at home the DB R58 is quieter and good temp control (double PID), but I make 12 Flat Whites one after the other at work with an Giotto Premium HX and it works well too, and the folk reckon it the best tasting local coffee (perhaps because it is free!).
    Thank you dumiya, valuable information. Appreciating everyone's support. I want a really good machine that will last the years and I plan on doing barista courses and learning continuously over the coming years.

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    tai
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    I would give serious consideration to what Chris mentioned above.
    He is a highly reputable specialist retailer and like he says, he has professional service facilities at his disposal in your area, so you will never be left in a lurch....

    We would all love to be able to put our hands on the machines of our choice for sure. In our case, we live in a rural/regional area of QLD and do not have access to any kind coffee equipment retailer, to say nothing of a specialist retailer. We have been very well looked after by Chris at Talk Coffee for many, many years and have no hesitation in recommending his business to you. There are probably thousands of fellow CSers who feel the same way....

    Mal.
    Thanks Mal, and I'm no doubt will be joining that list of customers.

    It was the service issues that concerned me, as it's not a concern it seems, I'll spend my dollars where it deserves to go.

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    tai, I can say this: Have a Talk with Chris at Talk Coffee for wisdom and advice - as above. We had our Giotto Premium shipped by him to WA. If you can get some clarity it would be good to move quicker than slower. We have been informed that the low Aussie Dollar will catch up with both makes of machines you are interested in. However if you can't get clarity don't just feel pushed to buy as the increase will not be huge.

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    tai
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    Quote Originally Posted by dumiya View Post
    If you can get some clarity it would be good to move quicker than slower. We have been informed that the low Aussie Dollar will catch up with both makes of machines you are interested in.
    Thanks dumiya, appreciate the heads up

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    I found Adelaide quite limited myself to be able to physically view a machine. Simply Coffee were able to order in VBM machines for purchase but did not carry stock.
    Rio Coffee had varied advice depending on who you get to speak to, they seemed to have a reasonable range.
    Complete Cafe Services do the Expobar and Lelit range (including double boilers), IMO both are aesthetically "different" to your typical Italian espresso machine and not to my taste.
    Have you looked at Coffee Craft on South Rd, they were stocking the ECM range among others and were one of the few places that could offer real world trial of a limited number of machines.

    In the end we opted for an ECM Mechanika (rotary pump version) it's a heat exchange though not a double boiler and couldn't be happier, would have liked to have bought locally in SA but ordered from interstate along with an M4D grinder and saved over $800

    (hope mentioning of non-site sponsors was OK but hey this Adelaide and we are limited for choice)

  29. #29
    tai
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    tks Nicho for suggesting another vendor, and it was a bit surprising to me - the limitations of Adelaide in this area. Considering our demographic and the amount of coffee shops per head of population (or is that the issue?), I didn't think it would be that hard.

    Anyway, I purchased from Chris at Coffee Talk this afternoon. I've the same grinder as you, coupled with a different machine, the Rocket Evoluzione. Earlier this week I also grabbed a better under-sink filter from Bombora thanks to this site too.

    Thank you everyone here for your info and help, I would have made some grave errors otherwise.
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    "Anyway, I purchased from Chris at Coffee Talk this afternoon. I've the same grinder as you, coupled with a different machine, the Rocket Evoluzione. Earlier this week I also grabbed a better under-sink filter from Bombora thanks to this site too."
    Enjoy, enjoy enjoy. Well done.

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    TC
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    Thanks tai,

    We greatly appreciate your support!

    Do be careful with Adelaide water and filtration. As mentioned in our discussions, many in the industry refer to Adelaide and Perth as "where we send espresso machines to die".

    Have a read over Filtration | Talk Coffee to check that your water fits the bill.

    Cheers

    Chris

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    tai
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Thanks tai,

    We greatly appreciate your support!

    Do be careful with Adelaide water and filtration. As mentioned in our discussions, many in the industry refer to Adelaide and Perth as "where we send espresso machines to die".

    Have a read over Filtration | Talk Coffee to check that your water fits the bill.

    Cheers

    Chris
    I'm still quite concerned, I've retired so many irons & kettles in the past before their time. I'm ceasing my relationship with a local company's filtration service, which seemed to not be that effective despite regular filter changes. I've read that link before, and it left me still a bit confused about charcoal/resin/RO options as it may relate to Adelaide, which is why I contacted Bombora, however I'm still worried the water will win over eventually. I'm going to read that link again, so thanks Chris.

    Enjoyed the purchase experience Chris, thank you for being so patient with me.

  33. #33
    tai
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    Quote Originally Posted by JetBlack_Espresso View Post
    Why not go to the Double Shot Coffee Fiesta this weekend? Machines on demo and everything coffee in one place. I don't know whether the Super Leva or R58 will be there, but there will be a Pro 700 on demo!

    charlie
    Just noticed a tweet, and I didn't go, so I don't know if this is true:

    "Sunny@infreqvent 11m11 minutes ago

    @raytida - Was at a coffee festival yest (Adelaide has all the festivals at the same time) and dude who won barista comp used an Aeropress"

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    Perth water is hard. I use a in line pre filter, then a carbon filter, then through a resin filter. Did a descale before I got the resin filter that was about 2 years ago" replace the filters every year. No sign of any real scale in the Giotto Premium which is 8 years old.
    I do have a problem with the resin filters as about every second one weeps at the outlet. This is no good if it is in a cupboard. My local filter supplier suggests usin a phosphate filter.

  35. #35
    TC
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    In general, we recommend RO or filtered bottled for Perth.

    Whilst copper boilers in the R58 are pretty robust, for owners of machines with stainless boilers (LM, Rocket R60V, Vesuvius and many others), high TDS coupled with high hardness requires a whole heap of softener and this will ultimately spell death to any machine with stainless boilers.

    Those in lousy water areas are strongly advised to ensure that they have completed their homework...
    Last edited by TC; 1st March 2016 at 04:03 AM.

  36. #36
    tai
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    Quote Originally Posted by dumiya View Post
    Perth water is hard. I use a in line pre filter, then a carbon filter, then through a resin filter. Did a descale before I got the resin filter that was about 2 years ago" replace the filters every year. No sign of any real scale in the Giotto Premium which is 8 years old.
    I do have a problem with the resin filters as about every second one weeps at the outlet. This is no good if it is in a cupboard. My local filter supplier suggests usin a phosphate filter.

    On the subject of water filtration. Whilst not the most accurate devices, I used some hardness measuring strips on my household (Adelaide) water yesterday. I did a base reading on my unfiltered water, then filtered tap, and then one on my salt water pool just for curiosity. The unfiltered water didn't read that badly for hardness, whereas the filtered water (currently use a well known Adelaide filtration company) tested quite badly, which anecdotally now makes some sense to me. Things that had been exposed to unfiltered water weren't that bad, but whatever had my filtered water through it, seemed to scale up. I never made the connection before, or suspected my rather expensive filtered drinking water had somehow more scale attached to it. So whatever was being removed from the water with those filters must have been causing a chemical reaction perhaps? or just poor product...

    Feeling more confident now going to use a new filtration system (one filter) with an actual scale inhibitor (branded 3M from Bombora), and using a 6 month change schedule.

    Dumiya, just b/c I'm interested in the subject, with the 3 filters you have, do you know the PPM outcome you get?

  37. #37
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    I can highly recommend Bombora's recommended water filtration for Adelaide. A goodly number of years down the track and no issues.

    Greg



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