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Thread: ECM, Bezerra or..?

  1. #1
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    ECM, Bezerra or..?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Happy Sunday Snobs!

    Collectively you have helped me descend deep down this rabbit hole and develop an itch that must soon be scratched...

    Some of you may know of my (mis)adventures with a DB Inbuilt semi auto, updates of which i will put in another thread.

    The long and short of it is I feel i am up against a hard plateau at the moment, which i hope to partially move away from with a new grinder. I have narrowed this down to either a K3 or Mignon. I very nearly picked up a K3 yesterday but decided to take my dog to the vet instead (long story of more misadventure). I have since found another local shop that may carry both the K3 and eureka grinders and so hope to pick one out from a side by side comparison this week.

    Four paragraphs in i can now get to the point of this post . When i was last servicing my current espresso machine a fortnight ago, i enjoyed a shot from the techs personal home use machine, a somewhat modified E-61 HX unit. This is clearly the direction i would like to move in and i have put together a wish list over the last two weeks...

    Sometime in the next few months i would like an E-61 HX Machine, preferably with spring toggles rather than rotary taps for steam and hot water, lever for espresso start/stop cycle (not true lever but pump operation switch).

    I would like a purchase that will last a long time and free me from upgraditis and so whilst i was originally looking at the $2k or less ball park it seems that $2.5 - $3k is where the fun really is in terms of nicely laid out internals, insulated boilers and my beloved sprung lever taps!

    It would seem that ECM in terms of the ECM Technika iv profi (vibration pump version) https://www.jetblackespresso.com.au/...echnika-profi/

    Di Bartoli Lumina (ECM Mechanika base, not sure on how this differa from the Technika 4?) https://dibartoli.com.au/di-bartoli-...ys-collection/

    And Bezzera Magica https://dibartoli.com.au/bezzera-magica/

    Could all fit the bill. Both Brands appeal to me in terms of aesthetic and solid build quality, as well as having excellent reputations. My gut feel is that perhaps the Germanic roots of the ECM machines and their exquisite internal layout may trump the italian flair of the Bezzera, although i doubt either would leave an owner disappointed.

    So, fellow users any recommendations? Does anyone have and/or know the whole story behind the Lumina?

    Am i on the right track?

    Anything in the next price bracket down that may do what i seek?

    Thanks in advance...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Cant comment on the ECM TB, however I can tell you that I've been a happy Bezzera owner for the past 10 years.

    Reliable, well made, produce excellent espresso, very easy to use and service, good back up from the Australian distributors.

    Bezzera have an excellent pedigree being the originators of the espresso process in 1906.

    Their site is worth a look. Bezzera

  3. #3
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    It's personal preference but lots of folks like rotary valves because they're more easily maintained than the levers

    Cheers

  4. #4
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SanderP View Post
    It's personal preference but lots of folks like rotary valves because they're more easily maintained than the levers

    Cheers
    Yep, as you say, some prefer rotary, I'm one of them, pretty much a personal preference thing.

    As far as maintenance is concerned replacing seals in rotary valves is very simple, couple of minutes job done.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    If that's the sort of machine you want to end up with them a grinder like a K3 or Mignon is going to be the weak link in the chain. To save you wanting to upgrade the grinder shortly after you get the machine I'd aim a bit higher to start with. Bang for buck wise a Mahlkoenig Vario is very hard to beat. If you wanted to spend more the Eureka Atom or Niche Zero are quite different to each other depending on what you want from a grinder but both have good reports.

    You can get the ACS Minima for well under $3k, it's a dual boiler E61 solenoid group, with toggle switches for brewing, rather than the traditional E61 lever, like you're after.
    Last edited by level3ninja; 30th June 2019 at 08:52 PM. Reason: Autocucumber
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  6. #6
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    Thanks Level 3 Ninja,

    I have been concerned about whether the K3/Mignon would become a weak link in such a system...although several techs and sales people have 'vouched' for specifically the k3 in any domestic setup regardless of price.

    My (potentially flawed) understanding is that a K3 with MM Adjustment and it's 58mm burrs should produce the quality of grind to suit any machine and as we look at more $$$ grinders the differences are predominantly in features, noise supression and speed - none of which (i think) matter to my circumstance of typically knocking out 2-3 espresso's before work each morning, a few more on weekends and 6-9 milk based drinks when we have visitors/dinner parties etc...

    I am very keen to hear from a different viewpoint though

    I guess my circumstance is that i want a new grinder ASAP and would ultimately like a ECM/Bezzera or perhaps even Profitec E61 machine some time between now and Christmas. I may even look at a second hand Expobar Leva or similar that come up in the meantime as a better value proposition that can probably be upgraded at a later date with minimal loss... sorry - i do seem to be all over the place

  7. #7
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    Hi TroubleBrewing

    Having just sold a K3 and bought a Niche I can say the Niche produces a far finer, clump free and fluffier grind than the K3. It also much easier to adjust and yes FAR quieter. Having been looking at grinders and posts/reviews about them for some time I notice there are a lot of senior members who have moved up from K3 or similar to a Niche, Fausto or similar. Must say something.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    I really don't see anything in newer grinders that would entice me to trade my Mazzer Mini in, it does exactly what its meant to do, grind coffee that produces excellent espresso.
    Last edited by Yelta; 5th July 2019 at 08:02 AM. Reason: spelling
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  9. #9
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    I don't want to tell you how much money to spend on a grinder. There is definately a point of diminishing returns with grinders, but for my money it's a step or two above the K3 and Mignon. Best bang for buck new is a Mahlkoenig Vario (around $700). Stepping up from that you're looking at another $500+ but definitely not a 100% improvement for nearly double the price. At that point it's definitely worth asking yourself what features you want as that's a large part of what differentiates them at the $1200-1500 level.

    I would suggest you find somewhere that will let you use a couple of different grinders and make shots on the level of machine you're looking at getting. Take some good quality beans you're familiar with, you might even offer to pay them a nominal amount. If you can't taste the difference then go with the cheaper option. If you can you will need to weigh up if it's worth the price difference. If the shop you go to has the Eureka Mignon and Atom that would be a good comparison. Also I can't recommend the Vario highly enough as a long term value option, I would make sure wherever you go has one you can use to test.

    Failing that you may have to spread the testing out, but try to use as similar a machine as possible. You could try contacting the site sponsors, I'm sure a few will be willing to have you.
    Dimal likes this.

  10. #10
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    Junior Member PGH's Avatar
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    Get a rotary pump. I was next to a vibe pump machine last week and I am so glad I got a rotary pump.

    I have had a ecm profi iv for five odd years. I have considered upgrading but it is perfect. Push valves are awesome. cleaned and lubed once myself in five years, only because I was replacing one of the brass plungers in the the head. plunger was a $2 item. Only money I have had to spend on it.

  11. #11
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    It's so tough with so many choices that have incremental changes every extra $500. Originally I was looking at the nuova simonelli musica as it has a nice steamer but i read its not as reliable as the other semi automatic machines. Then comes the decision with the pumps with the vibe in the low $2000 range and the rotary starting from $3000. Then i hear rotary pumps need to be plumbed in for longevity. And amongst other things need to consider having a pid control, hx/dual, volumetric control buttons, etc

    Most are out of my budget, I originally set to a max of $2000 but am considering either the rocket apartmento or bezzera magica range as they seem to be in the mid $2000.

    Would love a rotary pump if it doesnt need to be plumbed in but at the en of the day i just want a sturdy machine that wont require too many fixes.

  12. #12
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    yes the struggle is real

    If it helps i like my machine, site sponsor based in Rosebery NSW

    https://dibartoli.com.au/di-bartoli-lumina-on-sale/

    but also very much considered this machine from Casa Espresso in Melbourne
    https://www.casaespresso.com.au/izzo-vivi-pid.html

  13. #13
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    This is my set up, its about a year old and I would pick the same two machines again. The grinder is the Eureka Atom with a different shaped hopper I added post purchase. Its really quiet, its fast, its programmable, you don't lose your grind settings when cleaning it and it only harbors a few grams of ground coffee. The ECM is the Synchronika, I was used to a dual boiler so wanted to stay that route. Its a true E61 in all regards, made in Italy, finished in Germany and then shipped to the US. Runs on a standard 15a circuit, you can turn the hot water/steam boiler off if you only want espresso, its quiet and fast and offers manual pre infusion. Its built like a tank, weighs around 70-80lbs and is very very consistent. Use the water reservoir or plumb it, same goes for the waste water. The pressure valve auto dumps into the drip tray as does the waste from the brew group. You can adjust the brew pressure, it comes with two portafilters that are weapons unto themselves and cleanup is quiet easy. ..and yes, it has the joystick controls which is what you wanted. Questions?

    IMG_6983.jpg

  14. #14
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    No issues here with a Musica. Mine is non lux.

  15. #15
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    I've had a ECM Technika iv profi (with rotary pump) for about three years and have been very happy with my coffee (Quamar Q50 grinder).

    The only issue I have had is the pipe to the steam outlet becoming loose and allowing water to drip onto the power LED, killing it. A replacement LED and resistor cost a couple of dollars and some solder. I did have to put some Locktite on the tightening nut because the constant movement of the steam lever keeps loosening it.

  16. #16
    Member Martino's Avatar
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    Nothing in the world is perfect, you can expect to have an issues with something sooner or later, the key is...can you easily fix it yourself, even with a little help form the seller or manufacturer. Just think if you had to take your machine in to the dealer like you do your car - ugh. However, if you can fix it at home, its sooo much better. I love my ECM, its a machine that was built in Italy and finished in Germany, the best of both coffee worlds.
    TroubleBrewing likes this.



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