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Thread: What machine would you ram into this available space?

  1. #1
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    What machine would you ram into this available space?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Bit of a different take on a the 'which machine should I buy' question, that I see is ubiquitous on the forums.

    My problem is a bit different... the choice of machine depends on the space I have, and it's depth that's limited, not width.
    See photo dropbox link



    The machine needs to go in that niche, next to the grinder.
    The available space is 450w x 330d x 530h

    The creates a problem. Unless I'm happy with a Gaggia Classic or Rancillio Silvia (I don't think I am), or I'm happy to spend $6k on Olympia Cremina (I'm not), then I don't have too many options left.

    What would you put in this space?

    I like good coffee, and have always bought the best beans I can find, and grind fresh. But I've stuck mostly with stovetop brewing for 20 years, and occasionally pour over, when I want something fruity. Always been satisfied with that, now I've got a young family, and we're home more often, and hosting friends more often, sometimes up to 10 people at weekend family dinners. So I want something that can keep up with all that. I like a decent cap from time to time, and with a young kid, my partner now sometimes drinks espresso (she's a tea drinker). So whatever I buy needs to be pretty flexible.

    So far I've considered:
    • Rancilio Silvia - it's a romantic idea, and I'm not afraid of learning to temperature surf and tinker, but seems overpriced for what it is, and it wont handle hosting.
    • Lelit Victoria - seems better, with more control, auto refill etc, looks good, relatively affordable, but not convinced about build quality or
    • Quick Mill Silvano - questionable serviceability. Uses heat bank for steam, which has pros and cons. Bit ugly.
    • serviceability.
    • Breville BES920 - decent value and well liked, but it's basically disposable in <5 years, which doesn't really sit well with me. It's got that junky plastic look, and it's also about 5cm too deep to fit neatly on the shelf. BES840 fits... but it's a single boiler, so probably not up to the task.


    I feel like I'm not really going to be happy with any of those options in the long term. Seems like the sensible thing to do would be to pony up a few more clams, and get something with an e61 group or similar.

    Main contenders seem to be:
    • Rocket Appartamento or Giotto/Mozzafiato
    • Bezerra BZ10 ($1800 at the moment. Seems a steal)
    • Expobar Minore 4


    I've spent less time looking at these, and obviously a significant jump in price and quality.
    Now, none of these will fit entirely in the appliance niche. These seem to be the most compact of this style of machine. I guess the main question is, will it look like dogs balls with the drip tray and handles poking out up to 10cm onto the stone bench area?

    I think... maybe. Maybe not. After all, it's tucked away in the corner, and it's not exactly usable space back there anyway.

    So what would you do?
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  2. #2
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    If it was me I would confront your OCD tendencies front on (or maybe your wifes) and allow the machine to project onto the bench - then buy the machine you want. Not sure how natural steaming milk will feel side on.


    PS remember most machines will have a water tank, allow room to refill it. Seems tight with the shelf above, so take a few measurements before buying

  3. #3
    Senior Member Sullo's Avatar
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    Cant answer your question but a bes900 has lasted me 12 years...
    Dont buy a silvia for that many people, good lil machine but yeah
    Make a bigger hole or buy better machine perhaps
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  4. #4
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    OCD, yeah. Fair call.

    Made a mock up. Bench overhang is less bad than I thought it would be. No problem.
    I don’t think topping up will be a issue either, got a good 15cm clearance. Tight, but definitely possible.

    Now just gotta figure out which machine to go with. They’re all probably different degrees of excellent I guess.
    Off to read the million threads comparing them all. Ah, the internet...

    I like the look and feel of the Rockets. e61 group, popular, therefore easily serviced. Ticks lots of my boxes. Probably can’t go too wrong with that. Probably Giotto or Mozzafiato Type V. Not because I think I need the PID and extra gauge, but because the build quality is a bit nicer, and I don’t like plastic. First world problem for sure. But hopefully this is a once in a 10 year kind of purchase, so, whatever.

  5. #5
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    Mockup looks good and now you can get your chosen machine, as you say it js a 10 year purchase.

    Without being smart, I personally think the shelf would be a great spot for the knockbox, coffee, tamper which can all be moved out when needed and the machine go in front of the power point. But i can't see the rest of tbe kitchen and that space may be needed.
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  6. #6
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    Agree that the sideways orientation is a bit awkward. It’s possible, just, to go infront of the power point. Bit close to the wall light, which will feel crowded. It’s also adjacent to the cooktop. We’ve got a fair bit of other bench space, but that particular spot is pretty handy when cooking, preparing toast, serving, etc. Annoying spot for a coffee machine.

  7. #7
    338
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    A set of castors might make life easier
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  8. #8
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Why not go completely left field and have the machine backing into the corner at 45 to both sides. Keep the grinder on the left parallel to machine.

    P.S. as an electrician I have to say that wall light is bleeding ridiculous (and if it screws out like a normal bulb and has 240V inside is also illegal, if it's fixed or ELV it's legal but obtuse)
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  9. #9
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    Have you had any experience pulling espressos & steaming milk? As 338 mentioned above about wanting to avoid steaming milk side-on - if the machine is in an awkward position it might be quite difficult to do things like attach the group handle, reach for buttons, not burn your hand reaching through a hot steam wand, spill drip-tray liquid on the floor/toaster/cooktop as you carry it to the sink.

    I've lived in three different homes since I got serious about coffee, and have had to adapt my setup based on the available kitchen space. I could imagine though if my setup was too awkward when starting out I may have found it all too hard. Each to their own however!
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeHack View Post
    Have you had any experience pulling espressos & steaming milk?
    Yeah, I worked in cafes for a few years through uni. I know it’s going to be pretty awkward, especially because I’m left handed, although pretty ambidextrous.

    But it is what it is. I already do the grind and prep at that counter, and it’s fine, because scales, grinder, beans, etc. are all at arms reach, and it’s no big deal. So dose, grind, and tamp will be fine. Loading the handle into the group head is going to be tricky, and steaming will be a bit of a chore. But you deal.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member CoffeeHack's Avatar
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    Well if you've worked in a cafe there's no doubt you know what it's all about!
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  12. #12
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Yep, agree re: the light fitting. Lots of things can go wrong there, even if fixed...
    Quite a few CSers have mounted all of their coffee hardware on a mobile benchtop (some adapted from Ikea standards), with caster wheels.
    Keep in a convenient storage location when not in use, wheel out when coffee calls.
    Might be a solution...

    Mal.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by level3ninja View Post

    P.S. as an electrician I have to say that wall light is bleeding ridiculous (and if it screws out like a normal bulb and has 240V inside is also illegal, if it's fixed or ELV it's legal but obtuse)
    Is it? I wouldn’t know, but I do remember it getting discussed during build between architect and builder. So, I trust they found a solution where it’s not illegal. Thanks for the heads up.

    There’s probably more practical ways to light that dark corner... In context to the surrounding rooms and overall lighting plan though, this style does make sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Yep, agree re: the light fitting. Lots of things can go wrong there, even if fixed...
    Quite a few CSers have mounted all of their coffee hardware on a mobile benchtop (some adapted from Ikea standards), with caster wheels.
    Keep in a convenient storage location when not in use, wheel out when coffee calls.
    Might be a solution...

    Mal.
    Cool idea, and I could see it working for lots of people. No good for me though. 90% duty on this will be my morning coffee. No way I’m gonna wheel it in/out every day. Inevitably it’d end up floating around the kitchen in a semi-permanent way. There’s not really anywhere to wheel it to anyway. Also: I’m allergic to power plugs and cables. I just hate ‘em. I want to plug it in once, and never see the cables, ever again!
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  15. #15
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogerwilco View Post
    So, I trust they found a solution where it’s not illegal.
    I wouldn't bank on it...
    At the very least the globe should be protected such that if broken, the electrodes inside can not be accidentally contacted. Situations exist where even RCD Safety Devices will not protect you. I'd be especially concerned where curious, tiny fingers are likely to be around...

    If wired to an Extra Low Voltage supply as 'ninja mentioned, all will be Ok.

    Mal.
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  16. #16
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    Looks like you and I walking down same path....

    Could you sit the machine on a lazy Susan? My thoughts on the matter is that machines in this price range become an integral part of the kitchen and should be on show, not hidden in the corner.

    Looking forward to see which way you go.
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  17. #17
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    For anybody following along at home... it turns out that space isn’t as tight as I thought.
    Three different configurations are going to work just fine.

    Option 1. Original idea. Not great, because it gonna real awkward. But it’s possible.
    Option 2. Go on an angle. Turns out @level3ninja was right on the money. This is probably the most efficient in terms of space and function.
    Option 3. Put it on castors, and tuck it away sideways.
    Option 4. Put it on the bench, on a piece of bench that isn’t too critical for other things.

    That mockup box is the dimensions of a Rocket Mozzafiato. Clearance above is a little bit tight under the shelf. But I can get a jug in there to pour water, so it’s no problem.

    So, problem solved... I can buy whatever machine I want. Man, if only I could be like most other people, and think less about some of this stuff, I could save a lot time. Then again, there’s been plenty of times where ‘seemed like a good idea at the time’ turned out to a bad decision later.

    Thanks all for your previous contributions. Helpful!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Another option, just to throw a spanner in the works , a La Spaziale mini vivaldi. The overhang would be about 85mm, but they're only 385mm tall, so plenty of space for cups and the water refill is from the front.

  19. #19
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    I'd forget about the alcove altogether and put the machine in front of the left-hand power point, so that the left edge of the machine aligns with the junction of the bench top and alcove.
    The alcove where you plan to install the machine I would use to store all your accessories such as tamper, scales, pitcher etc.

    Alternatively, it may be possible to remove that board (saw it off) from the height of the bench top to the cupboards above providing it is not supporting those cupbooards.

    I had to live for 10 years with a hefty 2-group machine in a corner with the sink on one side and cooktops on the other---and it always annoyed me and I felt for my wife whose kitchen real estate has been taken away from her.

    A few months ago I bought a flat pack bench, built a bench top for it and now it's a self-contained coffee station near the dining area.
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  20. #20
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    Make sure you check out the tank access before you buy, it was an important point when I was deciding which machine to go under corner overhead cupboards, one I looked at only had pouring hole, not good in a tight spot.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffee_mum View Post
    Make sure you check out the tank access before you buy, it was an important point when I was deciding which machine to go under corner overhead cupboards, one I looked at only had pouring hole, not good in a tight spot.
    Totally agree. Not allowing enough tank access can have undesirable consequences.

    TankAccess.jpg

    (Sorry, couldn't help myself!)
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  22. #22
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Haha. Very good. Every home with a coffee machine obviously should have tank access.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by robusto View Post
    Haha. Very good. Every home with a coffee machine obviously should have tank access.
    Drive thru?
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  24. #24
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    The great thing about tanks is that every home has drive thru access if you accelerate hard enough
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  25. #25
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Coming through....
    Coming Through.jpg

    Mal.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogerwilco View Post
    For anybody following along at home... it turns out that space isn’t as tight as I thought.
    Three different configurations are going to work just fine.

    Option 1. Original idea. Not great, because it gonna real awkward. But it’s possible.
    Option 2. Go on an angle. Turns out @level3ninja was right on the money. This is probably the most efficient in terms of space and function.
    Option 3. Put it on castors, and tuck it away sideways.
    Option 4. Put it on the bench, on a piece of bench that isn’t too critical for other things.

    That mockup box is the dimensions of a Rocket Mozzafiato. Clearance above is a little bit tight under the shelf. But I can get a jug in there to pour water, so it’s no problem.

    So, problem solved... I can buy whatever machine I want. Man, if only I could be like most other people, and think less about some of this stuff, I could save a lot time. Then again, there’s been plenty of times where ‘seemed like a good idea at the time’ turned out to a bad decision later.

    Thanks all for your previous contributions. Helpful!
    G'day rogerwilco

    Possibly over budget, however my DE1 is about 230W, 430H (includes the tablet, which could be angled differently or even moved "elsewhere") and around 400 deep including the power cord and catering kit (I still have about 50mm spare of a 450mm deep bench without pushing everything back as far as I can).

    All stainless, ceramic and high quality teflon tubing internals, metal casing. I expect it to outlast me as after 8 months it is still like new. As a bonus, it keeps itself pretty clean (1/4 the maintenance of any other machine I have used) and is easy to live with.

    The other thing about the Decent DE1 - you can choose to tinker endlessly (preinfusion, temp, pressure and flow profiling using as many steps as you wish) or just press "start" and repeat the last shot. Very SWMBO friendly.

    TampIt

  27. #27
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    Tampit, just wondering if the Decent would just add the complication of needing the tablet at ninety degrees or other angle?



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