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  • New coffee machine advice

    Hi all

    I am looking to buy a new coffee machine capable of producing 50kgs p/wk (5 days).

    It MUST be reliable
    It must be consistent
    Prefer auto steam wand
    3 or 4 grp
    or 2 x 2 grp machines
    max space i have is 1300mm width.
    Most users are trained baristers obviously some better than others
    will consider all machines good bad and the ugly but prefer the sexy and not too overpriced.
    dont want to spend more than $15000 but if i have to for quality then i will.


    Can anyone with first hand experience point me in the right direction.

    All your help much apreciated.

  • #2
    Re: New coffee machine advice

    I can give you biased advice.  If I were starting a med size cafe I would purchase two 2 new FAEMA Due 2 group volumetrics and have a total of 4 groups, but the ability to have them on different sides of a bench or different ends of the bench on the same side - more working room for a barista and me. These are very forgiving machines, very tunable, produce very nice shots with good coffee and respond very well to a Mazzer Super Jolly, which allows costs to be brought down.  I understand that you can pick up the 2 grp for about $11k or perhaps a little less.  There might be some professional snobs that might laugh at this, but frankly if I were to roast the coffee, or purchase excellent pre-roasted like Andy Freemans espresso wow and I ran 2 (yes plain looking, but certainly not ugly) dues (a steam end at each end...it can come with Cappacino magic auto milk frother but you would never use that or similar!!!) and a couple of mazzer super jollys I would be confident of producing consistent and very quaffable coffees.

    Cheers

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: New coffee machine advice

      Id find it very hard to manage great coffee in a cafe pushing 10kgs a day using a super jolly (or two). Id be looking at a robur, or robur E and look at parking the rest of my budget on either the cheapest, solid e61 I could find, or stretch a little further and go dual boiler (synesso, lmz, or even an expobar ellen).

      The robur will set you back around $3k, leaving around $12k for the machine. Quite often you can pick up a decent linea (2nd hand) for $7-$8k, or you might get lucky with gb5. You dont usually see synessos for sale 2nd hand but I did hear that mecca (in sydney) might be looking for a buyer for theirs.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: New coffee machine advice

        Originally posted by 3C2E293E3E354C0 link=1237286990/2#2 date=1237350469
        Id find it very hard to manage great coffee in a cafe pushing 10kgs a day using a super jolly (or two).  Id be looking at a robur, or robur E and look at parking the rest of my budget on either the cheapest, solid e61 I could find, or stretch a little further and go dual boiler (synesso, lmz, or even an expobar ellen).

        The robur will set you back around $3k, leaving around $12k for the machine.  Quite often you can pick up a decent linea (2nd hand) for $7-$8k, or you might get lucky with gb5.  You dont usually see synessos for sale 2nd hand but I did hear that mecca (in sydney) might be looking for a buyer for theirs.
        I agree,

        50kg in 5 days is definitely Robur territory....

        If you are planning on 2 machines, Id be looking for 2 roburs as well...

        Realistically, you might consider 2 less expensive machines, 2 x Robur, 2 x decaf grinder. Look towards Expobar or something similar and then if youre taking the cash home in the the boot of the Ferrari, get 2 better machines...

        2mcm

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: New coffee machine advice

          Fair enough about speed of the grinder...didnt think about that when I made that call.

          Cheers

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: New coffee machine advice

            Not just speed, but heating up of and subsequent grind quality.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: New coffee machine advice

              seems like ppl are saying robur territory.
              i guess theres also the comppak k10 to consider and bnz conicals, which are fantastic, and quick grinders. not sure what other grinders make it at this level.

              and re decaf grinders, i would imagine that ONE would suffice even if u had two machines. at work, id be lucky to pull three shots all morning with decaf

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: New coffee machine advice

                There are two very important considerations above and beyond anything else. First, your staff have to look after the thing if you expect it to last. This means that you have to make sure that it it stripped down and cleaned thoroughly at the end of each day, that the steam wands are purged before and after steaming, that the water filter cartridges are changed regularly and as necessary, that the drain pipes are kept clear and arent kinked, that you keep all the spare parts that you are likely to need on hand, etc. Second, you have to have a good availability of parts and service. In this regard, I would be wary of going with Faema. To some extent, if you are happy with your coffee supplier, it might be worthwhile finding out what level of support they can provide for which machines and if they keep significant numbers of parts in stock, as that will be the easiest way for you to get them.

                10kg per day will put a fair amount of stress on a machine, but if you pay heed to the above, you should be able to keep up with a single three group machine, as many cafes do. The advantage of a three group machine over two two groups is the larger reservoir of steam and the more compact space. That said, you may be able to set up the cafe so that two two groups offer a good workflow. This would be a more expensive proposition because you would also have to get an extra grinder.

                Machine-wise, I guess that my tendency would be to go for a three group La Marzocco GB5. The strong points of this machine is that it is easy to service, delivers very repeatable espresso, has a durable brushed-steel case that is easy to keep clean and has a steam knob and wand that are very easy to use. The weak points of this machine is that it is on the pricey side, the buttons dont deliver a satisfying click when pushed and that the steam valve can clog up if the baristas get lazy in purging the steam wand (one solution that I have seen is installing an anti-vac valve on the steam valve).

                The e61 group heat exchanger (HX) machines are, to some extent, much of a muchness. A good technician will be able to tweak most of them to perform pretty well ... how many such technicians there are around I have no idea. Most HX machines deliver slightly different tasting espresso when the group is idle compared with when it is in constant use, with most being better suited for constant use than occasional use. I like the WEGA Polaris and BFC Synchro HXs, but others could be good, too.

                As everyone else has said, you also need to think about the grinder. The Mazzer Robur can definitely handle the kilos and I believe that the latest versions have some nifty cooling fans in them for precisely this purpose. The Robur is an absolute tank and it may be that at this usage level it is worthwhile paying the extra money to get a Robur over a Compak K10, which, from what I can tell, is not as solid.

                I guess that the take home message from all of this is that whatever machine you get, no matter how good or expensive, at 10kg per day it will be bound for the scrap heap in a matter of a year or two if you do not look after it properly. Oh yeah, and whatever you buy, do actually taste some coffee from it beforehand!

                Hope that helps, and dont forget to post to let us know what you ended up with,

                Luca

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: New coffee machine advice

                  Parts at good prices are readily available for FAEMA from coffeeparts...in fact it seems that their range for FAEMA is quite exhaustive. What gives Luca? Is it the lack of service technicians for them...surely anyone can work on them. I can strip down the Due change pressurestat, change group seals, change not only the seals in the steam wands, but change a cappacini magic fitting over to a new steam fitting, pull apart and clean out the OPV valve in the pump, adjust the pressuretat and recently lag the boiler...and Im a lawyer...how hard can it be to get them serviced?

                  Cheers

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: New coffee machine advice

                    Just because coffeeparts has the gear doesnt mean that it will be on site yesterday, as a machine that is down looses money at a rapid rate. You need a local supply of parts that can keep the 10kg a day flowing through, if they can get a local supplier for the Faema then is is worthy of consideration. As for anyone being able to do the work that may be true but if you are running a cafe doing 10kg a day you wouldnt have the time to do that sort of maintenance.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: New coffee machine advice

                      Each to their own. I would run two Dues and have standard parts available to do maintenance at night/weekends....having 2 machines makes parts it easier if there is a problem. Overnight from coffeeparts would sweet I think, but then again you would have to have confidence in your ability to fault find and then fix the machine...if you havent got that you would be whistling if there were no local parts.

                      I asked the question above because I didnt know if there was a local supply of FAEMA parts...moto coffee suggests perhaps there is not, but do we know that? In Brisbane for example I thought that there was a local who supplied FAEMA parts...wont mention his name because he is not a site sponsor.


                      Cheers

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: New coffee machine advice

                        Dont want people to think I know anything about spare parts availability I was just making a general point about spare parts and the influence that has on your equipment choice. I have some experience with this, I have a machine sitting on a workbench waiting for a part to arrive and it has been over three months, I have had to spend my hard earned on a new machine to keep going. Kinda hurts when you are just starting to get ahead.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: New coffee machine advice

                          moto coffee has made the only correct point that can be made. Cafe owners are not espresso machine technicians, especially those turning 10 kilo a day.  They are flat out running their cafe / food business and rely on the service provided by their local service supplier. They do not as a general rule, work on their coffee machine after hours or for that matter, at any time.

                          Cafe owners as a general rule know nothing mechanically about their equipment, and wouldnt have the faintest about keeping spare parts on hand or where to put them or how to fit them. They do not know how to diagnose an espreso machine problem....it is not their area.

                          The only way they will get fast service if they have a faema machine is if they are tied to vittoria coffee, who is the faema importer in australia. If the cafe owner is using another brand coffee, then I am afraid the parts are usually "on the water". By the time you order from Coffee Parts, even if he delivers overnight you have been "out of order" for atleast 24 hours. When you dont serve coffee, you lose all the ancillary food business. This is not the way to run a business.

                          Undoubtedly the best way for a cafe owner to ensure he is well looked after in the provision of service to his equipment, is for him to align himself with the equipment handled by his coffee supplier. This guarantees instant service in the event of a problem. On the other hand it does not guarantee that the equipment is of best quality, just that the cafe will get fast service in the event of a problem. A good example of this would be where the cafe is equipped with a machine that regularly overheats the brewing water and burns the coffee. If it breaks down, your coffee supplier will be there pronto to fix it. But it will always burn the coffee regardless.

                          None of the above is meant to offend, it is just statement of fact or common sense or information commonly known in the industry.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: New coffee machine advice

                            No offence taken at all mate...I am not in the industry so I take all that on board from you and those that are.  I guess I am lucky in picking up some ability (dont read completely competent by ANY means) and am confident in doing all of those things that I enumerated above (and doing them quickly...for example if my steam wand starts to leak a little today within the next 2 days I can ensure that it does not develop into a full blown disaster of its own!  What you both say makes perfect sense. I can feel when the group head seals are getting a little tough and order them and fit them up in short time etc. The point Denis makes about consistency even if inferior product (ie to use his example burnt coffee) is a good one...a shame but a necessity for many owners it seems.  

                            Cheer

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: New coffee machine advice

                              I would actually put the inferior product (burnt coffee from poor machine) down to a lack of knowledge about coffee. This has been discussed in the thread about cafe owners signing supply agreements so I wont go into it. But necessary no I wouldnt say that.

                              Comment

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