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expobar mega crem 2group (compact)! should i buy?

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  • expobar mega crem 2group (compact)! should i buy?

    as i am a no0b member on this site i say hi to all CS members
    my question is this:
    the business i co-own is expanding our product range and heading down the coffee road. we currently sell premium ice-cream and gelato, gourmet made to order sandwiches and rolls, fresh juices and sundry smoothies.
    we have found that our population pool (small town east coast Tas) is more interested in caffeine than they are in juice:/ so is the Expobar Mega Crem compact a worthy investment?
    we dont anticipate making more than 50 cups per day (i said it was a small town) and the space for the machine plus grinder is limited.
    any truthful input would be muchly appreciated.
    cheers

  • #2
    Re: expobar mega crem 2group (compact)! should i buy?

    Hi marc no2.  Like you, I am working in a cafe in a small NW Tas. town (Wynyard).

    I have a number of issues with compacts:

    1. Smaller machines lack thermal stability drastically effecting shot quality & steaming ability.

    2. You say that you expect coffee sales to be approx. 50 per day.  The problem is that if you are doing things right - sales tend to grow.  My last cafe (in Penguin) started with 3KG a week & ended up doing 20kg + a week.  If we had bought a compact we would have very quickly outgrown it.

    3. There are lot of Expobars in Tas.  (down to a very effective wholesaler).  You should talk to a few users before committing to one. Feel free to PM me.  I have had some experience them.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: expobar mega crem 2group (compact)! should i buy?

      hi
      Originally posted by 7D534A5A6077504A4C5A3F0 link=1298858938/1#1 date=1298862003
      Hi marc no2.  Like you, I am working in a cafe in a small NW Tas. town (Wynyard).

      I have a number of issues with compacts:

      1. Smaller machines lack thermal stability drastically effecting shot quality & steaming ability.

      2. You say that you expect coffee sales to be approx. 50 per day.  The problem is that if you are doing things right - sales tend to grow.  My last cafe (in Penguin) started with 3KG a week & ended up doing 20kg + a week.  If we had bought a compact we would have very quickly outgrown it.

      3. There are lot of Expobars in Tas.  (down to a very effective wholesaler).  You should talk to a few users before committing to one. Feel free to PM me.  I have had some experience them.
      thanks Blue House for your input.
      i, too, am now wondering about the thermal stability of the compact version of the Mega Crem. so i am going to have to rationalise my thoughts on an extra 210mm and approx $600 on the compact.
      will this increase in capacity negate some of those quality issues which may be experienced with the smaller machine you think?
      as to  speaking with existing users of the compact, i am going to Hbt tomorrow to suss some venues out.
      cheers
      (and thanks. ill pm you re above)

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: expobar mega crem 2group (compact)! should i buy?

        compact or not compact has absolutely no difference with thermal stability of the groups

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: expobar mega crem 2group (compact)! should i buy?

          Thats what I thought, but if you try and pump out a heap of coffees with a compact then their steam pressure wont keep up that I can vouch for.

          Brett

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: expobar mega crem 2group (compact)! should i buy?

            Wouldnt the boiler size be the main factor? The group head is the same lump of metal as on the larger machine, so it cant be that. Tuning of the thermosyphon loop could also make a difference.

            Most compacts have a smaller boiler, but not all. My azkoyen has a 9l boiler which is the same as some full size two groups, although full size machines would generally have 11l or larger wouldnt they?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: expobar mega crem 2group (compact)! should i buy?

              Hi Marc no 2

              We purchased a Mega crem compact 2 group 4 years ago to do a monthly market in our small community. (we did lots of homework before deciding) We loved the machine and it could definately keep up with over 50 coffees an hour. 

              Often during busy times my husband would be pulling the shots and I would be on the milk (to keep up with demand) and it did this with no problems.  The only time it would let us down would be if you had a run on teas and long blacks (and pulled the hot water from the machine), this would affect the pressure and you would have to wait 30secs or so for the pressure to come back up.  You definately would not try and pull a shot on it at the same time as running the hot water, as this would affect the shot!  In saying that, once you know its little downfalls you just work around it and if you say you are only going to do 50 coffees a day, then this will be absolutely no issue!

              The postives with this machine for us - light weight (lightest commercial machine we could find), very competative price (so outlay a lot less) fits into a small space, looks pretty cool and most importantly it does pull a consistent good shot (remembering that more often than not consistency issues relate to the user).  Microfoamed milk beautifully and quickly (a negative if you are inexperienced as burnt milk happens quickly).  For its size, it has amazed many experienced cafe owners as to how well it keeps up with high demand coffee making and for those who appreciate good coffee, many were impressed with the shot it pulled (or maybe the coffee makers and roasters should take credit for that?!)

              The negatives - (Mostly to do with getting used to the machine).  It took a while to work out what level to pack the basket (I have noted in this and other forums that this was a common issue).  Finding the sweet spot for microfoaming takes a while unless a very experienced barista. The drip tray looks more like a cake rack (but it still does the trick). We got the normal height group head and found that getting takeway cups under the spout difficult (especially when pouring long blacks onto a full cup of hot water, you could not do it unless you removed the top drip tray) and large take away cups were just a pain in the butt with it.  This is not an issue with normal cafe type cups.

              In summary - Its a great entry level machine that I dont think will let you down.  It is perfect for a small cafe and would even be a great little work horse in a moderately busy little cafe.  I cant comment on the longevity of the machine, as we only used it once a month (and the odd festival where it worked non stop all weekend) so how it goes day in day out producing large output I can not comment.  If you want the capacity to move your machine around and take it to events etc it is perfect (especially as it is light weight and 10AMPs).  You will need to know what your are doing to get that great shot of coffee and your microfoam though.

              Oh and the other good thing about buying your own machine (rather than renting from a roaster and having to use only their coffee) is that you can experiment with beans and roasters, to find what works best in the machine and suits the type of coffee lovers that frequent your cafe.

              If you get the chance as mentioned above, see if you can befriend a good barista who uses a megacrem and try and take the opportunity to have a play with one. 

              Hope this has given you a little bit to think about. 

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: expobar mega crem 2group (compact)! should i buy?

                Oh in reply to moto coffee.

                I can not vouch for other smaller machines, but the megacrems big point is that it excelled itself when it came to steaming. I have watched and used big older commercial machines which seem to take forever to steam milk. This little guy does seem to deserve the megacrem name. Its steaming capacity was not affected by high output, we would often be pouring a shot and steaming at the same time with negligible effect on its steaming capacity.

                Denhamia

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: expobar mega crem 2group (compact)! should i buy?

                  I agree with denhamia - especially hot water collapsing pressure. Its not the major crisis many on this forum would lead you to believe as its easy to work around. They are a great machine built for a purpose.

                  Own many Expobars myself in various sizes and for charity event carts we do often use the Megacrem 2grp compact for the same reasons - power, space, logistics.

                  The 2grp compact has been able to pump out 400 coffees over 5 brutally crazy hours at busy events. It gets moved around all over the place and never failed us yet (except the dodgy hotdog caravan next door plugging into your power supply).

                  Running flat chat with 2 of us for 5 straight hours, we keep 1 eye constantly on the boiler gauge. You are unlikely to experience having a constant stream of 30+ punters lined up for coffee over many hours.

                  As you would be juggling fat, skim and soy milk in smaller jugs I doubt you wont run out of steam, even back to back and again its easy to work around.

                  The other consideration on the compacts is physical space in front of the machine. With 2 operators when its busy, you are basically joined at the hip and constantly crashing into each other as there is very little space between the steam arm and the left group head (a few burnt forearms when you are going crazy locking the portafilter into the group head - no big deal).

                  Small footprint, good power suitability, surprisingly good performance (certainly punches above its weight), reasonably nice looking machine and great price/value.

                  I dont think you can go wrong, even at 100 cups per day.

                  My other advice is "presentation". A small footprint machine has its advantages in better usage of benchspace (never underestimate how much space you need for preparing coffee), but some customers may unfortunately turn up their nose thinking you are not serious about coffee with a "small toy" machine. Its a shame, but you may have to think about that "look".

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: expobar mega crem 2group (compact)! should i buy?

                    Originally posted by 66676C6A636F6B63020 link=1298858938/6#6 date=1299296500
                    The only time it would let us down would be if you had a run on teas and long blacks (and pulled the hot water from the machine), this would affect the pressure and you would have to wait 30secs or so for the pressure to come back up.  You definately would not try and pull a shot on it at the same time as running the hot water, as this would affect the shot!  In saying that, once you know its little downfalls you just work around it and if you say you are only going to do 50 coffees a day, then this will be absolutely no issue!
                    I have the same problem at home with my Expobar Leva.
                    I just learned to work around it.

                    Originally posted by 6F6766636E60636C666B76020 link=1298858938/8#8 date=1299298581
                    its easy to work around.
                    Snap!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: expobar mega crem 2group (compact)! should i buy?

                      wow.
                      thanks everyone for your input here. i am blown away.

                      My other advice is "presentation". A small footprint machine has its advantages in better usage of benchspace (never underestimate how much space you need for preparing coffee), but some customers may unfortunately turn up their nose thinking you are not serious about coffee with a "small toy" machine. Its a shame, but you may have to think about that "look".
                      this made me chortle i have to admit. we have a smallish permanent population which swells from 5,000 to 15,000 in January and many of these holidayers do think they are a little bit spesh! i am hoping that my ability to pump out a quality product will be more important to my future customers than how much space the machine takes up on the bench. haha.
                      thanks denhamia and The Metal Bandit. you are awesome

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: expobar mega crem 2group (compact)! should i buy?

                        i went ahead and ordered the 2 group compact... soooo excited.
                        now to investigate beans which will be very interesting.
                        once again thanks to all who contributed to my query!
                        marc

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: expobar mega crem 2group (compact)! should i buy?

                          I dont have much to offer but I am looking forward to seeing the photos when you have it all set up 8-)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: expobar mega crem 2group (compact)! should i buy?

                            Glad to be of help and hope you will log in and let us know how it all goes for you. I am sure like Blue House noted, that if you do it right you may surprise yourself as to how many coffees you do end up doing in a day.

                            I am sure you will have lots of fun and enjoyable coffee moments with your new investment.

                            Denhamia

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