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  • Upgrade a notch.. or two??

    My first post on CS was to ask for help in what to do with my Nemox Napoletana, and thanks for all the responses.

    I delayed a bit and finally sent the machine to Lygon Imports so that they could have a look at it. Havent heard back from them yet but Im already contemplating an upgrade.

    Was prepared to spend $3.2k on an Expobar Minore III plus a Mazzer Mini, including all the accessories. Then I decided to step back a bit and looked at the Vibiemme Piccolo and wondering whether that is adequate for me as it is about $1k cheaper. Been browsing our sponsors websites for pricing info.

    Id probably drink a coffee or two a day, and maybe make 4 or 6 with guests over during the weekend.

    Would just like some opinions as I dont think Im being very objective with my thoughts at the moment on what I should be getting. :

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Re: Upgrade a notch.. or two??

    Hi Makaroos,

    For 6 milk based drinks, you may want to consider the smaller HX machines at around $2.2K rather than the Piccolo (single boiler dual purpose machine)

    Expobar Office Leva
    Isomac Tea
    Bezzera BZ07

    charlie

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    • #3
      Re: Upgrade a notch.. or two??

      hi charlie, thanks for the feedback. I guess 6 milk based drinks would be the upper limit of what Id make. besides taking longer to get the drinks out, would the quality of coffee/milk from a single boiler dual purpose machine be any different from a HX machine?

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      • #4
        Re: Upgrade a notch.. or two??

        I think the Simonelli Oscar also falls into this budget and capability

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        • #5
          Re: Upgrade a notch.. or two??

          Agreed the Oscar is worth a look. The aesthetics arent to everyones tastes as its shell is plastic rather than metal, but for $1.2k or so its still a HX machine.

          The quality of espresso and milk from the Piccolo would be comparable to a HX. In the case of the Piccolo it shares the same E61 group as most HX machines (though I believe its thermosyphon runs a bit cooler as the water comes from the brew boiler rather than from a heat exchanger) so the brewing side of things should be much the same, and 700ml is quite enough volume to get a good head of steam for doing the milk.

          The main difference is the time; the Piccolo (and any other single boiler machine) takes a minute or so to heat the water up to steam temperature, and you have to repeat this after every shot. You also overheat the group by doing this, so while youd normally pull all your shots first and do the milk after, if you needed to pull a shot after doing all the milk youd have to let the group get back down to temperature.

          By comparison, a HX machine will maintain roughly the same group temperature all the time so you can pull shots before, during or after doing your milk, as well as having no time delay in between jugs of milk.

          Just depends how long youre prepared to wait to get the coffees out.

          Greg

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          • #6
            Re: Upgrade a notch.. or two??

            Originally posted by 5144535146435A5A5B5758360 link=1254206161/4#4 date=1254359564
            You also overheat the group by doing this, so while youd normally pull all your shots first and do the milk after, if you needed to pull a shot after doing all the milk youd have to let the group get back down to temperature.
            Just a quick one, would the e61 take longer to come down to brew temp then say a silvia, purley because of the increased thermal mass of the e61? just curious.....

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            • #7
              Re: Upgrade a notch.. or two??

              I was never aware of much difference in the group head temperature after steaming with a Piccolo, although I also rarely did runs of more than 4 coffees at a time (4 shots, then the milk). Heating up to steam temperature took less than a minute, and steaming 4 lattés of milk took about 30 seconds more, so the exposure of the E61 to the increased temperature via the thermosyphon is relatively short.

              The boiler temp also drops fairly quickly because you have to turn on the pump to re-fill the boiler after steaming, and the influx of cool water speeds the return to brewing temperature. I suspect the Silvia would be faster if only because the boiler is smaller.

              Greg

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              • #8
                Re: Upgrade a notch.. or two??

                cheers greg, i was just curious, thanks

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                • #9
                  Re: Upgrade a notch.. or two??

                  Originally posted by 5450766F6F6A75626D030 link=1254206161/5#5 date=1254360580
                  Just a quick one, would the e61 take longer to come down to brew temp then say a silvia, purley because of the increased thermal mass of the e61? just curious.....
                  No WS,

                  The good ones employ thermsyphon restrictors to ensure that they dont get hot in the first place. All of this is irrelevant though if the HX is poorly designed in the first place though as you can then end up a shot that rapidly cools during the pour...

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                  • #10
                    Re: Upgrade a notch.. or two??

                    Spoke to Chris from TalkCoffee and Im leaning (very slanted) towards the Diadema Perfetta now, seems to be a better build quality than the VBM Piccolo, and full stainless steel sides. I am ok with brewing shots and waiting a bit for the steaming to heat up so I think the Perfetta sounds like the ideal machine for me at the moment.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Upgrade a notch.. or two??

                      very interesting 2mcm, cheers

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                      • #12
                        Re: Upgrade a notch.. or two??

                        Originally posted by 3E3238263B30530 link=1254206161/9#9 date=1254439061
                        Spoke to Chris from TalkCoffee and Im leaning (very slanted) towards the Diadema Perfetta now, seems to be a better build quality than the VBM Piccolo, and full stainless steel sides.
                        Im sure youd be very happy with one of these maka..... Superlative build quality combined with excellent design and engineering. Hard to beat 8-)

                        Mal.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Upgrade a notch.. or two??

                          Getting the Diadema Perfetta and the Macap M5 from Chris @ Talk Coffee tomorrow. Would have picked it up today if not for work.

                          Im very excited and cant wait. Any tips to prepare me for welcoming new shiny objects and the ever present aroma of coffee into my household?

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                          • #14
                            Re: Upgrade a notch.. or two??

                            Originally posted by 4E4248564B40230 link=1254206161/12#12 date=1255045493
                            Any tips to prepare me for welcoming new shiny objects and the ever present aroma of coffee into my household?  
                            A spare pair of underpants and some valium to counteract all the coffees youll drink.

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