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Advice - Rancilio V3 v Isomac venus (or millenium) v Pavoni

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  • Advice - Rancilio V3 v Isomac venus (or millenium) v Pavoni

    Hi All

    Be gentle. this is my first post! Can i have some advice on the above with a view to buy

    Im looking to buy a coffee machine (assume that I will buy a grinder too). Now, I like my coffee. 90% of my coffees are short macs or short black. my wife drinks hot chocolate. i drink about 2-4 short blacks a day (down from my 16 but thats another story) and was wanting to buy a machine. we have a venezia and that is "OK"

    so, i have narrowed it down to a fairly wide list. My interest is drinking coffee.

    My questions are:
    [list bull-redball][*] How difficult is it to use a pavoni and to get a good shot? Given that it is a lever, that adds another variable to how fast should you pull the lever? Or is it matter of tweaking the tamp and grind to get a good shot with a 25 sec pull?
    [list bull-redball][*] What are the pros and cons of the millenium and pavoni? I read the pavoni doesnt do milk that good ( do have the occasional latte
    [list bull-redball][*] we do have guests from time to time and wed make maybe 4 at a time but not that often)
    [list bull-redball][*] finallay, what is PID? how does it influence the taste of coffee?

    thanks all[/list]

  • #2
    Re: Advice - Rancilio V3 v Isomac venus (or millenium) v Pavoni

    Regarding the Pavoni lever:

    It takes some learning, but you can get AMAZING shots from this machine. It all depends on whether youre willing to put the time and effort into learning it.

    It is a matter of tweaking grind and tamp and pressure on the lever and time to get a good shot.

    It makes great milk - I never understood those who say it doesnt - Ive made milk as good on this machine as I have on any machine. Every machine is different and you have to learn to adapt to every new machine to get good milk, but this one can make good microfoam when you learn how.

    In terms of making four - even if only occasionally - it simply cannot be done with the europiccola. I find two and its over until you can cool it down again.

    If you want to make four, even only occasionally, maybe you should lean towards the Rancillio (or the Venus, I just dont have any experience with it so cannot comment). The Silvia makes a great coffee and is built to last. Hopefully someone else can comment on the Venus for you.

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    • #3
      Re: Advice - Rancilio V3 v Isomac venus (or millenium) v Pavoni

      the lapavs inability to make more than 2 shots in a row was what eventually turned me off it (and into the arms of my ponte vecchio). we have guests all too often and it would have been a big problem for me.

      PID stands for Proportional, Integral, Derivative which is a very standard industrial controller type. They are often used to improve the temperature stability of a thermostat controlled machine such as a rancilio silva or gaggia classic by measuring boiler skin temperature and modulating the duty cycle of the boiler element. theyre a major improvement largely because you gain temperature stability but also because you have a temperature readout so you know just a little bit more about whats going on inside your machine. surfing the steam for instance becomes far less hit-and-miss.

      i dont have a great deal of experience with the silva, but i have recently moved on from my gaggia classic on the grounds () that it couldnt make good (enough) espresso to satisfy me - if youre expecting the sort of god shot that routinely comes from an HX commercial machine driven by an experienced barista then i think you would probably be happier learning to drive the lapav even with its many limitations than you will be with a single boiler pump like the silvia.

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      • #4
        Re: Advice - Rancilio V3 v Isomac venus (or millenium) v Pavoni

        Hi and welcome

        declaring up front I have no experience with levers!

        The Rancillio and Venus are single boiler machines - one boiler used for both extracting and steaming. The "con" with this is extracting is done at ~94 degrees, and steaming needs 100+, so theres some time between the two when the machine heats up.

        Single boilers also require manual filling - something you wont want to forget or your element will boil dry and burn out.

        I believe the Millenium is a heat exchanger or HX machine, which only has one boiler but its always at steaming teamp. The extraction water is run straight fromt the cold tank, through piping in the middle of the boiler (the HX) and then to your group head. This way youre (almost) always ready for both steaming and extracting (even simultaneously), and youll get (usually) better temperature control. It should also have an auto boiler refill.

        On top of the HX, there are various methods of pre-heating the group head - such as the E61, which runs hot water through the group to improve the thermal stability.

        A PID is just a controller that adjusts the heating element rapidly on/off to maintain a consistent temperature to withing a degree or two (similar to a cars cruise control). Without a PID, the machine will use a thermostat which can have (for example) 10 degrees between the switch on and switch off points. You can overcome this by taking note of what part of the cycle your machine is in, and extracting at the right time, or you can take out the guess work and use a PID!

        A dinner party of 4 isnt too bad for a single boiler since guests are usually happy to chat while they wait, although I do love the speed and consistency of my HX - last weekend I knocked out coffees in groups of 6 and they hadnt finished the first round by the time I was making the second

        hope that helps - others will chime in with other bits of advice too!

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        • #5
          Re: Advice - Rancilio V3 v Isomac venus (or millenium) v Pavoni

          Wow! Great replies and thanks for taking the time. Kinda restored my faith in human nature

          I wasnt aware that the pavoni could only do 2 shots at a time. The brochure (the Professional) says is has a 16 cup capacity. PAVONIBOY, why do you have to let the Pavoni cool down? Sorry for my, possibly, inane questions. The whole world of coffee get bigger each time i scratch the surface.

          Thanks too about the info about PID. Mind boggling!

          I love the look of the Pavoni and quite happy to fiddle to make a good coffee (I have an Atomic)

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          • #6
            Re: Advice - Rancilio V3 v Isomac venus (or millenium) v Pavoni

            Total budget? Quite a range in the machines youve nominated to date. All should be paired with $400+ grinder or a Breville Smart Grinder (under $300).

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            • #7
              Re: Advice - Rancilio V3 v Isomac venus (or millenium) v Pavoni

              Budget about $1200-$1500 depending if I tell the fun sheriff

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              • #8
                Re: Advice - Rancilio V3 v Isomac venus (or millenium) v Pavoni

                Originally posted by 6F4B4E4D434C464F47220 link=1327374943/4#4 date=1327384755
                PAVONIBOY, why do you have to let the Pavoni cool down?
                The group head works as a heatsink. Boiling water travels from the boiler up a pipe, through the group head and onto your coffee puck. The group head pulls heat off the water as it passes through so by the time it hits your coffee it is closer to 92 or so degrees rather than 100+ degrees. However, with each shot the heatsink which the group provides is getting hotter and hotter - and can no longer pull off as much heat as the water passes through. So after about the first two shots, you end up getting burnt coffee. You then need to cool down the group head again before you can get another good shot from it. And since the group head is bolted to the boiler, you pretty much have to wait for the whole thing to cool down again.

                I love my Pavoni, but it aint for entertaining guests.

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                • #9
                  Re: Advice - Rancilio V3 v Isomac venus (or millenium) v Pavoni

                  Originally posted by 694D484B454A404941240 link=1327374943/6#6 date=1327386685
                  Budget about $1200-$1500 depending if I tell the fun sheriff 
                  rules out most double boiler and HXs including the millenium but thats fine - you dont need that kind of steaming capability (even if the fun sheriff wants her hot chocolates steamed).

                  A regular single boiler (eg silvia or lelit) or pavoni matched with a compak k3 push grinder seems a good way to go

                  btw a venus is on sale in the hardware section (nudge, nudge  )

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Advice - Rancilio V3 v Isomac venus (or millenium) v Pavoni

                    Pavoniboy, thanks for that. I would have never had known until i turned coffee grounds to diamonds and get really bitter coffee.

                    WantRancilio: I thought you had sold the venus. No? Ive seen a few 2nd hand milleniums hovering around the $1K mark so thats what i had in mind.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Advice - Rancilio V3 v Isomac venus (or millenium) v Pavoni

                      Just beware of second hand machines - the outside may look ok but theres scale, leaks, controllers, pumps etc that can cause issues. Having said that theyre all replaceable parts, just make sure you have a fund for repairs (which you may never need to use...)

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