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  • Single boiler recommendation

    Hi all - fairly typical which machine query here.

    Basically Im looking at a single boiler as we basically only drink black coffee (though I might be tempted to play with milk once or twice). Generally two shots a day before work, perhaps a couple more on weekends.

    The other main requirements would be the ability to heat up as quickly as possible and ideally the ability to pair with my existing Breville Smart Grinder.

    I quite like the idea of the Lelit PL041TEM as it seems to meet all requirements and has PID. Obviously a Silvia is another option, but I guess Im curious as to whether its worth my while moving up to something like a Diadema, Isomac or Vibiemme given my grinder situation and desire for a relatively quick warm-up period.

    Thoughts?

  • #2
    Re: Single boiler recommendation

    Ive been using a Lelit the past year, a combi (built in grinder) with no PID. Its quick to warm up. I felt 10 min gave me perfectly good coffee though Id give it a bit more if I was in no rush or planned ahead. Ive just moved to a VBM HX which Im giving a minimum 20-30 min to warm up. I find the Lelit makes really good coffee and (apparently) is more forgiving than a Silvia, though Ive not had a Silvia. Incidentally my Lelit will be up for sale in a week, once my new grinder arrives. Just saying.

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    • #3
      Re: Single boiler recommendation

      In terms of heat up time, the Lelit is noticeably quicker than the Silvia and E61 machines.

      The reason for this is that the group head on the Lelit is part of the boiler. On the Silvia the group head is offset to the boiler so there is a longer heat conduction path. E61 machines rely on the thermosyphon system to heat the group head which also takes time.

      charlie

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      • #4
        Re: Single boiler recommendation

        Out of interest, are there specified recommended warm-up times for these machines?

        Anything greater than 30 minutes is probably too much for us, closer to 15 would be ideal but I realise this may be unrealistic.

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        • #5
          Re: Single boiler recommendation

          10 to 15 and the Lelit is ready. The other two options need double that or more to reach a similar level of "readiness". I Scaced them once and was going to publish it when i got around to it ... :

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          • #6
            Re: Single boiler recommendation

            seems like a no-brainer to me if you only drink espresso and want a machine that heats up quickly get a lelit. I have two non pid versions their only drawback being slow steaming milk compared to hx. cheers dave

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            • #7
              Re: Single boiler recommendation

              The Silvia can be ready to brew in <10 mins.
              You simply switch the boiler to "steam" ( takes about 3 mins to hit 50 C) then flush the group /PF a few times to get every thing hot, switch the steam setting off, and flush the boiler back down to brew temp.

              But a $10 timer on the power socket will have any machine up to temp ready for you, so warm up time should not be an issue for any machine choice.

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              • #8
                Re: Single boiler recommendation

                Originally posted by 404E474C461710220 link=1339731849/6#6 date=1339751058
                then flush the group /PF a few times to get every thing hot
                OT but how does a flush heat everything up?

                Originally posted by 2A0514220C01030B23010605600 link=1339731849/4#4 date=1339743015
                10 to 15 and the Lelit is ready.
                Sounds right

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                • #9
                  Re: Single boiler recommendation

                  As a random recommendation, I had a brasilia club for a while and once you got used to temp surfing (not as hard as it is made out to be imo)  it can pull some spectacular shots. It converted me to a straight espresso drinker, and I still cannot pull the same quality of shot from my new breville dual boiler.

                  The good thing is that theyre cheap, but the bad is that the milk frothing on mine was horrible. Since you dont typically drink milk drinks, im thinking this could be an ideal budget option (cost me 200NZD on trademe).

                  Also if you do get one, pm me and I will tell you how to get the best out of it. Oh and IMO smart grinder isnt that great. If you are looking at dropping some serious coin I recommend upgrading to a more precise grinder (or maybe im just a perfectionist).

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                  • #10
                    Re: Single boiler recommendation

                    Originally posted by 213D253824243E570 link=1339731849/7#7 date=1339753236
                    Originally posted by 404E474C461710220 link=1339731849/6#6 date=1339751058
                    then flush the group /PF a few times to get every thing hot
                    OT but how does a flush heat everything up?
                    serious question ?
                    It uses the hot ( 150 C ) water from the boiler to heat up the group head and PF.
                    Rather than wait for natural conduction through the metal from the boiler to the other components.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Single boiler recommendation

                      serious question ?

                      Yes, serious question. So flushing a non HX machine is a heating flush and flushing an HX machine is a cooling flush? Is that what youre saying?

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                      • #12
                        Re: Single boiler recommendation

                        I think hes saying that that if your machine hasnt been switched on long enough for all the relevant bits to get to optimal temperature, or you havent had the portafilter engaged in the group while the machine warms up, that running hot water through the group will help warm the group / portafilter etc. Its not really a heating flush.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Single boiler recommendation

                          With a single boiler machine switched to steam, you get >100°C water. If the group and portafilter are cooler than this, the water will heat them up.

                          In a HX machine if the group and portafilter are hotter than the brew water (92°C) then flushing will cool them down.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Single boiler recommendation

                            Originally posted by 59444040544F2D0 link=1339731849/12#12 date=1339801812
                            With a single boiler machine switched to steam, you get >100°C water. If the group and portafilter are cooler than this, the water will heat them up.
                            Correct

                            Originally posted by 59444040544F2D0 link=1339731849/12#12 date=1339801812
                            ..In a HX machine if the group and portafilter are hotter than the brew water (92°C) then flushing will cool them down.
                            My understanding is that the "cooling flush" on a HX machine is intended to flush out the overheated water that has been sitting in the heat exchanger /brew circuit, rather that to cool the group. ?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Single boiler recommendation

                              Makes sense

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