No announcement yet.

Info/Reviews of Espresso machines. NO DISCUSSIONS

This is a sticky topic.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #31
    Re: Info/Reviews of Espresso machines. NO DISCUSSIONS

    Machine Name: Izzo Alex Duetto II
    Price Range: RRP circa $4.2k Talk Coffee, Cuppacoffee, Di Bartoli and Coffee Roasters Australia

    - Dual boiler and PID to both boilers,  
    - simultaneous brew and steam,  
    - hot water spout
    - Lever operated e-61 group 
    - 58mm portafilters,  
    - tank or plumb in via switch
    - 1.8L brew boiler; 0.8L steam boiler
    - internal rotary pump with tank or plumbed operation

    Discussion thread

    Further information and .pdf file

    Notes: Dual boiler and plumbed rotary pump operation is rare. The only similar machine I can think of is the LaMarzocco GS/3


    • #32
      Re: Info/Reviews of Espresso machines. NO DISCUSSIONS

      Machine Name: Izzo Nuova Pompeii PID lever
      Price Range: RRP circa €5k 1 group (approx $7200 with 50% deposit and 6 week lead time) Talk Coffee

      - Available in 1-3 group configuration in red, white and black
      - PID lever machine with 5L boiler (1 group)
      - simultaneous brew and steam,  
      - hot water spout
      - Lever operated group 
      - 53mm portafilters,  
      - plumb in- requires pump and motor if mains pressure < 3bar
      - 5L brew boiler
      - BIG machine wxdxh: 50x50x60cm

      Notes: The flagship lever machine from the Izzo range


      • #33
        Re: Info/Reviews of Espresso machines. NO DISCUSSIONS

        Machine Name: GEE espresso machine
        Price Range: RRP circa $940 Talk Coffee, Cuppacoffee, 9bar

        - boiler and thermoblock 
        - 1 deg control of brew temperature
        - switch from brew straight to steam
        - hot water via steam wand
        - electronic control 
        - 58mm portafilters- offset lugs,  
        - water level visible in tank
        - 0.5L brew boiler and thermoblock for steam
        - internal rotary pump with tank or plumbed operation

        Discussion thread

        Further information and .pdf file

        Notes: Excellent competitor to a PID Silvia with more convenient operation


        • #34
          Re: Info/Reviews of Espresso machines. NO DISCUSSIONS

          Machine Name: LaSpaziale mini Vivaldi II
          Price Range: RRP $2899 Talk Coffee, Cuppacoffee

          -Dual boiler: 1.2L steam 1250W and 0.45L brew 800W with priority to brew boiler
          -NEW .9 mm steam tip- ball jointed stainless steel steam wand
          -Two 53 mm group handles: 1 x single, 1 x double
          -3L water tank
          -Vibration pump (extremely quiet)
          -Volumetric dosing via touch pad with manual override 1 deg. C group temperature indicated by LED display
          -Electronic boiler refill
          -Built-in safety thermostat
          -Built-in safety cutout on vibe pump
          -Semiautomatic hot water delivery
          -Lever steam valve same as La Spaziale S5 commercial machines.
          -Fault diagnosis alarms
          -Dual pressure gauge
          -Colours- black or red
          -240V 10A

          Discussion thread

          Further information and .pdf file

          Notes: Dual boiler temperature controlled volumetric machine at circa Minore III pricing


          • #35
            Re: Info/Reviews of Espresso machines. NO DISCUSSIONS

            Machine Name: Isomac TEA II (e-61 heat-exchanger)
            Price Range: $2250
            Features: 1.4L stainless steel boiler, brew and steam pressure gauges, cool touch steam & hot water wands, 1400W element, large drip tray, stainless steel

            Bought on 17/3/2010. Since day 1 my Isomac TEA has been performing flawlessly, i have not had to make any adjustments at all and i cant see myself upgrading any time soon. After the initial 15-20 min heat up shots run at a steady 94 degrees (excellent). Steam performance is great from either the four hole tip it comes with or the optional 2 hole tip which is perfect for steaming a tiny amount of milk eg. for one piccolo latte.

            I often have groups of around 6 family members over and pumping out 12 milk based drinks (2 each!) is no problem at all as youd expect.

            Fit and finish are top notch (much better than some other e-61 machines i looked at). Overall very happy.


            • #36
              Re: Info/Reviews of Espresso machines. NO DISCUSSIONS


              GEE Espresso Machine  RRP $940
              Equipment provided by Talk Coffee
              Review Date:  2 October 2010

              Reviewer:  Robin Yong (CS name ‘Faddy’)

              Unboxing the GEE - what’s included
              • GEE Espresso Machine
              • Portafilter with a single and double filter basket
              • Blind filter
              • Plastic tamper

              Box of Glee GEE

              GEE Espresso Machine from the front. A clean, simple and minimalist front.  I have to say though, that the machine’s exterior build quality doesn’t feel as ‘solid’ as compared to the Rancilio Silvia.  

              Drip tray is sufficient in size.  Easy to remove and clean.

              Here’s what’s included – the expected single, double and blind filters. And what’s that   – a plastic tamper that actually looks like a tamper!

              Pulling some shots
              Let me try to explain how the GEE works.  The GEE tries to make it as simple for the user as possible to pull shots by incorporating a timer system.  The concept is this:  Give the user two presets – 1 cup and 2 cup options.  The timer on the 1 cup preset has a longer time duration compared to the timer on the 2 cup preset.  Longer time duration equals longer time the pump is switched on equals more volume of water pushed through.  After you select your 1 cup / 2 cup option, the timer starts and once the set time (say 25 seconds) has been reached, it shuts the pump off and your extraction stops.  

              You can quite easily adjust the timer in the settings.  I had to increase the set times as the factory settings weren’t quite long enough. Furthermore, if you set a longer time, you can always have the option of manually stopping the extraction when you feel the need to do so.  

              On the flip side of things, I can see how this function is helpful for a beginner trying to make sure they keep their total shot time under say 25 to 30 seconds, while they explore other variables such as grind settings, tamping pressure, different beans, extraction temperature, etc.  However, I think I speak for many fellow CoffeeSnobbers that we would prefer to be in control and manually stopping the pour when we want to!  

              First shot
              I ground up some of the Shed Shandy blend provided from Talk Coffee through a Rancilio Rocky into the double basket and locked it in.  I selected the ‘1 cup’ setting and waited.  It ‘pre-infused’ for a few seconds before extraction started and before I knew it, that was it!  It seems like the factory default settings on the 1 cup timings were too short!  I barely even extracted a ristretto!  

              Second shot
              I then tried pulling another shot, this time adjusting my grinder a touch finer and selecting the ‘2 cup’ setting (for a longer total ‘brewing time’, again so I can manually shut the pump when I want).  When the brew cycle started – preinfusion again, then brew pressure but this time, I manually stopped it at around the 32 second mark.  Not a bad pour but my shot still seemed to blonde a tad quickly.  A quick taste test and it was a bit under extracted.   We’re almost there, I can feel it, or rather taste it!

              Third shot
              Tried one more time, adjusted the grind another touch finer again to hopefully produce an even tighter pour.  I removed the preinfusion function in the settings as I didn’t like the way it blasted water into the coffee before applying brew pressure.

              Success – the pour looked good.  Extraction time closer to 40 seconds but that’s okay, it all looks and tastes fantastic.  Chocolate and nut notes were more pronounced in this shot.

              First few shots through the GEE.  Trying to get the shot a little tighter. You can see its pretty capable of producing a nice thick dark and rich crema.

              Another shot.  This time without the pre-infusion pulled a bit tighter.

              Decent double ristretto as a base for a flat white.  Had a sip and I was quite surprised – smooth mouthfeel, medium acidity with notes of chocolate and nut.  The coffee used was Talk Coffee’s Shed Shandy roasted 29 September 2010 which was still a little fresh but definitely very drinkable.

              To get the GEE’s steam function ready is pretty easy.  All you need to do is to turn the right knob (no, seriously the knob on the right hand side) and select “Steam”.  The LCD then displays “Steam ready” when the GEE is ready for us to start texturing some milk.  Its all pretty quick – under 1 minute for the GEE to change from brew temperature to steam temperature.

              Purging the steam wand is essential as there is a bit of moisture.  After that, the steam is fairly dry and powerful.

              I got out my 350ml milk jug and started texturing without much problem.  Its surprisingly easy to get microfoam and the pressure seemed to hold until the end.

              The steam function of the GEE is quite comparable with the Silvia.  It starts off quite powerful so you need to be a bit careful as you texture.  

              The result - milk appeared to have a smooth and shiny texture and I even poured a decent rosetta on my first go on the machine!  GEE, that’s not bad huh?


              • Easy to use with the LCD
              • PID – temperature read out simplifies things and there is no need to ‘temperature surf’ or guess
              • LCD display tells you when the steam is ready
              • Ability to change brew temperatures
              • Good steam pressure for a small milk jug

              • Unit’s exterior not as solid as the Silvia
              • Preinfusion function is not true preinfusion (as you would expect on a machine that’s not plumbed in).  Personally, I think blasting water on the coffee and letting it ‘preinfuse’ for a few seconds does more damage than good.  It can promote channelling especially if your distribution and tamping techniques aren’t solid.
              • Steam pressure gets pretty weak if you’re doing anything more than 2 cups at one go

              Call me shallow but if I could change anything I wanted in the GEE, it would have to be the name!  GEE what a name!  GEE what a shallow reviewer – its just a name!  Otherwise, this is one solid machine and for under $1k, the simplicity and performance would be a tough one to beat.


              • #37
                Re: Info/Reviews of Espresso machines. NO DISCUSSIONS

                Machine Name: Di Bartoli Medea E61
                Manufacture: Bezzera
                Price Range: $2449.00

                Di Bartoli Medea E61_Espresso Machine is the newest addition to our range. Manufactured by Bezzera and sold exclusively by Di Bartoli in Australia. This E61 group head Heat Exchange machine represents the best value machine in our range, with commercial orientation of internals, great stainless steel quality and finish , and is priced to fly!
                The Di Bartoli Medea Features the following:

                •  2 L boiler and 1400w element
                •  2 gauges: one for steam pressure and one for pump pressure
                •  4 L tank with lever sense on the side, water tank has an inlet to the boiler at the bottom of
                  the machine (less possibility of air inside the water pipes)
                •  E61 Group head design with a thermosyphon system to regulate brewing water
                •  Body in stainless steel AISI 304 polish
                •  Adjustable Over Pressure Valve to allow change in pump pressure in the machine
                •  Copper pipes for extra durability and longevity
                •  Fully flexible, ball-joint steam arm & hot water wand
                •  Automatic boiler water supply
                •  Automatic low water cut out
                •  Dimensions: 32cm W x 42.7cm D x 41.50cm
                •  Net weight: 22.7kg
                •  Accessories: single & double handles, single & double filter baskets - plastic tamper -
                  coffee measuring spoon - blind filter- group head brush-user instructions

                Warranty: One year parts and labor warranty limited to manufacturers defect provided by Di Bartoli.


                • #38
                  Wega Mininova Classic & Mazzer Mini-E

                  Wega MiniNova Classic

                  The building of a new house recently has afforded me the opportunity to factor into the build, an upgrade to a plumbed in HX.

                  I eventually settled on the Wega and Mini-E combo from site sponsor Genovese here in Melb.

                  A lot of CSs have been here before me and I guess its just par for the course, but a lot of factors come into play when choosing a machine....and for me it came down to just a few core requirements which I feel this machine meets.

                  From all the machines that I tested in this range I found nearly all to be very capable units but because I needed the steam arm on the right (by default) I managed to narrow the field right down. Then it came down to serviceability, aesthetics, feel and of course budget.

                  Ive got it set up in the butlers pantry, good because I have direct access to a sink for cleaning up and its away enough from the kids.

                  Im very excited I must admit and Im looking forward to hours of fun with the new kit.

                  Thanks to this site, I must admit I got some great ideas and contacts here!



                  • #39
                    Re: Nuova Simonelli Musica

                    NS Musica - Home User’s Review 

                    Nuova Simonelli Musica

                    Price Range: ~$2,200 (Standard) / ~$2,380 (Lux)

                    Technical Specifications:
                    • Stainless steel body with black (Standard) or LED (Lux) trim
                    • Efficient Heat Exchange system allows simultaneous extraction of coffee whilst steaming milk
                    • Electronic Pre-Infusion System
                    • Programmable volumetric dosing system (stores up to three different dose settings; can be turned on or off)
                    • Separate hot water arm
                    • Swivel steam wand
                    • Professional filter holder
                    • Visible pressure gauge
                    • Adjustable boiler pressure / temperature
                    • Copper boiler, durable copper tubing, brass fittings, brass steam valve and chrome plated group head
                    • Water level probe assists in maintaining proper water level in boiler
                    • 3 litre water tank, which can be removed for ease of cleaning
                    • Pump safety system automatically turns off pump when pump is activated for longer than 90 seconds
                    • Direct water connection available

                    Well, I have to say, after using this machine for two days now, I’m still over the moon with it. It really is a pleasure to use and I can attest to that after having around 12 coffees over the past two days – double my normal intake over a weekend!

                    • I love, love, love the steam switch, as opposed to the twist knob. It really makes it easy to steam milk and it’s such a bonus just flicking it off, as opposed to twisting it.  I really can’t express(o! Wink ) how much I love this feature of the machine and really think it would behove manufacturers to incorporate this into more home machines. I’m still scratching my head as to why they haven’t.
                    • It steams milk about twice as fast as my Maver did, and about four times quicker than the 6910 did.
                      I’m finding the four hole steam tip makes texturing the milk quite easy (the Maver and 6910 both only had a two hole tip) – probably the biggest thing to get used to is you stretch with the tip flatter rather than on an angle.
                    • The water tank is very easy to refill - you can do it straight into the tank, rather than either having to pull it out or use a funnel as I did with the Maver.  The hole is big enough not to miss and spill water outside the tank.
                    • Lock and load is quite easy for me –a bit easier than the normal configuration on the Maver and 6910.  It just seems to be more intuitive to get it in straight away, whereas I sometimes had trouble getting it right the first time in the Maver. It might be because the group head is recessed a bit, rather than being ‘out and proud’ on the Maver, so I’m less likely to just kerthunk it in and be a bit more careful with it because I don’t want to injure the Musica.
                    • I don’t seem to have any problems with temperature at the group head on the Musica, and didn’t have on the Maver either, but this is possibly because my taste buds aren’t that sensitive to temperature differences.  I have not found it necessary to do a cooling flush beforehand, but the Maver was always outstanding in this regard, so I would say that are on par.
                    • It’s nice and shiny and very easy to keep clean, with no real fiddly areas to get around, as there is with an E61.
                    • I love the recessed cup warming/water tank area.
                      Reasonably quiet pump in comparison to both the Maver and 6910 (definitely not silent, though and still makes a fair amount of noise, just not the same low masculine grumble that the Maver did – more of a feminine brrrrrr) and doesn’t vibrate anywhere near as much as the Maver did when the pump is on.
                    • The drip tray, although a bit on the smaller capacity side than the Maver, has a hard plastic smooth base along the same lines as the 6910, so is easy to keep clean and just requires a wipe.  The top grill is robust, but thinner wire so also easy to just wipe off and keep clean.
                    • Fairly robust construction so, whilst it looks along the sameish lines as the 6910 in that it has push buttons, etc the shell is definitely a lot better quality and build.

                    • The lights on the side are very bright. On one hand, this is great during the day, because we have quite a dark kitchen so it saves me having to put on the overhead light, but it does tend to be a little bit of overkill. Fortunately you can turn them off if you wish to and they have their own separate switch.  I thought there was a way to dim them in increments, but it turns out that you can only dim the keypad, not the side lights…bummer!
                    • The hot water tap is very slow/light flowing, so it takes a little while to fill up a cup.  I only use the hot water to pre-warm my cups, so it’s not a real issue to me, but if someone wanted to use it for making a tea or long black, it could be a bit painful
                    • Programming the shot doses and water length is quite easy, but programming the off/on for the pre-infusion and the dimming of the lights is a pain in the rump. Pete ended up working it out for me.
                    • I seem to have a little leak under the drip tray that I suspect is because of the overflow valve. I’ll have Pete have a look at it next weekend with a view to fixing it - it will give us a chance to have a look at the guts, too, and see how robust it is on the inside. I just didn’t want him touching it this weekend (understandably!)

                    That’s about it for the cons at this stage. A real joy to use and no regrets whatsoever.


                    Discussion Thread Here...


                    • #40
                      Re: Info/Reviews of Espresso machines. No Discussions

                      BFC Junior Extra PID Semi Commercial Espresso Machine

                      PID controlled, dual boiler, semi commercial espresso machine;
                      Boiler Capacities: 1.3 litre Steam & Hot Water / 0.8 litre Brew
                      Water Connection: Nil
                      Water Pump: Vibrating solenoid type.
                      Fresh Water Tank: 3.0 litre
                      Voltage: 240 Volt 50Hz
                      Power Rating: 2 x 1300W elements switched separately, 10 amp circuit.
                      Dimensions: 34cm Width x 46cm Depth x 42cm Height
                      Approx. Weight: 26.5 kg

                      Choice of modes:
                                                  Both boilers running with Brew boiler prioirity (standard operational mode)
                                                  ECO MODE switches machine to half power for low use or stand by;                           
                                                  Ability to isolate to Brew Boiler only;
                                                  Ability to isolate to Steam Boiler only;
                                                  PID display shows boiler and group temperatures         
                                                  Steam & Water Line Pressure Gauges;          
                      Same top build quality, finish and performance as all our other BFC / Diadema machines.

                      RRP $3300.00

                      This machine is now in use as our professional roast cupping machine. It delivers.

                      Canberra CSers are most welcome to come in for a look/play. View it in its place next to the roasting plant. Appointments are not necessary but could be a good idea 


                      • #41
                        Re: Wega Mininova Classic & Mazzer Mini-E

                        Originally posted by 435C5B58515651555A340 link=1163235000/40#40 date=1309425491
                        Nice setup. Any feedback. Im thinking about the mini nova myself and would be grateful of your thoughts after few months of use. Thanks in advance.
                        Thanks Wholebean, happy to help you if I can.

                        As a man it took me the obligatory years of research and then went through the wooda-cooda-shoodas for a bit (don’t worry I do that with everything - TV, PC, Camera etc) but I am happy to say that so far I’m feeling good about my selection.

                        I’m no engineer but the overall construction feels very solid and the stainless steel work is nicely finished.

                        I have very simple quality barometers that tell me if things are ok…. like for instance removing & replacing the drip tray never leave me thinking ‘gee this is flimsy’ or ‘why doesn’t it line up’.

                        We know about the importance and part played by all the usual variables (the coffee itself, grind, dose, tamp, flush etc), but the Wega itself is very capable.

                        Having said that, at this level I would expect every machine to produce a true espresso (you’d be heartbroken if your couple of hard earned grand fell short of meeting this minimum requirement).

                        Taming the steam is the big one – well for me it was. I got a 4 hole instead of the standard 5 hole and even that has taken me months to get on top of (believe me,  I was blowing balloons at the start!). My technique improved once I did a training session using the same machine at Genovese and along with experimenting with all sorts of milk, I now find there’s much more consistency in my output.

                        I was also lucky enough to be able to plumb the machine in & have the drip tray drained ….both very convenient to have

                        As I posted before, in my specific case I wanted to spend X amount, I needed the steam arm on the right and wanted it plumbed and then started the decision making process from there.

                        Good luck and let me know if you need anything else.