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Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

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  • Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Hi this is my first post here, Im searching for relevant (factual) information
    Some of my terminology may be incorrect, but Im sure you will understand what I am meaning.

    I have read and searched for information on the DeLonghi ESAM6600 to no avail

    I have read many many many posts about coffee machines here and on other similar sites and the basics appear to be that a serious coffee machine must have two boilers and be able to froth and pour at same time, should have a good quality adjustable grinder etc

    The DeLonghi 6600 does appear to have the specs suitable and with the available 6 or was it 8 year warranty (for $80) it should be a realistic machine, I believe.

    So what Im asking is can some one tell me any known problems with the service (agents in WA) or problems known but not openly spoken about here, that I have found anyway, I mean why in hell would I want to spend some serious money on a machine that makes coffee when I work for the best restaurant and coffee house in town anyway :-?

    Thanking you in anticipation ;D

    Mainey . . .

  • #2
    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

    Serious coffee (espresso) machines DO NOT need two boilers. There are LOTS of really great machines out there which are heat exchanger (HX) machines. A good HX machine has no problem pulling a great shot at the same time as steaming milk.

    The machine you are looking at is a member of the class that is referred to as "Super Autos." You fill it with water, pour in beans, and it makes te espresso with the push of a button. I have never heard of one that can make an espresso as good as a talented barrista. These machines are quite complicated in that they grind, dose, tamp, brew the espresso, then clean themselves for each shot. Repair has the potential to be expensive as well.

    before purchasing one of these I would highly suggest spending sometime with one and sampling the beverages they make. Everyones standards vary, but I can guarantee that I can make a better espresso than that machine. Additionally, making a cappuccino or latte at home using the "traditional" methods using a separate grinder and espresso machine is a bit messy and detail oriented and is not for everyone. it takes time to learn to do it well.

    On the other hand, if you have been drinking the sort of drek that is often dispensed at coffee shops, tat machine may be sufficient for your needs.

    In one sentence: "Super auto espresso machines transform the task of making a mediocre espresso-based beverage as easy as pushing a button."

    With that machine, the problem may not be the quality of the servicing agent, but the amount of time the machine may end up spending with them.

    If you really are set on a super auto, take a look at the Jura line.


    • #3
      Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

      Mainey welcome to Coffee Snobs.

      In order to help you with your decision you need to list what you want and need from a machine.

      This will help us give you some options, to help you decide which equipment to spend your money on.

      For $3000 you can make some of the best coffee you will ever taste.
      But I dont believe the Delonghi can do it.

      Effort is rewarded.
      A semi-automatic needs more input from the operator than the mere push of a button.
      That input results in better output.

      You said you "work for the best restaurant and coffee house in town".
      What experience do you have in making coffee?


      • #4
        Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

        Randy G,
        Im presently reading your "Espresso! My Espresso!" website and am gathering information from there too !!

        Above you post "there are LOTS of really great machines out there which are heat exchanger (HX) machines" will you please name for me these machines and can you explain why they are different "great machines" as this is the very information Im seeking here on CS, by asking for the information that will give me the knowledge to make a correct buying decision (for me) remembering Im not a coffee aficionado at all just a guy who just wants a very good coffee made with-out too many hassles

        You say on your website "A home-level, pump powered espresso machine will cost from about $120 and you can spend well over $1000 for a quality home machine" what Im seeking is the name of these machines that will do the job adequately, and if its under a grand I will be much happier too

        All I really want is a "machine" that will make a cup of coffee for me. I dont want to spend too much time doing things as Im often in a hurry and would prefer to press a button, have the coffee pour out into the cup and then drink it.
        I do expect it to taste at least as good as, if not better than, the average commercial coffee shop cuppa.

        Im not too interested in doing the time consuming work that (appears) to be required to get what is called a fantastic coffee.
        Ive picked this machine because it (apparently) does everything for me, Im not a Coffee Snob in any way and the idea of paying only $2100 (not rrp $2990) appeals to my bank manager too ;D

        I have NIL zero zilch experience out front making coffee, however Im a dab hand in the kitchen :

        Mainey . . .


        • #5
          Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

          Hi and welcome Mainey

          Randy’s site that you refer to is based in the USA so prices and some models of machines will be different to Australia

          From experience with our office machine and also while visiting clients I have found that Jura brand of super automatic machines give you best results

          We have a Jura at the office purchased from Gilkatho a CS sponsor (Brisbane)
          Client’s machines I refer to are 3 Saeco and 1 Jura
          I can pick the difference in taste and the Jura makes better coffee

          One comment I should make is that super automatic machines prefer a bean with lower oil content as oils tend to clog up the mechanism
          Also regular cleaning maintenance will keep it working like new

          Good Luck



          • #6
            Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

            I looked at the Gilkatho site and the  "Jura Impressa C5 Home Espresso Machine"  DOES look impressive ;D
            But is similar retail price ($2995) as DeLonghi

            I would like to be informed if there is any (technical) differences between the two models that will make any *real* difference to the making of the coffee ???

            Mainey . . .


            • #7
              Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

              Hi Mainey

              The Jura to my best recollection is Swiss Made primarily for commercial use so the smaller home machines are just that smaller commercial machines

              I am uncertain on the country of manufacture of the DeLongi it may pay to do some checking

              Technically speaking most manufacturers make similar machines albeit with small difference’s

              In my opinion it’s the 1) design 2) quality of the parts and components that really make the difference
              As there is different grades of steel this also applies to plastics

              As a CS member you may get a discount from Gilkatho  all you have to do is ask
              Also ask if they have a service agent in WA for peace of mind



              • #8
                Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

                Hi Mainey and welcome.

                If youre a dab hand in the kitchen I can fast see you becoming a passionate CoffeeSnob with a HX and grinder despite your first desire to just push a button...

                Admittedly it causes a little more mess and takes a few more minutes, but Id choose that any day over a super-auto with the kind of money youre looking at spending.

                Is it going to be your home machine, or one that resides at work?


                • #9
                  Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

                  This machine will reside on the kitchen bench at home

                  Thats what I cant understand, why would I want any mess and have to wait, if we totally forget the $$s, why not go Automatic ?

                  Is it the difference in the coffee taste is so much better from a HX machine ?
                  If this is the case, surely there must be a logical reason why the coffee from a HX machine does taste better ?

                  Mainey . . . .


                  • #10
                    Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

                    A semi-auto machine gives the user much more control over the brew. With a little effort this means you are able to fine tune the shot (fineness of the grind, amount of coffee dosed, distribution, tamping etc.) to extract the way you like to drink it.

                    From what I have heard getting a super-auto to brew optimally requires some effort also.

                    If you have good espresso available at work you might want to explore alternate brewing methods at home - such as french press (plunger), drip, aeropress etc. These are relatively simple/forgiving but only if you are able to freshly grind the beans.

                    This would mean your outlay would be on a decent grinder. Which could come with you if you do decide to go on down the espresso road later on.

                    However If all you are wanting is to get that latte/cap at home make sure you do your research and expect a learning curve either way you go.


                    • #11
                      Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge


                      Ive never had a really good coffee from a superautomatic - but thats not to say it cant be done.

                      Some problems which Im aware of..... the beans are exposed and heated in the machine.... and therefore go stale more rapidly than those in a machine with an external grinder.

                      You can adjust the grind and dose (to an extent) with a superautomatic - but because people want "press button" coffee - this is generally not done as the beans age - so the resultant espresso quality suffers

                      The mechanism is quite complex inside of these machines..... and the probability of failure increases as the square of the number of possible points of failure ..... i.e. say 3 times as many possible points of failure = 9 times more likely to fail..... 4 times more then 16 times more likely to fail. (Both these are conservative compared to the real added complexity) Have a browse here to read comments from owners who have their machines in for repair more often than at home....

                      And re taste, Javaphile tested a $6K (from memory :) La Cimbali superauto up against his 20 year old La Cimbali  semi auto..... and the semi automatic produced far better tasting espressos. He put that down to (at least in part) the torturous route that the extracted espresso had to pass along before making it into the cup.

                      To me, a Superautomatic is a bit like those "pre mix" softdrink dispensers used at some fast food chains where the flavouring, sodawater etc is dispensed direct into the cup and mixed there.... compared to the taste of the "real stuff" straight out of a bottle - it never tastes as good - convenient - yes but lacking in quality.

                      After all, if these superautomatic machines were really any good, there would be no need for skilled baristas in restaurants and cafes...... any old waiter (or even the customer themselves) could push a button and get a great coffee (saving heaps of dollars - and making more profit for the establishment)......

                      But Baristas are still being employed!

                      And if you do want to get the best possible quality coffee out of a superautomatic you need to be prepared to do more than just press a button.....

                      Also take out an extended warranty - the longest you can get - as you will almost certainly need it.


                      • #12
                        Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

                        Hi Mainey, apart from everything else that has been said above, you really will be left wondering either way, unless you take the opportunity to compare and make your own personal assessment as to which type of machine suits you best.

                        Talk Coffee have outlets in both Sydney (cuppacoffee) and Melbourne, and although we dont sell superautos, we do have a wide range of quality HX machines that you can compare side-by-side. So if you live in either of these cities, youre most welcome to contact me either via pm, email, or phone, and I can arrange a demo for you. Either Chris or myself will provide you with the pros and cons of each machine and give you the opportunity to make an informed decision.



                        • #13
                          Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

                          well this coffee machine thing is getting a bit interesting now :-/
                          today I was told to get a "stove top" jug or boiler (whatever is the correct name) and buy a very good quality burr grinder, it was explained the burr grinder makes the correct sized grains with the oils and everything done best for making good tasting coffee.
                          I know its a long way from an Automatic system but has the information any credence at all, or is it folk story :-[

                          Mainey . . .


                          • #14
                            Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge

                            Its true that a good grinder is most important.
                            Personally I find stovetops too finicky.

                            An Aeropress makes a quick and very nice coffee.
                            My wife actually prefers her long blacks now made this way rather than with my machine.

                            cuppacoffee sells them.


                            • #15
                              Re: Newby - looking to gain from your knowledge


                              May I be bold and suggest that you take a coffee appreciation course there must be one in WA possibly a TAFE

                              In these courses they run through Machine types, coffee styles, grinders, milk frothing, hands on learning ect ect
                              In fact all that you need to give you an understanding of the whole process

                              You will then be able to make a decision and possibly save some money in the process by choosing a machine that is right for you.

                              Remember knowledge is power

                              Good Luck