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  • <$2000 HX - Tea, Splendor, Expobar leva,BZ07 - decision time is here!

    Hi - I think I have over read the HX machine choices, and am now further away from a decision thatn when I first started.

    The budget for the machine part is $2k - have found all the above in that price range, and I chose that price range simply because it seemed to fit the value balance.

    My use is the 3 to 4 milk based drinks in the morning, another one or 2 piccolos the rest of the day, and the occasional party situation which would be a max of 10 milk based drinks i guess.

    Current setup is the Mokita combi for the last 4 years, but time to save me some time and hopefully make thinks a little easier for my wife to use when im away. Likely grinder is the SS wega 5.8 touch - ie flat burr with a timer dose.

    I am in newcastle, so playing with these machines is beyond local, so i am buying sight unseen, and relying on the good judgement of others.

    An attraction of the tea is the availability of mains connection, though I suspect a float valve setup should be pretty to set up on all of them, but it would be good if the drainage tray suited a drain connection with ease.

    Are any of these machines rubbish?
    DO some suit plumbing in better than others?, and
    Are all groupheads created pretty close to equally for a piccolo drinker?

    please help me!



  • #2
    Re: &lt;$2000 HX - Tea, Splendor, Expobar leva,BZ07 - decision time is here!

    I cant comment on the others but my Expobar Leva is a solid workhorse.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: &lt;$2000 HX - Tea, Splendor, Expobar leva,BZ07 - decision time is here!

      Given that most machine prices have gone up as a result of the shift in the $AUD against the Euro, you might need to do some more research to see if the prices that you have are not out of date.  I think that you will find that your choices are fewer than you might expect.  

      To some extent, I think that you get what you pay for and shouldnt expect a $2k machine to match up to a $3k machine.  Conversely, and also to some extent, prices of some machine may be backed by what lawyers call "puffery" rather than substance and if you have a head delivering an acceptable temperature without a bad flow rate and a decent steam tip, you should be pretty right. As always, the best advice that I can give you is to (a) work on building up a good palate for coffee and then (b) test out the machines that you are interested in with coffee that is familiar to you.

      Cheers,

      Luca

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: &lt;$2000 HX - Tea, Splendor, Expobar leva,BZ07 - decision time is here!

        Originally posted by 3820293A25292A2731480 link=1240742933/0#0 date=1240742933
        ...The budget for the machine part is $2k - have found all the above in that price range,  and I chose that price range simply because it seemed to fit the value balance....&lt;snip&gt;

        An attraction of the tea is the availability of mains connection, though I suspect a float valve setup should be pretty to set up on all of them, but it would be good if the drainage tray suited a drain connection with ease.

        Are any of these machines rubbish?
        DO some suit plumbing in better than others?, and
        Are all groupheads created pretty close to equally for a piccolo drinker?  

        please help me!  
        Hi pharma,

        As Luca mentioned, you may need to look at pricing:

        Current RRP as far as I can ascertain is Expobar $2225, Diadema $2550, Bezzera BZ07 $2295 and Isomac is about $2250.,

        Boiler size at 1.5L is bigger in the Expobar and with a 2000W element, its likely to have the most rapid recovery. If you are not so fussed about external finish, my opinion is that this one offers the best bang for buck.

        I have limited experience with the Tea. I do know that the strategy is to run the boiler at more like 1.5 bar so as to get adequate steam out of the small 1.2L boiler. These settings could lead to hot running groups and resultant large cooling flushes if the group is not set up with thermosyphon restrictors. Even then, if the HX design is poor, you can fudge the correct group temperature with good steam but end up with cold shots anyway as the HX doesnt allow the water to warm adequately...Hopefully one day, well have a definitive answer on this.

        Whether any vendors of the machine attempt an upgrade, I am unsure. I am hoping that one day Ill find a volunteer owner so that I can run my Scace over one to get some real facts.  

        The Bezzera is a nice little machine which differs from the others in that the group is not an e-61 group. The boiler is 1.5L. Rather than a thermosyphon to heat the group, its heated electrically. A bonus is that the group heats quite quickly on startup and that steam performance is good.

        One minor irritation with the machine is that this proprietory group has unusual anatomy. Although the group handles take standard 58mm baskets, the lugs and actual group size are very slightly smaller than your typical e-61. Bottom line is that the group handle pressure gauges and other equipment which some sponsors have to set up their machines will not fit this machine. Bezzera machines often run 12 bar pump pressure. Whether the BZ07 does, I am unable to ascertain. My instinct is that it runs a little hot as evidenced by the need for a cooling flush, but I have seen worse. This is a great machine for tight spaces as its not much larger than a Silvia- although somewhat deeper.

        The Unico Splendor is a gorgeous machine although now superseeded in Australia. With a RRP of $2550, you will be unlikely to find one within your budget. Be sure to check that you are buying the Maxi version with ball jointed steam and hot water wands. There was a vendor selling very old original splendors on a dodgy site. These are not as nice as the Maxi version in my opinion. Might be worth checking with Attilio of CosmoreX as to whether any more stock is available.  :-? This machine oozes quality.

        As to plumb in, the only machine in this group which can be plumbed is the Expobar and this is done the right way- with the fitment of a commercial rotary pump. Although there are kits around to plumb vibe pump machines, we dont recommend the conversion and warn that this conversion when applied to any machine after sale would in all liklihood, void your manufacturers warranty. The Expobar can be drained as well. Allow around $450 for the conversion.

        You are most welcome to make contact if youd like further information.

        Good luck in your search

        Chris

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: &lt;$2000 HX - Tea, Splendor, Expobar leva,BZ07 - decision time is here!

          As everyone has written (I think?) you will need to go a tad over $2000.00 I am afraid.

          If you want to talk about the Diadema Junior Plus with RRP $2350.00 it is superior to the superseded original (pre Maxi model) Splendor. I have a display model (never used & unmarked except for some fingerprints that wipe off) Junior Plus that is being moved on in our MOVING SALE.

          All you need to do is email me off site.

          Regardz,
          Attilio

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: &lt;$2000 HX - Tea, Splendor, Expobar leva,BZ07 - decision time is here!

            Originally posted by 647C75667975767B6D140 link=1240742933/0#0 date=1240742933
            I am in newcastle, so playing with these machines is beyond local, so i am buying sight unseen, and relying on the good judgement of others.
            Hi pharmaboy,

            Were "only" a couple hours down the Freeway if you want to have a look at some of these - and others.

            charlie

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: &lt;$2000 HX - Tea, Splendor, Expobar leva,BZ07 - decision time is here!

              Pharmaboy;

              You are in luck most of the machines that you are looking at are in special at Di Bartoli check our CS special page:
              http://www.dibartoli.com.au/products.asp?CID=54

              Any questions do not hesitate to give us a call or send us a pm, machine are available for demonstration, as well we have stock at the shop.

              regards

              Renzo
              Di Bartoli Home Barista Centre

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: &lt;$2000 HX - Tea, Splendor, Expobar leva,BZ07 - decision time is here!

                I recently upgraded to the Splendor and based on your requirements it certainly wont disappoint. Its absolutely brilliant, however cant be plumbed in. Have sent you a message.

                J

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: &lt;$2000 HX - Tea, Splendor, Expobar leva,BZ07 - decision time is here!

                  J;

                  The best person to talk about if your Splendor can be converted will be Atilio, give him a call or pm him.

                  Regards

                  Renzo
                  Di Bartoli Home Barista Centre

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: &lt;$2000 HX - Tea, Splendor, Expobar leva,BZ07 - decision time is here!

                    Im in a similar situation to the OP - looking at the Isomac Tea vs Expobar e61-leva and equivalents.

                    We currently have a second-hand Saeco Magic somethingorather that was given to us for nix. It is currently being serviced. I think it is on its last legs and I have no intention of putting more money into it.

                    We would not have purchased a fully-auto machine. We are quite prepared to get our hands dirty.

                    I dont have a budget as such. Im looking for value and quality.

                    We drink almost exclusively milk-based drinks. This is perhaps partially in order to cover up the less than exceptional espresso. (We are managing something acceptable by using fresh, 5 senses beans and a bit of tweaking of the machine thanks to coffee snobs).

                    My husband and I currently have 4 double shots between us a day at home. We do often entertain and once a year we have 30-40 here. From time to time well have 12 or 15 or so. Usually on a weekend it will be 4 or 6 of us and everyone drinks coffee.

                    Were not interested in a frequent upgrade path. We dont need the best machine there is but were after something solid that can handle our current coffee drinking patterns and will be able to handle our expanding needs. Were in our late 20s and can only imagine our entertaining burden will increase!

                    I expect that a HX will be the way to go, coupled with potentially a mazzer mini or compak k3 touch grinder or similar.

                    Were in Perth and Im happy to speak to any of the coffee snobs sponsors but would prefer Perth-based supplier if possible.

                    My husband does travel interstate fairly frequently and could potentially see someone while away. Sydney or Canberra most likely to come around next.

                    Happy to hear opinions, thoughts, rants and raves from others too

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: &lt;$2000 HX - Tea, Splendor, Expobar leva,BZ07 - decision time is here!

                      Hello Rachel,

                      our show room is literally 5 minutes from the Canberra Airport so very convenient if your husband would like to visit.

                      We have some very fine equipment on display (and for demo) and some incredible specials happening in our moving sale.


                      Regardz,
                      Attilio
                      very first CS site sponsor

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: &lt;$2000 HX - Tea, Splendor, Expobar leva,BZ07 - decision time is here!

                        I always want it to visit Perth, is the only city in Australia never been. Let us know if your hasband want to drop by, happy to demostrated all the machines.

                        Regards


                        Renzo
                        Di Bartoli Home Barista Centre

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: &lt;$2000 HX - Tea, Splendor, Expobar leva,BZ07 - decision time is here!

                          Hi Pharmaboy and RachelG,

                          I upgraded from a sunbeam to an Isomac Tea and Mazzer Mini Electronic about 4 weeks ago.

                          Short answer is, Im very, very happy with the purchase. Tea was 1.9k. Mazzer was 1.1k. I spent less than I wanted on the machine and more than I wanted on the grinder but this seems to be the key recommendation of most people out there.

                          No issues with the grinder. I went for the electronic (timed dosing) but am still to use that to its full advantage I think. Need to play around a bit more.

                          As for the Tea. It is great. I have the same gripes everyone seems to have about the TEA, reservoir volume and slops tray are too small but Ive been getting into a routine of filling / emptying each day and that is going fine. Only fault I would say is that it can do with a little bit of silicon to isolate the electrics from water tank spillage and stop the drip tray leaking (tripped out the RCD one night!!).

                          As for steaming capacity, for me it is more than enough. I pump out 2 flat whites and 2 lattes each morning and the steaming is more than enough (I have to throttle it back). Then have around 3 macs through the day. I think I might jack up the pressure stat to 1.5 bar (from the 1.3 bar it came out of the box with) not to increase steaming performance but to get the temp up from the current 86 deg C to around 96 deg C. Cooling flushes are fine but use plenty of H2O.

                          I have a timer which has the machine come on at 05:00 hrs and off at 15:00 hrs. I think you need a good 1.5 hrs+ before you get up to get the machine up to temp.

                          Is the coffee good?.....having about a 50% success rate now but that is a reflection purely on my barista skills and not the machine. Its a steep learning curve as it is very unforgiving but it is fun along the way (sometimes its damn frustrating tho!!).

                          I looked at the Alba and Moondaile in detail but couldnt see much benefit of going for the Alba and didnt need the steaming capacity of the Moondaile. The critical point though in the decision was that my TEA for some reason came with cool-touch wands....excellent feature and I recommend if you go for one you make sure it has the cool touch. That is what tipped me over the line with the TEA.

                          Should I have bought a dual boiler? At this point, I dont regret going HX.

                          RachelG,

                          Im in Perth as well and despite what a lot of people say, we are starved of good machine retaillers over here. I actually didnt want to go for an Isomac to start but did because that is one of the few machines marketed locally. Two retailers in the Perth region carry them. One is good (who I bought it off) and one is average in my opinion. Neither are CS sponsors and I know there are sensitivities about posting company names here so I wont. The one I bought it off set it up on a test bench for me and we pulled shots all morning so I got a good feel for it.

                          You may be able to work out who Im talking about.

                          Anyway to both of you, good luck. I did a lot of research and am happy with my decision, with a couple of minor points as outlined above.

                          Hope this helps...

                          Cheers,

                          James

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: &lt;$2000 HX - Tea, Splendor, Expobar leva,BZ07 - decision time is here!

                            Glad you are enjoying your new Tea and Mazzer James, Ive had mine since January and she is producing some great espresso. My boiler was set at 1.5 out of box, I took it back to 1.2 and the steam power dropped off markedly so I went back up to 1.5. I have to do the cooling flush if shes been sitting for a while and as you said the tank needs a re-fill quite regularly, but I had to do that on my Silvia so its no big drama.
                            I find the drip tray great after Silvias little thimble and the cool touch steam wands are great.
                            Ive had a few large family gatherings and the Isomac has handled the demands of multiple milk drinks in its stride.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: &lt;$2000 HX - Tea, Splendor, Expobar leva,BZ07 - decision time is here!

                              Im a newbie so forgive my ignorance. I am looking to upgrade from my Gaggia Classic and have been researching the Isomac Tea, Millenium Due, Expobar Minore3, Giotto Rocket and VBMs as well as grinders such as Best Grinder and Mazzers. What has struck me is the considerable price tag for these grinders. These can cost half as much as the coffee machine. Considering all the copper, brass and stainless steel in the espresso machines I feel we are being got at with the prices for the grinders. Any thoughts?

                              Comment

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