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What now, Silvia? Maybe the Izzo Alex Duetto II or Rocket Giotto Premium Plus?

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  • What now, Silvia? Maybe the Izzo Alex Duetto II or Rocket Giotto Premium Plus?

    Hi CSers,

    Im not sure if Ive posted this topic to the right discussion board, but admins, feel free to move it to the appropriate thread if need be.

    Ive been a very delightful owner of the Rancilio Silvia V2 + Rancilio Rocky combo since K. Rudd gave me some money a couple of years back. Been using it everyday, and twice on weekends, filling it with blends from Campos, Merlo, Di Bella and recently, Tobys Estates Single Origins. Just when I thought I was ready to open my first espresso bar, I got myself a Naked PF, only spending the next 3 months re-learning my espresso extraction techniques. I never had any hospitality experience and appreciation of coffee before; therefore, admittedly, Ive came quite a long way from Day 1.

    Like every experienced Rancilio Silvia/Rocky prosumers, I am tired of the additional preliminary steps needed on the Silvia like temperature surfing, bleeding water out the steam wand prior to steaming, and waiting for a couple of minutes between espresso shots.

    While my Rocky is also bestowed with a Click-Clack hack, there is also traces of grounds  in the chute from my previous mornings prep. The doserless does not help with an even distribution, which sometimes cause channeling during my pour.

    I know it sounds like Im whinging, but hey, Im ready to step up to the next level. I got myself a Behmor 1600 roaster from Andy over the weekend, and am up for the challenge of coffee roasting. Ive already gotten myself a Bellina TC3-A siphon last year from Sorrentina for my light Single Origins roasts. Now, the next obvious step is a new grinder and an espresso machine for the darker roasts.

    Ive been reading the Izzo Alex Duetto II and Rocket Giotto threads, but am still not sure which I should get. The Alex comes with a rotary pump, which is not essential for me since I dont mind the noise (after all, the whole house has lived with a Silvia for years). The PID seems great, especially if I want to play around with the different temperatures with my freshly roasted beans, but is the extra 1k worth it (over the Giotto Premium Plus)? Chris (Talk Coffee) did mention in the Alex thread that it all depends on what we intend to use the machines for.

    Based on my coffee habits from above, what do you suggest? Id prefer to go for the Giotto due to price (as I need to pair it up with a good grinder), but am very open to hear the added advantages of the Alex Duetto II.

    Which grinder would you then recommend me, if I decide to go either the Giotto or the Alex? From what Ive read from everyones experience, the Macap M4 doser grinder is a perfect combo to the above machines. While the M4 also comes doserless, what other differences does it have with between the Rocky, in addition to the stepless feature? Do I still need the click-clack hack to push grounds out of the chute?

    Thank you very much for your help. I look forward to speaking with you all soon.

    Cheers,
    Darryl.

    P/S: Chris, if youre reading this thread, forgive me if I have not replied to your PM yet. Ill request for your CS members-only password after hearing from everyones opinions to make your time worthwhile.

  • #2
    Re: What now, Silvia? Maybe the Izzo Alex Duetto II or Rocket Giotto Premium Plus?

    What about the Expobar Minore?
    Dual boilers and PID like the Alex but at the price of a Giotto, or there abouts anyway.

    I enjoy mine and is doing a great job, as many other CSers would agree from their own expierence.

    I paired mine with a Mazzer Kony E, but Im sure other grinders will do the job as well, I just wanted conical burrs.

    Just my 2 cents anyway

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: What now, Silvia? Maybe the Izzo Alex Duetto II or Rocket Giotto Premium Plus?

      Originally posted by 05292A2F281911460 link=1303098386/1#1 date=1303099739
      What about the Expobar Minore?
      Dual boilers and PID like the Alex but at the price of a Giotto, or there abouts anyway.
      Im open to the Minore as well. That name came up a couple of times in the Alex Duetto II discussion thread, and I have not got the chance to read about it. I will do it now.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What now, Silvia? Maybe the Izzo Alex Duetto II or Rocket Giotto Premium Plus?

        Hi mirx,

        Whilst the Alex Duetto is a terrific machine, its prudent to keep things real

        Any great HX machine will be a massive jump from your Silvia in usability and performance. In the Izzo range, there are 2 HX machines. The Vivi is the vibe pump model and has a smaller boiler than the Giotto PP, but adds a PID. Its less expensive than the Giotto PP. You might add the Minore to this list as its also a vibe pump with dual boiler. The Minore uses the same PID as the Izzo machines. The finish of the Expobar is not as good as the others, but it is still a good machine.

        The Alex has a larger boiler and a PID and adds a rotary pump and the ability to plumb in if you wish. Its a little more expensive than the Giotto Premium plus and would be better compared to the Giotto Evoluzione, but at a lower spend. It offers brilliant bang for buck. I still love the design and performance of both Giotto machines though.

        The Alex Duetto adds dual boilers, individual temperature control and the ability to switch off the steam boiler if you wish. Its at a different level again.

        You may think you need a Duetto, but perhaps you only want it and a discussion about pros and cons will help you ascertain if you really do have to have dual boiler.

        All of these are superb machines and are capable of outstanding results in the right hands. Ultimately, whats important is to choose the right one for you, and that may not necessarily be the most expensive.

        Hope that helps

        Chris

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: What now, Silvia? Maybe the Izzo Alex Duetto II or Rocket Giotto Premium Plus?

          I have a gpp and came from a lucy (silvia/rocky combo), when I purchased the Alex models werent available.

          I did look at the Minore but the finish wasnt as good as the Giotto and to be honest I was after simplicity and I know I dont care enough to notice 1 or 2 degree differences in temp, especially as I drink mainly flat whites.

          I do want to get started with roasting my own but its for espresso for my flat whites and the odd straight espresso and I have recently purchased a siphon for SO and "experimenting with roast profiles.

          I know I can turn my Giotto on and get a good cuppa, for me the ability to change temps felt like something that would confuse me rather than delight me, theres enough variables as it is

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: What now, Silvia? Maybe the Izzo Alex Duetto II or Rocket Giotto Premium Plus?

            Hi Trentski,

            Just to clarify the Giotto lineage so as to not confuse others:
            • Giotto Classic- round gauge, wands exit from body of machine. No longer produced
            • Giotto Premium: 1/2 moon gauge and far superior to the classic. No longer produced
            • Giotto Premium Plus- single round gauge and many improvements on the Premium. Still in production
            • Giotto Professional. Rotary pump dedicated plumbed version of the Premium Plus. 2 round gauges and no tank. Discontinued in Australia
            • Giotto Evoluzione: As above but switchable between tank and plumbed configuration. Still in production

            Hope this clarifies things...

            Chris

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: What now, Silvia? Maybe the Izzo Alex Duetto II or Rocket Giotto Premium Plus?

              Originally posted by 5D686562564A666F6F6C6C090 link=1303098386/3#3 date=1303114201
              In the Izzo range, there are 2 HX machines. The Vivi is the vibe pump model and has a smaller boiler than the Giotto PP, but adds a PID. Its less expensive than the Giotto PP. You might add the Minore to this list as its also a vibe pump with dual boiler. The Minore uses the same PID as the Izzo machines. The finish of the Expobar is not as good as the others, but it is still a good machine.
              Hi Chris - great to see you here! You have now enticed me further with the Vivi, in addition to Ronins Minore recommendation. From what I have read, and what I have understood, it would not make much of a difference for me whether if its a HX or a dual-boiler. Im not sure if Im missing something here - With the HX, do I still need to do a cold flush (or any other additional steps) after steaming the milk, in preparation for my 2nd round of espresso? Does it also bleed for a few seconds when I turn the steam knob open, like the Silvia?

              What difference would it make for me to have larger size boiler(s)? If I top up the reservoir before it dries out, regardless of boiler size, will it still stop me from making at least 4 rounds of espresso and 2 rounds of steam milk consecutively? I dont see it affecting me much every morning, but its the occasional weekend entertaining that Im also interested in.

              Ive also read that the Minores drip tray is small, but hey, the Silvia is way shallower than what Ive seen in pictures of the Minore III, unless a dual boiler or HX machine excretes more water out compared to the Silvia?

              In your previous thread on Vivi, you inferred that the HX machine on a vibe pump means no pressure stats. Would boiler pressure be a concern on a dual-boiler machine?

              Originally posted by 5D686562564A666F6F6C6C090 link=1303098386/3#3 date=1303114201
              The Alex Duetto adds dual boilers, individual temperature control and the ability to switch off the steam boiler if you wish. Its at a different level again.

              You may think you need a Duetto, but perhaps you only want it and a discussion about pros and cons will help you ascertain if you really do have to have dual boiler.
              Youre completely right about the above fact. I think my quest for coffee will not end in the next couple of years as I plan to run a cafe in the next year or so. While having the top end model will be an awesome dream, I just really want something that will produce consistent espresso and make proper velvety milk every morning, which also gives me options to entertain occasionally. Someone in one of the threads wrote that when you reach an espresso machine of the similar price level like the Giotto PP, there is not much difference in flavors anymore.

              So in terms of[list bull-redball][*]HX and dual boilers[*]boiler size comparisons[*]capable of producing 4 rounds of consistent espresso with 2 rounds of milk steam capacity[*]preferred but not required: left-hand size steamer, since Im a leftie (i noticed Vivis a rightie)[/list]
              what would you recommend for my use?

              What is the typical life-span of such machines?

              Thanks for the input so far, everyone!

              Cheers,
              Darryl.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: What now, Silvia? Maybe the Izzo Alex Duetto II or Rocket Giotto Premium Plus?

                Originally posted by 6B6F747E060 link=1303098386/6#6 date=1303133872
                Ive also read that the Minores drip tray is small
                I havent measured it, but I estimate the best part of a litre would fit in mine.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: What now, Silvia? Maybe the Izzo Alex Duetto II or Rocket Giotto Premium Plus?

                  Originally posted by 73776C661E0 link=1303098386/6#6 date=1303133872
                  What difference would it make for me to have larger size boiler(s)?
                  Hi Darryl, the only scenario where a larger boiler will help would be in a run of coffee where you use hot water from the boiler- You have 10 for dinner and everyone wants a lungo..
                  Originally posted by 73776C661E0 link=1303098386/6#6 date=1303133872
                  If I top up the reservoir before it dries out, regardless of boiler size, will it still stop me from making at least 4 rounds of espresso and 2 rounds of steam milk consecutively?
                  Nope- a walk in the park with any of them. None would require a top up.
                  Originally posted by 73776C661E0 link=1303098386/6#6 date=1303133872
                  Ive also read that the Minores drip tray is small
                  Perhaps you were reading about the Giotto? The Minore has a big drip tray, only beaten by the Alex/Duetto. The Vivi is excellent as well.
                  Originally posted by 73776C661E0 link=1303098386/6#6 date=1303133872
                  In your previous thread on Vivi, you inferred that the HX machine on a vibe pump means no pressure stat
                  Yes- PID and SSR in place of a pressurestat. Think of it as digital rather than analogue control pf pressure.
                  Originally posted by 73776C661E0 link=1303098386/6#6 date=1303133872
                  what would you recommend for my use?
                  Honestly, the Vivi or a Giotto PP or similar will be more than ample, however if the cafe eventuates and you go high end PID machine like a LM or Synesso, the Duetto will allow you to learn about the influence of temperature on shot characteristics.

                  Hope those quick responses help. Lets have a chat if youd like to further discuss options...

                  Chris

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What now, Silvia? Maybe the Izzo Alex Duetto II or Rocket Giotto Premium Plus?

                    Everyone asks about features like dual boilers and PIDs, but Im curious if these are actually as important as some of the more basic functions, such as
                    - Group head design
                    - Boiler size and weight (thick gauge brass/copper vs thin gauge)
                    - "brew path" (Ive heard that talked about a bit)
                    - HX design (so it doesnt overheat)

                    Do these vary much between machines?

                    My VBM does perform much better when left on for 2+ hours. Is that to do with pstat, or more due to the overall design of the machine?
                    Would heatwrapping a boiler help much?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What now, Silvia? Maybe the Izzo Alex Duetto II or Rocket Giotto Premium Plus?

                      Mirx,

                      Any of the machines mentioned have excellent reputation and will do the job well, and there should not be a difference in the cup with either machine  - the greatest variation will be with the operator i.e you- it will take time to learn to pull a good shot and very occasionally the god shot.

                      If I were you I will save some $$ and get a Vibiemme Junior(if on a budget) and use the extra $$ towards purchasing a high end conical grinder like the Kony or K10.
                      I started off with a Super Jolly and upgraded to a K10 and the difference in the cup was significant , not to mention the consistency of getting good pours. My regret is not upgrading earlier.

                      Hx vs DB wise - from what I have read I doubt you will notice a difference in the cup. Yes you will need to do a cooling flush on a hx but this is easy and there is a good article on homebarista that explains it very thoroughly.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What now, Silvia? Maybe the Izzo Alex Duetto II or Rocket Giotto Premium Plus?

                        Originally posted by 4D4A58415657390 link=1303098386/10#10 date=1303181784
                        Any of the machines mentioned have excellent reputation and will do the job well, and there should not be a difference in the cup with either machine  - the greatest variation will be with the operator i.e you- it will take time to learn to pull a good shot and very occasionally the god shot.
                        Agreed.
                        Originally posted by 4D4A58415657390 link=1303098386/10#10 date=1303181784
                        If I were you I will save some $$ and get a Vibiemme Junior(if on a budget) and use the extra $$ towards purchasing a high end conical grinder like the Kony or K10.
                        Yes, good choice. The Vivi is similarly priced but offers a PID as well.
                        Originally posted by 4D4A58415657390 link=1303098386/10#10 date=1303181784
                        Hx vs DB wise - from what I have read I doubt you will notice a difference in the cup. Yes you will need to do a cooling flush on a hx but this is easy and there is a good article on homebarista that explains it very thoroughly.
                        Man, I am soooooo over reading this one. :

                        If a HX machine is a well engineered and correctly configured, no flush other than a rinse will be required. Perhaps the work required to ensure that HX machines operate at optimum doesnt happen in NZ and the USA, but reputable outlets in Australia will not sell hot runners. We certainly wont.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: What now, Silvia? Maybe the Izzo Alex Duetto II or Rocket Giotto Premium Plus?

                          Originally posted by 3D3A28312627490 link=1303098386/10#10 date=1303181784
                          Hx vs DB wise - from what I have read I doubt you will notice a difference in the cup
                          I disagree with this.
                          I was surprised what a different temp can do for a coffee. Sometimes not so much, but sometimes......

                          I guess the reason that LM, Synesso, Slayer etc went for a dual boiler and PID isnt whats in the cup then

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: What now, Silvia? Maybe the Izzo Alex Duetto II or Rocket Giotto Premium Plus?

                            Originally posted by 1025282F1B072B22222121440 link=1303098386/11#11 date=1303185406
                            Man, I am soooooo over reading this one. Roll Eyes

                            If a HX machine is a well engineered and correctly configured, no flush other than a rinse will be required. Perhaps the work required to ensure that HX machines operate at optimum doesnt happen in NZ and the USA, but reputable outlets in Australia will not sell hot runners. We certainly wont.
                            You are right, they dont adjust them out of the box here in NZ that is why I adjusted mine right out of the box so it does not run too hot like you said. A cooling flush/ rinse :P is still recommended though,especially if machine has been idle for a while.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What now, Silvia? Maybe the Izzo Alex Duetto II or Rocket Giotto Premium Plus?

                              Originally posted by 4A66656067565E090 link=1303098386/12#12 date=1303186438
                              Originally posted by 3D3A28312627490 link=1303098386/10#10 date=1303181784
                              Hx vs DB wise - from what I have read I doubt you will notice a difference in the cup
                              I disagree with this.
                              I was surprised what a different temp can do for a coffee. Sometimes not so much, but sometimes......

                              I guess the reason that LM, Synesso, Slayer etc went for a dual boiler and PID isnt whats in the cup then 

                              You are right, its all about the looks . They try to hide what little difference there is in the cup by blinging out the machine - it all makes sense now ;D

                              Anyway back on topic - to the OP - dont waste too much time deciding, that time can be well spent getting your setup and learning to make and enjoy great coffee. You have the benefit of having great sponsors in Australia (like Talkcoffee) who will benchtest your machine and offer excellent advice, ongoing service/support unlike here in NZ.

                              Comment

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