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Quickmill Alexia or Isomac Zaffiro (both with double PID)?

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  • Quickmill Alexia or Isomac Zaffiro (both with double PID)?

    Hi guys,

    Sorry if I am raising a question, which was discussed many times, but I did not find direct answers searching coffeesnobs and other sites.

    I am going to upgrade my Sunbeam Cafe Ristretto to E61 + double-PID machine (both me and my wife drink solely double ristretto, sometimes Ill make milkshakes, and thats why I decided on double PID over the basic one, and not considering HX or double-boiler machines).

    Yes, I know that it is very important to have a good grinder as well, but this is not an issue - I got Mazzer Mini E mod B already.

    I was pretty sure I want Isomac Zaffiro (possibly, Zaffiro Due in case it is substantially better, but I suspect that in fact Due is the one being sold). But then I stumbled upon excellent video from Chris Coffee Services about New Quickmill Alexia with PID and got in a real doubt about Zaffiro.

    I also did not find decent explanation on how to install PID on Zaffiro (still prefer it to be fitted by seller). I suspect it had to be mounted outside or a cut-out should be made in the front panel, which is really undesired. It also raises a question about warranty validity (possibly, I should go to an authorised repairer).

    I also failed to find any shop in Australia, which sells Quickmill Alexia. Possibly, CoffeeItalia, but I havent checked with them yet (they sell a lot more expensive Quickmill Andreja). This also raises a question about how well is it supported (serviced) in Australia. And anyway, I have to decide on a model from technical perspective first.

    Looking forward to your advice. Thank you.

  • #2
    Re: Quickmill Alexia or Isomac Zaffiro (both with double PID)?

    Hey aiurovet,

    You probably did not expect me to reply, but given that I have exactly the same username as your one, I am pretty sure you will do the same as I did:

    1. Contact Chris Nachtrieb from Chris Coffee Services and find out that Quick Mill Alexia is much better than Isomac Zaffiro (which cannot be PIDed, at least officially), and that Alexia is the model which was created by Quick Mill in collaboration with himself. But it all does not matter - you cannot get espresso machines from US.

    2. Contact Coffee-A-Roma and find out that although normally they do not sell Quick Mill Alexia (only Andreja), they can get one for you, but in its standard configuration only.

    3. Contact Quick Mill asking about what is the difference between standard Alexia and the one sold by Chris in suspicion they are the same. You can still suspect that - there will be no reply from them. Parla solo italiano?

    4. Contact some other overseas online shops and find out the same old story - they do not deliver to Australia.

    5. Start suspecting single boiler machines have some significant limitations and check other options (HXs and double boilers). Get more information and forget about the price for a while.

    6. Visit Talk Coffee website and check different machines. Pay attention at Giove II.

    7. Search more information on this site and find comprehensive thread started by tashie and called Giove II / TCI - many thanks to tashie and to all those people who replied him. Sorry, I am not allowed to insert links yet.

    8. Contact Chris from Talk Coffee and visit his showroom - he will give you generous tour with detailed technical explanations.

    9. Figure out that single boiler is not an option even for ristretto drinker - you are not that rich to buy cheaper stuff. I am pretty sure that the first time you make a milkshake (and you will have to do that sooner or later) you will hate yourself for that you did not buy double boiler straightaway. Yes, it is more expensive, but single boiler with PID will cost you roughly around $2,000, and you will not be happy to pay such amount of money and keep always in mind and doing all precautions when switching from boiler to steamer and back and waiting. Roughly the same applies to HX (and with HX you will also be very limited in changing temperature on your PID, which will be acting as pressurestat rather than temperature control device).

    10. Have a look at Giove II (double boiler with PID) and buy it. It is made by CBC Royal First, which seems to be an offspring of BFC (the one which makes Diadema), at least it is located in the same town and literally next door.

    11. Pay attention at the main disadvantage of Giove II: you cannot plumb it into the water supply (but at least Giove II i safe - it has water level control and will shut off automatically when the water runs out). But most likely, you will use water, which is filtered separately, and wont need to make a lot of cups at once. This assumption might be wrong, and thats why it is worth mentioning. But if you want ability of plumbing (hence rotary pump), you have to be prepared to pay another extra $750+ and get much wider Izzo Alex Duetto II. It is beautiful machine, but dont forget that your primary goal is double espresso/ristretto quality, and the difference to Giove II (and to many other similar machines) in this area will be minimal. Your key criteria are simple: double espresso/ristretto quality, device safety and ease of use.

    12. The last, but not the least: buy naked portafilter. You have to explore what it can give you.

    13. And finally, wait for about a month to get your dream machine - its Christmas mate. And you are more busy, than eager to get your dream machine and bring it to your place immediately!


    • #3
      Re: Quickmill Alexia or Isomac Zaffiro (both with double PID)?

      Thank you aiurovet,

      Yes, I decided to follow your suggestions and bought Giove II and naked portafillter from Chris (Talk Coffee) - he is a very nice and professional guy.

      By the way, it would be interesting to know whether it is possible to convert Giove II to plumbable rotary pump or not (I have a strong feeling it is possible). This might prove, that compromise on a pump and plumbability does not raise a brick wall like in the case of a single boiler or HX versus double boiler.

      And you were right - I am too busy now, so Ill pick it up in about a month.

      Sorry, I still cannot understand how can you have the same username as mine.


      • #4
        Re: Quickmill Alexia or Isomac Zaffiro (both with double PID)?

        We both contacted Chris from Talk Coffee simultaneously, and he suggested us, that it would cost around $600 - $800 to convert Giove II to the machine, which can be plumbed to the tap. This is not too bad., but the worst thing is that this artwork will degrade the quality of the machine. So, for those who thinks plumbing to the tap is important for them, as well as dual boiler and PID, should explore the option of Izzo Alex Duetto II (or anything within its category). However, this will force him/her into exile from this forum to Brewing Equipment - Extreme Machines.