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  • Upgraditis .............down to the final few

    Like many before me I've been struck down with an acute case of upgraditis. It's not the first time it's happened to me but unlike previous occasions, I've not only got some cash, but also have approval from the home financial controller to do something about it

    Here's my situation. I have the Breville Dual Boiler and the matching smart grinder and in all honesty, it serves me well and I can make better coffee than just about any I can buy here on the central coast......but upgraditis is not about logic. I make between between 6-10 coffees per day whilst I do enjoy the odd espresso, the regular drink is Latte so steam is important.

    After extensively reviewing the forums, I've decided that I would prefer to upgrade to a HX machine. It seems the value for money is hard to beat. I have a budget of $3500 which would include the right grinder but could stretch it to 4k if it meant a significant upgrade in quality. I don't have any issues with noise in the house so don't see the need to pay for a rotary pump. Also, any machine I get would need to have it's own water tank (i.e. not plumbed) My choices are as follows.

    Rocket Giotto Premium Plus V2

    ECM Manufacture Technika IV Profi

    Bezzera Domus Galatea

    I plan to visit one of the site sponsors shortly to see which one I like the best in the flesh. To fully inform my choice, I would love to hear any pros and cons on one vs the other from any CS-ers who may have had experience with two or more of these.

    Cheers

    DS

  • #2
    That most pleasant of afflictions.............

    Not too many CSers will have long term access to any two current models on your short list to be able to give you informed, unbiased advice of the calibre you are seeking. Nearly all machines at that price bracket are fantastic, are built really well, perform to specs and look great on your bench. No-one other than yourself is qualified to tell you what you like or what is good for you.

    You could ask an independent service/repair tech about which of the machines come on to the bench more than the others, that information might be helpful. They might also be able to tell you whether any of them have 'better' internal build quality and access and whether any of them have superior components to the others, this may sway your thinking but none of these machines are vastly inferior to the others, if at all.

    The rest is up to you; try each machine, get your hands on them and visually appraise them, when you do this you will probably find yourself drawn to one, over the others. Don't make a purchase, yet.
    Factor in the grinder, a Macap?, a Compak?, a Mazzer?, something else?

    Go and have a coffee, sit and reflect, buy the the one that you keep thinking about.
    Trust your senses and choose accordingly.


    Cheers.

    Comment


    • #3
      It appears that you are moving to an E61 based m/c..but, you are aware that you will be losing dual boiler, PID temp adjustment, and volumetric shot functionality with your upgrade choices. ?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by blend52 View Post
        It appears that you are moving to an E61 based m/c..but, you are aware that you will be losing dual boiler, PID temp adjustment, and volumetric shot functionality with your upgrade choices. ?
        On the one hand you a Toyota Camry with climate control, cruise control and an automatic transmission... and anyone's grandmother can drive it (and does). It will get you from point A to B in comfort but don't expect to have too much fun getting there. On the other hand you have a Ferrari with a notchy manual transmission, a heavy clutch, grabby brakes and dodgy air conditioning. The engine block dates back many decades (much like the e61), it takes a touch of art and finesse to master but driving it will be exhilerating, highly rewarding and very memorable. But is it an upgrade...? You betcha!!!

        Comment


        • #5
          DS makes it quite clear that, in his view, 'upgraditis is not about logic'.
          Upgraditis is often more about want than need and his choice shows its' own brand of logic anyway.
          Like Vinitasse says it's about the box branded Camry vs the bling of the Ferrari.
          There is just something more authentic about a home m/c that looks like a professional one and
          that isn't for sale in every department store. Makes people feel good and cures upgraditis,... for a while. ;-)
          If making good coffee is all about PIDs and dual boilers then 90% of us have never had great brews....
          and that simply is not true.

          And to add......the Camry goes like a car but the Ferrari..............
          like a Rocket!!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Thanks for the replies so far. The dual boiler is a well thought out machine with many great attributes. It makes great coffee but I have made the decisions to move to a HX and am comfortable with that. As much as anything, I am looking forward to a whole new world of learning that will come with the change. It's all part of the coffee experience and building my knowledge as much as the coffee it produces.

            Chokkidog, I really think it's going to be like you said. The shortlisted machines will all make great coffee. The one that I feel the most attached to (probably which I think looks the best) will be the winner. Having said that, I'd still love to hear from anyone that has some experience comparing two or more of these machines.

            Cheers

            DS

            Comment


            • #7
              I was not suggesting that DS sticks with his "Camry" , but was concerned that he realize the he will be trading some very useful features for basic traditional "bling"....when it is entirely possible to have some of both !
              ...IE.. an E61 group dual boiler with PID !
              Some Ferraris do come with Auto trans and aircon !!

              Comment


              • #8
                Great news d_s, you have some terrific e-61 machines in your shortlist. As you have stated, you really can choose the one you like.

                I think you could even add the Rocket Evoluzione if you want and be well within budget. With a rotary pump, you get silence and the ability to plumb it in at some point in the future should you choose to. You might also consider the Diadema Junior Extra (vibe pump) which is at the very top of the tree on build quality and finish IMHO.

                FWIW, I wouldn't worry about using a HX machine at all. We have come a long way in Australia in the last 5 years with temperature management. Sadly, I read and receive misinformation every day- cooling flushes and the like. This is not relevant on well configured machines which you will walk up to, rinse and simply use. Opinions of "manual v auto" just don't apply. This is just one of the services you receive from switched on Australian companies- importers and resellers alike. Just avoid the box sellers. They generally don't know and/or don't care.

                Enjoy your new kit. I am sure that you will never look back!

                Chris

                Comment


                • #9
                  What no Minore?? *cries*

                  I would perhaps jump in with a grinder. There is a Mazzer Mini for sale on here which would be a great upgrade.

                  Dan

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by danzx6r View Post
                    What no Minore?? *cries*

                    I would perhaps jump in with a grinder. There is a Mazzer Mini for sale on here which would be a great upgrade.

                    Dan
                    I could have said "Why no Alex Duetto or Diadema Junior Extra Dual Boiler" et al, but the OP has briefed that he has chosen the HX path. I respect his choice.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by danzx6r View Post
                      What no Minore?? *cries*

                      I would perhaps jump in with a grinder. There is a Mazzer Mini for sale on here which would be a great upgrade.

                      Dan
                      I did see that grinder and the Mazzer Mini is the grinder I'm hoping to get but I was really wanting to go doserless such as Mazzer mini E as I really only make a few coffees in the morning. Perhaps it's a topic for another thread but is the standard mazzer mini suited to my situation?

                      DS

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
                        I could have said "Why no Alex Duetto or Diadema Junior Extra Dual Boiler" et al, but the OP has briefed that he has chosen the HX path. I respect his choice.
                        Thanks Chris, you're right in that have pretty much locked in on the HX. Before I pull the trigger though, do you think that if I could stretch myself to the Duetto, i'd notice the difference? Is it another case of all the machines will make great coffee but the one that I connect to the most is the one that I should get, or us the Duetto in another class?

                        DS

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by double_shot View Post
                          Thanks Chris, you're right in that have pretty much locked in on the HX. Before I pull the trigger though, do you think that if I could stretch myself to the Duetto, i'd notice the difference? Is it another case of all the machines will make great coffee but the one that I connect to the most is the one that I should get, or us the Duetto in another class?

                          DS
                          Hello d_s,

                          As always, I'd recommend that you view the machines in the metal and make your call from there. It's about what is right for you.

                          There are quite a few owners who have moved from HX to Alex Duetto and they are really the only group who can offer you some insights into their experiences. Pretty much all else is just opinion- too often without first hand experience!

                          Cheers...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Morning DS, for what it's worth I went through this process about 2.5 years ago, after a lot of research and shopping around I went with the Bezzera Domus Galatea and have never regretted the move, makes great espresso, running as well today as it was on day one, built like a tank and looks great as well as super easy to access and clean/replace the seal/shower screen.

                            Having said that I'm sure there are other machines that meet these criteria as well, just that the Bezzera seemed head and shoulders above to me.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi DS,

                              Looks like you're on track. My choice of grinder would be the Macap M4d, I have not used the Mini
                              but have a much bigger Mazzer on my bench, so I'm familiar with the quality of build and results.
                              You won't go wrong with either, however, the Macap has some functionality advantages, admittedly
                              small time, such as the pf prongs which are nice, the compact nature of the digital timer
                              and the activation of the grinder motor by push button with the group handle. Nice bling too.
                              I have owned two M4ds in the past, the original still producing awesome coffee next door, at
                              my neighbours, 4 years after purchase, with no faults or issues ever.

                              I have also had two HX Isomac Mondiales in the past and currently have an Alex Duetto II.
                              They are all Ferraris, with working aircon and smooth transmissions.;-0

                              With the Isomacs, there was a build quality issue, both the boilers leaked. They had hand cut
                              and welded end plates. They now use robots, so problem solved. They also went through a
                              couple of pressurestats more than necessary. They now use better components.

                              But the coffee? Awesome! Right from the get go.
                              Temp stability was great with only a .05 bar fluctuation on the p/stat.
                              More recently manufactured machines (of various brands) have even better stability than this.
                              Lots of of work room at the front and the drip tray design was great for back flushing, no mess.
                              Nice height to the group as well, when using spouted p/fs.

                              Oodles of steam that was easy to produce great micro foam with.
                              Nice porting on the two hole tip (hot wand). They made a lot of coffee,
                              one still going strong, (with new boiler) at my daughter's workplace.
                              Bling/design value almost second to none. They look awesome.
                              I'm not suggesting you add this m/c to your list, your list is fine as it is.

                              The Alex II, not as nice to look at, more boxy.
                              Internal build quality is excellent and I've only had to replace an OPV. This issue has now been rectified
                              at the factory. More cramped as a work station and spouted p/fs restrict height from group
                              to drip tray, which, like a lot of compact m/cs, is too short.

                              It's a steam monster, which has been challenging for some owners.
                              I had to adjust my technique and now use an after market tip for small amounts of milk (175ml in 300ml jug).
                              The milk is still not quite as dense as the Isomac but it might be the wide angle porting of the
                              two hole tip. I use, at times, some commercial m/cs and don't have any technique issues.

                              As far as the PID goes it's very temp stable and as I have a small amount of clients for my little
                              roastery, it gives me the opportunity to see how my coffee performs in different temp
                              management environments that I find out on the street. It allows me to 'temperature calibrate' my coffee so I know what temps to advise my clients.

                              Do I temp surf for fun? No, I don't have the time as coffee at home is as much about
                              QA as about getting a fix and indulging my passion. If I was just a home user I might........
                              would it be a priority? No. It seems that the flavours I like and want to express in my
                              coffee can be found in a narrow band of 92*-94*, so 93* is the general setting.

                              Dual boiler for a home machine? I'm yet to be convinced of the necessity and the advantage.
                              When I'm putting a new roast or new blend through its' paces then yes, recovery time and stability
                              play a part but I'm talking 10-20 coffees in a row. If you like to geek things to the max then PIDs
                              and dual boilers are a must........ each to their own. For some they are just status symbols.
                              To get the most from the Alex, I would have a dedicated 15A circuit so it can run both boilers
                              simultaneously. It is very quiet.

                              With the vibe pump on the Isomacs a 'natural' preinfusion occurs as the pump comes up to pressure,
                              using the Alex Duetto (rotary pump) if you want to preinfuse for the same amount of time (about 8 secs) you have to actuate the pump cam lever 'til it clicks then elevate it a bit more but before the pump cuts in. This will allow internal line pressure water out of the group. When your first drip appears ( or the 'ring' with a naked) pull the lever fully up and pour your shot.

                              In the end, with good technique, great coffee and any of the above mentioned machines
                              you will achieve awesome results. A PID and or DB alone, won't do it for you or make your coffee any better.

                              If buying a dual boiler will compromise your grinder budget then my advice is..... don't.
                              If you can afford both I still wouldn't advise you to go the DB path. That comes down to
                              personal preference and motivation and only you can answer that.
                              Last edited by chokkidog; 21 January 2013, 01:43 PM. Reason: preinfusion times vibe vs rotary

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