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ECM Barista Vs La Nuova era Cuadra

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  • ECM Barista Vs La Nuova era Cuadra

    Hi coffee experts.

    I used to be a member here back in the olden days, before Andy bought it!... hand roasting in the back yard with $6 kilo green beans, a collander, a $20 heat gun and 3 pairs of gloves :-)

    Anyway, life got in the way, and I'm just coming back to home coffee again.

    Rather than starting small, I'm going to invest in something significant, and I'm tossing up between two machines, and I'd really love some expert advice (from people who aren't trying to sell me either machine)... I'd also like to know a bit more before I walk into the showrooms.


    ECM Barista Vs Cuadra by La nuova era. Price wise, it will cost me almost the same, so $$ is not a discriminator. I'm buying local, and we have two main machine shops in Perth (unless I'm missing something)


    I've heard more about ECM, but all of the reviews I read say great things about the cuadra? how to choose?


    I want to be able to:

    1. turn it on in the morning, and have it ready to go when I've had my shower and dressed for the day.
    2. Want to be able to make espresso, and froth milk without a massive fuss in between
    3. Want to know its going to last, and wont be horrendous to repair.

    What do you guys and girls think?

  • #2
    I think you should be wary of the Quadra have heard some pretty ordinary views on this machine to do with longevity and that is one of your 3 criterias.

    Comment


    • #3
      G'day Standingstill and welcome back.
      I haven't used either of the machines that you've mentioned so I won't offer any opinions, either my own or regurgitated ones. I believe that they are both E61/HX type machines which will have some bearing on my answer to your 1st point.

      Unless you take a long time to have a shower and get dressed, you may not get the machine up to its optimal temperature before making a coffee. For a machine with a E61 type group head, you need at least 30 minutes of warming up time to get that chunk of chromed brass up to temp, unless you want to cheat and flush a lot of hot water through it.

      2nd point, no problems with either machine. The HX design allows you to steam milk and pour a shot at the same time if you wish.

      3rd point, see my disclaimer above.
      Good luck with your decision and all the best,
      Steve.

      Comment


      • #4
        ECM Barista Vs La Nuova era Cuadra

        I have a Cuadra at home and for the money it's a great machine, like any machine you need to learn how to get the most out of it. I had possibly the nicest coffee I've tasted through any machine made on my Cuadra the other day (ethiopian sidamo roasted on my Behmor) 2 year warranty is good too.

        Admittedly I'm eyeing off the Rocket R58 dual boiler one day when finaces allow

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Lovey View Post
          G'day Standingstill and welcome back.
          Unless you take a long time to have a shower and get dressed, you may not get the machine up to its optimal temperature before making a coffee. For a machine with a E61 type group head, you need at least 30 minutes of warming up time to get that chunk of chromed brass up to temp, unless you want to cheat and flush a lot of hot water through it.
          Steve.
          Yeah, I was curioud about that Steve. I was planning on using a timer so that it switches itself on maybe 30-40 minutes before I wake up.

          Out of curiousity, do many people leave their machines on long term? is it better for the machine to stay hot all the time? does it cause more wear by leaving it hot, or cooling / heating 2 or 3 times a day?

          James

          Comment


          • #6
            A $15 time switch will eliminate #1 from your list. !
            Either m/c will satisfy #2
            Search the forum & others for feedback on #3
            ( note: ..Im sure you will find both love stories and horror stories about both ! )

            Comment


            • #7
              I haven't seen inside the ECM, but did see inside the Cuadra. There are threads here about it. It was also known as the Diamond Italia.

              I didn't like what I saw inside the Diamond, nor the way it performed. We were not prepared to range it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Happy to vouch for the overall attention to detail of the ECM both inside and out and at least here in Sydney, decent service backup. Maybe you're better off going with the product brand there that has the least amount of returns for warranty/service.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by standingstill View Post
                  Hi coffee experts.... I'm going to invest in something significant, and I'm tossing up between two machines, and I'd really love some expert advice (from people who aren't trying to sell me either machine)...

                  ECM Barista Vs Cuadra by La nuova era. Price wise, it will cost me almost the same, so $$ is not a discriminator. I'm buying local, and we have two main machine shops in Perth (unless I'm missing something)


                  I've heard more about ECM, but all of the reviews I read say great things about the cuadra? how to choose?


                  I want to be able to:

                  1. turn it on in the morning, and have it ready to go when I've had my shower and dressed for the day.
                  2. Want to be able to make espresso, and froth milk without a massive fuss in between
                  3. Want to know its going to last, and wont be horrendous to repair.

                  What do you guys and girls think?


                  Re: "...some expert advice (from people who aren't trying to sell me either machine)..."

                  I can give you expert advice, am not trying to sell you either, and I have a little better experience on topic than some that have replied here who apparently have no experience of either and also arent trying to sell you either machine.......

                  I'm glad you are buying local. Go in and take a look at both. That said.....the important stuff is on the inside.

                  I do not know the "Barista" but am currently selling one of ECM's other models. It is well built and very well presented, and I have been inside it as well as looked from the outside.

                  I dont know if the current Cuadra is improved from the old "Diamond Italia", so you have to take this advice with a grain of salt.

                  If the Cuadra is still built internally as per the Diamond Italia, then I would be inclined to pick the ECM if only given the two machines. On that basis, I think you will find better components and standard of design in the ECM. And I have been inside the Diamond Italia quite extensively. If the current Cuadra has had the benefit of R & D and is improved both in componentry and in set up, then my comments will be rendered obsolete.

                  Both will do the job.

                  If you were buying mail order, I would recommend one of my own Diadema Junior machines over both.

                  After that:
                  1) I am always amused at recommendations to use timers. What for? You roll out of bed and the espresso machine is the first thing you switch on (I practice what I preach). If its not ready by the time you've had your shower and got dressed (and maybe got some breakfast), there must be something wrong with it OR the operator.
                  2) they all do that in this "class" of machine, even despite that some are an overall "better machine" than others.
                  3) how long is a piece of string? They are all built to last, just that some have better components in and are better designed than others. That wont stop them having an occasional breakdown, and it depends on what broke down as to whether it is going to be exi or not. You will have a new machine guarantee and it is there to protect you the client.

                  Hope that helps.

                  Attilio
                  very first CS site sponsor.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    UPDATE:

                    SO I went into both store this AM, so that I could have a look and a chat.

                    The place I was going to see the Cuadra was out of stock, but did have some lovely ISOMAC machines, with both the TEA DUE $1899 (I think it was that model??) and the MILLENIUM $2150.

                    Besides the styling difference, the guy suggested they were essentially the same, but I couldn't work out why they would bother. In the end, I figured he possibly didn't know enough about them? He also quoted me a special combined price for a grinder add on that was actually $100 dearer than buying them separately.

                    Hmmmm

                    The second store salesman was far more knowledgeable (sp?) and we had a great chat over the ECM Barista. Right next to it was the Technika? which he said they were not going to continue stocking, as the extra $600 didnt bring enough added value. I would have bought it on the spot, but they only had the rancilio doseless grinder in my price range, and in a word, its ugly.

                    So.. now I have to work out which grinder to buy.

                    ECM Barista espresso machine plus:

                    Isomac professionale??

                    Any thoughts?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Oh, additional:

                      The Nuova salesman suggested that they had more warranty problems with it, which surprised me. It did have a 2 year warranty though.

                      I was shocked that the isomac and ECM only came with a 12 month warranty... makes me think they don't believe in their build quality?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Dont put the Isomac so called propfessional with any machine of this type. Spend more money and buy a real grinder for your real machine.

                        Cuadra has 24 months, and vendor says they have a high rate of return....hmmmmmm. So would you buy it because it has a "great" warranty? Do you want to be inconvenienced while your machine is in for a number of warrantable repairs and gee isnt it great its under warranty? I would check the ability of the sales guy,. doesnt sound the best.

                        I am afraid your comments on 12 month guarantee are not valid. It has been an industry standard for yonks, and the only reason some have taken to offering a 2 year guarantee is because they are trying to get a bit of a competitive advantage over someone only offering a 12 month guarantee, in a market where prices are dropping and times are tough. They do this knowing, that in this class of equipment it is rare enough to have a real warrantable breakdown and of one was going to occur, it would occur reasonably quickly after the sale not 23 months later. Sunbeam did a corker on their dual boiler machine by offering a 5 year guarantee on the water pump. Competitive advantage.....whats the last thing to breakdown on a coffee machine....the water pump, so they are safe as houses giving an extended warranty on that. Another good example Rancilio Silvia. Industry standard 12 months, competivie edge warranty by some vendors now 24 months. Do we ever see genuine warrantable claims on a Silvia? Not on your nelly, you could virtually sell it WITHOUT warranty....and that would really show you believe in the build quality....!


                        The more you write into a warranty, the more difficult it becomes so the more you have to write......and the simplest form of interpretation is "guaranteed to be free of defective manufature and assembly for a period of............from the date of purchase".

                        Most "warrantable" claims that come in for coffee machines, are actually not warrantable, they have usually been caused by something the operator did and therefore are not warrantable at all.

                        Therefore, 1, 2, 3, 5, years? How long is a piece of string? If you believe in the machine it should be good with 6 months.

                        Buy a nice machine, then it doesnt matter what length of warranty it has, because you will probably never need it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          AHHhhh Thanks FreshCoffee.

                          My spidey senses were tingling a little at the price point, but with the isomac label I figured it would be ok... now crossed off the list!

                          I have been reading the thread about the Breville bcg800 smart grinder, but once again, I worry that its selling a good machine a little short.

                          Without trying to hijack whats probably been done a dozen times over, do you think its possible to buy a suitable grinder for less than say, $400? whats the cheapest reasonable option?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Also, re warranties, I'm sure you are correct. I haven't read one thread from someone complaining that their ECM gave up the ghost after a year or two, and realistically, I'd expect that as long as I treat it well, it will serve me well.

                            I'm also pretty sure if something weird happened, the company would be interested in knowing about it, even after a warranty has expired? otherwise, I'm guessing pretty standard parts, and not ridiculous pricing for repairs anyway?...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I woudnt buy an appliance grinder and for $400.00 you are very close to K3P price...and its a real semi commercial grinder that will match your semi commercial machine nicely. I can also do you a Macap M2 (another semi commercial) for a nice CS price but of course it would have to be mail order.

                              Comment

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