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Is the Expobar Minore a good machine to buy?

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  • Is the Expobar Minore a good machine to buy?

    Hi all,

    I'm ready to upgrade to a dual boiler machine from a single boiler dual use machine.

    Currently looking at the Minore as it seems to be pretty good value for money. I've read all the home barista threads but most of them are pretty old.

    Just interested in your thoughts on this machine.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Originally posted by MrMcSteam View Post
    Hi all,

    I'm ready to upgrade to a dual boiler machine from a single boiler dual use machine.

    Currently looking at the Minore as it seems to be pretty good value for money. I've read all the home barista threads but most of them are pretty old.

    Just interested in your thoughts on this machine.

    Thanks
    Hi Mr McSteam, welcome to the Forum from a very junior member. Firstly, there is some confusion about the naming of the Expobar machines. I have recently bought the office EB 61 Leva 2 machine which I think is the same as the Minore. Firstly, as you say, it's a very good value machine for the price. The dual boiler is wonderful. It makes a coffee far in excess of any of the previous domestic models I've used such as the Sunbeam types.

    Like anyone buying a first machine I trawled all of the websites I could find and felt this was the machine for me. So having bought it and used it for several weeks now the question is whether I would buy it again?

    There are two things I don't like about it. Firstly it cannot be plumbed in without a $600 modification. Whilst its got a 2.7 L water container which I thought would be plenty, the EB-61 machine uses a great deal of water and the 2.7 L container has to be filled far more frequently than I would have anticipated. If there is any chance of having the unit plumbed in at your place then I would strongly recommend you look for a unit with both a water tank and a plumbed in option.

    The only other thing I don't like about the machine is that the shower screen sits quite low. This means that the quite small filter baskets supplied cannot be filled to more than about 8 mm below the rim. This means that the dose of coffee in the filter is quite small and I couldn't get really good shots with these filters. I have since bought some deeper filters ($13 each) which have solved this problem.

    If the lack of a plumbed in option and the need for buying a couple of extra filter baskets is not a major problem then I'd strongly recommend the machine. Otherwise, I would wait for recommendations for members more experienced than I am.

    Comment


    • #3
      I used to sell the Minore as well as the BFC Junior Dual Boiler PID machine. The Minore was good value for money. You pay more for the BFC machine however the standard of build and finish is significantly superior.

      When I left work some time back I handed over a pristine BFC Junior Dual Boiler PID machine to the boys that took over my sample roasting and cupping role.

      I had had two different versions. One was the earlier dual boiler PID machine with vibrating pump and no water connection and lastly, the later model with rotary pump and water connection.

      Either way, its a fantastic machine. Both will do the job for you, the Minore is certainly cheaper, and there are other brands in addition...

      Hope that helps.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for your reply, much appreciated.

        In regards to plumbing, I don't foresee the ability to plumb in a machine for a few years yet. If I were to go for the rotary version it is as you say an extra 600 dollars which starts making other machines more attractive at that price point.

        Thanks for the advice on filter baskets. Can you fit any triple baskets in the stock portafilter? I'd probably get a naked portafilter pretty quickly anyway.

        Are you happy with the overall fit and finish / quality of the machine?

        Cheers
        Originally posted by rmchenry View Post
        Hi Mr McSteam, welcome to the Forum from a very junior member. Firstly, there is some confusion about the naming of the Expobar machines. I have recently bought the office EB 61 Leva 2 machine which I think is the same as the Minore. Firstly, as you say, it's a very good value machine for the price. The dual boiler is wonderful. It makes a coffee far in excess of any of the previous domestic models I've used such as the Sunbeam types.

        Like anyone buying a first machine I trawled all of the websites I could find and felt this was the machine for me. So having bought it and used it for several weeks now the question is whether I would buy it again?

        There are two things I don't like about it. Firstly it cannot be plumbed in without a $600 modification. Whilst its got a 2.7 L water container which I thought would be plenty, the EB-61 machine uses a great deal of water and the 2.7 L container has to be filled far more frequently than I would have anticipated. If there is any chance of having the unit plumbed in at your place then I would strongly recommend you look for a unit with both a water tank and a plumbed in option.

        The only other thing I don't like about the machine is that the shower screen sits quite low. This means that the quite small filter baskets supplied cannot be filled to more than about 8 mm below the rim. This means that the dose of coffee in the filter is quite small and I couldn't get really good shots with these filters. I have since bought some deeper filters ($13 each) which have solved this problem.

        If the lack of a plumbed in option and the need for buying a couple of extra filter baskets is not a major problem then I'd strongly recommend the machine. Otherwise, I would wait for recommendations for members more experience than I am.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MrMcSteam View Post
          Thanks for your reply, much appreciated.

          In regards to plumbing, I don't foresee the ability to plumb in a machine for a few years yet. If I were to go for the rotary version it is as you say an extra 600 dollars which starts making other machines more attractive at that price point.

          Thanks for the advice on filter baskets. Can you fit any triple baskets in the stock portafilter? I'd probably get a naked portafilter pretty quickly anyway.

          Are you happy with the overall fit and finish / quality of the machine?

          Cheers
          Hi,
          For a triple filter you will need a naked portafilter - about $70 and I am about to order one.
          With regard to overall quality I am very satisfied despite some comments that other (more expensive) machines have a better build quality.
          Just a funny aside - on the web pictures the machine is all shiny stainless steel. Mine had some quite unattractive grey finish with blue stripes. Took some time to work out that this was a protective layer that peeled off and revealed the shiny stainless steel.
          One further point - I bought mine locally from a dealer at a good price, but this dealer sells mostly to the commercial market with apparently small sales to the domestic market. I would strongly suggest buying from a dealer regularly selling to the domestic market and one you can get to - ie not an interstate dealer if possible.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by rmchenry View Post
            Hi,
            For a triple filter you will need a naked portafilter - about $70 and I am about to order one.
            With regard to overall quality I am very satisfied despite some comments that other (more expensive) machines have a better build quality.
            Just a funny aside - on the web pictures the machine is all shiny stainless steel. Mine had some quite unattractive grey finish with blue stripes. Took some time to work out that this was a protective layer that peeled off and revealed the shiny stainless steel.
            One further point - I bought mine locally from a dealer at a good price, but this dealer sells mostly to the commercial market with apparently small sales to the domestic market. I would strongly suggest buying from a dealer regularly selling to the domestic market and one you can get to - ie not an interstate dealer if possible.
            Awesome good to hear. The Expobar seems to be sold at nearly every dealer I've looked at which is reassuring in terms of support.

            I would prefer to buy local, but just depends on price, and would prefer to give my business to a sponsor.

            Cheers

            Comment


            • #7
              When I bought my Expobar there were no local sponsors so I bought interstate with no problems.

              I purposely chose the Expobar over some pricier options because I'm more about function than form.
              (I didn't want to pay extra for more shiny)

              It makes great coffee and has needed only regular servicing and a couple of replacement parts over about 5 or 6 years now.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have had my Minore for 4 years now, its been a wonderful machine and hasn't missed a beat. Having always looked around at other machines after buying mine as i always do i will admit their are many machines that are more cosmetically finished off. that aside the performance difference between the Minore and something similar i cant speak for but I do know there are a few machines which look fantastic and also preform very well. I guess what you have to ask your self is what you intend to use it for. at the time i was not prepared to go over a certain price and the Minore did what i wanted it to do. Maybe not as well finished off as some machines but works a treat if you look after them and service them well. It comes down to what your preferences are

                cheers,

                Chris

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for your reply Chris, happy to hear of your good experiences. I know there are certain compromises on the Minore to get to the price-point it is at, but I think I'll be fine with that. Although it's hard to say until you've brought it home.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rmchenry View Post
                    There are two things I don't like about it. Firstly it cannot be plumbed in without a $600 modification.
                    The machine is sold in two versions. The one with the water tank and the one that's plumbed in. You obviously bought the wrong one. It's not Expobar's fault you ordered the wrong one. Kind of like ordering the base model car, and wondering why it didn't come with the sports pack and leather seats. If you wanted that, then buy the right model.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BeanMonkey View Post
                      The machine is sold in two versions. The one with the water tank and the one that's plumbed in. You obviously bought the wrong one. It's not Expobar's fault you ordered the wrong one. Kind of like ordering the base model car, and wondering why it didn't come with the sports pack and leather seats. If you wanted that, then buy the right model.
                      Agreed, but go back to my previous post about who to buy from. The dealer really didn't know enough about these machines to offer me the alternative. Yes, mea culpa, I was a rank newbie. But again buy from a dealer used to dealing with domestic machines from people making their first buy who, however well they may have Googled, do not know everything.

                      Secondly, the plumbed in version is $600 dearer whether you buy it with the rotary pump first up or choose to upgrade later, so nothing lost here.

                      Thirdly, and most importantly, coming from a Sunbeam machine where the 2 litre water tank lasted for ages, EB 61 machines discharge lots of water with every use. It also requires regular back flushing with the blind portafilter and what I would have thought was a very adequate water tank of 2.7 litres is in fact quite inadequate for even a few days use.

                      So, yes I bought the wrong one, but I can upgrade for no extra cost than buying the plumbed in version in the first place. I was not criticising Expobar, nor did I do so. I was advising others to buy from someone more used to dealing with domestic customers.

                      The point of this forum is to help others avoid problems such as I have encountered - it is not to be criticised for making a mistake.

                      Maybe even you got something wrong at some stage?
                      Last edited by rmchenry; 10 October 2014, 10:08 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TOK View Post
                        I used to sell the Minore as well as the BFC Junior Dual Boiler PID machine. The Minore was good value for money. You pay more for the BFC machine however the standard of build and finish is significantly superior.

                        When I left work some time back I handed over a pristine BFC Junior Dual Boiler PID machine to the boys that took over my sample roasting and cupping role.

                        I had had two different versions. One was the earlier dual boiler PID machine with vibrating pump and no water connection and lastly, the later model with rotary pump and water connection.

                        Either way, its a fantastic machine. Both will do the job for you, the Minore is certainly cheaper, and there are other brands in addition...

                        Hope that helps.
                        I'm in complete agreement with TOK regarding finish and build quality of the Expobar, when I was in the process of buying my present machine I had a few on a short list, I rejected the Minore very early on for the very reasons mentioned, build quality and finish left a lot to be desired, my reasoning being if they didn't care enough to finish the exterior how much care would be taken with the all important hidden bits.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rmchenry View Post
                          Agreed, but go back to my previous post about who to buy from.
                          Indeed and there lies in the rub. Can be tricky.

                          I too came from the Sunbeam. I didn't feel that the water was being used any faster, but I do feel that the tank is a little small. I could lengthen my hoses so the filter reaches the bottom of the tank. There's more flushing to be done on the Expobar in comparison to the Sunbeam.

                          I might go the plumbed route too, as it's quieter. Wanted to do my own plumb mod rather than the genuine kit to save a bit of money and cause I'm jack of having to lift everything off the top just to fill up. Don't know how to do a water level cut-off though.

                          For finish of the build, it's a case of Function over form. Not only is it a bit rough, it was literally rough for me, as there were sharp edges and burrs etc.


                          So, it's a good machine, just not as refined as all the others. Mine looks like a prototype but performs very well.
                          Last edited by BeanMonkey; 11 October 2014, 07:32 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BeanMonkey View Post

                            So, it's a good machine, just not as refined as all the others. Mine looks like a prototype but performs very well.
                            I agree entirely. I am not sure that I agree with Yelta who assumes that some roughness on the exterior automatically means there is similar compromise on the interior. Whilst that may be so, it could also be the case that the sacrifice of the exterior appearance and finish may have allowed better components on the inside.

                            In any case, the machine makes a bloody good coffee, better than all but a very few really good cafes and restaurants situated mostly near the city and a long way from where I live!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Yelta View Post
                              I'm in complete agreement with TOK regarding finish and build quality of the Expobar, when I was in the process of buying my present machine I had a few on a short list, I rejected the Minore very early on for the very reasons mentioned, build quality and finish left a lot to be desired, my reasoning being if they didn't care enough to finish the exterior how much care would be taken with the all important hidden bits.
                              I can only comment based on my own Expobar minore and I will say I have not had a problem since owning it. It's been near on four years and it's yet to miss a beat. Yes the exterior may not be as shiny and cosmetically pleasing as some other machines. Yet at the time I bought it I had a max price in mind and still choose it over other machines in the price range. That choice somewhat came down to appearance, I personally feel the minore looked better than some other machines. I will say I like the Duetto III and think they look lovely. Yet the price tag reflects that prepared to the minors price tag. So I guess my main point is that after doing a lot of research I made the right choice as I love how it looks but mainly how it works and how it's yet to let me down. Chris

                              Comment

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