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  • coffee machine suggestion for a quiet servo.

    Hi all,

    I am new to this forum and this is my first post here.
    I would like some advise on buying a new coffee machine, that has an automatic milk frother.
    This is for a servo in the country and I want to make sure that the coffee is same quality regardless of who makes it.

    I have been shown a reneka viva group 2 machine with automatic and manual frother. It costs around 10500 though and my budget is under 5000. Is reneka a good machine and are there any cheaper options. I do not want a fully auto or pod machine.

  • #2
    Check out the Wega mininova 1-group. If it is as quiet as you say, this machine will do fine. Don't worry about an automatic milk frother, anyone interested in coffee soon learns to froth the milk manually. Just my two cents..

    Comment


    • #3
      you don't want fully auto or pod but you want coffee that tastes the same no matter who makes it...

      Farmers union ice coffee tastes the same no matter who sales it.

      But seriously a non auto non pod espresso machine that is semi commercial would still require grinding beans and someone who knows how to adjust grind for a given batch of beans. Then dosing, tamping and pulling a shot will also vary depending on the person making it. I won't even go into texturing milk.

      Small quiet servos possibly cheapest option could be expobar office. La Cimbali Junior or Faema S1. Plenty of machines within your budget and don't forget a grinder . Mazzer super jolly or even a mazzer mini would do. Still won't give you consistent taste the same coffee. Good consistent training and procedures might get you close but that will still vary depending interest of the person.

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      • #4
        And the servo is how busy? Without that info no one knows how to advise.

        a) sleepy hollow or
        b) busy servo.

        a) For a sleepy hollow scenario:

        Go to Aldi and buy an Expressi. It is the only way for you to do small numbers of coffees in that situation, as made by people that dont know how (to make coffee), and get a consistent result every time. Thats for consistent black coffee in very small numbers.

        The milk will ALWAYS be a problem and will be WORSE if you use a auto frother.....because most machine operators WILL NOT (trust me) clean the frother after it is used, and the milk will turn to a bacteria infested smelly paste inside the thing.....so then it wont work....and you will then want to replace it with a normal steam pipe. If you want to use an auto frother, it MUST be rinsed through with clean water AFTER EACH USE, and be dismantled and washed out with detergent at the end of each day...

        You could offer the pod coffee, keep a small number of cups in a small pie warmer to keep them warm, and just add a dash of (cold) milk without trying to do the whole kapparcheeno or larrrtay thing. Use standard (small) size cups, and make a longer black before adding the milk.

        Almost anything else in your pplication will be destined to fail, at least at first while you and your staff dont have any idea yet.

        This method will at first allow you cheaply and simply to test the waters. Give it a little while. After due consideration, you will better understand how you may want to change that for the better in future.

        b) For a busy servo scenario:

        A regular 1, 2 or 3 group machine machine could be the go... but an auto frother realistically still isnt. Although on a machine with 2 steam pipes, where one is an auto frother, it allows you to test the waters. If its not being managed properly, atleast you still have the other steam arm to froth manually.

        The price you have been given is very exi but reneka always was. You can do muc better but not really for under 5 g's, because for that price you will onl get a "compact" 2 group they have smaller capacity to produce product than normal size machines, and they only have 1 steam pipe so if you elect for an auto frother, you are up te creek if its not working for you.... And if you have a busy servo, you dont really want a compact machine. And that only cover the machine....what about the grinder? you have to budget a minimum thousand for that. Business should buy new equipment if they want reliability. So you budget just went t a min of 6 g, and will still only get you a compact size machine. Application?

        If you go a regular commercial mahcine, you have to be prepared to invest in the staff and your business to run it properly. Then you dont want an auto froher, and then you are chasing a good turnover of kilos. And then you have to do the analysis on whether the whole scenario is going to be worth it in your back pocket.

        Hope that helps.

        PS what's your location? How far are you from an espresso machine supplier/repairer? And are you remote enough that you will be on your own in terms of servoce and repairs to the coffee machine? Only then can we narow down the advice on machine type.
        Last edited by TOK; 17 September 2014, 08:00 AM.

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        • #5
          Welcome dongrilla,

          You will be able to get the same quality, regardless of who makes it. The problem is that by going down the pathway you're investigating, the quality will be abysmal. Milk frothers = rubbish coffee.

          My advice is that you either commit to learning and training yourself and your staff to do it properly- and better than anybody else in the vicinity or seriously mate, just don't bother.

          You make crappy coffee, you sell few cups and guarantee zero repeat custom- so you blow whatever investment you make. It would be like running the worst petrol station in town- express trip to the dole queue.

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          • #6
            Would a Breville oracle work? Granted guessing you wouldn't want to make a lot of coffees on it daily but it does say a quiet servo. I know of someone who bought one for a small gym and is pretty happy with it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dongrilla View Post
              I would like some advise on buying a new coffee machine, that has an automatic milk frother.
              This is for a servo in the country and I want to make sure that the coffee is same quality regardless of who makes it. .
              To be clear..
              .....when you say... "regardless of who makes it" .. are you referring to your staff or is it intended that customers should operate it thenselves ??
              Id its the latter, then it can only be a fully auto....if its just your staff, then invest in training and "real" espresso equipment
              As has been said, what you choose will depend on the volume of trade you forecast.
              A few ( 1-20) cups per day would be difficult to justify a significant investment.
              a higher sales volume could easily justify a quality machine or if that is not practical financially, there are "pay per cup" free m/c deals available.

              Comment


              • #8
                If you learn to make an awesome coffee, you might be surprised by how much you sell.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks for your replies. Its not a very quiet servo. I serve around 200 to 250 customers daily, but do not sell more than 3-4 cups of coffee at the moment.
                  I already have a automatic machine, but want to buy a proper machine. The Reneka group 2 gives you flexibility of making froth automatically using its barista steam wand, and if someone is confident in frothing they can use the additional manual frothing wand.

                  When I say same coffee no matter who makes it, I was referring to the Reneka auto frothing, the machine also does not require tamping and also provides consistent dosage from the grinder. Problem is there is only one staff at a time in the servo, and I cannot risk giving a fully manual machine to a newly trained or untrained staff. Because as someone said if the coffee is bad the customer will not come again.

                  I could not find any good alternative yet that does auto and manual both and hence I was asking if anyone knows any other brand that provides the same functionality. Reneka has got an importer here that provides full service and a years warranty.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Why do you think you'll be able to sell more than 2-3 cups a day if you get a new machine?

                    What benefit do you think you'll get from spending the $5000?

                    Have you calculated how many cups of coffee you'll have to sell to get your money back?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dongrilla View Post
                      Thanks for your replies. Its not a very quiet servo. I serve around 200 to 250 customers daily, but do not sell more than 3-4 cups of coffee at the moment.
                      I already have a automatic machine, but want to buy a proper machine. The Reneka group 2 gives you flexibility of making froth automatically using its barista steam wand, and if someone is confident in frothing they can use the additional manual frothing wand.

                      When I say same coffee no matter who makes it, I was referring to the Reneka auto frothing, the machine also does not require tamping and also provides consistent dosage from the grinder. Problem is there is only one staff at a time in the servo, and I cannot risk giving a fully manual machine to a newly trained or untrained staff. Because as someone said if the coffee is bad the customer will not come again.

                      I could not find any good alternative yet that does auto and manual both and hence I was asking if anyone knows any other brand that provides the same functionality. Reneka has got an importer here that provides full service and a years warranty.
                      Hi dongrilla

                      As a finance guy, I share TG's concerns.

                      Two questions before I would presume to offer any suggestion:-

                      1) How "coffee competitive" is your environment? For example, if you are in a small country town, you may be able to "catch a few locals" especially if you can offer decent coffee and "fresh local baked" cakes... Outer metro in a capital city: a lot harder etc. etc... Please enlighten!

                      2) Why can't you get a decent manual / semi auto machine for "skilled staff" and keep your current auto for the "as yet untrained / newbie" staff?

                      All the best with your coffee endeavour.


                      TampIt

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                      • #12
                        Here's my advice as a consumer>

                        I'm nowhere near the "snob" that a lot of the guys around here are.
                        but
                        #1, coffee from a "servo" is not something I'll usually bother with, generally because it's either instant powder in a cup of boiling milk, or one of those big silly automatic machines. and it's sh!t.

                        #2, coffee from some of the bigger roadhouses are usually good, as they have full time F&B staff. I can usually pick the good ones, they'll have a good commercial machine, in it's own clear work area.

                        If you're going to do it, you're going to have to invest the time in your staff and money or time in getting the right gear to do it right.

                        Personally, if you also haven't got one staff member who you can afford to have manning the machine at the drop of a hat (and I mean within seconds of me appearing at the counter) then don't bother.
                        There's a lot of "good" coffee places around me whom i don't go to anymore, as they are frustratingly slow with Take away coffee's.

                        I have three regular places I get my coffee's from around my work, and even at their most busy times, 2 minutes is a long wait.
                        I'm not going to wait around for 10 minutes while Annie finishes topping up Jimbo's 2-stroke containers.

                        it might sound harsh or impatient, but that's the way I feel.
                        I know I can smash out two perfect, large T/A coffee's in under 2 minutes on my home machine (I do it every morning)
                        That's my benchmark for someone to charge me $4 a cup.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Like Rob I don’t go to a servo for coffee, nor do I get coffee from a pub as pulling beer is so different to brewing coffee.

                          How things have changed. Who else around here can remember when the staff at a service station would not only fill your tank but also wash your windscreen and maybe check the water and oil?

                          I know that in Sydney there are fewer and larger servos than in the old days. Partly due to Woollies and Coles. However coffee shops are springing up everywhere and the quality of the coffee served is often so much better than it was ten years ago.

                          Barry

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                          • #14
                            And then there's the servo in the Dandenongs with a 60's retro theme, full driveway service, checked table cloths,

                            2 group Rancilio and full time café bar staff.

                            Not saying that the coffee is awesome (but it could be), but they do way more than 4-5 cups a day and even more than the 0

                            cups/day, before they took on the business.

                            The only things missing are retro fuel pumps and a Faema 61. ( and better coffee ;-) )

                            I thought we were snobs here..... and that should extend to servos who genuinely want to serve good coffee.

                            So, dongrilla, my 2 bob's worth? Choose your path, full 'super' auto and forget about quality coffee and building a side business, or go the harder,

                            but more rewarding, road of good gear and investment in staff training.

                            But your customers have to feel that they want to sit down in your servo, feel welcome, comfortable and um...important.

                            If you can provide good work conditions you just might be able to hang on to a couple of well trained staff who can see

                            the benefits of serving great coffee to the general public.

                            p.s.I've only ever had ashy, awful coffee from big roadhouses, whether they have an LM Linea, coffee workstation, full time coffee pourers, or not.
                            (I draw a distinction between 'baristas' and 'people operating coffee machines').
                            Last edited by chokkidog; 22 September 2014, 01:21 PM.

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