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Gaggia TS1 vs Magister Stella vs Expobar Megacrem Mini - which to buy?

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  • Gaggia TS1 vs Magister Stella vs Expobar Megacrem Mini - which to buy?


    Am looking to buy my first serious machine and have been offered a Gaggia TS1 and a Magister Stella by local dealers, roughly for the same price. Both are showroom (demo) units and come with 1yr (Gaggia) and 3m (Magister) warranty.

    Any opinions on which is the better machine? Can't seem to find much detail on the net, especially the Magister, so would be great to get some community feedback.

    To confuse matters even further, it just so happens that I came across a private seller offering an Expobar Megacrem Mini 2 Group machine and a Macap MX grinder (cafe venture didn't work out, allegedly 'lightly used' for 2 years and recently serviced, but no warranty).

    Price-wise similar to the Gaggia TS and Magister Stella.

    I am tempted by the Expobar, but not sure if this would be overkill, ie 2 group machine for home use, 6 liter tank, etc , esp. since the machine would need to be plumbed in which would be a challenge in our kitchen. The Macap MX on the other hand might be worth it though?


  • #2
    marijan ,
    Hello and welcome along,your dilemma is understandable,what to choose???
    Bench space may be more your problem then whether plumbed or not,you would need to consider power too .......may be 15amp supply.That could be altered by dropping an element however,heating time would be lengthened.
    I have several HX espresso machines and are working well from 10amp supply,I only ever have bigger machines connected to draw from water bottles (20litre).
    Depending on where you consider the machine may go,consider where the water bottle needs to go.
    We find a good sized commercial espresso machine matched with an equally high grade grinder,you simply cannot lose!
    You coffees will be "ever-flowing" with steam sufficient to cover any needs.
    Obvious what I would suggest isn't it! I've had my Gaggia machines and I've moved on ,never regretted it too.
    Good luck with your decision.


    • #3
      Hi. I have the Expobar Megacrem Compact 2 group as the roastery sampling machine. It runs on only 10 amps and I'm running mine with a flojet from a 12 litre bottle through a filter. I originally had it sucking directly from the bottle with no problem but I'm not sure if this is advisable long term. I'm very happy with mine.


      • #4
        I have had the Gaggia TS. It is a steam beast, but mine ran quite hot. I changed thermostat in electrically heated group which did help a bit but it still needed a decent cooling flush. I also find the design to be quite hideous in a home setting, kind of looks like a Lada. It's also really long (50cm IIRC), so take that into account when you're deciding where to put it.

        Mine had previously had the brainbox relocated to beneath the drip tray as for some reason, Gaggia thought that right next to the anti-vac valve was an ok place to put it. Speaking of the drip tray, it's capacity is absolutely pitiful if you're unplumbed (not sure if the TS comes in a plumbed version).

        I know this sounds like I wasn't happy with, but I actually did really like it, but I did get it very cheap. I now use an e61 machine and wouldn't go back to the TS.
        Sorry, I know nothing about the Magister, but I hope this helps.


        • #5
          Thanks for all the feedback - I went with the TS in the end and am very happy with it. Great coffee, built like a tank and fantastic steam. The only (very minor) quibbles I have is that the drip tray is tiny and that the water tank is a bit fiddly to remove due to the water level sensors.

          Bonus: My wife now demands coffee first thing in the morning which is a good thing I guess

          As magnafunk mentioned it can run quite hot so I'll put in the lower temp thermostat when I have some time. Next project is (predictably) home roasting, we'll see how that goes...