There really are some halfsoles in the word, hope they had their insurance organised.
Unbelievably, last night a new cafe in Kew had their Slayer and Robur stolen, and they haven't even opened yet.
A similar thing happened to St Ali north when they were broken into twice, and I recall they also had their Slayers stolen.
As much as it's a terrible thing, I can understand someone stealing a grinder, but a 3 group Slayer?
It's not like they could sell it to another cafe, there are so few of them it'd be spotted straightaway. And the one stolen last night was even more unique as it was white, here's a pic http://Instagram.com/p/YTtmdOD1OU/
It was clearly an organised thing, it's not like some junkie took it. But what would they be doing with them?
I feel really sorry for the cafe owner, I'm guessing he/she hasn't got the financial background that St Ali have to rebound the way they did.
There really are some halfsoles in the word, hope they had their insurance organised.
They weigh 123kg! You'd need at least three or four guys to lift one...
This sucks. Hopefully the cockroaches that did it are caught
Yes, a truly lovely world we live in these days. Shame it didn't have one of those trackers they use on luxury vehicles or earth-moving equipment.
Maybe the replacement unit could have one hidden inside so you can catch the prix if they come back for the replacement machine.
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We've had to repair a machine that was dropped while someone was stealing it, they got away but were nabbed by the police and the machine retrieved.
It would take someone with knowledge of the industry to know its value and have a way of using it/selling it, most likely if it's in a custom colour it will be pulled apart and repainted before it 'reappears' somewhere.
Even a rarer machine like a Slayer may not be easily identified when it reappears, I hope they have a record of the serial number!
I suspect there are a LOT of machines out there in cafes that are not technically the legal property of the current 'owner', judging by the number of machines supplied by coffee companies that they lose track of one way or another - I've seen a few commercial machines on eBay that I know don't actually belong to the person selling them.......
So Jonathon, you are saying you now know of two of these machines that have been stolen in a relatively short timeframe?
I imagine the owner reported the theft to Police. I wonder if they were able to say whether there is currently a bit of activity Re theft of commercial machines.
Sounds like a 'steal to order' job doesn't it.
The thieves will mostly want to turn that machine over ASAP - a paint job is definitely a possibility. I'd bet it is pulling shots in someones cafe within weeks. Probably somewhere in the metro area.
A pox on their house.
So it's a team of people who know the difference between a Slayer and some crappy Wega. In Melbourne that narrows it down to perhaps 250,000 people!
Thanks for your reply Jonathon.
It does suggest they know what they are stealing and have a bit of a plan.
Stealing highly visible stuff that then gets put 'on display' in a cafe is a bit more risky than stealing Wegas.
I see the victim has a message seeking help from the public on the Slayer Facebook page. It would be interesting if all the CSs in Melbourne were to keep an eye out for any Slayers in cafes and report them to the victim of the theft.
I'm sure he would be keen to check them out.
The machine and grinder will have been covered under the business insurance package taken out by the owners of the business.
Over the years there have been some highly "professional" gangs of coffee equipment thieves operating in NSW and Victoria. It isnt an isolated instance, and the equipment probably wont go into a cafe unless the ID plate is modified to reflect a different number. In which case it will likely never be indentified or found, and owing to the small value of the theft, the police will do not much more than fill out the forms and file them away in the cabinet (especially if this is given to junior officers). If you want the police to do anything, you have to hand feed them the info that you discover from your own investigations, and that is also a one way street as in.....you give them your info, but they will not give you theirs.....
Assume from the onset that he equipment is gone forever. If there is no insurance, I dare say that a Wega is quite likely to appear in its place.
Yes, I know a good barista will produce a far better coffee from a Wega than a crap barista will with a Slayer, but try employing a good barista or two in Melbourne if they're going to be pulling shots on a Wega.
But as someone who employs many young staff, I know that creating a great work environment is a non negotiable when you're dealing with staff who are highly mobile.
Perhaps if you're in a small town with high unemployment it might be different, but in Melb/Syd it's a hunt for talent, not a hunt for jobs, so as an employer I need to give someone a reason to work for me.
While I agree that the coffee industry is riddled with posers, I don't think that necessarily denotes that anyone wishing to work with the best tools available to them is a "hipster barista".
Yes the service industry as a whole is largely driven by young adults and teenagers who are working to support themselves while studying for another career; it is a logical extension that many of them don't share the same level of care that you might have for coffee, after all, at the end of the day many of these kids get paid so little that they don't even earn enough to clear the tax free threshold in a given year. Having said that, as someone who works as a barista in the industry and having a passion for coffee and for great service, I get tired of hearing all the off handed criticism about how we are all "insert blithe insult here", it's an unfair generalisation and makes a mockery of all the hard working passionate people that I have met and worked with within the industry.
I don't use a fancy machine at work, I am not going to bad mouth the brand, but it definitely has its limitations and I often wish I was working with a higher end machine that didn't suffer as many bug bears. I don't think that makes me a hipster and I think if you were to draw a parallel with many other industries you wouldn't be met with such scepticism at wanting to use the best tools for the job.
Back on topic, regardless of insurance payouts, this sort of thing is heartbreaking for a small business owner, it can make everyone in the business feel exposed and vulnerable and will also likely additionally delay the opening of this new cafe. Although I guess it's unlikely I hope the buggers get caught.
Yes lots of crappy baristas produce rubbish from $20k machines, and we've all had great coffees from $7k machines, but people work off perception rather than fact a lot of the time.
A question, will any of those machines you mention produce the volume of shots and steam in say 10 mins that a slayer will, relevant for a busy cafe.
Why are so many threads filtering down to the same hostile debate over barista v machine?
If you are a barista and have an appreciation for the science of espresso then you are going to want more control than a HX machine can give you. You are going to want to control your temperature, your pre-infusion and your pressure. This is specifically important for cafes that serve various single origins or guest blends. The ability to change the brewing parameters on one of your 3 groups for the SO coffee while leaving the other 2 for house blend gives you much better scope to properly represent that coffee.
An advanced barista will be able to make better coffee when they have more controllable parameters at their fingertips. I don't really get the logic of saying otherwise.
Not to mention, all stainless steel boilers/groups (no brassy taints) and temperature stability (both intrashot and shot to shot) and the grunt these things have that they ought never run out of steam even in the busiest of rushes, make them pretty desirable for cafe owners.
I don't profess to be being the bees knees and I will be the first to admit I have lots of learning left to do in my journey as a barista. There are loads of different machines out there; many, many of them I have never even used so to even comment on their ability to deliver on a final product versus another machine would be a lie. I guess my point was simply that it's (relatively) easy to make "a good cup" from a range of machines from low to high in price and status; it grows increasingly more difficult however to maintain a high level product as the volume of custom increases when using a lower quality machine. I do speak from person experience when I say, using the 3 group re-branded 'no name' coffee machine at work presents limitations when we hit our peak trade and regardless of the barista, this results in a product that either isn't produced as quickly as it might otherwise potentially be made on a 'better' machine or alternatively isn't made as well. I appreciate that this probably wasn't the direction of your initial complaint, and I understand your frustration at all the peacocks that walk around in cafes parading their feathers, I just wanted to highlight that just because we as barista might want for better machines doesn't mean we are to be automatically placed into the "superficial wanker" pile. I wasn't trying to play devils advocate, so forgive me if I thoughtlessly ruffled your feathers.
Besides, you only need to have a look at all the posts on these very forums and all the 'prosumer' machine 'upgraditis' to see that it isn't any different on an individual level. Come on, if it's OK for all the geese, let us ganders have a little fun too :P
People are then extrapolating that message out to meaning that the capabilities of high end gear do not result in better tasting coffee. The truth is it actually depends on the blend. Some blends will benefit very little from temperature/pressure profiling, where as others will benefit enormously.
I can appreciate the idea that a connoisseur barista, who at home probably owns something fairly fancy already, would prefer to work at a place where they can play with the fancy machines and do things that they can't do at home. Whether they would prefer that over an above-award wage I can't say - but paying two or three full time baristas an extra dollar an hour pays for a slayer in a year or two (at least the difference between a slayer and say an expobar).
A quality HX machine still only gives a limited number of inputs into the coffee making process:
- initial water temperature (based on time since last cooling flush)
- pour length
The pressure profile is dependent on the grouphead, in a volumetric machine (with levetta machines partially opening the levetta may allow control over preinfusion to some extent).
The temperature profile is dependent on the tuning of the heat exchanger, as well as things like how long since the last coffee (or cooling flush) was made
Is it possible to set up a volumetric E61 machine for good quality, consistent results? of course.
Can you make a cup equally as good as on a more expensive machine? Depends on your metric.
Can you make a cup equivalent to a more expensive machine? Possibly not.
Heard the guy from St Ali on the radio this morning and I thought he said they lost their machine from the Sth Melb location. He also mentioned something about the probability that the machines were being shipped offshore and probably to Korea where the coffee thing is booming and the machines are 2-3 times the cost of here. That makes for a healthy profit for a machine stolen here in Australia.
Can't help but think its someone in the know (in the industry) that is responsible. 2 Melbourne locations miles apart. Very unlikely someone just passing noticed them at both locations. As the chap said they would need to disconnect 3 phase power and plumbing as well.
The water supply to the machine would be fed via a filtration system. There would be an inline tap of some sort so the filters could be changed.
No rocket science needed to disconnect a machine. You just need some guys with a bit of muscle to lift and carry the machine. This of course rules out the majority of the "hipsters" in the industry.
The image of half a dozen or so fedora adorned thieves, struggling under the weight of a Slayer; paints quite an amusing picture.
All jokes aside, a gut wrenching experience for the business owners. A very low act indeed. Lets hope they they can recover.
Hopefully businesses installing such prized machinery, will take extra steps to safeguard their assets, given the publicity of these events. Surveillance equipment has definitely become a growth industry.
Shipping the merchandise overseas seems to be an easy way to dispose of the stolen goods. I wonder how much scrutiny is placed upon "out-going" containers by our customs department?
Fellas...getting just a tad off the topic. Not that I want to squash the discussion but its getting a bit confusing reading about stolen machines and making a decent cup of coffee on a high or low end machine.
Where stolen goods end up always intrigues me. The OMCG clubhouse is a shrewd observation.
The suggestion that high-end items like this could be filling a space in containers heading to Korea is also interesting.
I'm wondering what other items would be worth shipping O/S. Prestige cars & motorcycles, what else? - has to be valuable but portable and not so common at point of disposal that it wouldn't be lucrative, doesn't it.
You'll never stop stuff being stolen so I guess insurance is the only solution.
They even listed the serial numbers of some of the equipment: Slayer = #0187, Robur = #1140424
Outlaw motorcycle gang clubhouse? Are you serious? Have you been in one lately? They don't need coffee, they have plenty of other stuff to keep them awake. Besides, the Nom's have enough to do without worrying about extraction time and profiling !!!
I feel very sorry for the the cafe owner, hope they find the thieves
Maybe theyre trying to break into the coffee market, fake kopi luwak produced by pitbulls, it tasted like **** from the wega they had so they checked coffeesnobs and discovered you cant make good coffee on anything but a LM/slayer/synesso
Don't fool yourself about the OMCGs. There are now chapters where the members all wear suits and drink Cappucinos.
They would like to have a bit of upmarket gear like a Slayer on the corner of the bar, AND they would have someone who could operate it.
Last Outlaw motorcycle gang clubhouse I was in (to fix their coffee machine) wasn't that upmarket, their machine was a vending style machine that used coffee powder, milk powder and chocolate powder in separate hoppers. Not quite Slayer quality. Although at the moment their machine is in our workshop, we picked it up to quote a repair and as far as I know they don't want to bother having it fixed - maybe they've gone looking for a better replacement?.................
MorganGT - do you have a Morgan? or maybe just an admirer like me. It is one of my icons. I love all the models but would be happy with either a 4/4 or Plus 4.
Might get one of these before I'm too old to enjoy it.
I like Morgan aircraft....
Too Good! You got to have one! That would be great - GT Morgan's Morgan GT.
A company called Motorman Imports regularly advertises used Morgan Plus 8s in Unique Cars Magazine.
They are usually fairly early low mileage examples around the $70K mark which is pretty close to the price of a new 4/4 or Plus 4 however.
I was drooling over the current models on the Official Aust. Distributor's site last night. Have a look & torture yourself.
Morgan Cars Australia - Morgan Cars Australia
It's not quite at the same level as a Slayer, but we've just sold a recoed machine to replace a Pavoni that was stolen from a Junior Soccer Club pavilion (which itself was bought from us a while back to replace the previous machine, which was also stolen!)
Not an opportunistic theft, as they must have come equipped with the tools to disconnect the machine, filter, pressure limiting valve etc. and even hunted around and collected all the group handles, blind filter, knock box and even the container of Espresso Clean in a nearby cupboard. The small bar fridge, microwave and other stuff that would have been easy to grab and run off with were left, but they did unplug the big commercial display fridge and wheel it over to the door, which makes me suspicious that someone was 'shopping' for equipment for a cafe.