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Thread: Noob with obscure machine looking for grinder recommendations...

  1. #1
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    Noob with obscure machine looking for grinder recommendations...

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    G'day Snobs,

    I have a pretty well unknown semi automatic espresso machine. It is a Baumatic BAE C2SS which whilst neither new or fashionable should be capable of a decent pull (I believe).

    It has dual boilers and 58mm portafilter/baskets and can draw enough power to dim the lights (well almost - needed to run a 15a outlet for it).

    It is also designed to work with ESE pods as well as fresh grinds - which I'll admit is a big part of why we bought it years ago...

    ...long story short, it was offered, bundled in with other appliances when we built our house as an end of line run out at pricing to good to resist. It then spent several years pumping out shots from pods bought thru 'MyCuppa' in Melbourne and occasionally steaming milk.

    Some time ago, it stopped drawing water thru the the brew boiler although still steams and I couldn't find anyone local to have a look due to its obscurity (and I live in Adelaide).

    So for the last few years I have had a nice stainless steel kitchen ornament and a lavazza modo mio pod machine on daily duty. (I know, I know)

    Anyway- with some xmas hols time off I found a place an hours drive away happy to take a look and hopefully get her going again - I drove in today, dropped her off and am awaiting a quote.

    Between pangs of environmental guilt about pods in landfill and a genuine desire to develop decent home barista skills (and hopefully enjoy a higher quality daily drop) I have vowed to get the pods out of my life and source fresh roast beans to grind and turn into a mess on my kitchen bench 😉

    Indulging my hope that the machine is economically viable for repair (if its not I'll be looking for advice on that too soon) - can you please suggest some ideas of where to start as a NOoB looking to grind at home?

    So far I have come to the following conclusions...

    1) Breville SG Pro - pretty decent all rounder, questionable longevity

    2) Rancilio Rocky - Old as the hills but well made, not the most convenient

    3) The real action starts >$500

    The Breville can be had around $200 and a little more with extended warranty - is this a good starting point to cut my teeth on? With extended warranty I figure should be good for at least 5 years, in which time I may have outgrown it?

    Coffee A Roma have a good price on a new in damaged box Rocky (sub $300) - is this worth the extra?

    Anything else around the $300 worth a look, solely for espresso?

    Is it reasonable to start out around the $300 or is there a compelling reason to approach the Minister for War and Finance to attempt a budget review? (Yes I too have to answer for my spending)

    Any help/guidance is much appreciated.

    Apologies for war and peace as my first post...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    I'm a hand grinder fan. It's noticeably more difficult with lighter roasted beans though.
    There is a pretty new lido2e that was in the for sale section here for $200.
    I single dose my lido2e, and if making a second double shot for someone else, I pass them the grinder while finishing the first cup.
    It's only a 45sec job to grind 16g.... Takes longer on cheaper hand grinders. The 2e has graduations and adjustable to suit espresso.

    Electric... If you must, perhaps the 270wi

  3. #3
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Welcome mate...

    Would be great if you could link to a couple or more photos of this rarity.
    Haven't actually heard of one before...

    Mal.

  4. #4
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    My quick Google search leads me to believe it's a built-in coffee machine. I have never heard anything good about them, though this brand is new to me.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    It's a built in job.
    I have never looked inside a built in machine. You would think if you can grind and dose manually, it might be a ok machine...

    I found with a fully auto, once I got the grind fine enough, it wouldn't grind long enough. Maybe the grinder was worn...

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the replies guys,

    Have a couple of pics but can't work out how to upload directly...is that possible on this forum? (Am i missing something obvious???)

    It is indeed a built in machine, but fortunately not a full auto.



    This is what she looks like.



    I took the lid off as well and have a photo of the guts - would be interested in a critique from anyone with a servicing background - looks reasonably well laid out to me as an utter novice!

    bec2ssguts.jpg

    Cheers
    Last edited by TroubleBrewing; 6th January 2019 at 12:09 PM. Reason: condensing multiple posts
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  7. #7
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    Last edited by TroubleBrewing; 6th January 2019 at 12:09 PM.
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  8. #8
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    I used to deal with Baumatic in the UK around 20 years ago , they sold built in kitchen appliances , they never manufactured anything themselves, at that time all there appliances were made in Italy by other manufactures and badged up as Baumatic with different fascias and handles.

    The owner of the company was a nice Italian called Enzo.

    There may be clues inside the machine to who made it ...

  9. #9
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    Hi Buderim,
    I too believe it is undoubtedly 'badge engineered'... I have posted 3 times in attempts to share some images, including internals but these are awaiting mod approval

    The Joy's of being the new guy!

    Thanks all for the discussion so far. Other than Jackster's recommendation of a hand grinder, does anyone else have suggestions of the path to grinding enlightenment??

  10. #10
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    I think this is the one -

    Baumatic BAE C2SS

    Features
    Built-in model
    Filter suitable for pods, ground coffee or loose-leaf tea
    Steam spout for frothing milk
    Hot water dispensing spout
    Separate boiler and pump for coffee & steam
    Empty water tank warning LED light
    Reaching temperature LED indicator
    Safety stop operation on pumps
    Removable 1.8 litres capacity water tank
    Water softener for water filtration
    Touch control operation
    Mark resistant coating with mirror glass
    Removable drip tray
    Pull-out storage compartment for accessories

    Baumatic BAE C2SS.jpg



    Key Specifications

    Finish Colour Stainless Steel
    Height (mm) 460 mm
    Width (mm) 596 mm
    Depth (mm) 272 mm

    Operating Manual Link - https://www.appliancesonline.com.au/...SS/baec2SS.pdf

    Baumatic Australia Customer Care - https://www.baumatic.com.au/customer-care
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  11. #11
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    Gumtree. Find yourself a cheap commercial grinder with a decent burr size. Replace burrs. Profit.
    As an example : Gumtree link removed as per the Site Posting Policy


    Plenty of options in the sub-300 range, new pair of 64mm burrs typically in the $70-$90 range depending on brand.

    I had a look an theres not really much value in SA right now but keep your eyes peeled. I scored a Ceado E7 for $200, worth every penny. Also scored a Compak (can't remember model) for my Dad for the same price with fairly fresh burrs.

    Gumtree link removed as per the Site Posting Policy
    If you're desperate to get it done now this is probably a better deal than a breville

    If you can be patient though, try to avoid grinders with a stepped adjustment. Micrometer adjustable grinders seem to have a tendency to sell second hand for the same price and while others may disagree, it really made a difference to dialling in grind in my experience.
    Last edited by Javaphile; 6th January 2019 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Gumtree link(s) removed
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  12. #12
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    Thanks Guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by CafeLotta View Post
    I think this is the one -

    Baumatic BAE C2SS

    Features
    ...
    Baumatic BAE C2SS.jpg


    Operating Manual Link - https://www.appliancesonline.com.au/...SS/baec2SS.pdf

    Baumatic Australia Customer Care - https://www.baumatic.com.au/customer-care

    Cafe Lotta - That pic and manual link are actually the mk2 version - slightly more automated (the mark one has a dial/knob for adjusting water flow) and i believe a very different basket arrangement. No doubt much the same in termas of boilers and general layout...

    Quote Originally Posted by doommachine View Post
    Gumtree. Find yourself a cheap commercial grinder with a decent burr size. Replace burrs. Profit.
    As an example : Gumtree link removed as per the Site Posting Policy


    Plenty of options in the sub-300 range, new pair of 64mm burrs typically in the $70-$90 range depending on brand.

    I had a look an theres not really much value in SA right now but keep your eyes peeled. I scored a Ceado E7 for $200, worth every penny. Also scored a Compak (can't remember model) for my Dad for the same price with fairly fresh burrs.

    Gumtree link removed as per the Site Posting Policy
    If you're desperate to get it done now this is probably a better deal than a breville

    If you can be patient though, try to avoid grinders with a stepped adjustment. Micrometer adjustable grinders seem to have a tendency to sell second hand for the same price and while others may disagree, it really made a difference to dialling in grind in my experience.
    Thanks Doom Machine - unfortunately it is often the way in SA both new and used...i get the odd gem off gumtree but looking at coffee hardware all the goodies seem to be over east (same with hifi/ht gear and camera stuff! - all of the good things)

    I'm more than happy to scour the second hand buys - and even buy from interstate if i can verify that the sale is genuine - just have no idea where to start! I'll keep sponging what i can from here
    Last edited by Javaphile; 6th January 2019 at 12:04 PM. Reason: Gumtree link(s) removed

  13. #13
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    I bet it's full of sunbeam or Breville Thermoblocks..

    Are they single wall baskets? Kinda look like it in the manual

  14. #14
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    Hi Jackster,

    Hopefully the internal pic will be posted soon...

    ...As an absolute novice, to me it looks like a reasonable brass boiler for the coffee head and a stainless thermoblock for steam.

    As I can't post links right now, check out the manual on manualslib.com for the BEC2SS (I may have used the wrong code originally) and that is my actual machine manual.

    Yes the baskets are single walled.

    **EDIT** Hmmm i see my images are now posted further up the thread...YAY
    Last edited by TroubleBrewing; 6th January 2019 at 12:00 PM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    Looks simple enough.. was it making the pumping noise and no water out the brew head? If so, probably a blockage. If not, probably a pump, or the driver on the board that triggers it.

    It is a very small boiler mounted on the brew head. I see the pump delivers to the boiler, the boiler heats it quickly (hence the 15a plug..) then the water comes out, the solenoid next to the boiler opens, then the water flows back down the centre pipe to the brew head.
    So it could be that solonoid too.

    I see no opv in the pump circuit... But if the pump was cycling brrr brrr brrr at the start of a shot (rather than just brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr), pressure would be about right.

  16. #16
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
    I bet it's full of sunbeam or Breville Thermoblocks..
    Look more like Lelit or Rancilio components to me, so no problem there...

    An OPV, if required, would be easy enough to fit, not expensive and probably readily available from one of our Site Sponsors.

    Mal.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    At the start of my coffee adventures, I thought about a built in job that needed fixing. Possibly could have been ok, and I see now that they are pretty simple. But I ended up with a 800es and a board repair.

  18. #18
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    NS made built ins for a while so it could be one of theirs rebadged. Definitely one of the better built in units, if not the only decent one.

    Go with the advice above on the grinder - spend as much as you can possibly afford. A $300 Rocky is a much better idea than a Breville, and look at second hand if you’re up for it.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for the friendly banter so far guys...

    ...glad to see that it isn't the worlds worst machine and wasn't entirely a case of emperors new clothes back in the day. Truth be told, I'm keen as to get it all up and running and seeing the build date of 06 on the steam boiler it's nice to know it's not a throw away appliance


    Quote Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
    Looks simple enough.. was it making the pumping noise and no water out the brew head? If so, probably a blockage. If not, probably a pump, or the driver on the board that triggers it.

    It is a very small boiler mounted on the brew head. I see the pump delivers to the boiler, the boiler heats it quickly (hence the 15a plug..) then the water comes out, the solenoid next to the boiler opens, then the water flows back down the centre pipe to the brew head.
    So it could be that solonoid too.

    I see no opv in the pump circuit... But if the pump was cycling brrr brrr brrr at the start of a shot (rather than just brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr), pressure would be about right.
    So, the group head/coffee boiler heats up, i can hear the pump working and like i said, she still steams. Interestingly the knob on the RHS of the machine's face that i mentioned earlier controls the water flow, seems to do it by causing the pump to cycle. On max setting it is a constant brrrrrrrrrr noise and then on lower settings i get the brrr brrr brrr's at various intermissions.

    Do you think retro-fitting an OPV would be a worthwhile investment?



    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Look more like Lelit or Rancilio components to me, so no problem there...

    An OPV, if required, would be easy enough to fit, not expensive and probably readily available from one of our Site Sponsors.

    Mal.
    Glad to see the components look at least somewhat decent quality! Can you bear with me and share the potential benefits of adding an OPV (again soz i'm at the steep end of a learning curve here)... anything else that would be worth tinkering with whilst she's on the work bench?

    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    NS made built ins for a while so it could be one of theirs rebadged. Definitely one of the better built in units, if not the only decent one.

    Go with the advice above on the grinder - spend as much as you can possibly afford. A $300 Rocky is a much better idea than a Breville, and look at second hand if you’re up for it.
    Hi Leroy - forgive my ignorance but who/what is NS?

    ....

    Back to the grinder dilemma - i think it is probably prudent to rule out Breville and the likes as the consensus seems to be that quality of grind and build/longevity have question marks and whilst i don't doubt that for a couple of hundred schmeckles a SGP will get me up and running it sounds like it will likely be outgrown pretty quickly.

    SO - (and please adjust my path if i am flogging a dead horse here), my priorities are Espresso and Espresso alone (no french press etc).

    1. With this in mind it seems that the advice is to go stepless if possible.
    2. I think i prefer the idea of doserless
    3. It doesn't make sense to me to spring close to $1k starting out (dignified way of saying my budget won't stretch there at this point in time).
    4. Second hand is fine by me but i have no idea about so many of the goods that come up.


    Without narrowing it down to just these two models, it seems that i can land a new, stepless and doserless Iberital Challenge for $300. It also seems that $300 is going money for a tidy secondhand Rocky. I can see the Rocky clearly has the longevity/build quality advantage, although the challenge seems to be durable enough to last several years... by which time i may well want to spend some serious $$$ on the next upgrade Purely for Espresso and likely obsessing with hitting god shot ristretto's for example, where would you put your $$?

    Again, with my NOOB L Plates on, are there other resources i should be mainlining?
    Are there obvious options i am missing (SA's less than crowded supply channels notwithstanding)?

    Thanks again for engaging so far

  20. #20
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Glad to see the components look at least somewhat decent quality! Can you bear with me and share the potential benefits of adding an OPV (again soz i'm at the steep end of a learning curve here)... anything else that would be worth tinkering with whilst she's on the work bench?
    An OPV makes it easier to dial-in your preferred bean(s) by limiting peak brew pressure to the setpoint ~8.5-.9.0Bar, without the risk of exceeding the preferred pressure for brewing tasty espresso. It also offers protection for the pump by not allowing the pressure to build up to levels that may possibly stall the pump and ultimately shorten its life.

    It would need to be fitted just upstream of the entry point into the Boiler, with the drain looped down into the drip tray or returned to the water reservoir.

    Mal.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Jackster's Avatar
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    As Mal says...

    Get it back going again first. Maybe then a pressure test to make sure it's not leaking anywhere.

    Opv. I think your machine is volumetric, so your opv should be after output of the pump, but before boiler. Looped back into the pump input, after the flow meter.
    Opv will be some fiddling and probably $100 in parts. So maybe worth it once it's up and going good
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  22. #22
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    NS = Nuova Simonelli.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TroubleBrewing View Post

    Back to the grinder dilemma -

    Without narrowing it down to just these two models, it seems that i can land a new, stepless and doserless Iberital Challenge for $300. It also seems that $300 is going money for a tidy secondhand Rocky. I can see the Rocky clearly has the longevity/build quality advantage, although the challenge seems to be durable enough to last several years... by which time i may well want to spend some serious $$$ on the next upgrade Purely for Espresso and likely obsessing with hitting god shot ristretto's for example, where would you put your $$?
    For the grinder, don't rule out second hand, and look beyond the Rocky as well. The burrs on a good grinder will last for years of domestic use. If nothing on this site look at gumtree. I picked up a one year old Compak K3 with domestic use only for $220 a month or so back. I also sold an excellent little Gaggia MDF grinder for $110. There are bargains out there and you will get more for your money with a judicious second hand purchase.

    I agree with stepless and doserless.
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  24. #24
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    So here's the latest...

    Turns out the machine needs a solenoid and a new pump. All up the cost is $320 including service and clean and I'm quite happy with that - should be ready Monday/Tuesday.

    In the meantime I have ventured further down the rabbit hole as far as grinders go and have had a Eureka Mignon recommended to me - another one to add to the list.

    I just missed out on a 2nd hand Iberital Challenge via scumtree and nothing much has popped up FS on CS...

    I think it is probably ultimately worth stepping up to the $450-$600 sort of range (new - so i guess about 2/3 of that as a second hand budget for equivalency, if something interesting comes up).

    As such I have found a Sunbeam EM0480 cheap as chips second hand and have grabbed it to have a play, learn some things. The search for a better grinder continues in the background but i figure this should at least get me up and running and is something to cut my teeth on. This buys me some time and means when the time is right for the next step i should be in a position to take it confidently, no second guessing myself...

    So the theory goes anyhow - wish me luck!

    I will start another thread in another section if anyone wants to follow my journey
    (Anyone wishing to observe my descent into madness can do so here: https://coffeesnobs.com.au/general-c...reen-bean.html )
    Last edited by TroubleBrewing; 12th January 2019 at 10:01 PM. Reason: update added

  25. #25
    Grinhill
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    I love my Eureka Mignon, I've had it for about 5 years and it's performed faultlessly. The compact size is great too. Huge step up from my previous Breville grinder.
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  26. #26
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    I've just gone from Breville Smart Grinder to Baratza (Mahlkonig Vario). Also worth looking at the Rocky in my opinion as sits between these two $$-wise and will last for years.

    My Breville has been going for 8 years and still running like a tank but I don't think it goes fine enough for proper espresso.

    Good luck with the quest !

  27. #27
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theosouris View Post
    My Breville has been going for 8 years and still running like a tank but I don't think it goes fine enough for proper espresso.
    Is it a BCG800 or BCG820? 8 years suggests the 800. Call Breville and they can probably send you a shim kit to get it finer. My 800 needed a shim kit out of the box in 2012 and they sent it straight away. My 820 was fine out of the box, though they have an internal adjustment that negates the need for a shim kit.



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