HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Upgrade and Choices (9 msgs / 177 lines)
1) From: Jason Brooks
Well, the fever is getting the best of me.  After spending almost a year
with the machine I landed off of eBay, I have a better idea of what would
work better for me.  One that is honestly on the shortest list is the
Livia.  It's legendary status and quick rebound is appealing to a single
drinker household.  There seems to be, however, 'issues' with it as I've
looked around at boards in the past.  But the question for the Livia, is
it still worth the money with the likes of Brewtus, Andreja, and even
Anita?  Or the new dual-boiler due by Christmas?
Trying to plan an upgrade path and looking for sage advice, since
everything I look at is appealing.
My basic criteria is floating, but close to the following:
    1.  HX or Dual Boiler.  The appeal of on-demand hot H20 is a definite
    2.  Quick rebound and heat up.
    3.  Dependability.  I know this will be an unknown with some on the
market, like the dual boiler due late this year.
    4.  Aesthetics.  Let's face it, it's easier to look at a pretty
machine in the morning.
Appealing list, low price to high:
Expobar Office Pulser
Expobar Office Lever
Quickmill Anita
Grimac Mia
Quickmill Andreja
Pasquini Livia
So, I'm looking at a sub-$1500 ceiling.  It'll have to be a while before I
spring, but I need a target.  Always lurking on eBay as well.

2) From: Jason Brooks
I probably need to toss in the Brewtus as well.  The Lever I looked at
from a different vendor is not the same as the Brewtus.  It's an HX with
no PID.  But at half the price of Brewtus' dual boilers, maybe not so bad.

3) From: Les
I am very happy with my Expobar Office Control. It meets all your criteria.=
It still takes an operator behind the machine to make the shot!
 On 7/12/05, Jason Brooks  wrote: 

4) From: George Holt
What kind of grinder do you currently have? 
On 7/12/05, Jason Brooks  wrote:
George Holt
Waxhaw, NC 28173

5) From: Jason Brooks
Two Zasses.  So far, with them and just me drinking, I don't feel the pull
to pick up an electric grinder.  But I am following some Mazzers on eBay.

6) From: George Holt
If you consider $1499 sub-$1500 I would go for the Brewtus. But would be 
happy with the Control or Lever. 
On 7/12/05, Jason Brooks  wrote:
George Holt
Waxhaw, NC 28173

7) From: Erik Gilling
I just bought the Andreja Premium from SM a week and a half ago.  It's 
amazing.  I can make better espresso than any I've ever tasted with the 
possible exception of the new cafe Ritual Ground in SF.  Here's a run 
down of your criteria.
The Andreja is an HX design.  It's E61 group head is great.  If you do 
get a HX machine make sure to check out "How I Stopped Worrying and 
Learned to Love HXs" at Home Barista 
http://www.home-barista.com/hx-love.html). It took me a couple 
readings to get flushing down.  Once you can consistently flush the 
machine, you can consistently make great espresso.  A friend of mine 
took a temperature log of pulling  shot and it started at ~205.5 degrees 
F and cooled less than 0.1 degrees F per second.  The graph looked like 
a piece of art compared to his heavily modified Silvia (which also 
produces pretty damn fine espresso).
As quick as 30sec - 1min after pulling a double, Andreja is back up to 
heat enough to need a mini-flush.  It does take ~30 mins to get good and 
warmed up which seems average for machines in it's class.
Can't speak to that as I've only had mine less than two weeks.  It is, 
however, built like a tank.  I had it open to adjust the brew pressure 
and it's nice and well designed in there too.
The Andreja premium is damn sexy.  I have to warn people not to touch it 
because their first reactions is to start stroking the group head.  It's 
steam and hot water knobs are the nicest of any of the machine I looked 
at in it's class.  The two pressure gages are nice looking as well.
A few more comments about the Andreja.  Mine shipped with the brew 
pressure set at almost 11bar.  Opening up and tuning it down to 8.5-9 
bar (directions available on Chris Coffee's FAQ) improved the 
consistency of the shot.  Because of the need for near flushing before 
almost every shot, I found my self filling the reservoir far more often 
than I'd like.  I have a direct plumbing kit on the way to fix that problem.
In summary.  Get the Andreja Premium, you'll LOVE it.  Buy it and don't 
look back, which won't be hard as you'll be distracted by all the great 
espresso you'll be drinking. 
Also as a quick plug.  Buy it from Sweet Maria's.  I'm local so picking 
it up saved me shipping plus Tom was awesome enough to give me a pretty 
serious tour of the machine (it's the one he uses in his cupping room),  
Thanks Tom!

8) From: Jason Brooks
    Thanks for the lowdown.  That's helpful, if spending even more money
on espresso is helpful ;)
    I wish I was local for a pickup.  Mapquest showed me to be 2830.06
miles away.  4000 miles of I40 for a round trip, road trip pickup
would be a bit much, especially where gas prices are now.
Thanks again,

9) From: Barbara Greenspon
I've had the Livia and loved it, but I love my Andreja premium better.  
I can't even tell you why.  But I really do.
Jason Brooks wrote:

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