HomeRoast Digest


Topic: OT (Just to be safe): Espresso Machine Question (25 msgs / 617 lines)
1) From: john nanavati
I'm considering buying an espresso machine and am curious about the
differences in output.
For example, will the extraction from an Andreja be that much better than a
Slivia?
Is it like the difference between a Mr Coffee and Technivorm - more
consistent / accurate brew temp, better extraction process; therefore,
better coffee? or is it more esoteric like being more of a pleasure to work
with and look at? (please pardon the potential ignorance of my question)
Btw, I primarily drink espresso and americanos. I can see that I might enjoy
playing with lattes but it isn't on my radar at this point.
Bbtw, I have to say that coffee roasting is a insidious hobby. Low cost of
entry but it balloons over time ;- )
John Nanavati
Plainfield, New Jersey

2) From:
Hi John:
<Snip>
no not at all. remember taste, roast, water and a good grinder all make up your espresso/americano experience.
If you have the extra bucks sure by the Andreja, you get E61 group head, two portafilters, 1400 watts heat ='s a big bang. Why start with something you will want to upgrade before too long. At least it sounds that way to me from your comment.
The Andreja is similar to my La Valentina Automatic. love it. Control, control and more control. 
Close the gap between Mr Coffee and Technivorm because you do have control and a great cup from the Silva.
Go look at Tom's reviews of each machine. You will GET MORE from the Andreja.
regards,
ginny
---- john nanavati  wrote: 
<Snip>

3) From: john nanavati
<Snip>
The Andreja is at the top of my range, but, just as you said, I'm really not
excited about getting something that will make "okay" espresso and I'll
either just to want to upgrade in a couple months.

4) From:
john:
go for it. if it fits your price range buy it.
you will most likely kick yourself in the butt later when you HAVE to upgrade.
ginny
let us know.
---- john nanavati  wrote: 
<Snip>

5) From: Tara Kollas
I agree with Ginny - after looking around and researching endlessly, I
decided to wait until I have the money to buy my upgrade, rather than buying
the Silvia and immediately having upgraditis.
On 3/26/07, pchforever  wrote:
<Snip>

6) From: MichaelB
John,
Will the Andreja produce a better tasting shot than Silvia? Maybe. But a
consistently better shot? Definitely! That plus convenience is what you'll
get with a higher end machine. If you're a non-frother there won't be as
much of a convenience factor with a single boiler vs Hx. But the only way
I'd still recommend the Silvia over the Andreja would be if the price would
inhibit your purchase of a quality grinder. You've probably heard it many
times already. But here it is again. The grinder is more important to the
quality of the espresso than the espresso machine!
On 3/26/07, john nanavati  wrote:
<Snip>
--
MichaelB

7) From: john nanavati
 But here it is again. The grinder is more important to the quality of the
<Snip>
I should be set on the grinder. I purcheased a Rocky a couple months ago.

8) From: RK
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
The Anita is the same as the Andreja on the inside but with a couple =
bells and whistles missing on the outside, but even with pstat =
upgrade(Suggested) $29 it is 350 cheaper then the Andreja, and basically =
the same machine.
RK

9) From: miKe mcKoffee
Miss Silvia is quite capable of making one or two very good shots. More than
that back to back and shot temp management becomes basically unmanageable
with group head temp rising about 12f over a series, PID or no PID doesn't
matter, just the nature of a passively heated group. Silvia is also quite
capable of steaming, but a PITA, and always a trade off between shot sitting
waiting for the milk or vice versa. And coming back to shot temp from
steaming is insane.
The handle side of the portafilter is of course of paramount importance
regardless the machine. Grinder wise keep Rocky's burrs up to par replacing
every 75 to 100# and he'll do fine for years.
That said having owned and used a Silvia daily for 3&1/2 years before
upgrading to a rotary E61 HX Bricoletta, the Bric' is far more capable of
consistently good to excellent shots. And I don't believe Silvia's "best
shots" were equal to the Bric's best shots.
I'd also stronly urged looking at direct plumbed. Even Silvia was much more
using friendly with tank float valve auto-filled. And a rotary pump much
nicer as in quieter.
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/	From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of john nanavati
	Sent: Monday, March 26, 2007 12:32 PM
	 
	The Andreja is at the top of my range, but, just as you said, I'm
really not excited about getting something that will make "okay" espresso
and I'll either just to want to upgrade in a couple months.

10) From: Sue
John,
 I have an Andreja I just love it. I have it plumbed with the kit that SM's
sells and life couldn't be better. I can easily and *consistently* pull
great shots and I have all the power I need to make steamed milk drinks and
hot cocoa for friends, family, and guests. There are five people that live
in my house and all the kids usually have friends around as well.  The use
it not only for espresso, but also hot water on demand for tea and Ramen
noodles!  I have it turned on all day and half the night. It is on a timer
that shuts off around midnight and back on at 5am! Another plus - it's
really a beautiful machine!
Sue
On 3/26/07, john nanavati  wrote:
<Snip>

11) From: john nanavati
I've also been considering the benefits of direct plumbing the Andreja
because I continually hear encouragement that way. But then i think, if i'm
going to direct plumb, why not go with the Vetrano plus it has the rotary
pump.
I've been considering the benefits of having the instant hot water and have
thought of making some hot chocolate latte art for my wife and son. Of
course, I've thought about being a concert pianist as well. ;- )
Do you folks know how much quieter the rotary pump will be than a vibrating
one?
Btw, what's the general feeling on leaving the machine on in stead of
setting it on a timer?
On 3/26/07, Sue  wrote:
<Snip>

12) From: Sue
I don't know if I should have, but I left mine on almost continuously for
the first year. We turned if off now and then, and if we went away for the
weekend or on vacation. I just always thought I should probably turn it off
a bit more often, but it took my just a little while to actually get a
timer! I can't stand to wait, I want it ready instantly. Everyone in the
family uses it throghout the day.
As far as the filling noise........yes it's a bit loud. It only takes a
minute to fill though so for me it's not even an issue.
Sue
On 3/26/07, john nanavati  wrote:
<Snip>

13) From: jim gundlach
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And that leaves you enough to get an adequate grinder.
     Pecan Jim
On Mar 26, 2007, at 5:12 PM, RK wrote:
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And that leaves you enough to =
get an adequate grinder.    Pecan Jim
On Mar 26, =
2007, at 5:12 PM, RK wrote:
The Anita is the same as the Andreja on the inside but with a = couple bells and whistles missing on the outside, but even with pstat = upgrade(Suggested) $29 it is 350 cheaper then the Andreja, and = basically the same machine.RK

14) From: miKe mcKoffee
If you're seriously considering Andreja with later direct connect kit, or
Vetrano now, I'd strongly suggest also checking out the Izzo Alex. It's
rotary pump and both direct plumbed OR tank already, back and forth with
simple flip of a lever. Once you've had direct plumbed you'll never regret
it. 
How much quieter vibe pump versus rotary depends on the vibe and the rotary
pump.s But rotary pumps are quieter yes, and have a longer life cycle.
Rotary pumps also are not subject to over heating which vibe pumps are. This
can come into play doing long pump runs during maintenance like preventative
descaling. Personally having had a vibe pump machine for 3&1/2 years and now
a rotary for 1&1/4 years, would never go back to a vibe!
I've used a timer on both Silvia and Bricoletta no problems. Lately I've
quit using the timer, the Bric' has been turned off only once so far this
year! That was to install the Eric's digital thermometer group adapter. 
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/	From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of john nanavati
	Sent: Monday, March 26, 2007 5:46 PM
	To: homeroast
	Subject: Re: +OT (Just to be safe): Espresso Machine Question
	
	I've also been considering the benefits of direct plumbing the
Andreja because I continually hear encouragement that way. But then i think,
if i'm going to direct plumb, why not go with the Vetrano plus it has the
rotary pump. 
	 
	I've been considering the benefits of having the instant hot water
and have thought of making some hot chocolate latte art for my wife and son.
Of course, I've thought about being a concert pianist as well. ;- ) 
	 
	Do you folks know how much quieter the rotary pump will be than a
vibrating one?
	 
	Btw, what's the general feeling on leaving the machine on in stead
of setting it on a timer?

15) From: True, Dennis W. FC1 (CVN69)
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
For the Record there are Rocky's in every coffee shop I went to while in
Italy That is why my grinder will be a rocky!
 
Dennis

16) From: john nanavati
On 3/26/07, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
<Snip>
I've been looking at the Izzo as well. I talked to some Alex owners on
homebarista and they seem very happy. I really like its flexibility to
switch between pour-over and plumb, as well as the rotary. But because the
Alex is new, and the Andreja and Vetrano are "known" entities, I've shied
away from the Izzo a little. Although, I have the extra space in my budget,
I recognize how much the investment is and want it last.
This is also why I'm not pursuing the Silvia as much. I don't know that I'm
going to have the opportunity to upgrade later and I'd rather just buy the
machine that I like instead of wishing I had.
<Snip>
Good information. I didn't know, but it makes sense now that I think about
it. This definitely makes me more interested in the rotary.

17) From: miKe mcKoffee
While the Alex is relatively new the technology and parts used are not.
Combined with who helped design and bring it to the US market I'd have zero
qualms about buying one. I consider Chris on par with Tom integrity and
business practice wise. Sure earlier production models may have a kink or
two to work out, but Chris and his staff will go out of their way to make it
right should any tweaking be needed. I'd rate their service second to known,
just as or even more important than the machine itself.
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/	From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of john nanavati
	Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2007 4:08 AM
	 
	I've been looking at the Izzo as well. I talked to some Alex owners
on homebarista and they seem very happy. I really like its flexibility to
switch between pour-over and plumb, as well as the rotary. But because the
Alex is new, and the Andreja and Vetrano are "known" entities, I've shied
away from the Izzo a little. Although, I have the extra space in my budget,
I recognize how much the investment is and want it last. 
	 
	This is also why I'm not pursuing the Silvia as much. I don't know
that I'm going to have the opportunity to upgrade later and I'd rather just
buy the machine that I like instead of wishing I had.

18) From: mirrera
John,
Since you're going to be spending a substantial amount of money on a machine, by the looks of it, I would suggest identifying the features that matter most to you, and using that to narrow the list.  When I purchased my machine, I used this list of criteria to evaluate which things were important to me:
Pump (vib, rotary)
Boiler Design (direct, HX, dual boiler)
Brew Group (is E61 necessary?)
Asthetics
Tank/Plumb/Both
Manufacturer Support
Model Longevity (how long it's been around/online community, etc)
Things that I found were very important to me were: a rotary pump, dual boiler (wife likes the milk drinks, plus I wanted to not have to worry about temp management at the group with a HX), plumbed in, and manufacturer/online support and community.  The E61 group and asthetics weren't as important.  That sure shortened the list, and I ended up with a Vivaldi II, which I'm extremely happy with.  It may not be the prettiest contraption, but I can pull shots and steam all day.  I also have the timer for it, which wasn't a big purchase criteria, but is a nice convenience (though it's debatable whether or not it saves electricity). 
So, I'd suggest that you identify the things that are going to be most important to you, based on how you think you'll be using the machine, and make sure that the ones you're considering at least have your requirements.  My $.02, anyway.
-AdkMike

19) From: Brian Kamnetz
AdkMike,
That was a very nice post, very informative and helpful. Thanks.
Brian
On 3/27/07, mirrera  wrote:
<Snip>

20) From: Tara Kollas
Alex is the machine I just bought, BTW.  I've only had it a few weeks.
Prior to that, I had a Gaggia Espresso.  UPS was rather unkind to my
machine, to say the least.  But the one faulty part (vacuum seal of some
sort on the boiler), was replaced immediately.  One thing - it is a HUGE
machine.  At least to my eyes and countertop - that's one big footprint.
I'm not that practiced with making espresso.  Part of the problem is that
I'm pregnant and trying to make half-caf espresso and I've never been able
to get a good decaf espresso from a machine - I seem to go from a 10 second
pull to choking the machine with nothing in between.  I'm going to
experiment more tonight with some Brazilian yellow bourbon I roasted on
Sunday.  And I'll update if you're interested.  I do not have it plumbed in,
but I wanted the convenience (I will likely never use this feature because
our tap water is awful tasting, and at this time I don't have the space for
a giant bottle of water under the countertop).  I really wanted it for the
rotary pump.  Which is really, really quiet, I have to say.
On 3/27/07, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
<Snip>

21) From: Michael Dhabolt
Tara,
Tara Kollas wrote:
<Snip>
Next time you are in Home Despot, check out the selection of water treatment
filters etc.
For a fairly nominal price (well below $200) you can install a double filter
arrangement under your sink counter.  All the plumbing is straight forward
(similar to plumbing in a regrigerator ice maker).  Some folks don't
recommend RO water, but again for less than a couple hundred $, that is what
I opted for.  The added convenience of a 'plumbed in' installation is well
worth the trouble (IMHO).
Mike (just plain)

22) From: john nanavati
Tara,
Please do let me know your experience with the Alex (off-line is fine if you
prefer). I'm remodeling my kitchen and doubt that I'll make the decision
before it's done.
My water didn't taste that good either. I installed a whole house filter and
have a second on the refrigerator - it's much better now. There's definite
difference between the whole house filter water and water from the fridge
(with the second filter).
I was, for a short time, considering setting up a gravity feed direct plumb
- kind of like the old toilets ... but in a more appetizing fashion ;- ) I
still wonder if that would work ... a gallon bottle of water on top of the
cabinets and a nice long hose...
I tested my water for hardness and found that it wasn't nearly as hard as i
expected - between three and five grains.
John Nanavati
Plainfield, New Jersey

23) From: miKe mcKoffee
John,
I'd recommend you make a decision sooner rather than later so you can
incorporate any remodeling needs now since you're already in the "rip up the
kitchen" mode/process. Since in remodeling mode anyway strongly recommend
not only direct plumbing the water feed but the drip dray too. I haven't
plumbed my drip tray yet, but highly likely will one of these days even
though will require a larger hole in the counter or wall. 
Kona Kurmudgeon miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htmUltimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/	From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of john nanavati
	Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2007 2:46 PM
	
	Tara,
	 
	Please do let me know your experience with the Alex (off-line is
fine if you prefer). I'm remodeling my kitchen and doubt that I'll make the
decision before it's done.
	 
	My water didn't taste that good either. I installed a whole house
filter and have a second on the refrigerator - it's much better now. There's
definite difference between the whole house filter water and water from the
fridge (with the second filter). 
	 
	I was, for a short time, considering setting up a gravity feed
direct plumb - kind of like the old toilets ... but in a more appetizing
fashion ;- ) I still wonder if that would work ... a gallon bottle of water
on top of the cabinets and a nice long hose... 
	 
	I tested my water for hardness and found that it wasn't nearly as
hard as i expected - between three and five grains.
	
	John Nanavati
	Plainfield, New Jersey

24) From: Les
Mike,
I like my "arm strong" pump machine.  It is even quieter than your rotary.
Les
On 3/26/07, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
<Snip>

25) From: john nanavati
yeah. i know.
On 3/27/07, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
<Snip>


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