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Topic: Espresso machine - rotary vs. vibe (14 msgs / 341 lines)
1) From: Mike Koenig
Here's a question for all the espresso machine heads.
I've decided it's time to start looking around for a new espresso
machine to replace my Silvia.  I currently have it in my head that I
want a rotary pump, but I'm not sure if I can justify the extra cost.
Anyone have any experience with cup quality with a rotary vs. vibe??
Cup quality is my main concern, but the convenience factor is there as
well.
I've done some reading on home-barista.com, but I figured I'd ask here
as well.
I may see if I can score a used small commercial machine,  but I'm not
sure yet if I want to make a project out of this.
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2) From: Ira
At 05:38 PM 8/10/2008, you wrote:
<Snip>
Taste wise it shouldn't make a difference. Rotaries are quieter, some 
day I'll convert mine to rotary just to make it quiet, though some 
vibe units are quiet if the pump and what it connects are mounted on 
the right rubbery stuff. Some commercial machines can take a really 
long time to heat up so make sure you know what you're getting into 
and are willing to put up with what it is.
Ira
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3) From: Barry Luterman
I have a vibe. People keep telling me coffee tastes better from a
rotary but I just don't taste it my self. The only advantage I see is
in noise reduction
On Sun, Aug 10, 2008 at 2:38 PM, Mike Koenig  wrote:
<Snip>
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4) From: Sandy Andina
I also have a vibe. Much cheaper--and there are few rotaries that  
combine 110V with reservoir-filling.
On Aug 10, 2008, at 9:47 PM, Barry Luterman wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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5) From: Alchemist John
In the classic sense of asking 3 people and getting 4 opinions, I 
will offer up 2 opinions.  I have never done a head to head of a vibe 
vs a rotary, but have a general preference for that later.  It is 
fully possible that it is simply the person behind the unit was 
better having gained experience going from vibe to rotary.  As far as 
cup quality goes, I have equally good and bad shots from vibe and 
rotary.  In a general sense, you might do better from a rotary simply 
because of the higher level of component associated with that kind of 
machine.  But that is mostly a guess.
Tossing out the extra opinion of pressure delivery, I do note a 
difference between a lever and either of the pumps and I solidly 
prefer a lever shot to a pump shot.  I wonder how an air cylinder 
linear actuator "pump" (air pressure lever basically) would compare.
At 17:38 8/10/2008, you wrote:
<Snip>
John Nanci
AlChemist at large
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6) From: miKe mcKoffee
Alchemist, I remember well our head to head End of Summer Jam '06. Me with
my Rotary Bric' versus your skilled hand with your Gaggia Factory Lever. It
took me numerous pulls on the Bric' to barely match or come close to your
pulls. 
On an unrelated note mid 58LB 12 batch 4 hour roast session this afternoon
walked over to the Linea and out of the blue pulled an "Angel" shot, best
shot in weeks. (Would have once been a God shot, but had it's like before:-)
FWIW that was with 7 day rested then 6 day frozen then 1 day defrosted
Ohana... And looking forward to some silky buttery Puerto Rico Ajuntas pulls
later this week... 
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://www.mcKonaKoffee.comURL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately 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.
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<Snip>
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7) From: miKe mcKoffee
I tend to agree in a low duty home environment vibe versus rotary main
difference less noise. Main, not only difference. Have done shot comparisons
but not with "all else equal" machines. Vibe pumps "ramp up" to shot
pressure in about 5 seconds while rotary in about a second. This means if
same group vibe pump will be "more forgiving" of PF build errors not hitting
the puck with full force all at once. IMO believe may also result in shot
with less clarity but haven't been able to confirm testing identical except
for type of pump machines. Vibe pumps also have short duty cycles and so are
unsuited for high volume use. Can also be an issue during maintenance
(descaling) and required long boiler flush cycles. OTOH rotary pumps can go
virtually none stop. Vibe pumps also have shorter life expectancy. OTOH
should a pump fail vibe pumps cost less than rotary. Bottom line "in the
cup" IF rest of machine equal quality? Jury's still out, flip a coin. 
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://www.mcKonaKoffee.comURL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately 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.
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8) From: Les
Mike,
I liked your first post, it should be vibe vs rotary vs lever.  Having
been using the Expobar for the past 4 months, in my opinion, for home
use, I get the best shots from my lever.  I am hoping to finish my
rebuild of my Olympia soon as I really miss the rich buttery shots
that the Cremina gives.
Les
PS  I pulled 30 shots yesterday using the new Cimbali grinder.  What a
dream to dial in the espresso shots!  Much easier than any other
grinder I have used with the great system that it has for changing the
grind.  It took 3 shots to dial it in and then perfect mouse-tails
from then on.
Les
On 8/10/08, Sandy Andina  wrote:
<Snip>
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9) From: Angelo
I have to agree with Les. My Olympia Cremna gives me a much better 
shot than the Silvia. It's much more quiet, too ...
<Snip>
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10) From: Tom Ulmer
Indeed. Thanks to your reference some years ago Angelo I've developed quite
an affinity for and with the little guy.

11) From: Mike Koenig
Interesting....so now a question to the "lever operators" on the list.
 How much of the shot quality is based on the skill at providing a
consistent pressure on the lever? Or is there a spring or some
mechanism that provides consistent pressure?
I seem to remember seeing a lot of lever machines in bars in the south
of Italy,  and the baristas there just seemed to mash the lever down
and hold it there.
If it's easy to get consistent shots, then maybe I'm gonna look into
lever machines.
--mike
On Mon, Aug 11, 2008 at 12:03 PM, Angelo  wrote:
<Snip>
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12) From: Angelo
Mike,
Some of the lever are spring-loaded, that is you press the lever 
down  against a spring, which forces the piston against the water 
with a supposedly consistent pressure. I have one of those also, a 
Cimbali Microcasa, but I prefer to use my own pressure. I can vary it 
according to the progress of the pour...
There was a time when you couldn't give away a Cremina (I got 2 in 
the thrift shop - one for $35 and another for $50), but now they are 
quite high, last I looked on ebay... I love mine
Angelo
<Snip>
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13) From: Tom Ulmer
My opinion is that it is important to provide correct pressure for the
circumstance not necessarily consistent pressure unless that is your
particular mindset.
There are spring loaded lever machines which automate the process a bit. 
When one uses an electric pump to provide pressure then the grind and tamp
must be adjusted to a given pressure. The manual lever allows the operator
to determine the pressure variable. You do get a feel for the optimal
resistance however you are in complete control of pulling the shot - long,
short, medium, or in any combination that suits your fancy.

14) From: miKe mcKoffee
<Snip>
Yes and no or maybe maybe not. Electric pump delivered shot pressure can be
adjusted, it is not fixed. Though of course (currently with today's
machines) not adjusted 'on the fly' during a shot, aka shot pressure
profiling, which may or may not be beneficial to end result in the cup. Or
are you saying with a lever you can adjust the applied shot pressure to
compensate for inconsistent PF build which if the case is that a good thing?
But back to the original query or vibe versus rotary. The only reason I can
think to go vibe over rotary would be to say a few bucks.
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://www.mcKonaKoffee.comURL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately 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.
Pacific Northwest Gathering VIIhttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/Homeroast mailing list">http://home.comcast.net/~mckona/PNWGVII.htmSweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/Homeroast mailing list
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