HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Dual boiler espresso machine (35 msgs / 1449 lines)
1) From: Mike Chester
I am currently considering replacing my HX Vetrano machine with a new dual boiler machine.  I really can't afford to do that, but I have never let that stop me before.  There are several new machines on the market as well as a couple that have been around for a couple of years.  Before making a decision, I thought it might be helpful to discuss it with the group.  Any suggestions or insights you can provide would be appreciated.  I want a direct connect rotary pump machine.  
The machines I have looked at online are:  The GS-3 which is way out of my price range, but a guy can dream, The La Spaz. V-2, The Brewtus 3, The Alex Duetto 2, and the Vibiemme Double Domobar (DD).  
I have eliminated the B-3 since it does not allow you to turn off the steam boiler while leaving the brew boiler on.  This is a feature that I want and the other 3 machines have it.  
I have put the La Spaz V2 below the other remaining machines though I still might consider one.  They are fine machines, but there are a couple of reasons why I put them lower.  The V2 is an older (Proven is the nice way to put it) design that has lights to indicate brew temp in one degree C increments and does not have PID control.  The other 2 have the PID which reads in C or F and is more accurate and has a digital readout.  Also the V2 has an oddball sized portafilter and I would have to buy all new accessories for it.  The wide body design would take up more counter space, but that is not a big issue.  
This leaves the Duetto 2 and the DD.  Both use an E-61 grouphead so my current tamper, and extra portafilters would fit it.  I also have a lot of spare parts for an E-61 when it needs maintenance.  I have not been able to find a review of either machine.  (The review of the Vibiemme Domobar on HB is for the HX model)  Has anyone here tried either machine or at least seen one in person?  
Comparing their specs. I find that the Alex has a 1.8L steam boiler with a 1200 watt heater and the DD has a 1.4L steam boiler with a 1000 watt heater.  The Alex has a 0.8L brew boiler with a 800 Watt heater and the DD has a 1.4L brew boiler with a 600 watt heater.  These figures seem to favor the Alex a bit, though the large brew boiler on the DD might fill more cups before running out of hot water but then take a lot longer to reheat with its larger size and smaller element.  
The Alex can be plumbed in or used with its internal reservoir. The DD has different models for direct connect and reservoir.  For my use there is no advantage one way or the other, as I plan to only direct connect it.  
The Alex is only available with manual dosing.  The DD can be bought with manual dosing or an electronic volumemetric dose.  The manual is more reliable and the electronic is more convenient.  The manual dosing model of the DD is $300 less than the Alex and the electronic DD is the same price as the manual Alex.  Advantage DD.  
They are sold by different dealers, so of course, each says that what they sell is the better unit.  I bought my Vetrano from the dealer that has the Alex and I have been very pleased with their customer service, so I would not hesitate in buying from them again.  I have heard good things about the DD dealer also, but have no personal experience with them.  
Does anyone have any comments or suggestions?  Any other machines I should be considering?  Anyone interested in a well maintained Vetrano?  (contact me off list please)  
I hope that this sparks some discussion as the list has been too quiet lately.
Thanks for taking the time to read my musings.
Mike Chester
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2) From: decrisce.md
Very nice treatment. I also was considering in the future an upgrade, and was looking at the brewtus 3 and duetto. I really wasn't aware of the vibiemme, but love the appearance of the hx. 
Unfortunately the purchase of this machine, for me, was contingent on loss of weight, in which I have been unsuccessful. 
I will study your comparison. Can I ask again what had you dismiss the brewtus. You said it was because you couldn't independantly shut off one of the boilers. Is there an advantage to this? 
Thanks, dean. 
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

3) From: Mike Chester
Yes, The other machines allow you to turn off the boilers independently.  If 
you are not going to make milk drinks for awhile, you do not have to keep 
the steam boiler ready.  The steam boiler can be turned on when you want to 
steam milk.  It only has to heat up to produce steam - It does not need to 
stabilize like the brew boiler so it can be ready in ten minutes or less. 
Conversely, if you only needed to steam some milk for hot chocolate or for 
chai, you would not need to heat up the brew boiler.  The Brewtus 3 runs the 
brew water through an HX loop in the steam boiler to preheat it before going 
into the brew boiler and the steam boiler can not be shut off independently. 
If you make mostly milk drinks, this is OK, but I make more black drinks, so 
keeping the steam boiler on all of the time wastes energy and puts unneeded 
wear on the machine.
Mike Chester

4) From: Derek Bradford
V2 owner here.
I'm not sure I understand your issue with the V2 vs a PID E-61.  Have you
looked at the intrashot deltas (I think from HB but might have been
s1cafe)?  The V2 reads stable intrashot temperature at whatever temperature
you set it for (you can change temperature as you wish).  It's not PID but
it appears to function as well, unless there is some function of PID that
would give an advantage that I don't know about.
According to the intrashot temp measurements a calibrated V2 is quite
accurate when it displays shot temps.  True, it doesn't read 91.3 like a PID
would, but I'm not convinced that degree of accuracy is necessary.  Do you
ever drink a shot and think..."This was good at 91.3, but I wonder how it
would be at 91.6?" and set your machine for that?  With my V2 I change temps
all the time, usually in 1 or 2 degree increments.  I can understand wanting
that extra level of configurability, but given the variability of intrashot
temperature stability I don't see it helping unless the machine's delta is
somehow flatlined during shots and accurate to within .1 or .2 degrees
(which would be impressive).  The V2 is (I believe) within .5 beginning to
end--are the PID'd machines you're looking at that accurate?
On Wed, Jun 24, 2009 at 5:12 PM, Mike Chester  wrote:
<Snip>
--Derek
-- 
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5) From: Barry Luterman
The advantage is if you don't make many milk based drinks. You save a lot of
electricity not using the steam boiler when it is not needed. I find I only
use my steam boiler when I have company otherwise I use my machine for
shots. I like the PID for the Duetto and E61 group as well as the rotary
pump and the ability to use the reservoir even if it is plumbed in. When it
comes time to upgrade my Brewtus I am leaning towards the Duetto myself.
On Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 6:56 AM,  wrote:
<Snip>
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6) From: miKe mcKoffee
The Alex Duetto II is top of my "affordable" short list of DB for home/light
catering. While I love the extremely tight and beautful build quality of the
VBM DB I can't abide the 1C resolution of it's PID. Alex wins with 1F
resolution. Spaz is out just 'cuz sticking with 58mm groups so can pull
shots more consistent with my Lineas using same baskets etc. Brute is out
'cuz I don't like it's build quality versus others and definitely don't like
the importer.
But doesn't matter anyway, DB for home/light catering won't happen until
sometime after the Nor'West Coffee Roastery Coffeehouse is open in a month
or so! 
Slave to the Bean Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://www.NorwestCoffee.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
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found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
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7) From: miKe mcKoffee
<Snip>
Continuous shots not an issue with Alex, at least if steam boiler is on. The
brew water intake is HX pre-heated by the steam boiler so you can pull shots
non-stop without loosing brew temp inter or intra shot stability. Smaller
brew boiler "may" actually be preferably for home use since not as much
water not sitting in brew boiler hence may prevent water "possibly" going
stale while not in use extended periods.
My one concern is: if running a high steam boiler pressure/temp (which would
be if using for light catering, or actually I would any time steaming, the
more steam available the better, once used to monster 12L steam boilers
wimpy prosumer steam boilers are, well wimpy:-), will the brew boiler HX
pre-heat be too great in continuous shot use for a low brew temp like 192f.
I've not called and asked Chris about this. Actually not a current issue
since both my current Nor'West espresso blends excel around 199f. But just
thinking of future possibilities.
Slave to the Bean Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://www.NorwestCoffee.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
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8) From: Terry Stockdale
At 08:15 PM 6/25/2009, you wrote:
<Snip>
ht
<Snip>
he
<Snip>
ke
<Snip>
I love my La Spaziale Vivaldi II.  Initially, I =
would have preferred a 58mm portafilter because =
that's what I was used to.  However, the 53mm portafilter does quite nicely.
I was considering the Brewtus II, the Andreja =
and, at a far distance because of pricing, the =
Vivaldi II.  Then, my wonder wife, who does not =
even drink coffee or espresso, picked the Vivaldi =
II as her choice.  Who was I to argue?
The dual boiler does a great job on steamed milk =
for her hot chocolate - with the same micro-foam I make for a latt or ca=
ppa.
Sixteen months later, it's still my choice...
--
Terry Stockdale -- Baton Rouge, LA
My coffee pages:http://www.TerrysComputerTips.com =">http://www.terrystockdale.com/coffeeMy computer tips site and newsletters: http://www.TerrysComputerTips.com =
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9) From: Ira
At 06:15 PM 6/25/2009, you wrote:
<Snip>
You might feel that way, but I have a Brewtus and can tell you that 
I've gotten way better service from WLL then from their competitor in 
Albany that everyone says is the best there is. That competitor sold 
me a grinder that I guess they must have tested on customers as they 
stopped selling it after I bought mine because of the problems I had 
and told me they stopped selling it because of the problems I was 
complaining about but I'd not complained soon enough so go away and 
live with it. So now I have a $600 paperweight.  Sadly I would have 
complained sooner but it was my first grinder and I had no idea how 
grinders were supposed to work.
Ira
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10) From: John Borella
 Of the 4 machines you are looking at the only two I'd consider are the =
Vivaldi S1V2 & the Duetto2. When I bought my S1V2 1.5 years ago there =
weren't as many DB choices but if I was shopping today it would still be my =
top choice.
 I've done enough Scace testing on my machine to know that the Vivaldi =
electronic temp controls are quite accurate so I don't feel the need for a =
PID. I prefer the set & forget Offset of the Vivaldi to having to factor it =
in to every temp selection with the PID. With the Expanded Temp Range you =
can select any temp (in C) between 88C & 100C which covers any espresso bea=
n =
or blend you are likely to use. Can you taste a 1F difference in the cup?
 I definitely prefer the Programmable line pressure preinfusion of the S1V2 =
over the fixed p/i of the E61 grouphead. I can adjust the p/i water pressur=
e =
using a simple pressure regulator which you would normally have on any =
plumbed in water line & I can set the duration of the p/i depending on the =
size of my dose. Best of all I can turn off the p/i when I don't want it =
which I always do when pulling 14g s/o shots.
 I don't want an hx preheating water to my brew boiler as I will often =
change temps several times in a single day when I switch coffees. Quite =
often I will be lowering the temp & a quick 2 oz flush of line temp water =
speeds up this process. The .45l brew boiler w/800w heating element reacts =
quickly to temp changes up or down & fully recovers from a 2 oz shot in =
30-45 seconds.
 The Vivaldi gives you a 2.5ltr steam boiler compared to the 1.8ltr of the =
D2. We use the hot water tap & steamer throughout the day so the larger s/b =
is appreciated. I also like the Volumetric Dosing even though I always cut =
my shots manually. Its nice to just be able to hit a button for the =
preprogrammed warming flush while you are grinding your dose & keep your =
hands free. With the grouphead primarily tucked up under the bodywork the =
Vivaldi is less susceptible to the Cold Nose syndrome of the E61 & requires =
less of a warming flush after an idle period. With the dual screen set up =
the Vivaldi traps the grounds that tend to foul the 3 way valve & a once a =
month detergent cleaning along with a daily plain water backflush session i=
s =
sufficient under normal home use. There is also nothing that needs =
lubrication after a detergent cleaning. L/S includes a spare set of screens =
with every machine along with the simple wrench to remove the single bolt =
that holds the screens/diffuser block in place. I normally swap screens & =
rinse the block every 4-5 days to remove any accumulated grounds.
 I'm not a Shiney Metal Box kind of guy so the cool to the touch/easy to =
clean plastic sides of the Vivaldi appeal to me & I like the non boxy look, =
but thats a matter of taste. I also prefer the virtually splash free wire =
grid tray cover to the type used on the Duetto & I'm not a fan of the way =
the pump is mounted on top of the motor in the Duetto. From what I've seen =
myself & read on line the rotary pumps will eventually weep water & when =
that happens that water will go directly into the front motor bearing on th=
e =
Duetto. Just another compromise of designing a machine around an internal =
reservoir. If you are going to plumb in anyways why put up with it. The =
Vivaldi has much more internal space which simplifies maintainance & both =
boilers have easily removable covers along with a drain plug on the steam =
boiler. For back up & advice you also get the S1 forum/website as a free =
bonus. I also like the fact that when L/S upgraded the Vivaldi last summer =
all those up grades were easily incorporated into the existing control boar=
d =
of older S1V2s for a very reasonable $50 charge & I would expect to see the =
same in the future. Buyers of the original Duetto weren't so lucky!
 Probably more then you wanted to know but that is why I move the S1V2 to =
the top of your list.
John B.

11) From: Ira
At 10:07 AM 6/25/2009, you wrote:
<Snip>
You could easily put a DPDT switch in the Brewtus to turn off the 
steam boiler and it would still work fine as long as you didn't try 
to make a bunch of drinks back to back. The advantage of the HX 
through the steam boiler is to allow many drinks in a row without the 
brew boiler cooling off. The disadvantage is it heats up if you pull 
too many in a row.
Ira
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12) From: Mike Chester
<Snip>
Derek,
In no way did I mean to dis the S1V2 machine.  I understand that it is a 
fine machine capable of excellent shots.  Since all of the machines I am 
looking at are above average it is necessary for me to nit pick a bit to 
narrow down the choice a bit.  This is what I was doing.  Any of the 4 would 
serve my needs very well.  My main objection to the V2 is the odd size 
portafilter.  I already have a 58mm Thor tamper, a bottomless portafilter 
and a LM portafilter that fit a 58mm machine.  I also have a lot of spare 
gaskets and other parts for an E-61 group.  I would need to buy all of these 
again for the V2, of course I might get more for my Vetrano with the 
accessories.  Buying all new is not totally out of the question, but it is a 
concern.  I like the shiny stainless E-61 machines, but truth be told, I 
think my wife would prefer the lower key look of the V2.  I have burned 
myself on the E-61 I currently own so the more protected group would be 
nice.
The main reason that I started this thread was to get input from owners of 
these machines so I very much appreciate your and the other V2 owners 
comments.  I like the software upgrade feature on the V2.  This helps keep 
your machine up to date for a reasonable cost.  I have not made a decision 
to even pull the trigger on an upgrade yet, much less the specific machine, 
so the V2 is definitely still in the running.
Mike Chester
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13) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
Curious - Why a dual boiler machine? You do lots of steaming? Sorry 
of I missed this in the thread, if you already answered it.
Unrelated: We are going to be stocking Giottos soon. I have been 
testing the professional for about a month and really love it. I'll 
be getting a La Spazziale V-2 for testing but already have a feeling 
I won't  thrill to it. Not into the size, the 53mm filter (for the 
same reason as you, want to use existing tampers etc) and it does 
seem a little dated, but a solid machine for sure. Anyway, I'll check 
it out. Don't know the other machines first hand. I just don't steam 
milk so don't want any more steaming capacity ...
-- 
-Tom
"Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting
               Thompson & Maria -http://www.sweetmarias.com     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com
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14) From: Dean De Crisce
Tom do you feel that there is any benefit for having a double boiler machine
for general home use? Personally I never use milk, however I very often use
the hot water dispener (aka steam wand with the brew button pushed, on my
saeco) to make aeropresses and/or fill the mokapot.
I thought that even without steaming milk, the double boiler construction
added a benefit of temp stability without flushing. However perhaps that
only counts if you are steaming milk.
Id love to hear your comments on this.
Dean De Crisce
On Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 5:05 PM, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee <
sweetmarias> wrote:
<Snip>
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15) From: Mike Chester

16) From: Derek Bradford
Oh no worries, Mike...I didn't take it that way at all.  I was just looking
to understand what you were saying about the PID and temperature display.
Otherwise, I agree on all points...the V2 is a little more wife-friendly
lookwise, skin-friendly burnwise, and parts-friendly reusewise.
--Derek
On Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 5:51 PM, Mike Chester  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Every path but your own is the path of fate.  --Thoreau
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17) From: John Borella
I find it interesting (odd) that people think the SMB/E61 DBs are "modern" 
just because a company slaps on a PID & squeezes an extra boiler into the 
same old box with the same old generic & now antique E61 grouphead.  La 
Spaziale uses their own group head design & started with a clean sheet when 
they brought out the S1in 2004. Its programmable p/i is light years ahead of 
the fixed E61 system yet because it uses accurate electronic controls & 
lights its dated??
 My personal opinion of the vast majority of the current Italian espresso 
machine industry is that R&D must stand for Relax & Drink. If they couldn't 
reach in a box for the same old part they'd be lost. Reminds me of the 
Italian motorcycle industry up until the mid to late 80's. LM has had 2 
years to work the bugs out of the GS3 & yet they just keep shipping them 
with 90% of the original issues. Hand built doesn't see to mean much in 
Italy these days. Luckily there are a few bright lights & La Spaziale is one 
of them.
John B.
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18) From: Tom Ulmer
I've often wondered about the precision controls folks discuss. I can
certainly see the benefits in high volume production, but my idea of
espresso for the household must be a bit different if there are many
benefits for the standard kitchen. Does 5 to 10F really make or break=
 the
shot or could it be the myriad of other influences? =
If you have a method that works I'm certainly not attempting to detract from
that... just opening a discussion about the validity of temperature control
tighter than let's say 5% as it truly relates to the shot.

19) From: miKe mcKoffee
Not being facetious but if can't taste a usually extreme taste difference in
a shot at 195f versus 205f (for example) with all other parameters being
equal I feel sorry for you. Some people claim to taste 0.1f variation while
many would say 1f tight enough. 10f brew temp variation almost any brew
method will yield drastically different results, hence the Technivorn's
reputation for drip brewing. 'Bout the only brewing method 10f variance
might not much matter could be cold brewing. And at that don't know if there
is or is not a taste diffence between 12hr infusion at say 34f versus 44f,
haven't compared. =
Slave to the Bean Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://www.NorwestCoffee.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
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found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Pacific Northwest Gathering VIIhttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/=">http://www.norwestcoffee.com/PNWGVII.htmSweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/=
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
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20) From: Derek Bradford
The effect on shot taste is definitely noticable in 1 and 2C increments.=
  I
move up and down all the time.
--Derek
On Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 8:23 PM, Tom Ulmer  wrote:
<Snip>
ak the
<Snip>
ol
<Snip>
-- =
Every path but your own is the path of fate.  --Thoreau
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21) From: Tom Ulmer
You should feel no pity toward my coffee epiphanies as they are many and
well enjoyed...
The question was does it really make or break the shot? I realize that with
"all" things being equal the 10F will create differences, however I am o=
f a
mind that "all" things are not. For instance to assume that the individual
beans will be homogeneous in taste is wrong. As well grind, load, and
pressure of the extraction play as much or greater role in the resulting
cup.

22) From: miKe mcKoffee
IMNSHO 10f shot to shot variation absolutely can make or break a shot. IF
all other shot parameters are NOT equal shot to shot the problem is on the
handle side of the portafilter.
Try it for yourself. First this requires verifying a machine can pull
consecutive back to back shots at consistent temp via device such Scace
Thermofilter. Dial in shot for given bean. Now pull have a dozen shots at
temp X time X for volume X with each shot build at most +- 0.2gr variation.
It's a given shot pressure with remain the same unless machine has a
problem. Taste each shot. Should be relatively consistent with very minor
variations unless it's a terrible uneven roast then all bets are off. Now
raise shot temp 5f and repeat. Now lower shot temp 10f (5f lower than
original) and repeat.
Absolutely varying shot weight will vary shot taste. Good versus bad
disttribution will kill shots. Consistency in technique is key. Indeed there
can be variations caused by well roasted beans themselves be it SO or blend
yet the variations more often than not are minor compared to other handle
side of the portafilter issues. =
Does changing pump shot pressure change the shot? Absolutely but it's not
going to change by itself between shots, you've got to intentionally change
it. Again unless the machine is broken!
Does varying coareness of grind make a differnece? Does varying dosage make
a difference? Of course, but again I'm talking about shot consistency and
how temp affects the shot. Vary one parameter at a time.
Does varying tamp pressure make a diffence? Not much if any with good
distribution. Unlevel tamp yes, tamp pressue no.
The question was can 10f shot temp difference really make or break the shot.
All I can say is, DUH. Tomes have been written about it. Countless taste
tests by countless people have confirmed it. =
Whether someone chooses to believe (or test it for themselves) is irrelevant
to me. US Income Tax is optional and the World is flat:-)
Slave to the Bean Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://www.NorwestCoffee.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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23) From: Michael Dhabolt
Tom,
I don't see myself as a super taster and having been a 50 year smoker
has undoubtedly done mayhem to whatever native ability I may have
possessed.  With that fact firmly in mind, I can truthfully say that
10 deg F does, for me, make or break a shot.  If my sweet spot for a
particular coffee were midpoint between the 10 degree temperature
variation, both extremes would be beyond the point that would dictate
that the shot ends up in the sink.
When installing machines and doing my humble attempt at beginning
level training for baristas I always have each individual do their
best to identify the sweet spot for a blend of my own.  I've noticed
that the sweet spot varies between individuals by as much as 2.5 to 3
deg F.  I've also witnessed that almost without exception, 3 deg F
away from an individuals sweet spot will produce interesting pucker
expressions and an immediate resetting of the PID back toward their
original preference.  I've gone thru this evolution with 40 to 50
individuals.
An interesting aside to this evolution is that within a couple of
months the establishment has found a PID temperature setting that all
the baristas (ae?) agree on and when the shop changes espresso blends
I'll notice the PID setting changing slowly to reflect the new coffee.
 Most of these shops have two or three individuals who are interested
enough to make things happen.
I agree with you that a person regularly hears of abilities to taste
differences in temperature at a definition beyond my ability. I'm
prepared to leave that question open.
Mike,
Glad to see that you put the GS3 on your list.  It is beyond my budget
as well,  but after having a fair amount of experience with a couple
of them ..... I'm not sure I will ever be fully satisfied with
anything less (although I'm sure I'll just have to dream for quite
some time to come).
Mike (just plain)
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24) From: Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee
I think drip methods would ideally have 2f (I guess that means +- 1 
f) and espresso would have 1f control. I also like being able to 
adjust the bars on a rotary pump because I think many SO espresso are 
better with a tad less pressure. I noticed at FourBarrel they pull a 
lot of shots at 8.5 bar on the Mirage machines...Anyway 10f is a 
noticeable difference in drip and EXTREME in espresso. Have yet to 
install the brewhead thermo in my Giatto so can't talk much about 
temp stability, but my experience with shots has been good, simply by 
running 6 ounces or so throuhg the E61 if the machine has been 
sitting.
<Snip>
-- 
-Tom
"Great coffee comes from little roasters" - Sweet Maria's Home Coffee Roasting
               Thompson & Maria -http://www.sweetmarias.com     Sweet Maria's Coffee - 1115 21st Street, Oakland, CA 94607 - USA
             phone/fax: 888 876 5917 - info_at_sweetmarias.com
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25) From: Joseph Robertson
What a great and informative thread, thank you Tom and all for being here
for us.
JoeR
On Fri, Jun 26, 2009 at 7:45 PM, Tom & Maria - Sweet Maria's Coffee <
sweetmarias> wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
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26) From: Tom Ulmer
It appears as though you have some conviction about the temperature and
certainly your procedures are much more clinical than mine. But as the world
is flat - so do the tomes of caffeinated discussion regarding a single
variable, temperature, resound with me.
It seems you concur on the myriad of parameters. Now I call to attention the
interplay of such. If indeed the only variant is temperature, then certainly
there is a range where tastes are optimal. Do you infer there may not be a 5
- 10F range where this is true?
Weight versus volume of ground coffee at espresso grind is negligible. Do
you find varying the temperature at let's say a given weight is beneficial?
Does pulling a single at one temperature a double at another yield the same
results in taste?
I tend to agree that in most situations pressure is a constant and is not a
factor, however, I use a manual lever and continue to be quite pleased by
the results of varying pressures. I must say I do not manipulate the
temperature setting of the boiler and I would guess the water temperature as
it reaches the portafilter has a delta I would estimate at 5F dependi=
ng on
environment. I will let the portafilter cool or heat it up if I feel
accenting deeper or lighter notes may have some benefit in taste.
Unequivocally I will state that I do not believe anyone can taste a 1-2=
F -
as the water reaches the portafilter -difference in extraction. I do however
believe the temperature of the resulting shot to be more telling.
Furthermore, are the sensors involved capable of better than 1% error? =

27) From: Michael Dhabolt
Tom,
I'll address only the question: "are the sensors involved capable of
better than 1% error?"
Thermocouples (TCs) from reputable suppliers such as Omega are
produced from wire categorized as 'Standard' or 'Special'.  The limits
of error for these are 0.75% for Standard and 0.4% for Special.  For
our use, the more important consideration is the error in consistency,
the difference in indicated temperature from one use to the next of
any given instrument. The consistency between measurements of quality
TC based temperature measurement instruments such as Omega TCs with
Fuji PIDs are several orders of magnitude greater than the wires limit
of error (conservatively considered to be in the range of 0.01% to
0.02% in laboratory environments).  The error in the TC itself is due
to impurities in the metal of the wire and/or impurities in the
junction absorbed during the weld (these do not change between uses).
As you can imagine, with a history of considerably more than a century
of using this technology in everything from mundane everyday machines
such as coffee roasters to pretty exacting environments such as
military, nuclear and aerospace technologies, the major players in
this field are pretty good at it.
The product of that rather pedantic dissertation should be that
repeatability of the instrument is the important consideration, and TC
based temperature indication instruments are pretty good at it.  The
actual number that is being displayed is only relevant when compared
to another instrument and/or application.
The Scace thermofilter coupled with a quality TC thermometer allows
comparison with the installed TC and PID to set an offset (correction
factor) into the PID to compensate for the difference in temperature
between the location in the system that is being monitored (brew
boiler, group head, brew water plumbing) and the temperature at the
coffee puck.  Careful analysis of a particular system, such as a
single group La Marzocco GS3 will identify a required offset of around
6 degrees Fahrenheit between the monitored location and the coffee
puck.  When this offset is established in the instrument it will
present a fairly accurate indication of actual water temperature at
the interface with the coffee puck.  But again, the actual number is
really irrelevant. When an individual finds what the sweet spot is,
for them, repeatability is the name of the game.  And from an
instrumentation perspective the repeatability is considerably better
than the traditional 0.1 degree Fahrenheit resolution of the
indication.
After re-reading this, I hope it is germain to the discussion .... and
I obviously need another machiotto of this exceptional blend of Toms
Yellow Bourbon, IMV and Blue Batak.
Mike (just plain)
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28) From: miKe mcKoffee
Replies below: =
roast-bounces] On =
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
The question never was about other parameters affecting the shot, strictly
whether when other parameters constant would 10f varation make a noticable
difference. =
<Snip>
where tastes are optimal. Do you infer there =
<Snip>
Never said or implied temperature was the "only variant". I infer nothing. I
clearly stated 10f variation in shot temp would yield extreme difference.
Two other professionals on the list concurred, Tom Ownes and Mike (just
plain.)
 =
<Snip>
<Snip>
"Is neglible". You've eyeballed a series of builds and weighed each one to
at least 0.1gr resolution to confirm your assertion the difference is
negligible? For most people it takes a lot of practice, thousands of builds,
to achieve eyeballed even +- 0.2gr build consistency. Some top shops use
even tougher +- 0.1gr training standard, I'm not that good.
<Snip>
<Snip>
<Snip>
Your not believing what many others observe and taste is irrelevant. For
your reality it may be true for you. Do not assume just because you can't
taste a difference no one else can. For example Tom Owens wouldn't state
drip needs +- 1f tolerance and espresso 1f tolerance if he couldn't taste a
difference. Ever hear of "super tasters"? While like Mike (just plain) I've
smoked for 40 years I'm also a super taster and still do in fact taste 1f
shot temp difference. Maybe if I didn't smoke I'd be able to taste 0.1f temp
variation like some say they can.
<Snip>
<Snip>
 =
Yup. Scace Thermofilter designed by a NIST engineer and to NIST standards.
Independent testing against NIST calibrated thermometer found at most 0.5f
difference in temp reading over wide range of temperatures tested. And this
testing was done with the Scace plugged into a bit lower end Exotech versus
a Fluke.
Do your research before making unfounded assumptions or assertions.
Regardless, whatever works for you works for you.
Slave to the Bean Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://www.NorwestCoffee.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/=">http://www.norwestcoffee.com/PNWGVII.htmSweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/=
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29) From: Tom Ulmer
I believe this is completely relevant to the subject. Your point as to
repeatability of error is important and bears to mind the importance of the
relevance and origin of the measurement. I'm quite sure the Scace
measurement would be accurate as his involvement with standards would almost
mandate the effort.

30) From: Tom Ulmer

31) From: Derek Bradford
Reply inline below:
On Sat, Jun 27, 2009 at 2:27 PM, Tom Ulmer  wrote:
<Snip>
I have to interject here.  If you don't believe it, that's fine, but your
refusal a bit like refusing to believe the earth is a sphere in light of all
the supporting evidence.  There are differences.  They are great, and they
are readily identifiable.  You may quibble about shot parameters all you
like, but, on this temperature issue, you are simply wrong.  You're free to
continue believing what you believe, but if you continue arguing it among
people who know better you're bound to get jumped on.  A lot.
If you're a wine drinker, it's analogous to judging how long a bottle has
been open, or how long to decant.  With a familiar wine, I know it needs 1
hour of decanting before drinking.  I can tell when it's short (and long); I
know how it tastes at opening and 15 minute intervals, more or less (I'm
better with coffee than wine).  Think of each 15 minute interval as a degree
in espresso brew temperature.
--Derek
-- 
Every path but your own is the path of fate.  --Thoreau
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32) From: Michael Dhabolt
Tom,
I think I left the wrong impression re:
"One professional suggests 3-4 another suggests 1. What is your take?"
I was trying to present the extremes i've seen from the un-initiated.
The + or - of 1 F for myself is not a subtle difference.  I expect
that the average individual espresso enthusiast (not the beginner who
has tasted nothing other than *$ quality swill) will easily make this
level of differentiation in shot quality vs. temperature.
Mike (just plain)
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33) From: Mike Koenig
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ZzJfaXRlbUlkPTc4MjA=

34) From: Barry Luterman
The real advantage of the DB is there is no need to learn how to flush to
get the temp you need each time. It is essentially ready out of the box to
deliver the temps needed. Second when entertaining and drawing a lot of milk
based drinks the operator does not have to spend his entire time in the
kitchen and can enjoy his company. For me,the intriguing feature for the
Duetto is the  ability to shut off the steam boiler when it is not needed.
On Sat, Jun 27, 2009 at 9:13 AM, Mike Koenig  wrote:
<Snip>
am
<Snip>
ee.com
<Snip>
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35) From: Floyd Lozano
Personally, I'd get the most temp stable and pressure stable machine I
could afford (now that I have a decent grinder that is!) that allowed
the adjustments of those as necessary,start with the defaults, and
work on making everything else consistent.  I'm just glad I am not a
supertaster, because I can't afford the high end! :)
-F
On Sat, Jun 27, 2009 at 3:37 PM, Barry Luterman wrote:
<Snip>
ilk
<Snip>
ed.
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