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Topic: Hi and espresso machine question (7 msgs / 228 lines)
1) From: Edward Spiegel
Hi,
After a long vacation from the list, I am back. My wife and I are 
ready to upgrade our espresso machine (we currently have the Rancilio 
Betsy which is Silvia's little sister) and am wondering what 
machine's people recommend in the $1100 or less category?
A PID'ed Silvia is now seeming expensive in terms of 
bang-for-the-buck. I have been eying the QuickMill Alexia (without 
PID).
I was considering the Anita but we don't often need consecutive shots 
and milk -- and it seems like Alexia might be a bit more friendly 
first thing in the morning for my wife to pull her shot.
Any opinions? Is there some other machine that I should be looking at?
Thanks,
Edward
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2) From: raymanowen
The trend I've observed is that temperature precision and stability are
paramount in espresso brewing. I have all but two two of those parameters in
my shiny plastic espresso toy.
The grind enables a fabulous shot when the temperature happens to hover
around the right temperature while water is pumped through the "thermoblock"
from the heated reservoir. -ro
-- 
Persist in old ways; expect new results - suborn Insanity...
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3) From: Raymond Hays
Hi,
I own the Andreja Premium by QuickMill and it's a wonderful machine. You=
 can't go wrong with a QuickMill product!

Just my thoughts,

Raymond
From: Edward Spiegel 
To: homeroast
Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 11:00:15 AM
Subject: [Homeroast] Hi and espresso machine question
Hi,
After a long vacation from the list, I am back. My wife and I are ready to =
upgrade our espresso machine (we currently have the Rancilio Betsy which is=
 Silvia's little sister) and am wondering what machine's people recommend i=
n the $1100 or less category?
A PID'ed Silvia is now seeming expensive in terms of bang-for-the-buck. I h=
ave been eying the QuickMill Alexia (without PID).
I was considering the Anita but we don't often need consecutive shots and m=
ilk -- and it seems like Alexia might be a bit more friendly first thing in=
 the morning for my wife to pull her shot.
Any opinions? Is there some other machine that I should be looking at?
Thanks,
Edward
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      =
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4) From: Jim Wilson
Hi,
After a long vacation from the list, I am back. My wife and I are 
ready to upgrade our espresso machine (we currently have the Rancilio 
Betsy which is Silvia's little sister) and am wondering what 
machine's people recommend in the $1100 or less category?
A PID'ed Silvia is now seeming expensive in terms of 
bang-for-the-buck. I have been eying the QuickMill Alexia (without 
PID).
I was considering the Anita but we don't often need consecutive shots 
and milk -- and it seems like Alexia might be a bit more friendly 
first thing in the morning for my wife to pull her shot.
Any opinions? Is there some other machine that I should be looking at?
Thanks,
Edward
~~~Ed,  Since you asked= : - )...I've been pulling shots with a One Black from Salvatore's Espresso since April? of this year, so I've been using it for 5 + months now.  it is priced at $1100.  I'm a little hesitant to recommend any espresso machine (this is my 2nd) as recommending an espresso machine is a little like recommending a religion...everyone has their mind made up.  But I can tell you about my exp w/this machine-
It's an HX machine, 1.5 litre boiler, 1500 watt heater element, 64 ounce water reservour so it's a pour over.  No way to plumb it in.  I'm on a well, I use a Kent Marine RO membrane then run that RO water into one of Chris Coffee's carbon calcite filters to add calcium back to the RO water
One of the nice things about this machine, it'e ready to pull a shot 7 minutes after you turn it on from dead cold.  Salvatore recommends against leaving this machine on 24/7, primnarily as the water reservour sits directly above the boiler, which lies horizontal.  His other machines use a vertical boiler so leaving them on constantly isn't a problem
Typically I'll turn mine on, make a few drinks and turn it off.  I'll repeat this two more times during the day.  I pull about 6-7 double shots a day on average
the only guage this machine has is for boiler pressure.  No guage for group pressure and as afar as that goes, no OPV to tune group pressure.  Salvatore claims pressure at the group is 8 bars.  Who am I to argue?  Pump is vibe, 41 watt Ulka.  No low water sensor for the reservour so don't let it go empty.  No vacume breaker either so when you first turn it on, you have to open the steam valve to purge water, pressure through it.  When I turn it on cold, it takes about 3 minutes for water to exit the steam arm.  I then shut it, four mintues later it's ready to pull a shot
If you are not familiar with Salvatore's espresso machines, he builds quite a bit of it by hand including the boiler end caps (he machines these), assembles the boiler including brazing the end caps on.  he builds the frame, all the cover panels, has it all powder coated, LM PF.  the group is an E-61 type, 3 way valve.  Drain tray and cover is made by Salvatore, fit and finish of this and the other panels are perfect, doesn't leak anywhere.  I'm pretty happy with it.  There are way more glamourous espresso machines to be had but for $1100, I'm not looking to upgrade anytime soon.  Wait a minute...I do have that Futurmat Rimini project I never finished= : - ) http://www.sweetmariascoffee.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t&start=0It's my busy season and I haven't had time to complete the Rimini.  it will get finished, when the weather turns cool here
I have some pics of my Salvatore on one of my flickr sets, starting here:http://www.flickr.com/photos/26137108/3484652619/in/set-72157605654118354/I should mention Salvatore builds these one at a time.  Some have had to wait 3 months after ordering but I would imagine with this down economy, wait times might be several weeks
Did I mention I like the espresso my One Black pulls?  No PID to mess with.  I haven't changed the P-Stat setting nor have I done the styrofoam water temp check but seat of the pants tells me the water temp at the group is just fine, so no need on my part to futz with the P-Stat setting
Please remember I am not recommending this machine to you, I am only relating my experiences with it.  It has served me well and I have had no issues with it.  Prior to this machine I used a PID'd Gaggia Classic for close to one year.  For the money, the Gaggia Classic is a nice machine.  What I like about this HX machine I'm using now over the Gaggia Classic, it has a little more umpfh!
Jake
Reddick Fla.
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5) From: miKe mcKoffee
Alexia is a good choice for a straight shot purist machine. Walk up, flush
on ounce or so to bring group fully up to temp and pull shot. Far better
than stock or PID'd Silvia or similar IMO. Far better mainly because of more
consistent shot temps with E61 group versus passively heated group,
especially better temp stabiliy intershot (back to back shots). Also
Alexia's stock boiler temp control is much tighter than Silvia or Gaggia
type tstat machines.
Of course any steaming will still be a PIA as with any single group dual use
machine. While an HX machine would make steaming easier, active shot temp
management comes back into play. 
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/
<Snip>
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6) From: Edward Spiegel
At 7:52 AM -0700 9/24/09, miKe mcKoffee wrote:
<Snip>
Thanks to everyone who has responded so far. Do you have any idea if Alexia's steaming has more oomph than Silvia.
With the Betsy, I don't find the wait to be so much of a problem (since I only rarely have to do back-to-back milk drinks) but its steam doesn't have a lot of oomph -- so silky microfoam for doing latte art is tricky to achieve.
Does anyone know of any other machines in this price range that I should seriously consider.
Do you agree that the Alexia's thermostat has a narrower deadband than Silvia's?
Thanks again,
E
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7) From: Sandy Andina
Never owned a Betsy, but I found the Silvia to have controllable  
"oomph;" in fact, I produced better latte art from it than from HX  
machines. However, it has a lower capacity, so if you're trying to do  
more than two lattes back to back you'll have to wait (and so will  
your guests).  All in all, I'll take the yummy if not artworthy  
microfoam and infinite steaming power of my LaCora (Cora's own-spec'ed  
tricked-out Andreja Premium) over both my Silvia and my late lamented  
Livia any day. (Keeping Silvia & Rocky, though--they fit in a little  
schlep-cart and are perfect for taking to parties).
On Sep 25, 2009, at 1:17 AM, Edward Spiegel wrote:
<Snip>
Peace & song,
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
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