Cafelat Robot or Gaggia Classic Pro - Page 2

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
MntnMan62 (original poster)

#11: Post by MntnMan62 (original poster) »

LObin wrote:That truly is one of the best "modern" combo out there. Single dosing and manual profiling without any electronics. Simplicity, beauty and efficiency.

Although... I really thought the James Bond video made a strong case for a Europiccola!:D
Actually the Bond video is what made me google the Europiccola and check it out. Nice machine. I really liked the Australian guy video as well. Hilarious. But when I checked prices, they are way out of my range. With shipping the Robot is $430 and the Gaggia is $450. A refurbished Europiccola sold by a dealer near me is $700. I really wasn't looking to spend that much. Plus I think the height of the lever on the Europiccola is too high for where I have my coffee bar. At least the Robot can be moved around easily. No so much the La Pavoni, as enticing as it is for me. And with @thirdcrackfourthwave response I'm even more convinced the Robot is the right one for me. At some point in the future I hope to be able to afford a machine and will likely get a Lelit Bianca double boiler. It's gorgeous and I've heard great things about it. Anyway, thanks again.

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#12: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

Have you considered the Espresso Forge?
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#13: Post by mlunsford27 »

IMO, the Robot is the best value as far as getting into straight espresso in the $400 range. I considered others as well in a similar price (espressoforge, La Pavoni, etc.) but felt that the Robot would be the most versital and the easiest to use. Also it can handle light roasts with just a slight change in routine to get the water temperature up. However, full disclosure, I have not tried the other machines so don't have a hands-on reference.

Also, I wouldn't discount the Baratza Vario as it is less than a Niche and some have said they prefer it to a Niche, and it single doses pretty well.

Finally, one thought. I have a separate electric bellman steamer that I use occasionally for lattes/capps. It produces good foam with practice but having to get a completely separate piece of equipment set up to make milk drinks makes the routine more burdensome and has caused me to drink less milk drinks. If you really want to exclusively drink milk drinks, then perhaps a La Pavoni would be a good option since it has steaming capability as well and will help you get to where you really want. I think you can find an older refurbished one in the 400-500 range.

MntnMan62 (original poster)

#14: Post by MntnMan62 (original poster) » replying to mlunsford27 »

This is the only thing that has made me hesitate on the desire to drink espresso milk drinks. I'm going to have to do some searching and see what kind of used La Pavoni Europiccola machines I can find.

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#15: Post by spromance »

Second on the Bellman Steamer (though mine is the stovetop version that Prima sells). The cons are how long it takes to come up to temp (for ample steam power) and that it is indeed a separate piece of equipment. I will say though that if it's at full pressure, it can do a really great job of steaming milk. One thing I have only seen mentioned briefly here (and not by any retailers) is to keep the valve open initially until steam starts leaving the tip (and then shutting it to continue to allow it to build pressure). This way, all you're getting is steam, vs steam + pressurized air (false steam).

Again, everything is a bit more manual and time intensive, but the milk drinks with the combo of Robot and Bellman are enough to keep me perfectly happy with this setup and not wanting to upgrade to a 'real' machine.

MntnMan62 (original poster)

#16: Post by MntnMan62 (original poster) » replying to spromance »

I looked into the Bellman a few weeks ago and it looks like a definite possibility if I stick with the Robot. But the suggestion of a used La Pavoni Europiccola is sounding more and more enticing. I'm guessing it pulls some great shots and excels at steam for milk. No one has mentioned any drawbacks of the thing. And from what I've read it's fairly easy to use. Haven't found any on the auction sites that I'd pull the trigger on however. So, I'm back and forth between the Robot and Pavoni. Still leaning towards the Niche grinder only because of my issues with my Virtuoso. Although Baratza's customer service is second to none.


#17: Post by LObin »

In all fairness, the lurning curve to master a Europiccola vs the Robot is a bit steeper. I was the 1st one to suggest a LPE and I still believe it would fit your needs but here are 2 of the main differences, on the espresso pulling side...

Pretty much every Europpicola model tend to overheat after 2-3 consecutive shots so temperature management is easier with the Robot for sure. There are ways to tame it but it's a matter of getting to know your machine and routine.

The stock basket is suitable for up to 13-14ish grams VS the possibility to updose in the low 20g range with the Robot. Once again, there are available 49mm baskets that will allow a higher dose with the Europiccola.

Basically, while you will be pulling great shots in no time with a Robot, you will probably be pulling OK shots with a Europiccola for a while until you figure out how to turn these ok shots into great shots.

This topic is from 2 weeks ago and it has some great tips for a new Europiccola owner:
La Pavoni Europiccola 1979 on eBay accidental purchase

There's better info on HB if you keep looking. You could also look for people that own both a Robot and a LPE. But then of course, there is only 1 Robot (2 actually). There are 3 different generetions of premillennial (+ many different variant of each gen) and 1 millennial Europiccola!

*If you tend to prefer lighter roasts, the easier temp management and larger possible dose and yield of the Robot will make it perform better.
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MntnMan62 (original poster)

#18: Post by MntnMan62 (original poster) » replying to LObin »

I saw that thread. And yes, you were the one who floated the idea of the LPE. And a good one at that. While it would be nice to find one refurbished for less money, I may have to wait a while for that. I like the idea of being able to pull some nice shots soon after buying a machine, so at the risk of appearing to be bipolar (no offense intended to anyone), I now seem to be back on the Robot. I'm now going to work on the wife's buy in. And now I'll have to find some good quality mocha sauce for her Decaf Mocha Lattes.

And as I type this I seem to have run into a snag with the Niche. It seems that shipping is presently unavailable to the United States. Now that's a big bummer.


#19: Post by tv79 »

spromance wrote:One thing I have only seen mentioned briefly here (and not by any retailers) is to keep the valve open initially until steam starts leaving the tip (and then shutting it to continue to allow it to build pressure). This way, all you're getting is steam, vs steam + pressurized air (false steam).
Just purchased the Bellman along with a 500W hot plate to complement my Robot.

I've only used it once so far, but it actually reached full pressure (which I'm basing on the abrupt hissing noise from the handle's pressure release valve) before I was ready to steam. At that point I wasn't sure if it was better to just let it go and continue to release pressure, or purge some steam to de-pressurize (which seemed to build back up quickly). Any suggestions?

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#20: Post by baristainzmking »

I can see that Niche is available to ship. I see both colors in limited quantities available to order for U.S. customers. ... -grinder#/

Scroll down the page.

Also, Slow Pour has it up for preorder: