First Espresso Machine: Quick Mill Silvano Evo vs Lelit PL91T - Page 2

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
mycatsnameisbernie

#11: Post by mycatsnameisbernie »

jgood wrote:Clive and WLL are west coast but Oregon or Washington State.
WLL is East Coast in Rochester NY.

Jeff

#12: Post by Jeff »

The HX, with an EricS group-head thermometer, is reasonably easy to master. Mainly it's just one more thing to learn. With the BDB available at a comparable or lesser price than most HX machines, you get a more stable, more capable machine. Not only do you not need to learn the non-transferable HX rituals, but it heats up in minutes, not the 40-60 of an E61.

I've worked with Chris' Coffee over 15 years or so now, living in San Francisco, and they have been excellent.

redhairs

#13: Post by redhairs »

jgood wrote:I'm in Los Angeles and it's pretty much mail order for me. Chris Coffee has been responsive to any questions I've had -- about water, and few other things with my machine, but nothing actually has broken. Clive and WLL are west coast but Oregon or Washington State.
Any W. coast retailer sells Lelit PL91 ?

redhairs

#14: Post by redhairs »

Jeff wrote:The HX, with an EricS group-head thermometer, is reasonably easy to master. Mainly it's just one more thing to learn. With the BDB available at a comparable or lesser price than most HX machines, you get a more stable, more capable machine. Not only do you not need to learn the non-transferable HX rituals, but it heats up in minutes, not the 40-60 of an E61.

I've worked with Chris' Coffee over 15 years or so now, living in San Francisco, and they have been excellent.
Thank you, BDB has better C/P but I truly want a stainless machine, less plastic parts better

redhairs

#15: Post by redhairs »

I can brew and steam w/ a HX machine at same time? or still need to do cool flushing ? thanks

Jeff

#16: Post by Jeff »

At least for me, I need to pay attention to the shot and to the steaming, so I don't do both at the same time. I do think it is very valuable to go from brew to steam and back again in quick succession.

Virtually all machines with a thermoblock steamer, an HX, or a dual boiler can all accomplish that.

The HX cooling flush is used to get the brew temperature into the desired range. At least with my HX, the timing was just long enough for me to weigh, grind, weigh, prep comfortably and not have to rush or to twiddle my thumbs for long.

redhairs

#17: Post by redhairs » replying to Jeff »

Any option other than Lelit Mara if buy HX as the first espresso machine? thanks

Jeff

#18: Post by Jeff »

First, let me preface this by saying that its a challenge for me to recommend the purchase of an E61 HX machine new in today's market if in-cup quality is the primary focus. If someone's budget is such that the mid-one-thousands is out of reach, then machines like the Silvano and Victoria allow the buyer to be able to brew good espresso most of the time, assuming an adequate grinder. Once into the mid-one-thousands, the BDB provides a level of consistency and control that no HX machine can come close to. However, many people don't like the looks of that machine, or have other qualms about it other than the quality of the coffee it is capable of producing. The BDB can also be ready to make coffee in around ten minutes from cold, whereas an E61 unit typically requires 40-60. "Can I get you a coffee?" "Sure, thanks!" "Remind me in an hour, would you?'

With one notable exception, virtually all E61 HX units are the same in a general sense. They share effectively the same pump, brew head, and most of the plumbing. A PID on an HX boiler does close to nothing for brew-temperature stability. Between the major European manufacturers, it comes down primarily to appearance, size, and layout. Steam wand, ease of filling the reservoir and emptying the drip tray, and maybe if you want to put your cups on top are perhaps the biggest layout differences. In general, pick any one from the leading manufacturers and read up on owner opinions on the machine and their dealer. I'm sure I'll miss a couple, but for home-intended, HX boxes you're got, in no particular order, ECM/Profitek, Lelit, Quick Mill, Rocket, Bezzera, Izzo, Nuova Simonelli, Isomac, Elektra, VBM.

An amusing quote on just how intertwined these all are from 1st-Line on another site
To set the record straight. ECM was a distributor for ECM Italy up until 2004-2005 when ECM had financial difficulty from theft of their raw materials in their facility as well as some worldwide distributors not paying ECM Italy. The son of the ECM owner and either their New Zealand or Australian distributor had partnered to create a new company called Rocket. The ECM Germany distributor hired Bezzera in 2005 and 2006 to make the machines for ECM Manufacturer. After ECM Manufacture learned that Bezzera was making competing machines, they made their own. ECM Manufacturer now produces most of own machines in a factory in the outskirts of Milan. I 'believe' this was a former factory for Rocket or ECM Italy. Again, I believe as it depends upon who you speak to.
Now. that notable exception to all HX units being about the same -- Lelit MaraX Review (note the "X") -- It has active temperature control of the group that, from what I have read, works reasonably well. It's good enough for cool/normal/warm, which is probably a lot better than most people without a group-head thermometer get on their HX. For people not trying to extract coffees that aren't labeled "espresso" this is probably plenty of temperature control. Many people pull shots from "drip" roast coffee for the subtly different flavors it has even from medium-roast espresso blends. These coffees are more challenging to extract, so may require careful adjustment of temperature, as well as things like preinfusion time and flow during extraction.

If you want an E61 HX, look at the pictures, read the owners' threads, and pick one that attracts you from a reputable dealer.

If you can get a good price on a used E61 HX from a reputable manufacturer in good condition, that may be something to consider.

redhairs

#19: Post by redhairs »

Thanks for the detailed reply ,very helpful to me