Going backwards from dual boiler to HX espresso machine

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
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#1: Post by TarheelSpur »

My 3 year old BDB bit the dust recently and I had an Assurion warranty on it. Sent it to them and they refunded my original purchase price on it. So in the market for a new machine. I have ordered one of the new La Marzzoco Linea Micra machines, but am having a little buyers remorse because of the price and lead time. I am intrigued by the Profitec Pro 400. Would I regret going from a Dual Boiler back to an HX machine? We make about 3 lattes in the morning and an occasional cappuccino or two in the evening using light roast single origin coffees.

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BaristaBoy E61

#2: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

TarheelSpur wrote:Would I regret going from a Dual Boiler back to an HX machine?
You might regret the price of a DB machine that will likely be forgotten and forgiven rather quickly but the possible regret of not having purchased a DB machine will not likely be forgotten or forgiven.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"


#3: Post by damadama »

I wouldn't go HX. Temp surfing isn't fun. Not to say you can't get good shots, but being consistently good is more difficult.

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#4: Post by MNate »

I think if you use the same general style of roast level then an HX routine can be super easy and the results super good. Actually some HX machines can be easier to adjust brew temp shot to shot than some double boilers because you just flush a little longer to get a cooler shot - no messing with waiting for a boiler to cool. A grouphead thermometer makes that pretty consistent and repeatable. Sometimes this can make HX's a water hog so it's nice to have them plumbed in. Many people even give a short flush to any machine (even the Decent) to clear the cold water from the tubing anyway.

So sure, I'm all for you getting an HX!

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#5: Post by drH »

I love my HX machine and I make good shots with it, but the flushing routine can get tiresome. But it's a trade off for a simpler and (in some cases) smaller machine.
On the other hand, you get easy preinfusion and flow control on the Profitec for less than half the price of the Micra.

Personally I'd go with the dual boiler, but it's not an easy call depending on what you really want.


#6: Post by Eagleboy99 »

I would NEVER go back to an HX or other non-DB machine. If you want a great DB, look at the PRofitec Pro 600. Amazing machine. I also have a Synchronika and it is still a work in progress (rotary pump gives more pressure, etc.) but it is almost the 600 level and I expect to exceed the 600.

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#7: Post by mckolit »

One of the reasons I went with a db over a hx was the cooling flush. I was all in for an appartamento at the time. But the whole thing with waiting on the boiler to cool with a db is just as easy as with a hx. Just flush some extra water or run the hot water tap for a bit and you're down to cooler temps.


#8: Post by PhilthyCoffee »

I think for what you're using it for, flushing within 2 or so degrees to get within an acceptable range to pull shots for milk based drinks, you'd be fine with an HX. Some of the ECM/Profitec products seem to really have a good handle of the temp range and IIRC some advertise "no flush" or at least minimal.

But will you ALWAYS just be a milk drink person? That's really the question you'd want to ask yourself because, since you're into light roasts, who knows how far down the extraction rabbit hole you'd like to go in the future with straight espresso, spro-overs, etc And I think that's where e61 HX limitations will come into play. At least that's the wall I've hit that I'm currently not financially willing to go through.

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TarheelSpur (original poster)

#9: Post by TarheelSpur (original poster) »

Thanks for all the responses. I think I will keep the Linea Micra on order. If it were just me using the machine, I would be perfectly happy with an HX. My wife wants to be able to walk up to the machine and have the process be as simple as possible. I think the La Marzocco will check that box. I wish the BDB was a little more reliable because when it worked, it pulled a great shot. I just don't want to deal with this again in 2 or 3 years. I think with a better build quality and the same features they could sell these like hot cakes at 2500USD.