HX espresso machine around 1000 euro (grinder next month) - need advice

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
youss1988

Postby youss1988 » Aug 12, 2019, 3:44 pm

hey all, wow I ve been searching for the right coffee machine for a very very long time now...
Have been searching and thinking last days ...

First I wanted a sage DBD, but now I am sure... I want a italian coffee machine

To afford this, this month i will buy the machine and next month the grinder

I live alone so I dont want a TO expensive machine, on weekdays i drink 1 cup after school.
In the weekend i drink 2-3 cups and usually have 1 or 2 friends coming over who also drink 1-2 cups

I drink mainly milk based coffee.
So thats why I decided a HX with a heat exchanger is the correct machine for me (so i can brew coffee and do the milk at the same time)

My budget for the machine is around 1000 euro preferably (can go a bit higher if it really gives me a LOT better machine).

the 2 options I am looking at right now are

- Rocket Type V (1350 euro - dont know if anyone knows a cheaper place). But PID, good quality material and a nice solid looking machine
- Bezzera magica (with or without PID - without pid 1200 with pid 1400)

DO you guys know any other machines to look / compare with?
and what do you think of those 2?

I really appreciate all help, sorry its taking me long to decide.. I was a bit lost what i wanted....
my first coffee machine

Bluenoser
Supporter ♡

Postby Bluenoser » Aug 12, 2019, 6:55 pm

If you are set on getting an HX design and it has an E61 group, budget for Eric's thermometer (or equivalent) for the group. You won't be able to know when the machine rebounds, or how to develop a really accurate flushing routine without one.

I also found a bottomless portafilter was crucial for determining if channeling (distribution) was a flaw in extractions.

youss1988

Postby youss1988 » Aug 12, 2019, 7:41 pm

Thanks thats a good tip! Never heard about that. do you also need one if the machine is pid?

https://coffee-sensor.com/product/digit ... o-version/

Saw i have to calculate 100 dollar for it

Bluenoser
Supporter ♡

Postby Bluenoser » replying to youss1988 » Aug 12, 2019, 8:07 pm

Yes.. I have PID HX .. I thought I could avoid needing a thermometer ($200 here).. really the PID in an HX design is not that much of improvement regardless of the marketing hype and what some of the vendor's videos show. Basically you have a super-heated steam boiler and a tube through with water that heats from the steam boiler (somewhere around 255F). this is the thermosiphon (TS) loop and circulates water that becomes your brew water. This water can become very hot and so you often flush the group using the group thermometer as a guide and then pull the shot. This reduces the temp in the TS loop to give you the desired brew water temp (about 200F). Trying to develop a good flushing routine can be done and HB here has a good video on how to do it for the older HX models. However, the newer HX designs with a PID also add a restriction to the TS loop to make the water circulate slower. The idea is to reduce the need for flushes.. (although you'll likely need a short flush). Since you often use tanks on these machines, reducing flushing is useful. Developing a flushing routine on TS loops with a restriction is more difficult to do without the group thermometer. One disadvantage of this new restriction design is slow rebound. That is.. making, say 4 espressos with milk on my Pro 500 PID takes about 30 minutes; as I need to wait between shots for the TS water to reheat. I think this slow rebound is a bit common with most of the newer HX designs that use a restrictor in the TS loop. (tough for parties)

So using an HX is quite different than a DB. The Breville DB (920) is ranked as making excellent espresso, but doesn't have the 'big metal' feel. Some think the Breville might not last as long as the Prosumer brands, but I'm just sending my Profitec back for repair after only 14 months.. so.. maybe I'm unlucky.. DB are easier to use, you don't need to worry about the whole flushing routine. So with a DB you get more accurate brew water control. You can still make very good espresso with an HX, you just don't get the same level of precision on the brew water as with a DB.

Also any E61 group will take about 40 minutes to warm up, so you can't just make an espresso on a whim.. Most of us use a remote controlled plug, like a Home Kit widget.. about $30-40 so we can turn on our machine if we are in town and want an espresso when we get home. (We turn it on from our phone).

youss1988

Postby youss1988 » replying to Bluenoser » Aug 13, 2019, 5:11 am

Thanks then i il defenitly get one!

THe breville machines are nice, and they sure make nice coffee. A friend of my said.. why dont you buy a breville it makes tasty coffee and thats what its all about. and totally true!!
BUt on same way.. the look and the machine doesnt give me the italian feeling.
I just love the look of a HX machine, and I think... mayby it slightly makes better espresso and so also better cappuccino?

I now about the warming up yeah.

About the PID in a HX, in the shop they said to me it was good if you use different kind of coffee you can change the tempurture for that?
is that true? because some coffee need other degrees..


THen back to the machine, what do you guys think of the 2 machines I talked about? any other options to look at mayby a bit closer to my pricerange?

Bluenoser
Supporter ♡

Postby Bluenoser » Aug 13, 2019, 11:09 am

youss1988 wrote:About the PID in a HX, in the shop they said to me it was good if you use different kind of coffee you can change the tempurture for that?
is that true? because some coffee need other degrees..


I see that in the marketing data.. but to me that is totally bogus. First, as you get an HX, how are you going to know what the brew water temp is? There is absolutely zero sensors that will give you ANY indication of that. The PID is only measuring the steam boiler temperature. The manufacturers give you a table that is designed to reference steam boiler temp to brew water temp. But there are sooooo many factors in play that there really is no way such a table can be accurate to within 2F. It depends on how hot your E61 group is, the time between shots, the state of water in your TS loop, how hot is your portafilter, etc.. In my Profitec manual it said a PID of 248F would give 200F out. No one has found that to be true. Even WholeLatteLove uses 252-254; Chris' Coffee recently used about 256F on same machine after a 7 second flush; and they can only verify that because they use a $1000 SCACE which is an external device used to measure pressure and temperature. So you are going to have no idea what to set your PID to. This is 8 degrees different than the manufacturer's recommendation. That is one significant difference. People say you can "dial in by taste". So get some beans, change the PID and see what tastes great. But that takes some experience and time. The method to manipulate brew water on older HX designs was to flush until your group thermometer dropped to a certain value, wait a certain amount of time and then pull the shot. Without some external measuring devices there is no way to know the effect of your "workflow" (flushing, etc) on the final brew water temp. You'll always to close to 200F, but to think you can easily manipulate the brew water temp by a few degrees is not easy in my experience. (Which is only 1 year.. there are certainly much more knowledgeable people here who can comment).

the best use for the PID in my estimation is to get better steam. Crank it up and you can get 1.4 bar pressure in the boiler which gives stronger steam and you can make better micro-foam for latte art. I drink a lot of Latte/cappos so that is what I do with my PID.

Now DB are much more predictable (and simpler) and so your brew water temp can be dialed in more accurately. That is why the BDB is popular in its price/performance ratio. Now don't over think the brew water temp; I'm learning it is not as important as I once thought. That is, if you are within 3F of an optimum extraction you likely won't notice any taste difference. At least not until you have much more experience.

But the more I read.. and my experience with my Prosumer HX is.. levers might be the way to go.. Something like a Londinium R.. that is a ways in the future, though.

youss1988

Postby youss1988 » Aug 13, 2019, 5:57 pm

I il see if i can increase my budget and mayby look for a DB.
THanks for all advice you guys are really helping me out!!

THe profitect pro 300 & 500 are both really nice machines, could try to find them second hand.


About the grinder, I can get the '' Ceado E5P'''for a good price.
I can find very little reviews, and I was actually planning on buying the Niche zero grinder..
But the price of the Ceado E5Pis really attractive... anyone experience with that grinder? what do ytou think of that one?

Bluenoser
Supporter ♡

Postby Bluenoser » Aug 13, 2019, 10:15 pm

Big thread on forums here about Pro 300. Steam might be a bit weaker than Pro 500, but will be more temp stable and easier to use. Do a search.