Izzo Alex owners please twist my arm

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

#1: Post by junkinduck »

I am finally on the verge of ordering my machine. My new job came through just a month later than expected. I started wanting a KA Proline and have ended up at an Anita. I need a little arm twisting to push me on to the Alex. I like the option of plumbing in. And not having ever owned a high end machine I don't know but everyone says the rotary will make me happy. I am going to bundle it with a macap stepless doser.
Funny how when I started this quest I couldn't imagine spending $1000 on a coffee machine and now I asking for a little push to spend $1500.
Thanks,
Don

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HB
Admin

#2: Post by HB »

junkinduck wrote:I need a little arm twisting to push me on to the Alex.
OK. If you get the Alex and regret it 29 days later, you can return it ("buyer's remorse"). But I would bet against it happening. Does that help?
Dan Kehn

lparsons21

#3: Post by lparsons21 »

I know what you mean about the money. A friend was over the other night and was curious about my Alex, so I demo'd it and he wanted to know how much it cost. After I told him, he couldn't believe I bought that big chunk of copper and steel to produce that itty bitty cup. But he was drinking caps as fast as I could pull them all the while.

So how much arm twisting do you need? ;-)

I've had mine for nearly 2 months now and it has performed flawlessly. I've got it plumbed in and on a timer so it is ready to go any time I want an absolutely great cuppa. Espresso shots are easy and you can pull them all day long with nary a burp. Americanos & Cafe Cremas, absolutely. You want steam, you say? Well, you can pull steam so long I can't imagine running out.

As a test, I turned on the steam and let 'er rip for 5 minutes. Solid steam, no cooling. Even pulled a shot or two while doing it.

Is that enough? If not, there is a review or two over on coffeegeek.com and plenty of comments here at HB.

How much better is it than an Anita? I frankly don't know. But it is plumb/pourover easily and that is something that the Anita doesn't do. It also has a 3 liter boiler which I think is bigger than Anita's.

The only negative I've seen about it is that it cycles the heat very often. I don't see that as a negative, just as tight temp control. But one Alex buyer didn't like that at all. Too much noise for him.
Lloyd

DaveC

#4: Post by DaveC »

I have one of the First Izzo Alex machines a mark I (one of the first pre-production sold commercially in the UK in fact).

I wrote the first reviews and feedback to Izzo, hence many of the improvements in the MKII Alex.

You can read the review here from the Bella barista UK website. It's not going to be entirely accurate in terms of the changes on the MKII, but the guts of the machine remains the same (obviously not motor is rubber mounted for less vibration and steam/water wands are ball joint, together with switchable mains tanked operation and the drip tray issues sorted), but it will give a useful and unbiased perspective. Unbiased in terms of the review is unedited by Bella Barista and I liked it so much i insisted on buying it!

Personally I wouldn't swap my alex for another machine unless Izzo make the machine I really want them to make, the Alex DC (which happen to be my initials :wink: ). But essentially I think they could make a dual boiler Alex (with digital temperature control, like the Brewtus II), within the same size case and without losing all the great features it already has like rotary pump mains/tanked operation (honest I believe it can be done and have had some initial discussions with them). I have been provisionally invited over to Italy to talk to designers and if it actually comes off, then it could be a fun project for next year, as long as I get the first one they make for free (serial numbered 00001 of course) :lol:

DC - Dualo Caldia (dual boiler in Italian I think)

CK

#5: Post by CK »

I have to agree with Dave.

You cant get a better home machine than the Alex.

But boy is it a beast... Make sure you have a nice big spot for it.

Ive had mine for a few months.. same as Daves the Alex Mk1.
Thoroughly recommended . It will last you a life time.

Ron_L

#6: Post by Ron_L »

Is your arm starting to hurt? :D

Lloyd, jmatt and I bought our Alexes (Alexi?) at about the same time. We were among the first machines that Chris shipped, so we were "beta testers" of sorts. We all experienced a couple of minor issues that were quickly rectified by Chris. In a couple of cases the problem was caused by UPS (Mine came with water in one of the gauges caused by the box being laid on its side. Chris sent me a new gauge and walked me through changing it and the issue was solved in three days). Another issue was related to the packing and Chris has fixed that for any machines that were shipped after ours. The machine itself is solid, well built and easy to work on if you need to and the service from Chris is fantastic!

As far as performance, I posted this story on the Alex User Group on Google Groups (A small group of Alex users) but it may help push you over the edge...

Prior to buying my Alex, I had been using an Isomac Millennium. Once Alex arrived I cleaned up the Millennium, emptied the water and set it aside until I found someone to buy it. A gentleman from CG came by to look at the Millennium, so I set it up on the kitchen counter so he could test it. During the conversation, we started talking about bottomless PFs, and I have one on the Alex, so I offered to pull a shot so he and his brother could watch the flow on the bottomless. We had just pulled a couple of shots on the Millennium that he had tasted, so I gave him the Alex shot to taste. He immediately commented on the difference. I had never compared the two, so we pulled another shot on the Millennium and another on the Alex and tasted them. I was amazed at the difference! I knew that the Alex shots were better, but tasting them side-by-side really showed the difference. The Alex shot has a greater depth of flavor and was noticeably sweeter. I used the same coffee (Malabar Gold, two days rest) for both. The Alex was using a bottomless PF while the Isomac was using a stock PF, but I don't think the Bottomless would be responsible for that much difference.

I'm a very happy Alex owner and if i had to make my decision over again I would still buy the Alex.

Good luck with your decision!
...ron

LMWDP #356

junkinduck (original poster)

#7: Post by junkinduck (original poster) »

Thanks for the twist I hate to do it but I guess I will have to work a couple more shifts of OT to make up the 5C's. A little more patience and a few more weeks.

jmatt

#8: Post by jmatt »

Sorry I'm late to this party. Did you pull the trigger?

I've had mine for about 2 months. My results are better than coffee house about 99% of the time. Machine works flawlessly. I'd buy the single-hole steam tip for the steam wand, but other than that I have nothing but praise for the Alex by Izzo.

Everman

#9: Post by Everman »

Once you get up into that price range, just about every machine can pull an excellent shot. What you're looking at are the details that really just depend on what you want. So far it looks like the Alex fits a nice niche.

scottyg514

#10: Post by scottyg514 »

I have the Vetrano & I love it.

The Izzo looks like the same, so you won't be sorry.

Go for it!