Need a reality check before pulling the trigger

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
imahawki

Postby imahawki » Jan 06, 2019, 9:48 pm

A few years back I owned a BDB and Baratza Vario W but was never too happy with the shot quality. In hindsight I had no idea what I was doing. I obviously can't verify any of this now but I think by grinding into the Vario W bin and then the way I was getting the grounds into portafilter and tamping, and the volume and timing and shots I probably was producing a lot of under extracted shots with lots of channeling. I had a lot of shots that tasted bitter and burnt. I never weighed a shot or accurately measured output other than eyeballing my Bodum double wall shot glasses. So many mistakes. But I don't have that setup any longer. I've been using a Keurig for quite a while just to have coffee but I think I want to jump back in and have been doing tons of research.

I'm strongly considering buying the Profitec Pro 600 and Baratza Sette 270Wi. I want a little more traditional looking machine. I want something that is theoretically a "buy it for life" machine that can be serviced and even user repareable. I started out with a lower budget but quickly realized that I was probably not going to get the success I want trying to flush and temp surf an HX so I started moving up in lines. I like a lot of the features of the Profitecs like the way the valves are spring loaded and the overall build quality.

I have a feeling not many are going to argue that this would be a bad setup. But I am open to options, particularly on the grinder but also on the machine. I do think I've settled in to wanting a PID double boiler. What else should I consider in this price range?

Other units that got serious consideration would be the Profitec Pro 500 PID, Lucca a53 Mini, and Rocket Mozzafiato for machines (I know a couple of those are HX) and the Eureka Atom grinder.

Final comment, I need a machine I can connect to a timer. Machines like the Profitec that have toggle switches work with that. I'm not sure the Lucca does.

greggers89

Postby greggers89 » Jan 06, 2019, 11:34 pm

Was the BDB your first and only espresso machine? It is a pretty feature packed machine and generally regarded as a really great machine that Breville was able to come up with. That's not to say you won't be happier with an E61 dual boiler, but it probably won't fix whatever problems you were having before.

You've already pointed out that you didn't take much care weighing things for consistency. Do you remember what coffee you were using?

When I wasn't sure if I would enjoy making espresso at home (both the process and the result) I got a flair to go with my Lido 2. This was relatively cheap (under $400) and was a nice way to get my feet wet. I only continued with the full manual setup for about 6 months, but it was a great learning experience without putting out too much cash.

kenyabob

Postby kenyabob » Jan 07, 2019, 12:28 am

The Lucca does support the add on timer - but I'll agree with the above. I don't think a new espresso machine will fix your problem. Buy a new grinder and scale and start there.

imahawki

Postby imahawki » Jan 07, 2019, 8:42 am

I"ll attempt to address all of the questions

Was the BDB your first and only espresso machine? It is a pretty feature packed machine and generally regarded as a really great machine that Breville was able to come up with. That's not to say you won't be happier with an E61 dual boiler, but it probably won't fix whatever problems you were having before.


Yes it was the first and only. I understand it is pretty feature packed and well regarded. I don't think an E61 will fix my problems because I don't think the machine was the problem.

You've already pointed out that you didn't take much care weighing things for consistency. Do you remember what coffee you were using?

Yeah, another problem. I started out pretty quickly using home roasted coffee, only I didn't have any experience in that area either. I really was shooting myself in the foot. I did eventually try some coffee from a local roaster but I don't know how consistent they are. They roast fresh daily, but they aren't attached to a coffee shop, they provide coffee to office buildings that have nice cafes in them. I never ordered up a batch of well established, consistent, coffee from a recommended "start here" roaster.

When I wasn't sure if I would enjoy making espresso at home (both the process and the result) I got a flair to go with my Lido 2.

I'm not afraid of the effort or cost outlay at this point. I have a much better idea of how to approach the process. I don't think it was 100% of the problem by any stretch but I understand the Vario W was not an ideal grinder for espresso (I originally bought it for pour over), etc.

Capac

Postby Capac » Jan 07, 2019, 8:52 am

I don't think equipment was at failt here at all. BDB is a good machine and vario w isn't a sloich either.

Coffee and skill have more impact once you reach gear of that level.

imahawki

Postby imahawki » replying to Capac » Jan 07, 2019, 9:06 am

Totally agree. Maybe it wasn't clear in my first post, I don't own that equipment any more. Not the machine nor the grinder. So I'm not asking if upgrading the equipment will fix my problem. I want to go at this again and am asking if these are good purchase choices. I'm essentially starting from scratch.

Capac

Postby Capac » Jan 07, 2019, 9:11 am

These are both pretty popular so I don't think they are a bad choice.

imahawki

Postby imahawki » Jan 08, 2019, 12:03 pm

Sorry to HB for starting a new thread. Thanks for merging.


I think I've settled on a Profitec Pro 600. If I'm going to spend over $1500 I'm willing to just jump in price to a dual boiler. I'm open to alternative suggestions to this machine.

The challenge is the grinder. After narrowing down my choices to the Eureka Atom or the Ceado E6P I think sadly both grinders are maybe 1/8" too tall to fit under my cabinets. I ideally need something under 17". So after further research I thought maybe the Eureka Mignon Specialita would be good. Its still very quite, uses Eureka's great adjustment system, easy to clean, reportedly lower retention than the Atom actually, etc. Obviously not in the same class as the Atom or E6P but I can't defy physics on cabinet height.

So after looking around a bit more, I reached out to WLL for a recommendation. They don't (yet) carry the new Mignons, only the original. A sales rep directed me to the ECM S-Automatik 64. I don't love some of the design features like the bump vs. double bump on the PF button to choose a double shot grind and while minor, I don't love that its not hands free. I can't find any information on grind retention for this grinder.

Obviously the ECM is more expensive than the Mignon but that isn't always a guarantee of better results. In fact, sometimes newer designs (which the new line of Mignon is) eclipse more expensive but outdated designs. I like the design and operating function of the Specialita better.

So after all of that rambling. Between the Specialita, S-Automatik, or other grinder under 17" (that is also under say $1200 max) what would you pick?

greggers89

Postby greggers89 » Jan 08, 2019, 9:08 pm

It sounds like you are looking for the easiest workflow (and I don't blame you!) since you want hands free and easy to get the right dose. In this case I think the Sette 270Wi would be a great choice. I've always single dosed, so the Sette 270 worked well for me.

User avatar
lancealot

Postby lancealot » Jan 08, 2019, 10:07 pm

Looks like Clive and Seattle CG both carry the Mignon Specialita. Why don't you just buy from them? It is too bad that Clive doesn't seem to have the 600 though. You could try for a discount on a package. If that is even a thing.

From your single push / double push comment, it sounds like you have thought about the ergonomics a bit. IMHO ergonomics are important.

I can't comment on the differences between the grinders that you mention. Good luck, buy what you want and be stoked!

Oh, BTW someone on here is selling a pretty nifty grinder that might fit under your cabinets and be just what you need, hold up, let me find the link...

[FS] Nuovo Simonelli G60 grinder

Good luck.

Edit: corrected, clive has the pro 600.