NEW* ECM Classika VS USED* Rocket Mozzafiato Type R

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

#1: Post by Thehomebrewcoffee »

Hello all!

TLDR: I have the opportunity to sell my Silvia and am eager to buy an ecm classika or potentially a used more substantial e61 machine but that's not exactly what I want.

I used to have an account on here years ago and was steered in the right direction when I bought my first e61 machine, the expobar office lever. 8 years later I am at a new stage in my coffee hobby career and I need some advice. Among many current upgrades I have completely reworked both my home and cottage espresso setups as a result of some wonderful deals from my friends as well as a new job at a coffee roaster that has given me access to some old equipment, in light of this I have come into an opportunity where I can replace my Silvia with a new machine.

Back story:

I had a heat exchanger expobar e61 for 7 years and loved it and that's how I know how to make coffee at home. When I first got my Silvia I was absolutely blown away with the machine, the quality the coffee, in short my mind was blown. What really made a difference imo was the pid. The coffee tasted so much closer to what I was having at work on our gs3 or for that matter any commercial machine that I couldn't believe I had skipped this stage in home barista equipment. I now understood the reasons the Silvia was so praised on here and all over the industry and love it for that, but!

The Silvia is not perfect. And it is far from it in a few ways, first of all coming from a 1 liter+ drip tray I can't believe anyone had the audacity to design a machine with such a small drip tray, secondly I hate that you can't really see anything going on under the group head as the upper body is so large and covers the whole drip tray from eyesight, and third, although it works In a very particular utilitarian setting, it's ugly and looks cheap (although I'm impressed with build quality).

With that said I am thinking I would like to have 2 e61 set ups as this is what I prefer to brew on. I love the quick heat up of the Silvia and want to stick with the same set up being single boiler pid but with more elegance, visibility, and build quality. My preferences for this new machine are as follows.

1.) E61 group
2.) PID
3.) single boiler
4.) preferably shot timer

I also have some parts for an e61 I'm going to use on the home setup including flow control, a silicon gasket, vst basket and ims shower screen. I only ever make drinks for myself and maybe my girlfriend at home so there is no need for entertainment or ease of use, I have a set up at the cottage that works for that but at home I want to be encircled I the process from start to finish and a flow control e61 single boiler like the classika is what I think will work, but the value I see in some of these higher end e61 machines for sale used is very attractive to me.

A few things:

Budget $2000-$2800 CAD

Not interested in selling my grinder as I spent to much on modding it recently to sell it although if I didn't I would buy a new grinder first

Willing to consider any other group head but manual lever machines, I have a rok and don't need another similar machine, although the profitec 800 is my end goal machine so a spring lever machine is total something I would consider.

Thanks for taking the time to help and share your thoughts, I am not in a huge rush but I am an eager buyer so within the next 2-3 weeks is ideal for this purchase for me.

Cheers
Home Brew Coffee - Stereo Coffee Roasters - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Jeff
Team HB

#2: Post by Jeff »

A PID on virtually any HX machine is little more than a marketing bullet point. The steam-boiler temperature is so unpredictably far, thermodynamically, from the group and brew temperature, that you still need a flush routine. You need a group-head thermometer if you intend to hit within 1-2°C or better, which sort of rules out flow control. (The Lelit MaraX is a notable exception, as it monitors the group/HX temperature and swings the steam boiler to do a good job of keeping it within reasonable bounds.) Some also suggest that a PID is more reliable than a pressurestat. My experience with European machines and their electrical and electronic components doesn't instill confidence.

Five or ten years ago, a shot timer seemed a valuable feature. Now, your phone probably has a stopwatch with split-timing that can measure pump on, first drops, and done with ease.

You'll no doubt get suggestions for a Breville Dual Boiler ("BDB"). If you're a tinkerer and don't mind doing the routine maintenance on it, they get great reviews from their owners and even one manufacturer that decided not to try to compete with it at its price.

I'd definitely consider the Lelit MaraX and the Elizabeth

If you're willing to wait and see how it turns out, there's ECM Puristika "coming soon"?

For a real gamble, with lots of both upside and downside potential, there's the Odyssey Espresso (Argos Lever prototype) (spring-lever machine at under US$1,000, I don't know Canadian pricing or availability)

Edits:

Any E61 is going to take 30-45 min to stabilize. A smart plug can help mitigate this.

On the grinder, I've heard great things about the Peak burrs. 64 mm SJ-fitting means you can explore some of the new burr cuts there as well. It seems like you're in good shape with grinders!

drH

#3: Post by drH »

In the E61 category the Puristika would be my choice. If you don't need to steam, the Classika is an easy win over the Rocket because of temperature adjustability. I had a Classika for 3 years and loved it. But if you want to serve lots of milk drinks to guests, the Classika's single boiler might make you crazy.

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BaristaBoy E61

#4: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

Thehomebrewcoffee (original poster)

#5: Post by Thehomebrewcoffee (original poster) »

Hey jeff thanks for the reply, I knew hx pids weren't all that useful and I'm glad to know you still have to flush, that immediately rules out a hx for me as I only ever entertain at the cottage where I have a more than adequate hx for the job.
Only reason I was considering a hx is the cost of the machine new battery used was a draw.

I am much more focused on a single boiler set up for my home as I never make milk drinks personally and if I do it's only 1 cappuccino for my girlfriend.

Single boiler pid is the direction I want to go. Although I have heard great things about the BDB and love breville as a company, I can't get behind its poor build quality and cheap plastic feel, regardless of how impressive it's stats are and the modding potential, it's not where I want to be.

The Silvia checks all the boxes minus the ergonomics of workflow, looks, and build quality, hence the swing to ecm classika.

I am interested in the puristika but in this case I would have to bust out the bellman stove top steamer from time to time to please the girlfriend!

The oddesy is cool but I would only go for a spring action lever not a manual machine.

The Mara x also seems interesting but I don't like lelit again for it's looks and build quality. Iv seen the Mara in person and thought it felt cheap. But with that said I am interested by it's tempature stability and it's small foot print, I haven't considered it so far but maybe I will look into it some more.

Thanks
Home Brew Coffee - Stereo Coffee Roasters - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Thehomebrewcoffee (original poster)

#6: Post by Thehomebrewcoffee (original poster) »

Dam that machine fits the bill pretty well, I'm a strickler for looks and personally this thing is dead ugly, otherwise I agree with you. Double boiler pid at that price wow.
Home Brew Coffee - Stereo Coffee Roasters - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Jeff
Team HB

#7: Post by Jeff »

I think you'll find single-boiler, E61, PID, and steaming a very thin marketplace, even before demanding build quality.

The thermal mass of the E61 has a time constant probably on the order of 10 minutes. Even with a PID, the group is still hanging out in the breeze. An E61 group gets its heat through a relatively small and comparatively long thermosiphon, there is no pump circulating water. Switching to steam means you've upset the whole system. Coming back to a stable brew temperature is a lot longer than flicking a switch.

It's a lot easier to solve the thermal-performance problems with a close-coupled group and a small boiler. Since you've got a small boiler, unless you're shooting for tiny or cheap, might as well add a steam boiler and sell the model to the broad market.

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cafeIKE
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#8: Post by cafeIKE »

A PID on virtually any HX machine is little more than a marketing bullet point. The steam-boiler temperature is so unpredictably far, thermodynamically, from the group and brew temperature, that you still need a flush routine.
See HX Heaven or 1½ Boiler

I've been making walk up shots with no flushing for more than a decade. Probably most ANY HX with a PID can be a walk-up machine if you take the time to figure it out. If making milk drinks, run the PID up when you start the first shot prep. For a gathering, pull back to back shots with milk steaming with zero flushing. Temperatures will fluctuate a little, but no more than an e61 DB.

Thehomebrewcoffee (original poster)

#9: Post by Thehomebrewcoffee (original poster) »

drH wrote:In the E61 category the Puristika would be my choice. If you don't need to steam, the Classika is an easy win over the Rocket because of temperature adjustability. I had a Classika for 3 years and loved it. But if you want to serve lots of milk drinks to guests, the Classika's single boiler might make you crazy.
Why did you get rid of your classika? Again I'm not doing more h than 1 milk drink per session if that. I'm very keen on this machine and it still holds #1 spot for me. Thanks
Home Brew Coffee - Stereo Coffee Roasters - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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BaristaBoy E61

#10: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

Thehomebrewcoffee wrote:Dam that machine fits the bill pretty well, I'm a strickler for looks and personally this thing is dead ugly, otherwise I agree with you. Double boiler pid at that price wow.

Keep in mind that this is just your next espresso machine - not your last.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"