Pro-sumer espresso machine for work environment (~10 users) - Page 2

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.

Postby delete000 » Feb 11, 2019, 5:11 pm

MemPast wrote:I assume the machine can be plumbed in the office.

Plumbing may be in issue, hence I am leaning toward the Mini Vivaldi II.


Postby lagoon » Feb 11, 2019, 6:01 pm

Previously when I've seen a communal semi-auto espresso machine available in a workplace, the steam wand has resembled burnt cheese, and you could only extrapolate what the inside of the boiler looks like.

I just don't think it works for a shared user base. Even if you have several espresso machine enthusiasts in the office, there will always be one or two users who either don't know or don't care about espresso machine hygiene. The result is a pretty disgusting machine.

I would go along with the suggestion above about disabling the steam function. Or better, get a decent grinder and hot water urn and set up a pour over bar or French presses.

Would definitely not get lever for this use-case, contrary to another suggestion above.


Postby robin416 » Feb 11, 2019, 6:10 pm

Being that the group is in Boston, wouldn't there be companies that supply machines and maintenance for a monthly cost?


Postby Séb » Feb 12, 2019, 2:42 pm

I have an old La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi at my roastery and it still works almost like new ;) So i go with most here, this is a nice machine for an office and easy to use as it is volumetric. If you can have 20A outlet this will be better for back to back coffee. This is what i did to mine and the steaming is much better now on 20A.

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Postby slipchuck » Feb 12, 2019, 4:06 pm

Will it be used for mostly milk based drinks,? If so
Most people will disagree but a superautomatic might fit the bill. It takes more maintenance but since only one person is taking care of it it should not be a problem
The quality might lag a bit behind a semiautomatic but with 10 people with various degrees of skills it is something to take into account when you make your decision

Good luck

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Postby HH » Feb 12, 2019, 6:22 pm

This may be a step backwards in terms of the grinder, but have you considered the Breville Oracle? It has an integrated grinder and tamps automatically, so getting consistent shots should be very straightforward even for non-enthusiasts. It's likely to be better than a full-auto machine at a better price point, and textures milk surprisingly well with a built in auto-purge to prevent accidental milk ingestion into the boiler.

I've tried the coffee it produces and it's surprisingly good and very consistent.


Postby delete000 » Feb 12, 2019, 7:41 pm

slipchuck wrote:Will it be used for mostly milk based drinks,?

Most of the users make espresso or americano. The milk ingestion danger is low, but real. Disabling the steam wand and getting a standalone frother might be a good strategy, I'll have to think about that.

As for the Breville Oracle, if I could pinpoint exactly the cause of our repeated BDB woes and had a solid plan on how to avoid them, I would consider it an option. Perhaps I will start a thread under Repairs to see if people can diagnose what exactly the problem is. If it is simply that the machine is not meant to be on and used throughout the day, then the Oracle might suffer the same fate as the BDB, as it seems to be more or less the same design.

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Postby EvergreenBuzzBuzz » Feb 13, 2019, 9:12 am

delete000 wrote:Plumbing may be in issue, hence I am leaning toward the Mini Vivaldi II.

Don't be afraid of plumbing. There are a number of people that have used the following in small spaces:

Holding tank>check valve>pump>accumulation tank>pressure regulator>espresso machine.

And I loved my Vivaldi S1. Good choice. But do agree you will need to educate people.
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Postby spressomon » Feb 13, 2019, 11:51 am

10 espresso drinkers and probably more than 1 shot each per day: IMHO you are into a commercial device for performance & durability for 20-30 shots per day? Maybe a standalone steamer and <gasp> a pod machine? $2k, again in my humble opinion, isn't going to be a solution especially if your group of espresso drinkers have anything close to a refined palate.
No Espresso = Depresso


Postby delete000 » Feb 13, 2019, 2:57 pm

spressomon wrote:$2k, again in my humble opinion, isn't going to be a solution especially if your group of espresso drinkers have anything close to a refined palate.

I think the balance I am trying to strike here is for the ~1-3 of us who care about pulling a couple of decent shots per day to be able to do just that, while another ~8-10 people can simply prepare their caffeinated brown liquid without damaging the machine.