[Conclusion: No good] Used Grimac La Uno, Mazzer Super Jolly. Not sure if this is a good offer or not?

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

#1: Post by kevin1046 »

Good Day,

I hope you are well.

I have recently fell in love with coffee, and I really want my own home setup. I have done quite a lot of research into the world of coffee and the machines, and so I know about the more popular ones.

I recently went into a store here (in South Africa) yesterday (They deal mainly with industrial clients...coffee shops and what not) and I spoke to the owner and he showed me different machines. He showed me an old Grimac La Uno machine that he got from a friend who immigrated, and so he said I could take it for R13 000 (around $960). They are going to service the machine completely, give it a proper clean and get the side panels powder coated, and put in a new water tank, change the steam want to one that comes with the new Grimacs, and they gonna put on a pressure gauge on the head for me. I am as well getting them to add in a naked portafilter. I have never heard of this machine, and I cant find much online about it either. I just don't know if this is a good price or not? (They as well gonna give me a 3 month warranty on it).

He is as well offering me an open box Mazzer Super Jolly Timer for R7000 (Around $515). From what I have read, this is a great grinder...but again, not sure if its a great deal or not? The grinder is brand new, never been used, so I feel this is a good discount as they generally go for around R12 650 (Around $934). The one thing that concerns me about this grinder is the doser. I see people have made all sorts of mods for this machine to try and reduce the amount of grounds left in the doser hopper.

In total, this setup is going to cost R22 600 (Around $1668)...This dose exclude tamper, milk pitcher, and knock-box.

I will probably make between 3-6 cups of coffee a day, some milk drinks, some black drinks. I would love to hear your opinions on this and if you think I am making the right choice. I haven't paid yet, though I said I will take it. It will probably be ready next week sometime, though I could potentially barter for a lower price if you think I am being overcharged. Or I could just tell them I have changed my mind if you guys think its a bad setup.

Would really appreciate your advice.



#2: Post by Coffcarl »

I have the Grimac Mini, which is the same as the Uno. It is a good machine, with commercial grade parts. An e61 with a moderately sized boiler, heats up fairly quickly, has good steaming power, and easily produces a good shot of espresso. Made by bfc in italy.

The price is a little high, but I think you would be hard pressed to find a similar machine for less.

I had the panels powder coated on my other older machine, and that is about a $150 job here. Of you can pick your color that would be great! The new articulating wand requires a valve retrofit I think, so that is about another $100, and the portafilter is about an $80 item. The tank is another $50. With the cleaning and the 3 month warranty it seems a fair price if you like the machine. Have him train you on it and show that it can produce a good cup.

You proabably won't need much service on it, it if you do, and these are reputable people who know what they are doing, there is a lot of value in that relationship

The newer model of this is the Grimac Valentina. It retails for about $1800, is a little less boxy and has a slightly more modern style.

I cannot speak to the mazzer other than to say that the combination will give you good results. Using a doser is not optimal but tolerable.

kevin1046 (original poster)

#3: Post by kevin1046 (original poster) »

Hi Coffcarl,

Thanks for the response.

Luckily this guy has a good relationship with a guy that does powder coating, so he is charging me around $30 for that, and yea, I can choose my color. Decided to go for something that would come close to the Mazzer...matching setup and all you know :P

It does seem like a nice machine, though I have not seen it run yet. For me, its not all about the looks, I just really want to be able to make a delicious cup of coffee, thats my main goal, looks would be a bonus, but thats not a deal breaker for me. That being said, the machine dosent look that bad, so I dont have a problem with that.

He said that they train everyone when they supply them with new equipment, so when I go pick it up he will give me a crash course on everything.

These are reputable people. They sell machines and grinders to some of the biggest coffee chains in the country, and they were one of the first companies to start selling espresso machines in the country, so I have full trust in them. A plus is that they will provide support to anyone who buys from them, or if you have a machine they support, so at least I have somewhere I can take it if it ever needs a service or if I am just having an issue or what not.

He did show me the new one and did make me an offer, though the cost of that machine new is what I am paying for an older machine plus a new grinder.


#4: Post by Coffcarl »

It all seems positive to me. I get really good results with mine. I do find that after an hour or so it takes a long flush to bring the grouphead down to temp. I have decided not to mess with flushing the gh, and am still happy with results. Ask about adjusting the boiler temp (pressure) down to something around 1.1 bar, and ask about adjusting the opv (over pressure valve) so that you get 8-9 bar at the grouphead. These are important to get a sweet, flavorful shot.


#5: Post by Coffcarl »

One other thing. The machine has volumetric controls. I weigh my grinds and shot, and did program the double shot button, but I find that I never use it, as the volume will vary when I change my grind a little. The controls are most useful in acofffee shop, and I just use the start/stop button on the pad (an asterisk on mine).

kevin1046 (original poster)

#6: Post by kevin1046 (original poster) »

He did explain to me about all that and said they will set it up to a good starting point for me, so making sure the boiler is at a specific bar and group head at a specific pressure, though he said I am welcome to change it as I see fit. Ill get him to show me how to change all that when I pick it up. With the group head pressure gauge, I can then play with the OPV to get what I want at the head. With regards to temp I can play with that as I start to get used to the machine.

This machine is slightly different to the one you thinking of, this is the more manual one: https://www.gastroparts.com/pliki/schem ... LA-UNO.pdf

I see I got the name wrong, its actually La Uno, not La Una


#7: Post by Coffcarl »

Oh, good, so just the semi auto version (non volumetric). People like to put a thermometer in the e61 port, which is not possible with this configuration unless you fond one that you can bend the stem on. I don't think that is such a big deal, but for some people...

kevin1046 (original poster)

#8: Post by kevin1046 (original poster) »

Yea, we were discussing the thermometer and came to the conclusion that it wont fit, so I decided to go for pressure instead. That is something I am going to have to try and figure out how to guess, the temperature, unless someone knows a flushing routine to get to the approximate brewing temp.

kevin1046 (original poster)

#9: Post by kevin1046 (original poster) »

So after doing lots of research and chatting to other coffee shops, everyone seems to agree on one thing, the price is a bit high for that machine. So I have decided to give it a miss and continue looking elsewhere.

User avatar

#10: Post by guijan12 replying to kevin1046 »

Thanks for providing the update.
What I read from the above posts is that the price may be a bit high (not very high), but the combination is very capable of pulling good shots.
And the company is a reputable one.

The higher pice only hurts once, a decent machine and grinder gives joy for years to come.

Isn't that worth the little higher price (or extra negotiation for a tamper, naked pf, bag of beans, what not...)? :idea: