What is a high quality LOW MAINTENANCE espresso machine? - Page 3

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
pcrussell50

#21: Post by pcrussell50 »

Slayer is also what I call a "first gen" profiler. It has two speeds, high and low. Versus the general trend towards fully variable, beginning to end flow control. There is at least one affordable machine out there, that requires minimal maintenance to run for years and years, that offers the same thing right out of the box. And can be reconfigured to fully variable beginning to end flow control. It also has all stainless boilers and portafilters (no plating), and saturated brew group temperature stability so no E61 issues to deal with. Just walk up and pull.

But if this capability is not of interest or import, it's probably just as well to get an E61. In fact in my case, with my whiz bang performance priorities already met, I'm considering an HX e61 just for the fun and novelty.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

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slybarman

#22: Post by slybarman »

pcrussell50 wrote:so no E61 issues to deal with. Just walk up and pull.
I don't really think the E61 has issues when connected to a DB PID machine - or at least I haven't been seeing them. I think the "issues" are really HX issues versus E61 issues per se.

pcrussell50

#23: Post by pcrussell50 » replying to slybarman »

So DBPID e61's are ritual-free, wall up and pull affairs like saturated brew groups? I could swear I recall that people would still flush them before a pull. If I'm wrong I stand corrected.

ETA: Ironically, my mate whose opinion differs from yours on the need for ritual on DBPID e61, also has a Bianca.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

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slybarman

#24: Post by slybarman » replying to pcrussell50 »

What has he observed?

pcrussell50

#25: Post by pcrussell50 » replying to slybarman »

Happy to. But a question... do you think we should take this to PM or are we staying on topic by going down this path? Not a test question. Asking your opinion. Or anyone else who is interested?

-Peter
LMWDP #553

clumeng

#26: Post by clumeng »

Back to the original question - I'm on Year 10 with my S1 Vivaldi VII. Plumbed in with filtered water with timer. Has been bulletproof. Only maintenance is backflush and replace gasket twice a year. Walk up, pull, and steam right away.

Maybe I got lucky but the Viv II fits the bill to me.
LMWDP #383

pcrussell50

#27: Post by pcrussell50 » replying to clumeng »

More or less the same here. Slightly different maintenance. On my machine, the group gasket lasts for-ev-er. Never needed one of those. But I did change a couple of other elastomeric seals (o-rings) about every three years. That said, I do inspect under the cover about once a year just to check for anything out of line. If a problem is going to occur, better to see it coming.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

Idfixe

#28: Post by Idfixe »

Have a 3 Y-I slayer 1 group.
All preventive maintenance did my maintenance myself.
Changed O-rings and few valves.
Changed pump under warranty (known supplier problem)
Really well made machine, everything is accessible, no special tools required.

pcrussell50

#29: Post by pcrussell50 » replying to Idfixe »

Different machine, but same here. Changed a couple o-rings, serviced (without replacing) a valve. Just keeps on trucking. Good water is key, IMHO.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

DamianWarS

#30: Post by DamianWarS »

Bluenoser wrote:The best and cheapest is something like the Cafelat Robot and a Bellman Steamer.. At first, one might think that an odd recommendation. But the Robot can make better espresso than my $2500 HX and the Bellman is a good steamer. You can buy all for about $500-600
I find the bellman takes too long to heat up to get the kind of pressure it needs, the steam (or pressure) can be inconsistent and the milk varies each day. I've had to bury the wand at full pressure as anything else froths the milk to overflowing. You can close the value to release less steam but I find the whole thing a little finicky and it takes a while to find the sweet spot.

For a simple latte use a Mokapot and heat milk to temp on the stove, then a french press to froth. pour it into a milk jug, tap/swill etc to get rid of the bubbles and it can produce very nice lattes and frothed/steamed milk good enough for latte art. total investment... under $50 (or if you go to a yard sale probably less). Many Italians do it this way every day in the morning.