Commercial espresso machines in the home

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Have you considered a commercial espresso machine for home use?

Yes
144
85%
No
24
14%
Other (explain)
1
1%
 
Total votes: 169

User avatar
timo888

#1: Post by timo888 »

Not that money matters much, but what is the difference in annual cost-of-ownership between a machine like the La Spaziale, with its small 450ml brew boiler that can be run without the steam boiler being turned on, and a large catering-classs/small professional HX machine with a multi-liter boiler?

Regards
Timo



...added poll and split from Is the La Cimbali Junior too difficult for the average home user? by moderator. The poll is intentionally vague as to the definition of a "commercial" machine...

Ken Fox

#2: Post by Ken Fox »

timo888 wrote:Not that money matters much, but what is the difference in annual cost-of-ownership between a machine like the La Spaziale, with its small 450ml brew boiler that can be run without the steam boiler being turned on, and a large catering-classs/small professional HX machine with a multi-liter boiler?

Regards
Timo
There is no way to answer this question in a way that would be correct for more than any one individual. This is going to depend on such things as whether the machine is operated on a timer or is on 24/7; your local electricity rates which can vary by more than a factor of 3X; how much the machine is actually used; and whether any waste heat the machine might produce will increase (or decrease) other expenses, such as for heating or air conditioning the space in which the machine is located.

ken
What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955

k7qz

#3: Post by k7qz »

podo98 wrote:I love the A3, and while I can plumb the water line, I cannot plumb the drain. My understanding is that both need to be plumbed.

BP
Not necessarily. I saw one once (another Cimbali DT1) whose drain line simply fed down into a old 5 gallon water cooler bottle. The bottle was tucked neatly away into a corner and given the narrow neck of the bottle, all was neat and tidy with no slosh. The bottle of course needs to be dumped once a week or so but where there's a will... Besides, I hear that coffee grounds water is good for your garden! :lol:

User avatar
timo888

#4: Post by timo888 »

Ken Fox wrote:There is no way to answer this question in a way that would be correct for more than any one individual. This is going to depend on such things as whether the machine is operated on a timer or is on 24/7; your local electricity rates which can vary by more than a factor of 3X; how much the machine is actually used; and whether any waste heat the machine might produce will increase (or decrease) other expenses, such as for heating or air conditioning the space in which the machine is located.

ken
Ken,
I agree that variation in use would create variations in the cost. But the La Spaziale uses a stainless steel ergo relatively non-conductive group, IIRC, and so it needs much much less time to come up to stable brew temp than a machine with a massive highly conductive brass group needs.

When producing only a few straight shots a day, a 3-liter or 5-liter HX machine will be much more expensive to operate than a machine with a dedicated 450ml brew boiler, just as driving a Ford F350 around NYC on errands in stop-and-go traffic will cost more than driving a Ford Escape Hybrid.

When producing milk drinks, the dual boiler machine has to turn on its steam boiler, and then the difference in operational costs goes down, but only slightly. The La Spaziale could brew and steam long before the Cimbali was ready to do either.
My estimate is that for home use, the La Spaz would cost between five and ten times less to operate, depending upon how much milk steaming is involved.

A prospective purchaser could plug in their own use profile (ratio of straight shots to milk drinks) and figure out how much the two machines will cost to operate, given the projected kilowatts consumed.

Regards
Timo

User avatar
HB
Admin

#5: Post by HB »

timo888 wrote:My estimate is that for home use, the La Spaz would cost between five and ten times less to operate, depending upon how much milk steaming is involved.
It also depends if the particular machine's boiler is insulated, how much of its group is exposed to ambient air, etc. The thread Leave it on, or turn it off? covers the advantages/disadvantages of 24/7 operation. For what it's worth, I don't run my espresso equipment 24/7 and my previous estimates of the associated electrical costs amounted to a few dollars a month.
Dan Kehn

Ken Fox

#6: Post by Ken Fox »

timo888 wrote:Ken,
I agree that variation in use would create variations in the cost. But the La Spaziale uses a stainless steel ergo relatively non-conductive group, IIRC, and so it needs much much less time to come up to stable brew temp than a machine with a massive highly conductive brass group needs.

When producing only a few straight shots a day, a 3-liter or 5-liter HX machine will be much more expensive to operate than a machine with a dedicated 450ml brew boiler, just as driving a Ford F350 around NYC on errands in stop-and-go traffic will cost more than driving a Ford Escape Hybrid.

When producing milk drinks, the dual boiler machine has to turn on its steam boiler, and then the difference in operational costs goes down, but only slightly. The La Spaziale could brew and steam long before the Cimbali was ready to do either.
My estimate is that for home use, the La Spaz would cost between five and ten times less to operate, depending upon how much milk steaming is involved.

A prospective purchaser could plug in their own use profile (ratio of straight shots to milk drinks) and figure out how much the two machines will cost to operate, given the projected kilowatts consumed.

Regards
Timo
One can speculate on differences but without some actual measurements the estimates are probably not worth much.

In any event, one has to decide for ones self if the electrical cost of leaving a big machine on 24/7 are significant, or not, in the greater scheme of things. Where I live, electrical rates are low, below 5 US cents per KWH. I am away from home at least 3 months a year and I'd be astonished if my electrical costs for the year cost as much as putting my dog in the kennel for 3 days. Since she ends up in the kennel for about 3 months a year given my travel schedule, I'd count the espresso machine electrical draw as insignificant, within my budget.

But everyone will have their own calculations to make. My best guess is that anyone who can afford, and would choose to buy, a commercial level espresso machine for their home, would consider the electrical usage needed to power it of little or no significance.

ken
What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955

User avatar
timo888

#7: Post by timo888 »

Ken Fox wrote: My best guess is that anyone who can afford, and would choose to buy, a commercial level espresso machine for their home, would consider the electrical usage needed to power it of little or no significance.
It may not be a matter of simply affording the cost...the prospective buyer might be one who chooses for the sake of the environment to consume less energy. Does it really make sense to heat 5 liters of water to make a 1.5 ounce beverage?

KOYANNASQATSI
Timo

User avatar
Compass Coffee
Sponsor

#8: Post by Compass Coffee »

HB wrote:It also depends if the particular machine's boiler is insulated, how much of its group is exposed to ambient air, etc. The thread Leave it on, or turn it off? covers the advantages/disadvantages of 24/7 operation. For what it's worth, I don't run my espresso equipment 24/7 and my previous estimates of the associated electrical costs amounted to a few dollars a month.
Yup, did the math for my Bric' with 1.5l insulated boiler duty cycle, ~$3 per month cost @ idle 24/7. Oooh-aaah break the bank even when I'm pretty much broke, not. Was a couple bucks more before insulating.
Mike McGinness, Head Bean (Owner/Roast Master)
http://www.CompassCoffeeRoasting.com

Ken Fox

#9: Post by Ken Fox »

timo888 wrote:It may not be a matter of simply affording the cost...the prospective buyer might be one who chooses for the sake of the environment to consume less energy. Does it really make sense to heat 5 liters of water to make a 1.5 ounce beverage?

KOYANNASQATSI
Timo
You could say the same thing about everything we do in modern day life, and every aspect of the coffee hobby. No one needs coffee; just think of how much energy we could save by not picking the stuff in the first place, not processing it, not transporting it, not roasting it, and not preparing it. Glad no one in the government has thought of that yet.

ken
What, me worry?

Alfred E. Neuman, 1955

User avatar
HB
Admin

#10: Post by HB »

timo888 wrote:It may not be a matter of simply affording the cost...the prospective buyer might be one who chooses for the sake of the environment to consume less energy.
Debating the energy savings among espresso machines weighing at least 60 pounds? OK, but if cost of ownership and energy conservation are of primary importance, consider an espresso equipment alternative that consumes far less energy in its manufacture and usage -- any lever machine, especially gravity fed.
timo888 wrote:Does it really make sense to heat 5 liters of water to make a 1.5 ounce beverage?
Of course not, it's absolutely ludicrous, as is nearly every aspect of my espresso hobby. Just ask my wife.

PS: For those reading along, Koyaanisqatsi means 'life of moral corruption and turmoil, life out of balance' in the Hopi language (wikipedia).
Dan Kehn