Dalla Corta Mina User Experience

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def
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#1: Post by def »

I know there is another thread on DC Mina, but I did not want to hijack or change the general context of prior threads.

For those who have the DC Mina, would you offer your opinion on how well you like it and any issues you have had? I have several questions for those familiar with this machine (as well as their commercial multi-group machines if the answer applies to both).

1. How long does it take to steam a latte sized amount of milk?
2. What is the pressure/temperature (range) of the steam boiler?
3. Is brew boiler and steam boiler temperature independently controlled?
4. Are there any issues with thermal stability? I notice it has a fairly small brew boiler capacity (0.5L), but it is fed from the 3L steam boiler, and that the group head is fully saturated. Can you make back to back espressos with consistent brew temperature?
5. How long does it take to warm up from overnight cold?
6. How do you like your espresso from the DCM?
7. How do you like operating the DCM?
8. Do you prefer 54mm pf or 58mm option?
9. Anything else remarkable about this new machine?

Thanks in advance.

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YarivK

#2: Post by YarivK »

Please see my answers below:
1. How long does it take to steam a latte sized amount of milk?
Quick - never measured but for both a one and two lattes it is done well before the espresso.
2. What is the pressure/temperature (range) of the steam boiler?
You can set it between 110C-125C (I have it at 120C)
3. Is brew boiler and steam boiler temperature independently controlled?
Yes
4. Are there any issues with thermal stability? I notice it has a fairly small brew boiler capacity (0.5L), but it is fed from the 3L steam boiler, and that the group head is fully saturated. Can you make back to back espressos with consistent brew temperature?
If you dose the same the machine is extremely consistent even with back to back espressos. I have made more than twenty back to back at one point with no problem. Keep in mind that this, as far as I understand, was not designed as a home machine.
5. How long does it take to warm up from overnight cold?
I do 30 minutes, but I think 20 min should be enough (depending on ambient temp). The slow part is getting the handle warm - the boilers are up and running in about 10 min.
6. How do you like your espresso from the DCM?
I am very very happy. Playing with flow and temp has become routine and can always improve my shots when I do it right.
7. How do you like operating the DCM?
It is very easy and well made - nothing to add here.
8. Do you prefer 54mm pf or 58mm option?
I only have the 54. Would be interested to try the 58.
9. Anything else remarkable about this new machine?
I need more specific questions :)

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radu

#3: Post by radu »

def wrote:4. Are there any issues with thermal stability? I notice it has a fairly small brew boiler capacity (0.5L), but it is fed from the 3L steam boiler, and that the group head is fully saturated. Can you make back to back espressos with consistent brew temperature?
The Mina is fed straight from the water tank (or the plumbing) with cold water, not from the 3L steam boiler. It has a very small brew boiler with a very large heating element (relative to its size). It's fed cold water at the bottom of the boiler and it draws water from the top of the boiler, through a small pipe inside the boiler. It has great stability.

You can pull back to back shots for as long as you wish.
def wrote:5. How long does it take to warm up from overnight cold?
The brew boiler is up to temp in about 7 minutes. Since the boiler is really small and made of brass (a good temperature conductor), with the grouphead integrated into the boiler, there's no reason for it to need to heat up more. Also if you leave the portafilter on while you heat up the machine, it'll be as hot as it can be in a couple of minutes after the 7' are up. So I'd say you're good to go in 10'. A couple more if you want to steam milk.
def wrote:8. Do you prefer 54mm pf or 58mm option?
I use the 54mm at 11 bar and the 58mm at 9 bar. I feel the 58mm favours fruitier, more acidic coffees (on my M68)
LMWDP #616

Tonefish
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#4: Post by Tonefish »

Curious about this machine but couldn't find much on the maker or vendor sites. Does this one adjust flow by dumping water like the GS3 MP, BDB mod, or any other HX with a hot water valve?

I also couldn't find anything on the portafilter sizes. How do you switch portafilter sizes?
LMWDP #581 .......... May your roasts, grinds, and pulls be the best!

ytchelebi

#5: Post by ytchelebi » replying to Tonefish »

You need to buy an additional 58mm kit

Peter_SVK

#6: Post by Peter_SVK »

Tonefish wrote:... How do you switch portafilter sizes?
You have to replace original 54mm difusor and shower screen in the grouphead with 58mm version from the kit. PF in the kit is also genunine, "standard" E61 58mm PF won't fit, the same for the standard 70/58mm baskets - DC requires slightly lower outer edge diameter baskets, I guess 68mm IMS B68 series could fit, but haven't tested.

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NelisB

#7: Post by NelisB »

Why would you prefer this machine over a Slayer, GS3, Rocket 9-1, synesso, KvdW etc?

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Peter_SVK

#8: Post by Peter_SVK »

I do not own Mina (just Studio), but the most likely would prefer Mina over listed ones because of compact size (vs. Slayer, GS3, KvdW, Synesso) - which is very important for me, and lower price.

Mrboots2u

#9: Post by Mrboots2u »

NelisB wrote:Why would you prefer this machine over a Slayer, GS3, Rocket 9-1, synesso, KvdW etc?
Those machines do not all do the "same" thing
Stock Gs3 and Kvdw are not flow profiling or manual pressure profiling
A Slayer has less variability in what you can ask it to do.

sluflyer06

#10: Post by sluflyer06 »

Tonefish wrote:Curious about this machine but couldn't find much on the maker or vendor sites. Does this one adjust flow by dumping water like the GS3 MP, BDB mod, or any other HX with a hot water valve?

I also couldn't find anything on the portafilter sizes. How do you switch portafilter sizes?
No it does not, it uses a digitally controlled needle valve IIRC.