HX espresso machine owners: Do you still have upgraditis?

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HX espresso machine owners: Do you still have upgraditis?

Total votes: 96


#1: Post by CoffeeBuzz »

I am selling my dear Silvia and looking at a QuickMill Anita/Andreja or a Mini Vivaldi II, but I want this to be my LAST upgrade. I need more consistency than I can get from Silvia and am not intimidated by the cooling flush of an HX, but I don't know how I will feel about it after a year or two.

In the long run, I've found it's cheaper to buy what you really want than it is to trade up over and over again. (Don't ask.) :?

So, my question to HX owners is: Do you still have upgraditis? Or did your HX cure it forever?

PS, I have granite countertops so plumbing in would be problematic, unless I could leverage the existing RO faucet... Maybe that is a subject for another thread?

Thanks for your advice.



#2: Post by Spresso_Bean »

For the HX debate, I love mine and don't see myself ever upgrading unless of course I win the lottery or something like that. It works great and does whatever I can imagine myself needing it to do. Steaming and pulling shots at the same time is really nice if you make milk drinks.

Just a suggestion for the plumbing - could you run it up the wall behind the backsplash so that you don't need to drill into the granite? Some people have the same granite slabs as the backsplash, but if not then that might be a better solution for running your lines.


#3: Post by zin1953 »

Yes, I do, BUT . . .

only because I have a pour-over, HX tank machine, and I now lust over an HX plumbed-in model.
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.


#4: Post by caeffe »

I don't have upgraditis - at least not in the same vein as going from a hx single boiler to a double boiler. I am content with my NS Oscar which is a HX single boiler.

I am however seeing the allure of manual lever - which may be a downgrade - depending on one's point of view. Although I still am awaiting my recently 'bayd LaPavoni, reading here and tasting the results from a coffee shop which uses a commercial lever has me thinking that there's something to be said about going back to basics. Don't get me wrong - it is convenient to use my Oscar but I do think there's something about being able to control or maybe lack of control. Maybe I'll change my mind when i get the LaPavoni and use it after a while but i'm already eyeing for a Cremina - anybody want to trade one for a Mazzer Major or NS Oscar? :-)

I view it akin to cameras. At one time, if you were a pro you used a manual focus, manual exposure camera - think Nikon F/F2/F3 vs F4/F5/F6 or even Hassy. Or cars with manual transmission and no stability control.

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#5: Post by edwa »


Like you I considered the myriad of choices to take from Silvia. I had requested Dan to start the thread asking what the upgrade path from Ms. S was. After weeding thru information overload I made my choice. Did it stop upgradeitis? Yes and no. Its part of my personality to wonder about the road not taken. What if I had gotten one of the good Brewtus IIs or maybe my wife wouldn't have completely freaked out about the size of a Vivaldi II. Actually, I'm quite content but the path getting there took some evolution on the part of my skills, attitude, and some other factors.

For me, the upgrade required some preliminary steps: installation of a soft water system, and then I wanted to be free of refilling the tank, heck I wanted to be free of draining the drain pan. Like you I have granite counters, at the time less than a year old and my wife was going to kill me if I put another hole in them. Fortunately, I had tile backsplashes so I was able to run a copper tube thru the grout inbetween two tiles that led from the pressure regulator. It was easier than I had imagined. I never thought I'd be able to plumb the drain pan but I was further impressed by how far I could run a clear acrylic tube from the pan to the sink edge with a minimal height change. Its further hidden from view by the grinder. A plumbed supply line and a plumbed drain pan are heaven!

Post purchase upgrades: I already had a naked PF but the desire to master the flush and temp range had me purchasing and installing Eric's adapter and a Fuji controller that is used only for read-out. I still yearn for a more precise sense by using a Scace's thermofilter but part of my evolution was to let go of some of that. Your experience will be yours. ;-) If only I could rent a thermofilter for a week! Fortunately the price tag of it and a proper meter prevent me from slipping down that slope. Last thing I upgraded was getting a scale for the express purpose of cutting down some waste. I'm only willing to go as far as measuring the beans before I grind them. Oh yeah, if you don't have them 15-20 amp GFI's, a timer, and a surge protector.

Next surprise was the beans I had used for quite some time on the Silvia no longer made the grade on the new rig. The year long journey of discovering a new favorite was pleasurable indeed, but unexpected. I'd thought my favorite on the Silvia would crossover.

My usage of an espresso machine changed. I make more espresso, and 5 oz capps. Before I only used Ms S for my needs, an occasional espresso and a couple of daily Americanos. Now, besides my espresso and capps, I make Americanos for the missus.

Hearing about these other factors before and after the upgrade is probably not the answer you wanted. You wanted to hear if a PID'd single boiler was going to be enough, or after learning to love an Hx if I wished I had gotten a double boiler, or if I secretly craved a lever? I'm cured, but as John Lennon sang, "Life is what happens when you're making other plans." OR, "never say never." Without calling you grasshopper I can only say part of the answer lies within you. Is your mattress the top, top, top of the line and do you rotate it regularly? Is your car stock? Even though you listen to CD's do you still spin vinyl on a turntable as expensive as a car? Any plastic surgery? :wink: Oh, stop laughing.

Lastly, if you don't already have a grinder to meet the demands, that'll be another integral part of the upgrade.

I'm not at home to give you a better photo on how the copper comes out of the grout so this is the best I can do.

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Team HB

#6: Post by RapidCoffee »

CoffeeBuzz wrote:So, my question to HX owners is: Do you still have upgraditis? Or did your HX cure it forever?
I voted no because, after nearly two years, I'm still very pleased with my Vetrano. But cured forever? Not a chance. Eventually a new machine will appear that catches my eye, and upgraditis will rear its ugly head once again... :roll:


#7: Post by joellawry »

Well, i have been living with a fully commercial Expobar for two months, and already Im looking for a new machine.

Upgraditis may possibly be cured when i have all of the following;

1) Synesso Cyncra 2grp
2) Kees van der Westen Idrocompresso 2 grp
3)Cremina 2002
4)Mazzer Robur
5)Versalab M3 Grinder
6)Professional large capacity roaster
7)Vacuum brewer of good quality
8)Drip machine of good quality
9)French press of good quality

so don't take my example as normal, besides im only 16, got years of upgrades ahead :P

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#8: Post by mrgnomer »

I started with a Silvia/Rocky combo and ugrade fever was killing me in less than a year. I too wanted an upgrade to cure the fever.

My first choice as an Elektra A3 but after trying one next to a Vetrano I went with the Vetrano. It was a choice of cost vs. the espresso quality at the time. I didn't get any better espresso from the Elektra than with the Vetrano and for the cost the Vetrano is a solid machine.

One tinge of regret I have is that I had the chance to upgrade to the Macap MXKR stepless conical burr and went with the M4 dosered stepless. Then it was a matter of cost vs. performance as well but I sometimes think the conical might have made a difference, Titan Grinder Project not withstanding.

After almost 2 years with the Vetrano and M4 stepless no hint of upgrade fever. What caught me was wanting to upgrade roasters and getting into lever machines. :roll:

It was more experience roasting and getting better as a home barista, I think, that really improved the quality and consistency of my espresso. I'm finding a good e61 lever HX is a great machine to grow into.

This cured the fever but my wife will take away my credit cards if I keep getting more :wink:

LMWDP #116

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#9: Post by Ardvaark »

When I got my Brewtus II, it was after months and months of agonizing research, and I was stepping up from a stovetop. I like to do big things in the right way, so I saved my money and read and read and read. I had no friends who were really taking the espresso "journey", so I couldn't go play on their machines; instead I spent a lot of time lurking here and at other sites, and learning from others' discussions and upgrades. And then I finally bought a machine. I'm amazed at how far I've come, and I'm amazed at how much farther it seems I have to go. I feel like the machine is still so far ahead of my limited skill that it'll take a decade before I'm tempted to upgrade. And the Brewtus is considered a very easy machine, compared to the typical SB-HX.

But there's still other things: My Gaggia MDF grinder seems woefully inadequate now. I'd love to plumb in the machine some day (which you can do pretty easily on a BII). It'll probably eventually get a grouphead temperature sensor, and maybe a PID upgrade if I ever get to the point where my palate is sensitive enough to care about minor variations in temperature beyond what the Brewtus already prevents. Someday I'm sure I'll pop for a pressurestat, to more accurately calibrate my brew pressure.

But that's all in the future. I think my upgrade-itis has shifted, pushing me towards what will be the best coffee-return on my money-investment. If upgrading X or buying a new Y will make that happen, that's what I currently lust after. Although, at the moment, I still have so much ground to cover learning the machine that no upgrade seems worth it. It's what CoffeeBuzz said: I think it's cheaper to buy what you really want than to upgrade over and over.

My wife and bank account are both thankful.

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#10: Post by narc »

Maybe an upgrade to a commercial 2 group lever machine. I've retired the IsomacTea after ~6years of 24/7 on and daily use except when on vacation. After ~5years of use based on taste & maintenance I prefer the Elektra Micro Casa a Leva (MCaL). Shots pulled from this lever machine are distinctly different than the Tea's espresso. The Tea replacement is a Ponte Vecchio Lusso 2 (PVL). Espresso pulled have characteristics closer to the Tea. The "maybe an upgrade" is primarily dependent on the quality/characteristics of the espresso pulled and the reality of $$$$s.
LMWDP #151