Using American 120v espresso machine in Japan 100v

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CoffeeInJapan

#1: Post by CoffeeInJapan »

I saw an older thread on this topic but it is now closed. It didn't end with a success story, so I am wondering if anyone has more recent experience.

I am considering a GEVI that is 120v, however we have 100v at home. 60hz in western Japan, same as USA, so that is not a factor.

I don't mind waiting a bit longer for the machine to heat up, as long as there is enough power to pull a nice shot with crema.

The 30-year-old machine I have now works, but the shot is almost always crema. It could be the power, or could be the age of the machine. I don't know.

Does anyone have a success story using an American machine in Japan?

romlee
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#2: Post by romlee »

I can't speak for those with more recent experience, but we had a 110/120v Baby Gaggia (purchased in Seattle) when we lived in Tokyo (Suginami-ku Nishi Eifuku) in the early 2000's. It was about 10 years old then and lasted for another 5 years after moving back to the US. Had no problems with it at all. The machine was on an analog timer that switched on about an hour before I got up.
“Be curious, not judgemental.” T. Lasso

PeetsFan

#3: Post by PeetsFan »

I don't want to derail this, but that GEVI machine does not look very good at all. In the lower cost machine market, Breville seems to be the winner, and there are 1 or 2 others. But there are a lot of cheap espresso makers that just aren't very good. The Breville Bambino Plus is low cost, and you can get exceptional results when you pair it with a good grinder and freshly roasted coffee beans (roasted 5 to 21 days ago). I know it's more expensive than the GEVI, but you'll get much better results.

CoffeeInJapan (original poster)

#4: Post by CoffeeInJapan (original poster) replying to PeetsFan »

Thanks for the advice. I have a chance to buy an unused GEVI for $100 and am tempted, though buying a machine that doesn't do the job would be frustrating.

CoffeeInJapan (original poster)

#5: Post by CoffeeInJapan (original poster) »

romlee wrote:I can't speak for those with more recent experience, but we had a 110/120v Baby Gaggia (purchased in Seattle) when we lived in Tokyo (Suginami-ku Nishi Eifuku) in the early 2000's. It was about 10 years old then and lasted for another 5 years after moving back to the US. Had no problems with it at all. The machine was on an analog timer that switched on about an hour before I got up.
That's the kind of story I would like to hear, thanks.
I think my Proteo is just so old there is no hope without doing some electronic maintenance I am incapable of.

CoffeeInJapan (original poster)

#6: Post by CoffeeInJapan (original poster) »

PeetsFan wrote:I don't want to derail this, but that GEVI machine does not look very good at all. In the lower cost machine market, Breville seems to be the winner, and there are 1 or 2 others. But there are a lot of cheap espresso makers that just aren't very good. The Breville Bambino Plus is low cost, and you can get exceptional results when you pair it with a good grinder and freshly roasted coffee beans (roasted 5 to 21 days ago). I know it's more expensive than the GEVI, but you'll get much better results.
In Japan the GEVI is around ¥37,000, whereas the Breville Bambino is ¥70,000, about the same as a basic Gaggia. All three have smaller footprints, which would be better for our counter. My grinder already takes up some space. I was given a super automatic Saeco once but it had too many issues and after many attempts at repairing it I gave up on it. Did a good job for about a month though.

User avatar
Jeff
Team HB

#7: Post by Jeff »

Virtually all of the "15 bar" or "20 bar" machines in that price range are unable to reliably produce good espresso. If you want good espresso on a budget, I'd suggest a Cafelat Robot or Flair 58, or the Breville.

If those are not attractive, a moka pot can produce good, strong coffee. Any of a number of manual drippers can produce excellent coffee.

User avatar
BaristaBoy E61

#8: Post by BaristaBoy E61 replying to Jeff »


+1

Very solid, honest advice.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

CoffeeInJapan (original poster)

#9: Post by CoffeeInJapan (original poster) »

Jeff wrote:Virtually all of the "15 bar" or "20 bar" machines in that price range are unable to reliably produce good espresso. If you want good espresso on a budget, I'd suggest a Cafelat Robot or Flair 58, or the Breville.

If those are not attractive, a moka pot can produce good, strong coffee. Any of a number of manual drippers can produce excellent coffee.
I was starting to get that feeling regarding that price point. Our office has a mid-range DeLonghi that needs repair every 3-4 years. It makes espresso but nothing to write home about.

I use the Hario 60 pourover 5 days a week, but I do like a cappuccino every now and then.

CoffeeInJapan (original poster)

#10: Post by CoffeeInJapan (original poster) »

Below is my question/response with GEVI (bold emphasis is mine). It is a reminder that as companies move on to AI there are plenty of places where it will fail and give inaccurate responses. I could see this bad advice leading to the waste of a lot of money.

I am now looking at the Breville...


My question to GEVI:
I see from the description on your website the Gevi machines are 120v. Japan has 100v.

GECME403L-U is listed on Amazon.jp and I am interested in it but hesitant.

Will it still be able to pull a good shot of espresso?

GEVI:

(list of 10 ways to make espresso better)


My 2nd question:

Thank you for the tips, but you really did not address my question:

Does a 120v machine work well enough in a 100v country?

GEVI:
Generally our products are 220V for US voltage. The product we sell for Japanese voltage is about 110V, so you can use it.

My 3rd question:
Are you a person or AI?

Perhaps AI, since any person would know that US voltage is 120v, not 220v.

GEVI:
Sorry for the misunderstanding with our autoreply.


In fact, our American machine has a voltage of 120V. The voltage in Japan is generally 100-110V. Although the voltage difference is not large, we do not recommend that you directly use our products sold in the United States. Instead, we recommend using our products specifically for the Japanese market. Thank you for your understanding.