Time from cold until ready to brew

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#1: Post by PigSnack »

I see many machines being used with timers. This problem had not occurred to me before as I have been a La Pavoni user for the past 15 years. My machine is ready to go in about 5 minutes. I am wanting to up my game with a better machine, but don't like the idea of 30+ minute warmups... and I would rather avoid a clunky high current timer. What kind of warm up times am I looking at with the pro-sumer category machines? I realize this is a very broad question. So maybe... what are examples of some of the quicker high end machines?

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#2: Post by HB »

Most the E61 prosumer espresso machines are in the 25 minute range. You can knock off as much as 10 minutes by flushing early in the warmup cycle, but it throws off the temperature of the first couple extractions. All of the espresso machines reviewed on this site require 25 minutes or more.
Dan Kehn

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#3: Post by RapidCoffee »

PigSnack wrote:...I have been a La Pavoni user for the past 15 years. My machine is ready to go in about 5 minutes.
5 minutes?! :shock: Have you got a turbocharger in your Pavoni? I've got three lever machines in my kitchen (two are Lever Smackdown loaners). The Pavoni Europiccola takes about twice as long as that to heat up (around 10 minutes). The Gaggia Factory G106 and the Elektra spring lever, with their larger boilers, each take about 12 minutes.

By way of contrast, my Vetrano comes up to full pressure in around 4 minutes. But as Dan indicated, it's not ready to pull a good shot for at least twenty minutes, based on grouphead thermometer readings and taste. 30 minutes is a safer bet. If you want a big, thermally stable prosumer machine, you just gotta wait for it... or leave it on 24/7.

PigSnack (original poster)

#4: Post by PigSnack (original poster) »

RapidCoffee wrote:5 minutes?! :shock: Have you got a turbocharger in your Pavoni?
No foolin. My La Pavonis are filled ahead of time so the water is always at room temperature at the start and I only fill the tanks halfway to get a "dryer" steam for frothing. Here's something that'll make you guys cringe... I pre-heat milk in the microwave before finishing it off with steam. The La Pavoni doesn't produce microfoam anyway... so why not. I'm able to inject enough air in this fashion to give the milk a reasonable amount of body for my taste. It's one of the reasons I think I would like a better setup... something that makes me *want* to put forth more effort. But I love my LPs. I have two and they were both purchased for less than $500.

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#5: Post by cannonfodder »

A LaPavoni will make some quite nice microfoam actually, it just takes some practice. They are fast steamers so it can be a challenging. 5 minutes sounds very fast. You must pull some water through the group to help heat it before your shots, or you have coffee that works good at extreme low temperatures.

The big box heat exchanger or double boiler machines can be run from a timer. I use to have my machine click on at 6am, I was ready for coffee around 7. The size of the machine will dictate how fast it heats to usable temperature. As Dan states, 25 minutes is about as soon as you will be able to get a decent shot, a half hour or more is better. The big machines, like the VBM Domobar Super, Elektra A3, LaMarzocco GS3, will take substantially longer. An hour is about right for them, or just leave it on 24/7 which is what I do now a days.
Dave Stephens


#6: Post by mb514 »

It is important to note that there is a big difference between a machine that is at the proper pressure and one that is at the right temperature. My Giotto may report proper pressure (i.e., 1.2 bar on the gauge) after 10 minutes or so, but making a coffee at this point would be disastrous. I let it sit for at least an additional 20-30 minutes to let the entire machine reach the proper temperature. If you upgrade your machine, you will likely need to do the same, but I would suspect that your current machine may benefit from the same treatment.

Once you come to appreciate the difference in the quality of the coffee, you will certainly find a way to allow the necessary warm-up. My wife and I have an an understanding that who ever is awake first turns on the machine before anything else. This allows about 30-45 minutes on average before the first shots. Timers would work as well.

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#7: Post by cafeIKE »

The group on a Vibiemme HX takes about 52 minutes to flatline. A bit longer for the DB. If a couple of tea towels are placed over the group, depending on the ambient temperature, that can be cut to as little as 15 minutes, with 25 being a safe bet.

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#8: Post by uscfroadie »

You could always shorten the time by running water through the group to drastically speed up the "ready" time. On occasion I do this on my PIDd Alexia, and many folks do it on their Silvia; "Cheating Miss Silvia".

Ian, do you have stats on getting your Vibiemme up to brew temp (meaning the entire path, not just the boiler) from a cold start? I think you have the thermosyphon in place and am curious how quickly you could get it ready to pull a shot by flushing as many times as needed once the boiler reaches the top of the cycle to get the entire brew path up to normal operating temps. I predict a WAG of under 15 minutes.

Happy Holidays to all....

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#9: Post by HB »

uscfroadie wrote:I predict a WAG of under 15 minutes.
Without measuring, I predict you're right. For La Valentina, a long flush midway through the warmup cycle lopped off at least 5 minutes.
Dan Kehn

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#10: Post by mhoy »

I usually place my coffee cleaning cloth on the group head to keep it off the counter. The towel is certainly toasty in the morning as the timer has kicked on at 6:30 and I'm not likely to use the machine until 7:15. Cooling flushes on the Elektra T1/A3 are like a steam breathing dragon. :D Without some measurement tools I can't say how much quicker the head warms up.