[Homeroast] Espresso machine shopping

Starfinder Stanley coffee at starf.org
Mon Dec 29 15:14:58 CST 2014


TDS have tested out of the wells at 70-115 mg/l with hardness at 4-5 gpg.
The calcite filter and softener are to get the pH up from its initial 6-6.2
so it doesn't eat the pipes, and to remedy the metals which add a notable
flavor to the raw water.

I've been told rotary pumps and pistons are more sensitive to stuff in the
water....

On Mon, Dec 29, 2014 at 12:03 PM, Michael Koenig <koenig.mike at gmail.com>
wrote:

> I've been very happy with my Fiorenzato Volante I've had for about 5 years
> now.  It's the plumbed in rotary version with the lever operated E61
> group.  At $1500 for a plumbed in rotary machine, it's a pretty good deal.
> The only grumble is that parts aren't as easy to order online like some
> more popular machines, but the US office of the company is here in NJ, and
> a call to the sometimes grumpy guy there gets me what I need.
>
> I like having an HX vs a dual boiler, which lets me adjust shot temps by
> flushing. It's not a lever piston machine, but I don't want that level of
> control when I'm half asleep in the morning.
>
> As far as water goes, if you are KCl softening, are you sure your TDS is
> low?  Usually if you need to soften, the TDS  out of  the softener is
> pretty high.
>
> I run my softened water through an RO unit, then a large calcite cartridge
> to add some minerals back (for taste, so the boiler auto fill works, and so
> I don't dissolve my boiler).
>
> --mike
>
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> > On Dec 29, 2014, at 1:50 PM, Starfinder Stanley <coffee at starf.org>
> wrote:
> >
> > Well, after a dozen years of labor, my little Salvatore Famosa espresso
> > machine seems to be teetering on its last legs... and it's had a
> > centipede's life, with me replacing solenoids a few times and a boiler
> > element that burned out after the leaky steam solenoid ran the boiler dry
> > (oops!).  Now the backflush valve is failing along with yet another
> > solenoid...  So I'm looking at replacing it, and considering my options,
> > which have expanded considerably in the last 10 years....
> >
> > Thinking about a spring-lever piston driven machine vs the vibrational
> (or
> > rotary) pump versions; I learned to pull espresso on my dad's old Conti
> > lever machine, and always loved that beastie (though not so much when it
> > was time to refill the boiler ---that was a real PITA!).
> >
> > Salvatore (an Italian immigrant who hand-builds his machines in southern
> > california) is making a spring-lever version now, which looks
> interesting.
> > Also, a friend pointed out that Bezzera, whose founder apparently
> invented
> > the espresso machine in 1901, is making a small spring-lever machine for
> > home use as well:
> >
> http://www.wholelattelove.com/products/bezzera-strega-lever-espresso-machine
> >
> > I also see that SM's has 2 more robust options on the site, though one is
> > out of stock; one down side is that neither can be plumbed in, which I
> > would like the option to do eventually.
> >
> > Does anybody have suggestions or warnings about machines in this price
> > range (1500-2500) and spring-lever piston vs vibrational pumps etc?
> > Arguments for or against double boiler machines like the La Spaziale
> > Vivaldi or Izzo Duetto III?
> >
> > While I'm asking, how about filtration systems for well water for plumbed
> > in machines?  We have pretty good quality well water than runs through a
> > calcite filter and KCl softener to take out iron/Mg/Mn/Ca, comes out
> pretty
> > low in dissolved solids.  Reservoir machines allow you to use more
> pristine
> > water (distilled, RO, etc), but I have always disliked having my coffee
> > made with water that's been sitting in a heated plastic container....
> >
> > Thanks!
> >
> > ...Starfinder
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