[Homeroast] Espresso machine shopping

Michael Koenig koenig.mike at gmail.com
Mon Dec 29 16:27:55 CST 2014


Any idea what you are getting after your treatment system, since that is what your machine will be getting fed?  

--mike

Sent from my iPhone

> On Dec 29, 2014, at 4:14 PM, Starfinder Stanley <coffee at starf.org> wrote:
> 
> 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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