[Homeroast] Espresso machine shopping

miKe mcKoffee mckona at comcast.net
Tue Dec 30 00:20:50 CST 2014

There are a fair number of good machines in the 1500-2500 range. I had the
Quick Mill Vetrano 2B on my counter for bit over a year before recently
upgrading to a Vesuvius for shot pressure profiling capabilities. It's in
your price range. The V2B can run tank or plumbed, quiet long life rotary
pump, ease of shot temperature management PID brew boiler, dual boiler, 15A
or 20A mode which allows very good steaming while pulling shot performance
since both boiler heaters can be on same time, good fit and finish, door
that flips open in back so don't have to remove top to fill tank, good sized
drip tray which can also be plumbed, and like 'em or hate 'em barista lights
that can be turned off anyway. (I loved the bling and great kitchen night
light!) Prior to the V2B I had the Vibiemme Double Domobar for a year. Good
DB machine too but when the V2B came out it had some features like 20A mode
and a couple others I preferred over the Double Domo so made the lateral
move. Prior to that Fiorenzato Bricoletta HX. IMO best HX in it's class but
got tired of temp' surfing every shot after 7 years. (it still going strong
on one of my barista's kitchen counter) 

I'd also suggest you ask your question on home-barista.com if you want a
much broader range of answers from many experienced home baristi.

Slave to the Bean miKe mcKoffee
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:

Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.

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-----Original Message-----
From: Homeroast [mailto:homeroast-bounces at lists.sweetmariascoffee.com] On
Behalf Of Starfinder Stanley
Sent: Monday, December 29, 2014 10:51 AM
To: A list to discuss home coffee roasting. There are rules for this
list,available at http://www.sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html
Subject: [Homeroast] Espresso machine shopping

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:

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....


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