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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    May 2010
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    WHICH ESPRESSO MACHINE WOULD YOU CHOOSE FOR A MOBILE SHOP?

    [attachment=0:28xnzxdh]astoria.jpg[/attachment:28xnzxdh]Hi,

    We are opening a mobile cafe in the Chicago area and are needing to buy a commercial 2 group espresso machine, preferrably slightly used....it would be a moderate volume location...
    Our question is out of the 2 machines below, which is the better deal???

    -and with the Astoria looking like it has had more wear and tear, would it be worth the low price if repair is needed?


    #1: "Astoria" commercial espresso coffee machine. Two group. 220volts. Complete. Measurements: 28" (W) x 21" (D) x 19 1/2" (H). I think it is from "Argenta" line, but I am unsure and the seller doesn't seem to be for sure as well. I have included a pic if anyone can identify this model. Asking $750.00...looking to offer probably $500.

    #2: Wega Atlas EVD - Asking $3250....but looking to spend about half this.

    Any help or advice anyone can give with experience would be a blessing!!


    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2007
    Location
    Salt Lake City
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    1,044

    Re: WHICH ESPRESSO MACHINE WOULD YOU CHOOSE FOR A MOBILE SHOP?

    Short answer A:
    The Astoria is potentially a bit better machine.... but you need to know what shape it's in before purchasing. You can probably replace all seals, filter screens, clean boiler, etc. for a relatively small amount, but I would want to know condition of pump and make sure no corrosion on any electrical, which would mean a larger problem. Check your local espresso tech (unless you do it yourself) and make sure you have parts/service available for that particular machine.


    Short Answer B: I would purchase based on a machine (brand) of known quality, and find the best price you can on that particular machine. Purchasing based on price first is a poor way to start your operation.

    You should know whether X or Y is a good machine and why you are buying it. The espresso machine AND grinder is central to your operation. If you are worrying about a few thousand dollars here and there on your most crucial piece of equipment, that decision may bite you in the future.

    In the end, you want people to return to you because they love your coffee AND you have a machine that can deliver it for years to come. Chicago is a competitive place when it comes to espresso. Do your homework and then decide.
    John Piquet
    caffe d'bolla
    Salt Lake City, UT
    caffedbolla.com

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    May 2010
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    10

    Re: WHICH ESPRESSO MACHINE WOULD YOU CHOOSE FOR A MOBILE SHOP?

    John- Thank you so much for your thoughtful and thoroughness in your answers. I tend to trust the Astoria brand as well. The feedback on an open forum I think is helpful for my first machine purchasing. We also have a friend that owns a successful coffee shop in Geneva that is offering guidance on many things as well! I completely agree with you about investing in a quality machine to start a good business....and to avoid issues later on. Again, thanks so much for your input.....I think I will go look at the Astoria....maybe it could be a great bargain!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2004
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    Des Moines, Iowa
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    Re: WHICH ESPRESSO MACHINE WOULD YOU CHOOSE FOR A MOBILE SHOP?

    Astoria and Wega are both made by CMA and even though are different lines both machines are pretty much the same under the hood. A lot of parts on them are interchangeable.

    If I were to have to pick from either machine I would look at the previous usage along with maintenance logs. The other key factor is age. I'm not one for buying something that maybe be close to 10 years old. So keep in mind that in mind when your looking at these machines.

    Right now the average cost of rebuilding (a complete overhaul) most 2 group espresso machines ranges from $1,500 to $2,500 in the Midwest. At that price plus the cost of purchasing it you might be better off buying a low end starter machine such as a Rancilio Epoca. http://www.1st-line.com/machines/comm_m ... .htm#epoca

    The thing to remember is this machine is going to be your bread and butter. If it breaks and or breaks often are you going to be able to keep the doors open? Is it really worth $750 if it has been ran hard? I'm in the repair business and tell people quite often to put your money into a good investment. Buy a new espresso machine, ice machine, and new refrigerators. Everything else can be used if you want but those key items are all very pricey to repair on the fly and will nickel and dime you to death.
    Have you ever walked through the aisle of your local grocer and smelled the death of a dying bean?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2004
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    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia/Bukit Sentul, West Java
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    Re: WHICH ESPRESSO MACHINE WOULD YOU CHOOSE FOR A MOBILE SHOP?

    indeed CMA makes both astoria (the argenta pictured) and WEGA...same factory- many of the same parts. So it does all come down to preference and the service history of the two machines. Either way, I would for sure breakdown, strip and clean either machine- if I brought one of them. A complete stripdown means checking and removing calcification- I would also replace seals (both gasket in the groups) as well as shower screens, seals (if evidence of leaking indicated by green/white buildup). the level probe/water level sensor. It is perhaps a good sign the argenta is pictured with a softener which, hopefully,has been used!
    Merdeka Coffee (Indonesian Coffee Roasters and relationship coffee specialists) - Antipodean (Coffee - Cafe - Culture)

  6. #6
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    Re: WHICH ESPRESSO MACHINE WOULD YOU CHOOSE FOR A MOBILE SHOP?

    Thank you for all your advice guys! In the end I decided on a nuova simonelli 2 group, for $1400 off craigslist and even got a grinder thrown in. It definitely works! I hope it was a good choice, I got an opinion from a local coffee roaster before purchasing and he seemed to think this was a great deal! Any advice or insight on this machine would help as well!

    Again, thanks for everyone's advice thus far!!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2005
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    Central North Carolina
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    Re: WHICH ESPRESSO MACHINE WOULD YOU CHOOSE FOR A MOBILE SHOP?

    IMHO Nuova Simonelli makes great machines. Would be of more help if we knew the exact model of machine. I own/use daily a NS Aurelia 2 group and it is phenomenal to work on. Definitely designed with the barista in mind. HX machines get a bad rep sometimes for not being temperature stable, flushing needed, etc. Well that isn't the case with the Aurelia. I recently put it to a small test for temp. stability and the end result blew me away. On another forum somebody posted wanting to know if it's possible to pull 12 oz. through an espresso machine group for a really long black coffee sort of drink. Questions regarding water temperature came up and I did this on my machine. Started by pulling 10 oz. of water into a cup with a digital thermometer poked through one side of a thick 12 oz. hot cup. Water started out at 199 degrees and topped out at 200. Perfect even at the end of a 10 oz. pull. Then I waited 30 seconds, pulled 2 oz. and the temp. was 198. Repeated and the temp. was 196. Repeated once more and still at 196 degrees. To pull this much water through 1 group in such a short period of time and still have temps. that stable impressed me. Did the same thing on the 2nd group with identical results.

    I will say pretty much anything Nuova Simonelli makes is really good. I don't think they make their own grinders as I have read a company named Eureka does that, but their MDX grinder we have in our van is flawless. No bells and whistles, but just a great workhorse grinder.

    Will also add that I've had the pleasure of working on 2 La Marzocco machines (what most people consider to be the gold standard in commercial machines), one being a Linea and the other being an FB/80. Both worked great, but I still like the user friendliness/features of the Aurelia. Later!
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    May 2010
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    10

    Re: WHICH ESPRESSO MACHINE WOULD YOU CHOOSE FOR A MOBILE SHOP?

    Thank you shadow for your insight! The model for my Nuova is the MAC2000.

    The grinder that got thrown in the deal...part of negotiationg ....did not have a brand on it, but just some Italian wording on a sticker at the bottom. I plan to purchase a different grinder w/ in the next few months as well, but it was nice to get it all for a good price.

 

 

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