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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    1

    Buying a used LaSpaziale espresso machine

    Hi group,

    I'm brand new to the group and I am just in the process of researching a mobile coffee business. I've happened upon what looks like a real nice commercial 2 group La Spaziale machine for sale. This is supposedly in real good condition, and looks like it in the photos. It is used very infrequently at a bookstore. It's about 5 years old, but they don't know what model it is or much else. Supposedly they only use it about 2 or 3 times a week. From the picture the closest current model I can find is an "Alice" It's very close, but there is an additional knob on the bottom of this machine. I haven't been able to find a lot of info on this machine on-line. They are asking $1,000, but I think I can get it for less - maybe $750. Being a complete newby to the coffee business I was thinking about more of an automatic machine, but if I can get it for $750 I'm thinking about jumping on it. I figure I can always resell it if necessary and recoup my money.

    Any thoughts about this. I receieved a reasonable new equipment estimate for pretty much everything I need & it includes an Astoria Gloria SAE1 - 1 Group Automatic Espresso Machine for $4,123 - would I be better off with something like this or can I make it work with a quality used machine?

    BTW I appologize if this posts in the wrong place, I haven't figured out the forum.



    Thanks

    Tom

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Central North Carolina
    Posts
    1,468

    Re: Buying a used LaSpaziale espresso machine

    La Spaziale makes good machines based on what I've read about them so that should be a great find for the $$$. Even though it apparently sees little use that can actually be worse for something mechanically speaking as opposed to something that is being used frequently and cleaned/maintained along the way. It is sad that people buy equipment and know/learn next to nothing about it, not even the name/model...

    Before buying it take a look at the groups, steam wands, etc. Look for wear, hard water scale buildup, etc. Activate the pump, brew some shots and that sort of thing if possible. Don't just take their word that it is all good.

    You can most definitely make your mobile setup work with a good used machine that has been taken care of. Pumps can last for years as will heating elements, etc. Parts like steam valves, groups, etc. can be rebuilt cheaply/easily as there are o-rings, gaskets that will wear with normal use.

    A semi-automatic machine is where you control the extraction by pushing a button to start the pump, then push it again to stop. An automatic is a machine that allows manual control as well as volumetric dosing, meaning a preset amount of water is dispensed when a specific button is pushed and the pump stops automatically. This can be helpful to some people, but I'm hands-on and control all extractions myself. After all, a machine doesn't know exactly when to stop a shot based on the texture, color, flow pattern, etc. In other words, there is no replacement for a well-trained barista. A fully automatic or super-auto is a machine that will grind, dose, tamp, dispense water and sometimes even steam milk for you. This would be OK for somebody not wanting to be very involved and still have decent, consistent results. These will typically be quite expensive and still require cleaning/preventive maintenance like most other machines. Later!
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    659

    Re: Buying a used LaSpaziale espresso machine

    http://s1cafe.com/

    head for that website and you will be introduced to a lot of Spaz owners who can give you the needed info.
    lots of great people there!!
    Good Luck!
    Charlie
    Charlie
    If you are afraid of failure or losing money, quit while you are ahead

 

 

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