la marzocca scandal

common_grounds

New member
Sep 5, 2004
3
0
Southern Indiana
other websites seem to think that all high class baristas are using these machines, but i don't see a single one mentioned on this forum.

why?

advocate to your heart's content, i would love the info.

(if you think your brand is better, discuss the details. details baby, details)
 

espressomaniac

New member
Jul 8, 2004
67
0
Tacoma
I agree

Some people think that if you are paying more, you are getting better quality, this is NOT the case in the espresso machine industry. If you are importing large quanitities, or if you don't have a huge overhead, in theory, you should be able to find any espresso machine line to be affordable depending upon who you go through.

The one thing marsoco has going for them is their network supporting where they are installed, other then that, there is nothing superior about their line, they have NO features that can't be found on other machines, and indeed, many features we are looking at now a days are for those extreem power users, or those that don't mind having yet another thing that can and eventually will break.

If you want to debate machines, I'd say to go with the Conti line, it's mainly about the basics, ie. boiler/heating element size and general quality in how each part is assembled. I could focus along sitting one down, pointing everything out between the 2 from the o rings to the drip pan, but, if you were to get into it this far, you'd have to be a tech to understand most of it.

The bottom line, la marsoco is a good machine, so is conti, you are just looking for price and eventually, parts availability. Any good barrista can make decent espresso on any mid range, to high end espresso machine as long as the machine is maintained and tuned up and of course the beans and grind are in place.
 

ElPugDiablo

New member
Jul 16, 2004
991
0
Hartford and New Haven, CT
One of the key selling points for Marzocco is the double boiler system, other than Marzocco and Conti Twinstar 2, no other machine has this feature. Many believe double boiler system offers better tempreature stablization for pulling espresso.
 

Chelle

New member
Sep 14, 2004
26
0
I was very interested in checking out the marzocco for my business, but I'm having a really hard time finding a dealer. The only place I found was through a consultant company, who required their consulting service as part of the deal! Sounded kinda shady to me :twisted:
 

nzroaster

New member
Jul 28, 2004
85
0
Qld, Australia
"One of the key selling points for Marzocco is the double boiler system, other than Marzocco and Conti Twinstar 2, no other machine has this feature. Many believe double boiler system offers better tempreature stablization for pulling espresso."

May want to look into this further. Double boiler system has many down sides which are not mentioned often.

Here I go without getting too technical.

With a double boiler system you have a boiler for the group head. A single boiler system uses a heat exchanger for the group head.

1) By having the water come in direct contact with an element you are changing its phsical make-up.(can taste stale). with a heat exchange unit water is heated without contact to the element.

2) The capacity of a boiler is in the vicinity of 1L (from memory on the marzocca). The capacity of a heat exchange unit is closer to 75mL (Cimbali).

3) Therefore, unless you are making a constant 1000mL/25mL = 40 shots in the time it takes to heat the boiler, you are essentially double boiling the water, and the change of tempreture in the boiler is altering more dramatically. This is where I argue the point that double boiler systems provide a more uniform temp and pressure.

This is a purely technical viewpoint, but in my opinion, buy a single boiler system. And if you want a great machine go La Cimbali!!!
 

Chelle

New member
Sep 14, 2004
26
0
Thank you for the logical, yet complicated explanation. you must be the Cimbali rep :lol: Nonetheless, I am going to look into Cimbali...know any good dealers?
 

BOOSTERBEAN

New member
Sep 28, 2004
5
0
SEATTLE, WA
MARZOCCA 3 AND 4 GROUP USED MACHINES Starting at $2500.00

Hi everyone,

I wanted to take this opportunity to mention that I am a broker in Seattle with access to 3 and 4 group used La Marzocca Automatics and both the Swift Auto grinder doser and the Jolly Mazzers. All machines are refurbished and are being offered for a nominal cost,custom powder coated in brilliant colors such as Candy Apple Red and Saphire Blue as well as Pacific Green. I am the only broker offering these used machines and accessories at these prices. I am a small company and these wont last long as most are going to Japan. Contact me immediately for information, details and specs on what I have in stock. Many thanks to a great group of members who stick together and make things happen in this industry.

Boosterbean
 

phaelon56

New member
Sep 25, 2003
74
0
Syracuse NY
I don't sell espresso machines and have no agenda but I love espresso, drink it every day, read and research it and make it a point to seek out cafes wherever I visit. Go to the leading independent coffee houses and espresso cafes in the US - the ones that are widely regarded as being on the cutting edge in terms of drink quality, consistency, innovation etc. You'll find la Marzocco's in either all of them or nearly every single one.

Cimbali, Conti, Rio, Astoria (same machines as Rio) and others are solid respectable companies that make high quality equipment. The big difference (which is apparently available in one Conti machine as well) is the double boiler system.

The water is NOT "double boiled". The ideal temperature for brewing espresso is generally considered to be 199 to 203 degrees F (depending on tastes and bean type). Steam boilers operate well over the 212 F boling point of water in order to build adequate pressure. When you use steam or draw off hot water for Americano's it causes more cold or room temp water, sometimes a substantial amount, to be drawn into the steam boiler to be heated. You'll always get steam but the heat exchanger tube that passes the brew boiler water through to heat it will be subjected to wided temperature variations.

Temp fluctuations mean the results are less consistent and often not as good. If the HX (heat exchanger) mahcien has been idel for awhile the water temp for brewing may be too hot. If you draw many shots in succession it may be too cold. Dual bolier mahcines have a spearate brew bolr that is designed to stay at the right brewing temp all the time and only small amounst of water are drawn off per shot, therefore the temperature is more stable.

I can't speak to the availability of parts and support for brands other than La Marzocco but I've been doing repair work on them now for about three or four months and their customer service and support has been outstanding. My job is doing back line customer support for networkign products and I've done various service related jobs for years - ESI is really, really good at what they do.

As for used/refurbished machines.... if you have the skills or aptitude to do repair and maintenance work yourself they can save you lots of money. Otherwise it's a good idea to consider buying a new machine.

Go to the Barista's Guild Forum of the SCAA web site and pose this same question. That's where a lot of active industry pro's post and discuss things on-line. You'll find an overwhelming consensus there in favor of La Marzocco.
 

espressomaniac

New member
Jul 8, 2004
67
0
Tacoma
the bottom line

Lets cut the crap here. Their is 2 things going on and one reason the double boiler is nice to have but not necessary for most operations. It's about volume and recovery time. In theory, the double boiler system is designed to have one handle the steam, the other to handle the shots, nothing more, no need to get into technical details over it. If you are going with any espresso machine, you want parts availabity and have any mainstream operation being able to acquire and service them on the fly. LM doesn't have this, in fact, they have a contract with Starbucks making it a more exclusive machine line to them. Hell yes they have support, but open up your yellow pages and find a local tech to work on them, forget it, you have to play games, jump through the hoops and generally are forced to inventory a large portion of the parts to have on hand "just in case" it does and will break down.

I have to say, I'm biased to the Conti line if someone is looking for something high end, and I'd like to see a single comparable LM beat any Conti machine based upon performance and quality alone. For the record, and this is in sinc with the most of the prior posts, you do not need a double boiler.,not for a new start up and even then, only if you are dealing with extreem volumes and even then you have money to burn for toys and don't mind having more then one thing break down on you , ie. the more doo dads the more their is to break down.

What I do is help establish other espresso operations, and in fact have noticed many of them could and have done just fine with a small one group generic espresso machine, you have to give people options, and it's spendy for that initial purchase, so you have to balance out long term and short term goals. Used may be the way to go, and in fact, if I was on a very tight budget to get a new operation started, I'd be ebaying all of my equipment, just making sure the base is set up correctly and avoiding "used" cabinetry of any kind for several reasons and won't go into it from this thread since it's not addressing it. Just if you go used, make sure the machine has been completely overhauled you have no idea how nasty they can be when not completely stripped down annually.

For the record, in my opinion, I don't care what machine you buy, just don't buy the LM unless you are getting it dirt cheap and are prepared to toss it away after a year.
 

Pulcinella!

New member
Oct 18, 2004
3
0
Espressomaniac,

Your responses on this forum are missleading and biased simply due to the fact that your brother is a Conti Importer. Your use of this forum for your own profit is sad and missleading to those who post here and are looking for unbiased opinions.

Your argument against La Marzocco is hilarious.
Why is it that the majority of the independenant coffee houses in North America utilize La Marzocco to showcase thier products. The fact of the matter is that the equipment is well built, has great support, and does exactly what you need it to do.

Your argument for Conti is exactley opposite of that. A lack of service and a severe lack of support and parts. I did a quick check of several sites that sell parts and find that NONE list Conti as an option. Another quick call around my area found NO service companies will to work on Conti, due to a lack of parts. In fact when a call was made to your company all that occured was you tried to sell me a Magister! This would prove to me and I hope others that there is simply not enough Conti Machines on this continenet to justify a solid reputation.

While Conti is a good brand I would say that there are better choices. A machine is only as good as the company that sells, and supports it.
 

BaristaTrainer

New member
Oct 18, 2004
192
0
Portland, OR
Here is my unbiased $.02

There are quite a few great machines out there, La Marzocco is one of them. I would call the guys at ESI www.esiespresso.com to inquire about a machine.

The Nuova Simonelli VIP www.nuovasimonelli.com is another good machine. It can handle the high volume most people are looking for.

Other good machines to look at are Astoria, Brasilia, Conti, Cimbali, Faema ... my recommendation is to go to a trade show and try them out.

Buying an espresso machine is like buying a car. A lot of it comes down to preference. I think the most important thing to look at is the service in your area. If your machine breaks down and you are out of commision for 3 days it makes the cost of the machine irrelevant.

Make sure you have a warranty and service package on the machine. Also make sure a tech will explain how to do daily maintenance on your machine and grinders.

I recommend getting your training from your roaster or an industry consultant. In many (not all) cases, your machine dealer does not have the experience to fully train you on espresso and milk preparation.

If you were opening a restaurant you would not ask the person who installs your grills to also teach you how to cook on them ... right? :!:
 

phaelon56

New member
Sep 25, 2003
74
0
Syracuse NY
Try opening the yellow pages to look for an espresso machine technician in almost any area outside of the Pacific Northwest and some key major metro areas - if you find any it may be only one or two at most. If you're in a remote area or one that is not going to have qualified service technicians readily available 24/7 it's best to get training for yourself or one of your employees who has a bit of mechanical aptitude and do the maintenance and repairs yourself.

I've been doing La Marzocco maintenance and repairs for about four months and came from a background of never having done more than change out the Ulka pump on high end consumer machine. If you're patient, have some basic tool son hand and have a good machine supplier whose tech support staff will work with you over the phone, it's a very achievable goal to do your own service. By the way.... although certain parts vary form one brand of machine to the next, the basic principles are the same on nearly al brands.

The double boiler system is not just about volume - it's about temperature stability. better temperature stability means better espresso - plain and simple. An experienced barista will come to know their single boiler machine and be able to manipulate it in such a way that they'll get good temp stability and consistency but we can't all find dedicated motivated people to learn and stay in such a job (not in this country with the exception of a few key areas and also cafés that pay enough).

When I open a cafe of my own I hope to be able to train, motivate and pay my staff well enough that pride in their work and a desire to excel will prompt them to be highly consistent but I can't take that for granted. My customers will expect and deserve consistency - I'll buy and deploy whatever machine is needed to deliver that.
 

espressomaniac

New member
Jul 8, 2004
67
0
Tacoma
LOL

Pulcinella! glad I pissed you off enough to actually post to the forum, welcome aboard. 1st off and foremost, you cannot, will not and don't have the capacity to irritate me what so ever, in fact, I'm glad you are trying to bust my balls, I'm very much up to the challenge and am happy to address your issues.

Parts to start out with. The number ONE distributor in the US happens to be my brothers, this is a double edge sword. In order to do this from Conti's standards, it means you must have a very, very extensive parts inventory, currently I'm looking at the 6 figure area from what I've seen he has on hand. It's located in Washington state, and in fact is the equivelant of a crosssection of the conti warehouse, so parts can be rushed out 24/7 no repair tech can use this as an excuse. The way they are put together are very much standard in the insustry and only a rookie would need a manual. Whey these guys that call themselves repair techs cant' handle it is simply showing their lack of skills. Believe me, any local tech that want's to service a conti very much has local US and abroad parts and support for these machines.

I'm not going to even address your personal attack about how I "use" the forums, I'm just talking to other people and helping wherever I can, if they happen to be doing what I'm directly handling, yeah, I'll be able to give them further input. I don't care who they buy from, as long as they are buying upon an informed decision, in fact, I tell people to shop around, I want them to know they are getting the best of every world. I'm sorry if I sound commercial, I not only have alot of pasion about this industry, but I am also making a living on it.

Anyway, no hard feelings, I'm happy to agree we disagree, I hope this does clarify things and by all means, this industry is evolving, so hearing input, not matter how critical is welcomed.
 

phaelon56

New member
Sep 25, 2003
74
0
Syracuse NY
For the record, in my opinion, I don't care what machine you buy, just don't buy the LM unless you are getting it dirt cheap and are prepared to toss it away after a year.

I respectfuly submit that the above comment was unwarranted and furthermore... is contradictory. You're saying that you don't care what machine anfd then going on to say that anyone who buys a La Marzocco should be prepared to "toss it away after a year". Thta's just a load of crap. Conti makes good machiens and so does La Marzocco. Ditto with Cimbali and some others. Apart from the boilers, the "brain" on the automatic models, and some other specific small details, many of these machines are more alike than different. LM machines are used by most of the leading high volume easpresso cafes in the US and also served as the workhorse machines for thousands of Starbucks shops for years until they started the shift to superauto machines. It doesn't mean that they're inherently superior to Conti but it does serve as strong evidence that they're not the crap that you claim they are.
 
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