New Restaurant Opening Soon is Serving Espresso - Need Help!

EspressoSue

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Oct 11, 2004
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A friend of mine is opening an Italian restaurant so I bought her an espresso machine on Ebay. I can't imagine a good Italian restaurant without an espresso machine.

First: I am hoping that the machine will work! It was made by Cecilware. I hope it will be able to brew a half decent cup....

Second: I am hoping to find good machine maintence resources for her to use. Does anyone have a daily machine maintenance check off list they could share? Does anyone know how to flush the main tank and clear it of possible mineral build up? What is the first thing we should do when the machine arrives?

Third: I would like to set up an espresso practice session/bean tasting for her. She will now have to decide where to buy her beans and what blend to use. What is the best possible way to get a good sampling of freshly brewed beans so that this can all be done in one setting? What are the best resources for purchasing beans? She is in Maine.

Fourth: Espresso will not be the focus of this restaurant but if she can do it right will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of her menu. Should she consider roasting her own beans? Is this time consuming? Do you need special equipment? Can you freeze green beans for future roasting?

Help! :-D
 
Hmmm. If your friend is starting a restaurant, one thing she is going to be short on is time. I would be reluctant to advise her to get into roasting. That's a skill and it is time she probably does not have, at least until she's got the core business up and stable.

Depending on the customers, she might want to go with a branded program like Illy of Lavazza. It is canned coffee, but would support the Italian theme. If she uses espresso pods, that is one less thing to worry about. It won't be the best espresso you've ever had, but how good does it need to be?

If the espresso is going to be more of a centerpiece, then I'd say look for a coffee that also has some marketing appeal. If Illy ain't it on the taste side, take a look at Green Mountain Coffee's Dark Magic Espresso Blend. Earlier this month it won a bronze medal in London. I think it was at the Great Tastes specialty food show.

You can also check out the espressos on coffee review. http://www.coffeereview.com/allreviews.cfm?search=3 There have been great reviews lately.

Good luck.
 

espressomaniac

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Jul 8, 2004
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Cecilware who are they?????

Cecilware is not a commercial espresso machine, if you took a trip to cafe darte, italian owned and italian run, he'd be shaking a finger at you, come on, an itialian restaurant without true italian espresso, this is soo taboo.... The original espresso machine was created in italy, the very concept of serving espresso that is substandard in the states in the true tradition means you want all out, balls out quality in this area even if you serve only 2 shots a day, it was a nice gesture, but is absolutely not in the vision of a true italian operation.

Did they get a real grinder, or is there "mr coffee" on the front of it????

Anyway, your intensions were valid, but I gotta reinterate, this will never and I mean never produce anything outside of coffee flavored water if the darn thing even works at all, I highly suggest looking into commercial espresso machines and commercial grinders, otherwise that place is going to insult any true coffee lover.
 
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EspressoSue

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http://www.Cecilware.com.

They produce only commercial espresso machines among other commercial food service equipment. They import their espresso machines from Italy. The machine is capable of producing over 400 cups of espresso an hour.

You didn't do any homework before scolding me? Shame on you! :roll:
 
With a name like Cecil, it's got to be good. Just like that tea drinkin' sissy from Arkansas - Earl Gray. They made so much fun of him, he had to England. And as they say, the rest was history.

As far as Cecilware, yes, it is a commercial machine. But to the purists, it is like an appliance. It will get you there, but without a lot of style.

If espresso becomes an important part of a bar business, your friend might consider upgrading to a machine with a little more curb appeal.
 
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EspressoSue

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Thanks for the friendly assesment! :)

I'm hoping that she will find success in the volitile field of food service and will be able to purchase a nice new fandangled machine a some point. However in the meantime, this should be a good machine to get started on.

If the machine doesn't produce a great crema she can always come up with a signature dessert capuccino or two. The espresso can also be used in cakes and other desserts. I am on the hunt for good blends that will work for her to try once she get the machine up and running.

:) :lol: :) :lol: :) :lol: :) :lol: :) :lol: :) :lol: :)
(I love these beans!)
 

CoffeeGoddess

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Oct 13, 2004
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EspressoSue, keep us updated about your "taste test" review. I'm starting my own little Coffee Cart business and have been OVERWHELMED with the beans... more so than with the machine.

As for the machine, I purchased a manual (love the look of the levers) Conti, La Grand Danieli. I thought a Faema (sp?) with those extravagent brass domes would look awesome, but in the end I opted for this one.

I got a great deal on a Ranchillio grinder, but the item I'm most happy about is a simple video called "Espresso 101". Apparently the man who made this was a heavy player in the early coffee growth here in the states and I've read about him everywhere. I can't wait to get that in the mail!

If it has any great secrets on brewing the perfect espresso and turning that into the world's best latte, I'll let you know. :D
 

espressomaniac

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Jul 8, 2004
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to reinterate

Good job on the Conti as well as going manual, it will serve you well, it's funny how you purchased it from the looks, not realizing the direction you went with it is going to make you that much better of a barrista and overall, your company will serve better espresso, given the passion and effort is a constant.

There are several major players in the commercial machine world, and some companies are misleading about it, along the cecilware, their slogan "The leader in Beverage and cooking solutions since 1911" doesn't mean they have been building espresso machines since then, they have just been in business since then. The machines look good at a second glance and seem to have capacity, but they are largely unknown in the industry and finding parts and competent service teks will be difficult, this is why you always want to go with an established name brand, no matter what it is.
 

CoffeeGoddess

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WEll, it was more than just the looks. Getting a used machine, I didn't want an automatic for fear of not being able to know its insides and outsides well enough to make minor repairs.

EspressoSue, how is the machine handling?
 

espressomaniac

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You Repair???

I gotta admire you, you are one of the few buyers that actually want to remain hands on, even to the point of doing repairs, this shows true dedication as well as I'm sure, saving alot on the maintenance bills. When I did espresso machine repair full time in Seattle, the bulk of the repairs were done well past the time when they should have been. The end result ends up costing even more money because it's a dominoe effect going on, and by the time the machine crosses its arms and sais I'm on vacation until you get someone down here to fix it, then you are too late, and much of the time are aging the entire machine prematurely.

Who are you getting your parts from? What is the most extensive repair you have done?
 

NW JAVA

New member
first: I hope so too

Second: Machine checkoff list, let start by:
check grind set from last use
time shots for proper pull time
adjust grind, it will never be the same as the last time befor it set domant.
pull shots, is the time around 26 seconds? ( i don't want a discussion on proper pull times)
Taste the shot, mix with milk or mix with1/2 &1/2: how does the shot tase basicall naked?

from there on the is porta filter clening, back flushing, general clean up.

re : build up in tank, are the steam wands working o.k? Is the grouphead flowing o.k? Because you( she) really don't want to pay for cleaning a boiler, much less any tubing.

First thing is make all connections. Power on , does the tank auto filll?
ifso leave machine on, and see if it get's upto pressure. if so then use your checklist.

Third: do a search here for " roasters" and find one or two local. They can set her up for all that you mentioned.

Fourth: no I wouldn't recomend roasting...You said her focus was the foodservice. Roasting should be left tho those who desire perfection in their craft.( of roasting coffee)
Also no you can not freeze green beans for future roasting.

Please find a roaster that you can trust, I can't tell you enough that there is way tooo much information to let ...someone run amok

CIAO

Troy
 

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