please help suggest a quality commercial espresso machine!

echandra

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Jul 7, 2006
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I have been trying to find reviews of La Spaziale EK, with no results! Has anyone had experience with this machine in their coffee shop? I am also looking for input on Rancilio machines. I certainly am not restricted to only these machines. Any advice on a durable commercial machine that will last a long time will be greatly appreciated!!!!

Thanks!
Erin
 

Comfy Place

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Jul 15, 2006
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Bloomer, Wisconsin
Espresso Machine

Echandra, we have a La Spaziale machine in our coffeehouse, and we are absolutely sold on it. It is very easy to use, it is built solidly, and in the event that work does need to be done to it, it is extremely easy to gain access the guts of the machine; literally, 10 seconds and you have most of the outer shell off. The other nice feature is that there is not a requirement to back flush the machine, which others need (not sure what other manufacturers might require back flushing). Very easy for us to keep clean and functional on a daily basis. We have been in business for 6 months, and have had a local service tech stop by just to check things out on our purchase, and everything is in tip-top shape.

I think you can see where I'm going with this post. La Spaziale EK machines are very capable espresso machines. BTW, we have a 2-group machine.
 
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echandra

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Thanks! Does it have 2 steam wands? I think I was supplied with an outdated picture that only shows one wand on a 2 group machine. Do you find there is enough height. I had heard that it is not worth the extra $ for the extra height. Then again, I want to pull an espresso in a standard small cup, not a 12oz to go cup. :lol:
 

Comfy Place

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Commercial Espresso

Yes, ours does have 2 steam wands. For ours, the height is barely tall enough to fit a 12oz. cup under the group handle. If you are wanting to brew the espresso directly into either a togo cup or a ceramic cup, I would recommend looking to see if they have a tall model to accomodate up to 20oz. cups. Otherwise, we simply have small espresso pitchers which work just fine, and we pour these into the cup that we are using to prepare the drink. Usually the crema remains mostly intact during the transfer, which allows for latte art if you choose to do that.
 
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echandra

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Thanks again comfy place. By the way, love the website. Hope all is well in your first 6 months!

Erin
 

NW JAVA

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Damn! not back flush? I would LOVE to quality control inspect your machine. Do you have to time the shots, or tamp the coffee? Geeze...I thought I'd heard everything. Was it the sales person who told you you didn't need to backflush? Or is it a POD machine? WOW you have me really curouis (sp)
 

NW JAVA

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I like http://www.nuovadistribution.com/

I have to admit; I roast and I distribute three different mfgs of espresso machines,and I recomend NS for the quality, ergonimics, design, and reputation. Yes you have to backflush, they say you don't have to tamp, but most coffee ppl, will agree that you need to tamp, and backflush. I roast, pull shots, make drinks, and own the whole buisness.
 
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echandra

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Thanks for your input NW Java. What specific machine do you recommend? Through my research, I thought I was sold on a semi automatic 2 group. I recently visited a distributor who seemed very confused when I asked the difference between a semi and a automatic. I want some control over my shots, but I also won't have the time (or manpower) to have full manual control. Does this make any sense? I think the rep confused me more than I already was!
 
Basically there are 3 main types of machine: a semi-auto, an automatic and a superautomatic. I would not worry about the confusion aspect- it happens quite often. The difference in a nutshell is a semi-auto has a rocker switch, or button to pull a shot. It is 100% manually opperated by the barista and the shot must be stopped and timed by the barista/i. A Automatic has some form of dosing control, often a programmable 4-6 shot selection panel for each group. The barista can select the drink type- eg a Doppio, and the machine will extract according to the water volume programmed. Often Autos messure water flow through the group and give some form of warning (like a blinking light) if the water is passing through the grounds to slow/too fast. Both Semis and Autos have a the grinder seperate from the machine. The Superauto is as the Auto but has a grinder and an internal tamping system built in. Push the selection, walk away...and your machine will deliver the drink you have selected. There are many pros and cons for the 3 different systems. Probably most proffessional barista prefer 1 over 2 and both 1 and 2 over option 3.
 

Comfy Place

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NW Java,

What we have is a La Spaziale New EK Machine, 2 group, 2 wands. Yes, we do tamp, as its not a superauto. By all means, if you would like to stop by and check the machine, you may. Basically once a week we take apart the group handles to clean them as well as take out the screens in the group heads and clean them as well. That's it. This was information that we got not from a company rep, but from a local company that has serviced many different models, and would know if backflushing is required on this or any other model. Not a POD machine either, I stay away from that.

By all means, check them out. They are imported from Italy (as others are as well), but these have been engineered very, very well. Try to access the guts on your current machine and see how long it takes you to get the side panels, top panel(s), rear panel, etc. all off. Ours can be done in a fraction of the time. We have no complaints about the machine, and we get great shots day in and day out.
 

ElPugDiablo

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Hartford and New Haven, CT
echandra said:
Thanks for your input NW Java. What specific machine do you recommend? Through my research, I thought I was sold on a semi automatic 2 group. I recently visited a distributor who seemed very confused when I asked the difference between a semi and a automatic. I want some control over my shots, but I also won't have the time (or manpower) to have full manual control. Does this make any sense? I think the rep confused me more than I already was!

I am confuse. Both semi automatic or automatic machine take the same amount of time to pull a shot (anywhere from 20 to 30 seconds). With semi automatic you have to pay more attention because you need to turn the water pump on to start the espresso shot AND turn it off. The automatic, on the other hand, turn off automatically at the pre-set level. The advantage of semi automatic is you need to pay more attention to your shot and therefore hopefully your end result is better. The advantage of set it and forget it is obvious, but if you don't pay attention, your quality will suffer. With either type, your manpower requirement is the same. The semi automatic however needs more training and skill level. Maybe that is what you mean by time and manpower?
 
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echandra

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No, that's not what I intended when I said more manpower. I am completely up to the challenge to learn how to pull the perfect shot even if takes me months of pulling shots day and night before opening. I don't want my coffee shop to be your run-of-the-mill, "can't make a decent specialty drink to save a life" cafe. I want to have quality drinks, which is why I have posted this topic. I DO want control over my shots. However, I will be the sole owner/employee/everything woman and am concerned I won't have a 10th pair of eyes to focus on whether my shot is 20 seconds or 23 seconds. Everyone's posts have helped ease the confusion. The rep tried to tell me a certain machine was a semi when I thought it was an auto. After having read your posts, I know now I was right. Thanks! ElPugDiablo, you seem to be wise about things. What machine do you recommend?
 

ElPugDiablo

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Oh I am not wise, just try to be helpful. Regarding my recommendation, without knowing your menu, and your expected usage, and your skill level it is very hard to say go with brand X but not brand Y. You need to know the features you need, and gadgets you can do without. For example if you are going to have bladder busting big bucket lattes, you need a tall cup machine. If on the other hand you are a strictly ceramic cup shop with elegant decor, then you might want to consider a beautiful Faema E61. Or if you are of the temperature stabilization espresso techno-nerd, then you need a PID machine. How about your expected traffic volume? La Spaziale EK has a 10 liter boiler. Is that the right size for you? What about steam control? I hate lever type, especially Nuova Simonelli's full on or full off only type, so as much as I like Aurelia's other features, I won't get it. What is your thought on heat exchange vs. double boilers machine? Is pre-infusion an important issue for you? Have you thought about design ergonomics such as angled portafilter handle? Last but not least, is after sale service important for you? If you are a tinkerer, then an easy open design is nice to have, otherwise what's the point?

My recommendation is you should pull shots from as many different machines as possible. Try them at distributors’ showroom, try them at your local coffeehouses, and try them at trade shows.

Finally, while you are researching espresso machine, and presumably other equipment, the lease you are going to negotiate, the designing of your place, the roaster you are going to use and the amount of money you are going to need, have you settled on your menu already?
 

La Crema Coffee

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given the senerio of trying all different machines with all different coffee(s) ( assuming you arn't going to be so foresightfull to bring your coffee: are you?)

You are going to be comaring apples to oranges, and pears, and kiwis, and cantilope. Each coffee can be different in each machine. Ita takes a skilled person ( professional) to set up the gring and time for each machine, grinder and coffee combinations varie from place to place and machines to machines.

I would rather have the local suport and support of my roaster. I can make killer espresso with any prosumer, commercial or most any machine but it'll take me time to get it to perfection.

I roast; therfore I am.
 

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