Recommendation for 2grp Semi-Automatic Commercial Espresso Machine

Grace

New member
Jun 7, 2011
4
0
Orange County, CA
Dear all,

I've read through similar postings but still unable to decide which brand and model to go for. Will appreciate any recommendation from your experience.

We would like to start our coffee business and would like to decide on a 2 grp semi-auto espresso machine - seems that it allows more flexibility in crafting the espresso and lower maintenance costs?

Since budget would be an issue, and read reviews on La Marzocco (which is top of the line and I don't think we can afford that now), can you please recommend any good quality machine with stable temperatures that would be great. Budget around $2,500 -$3,500. Please let know if this budget is not realistic and we will work on it.

I saw some good reviews on Astoria and Nuova (but still find it pretty expensive). Also, reviews on La Pavoni said that the temperatures are not stable.

Really need help to point me at the right direction.

Many thanks!
 

BigDRigsby

New member
Jun 7, 2011
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Good choice on the 2-group semi-auto as you surely don't need all the fancy bells and whistles to craft great espresso.

LaMarzocco isn't top of the line by any means. There are several brands available that are the equal of the best LM. Most HX machines on the market do have temperature stability issues and most require some sort of flushing regimen, but Nuova Simonelli perfected temp. control with the Aurelia. They can be pricey when new, but used machines can be had in your price range, provided you know what to look for when selecting used equipment.
 
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Grace

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Jun 7, 2011
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Orange County, CA
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Thanks BigDRisby

Any ideas on La Pavoni Pub 2, in terms of its performance, comparable to NS Aurelia?

I saw a used one for a pretty good price, but I need to find out more on the age and maintenance.

Appreciate your reply.

Thanks!
 

BigDRigsby

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Jun 7, 2011
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The La Pavoni Pub has been around for some time and I'm sure it has a following as well as good/available tech support, but I'd say it's light years behind what the Aurelia is capable of.

Nuova Simonelli went to great lengths to make the Aurelia what it is and I can honestly tell you it's on par with what most consider to be the best on the market. Very stable brew temperature, superb steaming capability and quite user friendly. Much more ergonomically correct than anything else on the market.
 

PeterCoffee

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Jun 6, 2011
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The Astoria Argenta or the Astoria pratik are both work horses. At this point most machines have enough pressure to produce excellent coffee. Getting to know the machine and and how to operate it without running it into the ground is very important. Many barista's knock the stuffing out of the equipment and that will run into high maintance costs. The cost difference between a semi auto and auto is not all that great. You might consider a used astoria or ranchilio both are excellent companies. The Astoria and Rancilio distributors in you area will have used equipment or know who has used equipment.
make sure you see it operate before you purchase it and ask them to give you a maintence lession as well.
 

BigDRigsby

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Jun 7, 2011
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The Astoria Argenta or the Astoria pratik are both work horses. At this point most machines have enough pressure to produce excellent coffee. Getting to know the machine and and how to operate it without running it into the ground is very important. Many barista's knock the stuffing out of the equipment and that will run into high maintance costs. The cost difference between a semi auto and auto is not all that great. You might consider a used astoria or ranchilio both are excellent companies. The Astoria and Rancilio distributors in you area will have used equipment or know who has used equipment.
make sure you see it operate before you purchase it and ask them to give you a maintence lession as well.

Enough pressure? It takes alot more than just pressure (brew or boiler) to produce great espresso. The machines you mention are indeed workhorses, but are archaic in design and function when compared to the nearly flawless HX perfected Aurelia. Temperature stability is key as is recovery time.
 
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Grace

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Jun 7, 2011
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Orange County, CA
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Thanks for your suggestions. I am still putting the plan together and will find some suppliers to speak with soon.
 

CCafe

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Aug 11, 2004
1,553
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Des Moines, Iowa
I get a chuckle when everyone seems to throw all their weight behind the Aurelia. Just a few short years ago that machine came out and before that people looked at Nuova Simonelli as a low end contender even with the VIP.

The problem with our market is that people have forgotten the basics. Everyone is yapping about things that don't make a bit of difference to the average drinker. Group head temperature stability is a joke. So is being able to control the temperature of the water down to a tenth of a degree. All of these things have come about since people started hacking espresso machines and trying to pimp them out. A good boiler fill design that helps control the flow of water is more crucial then having my group head exactly at 196.8F.

What makes a good espresso machine is not all the little bells and whistles half of the people on this forum seem to think a machine is made out of. A good espresso machine is one that is reliable, cheap to maintain, easy to operate, good tech support coverage and over all is a profitable machine.

So just because something is archaic in design doesn't mean its has been put out to pasture. If that was the case we wouldn't see any cars on the road older then 10 years and you know that isn't true. I say enough of this nonsense and lets go back to the basics.
 

BigDRigsby

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Jun 7, 2011
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To each his own right!?! I have been able to compare the Aurelia to several other commercial machines and it's a favorite for alot of people for a reason. I agree all the bells and whistles do very little and end up causing more trouble than worth when something internally gives. Will also agree that temp to a 1/10th degree is a waste as it will never show in the cup.

Point I'm trying to make is that Nuova Simonelli perfected HX design/function with the Aurelia and absolutely no flushing/guessing is needed to achieve great espresso consistently. That surely can't be said for archaic machines relying on decades old HX design.

Also a waste of bells and whistles is the modern dual boiler machines that have an independant brew boiler for each group so different coffees can be used at any time.
 

CCafe

New member
Aug 11, 2004
1,553
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Des Moines, Iowa
Point I'm trying to make is that Nuova Simonelli perfected HX design/function with the Aurelia and absolutely no flushing/guessing is needed to achieve great espresso consistently. That surely can't be said for archaic machines relying on decades old HX design.

See this is where you and I are going to differ quite a bit. Where you say perfected I say they merely got with the times. NS didn't perfect anything. They finally jumped on the bandwagon and built a group head that incorporated an infusion chamber. Before that it was part of the group valve base that was screwed into the top of the group head. As for the thermosiphoning system they just added a second gigler to the bottom pipe with a slightly larger orifice. Again nothing new there.

I would love to take the time and complain more about the Aurelia but like you said to each their own.
 

BigDRigsby

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Jun 7, 2011
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Who else offers a heat exchange system that performs equal to or better than the Aurelia? That's what I thought. You say NS "got with the times" so I'm guessing that leaves Rancilio, CMA and all the others using a design far behind the times.

Stick with being a simple forum administrator as you obviously know next to nothing about anything on a commercial level. Leave that to the tech pros.
 
Jun 14, 2011
5
0
Hello,

I just came across your post. To be honest our company has been in business since 2004 operating in four states. There is so much hype with the equipment and with hype comes price. That goes for just about every product on the market. With esrpesso machines it comes down to style. If you open most machines, you will find that they all have the same internal parts because the same manufactures makes the certain parts. This is what we did and not trying to sell you on anything but truth and how we can help. After getting ripped on equipment that still had par or sub par performance, we decided to have equipment made for us. With our company we started on the retail side and we needed to do right by our customer first. We have had 3 unique product manufacture for us which is the heart of our cafes. Blenders, grinders, and espresso machine. The blenders being first as we do more blended drinks then most cafes year around. We had a dual board blender made for us that has a digital and manual function, with sound enclosure. Grinders with 3b-5lb hoppers, a grinder is a grinder of a grinder. look at the burrs they are all the same. lastly espresso machines 2grp and 3grp with all the bells highend chrome finishes. The best part of it all the price! We use them on a daily bases in our stores. We dont carry other manufactures equipment, because there is no need to and they would never offer the prices we do. We have made our retail and distribution a one stop shop. Coffee, smoothies, chocolate, sauces, teas, etc.... Contact me if you have a need. Again I am not trying to sell you I want to enlighten you because knowledge is power.
 

shadow745

Active member
Aug 15, 2005
1,605
9
Central North Carolina
That may be true with some companies as there are only so many companies making water pumps, solenoids, etc., but I guarantee you LaMarzocco, Nuova Simonelli, Rancilio, etc. are indeed making the majority of their parts such as boilers, groupheads, plumbing, etc.... areas where it counts most!

I don't agree that hype raises prices. You usually get what you pay for meaning superior build quality, longevity, etc. Not saying this is always the case, but for the most part it is.
 
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