Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

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BigMike
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Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by BigMike » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:05 pm

Long time lingerer, first time poster.

Maybe this isn't the best place to ask for an advice on whether to purchase a VII, as most are obviously biased, but here I go!

Time to upgrade.

My first "real" coffee machine was a crapresso C1500. The SO and I, as well as guests, enjoyed the incorrectly made longos. Not a very sophisticated bunch if we all thought 10-12 ozs thru preground Max House was the best thing since percolators. Are you all laughing because you've been there?

The machine broke after 3500 cups of crema coffee, never having made a single espresso or milk drink. I couldn't justify sending the machine to Capresso for repair at $250 when I knew that the thermo block was at fault. Still irks me that they don't sell repair parts, leaving the owner tied to them for anything that goes wrong.

The latest machine is a Gaggia Titanium. For some reason I've been stuck on these super autos. My only excuse is that of ignorance to what else is available for home use. This $1000 machine, IMO, does not cut it. It sits on my floor, boxed up and ready to be shipped back. So now I'm convinced my sights need to be shifted higher, which has led me to this site.

I need your help in being convinced that this machine is worth $2200. The plan (for now) is to pair it with a Mazzer SJ, plumbed for supply and drain, and the appropriate filtration system. Likely to run with 15 amps, but a dedicated 20 amp service is fairly easy to put in. My desire is to finally (after 43 years) drink espresso based drinks that satisfy my OCD, uhm that's obsessive compulsive disorder. My wife has even offered to send me to barista training!

Did anyone demo the machine before you made the purchase? I made the mistake of buying the last machine based on internet reviews, so I'm very hesitant on the next one, especially at this price point.

Any opinions or thoughts?

Thanks!
Mike

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JohnB
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by JohnB » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:11 pm

Yes I demo'd one at Chris Coffee before closing the deal. You've suffered long enough, you deserve it, you most definitely should buy it. :twisted: Convinced yet?
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RapidCoffee
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by RapidCoffee » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:21 am

BigMike wrote:For some reason I've been stuck on these super autos.
In that case, any prosumer espresso machine will be a major step up in quality. Superautos are all about convenience. Maybe one day home superautos will produce decent espresso, but today is not that day. (apologies to LOTR fans)
BigMike wrote:I need your help in being convinced that this machine is worth $2200. The plan (for now) is to pair it with a Mazzer SJ... My wife has even offered to send me to barista training!
Only you can make that decision (what the machine is worth to you). But paired with a good grinder, the S1V2 is certainly capable of making superb espresso. Barista training is a fine idea if you've only used superautos. One session should be plenty to get you started. This is not rocket science.

The SJ is a good grinder for the money (especially if you can find one used). Another option: CC is currently running an unadvertised special on the Cimbali Max Hybrid (15% off). I've never used one, but several respected home baristas speak very highly of this grinder.
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Endo
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:03 am

BigMike wrote: Did anyone demo the machine before you made the purchase? I made the mistake of buying the last machine based on internet reviews, so I'm very hesitant on the next one, especially at this price point.
Demo them all ! It's a lot of money, so your cautious instincts are correct.

I think when you try them all, you'll see the Vivaldi is the best. But like you said, you're going to get a VERY biased opinion here, so it would be really foolish to trust us with that type of question.

Make sure you try the grinders too. That's even more important to demo in my opinion. Some (like the SJ) are very big and messy.
Endo

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by JohnB » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:42 am

BigMike wrote: I need your help in being convinced that this machine is worth $2200.
If you buy the machine & grinder from a retailer like CC you won't be paying full list as they will give you (or you will ask for) a package price. As to whether or not the S1V2 is worth $2200 I personally feel that it is an incredible bargain at that price. Double that price & try to find a better machine.
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:49 am

JohnB wrote:Double that price & try to find a better machine.
Izzo Alex Duetto? AHHHHH. Don't go there. :lol:

But, I totally agree, the VIvaldi is the best DB deal going. That's why I bought mine.

You need to ask yourself....is any coffee machine worth $2K. Are any golf clubs worth $2K? Is any stereo gear worth $2K? If it's your hobby and passion, then go for it. The economy needs it anyway! :lol:
Endo

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by JohnB » Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:57 am

Endo wrote:
JohnB wrote:Double that price & try to find a better machine.
Izzo Alex Duetto? AHHHHH. Don't go there. :lol:

But, I totally agree, the VIvaldi is the best DB deal going. That's why I bought mine.

You need to ask yourself....is any coffee machine worth $2K. Are any golf clubs worth $2K? Is any stereo gear worth $2K? If it's your hobby and passion, then go for it. The economy needs it anyway! :lol:
Not even close, another tarted up antique.
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by brentley » Tue Jan 27, 2009 12:20 pm

Does your wife like to make coffee?

We had an old starbucks machine that made (in retrospect of course) lousy coffee.
We then upgraded to a Silvia, then added a PID, each time getting slightly closer to the holy grail.

We now have a S1VII and a mazzer mini. It really makes a difference, particularly if you only drink straight espresso like I do.

But more importantly if your wife likes the ease of use of a super auto you can actually come fairly close with a VII.

Buy a scale and a good grinder, figure out how much coffee is in a good shot, use a regular portafilter and teach your wife to weigh and grind a shot, load it an press her preferred button (we use the 2 cup button) and show her how to steam milk (it is all very easy).

Then talk about the math. Assume that a latte at your local coffee house is $3.50 (just for rounding purposes) and that you can make the same drink at home for 50 cents or so. That is $3 per use. Now see how many of those per week (say 4) and you are at 12/week. do that times 50 weeks or so and you are already at 600/year of pure cost savings (not to mention time etc.) If there are two people in the house that drink cofee, or you have friends over or you drink more than 4 a week it becomes a no brainer fairly quickly.

When presenting the ROI do not mention extra costs like tampers, baskets, steam arms, steam tips or the myriad of other items you will end up wanting as you embark on the journey as this will really mess up your ROI. For example; getting a 20 AMP circuit added in my house was very expensive. If you decide to roast your own coffee, make that a seperate ROI (depending on consumption a behmor can break even at 7 months).

Seriously of all the things that I have purchased in the past 5 years my VII was the single best investment I have made and it has more than paid for itself. Even my wife, who tolerates my rampant consumerism with what she refers to as "gadgets" thinks that getting a VII was a great thing.

If you are already in for 1K with a super auto that you can return then you are almost half way there.

I would not hesitate to do it again.

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oton
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by oton » Thu Jan 29, 2009 5:54 am

Endo wrote:
JohnB wrote:Double that price & try to find a better machine.
Izzo Alex Duetto? AHHHHH. Don't go there. :lol:
Or Expobar Brewtus III?

The first machine I had was a 40€ one, it have portafilter and steam wand too!! :roll:.
Next I bought a Krups Nespresso with its pretty capsules, a nice wood box to storage them and an Aeroccino to "make real capuccinos". My parents and friends said... oh! how much money you have spent just to make a coffee. :roll: :roll:

One day, searching for more info about Nespresso system, I found some coffee forums where some people talked about a "Rancilio Silvia"a 500€ machine. I thought.. "these people are nuts" :shock:. Some months later I was thinking in buying a Rancilio but I found some machines called "HX" that doubles the cost. I did not bought any of the two. Now I'm going to buy a Mini Vivaldi that costs the triple of a Rancilio and x10 of a Nespresso. :mrgreen:. I don't want to imagine the comments of my friends when they come home. :lol:
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:20 am

oton wrote: One day, searching for more info about Nespresso system, I found some coffee forums where some people talked about a "Rancilio Silvia"a 500€ machine. I thought.. "these people are nuts" :shock:. Some months later I was thinking in buying a Rancilio but I found some machines called "HX" that doubles the cost. I did not bought any of the two. Now I'm going to buy a Mini Vivaldi that costs the triple of a Rancilio and x10 of a Nespresso. :mrgreen:. I don't want to imagine the comments of my friends when they come home. :lol:
Internet is EVIL. :evil: Stop reading now or the next step will be a GS/3 and Robur.

I like my Vivaldi. But I understand it's more about the "hobby" of espresso and not so much about getting the best taste/cost combination. I get mocked by everyone for my coffee obsession (and rightfully so).

Truthfully, I think the Silvia and Barazta Vario combo ($1000) is the best taste/price combination and after that, you get very little improvment for a LOT more money.

I often recommend the Nespresso. Most "non-obssessed" coffee folks just want a "good" coffee before work and don't have time for all the ritual. The Nespresso hits that mark perfectly.

Good luck in your pursuit of the perfect "god shot". You are hooked. Just try not to go broke. May your friends have a good sense of humor your wife have mercy. :smile:
Endo

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by JohnB » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:22 pm

Endo wrote: Truthfully, I think the Silvia and Barazta Vario combo ($1000) is the best taste/price combination and after that, you get very little improvment for a LOT more money.
Since they aren't even shipping the Vario yet how did you arrive at that conclusion?
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:58 pm

JohnB wrote:
Since they aren't even shipping the Vario yet how did you arrive at that conclusion?
FIrst of all, let's not compare with used grinders (like a SJ or Major). I'm assuming the person wants to buy something new.

There have been quite a few Vario "proto-types" sent out to respected reviewers. First impressions seem very good. The features and design are fully revealed already, as is the price ($429). They also have a respected burr designer partnering with them. Chances of it being a "flop" are about zero.

I would not think twice about buying one to match with my Silvia if I was buying today. What else are you going to buy at that $400 price range .....a Rocky?
Endo

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by JohnB » Thu Jan 29, 2009 3:49 pm

Endo wrote:
JohnB wrote:
Since they aren't even shipping the Vario yet how did you arrive at that conclusion?
FIrst of all, let's not compare with used grinders (like a SJ or Major). I'm assuming the person wants to buy something new.

There have been quite a few Vario "proto-types" sent out to respected reviewers. First impressions seem very good. The features and design are fully revealed already, as is the price ($429). They also have a respected burr designer partnering with them. Chances of it being a "flop" are about zero.

I would not think twice about buying one to match with my Silvia if I was buying today. What else are you going to buy at that $400 price range .....a Rocky?
I was referring to your "best taste" statement. I've yet to read any comparisons with other grinders in its price range. If it does a nice job grinding espresso so what? Other grinders in the same price range do that all ready. Its claim to fame is easy adjustment between Espresso/drip/press & that only counts if it does a decent press grind. If it can do a nice espresso AND a nice press pot grind then I'll be impressed.
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:22 pm

JohnB wrote: I was referring to your "best taste" statement. I've yet to read any comparisons with other grinders in its price range. If it does a nice job grinding espresso so what? Other grinders in the same price range do that all ready. Its claim to fame is easy adjustment between Espresso/drip/press & that only counts if it does a decent press grind. If it can do a nice espresso AND a nice press pot grind then I'll be impressed.
I said best "taste/price" ratio. I don't expect it to deliver the best taste.

The other point you mention (dual grind cam) is quite revolutionary. Add to that digital on-demand dosing, small footprint, ceramic burrs. These are not little improvements. This might make it a "giant killer".

That's enough for me to buy it now (if I was actually shopping and didn't have my Super Jolly). It's another thing to say I'd sell my SJ and get the Vario. Like you said, I'd have to have much more feeddback on "taste" before I did that.
Endo

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by JohnB » Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:06 pm

Endo wrote:
That's enough for me to buy it now (if I was actually shopping and didn't have my Super Jolly). It's another thing to say I'd sell my SJ and get the Vario. Like you said, I'd have to have much more feeddback on "taste" before I did that.
I wouldn't even consider replacing the SJ with the Vario. The electronics do nothing for me & all those levers & such will eventually fail. It may do a nice espresso grind for a 54mm burr but that doesn't make it a giant killer, just a good grinder in its price range.
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Thu Jan 29, 2009 8:14 pm

JohnB wrote: I wouldn't even consider replacing the SJ with the Vario. The electronics do nothing for me & all those levers & such will eventually fail. It may do a nice espresso grind for a 54mm burr but that doesn't make it a giant killer, just a good grinder in its price range.
I doubt it will be able to compare with the SJ as well. The high Mazzer won't be affected. Still, I'd be surprised to hear they are selling many Rocky's after the Vario is introduced. May it will be a wake-up call for Rancilio.
Endo

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by RapidCoffee » Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:22 pm

Endo wrote:Truthfully, I think the Silvia and Barazta Vario combo ($1000) is the best taste/price combination and after that, you get very little improvment for a LOT more money.
I think the Silvia is overrated and overpriced, and we don't know nearly enough about the Vario yet. If you're willing to spend a little more money ($1500), you start getting into lower-end HX boxes. IMHO these will spank Silvia the moment you start preparing cappuccinos or other milk-based espresso drinks. If you're willing to spend a LOT more money ($2K-$3K), both the grinder and espresso machine will contribute to significantly better, more consistent pours.
Endo wrote:There have been quite a few Vario "proto-types" sent out to respected reviewers. First impressions seem very good. The features and design are fully revealed already, as is the price ($429). They also have a respected burr designer partnering with them. Chances of it being a "flop" are about zero.
Actually, first impressions have been very cautious and mixed. You'll notice Mark Prince didn't say a word - not one word! - about espresso quality in his Vario First Look.
Endo wrote: :bounce: I would not think twice about buying one to match with my Silvia if I was buying today. What else are you going to buy at that $400 price range .....a Rocky?
No, I would buy a 58mm flat burr Compak K3 or Macap M4. Entry-level pricing is $450-500, only a little more than the Vario.
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:30 pm

RapidCoffee wrote:I think the Silvia is overrated and overpriced, and we don't know nearly enough about the Vario yet. If you're willing to spend a little more money ($1500), you start getting into lower-end HX boxes. IMHO these will spank Silvia the moment you start preparing cappuccinos or other milk-based espresso drinks.
Sorry, we won't agree on this one. The Silvia is half the price of any HX and a third the price of many. The build quality is amazing for a $590 machine and shot quality is very good. It has achieved legendary status for a reason. HX machines will speed up milk drink production, but most of us aren't running a cafe here. Most just want a nice espresso and one milk drink in the morning.
RapidCoffee wrote:Actually, first impressions have been very cautious and mixed. You'll notice Mark Prince didn't say a word - not one word! - about espresso quality in his Vario First Look.
He seems to never talk about espresso quality. He won't even add a "taste" rating for the reviews on his site (unlike H-B). Why do you expect any better for a grinder? Last time he rated a grinder (the Mazzer Mini) he rated it a perfect "10" in all categories.
RapidCoffee wrote:No, I would buy a 58mm flat burr Compak K3 or Macap M4. Entry-level pricing is $450-500, only a little more than the Vario.
I agree the Compak K3 will be the main competitor for the Vario. Although the Vario has many convenience advantages over the Compak (and looks better). So I think people will prefer the Vario (at least 3 to 1 in sales). I don't think the "average joe" grinder buyer cares about the slight difference in burr size. Besides Baratza will simply counter this argument with claims of "better designed modern Mahlkoneig ceramic burrs".
Endo

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by RapidCoffee » Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:02 pm

Endo wrote:Sorry, we won't agree on this one. The Silvia is half the price of any HX and a third the price of many. The build quality is amazing for a $590 machine and shot quality is very good. It has achieved legendary status for a reason. HX machines will speed up milk drink production, but most of us aren't running a cafe here. Most just want a nice espresso and one milk drink in the morning.
Silvia strikes me as an odd duck, one of the most expensive offerings in an entry-level class of single boiler machines. I've never understood its wild popularity. List price is currently $700, now on sale for $600 after Mark Prince's recent CG rant about its pricing. For about 50% more you can find several bargain-priced HX machines, including the Bezzera BZ02/BZ07, the Expobar Pulser, the NS Oscar, and the new Salvatore One Black. I think these offer much more value for the money.

But hey, I'm an outlier. If it makes you feel any better, there are a kazillion rabid Silvia fans in your corner. ;-)
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:52 pm

Actually, the Silvia was recently going for $499 at 1st line a few weeks ago. All the machines you listed are double that price . The Bezzera and Expobar are not nearly as well made as the Silvia. Salvatore is not available, and even then who would buy a machine with the tank over the boiler and no space for a latte cup under the PF? I like the Oscar a lot, but damn it's ugly.

Nope. Silvia still rules and at half the price. Have you ever own one? With the $150 Auber PID, it's one sweet machine. Besides the lack of "back-to-back" shots and the need for the PID, the only criticism I have for it is the poor dispersion. It seemed to be the only thing holding it back when it came to taste.

I have some doubts about the S1 double screen dispersion as well. But I'll keep that for my next bitching session. :twisted:
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:58 pm

Here's a photo of my Silvia setup :-( I loved her dearly......so sad she's gone. :cry: :cry:
s_DSC00744.jpg
Silvia and Mazzer
s_DSC00744.jpg (63.94 KiB) Viewed 18206 times
Endo

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by RapidCoffee » Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:41 am

Endo wrote:Actually, the Silvia was recently going for $499 at 1st line a few weeks ago. All the machines you listed are double that price . The Bezzera and Expobar are not nearly as well made as the Silvia. Salvatore is not available, and even then who would buy a machine with the tank over the boiler and no space for a latte cup under the PF? I like the Oscar a lot, but damn it's ugly.

Nope. Silvia still rules and at half the price. Have you ever own one? With the $150 Auber PID, it's one sweet machine. Besides the lack of "back-to-back" shots and the need for the PID, the only criticism I have for it is the poor dispersion. It seemed to be the only thing holding it back when it came to taste.
I've never owned a Silvia, so I should prolly keep my mouth shut. But I have owned other single boiler machines, and always felt their limitations strongly (I'm primarily a capp drinker). HX boxes also go on sale, so the price of Silvia + PID just doesn't seem like a good value any more. Both Mark Prince (CG) and Dan Kehn (HB) have complained about this recently.

I once restored a Rancilio L7: single group commercial HX box, predecessor to the S24, fully plumbed, rotary pump... with the same Rancilio brew group as the Silvia. Nice machine, albeit more prone to channelling than my E61 box. The "bad pour" shot at the beginning of the WDT article was taken on the L7. My barista skills were still, um, underdeveloped at that point. :-P

Incidentally, a friend of mine may have a used Oscar for sale. It's not that ugly. :mrgreen:
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by JohnB » Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:38 am

Nice work guys, I hear Bigmike just bought a Silvia instead of a Vivaldi! Talk about time to split the thread! :roll:
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:51 am

JohnB wrote:Nice work guys, I hear Bigmike just bought a Silvia instead of a Vivaldi! Talk about time to split the thread! :roll:
Good ! :grin: That's seems like the right choice for him. He'll learn some important skills and he'll save his marriage. :lol:

The Vivaldi will always be there when he's ready and he's more sure of that level of $ comittment $.

I'm VERY glad to have had Miss Silvia as my teacher. Lot's of good resources available too (another strong point of the Silvia).
Endo

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by JohnB » Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:20 am

Yea, Superauto to Silvia!! I'm sure he'd be thrilled. :twisted:
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:39 am

JohnB wrote:Yea, Superauto to Silvia!! I'm sure he'd be thrilled. :twisted:
Have faith. Thousands of happy Silvia users have taken the exact same path.

Even if he is not happy (and I seriously doubt he will be disappointed....challenged but not disappointed ;-) ), he can easily sell it. I just sold mine for $620 two months ago. How's that for resale value?
Endo

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by chas » Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:08 pm

I took the Silvia - HX - S1 path myself. OK let's be more honest. It was actually:

Krups steam toy - Silvia - HX - S1
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by JohnB » Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:42 pm

Endo wrote:
JohnB wrote:Yea, Superauto to Silvia!! I'm sure he'd be thrilled. :twisted:
Have faith. Thousands of happy Silvia users have taken the exact same path.

Even if he is not happy (and I seriously doubt he will be disappointed....challenged but not disappointed ;-) ), he can easily sell it. I just sold mine for $620 two months ago. How's that for resale value?
Lets see $620 Canadian, thats $200 U.S.?? :lol: Is that "Thousands of frustrated Silvia users" or are those just the ones that find CG & H-B?

My path was much more straightforward & painless: Vetrano (2 weeks) then S1V2 (Happy, happy happy!)
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:06 pm

OK I'll keep it simple an use a motorcycle analogy for you:

Was your Ducati your first motorcyle too?

I owned a Honda Z50, Kawsaki KX 125, Honda CR250, Yamaha RD350 and then Yamaha FJ1200. I didn't enjoy the FJ1200 any more than the Z50. And my favorite bike to ride was the middle ones (RD350). It was also much harder to ride than the FJ1100, but the reward was that much greater. I would not be anywhere near as good a rider today if I had jumped straight to the FJ1100 (any I would probably have killed myself as well).

By the way....as you can tell by my choices....I'd love to have a Japanese espresso machine too. :lol:
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by JohnB » Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:16 pm

Endo wrote:OK I'll keep it simple an use a motorcycle analogy for you:

Was your Ducati your first motorcyle too?

I owned a Honda Z50, Kawsaki KX 125, Honda CR250, Yamaha RD350 and then Yamaha FJ1200. I didn't enjoy the FJ1200 any more than the Z50. And my favorite bike to ride was the middle ones (RD350). It was also much harder to ride than the FJ1100, but the reward was that much greater. I would not be anywhere near as good a rider today if I had jumped straight to the FJ1100 (any I would probably have killed myself as well).

By the way....as you can tell by my choices....I'd love to have a Japanese espresso machine too. :lol:
I've owned over 60 motorcycles so far & only 3 of them were Japanese. The RD was fine as long as you replaced the shocks & steering head bearings. My first bike was a Polish SHL 175 with a 3 speed. Your RD350 was a space shuttle in comparison. Moved up to a pre unit 650 BSA from there & never looked back. I've owned many Ducatis; bevel & belt. My Moto Morini 3.5 Sport is still one of my all time favorites.

Now lets get back to selling BigMike on an S1V2.
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Fri Jan 30, 2009 2:27 pm

My first bike was a 1970 Gilson Mini (ahh another mini :lol: ). It had a Briggs & Straton 3.5hp and a two speed CF clutch transmission. Started riding at age 6.

OK...back to Vivaldis.
Endo

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by BigMike » Fri Jan 30, 2009 3:54 pm

I'll keep you all guessing!

At least for a little while.

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by RapidCoffee » Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:23 pm

chas wrote:I took the Silvia - HX - S1 path myself. OK let's be more honest. It was actually:
Krups steam toy - Silvia - HX - S1
Same here, except:
Melitta steam toy - superauto :oops: - Nemox Napolitana (single boiler) - HX (several) - S1
Endo wrote:By the way....as you can tell by my choices....I'd love to have a Japanese espresso machine too. :lol:
I ride a rice burner myself (Suzuki Bandit 1200). :grin:
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:56 pm

RapidCoffee wrote:
chas wrote:I took the Silvia - HX - S1 path myself. OK let's be more honest. It was actually:
Krups steam toy - Silvia - HX - S1
That's too funny. Exact same upgrade path as me. I had the Krups Nuovo 3000. My in-laws have it now. The worst part, I go over and they expect me to pull good shots on that thing (with preground coffee to boot). I just make big "frou-frou" Brazialians with lots of whipped cream and everybody's impressed.

I wish I threw it out. It's not worth the pain.
Endo

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by JohnB » Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:32 pm

Endo wrote: That's too funny. Exact same upgrade path as me. I had the Krups Nuovo 3000. My in-laws have it now. The worst part, I go over and they expect me to pull good shots on that thing (with preground coffee to boot). I just make big "frou-frou" Brazialians with lots of whipped cream and everybody's impressed.
I wish I threw it out. It's not worth the pain.
Actually I'd forgotten about it but I did own one of those Krups toys briefly 20 years ago. My wife at the time bought it for me when I returned from a motorcycle trip through Europe & was talking about the great cappos I got everywhere I stopped. Never got to use it as we divorced soon after & it, like many other things I used to own, went with the ex. :cry:
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:35 pm

JohnB wrote:
Actually I'd forgotten about it but I did own one of those Krups toys briefly 20 years ago. My wife at the time bought it for me when I returned from a motorcycle trip through Europe & was talking about the great cappos I got everywhere I stopped. Never got to use it as we divorced soon after & it, like many other things I used to own, went with the ex. :cry:
Don't cry. I would consider that sweet revenge. :grin:
Endo

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by RobertK » Sun Feb 01, 2009 4:24 am

Hi Mike,

I am not an expert on espresso machines, but here are some things I like about my Vivaldi-
- Double boiler. I can steam milk and pull shots at the same time. $2200 is a lot but this is a great feature - the main reason to be looking at this machine IMO and presumably the main reason for the big price tag.
- Temperature adjustment - easy to make 1 degree changes. Coupled with the double boiler this feature makes this a truly great machine. No more temperature surfing means way more ease of use and it really helps dial in the flavor.
- Volumetric dosing - Set it for the volume you want your shot to have and get the same size shot every time. Makes it easy to get consistent shots. All you have to work out is the amount of beans/shot, grind and tamp. Fewer variables than most other machines.
- Plumbed in - at first I bought the Mini but traded it back in for the V2 and plumbed it in w/water filtration - a hassle up front but huge effect on ease of use. Essential if you want to use a timer.
- Timer - Not the greatest interface but my machine is warmed up and ready to go when I get up for work (way too early) every day.
- It comes with its own internet message board! :grin:

I upgraded from a 10 year old Starbucks Barista machine - didn't realize what bad coffee I was drinking all those years until I got this machine! I used that old thing on weekends mostly for the wife, but I use this one every day for me! I didn't demo mine before buying but just took the plunge - I don't like doing things that way but this time it worked out very well. With the right beans it makes way better coffee than any of the local coffee shops. Best purchase I've made in a long time - I couldn't be happier with it!

Good luck,
Robert

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by sakurama » Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:16 pm

I had tested a Brutus and then met with a friend who's a food scientist and technologist and he put me on to the double boiler idea and also the PID thought train and while I liked the looks of the E61s better it was for me sort of an old technology. His analogy was if the technology we have now was around then would anyone have bothered inventing the E61? It was the best solution of at the time and to me that sounded like a good argument. I don't think I'd want an oven that you needed to open the door on to get to the right temperature...

That and there was this board. His other advice was "what are people excited about - who's complaining?" and in my several months of reading this seemed the happiest place in coffee world so here I am. For me I had a top shelf espresso place right near my old apartment and I just wanted to come close to what their Synesso turned out. On Sunday I made a cappuccino (with their beans) on my V1 and while my rosetta left a bit to be desired it tasted fantastic. On my way to our shop space to put an engine in my KTM (what's up with all the motorcycle guys here?) I stopped by to pick up more beans and had one of their cappas and, all modesty aside, mine was better. It was worth every penny and I'm really having fun learning this new skill.

So did you spring for one yet?
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by BigMike » Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:48 pm

sakurama wrote: So did you spring for one yet?
No, but I'm being convinced everyday I suffer with drip. Family is in town, and now, I'm not the only one suffering.

I've been visiting two shops in Denver, Novo and Aviano, and I'm just being reassured how bad my coffee at home is.

Honestly, I'm waiting for this disaster of our economy to do something. Kinda hard to justify $3000 on coffee, when I
may need to have that money if the wife or I lose our jobs.

Mike

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by oton » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:35 am

Mike, have you tried coffee from a Nespresso system? Far less expensive than a Vivaldi and the coffee is way better than drip.

In my opinion, purchase a Vivaldi, or GS3 or a e-61 based machine it's not only about drink coffee, it's about a hobby, an obsession, you have to be a completely coffee snob to justify yourself the high amount of money for one of this machines.
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by BigMike » Sun Mar 08, 2009 2:46 pm

oton wrote:Mike, have you tried coffee from a Nespresso system? Far less expensive than a Vivaldi and the coffee is way better than drip. In my opinion, purchase a Vivaldi, or GS3 or a e-61 based machine it's not only about drink coffee, it's about a hobby, an obsession, you have to be a completely coffee snob to justify yourself the high amount of money for one of this machines.
No, never even heard of Nespresso.

I've started a post on HB, discussing how recently, my drip coffee at home has been intolerable. I've been visiting local shops, trying to figure out was has been going on. It's really been a disappointing venture.

Here's that post if you're curious what I've been doing since last posting here:

http://www.home-barista.com/coffees/fin ... 10147.html

I'm hesitant to spend $3000 (+) if I'm not going to be 100% that I'm going to enjoy what comes from spending that kinda money.

I've been drinking drips, french press, Clovers, with all kinds of roasts. Bought a grinder, and whole beans, pre grounds, etc. Nothing is working, as I feel I've taken a step backwards. I've done this since I thought it would be easier (in hind sight) to find a everyday drinkable coffee, w/out having to fork out several grand.

I just need to find a local shop that is willing to tolerate my basic questions about espresso based drinks. If I do (I haven't yet) then I may be convinced that drip and FP can be tossed out, and move onto the V2 and Cimbali.

To say I'm frustrated is an understatement. I just want a coffee drink that I can look forward to drinking. You know, actually enjoy drinking coffee!

BigMike

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:23 pm

Mike,

I read your post on H-B.

My brother is just like you. He has a expensive Saeco super-auto and uses Lavazza. He dials in a weak shot of espresso and then he fills it with hot water to make one of the weakest coffees I've ever tasted. I jokingly describe as "coffee tea". He loves it and tells me everything else tastes bitter. "I've been too Italy, I know what good espresso tastes like", he tells me.

My advice to you is, don't spend another cent on expensive gear. Try out a $35 Aerobie Aerpress with different brew times and doses (not just the ones in the instructions) along with LOTS of different beans (try everything like light gourmet roasts, and even Illy, Lavazza and popular blends like Starbucks Valencia...although these will be more towards the burnt taste). This Aeropress brew method gives you more control over your taste than any other so you'll be able to find what you are looking for....and it's super cheap. Use the "inverted method" described in You-Tube videos since it gives you more control over brew times.

Espresso is an acquired taste (like Scotch). People often think they can "taste what they smell" from coffee if they spend enough money. This is a VERY wrong assumption.

I think you'll find what you are looking for in the Aeropress suggestion, and you'll save $3K in gear.

(Try out the Nespresso too, but this is several $100 more than the Aeropress).
Endo

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by oton » Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:39 am

From HB
bigmike wrote:I ventured into a super-auto. Using Maxwell House pre-ground, and running approx 10 ozs of water thru 2 tablespoons, I believed I had a great cup of coffee. I guess this would be a longo? Regardless, I really enjoyed the cup, as did my wife and family. Even had two friends who were not coffee drinkers, but they drank that coffee outa that machine and were happy enough.
If you enjoyed a coffee made with 2 tbsp for 10ozs. I don`t think that you need an espresso machine. 2 tbsp/10oz is a very weak coffee, the opposite to espresso coffee.

I'll stick to Aeropress suggestion.
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by JohnB » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:18 am

Endo wrote: Espresso is an acquired taste (like Scotch). People often think they can "taste what they smell" from coffee if they spend enough money. This is a VERY wrong assumption.
Are you saying you can't?? I consider that to be the goal with every new espresso blend or S/O I buy.
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:12 am

JohnB wrote:
Endo wrote: Espresso is an acquired taste (like Scotch). People often think they can "taste what they smell" from coffee if they spend enough money. This is a VERY wrong assumption.
Are you saying you can't?? I consider that to be the goal with every new espresso blend or S/O I buy.
It's my goal too, but I have never achieved it and don't think I ever will (no matter how much money I spend on coffee, training or equipment).

I compare it to the smell of fresh baked bread. The bread never tastes as good as it smells (to me at least).

Since taste is a subjective thing, I leave the door open for those who feel they have gotten close. Although I'm pretty sure there are just as many who will always be disappointed. Maybe Mike is one of those? If so, he might be better to cut his losses. Stick with Cafe surfing and the Aeropress.
Endo

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by JohnB » Mon Mar 09, 2009 12:17 pm

If Mike thinks all french press/drip coffee tastes bitter/burnt then coffee made from an aeropress will be no different. Why would it? If you want to make weak coffee(dishwater?) you could do it with a press. From reading his posts it would seem that either Mike just doesn't like coffee or all his local roasters/cafes burn their beans. I would suggest buying something like Pt's Sidamo Special Prep (light/brew roast), let it age 5 days, grind coarsely & brew it in a press using 28-30 grams for 32 oz of water. Do a 4 minute steep & if that tastes bitter/burnt then its time to forget about coffee & move on.

As to getting the flavors you smell when you open the bag just play with dose & temp. I find I get the most "clarity" in smaller doses with the S1 but I suppose it depends on the espresso you are using. I also seem to use lower temps then you do so you might consider expanding your normal temp range a bit.

The Pt's Sidamo Espresso Roast has one of the most intoxicating aromas I've yet come across when you open the bag. I had to let it age 7-8 days before I could capture the essence of that aroma in the cup. Dosing at 14g w/temp set to 90-91C worked for me. Pt's advised mega 20-21g doses at 200*f which may be the ticket on the commercial LMs but does not produce clarity on the S1, at least not for me.

By the way my definition of clarity is being able to taste the various flavors in the cup that the roaster describes on their website & that I smell when I open the bag. I'm not saying that you will get everything in the cup that's in the aroma of the unground beans but you should come close. I'm getting to the point where I can pretty much tell how impressed I will be with a particular espresso blend/single origin just by opening the bag & inhalingly.

On a similar note I was in my local Whole Foods market Saturday where they roast on site. They roast the Allegro Coffee Beans & I've always been EXTREMELY disappointed with any of their "fresh roasted" coffees that I've tried & the lack of aroma from their beans. They had a bin filled with their Bel Canto espresso blend which was freshly roasted that day but had virtually no, nada, zero aroma!! How the hell is that possible?? Are they using greens so old that there is just nothing left by the time they roast the beans??
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Richard » Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:54 pm

JohnB wrote:On a similar note I was in my local Whole Foods market Saturday where they roast on site. They roast the Allegro Coffee Beans & I've always been EXTREMELY disappointed with any of their "fresh roasted" coffees that I've tried & the lack of aroma from their beans. They had a bin filled with their Bel Canto espresso blend which was freshly roasted that day but had virtually no, nada, zero aroma!! How the hell is that possible?? Are they using greens so old that there is just nothing left by the time they roast the beans??
Where you shopping, John? Sounds like University Heights in Providence. I tried a bit of their Allegro coffee roasted in house and deemed it a hopeless cause; I wonder about the effect of that big hot air popper on otherwise decent coffee.
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by JohnB » Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:34 pm

We were at the Cranston store on a shopping run through the Warwick Mall area. I haven't been in the Providence Whole Foods yet as I seldom go into the city. I mainly go to W/Fs for the cheese & sausage selection & to see how old the Terroir coffee has gotten that they have on the shelf! :lol:
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by BigMike » Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:37 am

I'm shocked my OP has received so many responses. I've read thru the entire thread several times, making sure I've missed nothing.

Several posts have hinted at this, and I would honestly be ashamed to admit this if it were true; I don't like coffee.
I may have to eventually accept that fact, but not without a fight!

Drinking a coffee beverage is like no other drink that I'm aware of. What other beverage can be enjoyed (really enjoyed) anytime of the day?
I can only see with coffee where this is an acceptable statement in any enviroment: "let's get a coffee". Having a great cup can make your day, and as well, a bad cup can ruin your day!

Maybe I'm locked into the illusion of being a coffee drinker. I gotta admit, the glamour of high quality coffee equipment is there. You could look at yourself as a (slightly) sophisticated individual. 99% of the population could care less about the quality of coffee they drink.

Several days ago I bought (as was recommended) preground 8 O'clock coffee. I brewed 4 cups through a drip, and let me tell you, it was smooth. I did not smell or taste any burntness. Granted, it did not have any complexity, but I was excited that maybe I had found something I could drink. It definately was not the kind of cup that I would dream about having the next morning, but it was drinkable.

I've not been able to reproduce that same cup. I'm taking a break from coffee, as I'm burnt out on all the work I've done recently. Caffeine withdrawal, here I come!

Thanks for all the replies, and you never know, my next post may very well be after I've had a "god shot" from my wishlist equipmet: S1 Vivaldi II.

BigMike

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by oton » Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:26 am

wow..uhh.. I not sure what to say. With all my respect BigMike, I do not understand why you want to drink coffee if you dont like coffee! Or at least dont like espresso. A guy who likes good quality coffee its sophisticated? Well, I dont know and I dont care. Coffee its just what it is.. coffee, a simple drink, like wine, nothing less nothing more.
What other beverage can be enjoyed (really enjoyed) anytime of the day?
juice... tea... chocolate... milkshakes.. beer... wine.. cocktails? what beverages do you like? You can't enjoy something if you don't like it!
I really enjoy other beverages as I enjoy coffee. I love all quality drinks (and food). I usually have in the fridge 5 or 6 differents styles of beers, from all the world. Last weekend a friend and I we made a tasting of 4 whyskys. I have some quality vodkas and gins, some wines... well there's a lot of options.
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by sakurama » Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:58 am

BigMike wrote: What other beverage can be enjoyed (really enjoyed) anytime of the day?
In my hood it would be a 40 of Malt Liquor...
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by JohnB » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:54 am

BigMike wrote: Drinking a coffee beverage is like no other drink that I'm aware of. What other beverage can be enjoyed (really enjoyed) anytime of the day?
Possibly Mike should have added " and get any work done" for you daytime drinkers! :lol:
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by BigMike » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:56 pm

I'm still here and still suffering.

Man, I really want a good cup of coffee.

Too bad CC hasn't got a sale on the S2; I think it's gone up 100 bucks.
I'd convince the wife to split it w/me, if it was on sale!

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:36 pm

Hey Mike! Why are you still suffering?

You can get a very good espresso with a used $200 espresso machine (like a gaggia or SB barista) and a decent $50 hand grinder. The great taste comes from a great roast.

While the Vivaldi is a great machine, remember all it does it make water hot and pump it through the grounds.

Like young Jack discovered, the magic is in the beans. :lol:
Endo

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by chas » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:17 pm

Endo wrote: While the Vivaldi is a great machine, remember all it does it make water hot and pump it through the grounds.
Man, I should have talked to you before I sold my V2 for a GS/3. All I needed was a used Krups!
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:35 pm

chas wrote:Man, I should have talked to you before I sold my V2 for a GS/3. All I needed was a used Krups!
Point I'm making (for Mike) is: Going with a cheaper machine is still better than going without.

I started with a Krups and then a Silvia and I can honestly say, I didn't enjoy it any less than my S1. We all must start somewhere. Which car did you enjoy most, your first or your present?

Mike has been on the fence for a year. In that time it would have been better to get a used Silvia for $400 and resell it for $350. Once he's convinced espresso is for him, invest in the S1. It will still be there and he'll be that much wiser. I always recommend this progressive upgrade path over the pro-sumer dive. Otherwise, you'll always be wondering if you spent too much.

Of course the biggest problem with progressively upgrading up to the S1 is that the next step up is gonna cost you at least $3000 more. :lol: That's where I am now.
Endo

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by JohnB » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:35 pm

[quote="Endo] We all must start somewhere. Which car did you enjoy most, your first or your present?[/quote]

First car: Beat up early 60's Dodge tank bought for $50.
Current car: 5 series BMW

Tough call but I'm going to have to go with my current car. And you??
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:32 pm

My first car. Restored 1968 Camaro SS convertible. (blueprinted to 400 shp).
Camaro_SS 001 (480x320).jpg
1968 Camaro SS
Camaro_SS 001 (480x320).jpg (46.68 KiB) Viewed 16938 times
Present car........ahhhh what's the point?
Endo

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by oton » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:52 am

Jesus... :shock: What a nice car. :shock:

You did some burnouts? :angry4:
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by sakurama » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:42 pm

Endo wrote:My first car. Restored 1968 Camaro SS convertible. (blueprinted to 400 shp).
Camaro_SS 001 (480x320).jpg
Present car........ahhhh what's the point?
Wow, that analogy didn't work out did it? Pretty much all downhill from there.

My first was a 72 BMW and my current is an F150. Maybe sexual experiences would be a better analogy. Maybe not.

Yeah, Mike should have gotten something but if someone can really wait that long they're suffering from "analysis paralysis". Wasn't there an NPR story about a guy who spent his whole life looking for the perfect couch and drove his friends nuts? Ah found it:http://choronicsingleton.blogspot.com/2 ... great.html

I have a friend who's been looking for the perfect girlfriend for the last 15 years and he's still single...

Look for a used one Mike.
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by SwingT » Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:24 am

Big mike - now that you have a machine.

I see in your posts that you are still lusting after an s1 V2.

I suggest that instead you start lusting after a really top notch grinder.

Cimbali Max hybrid, Mazzer Major, or something in that range.

This forum is focused on an espresso machine, most of the posts at HB and CG are machine related.

I have done very well as a newbie - not because of the machines I own. But because of the grinder.

I started off with a Super Jolly. Was surprised by how much difference there is with the Major I bought from John B.

I disagree almost completely with Endo. Coffee is not like motorcycles. Not much chance of death or serious injury if you pull a sink shot of espresso.

Not much point is going thru the hassle and expense of extra steps on an upgrade path.

Instead, you have a better shot, in the long run cheaper shot at happiness and success by reaching as high as possible.

Now that you have a machine, suggest you reach to a higher level of grinder. Then after you start getting to a level where you want to reach higher, go for the S1 v2 after you have a grinder that will let it shine.

My 2 C

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Sat Feb 20, 2010 11:08 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong, but BigMike has been on the fence for over a year. I read through this long thread again it appears he still owns a super-auto.

I have nothing against recommending the S1 to a passionate espresso drinker (even if he never owned a machine before but loves his espresso at the local cafe), I just think it's ridiculous to spend $2500 on an espresso machine if you don't own a grinder and are not even sure you like espresso. :roll:

I had a good laugh reading through this thread. Especially where I recommended he buy a Vario (over a year ago) and everybody jumps on me. I look like a freakin' Nostradamus! :lol:
Endo

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by JohnB » Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:40 am

Endo wrote: I had a good laugh reading through this thread. Especially where I recommended he buy a Vario (over a year ago) and everybody jumps on me. I look like a freakin' Nostradamus! :lol:

If that were true you'd still own the SS. Seen what these are bringing at the muscle car auctions?
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by JohnB » Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:15 pm

By the way Endo I've yet to see a post talking about your new B. Vario. Every time I think I might go for one I read about the latest issue on the Vario threads & say screw it. Its a nice grinder when it:
A/Turns on
B/Tabs aren't breaking on the sliders
C/ Screws aren't stripping out of oversized holes
D/It isn't spewing grounds all over the counter
E/ All the issues I forgot

The Vario owner threads are like reading the GS3 threads only the company actually seems to give a damn about the Vario problems. Unfortunately Mahlkonig seems to have some serious quality issues when it comes to the B. Vario & they aren't all in the past. Meanwhile my refurbished Major just keeps grinding away.
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by chas » Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:49 pm

John, you're post makes me glad I don't spend much time on the other forums. If I did I guess I'd be miserable with my choice of equipment rather than completely content.
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by JohnB » Sun Feb 21, 2010 2:05 pm

Are you? You wouldn't like to see LM step up to the plate & offer all owners a permanent fix for the noise & vibration issues? The latest Paddle versions seem to be sorted out. I imagine that after the high profile embarassment of sending Mark Prince a machine that was so bad even the importer gave up on it LM finally realized it was time to get off their ass & do something about the problems.
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by Endo » Sun Feb 21, 2010 10:07 pm

JohnB wrote:If that were true you'd still own the SS. Seen what these are bringing at the muscle car auctions?
Don't remind me. :-( Even worse than that, back in 1988 when I bought my SS another guy offered me a mint stock 1969 Camaro Pace Car for $5000. I looked at the orange racing stripes and orange interior leather and passed. Doh!

Back to the grinder....

I'm still undecided about selling my Mazzer SJ and getting the smaller Vario. But the static mess and cheapo PF holder bothered me when I tried it. I feel like I may regret selling the SJ so I may be better off just keeping it (or getting both?).

I'd love to have a GS/3 or a Speedster. But I must say the all stainless Synesso has always been my personal favorite. I hear they are coming out with a new "super high tech" Synesso in a month. I wonder what's in it?
Endo

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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by oton » Mon Feb 22, 2010 4:37 am

Endo wrote: I'm still undecided about selling my Mazzer SJ and getting the smaller Vario. But the static mess and cheapo PF holder bothered me when I tried it. I feel like I may regret selling the SJ so I may be better off just keeping it (or getting both?).

I'd love to have a GS/3 or a Speedster. But I must say the all stainless Synesso has always been my personal favorite. I hear they are coming out with a new "super high tech" Synesso in a month. I wonder what's in it?
If I were you I would not sell the SJ for a Vario. Sorry to say this but the Vario feels like a toy -an expensive toy-. Yes, the grinding quality is nice and fluffy, but it's difficult to see the chute, the space between the chute and PF is thight, so you have to be careful when you remove the PF for not throw out the grounds heap. If you lower the PF holder to get more space between the chute, prepare your desk to receive a coffee grounds shower. :mrgreen:
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Re: Need Your Help Justifying VII Purchase

Post by slo » Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:51 am

With regards to the messiness issue, I strongly suggest an "Orphan espresso style funnel". I made my own with an old aluminium measuring cup, doesn't look that great but works. I haven't had any spill since.

Just a thought.
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