Purchase Question from Canada

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RoninTech
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Purchase Question from Canada

Post by RoninTech » Fri Apr 23, 2010 3:14 pm

Hi All,

Great resource you have here! After much research my Wife and I have decided to purchase a Beratza Vario grinder and a LaSpaziale V2. We live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and enjoy store bought espressos, lattes, cappos and Americanos and home drip and french press coffee. The closest dealer for the Spaz is CoffeeTech, 3 hours away in Edmonton. Unfortunately they do not sell the vario as I was hoping to do a combo deal to get a better price. I was also going to order a bottomless portafilter and 53mm convex tamper to go along with the Spaz. The Spaz will be plumbed in to an RO water supply. Will I need the drain kit or can it be done with standard plumbing hardware to hook into the sink drain? Any other little items I'd regret buying at purchase time?

With the CDN $ at par, current prices are:
  • CoffeeTech $2519 2 Year Parts and Labour warranty No mention of calibration before shipped 3 hours away
  • EspressoPlanet $2799 1 Year Parts and Labour warranty No mention of calibrated before shipped In Canada
  • ChrisCoffee $2195 2 Year Parts and Labour warranty Is calibrated before shipped In the US
ChrisCoffee sells the Vario for $449
Espressoplanet sells the Vario for $459

I'd like to support the local economy but at these price differences, no way. I have an address just across the border in Idaho so shipping isn't a factor really. Have other Canadians purchased from ChrisCoffee with good success? Can't wait to get one of these things and join in the discussions. :D

Cheers,
Paul
Cheers,
Paul
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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oton
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Re: Purchase Question from Canada

Post by oton » Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:49 pm

Sorry for not help you, but Alberta and Chris Coffee are a little far from here, so I don't know too much. :roll: Endo, probably could help you.

Well, I just wanted to give you the welcome as a future user. :occasion2:
La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II ♦ Izzo Alex Duetto III
Compak K10 Fresh ♦ Mahlkönig K30 Vario ♦ Mahlkönig Vario
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RoninTech
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Re: Purchase Question from Canada

Post by RoninTech » Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:56 pm

Thanks Oton. Great city you live in there. Do you cheer for Athletico or Real? Athletico beat my team last night. :( I was born in Liverpool and emigrated to Canada when I was 13.
Cheers,
Paul
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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slo
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Re: Purchase Question from Canada

Post by slo » Fri Apr 23, 2010 7:03 pm

Hello and welcome.

As you may know all the Vivaldi II in North America are imported through Chris Coffee. When you buy it from another reseller, the machine may or may not be, depending on the dealer, be pre-adjusted. But that really is not a big deal IMHO. Most of the adjustments have to be redone anyway depending on your local circumstances.

I purchased from Espresso planet which was the cheapest at the time. They gave me a 53mm Rattleware tamper and a 20oz steaming pitcher along with the machine. Not the best equipment but good enough for you to get experience and decide what you really want. Espresso planet do not adjust the machine.

I bought my B-Vario from them as well, and again at the time they were the least expensive supplier. They offer the least expensive (by far) bottomless portafilter in Canada.

I find that Caffe tech is consistently more expensive. But do not know if it is justified by good service. They few conversations and e-mails I had with them were always very pleasant.

When I looked into it and factored transport, duties, brokerage. I found that indeed buying locally was cheaper (for me). Communicate with your dealer and ask for a rebate. Even it is not a package deal I would expect that Espressso planet could do 10% on the Vivaldi. Do not expect a reduction on the B-Vario (on its own) though.

There is another Canadian reseller that sometime has good prices: Creativecookware. I am not recommending them based on the very unpleasant interaction I had with them. The people I spoke too were completely clueless about espresso machine. Completely! I would not expect any support from them.

Finally, you do not need the drain kit. There are a few examples of easy and inexpensive modifications (mine included) that you can find in this forum. And clearly you do not need the price gouging timer device.
Vivaldi II, Multiple (a collection really) Lever machines
Currently on deck grinders: Mythos and MXKR
Backup grinders: Robur, Major.
Toper Cafemino Electric and Poppery 1 roaster

I have a serious problem ... Can you guess what?

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Dodger1
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Re: Purchase Question from Canada

Post by Dodger1 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:23 am

I know that CC (Chris Coffee) will give you a very good discount from msrp, if you simply ask Chris for one.

The Vario at CC lists for $449.00 but they have this statement "Call for any available discount" which means that he will most likely sell you one for ~ $400.00.

I don't know how much of a discount he'd offer on the V2 but when I bought my Mini II, about 11 months ago, he was pretty generous. He also included a free bottomless portafilter and a couple of other items.

So, what I'd suggest doing is to make a must have list and then call Chris directly, to see what kind of a deal he'd offer. Then, if you want, you can shop the Canadian stores to see what kind of deal they'd offer.

Keith
Vivaldi Mini II w/pi
Compak K10 WBC & Vario
RB & Bumper tampers, Motta 16oz.

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slo
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Re: Purchase Question from Canada

Post by slo » Sat Apr 24, 2010 8:38 am

Hey Keith.

Hope your feeling better.Have you found your interest in the new toy back?

I understand that Chris Coffee is offering free shipping in the Continental US, but they do not for Canada and it is not cheap. I believe that is the main cost difference between Chris and the Canadian reseller (most do not even stock the machine...). But doing the due diligence in price comparison is recommendable indeed.
RoninTech wrote:Any other little items I'd regret buying at purchase time?
I forgot to mention a few items yesterday. The no burn steam arm. I LOVE it, some hate it. I recommend it some won't ... The big selling point for me is the ability to simply wipe the steam arm clean after use. As it stay cool the milk does not cake on it. I really like that.

Also the 4 small holes steam tip for the no burn arm. This was the best buy of the year for me. If you get the No burn make sure to get the tip as well. It make the creation of a whirlpool so easy that you do not even have to think about it. Disregard the comments saying that it is slow. Steaming milk should not be any faster than that. ;-)
Vivaldi II, Multiple (a collection really) Lever machines
Currently on deck grinders: Mythos and MXKR
Backup grinders: Robur, Major.
Toper Cafemino Electric and Poppery 1 roaster

I have a serious problem ... Can you guess what?

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Dodger1
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Re: Purchase Question from Canada

Post by Dodger1 » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:14 am

Hey Slo,

You must have missed it but the OP stated "I'd like to support the local economy but at these price differences, no way. I have an address just across the border in Idaho so shipping isn't a factor really." so shipping to Canada would be a moot point.

Thanks for asking and while I'm feeling better, I still have an inordinate amount of pain.

I did completely tear apart my new Concio yesterday and found that the build quality is pretty darn nice. IMO, they did a great job on the design/execution of the floating, spring-loaded, burr carrier system. I also liked the fact that they used a ton of polished brass components and that everything fitted and turned extremely smoothly. Overall I'd have to judge their build quality as being right up to the WBC standards, which pleased the dickens out of me.

The other thing that was a tad concerned about was Jim Schulman's comment " My only caveat is that it lacks a motor starter, and there's about 2 seconds of loud clatter when the motor starts." So far I've noticed that it's just a tad louder for the first 2 seconds but nowhere close to what Jim's comment would have lead me to believe. After ~ 2 seconds it's actually quieter then my WBC, which came as a complete surprise to me. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that the unit Jim tested had a 500 watt motor, where mine has a 700 watt motor?

Jim, at 1st-line got back to me yesterday regarding removing the control box and told me to call John, at my convince, and he'd walk me through the procedure. After I do that mod I'm thinking about writing up a full review, with lots of pictures but there's no pressing urgency to that.

So far I've been pleased as punch with the Conico and for $699, it was one heck of deal.

Keith
Vivaldi Mini II w/pi
Compak K10 WBC & Vario
RB & Bumper tampers, Motta 16oz.

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slo
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Re: Purchase Question from Canada

Post by slo » Sat Apr 24, 2010 9:37 am

Dodger1 wrote:Thanks for asking and while I'm feeling better, I still have an inordinate amount of pain...
Sorry to hear that. But seems that you are using the "new toy" as a mean to stay distracted. :smile:
Dodger1 wrote:You must have missed it but the OP stated "I'd like to support the local economy but at these price differences, no way. I have an address just across the border in Idaho so shipping isn't a factor really." so shipping to Canada would be a moot point.
True that shipping would not be as much of an issue for Ronintech but still I wrote it for anybody else. Nonetheless there will be duties and taxes and the cost of the drive. But it sounds like Ronintech is probably a good candidate for getting it from Chris Coffee. I do not know how Chris would handle warranty shipments to Canada. He probably would ship them to the Idaho address which could be a hassle to go get the parts there, if ever.

I am just trying to put everything that I can think of out there for considerations.
Vivaldi II, Multiple (a collection really) Lever machines
Currently on deck grinders: Mythos and MXKR
Backup grinders: Robur, Major.
Toper Cafemino Electric and Poppery 1 roaster

I have a serious problem ... Can you guess what?

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RoninTech
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Re: Purchase Question from Canada

Post by RoninTech » Sat Apr 24, 2010 12:49 pm

Thanks for the responses folks! Would love to hear from any Canadians that bought a Spaz from Chris Coffee to hear how their warranty is handled. From what it sounds like even if we got it direct shipped to Calgary we'd probably still be ahead with Chris's prices, duty (9%?, grinder should be duty free as I think its made in USA?) and taxes (5% - no pst, only gst in Alberta).

Since we have nothing to start with we'll be needing all the accessories. Here's some more questions on that:
  • Is the convex tamper the way to go?
  • What's the advantage of the bottomless portafilter vs. the single/double that come included?
  • Anything special to know about steaming jugs and knockboxes?
  • Are there some highly recommended varieties of the above?
Being a geek, I'll be integrating the Spaz into our home automation network to have it come on automagically. That serial port sounds real interesting, might have to take a peek at that...

Cheers,
Paul
Cheers,
Paul
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Dodger1
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Re: Purchase Question from Canada

Post by Dodger1 » Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:33 am

I did a quick search on HB and:

Is the convex tamper the way to go?

http://www.home-barista.com/advice/gett ... ex#p139484

http://www.home-barista.com/advice/espr ... ex#p125482

http://www.home-barista.com/tips/convex ... ex#p116132

What's the advantage of the bottomless portafilter vs. the single/double that come included?

http://www.home-barista.com/tips/new-pe ... t6765.html

You can do a search our forum, and HB, and come up with all kinds of opinions and information on both of those topics; as well as steaming jugs and knockboxes.

You can also ask Chris, @ CC, what his opinions are and please believe me when I say "he won't steer you wrong."

Keith
Vivaldi Mini II w/pi
Compak K10 WBC & Vario
RB & Bumper tampers, Motta 16oz.

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Dodger1
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Re: Purchase Question from Canada

Post by Dodger1 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 9:30 am

I've simply got to mention that I consider my Motta 16oz steaming pitcher a glorious piece of art that will easily outlast me. As a plus, it's also the best pitcher I've ever used. :grin:

Now if it just wasn't so darn expensive but in this case, you get what you pay for.

http://www.chriscoffee.com/products/hom ... ngpitchers
Vivaldi Mini II w/pi
Compak K10 WBC & Vario
RB & Bumper tampers, Motta 16oz.

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chas
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Re: Purchase Question from Canada

Post by chas » Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:46 am

Dodger1 wrote:I've simply got to mention that I consider my Motta 16oz steaming pitcher a glorious piece of art that will easily outlast me. As a plus, it's also the best pitcher I've ever used. :grin:

Now if it just wasn't so darn expensive but in this case, you get what you pay for.

http://www.chriscoffee.com/products/hom ... ngpitchers
Check out the prices for Alessi pitchers. Then these will seem darn reasonable. :drunken:
Chas
LM GS/3 & LaSpaziale Dream v 1.23 (US 120V)
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Dodger1
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Re: Purchase Question from Canada

Post by Dodger1 » Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:02 pm

I tried to place an order for an Alessi pitcher but since I didn't own a La Marzocco, they wouldn't sell me one.

Something about not wanting any of the riffraff owning an Alessi ;)
Vivaldi Mini II w/pi
Compak K10 WBC & Vario
RB & Bumper tampers, Motta 16oz.

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RoninTech
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Re: Purchase Question from Canada

Post by RoninTech » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:39 pm

Thanks for the feedback all. I've put in an email to Chris @ ChrisCoffee to see what he can do.

Cheers,
Paul
Cheers,
Paul
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Re: Purchase Question from Canada

Post by RoninTech » Mon May 03, 2010 3:48 pm

Torpedo away! Just ordered the Mini Vivaldi II and a Baratza Vario from CC along with a bottomless PF, Cafelat Pillar tamper, Cafelat Tubbi knock box and Pro Barista 20oz steaming pitcher. We switched to a mini because we like to use our RO water and its low pressure meant that the pre-infusion wouldn't work on the V2. We also have granite countertops.

I'll make sure to post some pics once we have it set up.
Cheers,
Paul
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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slo
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Re: Purchase Question from Canada

Post by slo » Mon May 03, 2010 8:43 pm

Congratulation! You ordered the whole enchilada along with a few burritos... :grin:

Hope that you got a good deal on this, even if you did not take any of my advice... :twisted: The B-Vario and the Vivaldi make a very nice combination in the cup.

Welcome aboard!
Vivaldi II, Multiple (a collection really) Lever machines
Currently on deck grinders: Mythos and MXKR
Backup grinders: Robur, Major.
Toper Cafemino Electric and Poppery 1 roaster

I have a serious problem ... Can you guess what?

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RoninTech
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Re: Purchase Question from Canada

Post by RoninTech » Mon May 03, 2010 9:55 pm

slo wrote:Hope that you got a good deal on this, even if you did not take any of my advice... :twisted:
lol! Thanks for the welcome Sylvain. I did appreciate your comments even though I ended up taking a different path.
Cheers,
Paul
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Dodger1
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Re: Purchase Question from Canada

Post by Dodger1 » Tue May 04, 2010 8:17 am

Now comes the fun part, unpacking everything and firing it up for the first time. It's a w00t and the learning curves not that all hard, which is one of the reason I bought my Mini II in the first place.

However, while you're waiting on pins and needles for everything to show up, I'd suggest reading this a couple of times http://www.home-barista.com/la-spaziale ... eview.html and taking notes. I followed their "Pulling shots by the numbers" guide and it was a lifesaver for me as I'd never used an espresso machine before getting my Mini II.

Anyway, nice choices and enjoy the heck out of your new gear.

Keith
Vivaldi Mini II w/pi
Compak K10 WBC & Vario
RB & Bumper tampers, Motta 16oz.

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