First impressions with the S1 Dream

Post photos and descriptions of your S1 V1, S1 V2, and/or S1 Dream coffee set ups here.
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Mike_
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First impressions with the S1 Dream

Post by Mike_ » Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:03 pm

From the time the Dream came out I have been wanting one. Short of shelling out 3-4 times more for a truly commercial machine, the Dream appeared to me to be the current epitome of the home espresso machine. I've had the machine running for a couple of weeks now and although I've still a lot to learn about it, I must say my expectations have been more than met. My machine is identical to the one pictured above.

The machine came well packed from Chris Coffee, although everything was a bit wet when I received it which was evidence the machine had been tested, but not quite completely drained prior to shipment. The included bottomless portafilter was the wrong type and upon notice Chris Coffee promptly shipped out the correct one. All in all my experience with Chris Coffee has been quite good. Although I had never ordered a machine from them before I have ordered many other things from them and have always received excellent service.

I've never owned a plumbed in machine before. The only really scary part was cutting a hole in my counter, because I knew I'd be committed once that happened. Other than that, plumbing it in was pretty straightforward. I already had an unused cold water tap with valve under my sink, which was a foresight I had 14 years ago when I had my house built. Outside of the valve a water regulator, and combination filter/softening solution was installed. I replaced my electrical outlet with a 20 amp model to avoid using the included 20 to 15 amp cord shipped with the machine. Although the service to my kitchen is 20 amp, the outlet is shared with a couple of other things like my garbage disposal, so I'm running the machine in 15 amp mode to avoid tripping the breaker. I have no concern in doing so since the machine always favors the brewing boiler.

Once the water source was installed the hard part was done and it was just a matter of hooking the water line up. The instructions downloaded from Chris Coffee are very straightforward. Installation and pump adjustment took just a few minutes.

My grinder is a Super Jolly which I've modified by removing the doser and installing a funnel. I've had it for many years and it works brilliantly. The coffee I'm currently using is Blue Jaguar Espresso from Redbird. I still have yet to use the bottomless portafilter as the shots the double spout is producing are quite nice. The control set took a bit of time to figure out, but is fairly intuitive and works quite well in operation. I was a bit skeptical of the volumetric dosing as I've never had a machine with such a thing, but in practice it is producing consistent shots in time and volume. The built-in timer is also a very nice feature.

The shots produced are somewhat different in character from my old Bezerra. I attribute this to things like pre-infusion, dual boiler, the rotary pump, and a considerable difference in basket design. Although I very much liked the shots my Bezerra produced, I'm starting to like the shots made by the Dream better and the electronic controls just gives me so many more options for customization. Although I haven't tried any other coffees yet, I'm greatly looking forward to it as my old Bezerra was a great pain getting it dialed in to a particular coffee and just didn't lend itself very well to switching roasts.

I'm currently brewing Blue Jaguar at 202F with 2 seconds of pre-infusion, which seems to be quite nice for my taste.

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chas
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Re: First impressions with the S1 Dream

Post by chas » Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:32 am

You have certainly done everything by the book. My situation is the same as yours as far as having a 20A circuit that actually has at least one other appliances on the same circuit. However, I have run mine in 20A mode for 10 years and have never tripped the breaker or burned the house down.

When you first turn on the Dream only the brew boiler heats up. When it is up to temperature then the steam boiler heats up. So it is only when the brew boiler is up to temp that they can both cycle on at the same time. This means that the actual time both boilers are ever on at the same time is very short.
Chas
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Mike_
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Re: First impressions with the S1 Dream

Post by Mike_ » Mon Oct 27, 2014 11:16 am

I didn't realize the machine also operates that way in 20A mode on startup, but I suppose it makes perfect sense.

I have been leaving the steam boiler off most of the time anyway as I just don't do that many milk based drinks. I realize the chances of actually blowing the breaker are small, however given that the brains of the machine are electronic I just want to minimize the chances of that happening as much as possible. Running the machine in 15A mode buys a bit of cheap insurance for basically no consequence in terms of performance. I have a pretty hefty garbage disposal(8A) and I'm quite sure that the breaker would blow if all three were trying to run at the same time. According to the specifications supplied by Chris Coffee, the brew boiler pulls 800 watts (7.25A) and the steam boiler pulls 1250 watts (11.35A). So if the steam boiler is on, and I flip my garbage disposal on, I'm already at 19.35A. If all 3 are on, I'm looking at over 26A.

monkeybongo
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Re: First impressions with the S1 Dream

Post by monkeybongo » Thu Nov 13, 2014 2:56 pm

I didn't find a significant difference between the 15A and 20A mode. The recovery time to get the boilers back to temp is really quick.

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