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Upgrading from hx machine? Worth it?


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Hi All,

I’ve been reading the forum for a while but only recently set up an account so I can post too :)  

I’ve been into drinking espresso based drinks for years and my first machine was a Breville barista pro which i was using with a Kinu m47 grinder. I recently upgraded to a Wega Mininova hx machine. Somehow this hasn’t cured my Upgraditis and I’m now wondering whether I should sell this again and just buy the Vesuvius!? 
 

A bit more background: I enjoy trying lots of different (single origin) espressos and have a great selection of roasters as I live in Berlin. I am fairly geeky about preparing coffee and enjoy tinkering with the machine - experimenting with different extraction ratios and times and longer and shorter cooling flushes etc.. However I only drink milk based drinks - short flat whites and cappuccinos and am wondering whether an upgrade would make any real difference. Would be really keen to hear what people think about this.

Cheers

Mike

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Provided you drink mainly espresso a single boiler machine w PID will give you better taste in the cup. I used to have Mininova Classic as well with mounted thermometer on the brew head, something you must have when use HX at home.

Edited by L&R
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2 minutes ago, L&R said:

Provided you drink mainly espresso a single boiler machine w PID will give you better taste in the cup. I used to have Mininova Classic as well with mounted thermometer on the brew head, something you must have when use HX at home.

I'm going to extend this a little by saying. If you drink espresso or Americano there are benefits from either Single Boiler Machines with PID or Dual Boilers with PID. Milk drinks can have a lot hidden by the milk, but if the Espresso is better the Milk drink is better.

Upgrade = Dual Boiler with PID or better

Improvement (sideways move ) = single boiler with PID (OK if you never make milk drinks, or only rarely)

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Hey up and welcome!
Even though I don't know the Wega Mininova from personal experience, it is a vibe pump machine that naturally comes with a certain pressure profile: vibration pumps tend to start (s)low.

Did you have it plumbed in? Could you play with mains water pressure pre-infusion?
Is that why you're looking into a Vesuvius?

These days, we have many options for profiling. One being to exchange group mushroom to a paddle type one, another one to get into manual lever machines with their pressure gauge kits. Then there are manual flow profiling machines, like the DC Mina, LM GS3, Lelit Bianca and their likes. Or automated pressure profiling machines such as Vesuvius, DE1+, and more.

Question is, how much brainfork and silly money compared to difference in the cup. If funds are not the issue, you might adapt your palate (or perception) as you go with a couple grand less in your pocket [emoji23]

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Thanks for your input guys! I am definitely a flat white person so single boiler isn’t really an option for me. I’m enjoying the power of the hx compared to the barista pro I had before. 

It sounds like there might not be a huge improvement moving from the Wega Mininova (vibe pump - tank version) to a dual boiler. Or at least not much point investing in a high end profiling machine...? 
 

Perhaps a second hand dual boiler with PID would be worth considering. Something like an Izzo Duetto.? Have seen one on eBay classifieds for 900 but not sure if the green boiler is normal!? 
https://www.ebay-kleinanzeigen.de/s-anzeige/izzo-alex-duetto-mc243-siebtraeger-kaffeevollautomat/1279842600-86-6147?utm_source=notes&utm_campaign=socialbuttons&utm_medium=social&utm_content=app_ios

Also if I stick with the Wega Mini is there a thermometer which fits it? ( the inspection screw is fairly obscured by the upper casing.)

Thanks again for your help!

Mike 

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11 minutes ago, Hasi said:

wait a second, a single boiler isn't an option?
oh, that will highly depend on how much space you have - large single boilers are easily up to the job... especially lever machines emoji16.png

Yes I guess. I suppose I just thought that the natural order of things or hierarchy was single boiler — hx — dual boiler... At least as someone who drinks almost exclusively milk drinks (albeit short ones :)). Perhaps I’m wrong on this?

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Mine was Classic version with not hidden E61 and lever. I have now 2 dual boilers but most of the time service(steam) boilers are off. If it is only for espresso brew boiler counts and it needs PID for stable temperature.

Edited by L&R
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@kennyboy993 maybe able to help here.

 

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Mike these questions usually appear when the OP is looking for better espresso or some non-milk based drink. In my experience anyway.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time with a temperature observed e61 hx (plumbed in) and then a vesuvius - also plumbed in. I upgraded from an ecm mechanika eventually to a vesuvius.

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere in terms of medium and light roasts the dual boiler pressure profile machine is on another level really - there were beans that were quite unpleasant on the hx that I managed to get delicious on the V thanks to temp stability (declining temp on a hx) and really long pre-infusions and slow ramp ups and down etc.

Hope that helps - I personally can’t pick out flavours in milk drinks, only increased or decreased bitterness from bean to bean though if you can then I’d say a V would be a significant step on.


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I have come across people that prefer HX taste. Might be because they just use it. I decided to try them. One German and one UK where the manufacturers say the need to flush is a design fault. Have the machines but can't do anything with them at the moment and the UK one needs a full service. I will try just using the German one and to hell with what many say I should do. I'll judge the results purely on taste and that wont be on the basis of does it taste the same as my current machine. Then can I change the taste - might logically mean using less coffee.

I thought that the Barista Pro was a recent machine but perhaps they have used the name before. I'm happy with a Sage Dual Boiler and some odd things can be done with that. Main really different one is brewing at low pressure by keeping the machine's pump at infusion levels for the whole shot. Not really looked into it because there is enough work involved in getting ideal doses and ratios. Not sure I would like to add profiling - be there for ever each time I tried a different bean.

I stick to origin but drink americano - I think that's the best way to taste coffee. I do make milk one for others and also try them myself out of curiosity. Milk can change the taste remarkably. One I use goes chocolate - how and why comparing it with a taste of an americano is a bit difficult to explain. I suspect others will be the same. So I wouldn't agree that milk drinkers always wreck tastes. It can work the other way as well. I understand that Mandheling is popular with some milk based drinkers. It's crap in an americano but if brewed weak enough and in the right way in an americano an interesting drink. Perfect in one machine,  haven't got the acidity right yet on the DB. Throwing yet another variable in doesn't interest me at all.

John

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10 minutes ago, kennyboy993 said:

Mike these questions usually appear when the OP is looking for better espresso or some non-milk based drink. In my experience anyway.

I’ve spent quite a bit of time with a temperature observed e61 hx (plumbed in) and then a vesuvius - also plumbed in. I upgraded from an ecm mechanika eventually to a vesuvius.

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere in terms of medium and light roasts the dual boiler pressure profile machine is on another level really - there were beans that were quite unpleasant on the hx that I managed to get delicious on the V thanks to temp stability (declining temp on a hx) and really long pre-infusions and slow ramp ups and down etc.

Hope that helps - I personally can’t pick out flavours in milk drinks, only increased or decreased bitterness from bean to bean though if you can then I’d say a V would be a significant step on.


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Maybe but you stopped using a Sage DB even though it's temperature is pretty stable.

LOL I suspect I have your HX machine now.

John

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So.... uk = Fracino, German = ECM? Why not say the manufacturer names in the first place? Some sort of guessing game? [emoji15]

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I suspect Mike that you are staring into a rabbit hole wondering whether to jump.. Maybe find someone nearby with a Vesuvius and ask if you can see it in action.

As for HX vs DB, I can't answer that as I've never used a straight HX (I say that as mine is a HX DB :whistle:) If you can play around with temps though that's another variable, and I think temp stability is quite important.. I've had shots off a Vesuvius and they were really nice. If you like milky drinks I was going to say how many people actually steam and pull a shot at the same time, but I found myself doing that this morning while I was waiting for the first drips from a long pre-infusion.

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8 hours ago, Rhys said:

I suspect Mike that you are staring into a rabbit hole wondering whether to jump.. Maybe find someone nearby with a Vesuvius and ask if you can see it in action.

As for HX vs DB, I can't answer that as I've never used a straight HX (I say that as mine is a HX DB :whistle:) If you can play around with temps though that's another variable, and I think temp stability is quite important.. I've had shots off a Vesuvius and they were really nice. If you like milky drinks I was going to say how many people actually steam and pull a shot at the same time, but I found myself doing that this morning while I was waiting for the first drips from a long pre-infusion.

Exactly. It’s not that I’m unhappy with the Wega mini - apart from the fact I can’t seem to get decent micro foam with it :( - it’s more that I’m wondering whether I’d be getting even better coffee with a dual boiler pid... That said the flat whites I drink at the good third wave cafes in Berlin don’t really taste much better than the ones I’m making at home. I’m sure I could tell the difference in a direct comparison but not with an hour or two between ;) 

Any other Wega Mini Nova owners getting good micro foam out there? From what I’ve read it’s not exactly the machines strong suit...

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have you swapped the steam tip for one with more/less/bigger/smaller holes?
For instance, on a Pavoni hardly anyone can properly steam milk with supplied nozzle. Just because it sucks really badly. Our very own @Nicknak has a small metal lathe and can turn top quality steam tips made to measure - with his help quite a few fellow forum members (including me ?) are now able to texture milk right on their Pavs.

If you're not really unhappy, maybe try to get the most out of your present equipment :)

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