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Compact machine recommendations please


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Hi all,

I'd like to start putting some money aside for an upgrade and want to give myself a target for a couple of years from now. Something around about the £1000 mark. It needs to have a small footprint, as my kitchen is tiny. I quite like the shiny shiny machines in terms of style. I've looked at the ACS Minima which is slightly above budget, and I've also looked at the Bezzera BZ10. Does anyone own, or has used either of these machines? What other suggestions can people make?

My other question is - with this upgrade in mind, will an OE Pharos 1 grinder need upgrading as well?

Many thanks.

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If you are happy with the Pharos 1 then maybe look at the “Voodoo Daddy” mods to grind into a cup underneath to make the workflow easier?

A couple of years could see the Londinium Compact reach the market at that price point 🤞

A little bit more, but shiny and good quality is the ECM Slim? That and a flow paddle kit would be great. If/when my old style Mara breaks irreparably that’s what I would go for actually. Personally the Mara-x has too much electronic wizardry in it and I would want something simpler...

 

2D162FBC-D450-4477-87CF-36A4E5F7FD68.jpeg

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4 hours ago, Northern_Monkey said:

If you are happy with the Pharos 1 then maybe look at the “Voodoo Daddy” mods to grind into a cup underneath to make the workflow easier?

A couple of years could see the Londinium Compact reach the market at that price point 🤞

A little bit more, but shiny and good quality is the ECM Slim? That and a flow paddle kit would be great. If/when my old style Mara breaks irreparably that’s what I would go for actually. Personally the Mara-x has too much electronic wizardry in it and I would want something simpler...

 

2D162FBC-D450-4477-87CF-36A4E5F7FD68.jpeg

Thanks for the response. Is there any info/photos of the Londinium compact out there? I had a quick look earlier but couldn't find much other than reddit/forum posts mentioning the possibility of the machine?

 

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No, all super secret so far! There have been whisperings and hints for a few years now.

There is a forum thread on it here as well. Basically, about £1K, spring lever and 58mm portafilter. Maybe A4 footprint and should be UK made.

I think it’s being user tested as we speak with more details early this year. Should be good based on the Londinium track record, but has been pushed back a fair bit in the past.

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The market will look quite different in a couple of years.

The Londinium Compact or Vectis as I believe it is now called will be on the market I am sure. Reiss has confirmed a  fair bit about it if you read the Londinium forums.

If you aim for a BZ10 or Mechanika I am sure you will be able to pick up their successors or updated versions and be delighted. 

 

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www.blackcatcoffee.co.uk

Coffee | Espresso Machines | Grinders | Accessories

Izzo Vivi, Alex and Alex Duetto in stock now!

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6 hours ago, Northern_Monkey said:

If you are happy with the Pharos 1 then maybe look at the “Voodoo Daddy” mods to grind into a cup underneath to make the workflow easier?

A couple of years could see the Londinium Compact reach the market at that price point 🤞

A little bit more, but shiny and good quality is the ECM Slim? That and a flow paddle kit would be great. If/when my old style Mara breaks irreparably that’s what I would go for actually. Personally the Mara-x has too much electronic wizardry in it and I would want something simpler...

 

2D162FBC-D450-4477-87CF-36A4E5F7FD68.jpeg

I've actually had a quick look for the voodoo daddy mods already but I'm not sure if they're still being made? Didn't have much luck.... I also had a look for the upgrade kit to convert the 1.0 to a 2.0, but again, couldn't seem to find the kits anywhere :(

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@Espressonic - Not sure to be honest actually, but sometimes the modded versions do come up for sale on the UK or US forums. I read the version one are built using imperial sizes, I believe the later versions are metric and not compatible with the Voodoo Daddy cup mod.

If you like the hand grinding and have bench dogs on your worktop already, it might be easier and about the same price to just buy the version two? I know the Niche is smaller burrs but the convenience.... 😂

@BlackCatCoffee - Any industry trends you are aware of we should watch out for?

Move away from e61s, heated groups, thermoblocks and touch screens on everything, app integration at a lower price point etc....

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Both machines you looked at are going to do great. ACS Minima is a double boiler machine whilst Bezzera is a good quality HX one. I have used Bezzera in the past for quite some time. They have a very smart HX that is calling for less flushing (to bring the temperature down before puling a shot had the machine been idle for longer) compared to most HX. The Minima on the other side will give you temperature stability and it also has been built to a high quality standard.

The Vectis launch is still not a date in anyone's diary but if you were willing to wait this also can be an option.

Good luck whichever machine you go with. 

Nothing succeeds as planned.

 

ACS Vesuvius, Nuova Simonelli Apia I 1 gr, San Remo 1 gr., Bezzera BZ35e, Fracino Heavenly, Saeco Via Veneto Combi de Luxe, Mythos Plus Nuova Simonelli, Anfim Super Lusso, Cunill Space, Gene Cafe

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3 minutes ago, Northern_Monkey said:

@John Yossarian - The BZ10 looks pretty swish with the heated group feature at that price.

Only downside would be you couldn’t add a flow kit like on a traditional e61 group or modified version on the Minima which still accepts one.

Agreed about the flow kit. But no lever lubrication if that is any incentive. I personally would go for the Minima but it is up to the OP to decide.

Edited by John Yossarian
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Nothing succeeds as planned.

 

ACS Vesuvius, Nuova Simonelli Apia I 1 gr, San Remo 1 gr., Bezzera BZ35e, Fracino Heavenly, Saeco Via Veneto Combi de Luxe, Mythos Plus Nuova Simonelli, Anfim Super Lusso, Cunill Space, Gene Cafe

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5 minutes ago, Waitforme said:

I was veering towards a Minima until I watched a you tube video from Bella Barista who sells them , maybe they’ll sell a lot less having produced the video.

Put me off.

I could not find it on Bella Barista site. They do not list the MInima. Can you provide a link to the video please?

Nothing succeeds as planned.

 

ACS Vesuvius, Nuova Simonelli Apia I 1 gr, San Remo 1 gr., Bezzera BZ35e, Fracino Heavenly, Saeco Via Veneto Combi de Luxe, Mythos Plus Nuova Simonelli, Anfim Super Lusso, Cunill Space, Gene Cafe

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17 minutes ago, Waitforme said:

I was veering towards a Minima until I watched a you tube video from Bella Barista who sells them , maybe they’ll sell a lot less having produced the video.

Put me off.

@Waitforme. As said, if you are criticising a product or company, then it would be quite usual to post the link to what you have seen. This is important for two reasons. Firstly, you might have spotted something others have not and rightly should be brought to the attention of other forum members, and secondly........

The advantage of being a Silver member....

Follow me on Instagram  https://www.instagram.com/dfkidd

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Bezzera’s own BZ group is superb if you are not fussed about adding flow profiling. It heats up super quick, has almost zero maintenance requirements and can be fully disassembled to be cleaned in about 30 seconds. 

I am sure down the line we will see some flow or pressure profile machines from Bezzera and I really hope they use this group.  

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www.blackcatcoffee.co.uk

Coffee | Espresso Machines | Grinders | Accessories

Izzo Vivi, Alex and Alex Duetto in stock now!

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1 hour ago, Waitforme said:

I was veering towards a Minima until I watched a you tube video from Bella Barista who sells them , maybe they’ll sell a lot less having produced the video.

Put me off.

Which video are you referring to? What was it that put you off the machine?

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2 hours ago, Waitforme said:

I was veering towards a Minima until I watched a you tube video from Bella Barista who sells them , maybe they’ll sell a lot less having produced the video.

Put me off.

The machine has had a few updates since that was made...you would be missing out on a machine that punches way above its weight for the price. Minima is for "small and compact at a good price"...it doesn't mean everything has been stripped out...far from it.

Edited by DavecUK
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Nothing here...

 

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2 hours ago, Waitforme said:

I was veering towards a Minima until I watched a you tube video from Bella Barista who sells them , maybe they’ll sell a lot less having produced the video.

Put me off.

They no longer stock the Minima - presumably why they made the video. 

Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

Previous: Gaggia Classic | Eureka Mignon | Rocket Cellini Evo | Profitec 700 | Profitec T-64 | Gene Cafe CBR-101 | Kinu M68 | Feldgrind 2 | La Pavoni Europiccola 2012

Also at: CoffeeTime Forum & Niche Zero Owners Group

 

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There are pros and cons to every machine and some of the criticisms that are pointed out are fair. The water reservoir could be better and the looks are not for everyone (as I have said before though, a lot of people would change their mind if they saw it in the flesh). I thoroughly disagree with the comment about the metal work though. The gauge of stainless used leaves even most commercial machines in the shade.

The pros for this machine hugely out weight the cons in my opinion. Low maintenance, quality in cup, enormous boilers, temperature stability and the frankly incredible price all add up to an unbeatable package.

You pay your money and take your choice at the end of the day and I personally cannot think of a machine that even comes close to the Minima at this price point (and a long way beyond).

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www.blackcatcoffee.co.uk

Coffee | Espresso Machines | Grinders | Accessories

Izzo Vivi, Alex and Alex Duetto in stock now!

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If I could fit a Minima in the small space I have, I would kick the Elizabeth out and have it. I actually, before buying the Elizabeth, discussed my options with DavecUK. He even measured the machine for me, but unfortunately was slightly too big for the space I have. Given all this lockdown and this home office nonsense potentially becoming more of a reality, the heat up time of the E61 almost become a moot point as the machine can be left on for a longer period of time and waste no more than if you were to heat up from scratch twice or 3 times a day. I really like the solenoid operated group and  had a few coffees from one. It’s superb. For the money, it can’t be beaten. 

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Current: Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

Previous: Gaggia Classic | Eureka Mignon | Rocket Cellini Evo | Profitec 700 | Profitec T-64 | Gene Cafe CBR-101 | Kinu M68 | Feldgrind 2 | La Pavoni Europiccola 2012

Also at: CoffeeTime Forum & Niche Zero Owners Group

 

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2 hours ago, Waitforme said:

I was veering towards a Minima until I watched a you tube video from Bella Barista who sells them , maybe they’ll sell a lot less having produced the video.

Put me off.

I was also concerned after watching the YouTube video and speaking with BB directly about their experience with the Minima. 

After discussing this with DaveC, BlackCatCoffee and a few owners (all very helpful), my concerns were mostly alleviated. Paolo at ACS also acknowledged there were previously issues with the machine which have now been ironed out to make the Minima more efficient and hopefully reliable. 

Whilst I am a fan of technology I prefer the “dumb” simplicity and power of the Minima with its large boilers when compared to the clever brain in the Lelit Elizabeth which maximises its small boilers. 

I decided against an HX due to the required flush to bring the temp down - an extra step and additional water wastage. 

I should be getting a black Minima from BlackCatCoffee hopefully this week so I’ll be sure to take pictures and report back. 

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This video doesn't do justice to the machine. I do not know the guy who did it but hopefully he is not in the sales department 🙂

Nothing succeeds as planned.

 

ACS Vesuvius, Nuova Simonelli Apia I 1 gr, San Remo 1 gr., Bezzera BZ35e, Fracino Heavenly, Saeco Via Veneto Combi de Luxe, Mythos Plus Nuova Simonelli, Anfim Super Lusso, Cunill Space, Gene Cafe

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On 17/01/2021 at 09:07, Northern_Monkey said:

@Espressonic - Not sure to be honest actually, but sometimes the modded versions do come up for sale on the UK or US forums. I read the version one are built using imperial sizes, I believe the later versions are metric and not compatible with the Voodoo Daddy cup mod.

If you like the hand grinding and have bench dogs on your worktop already, it might be easier and about the same price to just buy the version two? I know the Niche is smaller burrs but the convenience.... 😂

@BlackCatCoffee - Any industry trends you are aware of we should watch out for?

Move away from e61s, heated groups, thermoblocks and touch screens on everything, app integration at a lower price point etc....

I'm yet to decide if I like hand grinding haha. I'll be receiving the Pharos at the end fo the month and won't have any bench clamps so I'll just be holding it down by hand so we'll see how it goes! I can't imagine it being THAT bad though?

 

 

On 17/01/2021 at 12:15, BlackCatCoffee said:

There are pros and cons to every machine and some of the criticisms that are pointed out are fair. The water reservoir could be better and the looks are not for everyone (as I have said before though, a lot of people would change their mind if they saw it in the flesh). I thoroughly disagree with the comment about the metal work though. The gauge of stainless used leaves even most commercial machines in the shade.

The pros for this machine hugely out weight the cons in my opinion. Low maintenance, quality in cup, enormous boilers, temperature stability and the frankly incredible price all add up to an unbeatable package.

You pay your money and take your choice at the end of the day and I personally cannot think of a machine that even comes close to the Minima at this price point (and a long way beyond).

The video is the same one I've watched and to be honest I didn't really consider the cons to be cons at all haha. Both machines are very tempting, and in a couple of years time I could even look at picking up a used machine rather than going brand new.

 

 

On 17/01/2021 at 10:17, BlackCatCoffee said:

Bezzera’s own BZ group is superb if you are not fussed about adding flow profiling. It heats up super quick, has almost zero maintenance requirements and can be fully disassembled to be cleaned in about 30 seconds. 

I am sure down the line we will see some flow or pressure profile machines from Bezzera and I really hope they use this group.  

Could you explain what flow profiling is and what benefits it has? Is it essentially varying the flow during a shot being pulled, thus varying the pressure?

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