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A big thank you to everyone who helped me decide in my previous topic, '2nd hand Vesuvius vs Minima vs Lelit Elizabeth'. I went for a new Minima for all the good reasons (quality of build, quality of output, durability, simplicity) a number of you pointed out. In the end, I felt that the V, whilst an incredible machine, was just that bit too much in terms of cost and capability for where I am right now. I also think it's sometimes nice to have something to look forward to (I once bought a second hand but fantastic 4.2l V8 Merc coupe not long after I'd started driving as was young, free, single back then with a few quid burning a hole in the current account. Sold it 3 months later as it was just too much at the time!)

@DavecUK especially grateful to you for your reviews, comments and advice.

@BlackCatCoffee and thanks to David for offering an honest appraisal of the machine and also for the forum discount!

 

Anyhow, I shall be posting about progress and what I learn along the way. 

Ta.

 

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Posted (edited)

Well, I have to say I’m dead pleased. Initial impressions and what I like:

1. coffee taste! Picked out some really subtle notes that had me thinking I’d spent £3.50+ at some beardy barrista cafe. Wasn’t perfect (I almost certainly ground too fine) but it really beat by the country mile my old KitchenAid banger (the one with the Gaggia innards). This was exactly what I was looking for, just a great taste. And I know I can do even better. If I got to 7.5/10 today I’m fairly sure the machine, with more knowledge/experience on my side, will enhance my fairly basic technique and output in time. I did feel it was forgiving overall; or maybe I got lucky?
 

2.  Milk steaming: @DavecUK wasn’t telling it wrong when he said how powerful the steam was. I’ve had to adapt my technique greatly; lovely texture, really shiny and sweet with a rich velvety mouth feel. My wife and I are very keen cap drinkers so this was a big win for us both. 
 

3.  Looks and footprint: personally, I think it is a thing of beauty. The steam wand, set at an angle, really looks very modern and complements the classic looking E61 group head well.  It’s also not too big. We have an average sized kitchen and it doesn’t dominate at all. (On reflection, a Vesuvius would have been too big.)
 

4. build: it feels very well screwed together. The drip tray, a bug bear for certain forum members, seems fine and I get why if it was any thicker it’d probably rattle. (Instructions are very well written and easy to follow too.)

5. Simplicity: the whole ethos of ‘just deliver only the necessary set of features’ really shines through. Whilst I don’t deny that pressure profiling etc. would be a lot of fun, I don’t have sufficient time in my (working) day to really exploit the potential of a machine like the V. I see the virtue in just pulling a shot with everything working as it should such that I can focus on getting all the basics right and let the quality of the machine do the rest. 

Summary: Overall, my first day has been fantastic. I think waiting 2 years to see if I’d actually carry on with the habit/hobby was the right approach, given that even with a reasonable bit of experience behind me I still approached the machine with a certain amount of trepidation! I have a strong sense that this may well be all the machine I’ll need (along I can’t deny I may ‘want’ more somewhere along the way.)
 

The forum really really helped. I also read and reread Dave Corbey’s reviews over and over. I made the right choice. 

Edited by CoffeeAnon
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I’m on the fence atm between the minima and the Lelit Elizabeth but you may have swayed me back towards the minima!! Any pictures or videos? Congrats and enjoy the machine! 

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  • 2 months later...

@CoffeeAnon how are you finding the Minima a few months in? I am stuck deciding between Minima and Elizabeth but moving more towards Elizabeth as it seems to have a bit more in terms of capability (thinking mainly pre-infusion I guess) and practicality (brushed stainless and lower running costs) although it seems the Minima probably has the build quality that I would prefer...

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4 minutes ago, Marktheplant said:

bit more in terms of capability (thinking mainly pre-infusion I guess)

The Minima has an E61. You can always add the Lelit flow control paddle to control pre-infusion if that's what you want. Just the pump of the Minima is noisy compared to the Elizabeth. 

You can expand on the Minima. You can't on the Elizabeth. Elizabeth warms up really quickly. Minima taker longer. Minima is no-frills (proper "yes"-burn steam and hot water wands, whereas the Elizabeth has the insulated, "no-burn" type. 

Very different form factors too. 

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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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1 hour ago, Marktheplant said:

@CoffeeAnon how are you finding the Minima a few months in? I am stuck deciding between Minima and Elizabeth but moving more towards Elizabeth as it seems to have a bit more in terms of capability (thinking mainly pre-infusion I guess) and practicality (brushed stainless and lower running costs) although it seems the Minima probably has the build quality that I would prefer...

I was going to mention a Minima was put up for sale in classifieds 1 hr ago, but it seems to have sold.

Sticks and Stones, sours…or rancid (horrible). Quakers hide until roasted, pick em out and flick them in the bin. Life is too short for bad coffee

 

 

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1 hour ago, Marktheplant said:

Thanks @MediumRoastSteam. Now I am thinking I should go for the Lelit Bianca instead to mitigate any chance of buyers remorse!

Yes! 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂👍👍👍👍👍 - ask @Cuprajake - he knows, from experience. 👍

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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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16 minutes ago, Marktheplant said:

Will not have a grinder until October

They were doing a great deal with the Solo, might be worthwhile reconsidering it. Give them a ring. A Solo for effectively less than £200, you can't go wrong. I'm sure if you then put in the Classifieds for a bargain price, it will disappear in no time. 

 

edit: Looks like that deal is no longer available. No wonder! 

edit2: No, I was not imagining or dreaming either! 

 

Edited by MediumRoastSteam

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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On 02/08/2021 at 23:24, Cuprajake said:

If you dont like a vibe pump then dont get vibe pumps. I find the sound horrific 🤣

all that dancing GIF

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Sticks and Stones, sours…or rancid (horrible). Quakers hide until roasted, pick em out and flick them in the bin. Life is too short for bad coffee

 

 

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7 minutes ago, MediumRoastSteam said:

They were doing a great deal with the Solo, might be worthwhile reconsidering it. Give them a ring. A Solo for effectively less than £200, you can't go wrong. I'm sure if you then put in the Classifieds for a bargain price, it will disappear in no time. 

Claudette pointed me towards the Bianca + grinder offers but there didnt appear to be any significant discounts (e.g. buying together, the solo was £387)

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1 minute ago, Marktheplant said:

Claudette pointed me towards the Bianca + grinder offers but there didnt appear to be any significant discounts (e.g. buying together, the solo was £387)

Yep, looks like you missed it. Oh well, you can always grab a bargain if one comes up, or invest on a manual grinder for the time being if you are planning on getting one. 

Great choice of machine! 

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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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not ideal but consider getting some pre ground for espresso in small batches from a good supplier, the bianca with the paddle would allow you to dial back flow if needed, untill you get a grinder

Way too early for this sh...

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