I would welcome any thoughts on these machines. I have been thinking of the La Marzocco GS/3, I currently have a Nuova Simonelli Muscia and feel the GS/3 will give better control with tempature, preinfusion, etc.

However, there are many other machines such as the Alex Duetto II. My intention for getting one of these is I am a home enthusiast and want to experiment and get the best taste and quality I can out of the espresso I try. Roasting will be the next step, so having total control on flavor is important. Your input is greatly valued and thanks in advance for any feedback.

Tags: alex, duetto, gs3

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The alex duetto is my dream home machine (one day it shall be mine). It has everything you could want in a home machine, and is thousands less than the gs3. I believe the only thing its lacking is some sort of preinfusion(but i could be wrong). Take your "savings" and use it to buy a top of the line grinder(if you dont all ready own one).
The lever on the side of the grouphead on the Alex is essentially variable pre-infusion. They make great coffee. I'd get the Alex and spend the money you save on a better grinder, just like Dustin said.

Firstly E-61 groupheads always have built in preinfusion, main feature of the E-61 group design when patented. If running plumbed can, as Mike alluded to, raise the lever to mid point just before it engages pump switch which at this position allows line pressure water to flow. However it is not variable unless you have a way to vary your line pressure. At least on all plumbed E-61 machines I've tried it's either flow or no flow, not variable. This will not work when running in water tank mode with the Alex since there is no line pressure. But you would have the built in approx' 3 sec E-61 ramp up to full pressure preinfusion when engaging pump inherent to the E-61 group.

 

That said personally I'd look closely at the Vibiemme DoubleDomo before springing for the Alex Duetto. Believe VBM fit and finish superior.

However, if thinking of ever using for catering I wouldn't get either the Alex or VBM, steam boilers too small for serious back to back to back beverage steaming.
Mike Sabol said:

The lever on the side of the grouphead on the Alex is essentially variable pre-infusion. They make great coffee. I'd get the Alex and spend the money you save on a better grinder, just like Dustin said.
thanks gentlemen! good points on preinfusion and savings. Currently running a mazzer mini but always looking for another grinder for pour overs etc. @Mike M. - thanks for the other option and I do sometimes have Espresso Fridays at work and will do some back to back beverage steaming but that's small compared to real catering... however need to read up on these machines more and how to handle that..... Great input and things to investigate!!!
Either would highly likely handle Espresso Fridays at work no problem. I'm talking catering or events when there's a line of people that doesn't go away for hours at a time and taking 10-15 second longer to steam than to pull the shot becomes a real PIA! Bean there done that with this class machine and upgraded our catering/coffeehouse backup machine to a single group with 6L steam boiler:)

The Musica is an awesome little machine.  Moving to the Alex or Vibiemme would be moving laterally in my opinion.  Of the three they each have their strengthens and weaknesses, but if the Musica isn't scratching your itch for a knock-out home machine, I doubt the e-61's will satisfy.  (Don't get me wrong, all three are awesome and can pull shots that many cheaper commercial machines dream about). 

The Mazzer Mini is also a coveted item among home enthusiasts and is built for light duty commercial use and is certainly not a weak link in your chain.  If you are dreaming though, Baratza is making a new grinder the Vario-W that has built in wight based grinding, available estimated by manufacturer mid August at www.VeniaCoffee.com or others.  The Mahlkonig Pro-M is a joyful grinder to use, no clumping of the grind whatsoever...amazing. 

@Keith - good thought, Musica is a great little machine. Hopefully, the others are a bit more quite as the musica pump is fairly loud and the preinfusion doesn't have the best control as I think you may be able to get with the others, as with the gs/3. Great info on the grinder, will check those out as well, thank you!

 

@Mike M - thanks for the followup, nice to hear I should be good for the uses I intend for. BTW hope not out of line in this post but tried Delirium and was outstanding! will be ordering more, keep up the great work!


Are you going to plumb your machine? One of the reasons id choose the duetto is that i dont plan on plumbing a machine any time soon.
I was thinking either way, I would like the ability to have either or. The only item I see to having it plumbed is having constant line pressure but from what I have read that isn't a deal breaker or changes the total outcome of my shots. And I do like the duetto with having lever control to allow switching water source from direct plumb to water tank.

FWIW the VBM DB newest current model also tank or plumbed back and forth switchable. Makes the choice tougher, sorry! (I will stand by my statement Vibiemme fit and finish superior to Alex. Not that Alex is bad, take it over an Expobar anyday, just that VBM stellar.)

 

Oh, and thanks for the comment on my flagship Delirium blend. I work hard to maintain Delirium's flavor profile integrity. Currently 6 beans 5 profiles post roast blended. Compliments always appropriate:)

As I understand it, if you run tank configuration there is no line pressure and therefore no user-controlled pre-infusion. Doesn't that kinda defeat the purpose of going with a manual-preinfusion machine?

Ted Field said:
I was thinking either way, I would like the ability to have either or. The only item I see to having it plumbed is having constant line pressure but from what I have read that isn't a deal breaker or changes the total outcome of my shots. And I do like the duetto with having lever control to allow switching water source from direct plumb to water tank.
Good point Brady, as my first post there is a wealth of information from everyone thank you! Starting my pros and cons list, needs and wants, and equipment functions.

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