Looking for opinions. I need an espresso machine and I am looking at Rancilio Classe 8 vs Cimbali

M22. Also coffee brewer fetco vs wilbur curtis. Any suggestions on espresso grinder. Not sure what

sales will be but expect our spot to be pretty busy.

 

Thanks

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I happen to think that both are good machines. I work on quite a few Rancilio machines and they are pretty solid. Not as much exposure to La Cimbali, though 2 of my clients have them and have been fairly impressed with the machine.

There can be big differences in the quality of after-sales support though. The conventional wisdom is that the best machine for you is the one with the best local support network. Your task is to figure out which one has the best support.

Who do you plan to buy your espresso machine from? Hopefully, a local dealer or distributor? If so, then ask about after sales support. Do they have a tech or do they work with a good local 3rd party tech? Are they local, or do they have to drive from some distance. If they have to travel, what is their trip charge? Be crafty here... don't ask them "can you support this machine", pick manufacturers that they sell and ask them to compare how well they can support each one.

If you'd planned instead to buy online, you'll have to do a little more legwork. Contact Rancilio and La Cimbali and ask them who is authorized to work on machines in your area. They may not have anyone, which would be a bad sign. If they do have a tech, contact them and discuss the situation. Let them know that you are considering buying a machine and find out what they charge for installation. Also find out their rates for normal service, and any trip charges.

More info later. Hope this helps.
I personally would go for the fetco over the curtis... I have always had good experiences with every fetco I have ever bought.
As for the grinder if you are going to be busy, Mazzer's robur is probably the best choice. If it's going to be slightly easier I'd go with Compak K10 or Anfim Super caimano.
Personally, I prefer Rancilios over Cimbalis, as long as you get the deeper portafilters to accomodate triple baskets with the Rancilio. Otherwise they are fairly frustrating to work with since there is little room for updosing. Fetco brewers are great, I don't have any experience with wilbur curtis. My favorite grinders are Anfim currently.
Mazzer Major or Robur, and I'd choose the Rancilio over the Cimbali, for two personal reasons.
I've experienced Rancilio and I like that I can get a La Marzocco PF to slot in with usually (or almost) no modification, and parts like that will be ubiquitous, and I've heard that the Cimbali's can be maintenance and tech queens. Hearsay, so take it with as much salt as you need.

OTOH, Brady's right. I'd rather own a finicky machine next to a tech that knows it than a machine that needs very little attention, but the nearest tech is a day's drive away.
I'll throw in another vote for Mazzer grinders. I work with Mazzer Super Jollys and, from what I've read and seen, the very minor issues I have with them are solved in the better models like the Robur and Kony.

They are solid, reliable workhorses.
I am looking at Mazzer Super Jolly or Compak K6. Both recommended by equipment people I have done business with before.
Thanks for all the excellent feedback and keep it coming.
Anyone have experience with the Rancilio Classe 8? I have checked it out at a few shows and really like it.
Bambi Clark said:
I am looking at Mazzer Super Jolly or Compak K6. Both recommended by equipment people I have done business with before.
Thanks for all the excellent feedback and keep it coming.
Anyone have experience with the Rancilio Classe 8? I have checked it out at a few shows and really like it.

Yes. I think its their best machine - everything you need, nothing you don't. I have a couple of clients in town with 4ish year-old Classe 8 machines and they like them. They've gotten quite a few of the bugs worked out now too - like flowmeters that don't spring leaks and much better protection on the boards.

Sounds like you have a local dealer, which is good. Shopping around for stuff like grinders is a good plan, HOWEVER, make sure you take things like installation cost into account if you are thinking about buying a machine from anyone else. I happily install machines that my clients buy from other sources, but I'd have been happy to match prices AND install it for free... if they'd have called me first we'd both have a little more cash right now :).

Look, lots of us sell equipment - including the guys that support this community by buying ads over there--->
so make sure you do check them out for stuff :).
As others have stated, you can't go wrong with Mazzers...they never give up. We have a couple at the shop I work at and they work well. Please take into consideration the volume of business that you will be doing. We have a Super Jolly at our school and it works great there. But if we were to use it in the coffee shop, the baristas might revolt since it just can't keep up with the high volume. Just something to keep in mind.

We have both a single group and a double grouphead Classe 8. Just this past week we started using the deeper portafilters with triple baskets, and I finally started seeing shots that I was actually willing to consume. :) They have potential if the barista knows what they are doing. :)

Bambi Clark said:
I am looking at Mazzer Super Jolly or Compak K6. Both recommended by equipment people I have done business with before.
Thanks for all the excellent feedback and keep it coming.
Anyone have experience with the Rancilio Classe 8? I have checked it out at a few shows and really like it.
I don't have any experience on the Wilbur Curtis, but I too will weigh in on the side of Fetcos. Very reliable, with a surprising amount of customability in the programming. Just keep it level, and the water filtered, and you're good. For espresso grinders, Mazzers are great, steer clear of the Super-Jolly if you're going to be busy. We've been using a Compak K10 since our business picked up a lot this year, I can't say enough good things about it--and it has a really reasonable price for a high-volume conical. If there's one thing you spend more money on just to be safe, I would say make it a bigger, meaner grinder.
Yeah, don't skimp on the grinder. A shop at low volume will work with a high volume grinder just fine, but a high volume period with a low volume grinder means that all the at money that you saved on a smaller grinder may be walking out the door.
Plus, it's the grinder that makes espresso. The espresso machine simply heats water and pumps it through the results!

Note on Ranchilio portafilters: We just got Espresso Parts HQ 14 gram double baskets for our Ranchilio epoca.  They call it a "14 gram" but it holds 18 grams no problem while fitting the standard portafilters.  

Terika said:

Personally, I prefer Rancilios over Cimbalis, as long as you get the deeper portafilters to accomodate triple baskets with the Rancilio. Otherwise they are fairly frustrating to work with since there is little room for updosing. Fetco brewers are great, I don't have any experience with wilbur curtis. My favorite grinders are Anfim currently.

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