Espresso Machines: Which is better Nuova Simonelli or La Marzocco

I want to open a shop and I would like some advice about which machines people think are the best. I would like a 3group and cost is not an issue.

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Thank you for this post Dr. John, I will pass this on to my customers and potential customers when they get to this phase of the start up. Makes great sence.

Dr. Joseph John said:
If you are considering a 3-group machine, and cost is no issue, I would recommend two 2-group machines, instead.

First of all, in a 3-group machine, the middle group is virtually unusable when the other two groups are being used. There just isn't enough space for a barista to work in there, if other baristi are using the outer groups.

With a single 3-group machine, you are still susceptible to too many single point failures. As some one already pointed out recently, on another topic on this board, if your espresso machine is down, you are virtually out of business. With two 2-group machines, there are no machine related single point failures to cripple you.

You can arrange your machines on the counter with all the grinders in between the two espresso machines.

It is not uncommon in heat exchange machine to over size the boiler to minimize the temperature fluctuations in brew water, thus the use of 3-group machines when a 2-group machine can handle the traffic. No such consideration is necessary for a double boiler machine.

I will be happy to put you in touch with one of our customers who started planning for a 3-group machine and then switched to two 2-group machines. You can see what their experience has been. If you are interested, send me an e-mail.

Good Luck.
the shop I work at has one location with a nuova and one marzocco. I have also worked extensively on Rancilios, a few new marzocco's, and a synesso.

Marzocco was my favorite, nuovo a close second.

The consensus around the shop is that the nuova aurelia 2 group we have is easier to get good shots, but when you get a good shot on the marzocco and you have the ability and extra time to spend being impeccably accurate with the grind/dose/tamp, it's shots are gorgeous and untouchable by the nuova. this assesment, is only with the two machine's we have and most likely does not ring true through the product line of either company.

Our owner likes to describe the marzocco as a PC, and the nuovo as a mac. Nuovo seems more user friendly and overall is more productive to the untrained user. but the marzocco is more powerful if the barista can utilize it correctly. with the two machines that we use, I'd say it's an accurate comparison. yeah yeah I know this isn't exactly how it is in the pc/mac debate but you get the idea
I actually think the grinders if you want to talk taste of espresso are as important as the machine. I did not think that 10 years ago. But now after being lucky enough to have tried and used different conical burr grinders I do notice a difference in the espresso. From the way it looks coming out of the grinder and the way it tastes.
dear all, as you know, la marzocco is hand made, means that there's no machines on the stock and not two the same (at least, not in the factory, distribution is another story) so basically, you can order your 3 groups machine with build in one water boiler for two groups and other one for just one group, or boiler for each group, all that with two or 3 pumps so you can play even more with your coffees and profilings...and all that not much more expensive than regular gb5 or rb80...
what ever you want, you can order so no need for 2x2groups machines etc...
Jack Groot said:
.............We use a 3 group and it is the best way for us. I would NOT want to have 2 - 2 groups. When we are busy and have two baristas working together, the one does cups, flavoring and shots the other steams milk and hands off to customers. So the "two baristas making shots" is never an issue, because to do that you would need to have 2 sets of grinders (which we tried for w short while when we redid our bar area years ago and didn't work).

At the end of the day I would choose a 3 group LM FB/80. Oh yeah, that's what I did choose!

Jack: Are you using all three groups efficiently? I don't see you having three baristas working on this machine at one time. My point was that one uses only two, out of the three groups, effectively and in that case, all you are gaining is a larger boiler.
Jack,
Thank you for your in site. I have yet to visit your shop. I don't get to Kalamazoo to see my grand kids and family since we got the shop open here on the West side of the country. You know the road....:) Pay dues for a few years before a little free time finds it's way to you.
Look forward to your posts...
Cheers,
Joseph


Jack Groot said:
That's a great question. The PID on the Aurelia has really brought the temperature stability question to a new level (that is in comparison with the LM with PID). The old two boiler vs one boiler argument has less distance between extremes of the argument. We have both and I would say my staff prefers the LM over the Nuova. They are both great machines. The one thing about the Aurelia is the steam lever is preferred over the knob on the LM. But the newly designed knob is so much better than the old style I think it is much less of a disparity.

And Joseph, you know I love you, but I disagree on the 2 - 2 groups vs the 3 group. We use a 3 group and it is the best way for us. I would NOT want to have 2 - 2 groups. When we are busy and have two baristas working together, the one does cups, flavoring and shots the other steams milk and hands off to customers. So the "two baristas making shots" is never an issue, because to do that you would need to have 2 sets of grinders (which we tried for w short while when we redid our bar area years ago and didn't work).

At the end of the day I would choose a 3 group LM FB/80. Oh yeah, that's what I did choose!
Thank you Dr.John,
Very nice to hear/read this discussion between you both. I don't have to volume yet to see this picture in real time so it really helps to have this conversation going on.
Don't stop...
Joe
--
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.

Dr. Joseph John said:
Jack Groot said:
.............We use a 3 group and it is the best way for us. I would NOT want to have 2 - 2 groups. When we are busy and have two baristas working together, the one does cups, flavoring and shots the other steams milk and hands off to customers. So the "two baristas making shots" is never an issue, because to do that you would need to have 2 sets of grinders (which we tried for w short while when we redid our bar area years ago and didn't work).

At the end of the day I would choose a 3 group LM FB/80. Oh yeah, that's what I did choose!

Jack: Are you using all three groups efficiently? I don't see you having three baristas working on this machine at one time. My point was that one uses only two, out of the three groups, effectively and in that case, all you are gaining is a larger boiler.
i say get a super auto......
I work on an semi-auto LM Linea. I love it! Since I'm used to that "tank", when I pull on a NS it just feels like a fisher price "my first espresso machine"--just kind of "tinny" and not sturdy. Has anyone else gotten that vibe? Or is it just further proof that I'm stranger than most?
if cost isnt an issue then i would also consider looking at the mirage 3group machine which looks and reads incredible. its deisigned by the same person who deisigned the speedster
3 groups machines on any type of machine should be used properly, meaning, changing all the time groups...cos iv seen that to many baristas are working on two groups only and third is just there to show up with. so basically, work 1, 2, 3 and that way in the circle to have all groups working prop and water flows right...and kick the cake out after each shot whatever you have teflon covered portafilters or not, oils from coffee are there and will efect your next espresso...
vivabarista!
Good Morning Jessica,

Both machines you mention in your inquiry are excellent,
durable and have widely accessible service partners. One of the key
issues with espresso machines, and particularly the one you make
your living with, is Service.

We sold La Marzocco years ago, have been through factory
training an would say you won't go wrong there.

Check out too the Synesso Cyncra. What a beauty!
Innovative design & cutting edge technology. These are the
machines that David Schomer ( the ultimate paragon of coffee geeks) uses.

A little more expensive because they are hand made to order.
Fantastc support too, but because they are relatively new and comparably small
they offer really personal service.

Remember, great coffee goes a long way but how you treat
your customers and staff are most important in business.

"Brew Unto Others"

Best,
David

As Always, In loving memory of Juan Valdez.

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