My company is getting drawn in numerous different directions as fall festivals approach and new farmer's market's get started in our area.  I currently lug our 2-group Nuova Simonnelli Appia Compact to the primary market we're in, but wish to have 1-2 more single-groups for use in other locations.  I know commercial is the way to go to keep up with solid crowds, so an NS Oscar would work well.  Are there other singles that you've found to work well in full portability mode?  Table top models that either have a bladder inside like the Expobar series or ones that a 5 gallon jug can sustain easily?  Don't have a bundle of money to spend...




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Hey Troy, Its highly recommended to use a flo jet or other pump device to supply positive pressure to the machine.  Just putting the hose in the bucket can cause extra wear on the pump and the check and expansion valves, it works, but not good for the machine.  The last one I installed was on a cart and the owner was mad that he bought the tank version after I told him we could of plumbed the "plumbed" version to the cart (the cart had a shur-flo system supplying the sink).  Too bad your not in Oregon.  I have a plumbed Vivaldi in my show room.  Good luck.
I've been catering for many years with an Astra Gourmet. Its a small enough machine that its easy to move around but it still can handle the crowds I work. I've done weddings before for upwards of 250 people in 2 hours without any problems (at least I personally cant go much faster!). Im pretty hard on my machines, I've had them freeze & bust, I've had to fix them in the field before because a tie down in the trailer broke after hitting an extra large pothole, etc & they're always easy to work on. The case is off in seconds & you've got everything out in the open. I've had to replace procon pumps in the field or fix leaks. Now the fact that I have to fix the machines isnt an indication of the quality of the machine, just an indication of how hard I am on them! I spend most of my year on the road & setup in some pretty crazy places. I've had to pull my trailer out of a muddy field before. I once had someone misswire the power in my concessions trailer & fried a few boards. That kind of stuff! I once did a show that got so cold that while the machine was on & hot, the pressure guage still managed to freeze & bust! But I've always been able to fix them pretty quickly & easily. I've had NS & Simonelli's in the past too & they arent as easy to work on. It takes a good 30 minutes just to get the case off! So, for the money (and not that much money) I love the Astras & am currently using 3 of them (and all of my Astras have been purchased either used or refurbished). They're made in California & use plumbing that you can get at any hardware store. They are avilable either plumbed or pourover

Thanks, everyone!  I'm still checking around with other industry pros for their advice, too, and getting many different reactions.  I appreciate everyone's feedback from the direct working knowledge of how things have gone when you get busy and how easy it is to repair in the field.  Yeah, Mitch, my Appia has been apart numerous times in the field and I've learned the tricks to make that process go a lot faster when trouble-shooting. 


Still looking and still considering A LOT of options...thanks!!!

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