UNIC Mira Twin 2g, any feedback/advice on this espresso machine for small cafe?

Hi. 

We are opening an inn/small cafe upstate New York, in a rural area near by the lake. We are complete newbies to the cafe business, lots of learning ahead for sure) our customer flow won't be crazy, it's a small town with some tourist traffic in summer/autumn seasons. 

We went to Chris coffee in Albany, and they highly advised this machine to us. They are saying it's a very reliable and high quality machine that will be sufficient for our needs. What do you think? I couldn't find a single review for this particular model and that kind of alarmed me a little bit. Our budget for the machine is around 5-6k, we just need a simple, reliable machine that will allow is to learn the craft and provide good quality drinks for our customers. 

Would appreciate any feedback/advice on this.

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Personally, I would recommend a LaMarzzoco Linea as a proven, simple, solid, workhorse machine.

However, if you think you are liking the UNIC, I would ask Chris for some other places that are using the UNIC. Find at least four or a half dozen places, have espresso, and see what the quality of espresso is and who typically is using these machines. If you like what you taste, then ask the owners about the machines.

The important factors I would keep in mind.

1) Reputation and build quality

2) Access to service and parts

Find the best machine for YOUR needs, and then find the best price you can on that machine.

Thank you for your feedback. 

The reason they are suggesting this machine to us is because they are claiming it's the most reliable one they sell in this price range. They said servicing is easy and they can help with installation as well. They sold this machine to other places, I might go there and check out their coffee (the sales person that was showing us the machine made us few drinks with it, it seemed to be pretty decent to my personal taste).

Unfortunately La Marzocco is out of our price range. Another option I was looking at was Rancillio Epoca 2G from Seattle Coffee Gear, it's roughly within the same price range, however people at Chris coffee told us servicing is a pain for Rancillio machines, and they suggested to go with this UNIC instead.

I'm trying to understand if the UNIC brand is known and has a good reputation in general, as I couldn't find any reviews for this particular model anywhere on the web.


John P said:

Personally, I would recommend a LaMarzzoco Linea as a proven, simple, solid, workhorse machine.

However, I would ask Chris for some other places that are using the UNIC. Find at least four or a half dozen places, have espresso, and see what the quality of espresso is and who typically is using these machines. If you like what you taste, then ask the owners about the machines.

The important factors I would keep in mind.

1) Reputation and build quality

2) Access to service and parts

Find the best machine for YOUR needs, and then find the best price you can on that machine.

If a Linea isn't in your price range, I'd suggest checking out a Nuova Simonelli Appia.  I definitely agree with John: service and parts access is key.

Thanks for the suggestion, I will check it out. Is there any particular reason UNIC wouldn't be your choice, or it's personal preference? Again, they specifically mentioned that the servicing for that brand is great (they said parts aren't overpriced, and machines are reliable themselves).

Jen Hurd said:

If a Linea isn't in your price range, I'd suggest checking out a Nuova Simonelli Appia.  I definitely agree with John: service and parts access is key.

Hey, Tim!  I don't have a problem with Unic machines; I've used them before.  I'm just a firm believer in doing some homework and checking out options before investing.

I agree, that's what I'm trying to do basically :) Thank you again for info.

Jen Hurd said:

Hey, Tim!  I don't have a problem with Unic machines; I've used them before.  I'm just a firm believer in doing some homework and checking out options before investing.

Seems the Appia is indeed in our price range, and it's even a little bit cheaper than the UNIC model we were offered. Machines look pretty similar in spec, however the UNIC has a more powerful heating element and a smaller boiler (10L vs 11L Appia). I'm guessing most of the machines in this range will be similar in spec, and we'll just get the one with better servicing options)

Jen Hurd said:

If a Linea isn't in your price range, I'd suggest checking out a Nuova Simonelli Appia.  I definitely agree with John: service and parts access is key.

The main factor that I would keep in mind is that when opening a coffee shop, the difference between $8K for a machine and $15K for a machine is nickels and dimes, but the quality and output difference in the machines is vast. If your budget is so tight that it makes difference in opening or not, the honest question I would have is "Can you afford to open?"

Where does the money you save go? It's not much for start-up cash flow, so I will assume you have another $10 to $20K set aside for that. So I will also assume that you still have X thousand available, which I would recommend using towards professional training. A skilled barista can work around the kinks in an average machine, but an unskilled barista with the best machine on the market is still an unskilled barista.

Allocate your funds appropriately. My 2 cents.

Thank you for your input.

However, as I mentioned earlier, we are opening in a very rural sleepy town, and we simply do not have many people around that would appreciate the best possible coffee. This isn't Seattle or NYC. What we are set to provide is good coffee, small simple menu, nice and cozy interiors, some health-oriented packaged goods, at reasonable prices that make sense for our community. So we are looking for a reliable machine that will allow us to learn the craft and keep up in case we do have a good flow of customers in the upcoming tourist season. 

Training makes sense, and we will probably invest into that as soon as we can.


John P said:

The main factor that I would keep in mind is that when opening a coffee shop, the difference between $8K for a machine and $15K for a machine is nickels and dimes, but the quality and output difference in the machines is vast. If your budget is so tight that it makes difference in opening or not, the honest question I would have is "Can you afford to open?"

Where does the money you save go? It's not much for start-up cash flow, so I will assume you have another $10 to $20K set aside for that. So I will also assume that you still have X thousand available, which I would recommend using towards professional training. A skilled barista can work around the kinks in an average machine, but an unskilled barista with the best machine on the market is still an unskilled barista.

Allocate your funds appropriately. My 2 cents.

We have been running a M39 Cimballi dosatron for 7 years now with hardly a problem

its very easy to service your self just make sure you have a good water filtration system in place.

Tim,

I'm selling my UNIC twin mira.  It was used the two days of SCAA barista camp and I bought directly from sales rep and took home from show.  I was launching a mobile business and this was the unit favored in the heavily mobile Australlian and New Zeland area.  Its pretty bulletproof and easy to operate.  Send me a note.  mikeputlock@me.com

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