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The Experience and Service Centre is entirely for information and educational purpose, for trial and training; no sales are made on site. Service and sessions are free. All purchases should be made online. Visits are by appointment only. Please submit the form required below. Priority will be given to first-time visitors.
Do you know?
Most users did not go through any barista course?
We have assembled some of the best useful videos at the Newbie Startup Guide.
Before booking an appointment, check the FAQ below and see if your questions are answered.
Question: What is the easiest way to choose the machine?
It’s easier to first compare the features from the following page:
Choose the right espresso machine
Question: Why are there so many types of machines?
Though there are many machines available, they all streamline to just a small difference of design, boiler heating system and grouphead system. Some machines may utilise heavy duty spares, the same used in cafes, or have some addon features.
These are the three main types of group heads.
Bezzera BZ Grouphead – BZ09, BZ10, BZ13 and BZ16
E61 Grouphead – Unica, Magica, Mitica, Galatea Domus, Pulser, Office, EB61 and Brewtus
Bezzera Spring Piston Grouphead – Strega
Here are three main types of boiler heating system.
Single boiler – BZ09 and Unica
Double boiler – Brewtus
Heat Exchangers – All other models
The two main types of pump.
Vibration pump – Has a duty cycle of 2 minutes of work, requires 1 minute of rest
Rotary pump – Heavy duty pump used in commercial environment.
Question: What’s Single Boiler, Double Boiler and Heat Exchanger?
Single boilers can only froth milk or extract espresso one at the same time. The boiler has to be set at different temperature for each purpose, so making a milk recipe will take a longer time as you wait for the boiler to heat to the right temperature for each task. We will recommend single boilers to people drinking coffee in black only as it’s more tedious and time-consuming to make a milk recipe.
Double boilers were designed for amateur baristas in a commercial environment, for better temperature consistency. They can froth milk and extract espresso at the same time. However, the start-up time is much longer, has a higher chance of failure and are expensive to service with more sensors, safety valves, heating elements, and other key components to maintain.
Heat exchangers are a boiler in a boiler design. One boiler with only a set of spares to maintain, able to froth milk and brew coffee at the same time. Very efficient and power saving. Espresso is only brewed from the freshest water coming from the water network or tank. Unlike Single or Double boilers that only draw and brew from stale water residing in the boiler.
Question: Is there much difference between the Bezzera BZ versus E61 grouphead?
The Bezzera BZ is a remaster of the conventional E61 design using heating elements instead of water to heat the grouphead. It heats up faster, is smaller, and is cheaper to service due to its simpler design. In some way, it’s more durable than the E61 design.
In term of taste, most may not notice any remarkable difference. If any, the BZ should release a wider spectrum of flavours from its inherent heat profile.
The E61 is slightly more forgiving with more headroom for preinfusion which might make an extraction seem easier.
Question: Which machine produces the best extraction?
We don’t think there are many differences between the E61 and the BZ. Both are capable of producing cafe standard quality.
People from purely barista background may assume that the E61 is more forgiving and easier, coffee specialists who studied the science of coffee may reckon that the BZ should logically release an espresso with bigger contrast and clarity.
In any way, the Bezzera Strega’s spring piston design should be one notch better the two due to its inherent behaviour of pressure reduction during extraction. It cuts off the extreme bitterness and sourness in coffee, releases a wider bouquet of aroma.
Heat exchanger models have a heat profile to release a wider spectrum of flavours, and brew with only fresh water, thus it remains our recommended type of boiler system.
Question: Which grouphead is the most durable?
The most durable should be the Spring Pistons, followed by BZ then E61. Many assumed that the older E61s are more durable, this is hardly true from the statistics we see on record. The complexity of using more valves and gaskets in the E61 grouphead, should result in leakages sooner and requires more servicing. When the cams and valves in the grouphead are engaged, they are exposed to metal to metal contact, thus abrasion may wear off some parts sooner.
The electromagnetic switch found in the BZ groupheads, that controls the flow of water, rarely fail.
Spring pistons are extremely durable. It is possible as there are much lesser components and the pump doesn’t work hard to pull the extraction. Extraction is done by a set of solid springs, which can easily last for decades.
Question: Are the machines hard to use?
As long as the grinder was calibrated properly, it should not be difficult. You can check the newbie guide for more information. We have ample information on our website to guide you.
For the Bezzera Strega, it requires some strength for the user to pull down the lever. Thus it is not recommended for small ladies and children.
Question: Which machine is the easiest to clean?
It’s a myth that professional espresso machines are tedious to clean.
The main part of cleaning most espresso machine is call backflushing. Both BZ and E61 groupheads will need to do that.
For lever machines like the Bezzera Strega, backflushing should NOT be done and that makes it the easiest to clean machine. You can clean it up in seconds.
What’s backflushing? It’s to flood the brew chamber and rinse off the residue and oil in it.
If it’s just regular daily cleaning, you can just flush with only water and that should take you less than a minute. You do it after your last cup, not after every cup.
At least once a week, you can do a more thorough cleaning with a grouphead detergent, that should take another minute.
Below is a video of backflushing with detergent, a little lengthier.
Of course, you can do more thorough cleaning like pulling down the screen to clean, drain the boiler, descale, etc. Those are done as needed for low usage environments.
When you purchase an espresso machine from us, we will give you a set of cleaning agent. Follow the videos on how to use them from our website.
Like any coffee machines, users must use a water softener else limescale may form and clog the system, causing expensive damages. Limescale is the main culprit for most failures. It is also important to know that not all water filtration systems soften water.
Question: What should I look out for when using the machine?
It is always important to use softened water for espresso machines; else it can cause massive damages over the long run, requiring expensive overhauls. Water from Singapore is not soft.
Always be careful of hot surfaces, steam and water.
If you are using the Bezzera Strega or any lever machines, always keep your head away from the direction of where the lever will bounce back. If there’s no coffee loaded portafilters insert to the machine, there will be no resistance and the lever will bounce back by a large force. Thus the user has to hold the lever and slowly release the lever back to its original position. Be careful not to pull the machine at the wrong angle and have it falling on you.
Question: Can you recommend us a suitable machine for a high traffic environment?
Get those with a Rotary pump.
Get a good water softening system set up.
We understand that travelling to the Experience and Service Centre may be a hassle and not necessary, particularly for our overseas customers.
Clients can request drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will reply as soon as possible.
You can also refer to our Newbie Starter Guide for basic understanding.
APPOINTMENT REQUEST FORM
Priority will be given to first-timers.
Please do not be more than 30 minutes late else appointment will be cancelled.
As time slots are limited and our coffee specialists can be unavailable for assignments or leave.
Please input more options for available date and timing to allow us to easier slot you in.
Please note that there’s no sales for accessories or full range of machines in the Experience and Service Centre.
No sales are made on site; please make orders online.
Fine Coffee Company Experience and Service Centre
100 Pasir Panjang
#04-09 Singapore 118518