It’s Plus 4 You 4 Us

…Or ‘Gloria’, as I’ll be calling her!

From the awesome machines mentioned in a recent post, I had shortlisted a ‘top 3’ of the S5, GB5 semiauto, and the Plus 4 You, as best meeting the criteria, and also the requirements (and budget) of the cafe. Each of these machines have their particular positives which can be argued as superior, but the +4U won in the end due to the fact it seems to offer most of the aspects the other two do, with some fantastic additional features to boot.

It has PID controlled dedicated multi brew boilers, one for each group, helping to optimise temperature stability and accuracy; also allowing groups to be adjusted to separate temperatures simultaneously, if required. Each group can also therefore be isolated without affecting the others, incase of failure, etc.

The Plus 4 You also uses some innovative energy saving technology. Gloria will sleep at night, wake herself up in the morning, and have a nap when she knows we’re likely to be quiet during the day – but she’ll be back up to full, precise operating temperature within 60 seconds if someone needs a shot. Essentially, she won’t just sit there wasting loads of energy the whole time, and this should save electricity, and money.

You can select brew temp settings either for the brew boilers, or for the group heads (needs investigation…), and the steam pressure can be varied to better accomodate smaller pitchers and milk volumes – just the thing for 3rd wave small cups!

The 53mm baskets are designed to offer greater consistency, which can only be a good thing. I do have some reservations about the relative effects tastewise, and dosewise, as opposed to 58’s though, but have assurances from some of the most discerning sources that any difference should be fairly nominal, one way or the other. Everyone has a different opinion on this, and I think the jury’s still out, but regardless of this, I’m still in no doubt whatsoever that, with due care and the right techniques, Gloria will effortlessly offer up espresso that’ll be stunningly superior to our old machine – and enable us to continue learning and progressing ever further.

Fancy do-da’s aside, I’m also led to believe that Gloria will be hardworking and reliable – qualities we like at the plan.

ETA? Late September.

Note: It may seem that I have become utterly deranged, but (whilst this may or may not be true), in this particular case, it’s due to fairly straightforward reasons. I’ve chosen to refer to the machine as ‘Gloria’ simply because that’s actually her official title: Astoria Plus 4 You, Gloria-Version.

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8 Responses to “It’s Plus 4 You 4 Us”

  1. blackmountainscoffee Says:

    Can’t wait to meet her.

    • thebeanvagrant Says:

      – I’ll get her to make you a coffee! (I assume she’ll be able to do that all by herself too; I’m expecting the easy life once she arrives – I’ll just sit there twiddling my thumbs while she does everything. If she can clear tables and wash up as well, I’ll be onto a winner! 😉 )

  2. Hugo Says:

    If you ask nicely, Mark at Origin will drill the silly bits off the bottom of one of your pf’s for a small charge… so you’ve got a naked to play with straight out of the box!

    How many groups you got?

    • thebeanvagrant Says:

      Yeah; I asked about that and I’ll follow it up – should be interesting to compare the crema with the spouted ones, as well as highlighting all those little faults! I’m hoping it’ll be useful for training too…
      We’re going for a 3 group!! It’s a luxury that will be wildly excessive when we’re quiet, but useful when we’re busy. We’re hoping to increase takeout coffees too, so it’s important not to keep them hanging around.
      2 doubles and 1 single. I will probably pay the extra myself for the 4th naked… It’ll probably get a lot of use, but the cafe doesn’t really need it, as such, and given that it’s use is a bit more limited (can’t pour two singles at once), I feel perhaps I will have to cough up for it – then everyone can ‘borrow’ it, as with my Mottas and tamper!

  3. Youri Says:

    Hi Trevor,

    Good to hear you have made your choice, I have been following you to see what the outcome would be. Congratulations, I am sure you will be going mad with trying anything and everything with your new equipment! 🙂

    Hope you will enjoy it,
    Youri

    • thebeanvagrant Says:

      Yep – I’m sure she’ll keep me very busy, and feed my coffee obsession quite amply!
      I had a last minute urge to go with the GB5, due to the 58’s, etc, etc, and as I love the nature of semiautomatic machines – but that may have been a somewhat selfish move, in some ways.
      Many thanks for your help and advice.
      Cheers, 🙂
      Trevor

      • Youri Says:

        I’ll promise to pop in next time I’m in Cardiff. Would be nice to finally meet each other. Cheers.

    • thebeanvagrant Says:

      Absolute-ly!

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