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Thread: Buying my first coffee machine - thoughts on Breville BES870

  1. #1
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    Question Buying my first coffee machine - thoughts on Breville BES870

    Hi all, I've decided its time to finally buy a coffee machine. Ill be honest, I really don't know all the ins and outs of coffee machines, i just know I like good coffee. I know a good coffee grinder can be just as important as the machine. I do like the idea of the breville bes870 as it's 2 in 1, but I read on another post that Breville make "appliances" and don't really know about coffee machines. Originally my budget was $500 but then when I read about grinders I realized I might have to spend more. What are people's thoughts/opinions on the Breville BES870? This is prob the most id want to spend. I don't really have any specific requirements, other than I want good coffee, and a machine that is reliable and long lasting. I love frothing the milk (love my lattes), and as a stay at home mum I can drink alot of coffee (I had a laugh).

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    Hi TamaJade,

    You are correct in saying the grinder is important - actually more important than the machine as the machine can only ever be as good as a grinder. That being said there are probably few people that could distinguish the coffee made in a french press from a $200-$300 dollar grinder and $2000+ grinder.

    The brevilles make okay machines at the lower end of the scale - although if you are willing to wait and maybe give a second hand a go you could get something around that mark here or Gumtree for that kind of money. Brevilles have been known to go the distance of over 5+ years, but some not.

    Final thoughts I believe when looking for a new machine + grinder, always get the best grinder you can afford and the rest on the machine. You could always scope a $200ish grinder like an Rancillio Rocky and look at a second hand machine around $300-400 mark?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WarrenK View Post
    The bes870 is a consumer appliance for making several very drinkable coffees at a time. No waiting 30 minutes for it to warm up, you are drinking your coffee 5 minutes after you decide you want it. My first one lasted 3 years, a disappointingly short time, it may have been caused by only changing the water filter once a year instead of the required six a year. In any event the new one has extended warranty and I will change the filters as required. Extended warranty is essential. In my view it is not a hobby machine. I cannot fault the grinder, the new one appears to be better than the three year old one, but to look at it appears identical. Supermarket beans are best avoided, some work, some cannot be made to work no matter what settings I use.
    I stand by my previous comments above on the Bes870.
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    Personally I'm not a fan of having the grinder tied into my machine. If the grinder stops working, or the machine stops working then you've got no way of making coffee.

    What id recommend is getting something like a Gaggia Classic second hand, will last you forever if looked after and very easy to work on if something does go wrong, and spare parts are cheap.

    Then, with the remainder of your budget I'd buy the best grinder you could get with the money.

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    Great thankyou so much!!!

    So something like this? (It's a 2nd hand Gaggia Classic)
    Auction site link removed as per Site Posting Policy

    So any tips on a good grinder?
    Last edited by Javaphile; 3rd August 2017 at 10:55 AM. Reason: Auction site link(s) removed

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    Hi Jade,

    I think the BES870 is a great machine to start with. I just recently upgraded to a Faema Carisma but I miss being able to pull a coffee within 5 minutes of turning the machine on. I bought mine second hand and used it for a year without any problems. If you buy a new BES870 you get a two year warranty so you are covered if you do have faults. There is a deal on these on Ozbargain [dot] com [dot] au right now where you can buy a new one for $570.

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    There is a Rancillio Rocky grinder on the for sale section of this website for I think $200.

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    Ok thankyou, so in what was is the Breville faster? Will checkout the Ozbargain special!

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    Thankyou re:the 2nd hand grinder, I've found it on there. There was a 2nd hand Gaggia Classic on Gumtree for about $250....I could set up even cheaper than I had planned!

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    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TamaJade View Post
    Thankyou re:the 2nd hand grinder, I've found it on there. There was a 2nd hand Gaggia Classic on Gumtree for about $250....I could set up even cheaper than I had planned!
    Gaggia classic is a great machine.

    Just be wary of second hand machines when you cant see or use them before purchase. Although at $250 you almost cant go wrong with Gaggia.

    Good luck

    Antony
    www.casaespresso.com.au

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    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Yep that's a win, and if your skills / tastebuds outgrow what the classic is able to give you, you'll be able to get most of what you paid back and if you go for something like a second hand Silvia the Rocky will still work really well with it.

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    The BES870 takes about 5 minutes to warm up internally. If you pull a couple of blank shots to warm up the group head and portafilter you should be good to go in under 10 minutes.
    With an E61 HX like the Carisma it needs to be switched on for at least half an hour to have everything up to temperature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Casa Espresso View Post
    Gaggia classic is a great machine.

    Just be wary of second hand machines when you cant see or use them before purchase. Although at $250 you almost cant go wrong with Gaggia.

    Good luck

    Antony
    www.casaespresso.com.au
    Depends on how comfortable the OP is with the boiler priming/temp surfing associated with a SB.

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    Adding a PID to a Classic is pretty easy and makes them an amazing machine. I've been unable to upgrade my Gaggia as the e61 machines I've played with have never created a coffee I though worthy of the price and space on the bench. Just my 2cents!
    If you are Melbourne based, there is a really nice Gaggia Classic second hand in Elwood that has been completely refurbished and comes with all the accessories. Slightly more expensive, but it will then last at least a decade without needing anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by timmyjj21 View Post
    Adding a PID to a Classic is pretty easy and makes them an amazing machine. I've been unable to upgrade my Gaggia as the e61 machines I've played with have never created a coffee I though worthy of the price and space on the bench. Just my 2cents!
    If you are Melbourne based, there is a really nice Gaggia Classic second hand in Elwood that has been completely refurbished and comes with all the accessories. Slightly more expensive, but it will then last at least a decade without needing anything.
    Waiting for you to chime in on the Gaggia Classic Tim!

    Tims Gaggia Classic is a great little unit.

    Certainly worth getting in contact with him if you are in Melbourne

    Regards

    Antony
    www.casaespresso.com.au
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    Quote Originally Posted by TamaJade View Post
    Hi all, I've decided its time to finally buy a coffee machine. Ill be honest, I really don't know all the ins and outs of coffee machines, i just know I like good coffee. I know a good coffee grinder can be just as important as the machine. I do like the idea of the breville bes870 as it's 2 in 1, but I read on another post that Breville make "appliances" and don't really know about coffee machines.
    ....Which is absolute rubbish. But then.... I'm not a "coffee snob". And that's a very "coffee snob" thing to say. Krups also makes toaster ovens and the like. But they have made some fine machines (though not particularly pricy ones) - in fact the two companies share technologies. I not only have a few Breville Machines, I've worked on them. So I'm familiar with how they're put together, and I'm quite impressed by some of the unique design features from Breville. Much better than Italian designs, in the cases where that applies. The very fact that Breville has added many unique (and presumably patented) design features to espresso machines, shows that anyone who dismisses them as mere "appliances", because they also make other kitchen applies, just does not know what they're talking about. And can be safely dismissed themselves. Anyone who does know about them would know that Breville has put a lot of thought into the design of their espresso division products - they're not "me too" products.

    Now, before you start being persuaded by people pushing you toward Italian designs... I hope you understand you're comparing apples with oranges here. The Gaggia Classic for example, uses a non-pressurized system. That means, especially for a beginner who does not want to futz around all day getting the grind & tamp just right, its bound to be much harder to get a nice crema in your cup. The Breville's OTOH, have a nice pressurized baskets that will take care of that. While I'm not too familiar with the BES870, I have the BES830, and it came with both pressurized and non-pressurized baskets.

    Different people have different needs/expecations, and for beginners who don't care to play "crema roulette", the Breville's make a fine cup of Joe. I've not ever had any complaints from my guests serving them espressos from my Brevilles. As for the "faster" aspect, this is part of what I'm talking about. The Breville's will likely have either a thermoblock or thermocoil type 'boiler', which makes them heat up over 3 times faster than an Italian machine (say, about 3 minutes vs. 10 minutes on the Gaggia). For some, this can mean the difference between being late for work, and not being late for work. But sure, go ahead, explain to your boss you had to wait for the espresso, I'm sure he'll understand.

    As for this silly argument I keep seeing about how you should not buy a combination machine (grinder and espresso in one), because if one or the other breaks, you will have to wait to drink coffee until it gets repaired.... well, how is that any different if you have separate machines? If your stand-alone grinder goes south, then you're sans grinder, aren't you? And you can't make espresso if you have a fancy Italian machine that's non-pressurized, and can't make good tasting coffee with a commercial packaged grind. Same thing happens if your stand-alone espresso machine dies. How is it any more of a comfort to you if your separate espresso machine is in the repair shop? You can still eat dry coffee grounds, because your grinder is still available to you? See what I mean by its a nonsense argument? Anyone who can afford $1,000 for a coffee machine, can probably spring an extra $20 for a french press. Or if that's too much, then $5 for a coffee from Starbucks. Or if that's too much, then $2 for a Vietnamese drip coffee maker off eBay. Either way, you won't die in the event your combi machine needs repairing.

    As for the 'warm beans' argument against combi machines, anyone who says it makes a difference is also talking off the top of their heads, because a) They've probably never measured the temp of the beans in the hopper and outside of it, and b) every combi machine is different. Meaning its not really a problem with some machines as it might be with others. The Breville combis I've seen, for example, have their hopper above the top of the machine. Where its refreshingly surrounded by cool air all the time.
    As I've said elsewhere, if you're totally neurotic about beans being too close to your boiler.... just use what you need when you make coffee, and that's the end of it.

    The only caveat I might say about the Brevilles... is they may not be as reliable as a simpler machine, with perhaps better parts. But their advantages, particularly for people new to espresso machines, are plenty. The grinders are espresso-capable, the pressurized baskets are not at all grind-sensitive, they're very intuitive and easy to use, offer good value and they're likely to be faster to heat up and have 'boilers' less prone to scale, etc. (Not sure if the 870 has a thermocoil or an ss boiler).
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    Pressurised baskets make bad coffee better and good coffee worse, and the presence of crema is like a driver's licence; if you're good at driving you'll have one but having one doesn't mean you know what you're doing. I started with pressurised baskets, went to non-pressurised and after a steep two week learning curve was making noticibly better coffee. Had to move in with the in-laws and go back to pressurised, and for the 9 months we were there I made multiple coffees a day and I couldn't get the pressurised portafilter to make reasonable coffee until I took the little spring out of it (thereby depressurising it), had to put it back because the in-laws suddenly couldn't make coffee anymore. If coffee out of a pressurised basket tastes good to you and you have no interest in learning to use non-pressurised baskets then stick to pressurised! But it's pretty universally agreed among coffee fans that there is a significant difference in how good coffee from each taste, and denying that is country productive for most people.

    As for the heat in beans in a combi machine, I notice a difference in beans when I store the bag of beans next to the coffee machine or somewhere closer to 14 like the pantry, so just because there is air around the hopper doesn't mean the beans aren't getting warm and losing flavour. Also the internals of the grinder will be warmer than a separate grinder, but I haven't measured the temperatures. But if I was using pressurised baskets I wouldn't be able to tell the difference anyway. The arguments for separate grinders based on breaking down don't make sense to me either, unless the machine breaks down and you use the grinder to make plunger coffee or similar like I have done in the past, shouldn't be a big factor in buying a machine though.

    My current machine is the 3rd Breville machine I've owned but will probably be the last as I dare say by the time it dies I'll have outgrown it, although upgrading from the BCG820 to a non-Breville grinder has given it a new wind. The 920 has a feature list that is ridiculous for the price point, but the build quality is what's appliance like. It can't be used for more than an hour before it's allowed to cool down because some of the electronics and plastics can't handle the prolonged heat. I don't agree that Breville know nothing about coffee, just that their target market won't pay for the features and longevity of an all-metal machine so they don't include both.

    They have their place, but they can be entirely skipped.

  18. #18
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    When I refer to appliance machines it is not in reference to the company also making toasters, it is in reference to the fact that they are generally not serviceable, especially user serviceable. So if something goes wrong you are at the mercy of parts availability and if you need it fixed by a service centre your choices are very limited. Ie they are not intended to last a lifetime.

    I couldn't imagine many Breville dual boilers around in 20 years time for example.

    Which is a shame as the BDB has some great features, is amazing value and is capable of making an amazing coffee (when it works).

    Cheers

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    I'm afraid I can't really agree with "the Breville's are especially not user serviceable". I bought my BES820XL used. When it came delivered to me, the hot water wand was not even installed. I had no idea if all the parts where there, and I had not worked on a Breville before. The seller did say the hot water didn't work, and I accepted that (since she sold me the machine for $80). She just 'forgot' to mention the steam function wasn't working either (of course not, the hot water & steam are both inter-connected functions!). The hardest part about working on the machine, was figuring out how the heck it opens up (hint: two screws at the front top, then you slide the top off toward you....). Is there a Breville repair centre near me? I have no idea, I did not inquire. I simply fixed the machine myself, and the only thing it cost me is some time. (Luckily, the seller had kept the hot water wand and its parts in a handy parts drawer the machine comes with).


    As for the problem with the steam and hot water, their functions were being blocked by a tiny bit of debris caught inside a piece located in the 3-way solenoid valve (which I was surprised to see, since the machine does not create a 'dry puck'. The 3WV on this model simply directs the flow of water to either steam or hot water functions). I know from my research there are some models of Breville's (not this one), that contain a plastic part that can break down, and be quite difficult to replace. Some more clever users have, mind you, found alternative parts to continue the lives of their machines. For example, there's a solenoid valve exclusive to the Brevilles, but some users have found other type replacements that have worked. In the reviews I've written for my Breville machines, I have noted that they tend to have more parts and more parts means more things can break. I've also criticized Breville the company in those reviews, as they don't seem to care too much about maintaining supply of parts for discontinued machines, since they are always coming out with new models. I've also repaired my leaking Breville BarVista, and my Cafe Roma. But I can't say I enjoy working on Brevilles, and I would say they are -less- serviceable, than, say, a Saeco Aroma. But then, the newer models of Krups and maybe Sunbeams, are going to look quite similar on the inside. So this trend of more complicated machines with many and cheaper parts is hardly exclusive to Breville. There are plenty of Gaggia and Saeco models that are made more cheaply today, than what used to be produced under those brand names.


    So the "not intended to last a lifetime" part, i can agree with. But I'm not sure that matters that much to most people. Given the quality of most appliances on the market today, I get the impression the population at large accepts this; perhaps expects or even wants it this way. So they have a reason to get the latest and greatest machines after x many years. Perhaps I'm an anomaly, but I can appreciate both. I can appreciate my Faema Family (or Amica 2), both tank-like SBDU machines that appear to have been built to last a lifetime, as I can appreciate and enjoy using my Breville BES820XL. It has a nice modern styling that fits in nearly any decor and can do some tricks the Faemas can't. It may not last a lifetime, but neither will I. Either way, I try not to project my own wants and needs on to others when recommending anything, because they are not me. Rather, I prefer to understand their ways of going about things, and tailor my recommendations to their needs.


    This is why I said, some people who are not certifiable "coffee snobs" may prefer not to fuss around with a non-pressurized machine, wait 3x longer for the large traditional boiler tank to heat up, wait for all the brass/metal parts to heat up (you know, to get that 'right' temperature), grind the coffee just right ('cos you can't use pre-ground in a non-pressurized machine of course), tamp the coffee just right (don't forget the bathroom scale!), make sure your beans have been roasted within x many days (not too soon, they need time to off-gas!), make sure the temperature of the water is just right, "PID" the machine (a very geeky accessory) after you get tired of temp surfing to make sure the water is just right, and then curse the Gods of Coffee when after doing all the above, the espresso shot does not come out right. And you don't know why.


    Some people just want the espresso, not the fuss. Hence the rising popularity of super automatics. Other people (like me), enjoy the rituals and the challenges of making coffee good. (Right from the get-go, since my first espresso machine was a non-pressurized type, not a pressurized). So I'm perfectly okay with even fussing with the lever of a La Pavoni manual machine, and getting the crema just right for latte art. But most people I encounter, who may enjoy an espresso, are just not maniacs about it, and are never going to be. Those people will surely trade-off not being able to die of old age with their faithful old-school Italian espresso machine still producing coffee, for some of the conveniences of more 'modern' machines like the Brevilles. I think this is more or less the model Breville is working on, and they're doing smashing business by the looks of things. I've even seen Italians opting for Brevilles over Italian machines!


    I also think the usual line on coffee forums about how bad espresso from a pressurized machine is, is overplayed. I've had good and bad shots from both types of machines. Nearly every night, I make an espresso for my S.O. And I usually wait for her opinion on the taste (because its usually coming from either a different machine, or a new/different method). She tells me when its good or bad, and I find we usually agree on that. I never tell her how I've prepared the coffee, and I serve her espresso from both pressurized and non-pressurized machines. Sometimes, from a machine that can do both (ie. my Solis Crema SL-70, Spidem Cappuccino Express or Breville Cafe Venezia). Well, she's -never- said the espresso was bad, because it was from a pressurized machine. So if it was that bad, it would make sense that she'd be rejecting all the pressurized espressos I serve her (since I serve both types). Like I say, my guests go out of their way to say the espresso tastes good, and they've said this with both pressurized and non-pressurized shots. So it remains for me, the whole argument against pressurized espressos is overplayed, and you can have both bad and acceptable shots from both types.


    Of far more significance to the taste than wether the PF is pressurized or not, or even the grinder, is the brand/type of coffee you're employing. That's something all non-espresso maniacs I've served coffees to can easily taste.
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    Gavalia, you seem surprised that, on a forum called 'Coffee Snobs', some people behave like 'coffee snobs'. Have a good one.

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    Hmm....I think im more confused than when I started. I like the idea of non-pressurised baskets (always up for a challenge), and is something I had no idea about until I posted on here. Thanks everyone for your imput, have already learnt a great deal!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
    Gavalia, you seem surprised that, on a forum called 'Coffee Snobs', some people behave like 'coffee snobs'. Have a good one.
    Not surprised, quite the contrary. I'm on a few coffee forums, and I know the 'snobbery' is par for the course. I've seen it turn off quite a few newcomers, for that reason. I just dont agree with people who feel the "snob approach" should apply to everyone in every situation. Like the idea of proposing a non-pressurized Gaggia with a geeked-out "PID" system, to a first time buyer, with a budget goal of $500, buying their first "coffee machine", quote unquote. Then there's the "Oz Factor". An Australian, on an Australian forum, leaning toward an Australian espresso machine brand, a brand who's machines are particularly geared for first time buyers with modest budgets, is being told to buy an Italian machine. Something seems a little off with that.... I maintain that most new espresso machine consumers don't want or need such challenges. They're not into espresso as a hobby, as most forumers are (and yes, with over two dozen espresso machines in my "collection", I'd have to include myself here). Just as a drink. That opinion comes from both personal experience and the usual stats. But if I learn the OP "likes the challenge" of having to fiddle with non-pressurized baskets (as they've now said), then I would go ahead and make recommendations that are broader (still keeping in mind, this is a first time buyer).


    Mind you, this still doesn't rule out machines like the BES870XL (which I realize now is basically my 830 with a grinder built in). Because they can use both pressurized and non pressurized baskets, and they're just very functional. But if reliability is an all important factor, I often recommend something like the Saeco Aroma as a good first machine (also called the 'Classico' and was produced under many other names for tens of years now). Why, because its super compact, super minimal (re: parts) and super reliable (ie. the steam wand turns on a brass joint that is unlikely to ever break). Its so easy to repair, I could repair it in my sleep. Its built like a small tank, can easily be found dirt cheap on the used market since they've been making them for over 20 years (I've bought them for as little as $25, how's that for a deal?). And it comes with a pressurized portafilter that makes a richer crema than many other pressurized PF's. Plus, it's a Saeco. Which means not just that parts are readily available, and have been for decades, but if you want to geek it out, you can. You can for example easily get a NON-pressurized portafilter for it, when the need arises, for not much scratch. And I've even seen people put PIDs on this thing. Also, whatever its age, the SS boiler won't look like the inside of a bat cave like the alu. ones on the older Gaggia Classics, Coffees etc. can.


    Of course, if something like a Rocky/Rancilio combo is within the budget (and any countertop limits), and one doesn't mind waiting for it to get to temp, fussing with the grind settings (sometimes for each type of coffee...), getting a proper 58mm tamper and all what's involved with that, then I agree it'd be a bit better on the result end than what I might have mentioned. I still think its overkill for a newb. But then, I'm just as happy going from my La Pavoni Pro to my....uh.... .whatever THIS thing is:

    Philips Espresso Duo HD5189 Wall Mount | LaurasLastDitch





    And don't ask if its for sale. I'm hanging on to it tenaciously, because I just know its going to come back in vogue any day now. Analogue pressure profiles are the next wave, my friend... ;-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavalia View Post
    ....Which is absolute rubbish. But then.... I'm not a "coffee snob". And that's a very "coffee snob" thing to say. Krups also makes toaster ovens and the like. But they have made some fine machines (though not particularly pricy ones) - in fact the two companies share technologies. I not only have a few Breville Machines, I've worked on them. So I'm familiar with how they're put together, and I'm quite impressed by some of the unique design features from Breville. Much better than Italian designs, in the cases where that applies. The very fact that Breville has added many unique (and presumably patented) design features to espresso machines, shows that anyone who dismisses them as mere "appliances", because they also make other kitchen applies, just does not know what they're talking about. And can be safely dismissed themselves. Anyone who does know about them would know that Breville has put a lot of thought into the design of their espresso division products - they're not "me too" products.

    Now, before you start being persuaded by people pushing you toward Italian designs... I hope you understand you're comparing apples with oranges here. The Gaggia Classic for example, uses a non-pressurized system. That means, especially for a beginner who does not want to futz around all day getting the grind & tamp just right, its bound to be much harder to get a nice crema in your cup. The Breville's OTOH, have a nice pressurized baskets that will take care of that. While I'm not too familiar with the BES870, I have the BES830, and it came with both pressurized and non-pressurized baskets.

    Different people have different needs/expecations, and for beginners who don't care to play "crema roulette", the Breville's make a fine cup of Joe. I've not ever had any complaints from my guests serving them espressos from my Brevilles. As for the "faster" aspect, this is part of what I'm talking about. The Breville's will likely have either a thermoblock or thermocoil type 'boiler', which makes them heat up over 3 times faster than an Italian machine (say, about 3 minutes vs. 10 minutes on the Gaggia). For some, this can mean the difference between being late for work, and not being late for work. But sure, go ahead, explain to your boss you had to wait for the espresso, I'm sure he'll understand.

    As for this silly argument I keep seeing about how you should not buy a combination machine (grinder and espresso in one), because if one or the other breaks, you will have to wait to drink coffee until it gets repaired.... well, how is that any different if you have separate machines? If your stand-alone grinder goes south, then you're sans grinder, aren't you? And you can't make espresso if you have a fancy Italian machine that's non-pressurized, and can't make good tasting coffee with a commercial packaged grind. Same thing happens if your stand-alone espresso machine dies. How is it any more of a comfort to you if your separate espresso machine is in the repair shop? You can still eat dry coffee grounds, because your grinder is still available to you? See what I mean by its a nonsense argument? Anyone who can afford $1,000 for a coffee machine, can probably spring an extra $20 for a french press. Or if that's too much, then $5 for a coffee from Starbucks. Or if that's too much, then $2 for a Vietnamese drip coffee maker off eBay. Either way, you won't die in the event your combi machine needs repairing.

    As for the 'warm beans' argument against combi machines, anyone who says it makes a difference is also talking off the top of their heads, because a) They've probably never measured the temp of the beans in the hopper and outside of it, and b) every combi machine is different. Meaning its not really a problem with some machines as it might be with others. The Breville combis I've seen, for example, have their hopper above the top of the machine. Where its refreshingly surrounded by cool air all the time.
    As I've said elsewhere, if you're totally neurotic about beans being too close to your boiler.... just use what you need when you make coffee, and that's the end of it.

    The only caveat I might say about the Brevilles... is they may not be as reliable as a simpler machine, with perhaps better parts. But their advantages, particularly for people new to espresso machines, are plenty. The grinders are espresso-capable, the pressurized baskets are not at all grind-sensitive, they're very intuitive and easy to use, offer good value and they're likely to be faster to heat up and have 'boilers' less prone to scale, etc. (Not sure if the 870 has a thermocoil or an ss boiler).

    It's really not difficult to get a fantastic coffee from a Gaggia Classic, as a beginner myself I can contest that. Consistency is key. I don't even have PID and find I will get a consistently great coffee flushing the system before pouring a shot, every time I will get a nice, thick crema with the unpressurised basket.

    In regards to my argument about the grinder being attached to the machine, it still stands. If the Gaggia Classic needs a repair you can still grind beans and use a French press, if your grinder dies you can use a hand grinder to get you by, these are cheap and should be in most people's arsenal anyway.

    Also,. I'd be very surprised if OP used remainder of her budget to buy a good commercial italian grinder and had issues. Grinders like the M2M are built like tanks, have almost nothing in the way of digital displays, and are very basic in nature. They're made to last a long, long time.

    Your 3 minute Vs 10 minute argument is kind of silly. There's not really a huge difference there. Once you switch the machine on, grind your beans, weigh your beans, tamp and then flush the machine you're not going to be waiting around for very long. Or maybe I'm just really slow!

    As for the pressurised baskets, my second hand machine came with pressurised baskets so they are their if you want to use them, no idea why you would though as it's just artificial crema and it's easy enough to make a great coffee with the standard basket.

    End of the day, there's a reason people still pay $250 for 10 years old Gaggias. Parts are cheap and plentiful, dead easy to work on, and with a silvia steam wand and a bit of consistency, produce a fantastic coffee.

    I'm not saying the Breville won't make a great coffee too, but let me know where your BES870 is in 20 years, because I garuntee my classic will still be pulling shots.
    gez likes this.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Let's not turn it into a word-count measuring contest...

    TamaJade, you listed reliability and longevity as considerations - that should cast some questions over the Sunbeam and Breville options at least. Not to say they don't have other good qualities - however they are appliances in the sense they're made to work for a few years, then be thrown out and replaced when they break. I got about eight years' daily use from a Sunbeam EM6910 mostly incident-free, so it does depend on how you define long-term...

  25. #25
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    It really depends how much you want to get into coffee. Some people drink coffee from cafes which I would consider crap and they love it, it is on another level to the instant they usually get. so you might as well go "all out" and get the real thing. Some people love pod coffee. Great concept, easy, no mess, no clean up, just quite expensive per cup/yield and not that great for landfill if that worries you.

    Once you have tried a delicious coffee it really is hard to go back, and it is not difficult/tricky/expensive to achieve. I still remember being blown away by the first flat white I had that upto that point never thought coffee could taste so good. And i am equally baffled at the shite that some cafes produce with mega gear. It is not hard or complicated at all.

    unpressurised baskets are not tricky. You just need fresh beans and a "decent" grinder. A sunbeam 480 or breville smart grinder is plenty. And a smidgen of effort.

    you dont need to spend big either. Get an old lelit/nemox/quahar/gaggia/silvia for 200-500 including grinder and you can easily make coffee that will trump a lot of cafes, without really trying. Yes it probably wont be to the full god shot potential, but you will be 90% there. The fancy grinders and machines really only give you bling (i love it), consistency, capacity etc. But, they are not required. No need to over complicate it.

    I had a nemox combi for years, and loved it. I didnt temp surf or do any of that and had great results. If I took a bit of extra effort and pulled a shot from that and one from my alex duetto and was blind folded, I doubt I could tell which shot was from where. And you can still buy all the bits for these machines, and there is not much to go wrong. A few switches, a pump and a brass boiler.

    They also dont take long to heat up, You can go to steam mode and it will be at temp with in 5 mins or so (needing flush to bring it down to brew temp).

    My reference to applicance machines comes partly from tinkering with a few and also from first hand experience from an acquaintance that got the breville dual boiler when it first came out. he had a few niggling issues, it got replaced, died, replaced with a 920, died, replaced again. Now the group collar insert is worn (the machine has done less than 100 shots I would say) and you can not buy a replacemenet without buying the boiler assembly (at a relatively high cost, especially compared to the value of the machine). that is very poor on a still current machine IMO.

    this is in contrast to "traditional" machines, where you often have several supply choices and parts are available for years, and the machines are built with longevity in mind and easy to service and repair. that is the point i was trying to make.

    having said all that, I am sure you would be happy with the 870, just assess all your options and make an informed decision.

    When I got my combi, it was a toss up between that and the sunbeam 6910, both were a similar price at the time. I liked the idea of the simultaneous ability to steam on the sunbeam, but the stainless look of the combi swayed me and I am glad I swayed that way!

    Keep it simple and delicious!

    Cheers
    Brewster, Crema_Lad, Yelta and 1 others like this.

  26. #26
    Junior Member
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    Thanks again everyone, I love reading all these posts. While I am new to coffee machines, I do love a good coffee Not into the pods at all. Have played abit with making coffees in the past but not for a long time. I am happy to learn the ins and outs, whatever gets me the best coffee. I understand everyone's argument and points....all are very helpful. My partner worries that a 2nd hand machine might fail and obviously doesn't come with the warranty but from what im reading it sounds like they're built to last. Im in Adelaide so 2nd hand machines might not come up quite as often but I'll keep checking gumtree and on here. If anyone knows of any that become available id love to know. And im sure I will find this forum extremely useful in the future!
    kb00st likes this.

  27. #27
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TamaJade View Post
    While I am new to coffee machines, I do love a good coffee Not into the pods at all. Have played abit with making coffees in the past but not for a long time. I am happy to learn the ins and outs, whatever gets me the best coffee.
    One of us, one of us!if you go with a second hand machine of good quality like some suggested here (i.e. not appliance quality) it should be pretty reliable and easily fixable.

  28. #28
    Senior Member
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    I have a Classic purchased from a other forum member, great machine for what it is. Recommend.

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