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Thread: Please recommend a machine- I am ready to buy (Breville vs Rocket)

  1. #1
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    Please recommend a machine- I am ready to buy (Breville vs Rocket)

    Hey guys (thanks to those of you that have helped already)

    My Sunbeam EM7000 died and I got a full refund, I am ready to move on.
    I felt that my sunbeam wasn't always consistent (could have been me) and I want a machine that will let me hone my skills on weekends, but give me a easy shot before work at 6am.

    My skill level is- I weigh my coffee after grinding and weigh my shots chasing the 1:2 ratio. I know how to fix under and over extracting. My palette isn't very refined though and I didn't quite get the hang of using a naked portafilter.

    I am looking at either a Breville BES920 for around $700 with a warranty added on for if it shits the bed, or a 5 years used Rocket Giotto for $1600.

    I want something that is a step up from the breville and will last, but something that I won't get too frustrated with. I'm feeling the Giotto will take a while to dial in but will be more consistent and last longer, but the breville will be less consistent but easier to walk up, pull a shot and go to work.

    Do you guys have any recommendations or something similar I should look at? I liked the pelit but the 54mm was turning me away.

    Thanks guys

  2. #2
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    Well that's not really a good comparison - IMO.
    The appliance grade machine cant match it with an e61 whether that be -
    shot vs shot, ease of shot production (read shot analysis)
    longevity, quality of ownership.

    Good Espresso at home (and consistency) can be a reasonably simple formula if you choose the right path.
    AND once experienced it is no longer mythical or overly complex.

    1/ A 58mm E61 grouphead or similar.
    The 58mm commercial design g/h provides more options with aftermarket accessories, access to parts, repairs and more.
    2/ *A Good Grinder - with micro-metric adjustment, 60mm+ flat burr set or conical.
    don't try and run an appliance grade grinder with an e61. It just leads you down a road full of frustration.
    3/ Good fresh beans, stored properly, used within 4-6weeks post roast date (that need to rest for 6-8days once roasted).
    4/ A good flat base, square edged tamper, matched to your basket(s).
    5/ A good water filter setup.

    And away you go.
    Read up on the 5 cent test. Measure your dose and be careful with your puck setup in the early days.
    Don't just pick a weight and say - I'm going to dose at xxGrams... the machine / basket combo will show you
    where the maximum dose height is.
    Record everything, only ever change one thing at a time if / when required.
    *again don't be tempted to scrimp on the grinder.
    GL
    Last edited by EspressoAdventurer; 2nd March 2018 at 04:13 PM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks mate. Having come from an em7000 I loved the 58mm group head.
    I'm happy with the grinder I have at the moment, breville smart grinder, but I will upgrade.
    You reckon the giotto for double the price then? Seeing as they can't be matched

  4. #4
    Senior Member WhatEverBeansNecessary's Avatar
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    My 2 cents - you wont need to upgrade the Giotto anytime soon if you are looking for a good machine. I do agree that to get the best out of the Giotto you will need a better grinder. The grinder is almost alyways the biggest factor in a quality brew.

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    Re the Grinder .... I have had the benefit to play with more than a handful of Commercial Machines and their Grinders onsite.
    I roast my own beans, run a Giotto and Mazzer S.J. grinder at home.

    I could take you thru all the scenario's I've played with ...but the bottom line is that I found that i grind a touch finer at home than I would if I took my grinder and sat it in a cafe behind a quality commercial machine.
    *Including bringing home a 83mm flat burr titanium blade grinder and had to fine it up a touch Using their bean!

    Its obv your call but ultimately you'll experience less consistency, fewer prime quality shots and difficulty in achieving changes with that grinder.

    You'll know when your in charge of your home setup by one thing...
    that is you identify a shot issue, you choose 1 change to effect it,
    you can preempt what that change will do...and bingo it happens as expected.
    That is when you have total control over your shot, and your nailing it ...consistently.

    AND the downside to this ??
    You'll become less tolerant to poor cafe's serving you average espresso.

    PS I edited my earlier post....A Water Filter is also a must. Search the site - that will guide you.

  6. #6
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    Yeah I get you. I had a Eureka Atom for a few months but as I only drink 4 or 5 coffee Max per week the retention was too much.
    Therefore the only options I know of as a good quality grinder without retentiom are a Lido 3 hand grinder or a baratza sette.
    Anyway at this stage I already own a grinder and no machine. I'm looking to purchase the machine first. I'd love your thoughts on a 0 retention grinder though

  7. #7
    Senior Member Arcade's Avatar
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    I had a similar dilemma 6 years ago - Sunbeam dual boiler or a used ECM Giotto. I went the Giotto after reading average reviews on the electronics of the Sunbeam. No regrets and it never skipped a beat. Paid $1,500 and sold it last year for $1k, so very good resale as well. Only sold it because the lever bug hit me!

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    It sounds like you have answered your own question, especially if you are looking for something that is a step up.

    The Giotto will last many, many years and will be a joy to use. Even if you feel it may be too much machine for your current skill level, you will quickly get better and better and soon you will be glad you went for a high-end quality machine.

  9. #9
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Yeah you really are comparing apples with oranges here so you need to ask yourself what you really want and what are your priorities. It may even help to make a list of pros and cons.

    My personal opinion is that those two machines are relatively equal in their capabilities, but vastly different in how they do their thing and what their user experience is like. Neither of them will do it all for you. They can both make excellent coffee just as well as they can make terrible coffee. The Rocket will last longer if youíre not into preventative maintenance, but itíll die just as quickly if it gets abused so whatever you decide make sure you care for it well.

    If I was faced with the same choice this is what Iíd be thinking:

    Rocket-

    Shinier, prettier and a bit more flash. Not quite as easy to use as the BES920 and with less Ďbells and whistlesí, but capable of an awesome shot once dialed in. Potential for it to last a lifetime if well looked after and better resale value. Great steam! Relatively quiet (well, compared to a Gaggia Classic or Sunbeam 6910 anyway). Self serviceable to an extent. Big range of e61 extras such as shower screens and baskets available. Minimum warm up time - 30min. Ideal warm up time - 45min. No big deal, can work that into the morning routine or get a timer. No mods necessary.

    Breville-

    Looks ok, but not exactly a work of art. A bit easier to use so could be used by others in the House. Lots of features and settings if you want to try different temps for single origin espressos or set a shot dose. Adequate steam, produces good milk, but a bit slower. Can reach temp in as little as 10min, but PF will need a flush as itís stainless so takes longer. Ideal warm up time - 25 to 30min. Group gasket easily replaced, but thereís no way Iím going inside to fiddle with those electronics. Potential to last 10yrs, but possibly not much more. Really need to keep it clean and well maintained, but even then it could still break down at some stage. No mods necessary.


    The other question is - does buying the Rocket mean you canít afford a better grinder at the moment? The Smart Grinder is adequate, but something better would be ideal. So maybe the Breville and a new grinder is a better choice? I donít think you can really go wrong either way. Thereíll be other similar machines for similar prices if you change your mind some time down the track.

  10. #10
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    Ideal warm-up time of 25 or 45 minutes would be a deal breaker to me. I accept I am in the minority, I just have the view a machine works for me, not the other way around.

  11. #11
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    Of course a machine with the above stated warm up time IS working for you. As temperature stability is at the Heart of the Italian Espresso recipe.
    91-95deg will normally be in the range to produce the sweet syrupy flavoursome shots that a fresh well roasted bean can deliver.

    Alternatively a machine with the ability to heat to that given range Quicker is very (most) likely to also lack the thermal stability required. Particuarly during a shot or more likely during back to back (or more) shots, & steaming.
    Resulting in temperature movement outside of those temps already stated. And generally this is to a lower and undesirable temp.
    Whereby undesirable taste characteristics can be introduced such as sourness and lower extraction yields. Whereas at the higher temp ranges may well likely increase shot yields it can also introduce burnt characteristics as well as bitterness into the shot.

    This is why lauded espresso brands / machines with substantial mass (E61 G/H = around 3.5kg's) achieve strong user followings due to their ability to deliver consistent heat stable shots. Of course this is when combined with good barista knowledge & skills, fresh beans and a good well adjusted Grinder and filtered clean water.
    * Note - Research of the Italian 4M's of Coffee may be helpful.
    GL with your coffee. Oh and a Timer is invaluable, it shall have your machine working for you in no time!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarrenK View Post
    Ideal warm-up time of 25 or 45 minutes would be a deal breaker to me. I accept I am in the minority, I just have the view a machine works for me, not the other way around.
    +1. Ex "too many to count" mainly commercial machines (2 group La Pavs at home most years since 1985), followed by a manual lever Electra (still the best coffee of any when I am on the top of my game), a Silvia then 2 * GS3's (one 110V "joke", one 240V "genuine machine").

    One reason I stayed with my 2008 vintage SB 6910 (yep - "CS derided appliance machines" which is well maintained and still has not required a part since 2010) is the 90 second warmup. The only machine on my list to buy now is the Decent DE1x when it will steam and pull a shot at the same time. Current espresso machines - 3 6910s, 1 SB 7000 (main "micro kitchen machine" to preserve domestic peace - it is a lot quieter than my 6910s) and one 2 group La Pav which I probably should sell. The La Pav needs 35 minutes at 18+Amp to warm up, needs to be plumbed in and is now "surplus to requirements" as two 6910's can handle the same 72 coffees per hour that the La Pav does without the fuss (no need to purge the boilers & do the old "remove fish oil taint" every three months).

    The grinder is way more important than the machine anyway. I now have 2 ceramic burr Swiss Mahlkonig Varios (Turkish to espresso use) plus one with optional $30 steel burrs (for coarser grinds like cold steep).

    Yep, my machines work for me....

    TampIt

  13. #13
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    Reality, for 19 out of 20 coffee drinkers, you wont pick the difference in a coffee pulled off either machine (there are youtube videos on blind tests doing this).

    Both machines will pull great coffee, its whether or not you are happy with a Chinese appliance sitting on your benchtop, or Italian chrome. Ive just been through this exercise, and it reinforces the BES920 is easily the best BFYB on the entire market, nothing comes close as far as features and quality of extraction at that $ ($800 BES920 equivalent in italian = $2500 - $3500).

    It's a head or heart decision.

    Note: One point I agree on is longevity on some parts, however note the Breville has the same ulka vibe pump as many of the italian machines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Desbos View Post

    It's a head or heart decision.
    Very well said. The BDB has Scace tested temperature stability of a saturated brew group machine ($7000 and up in the USA market). This part is what your head tells you.

    On the other hand, the Rocket has that sexy old school Italian look and feel, probably at the expense of the n'th degree of temperature performance you will have with the BDB. This is your heart talking.

    Just remember, whatever you decide, ALL machines will require maintenance and repairs. If you get a Breville and the o-rings start leaking after two years, it's not because the Breville is ready for the bin. Replace them... Just as you would have to on any other machine.

    -Peter

  15. #15
    Senior Member WhatEverBeansNecessary's Avatar
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    I don't know it is quite that simple as that is like saying "you won't notice the difference between a Ferrari and a Hyundai as the speed limit in Australia maxes out at 130 kph" - it's really only partly correct.
    The precision and build quality of a Ferrari/well built European espresso machine is on a different level to a Hyundai/Breville. True the high end Breville pull a shot that 19/20 coffee drinkers won't tell the difference between a high end European espresso with a capable barista or even probably instant. But Coffee snobs and the forum members are the 1/20 for the most part.
    Similarly to a Ferrari the asthetics (as mentioned by previous posters) the beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I would argue that most European made machines are superior in this respect to Brevilles.

  16. #16
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhatEverBeansNecessary View Post
    I don't know it is quite that simple as that is like saying "you won't notice the difference between a Ferrari and a Hyundai as the speed limit in Australia maxes out at 130 kph" - it's really only partly correct.
    The precision and build quality of a Ferrari/well built European espresso machine is on a different level to a Hyundai/Breville. True the high end Breville pull a shot that 19/20 coffee drinkers won't tell the difference between a high end European espresso with a capable barista or even probably instant. But Coffee snobs and the forum members are the 1/20 for the most part.
    Similarly to a Ferrari the asthetics (as mentioned by previous posters) the beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I would argue that most European made machines are superior in this respect to Brevilles.
    Thatís a terrible analogy! Italians design beautiful and amazing motor vehicles, but they put them together very poorly! Haha! (....or maybe itís a perfect analogy. I dunno).

  17. #17
    Senior Member WhatEverBeansNecessary's Avatar
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    Let's settle for 'it's a type of analogy' haha
    LeroyC likes this.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    That’s a terrible analogy! Italians design beautiful and amazing motor vehicles, but they put them together very poorly! Haha! (....or maybe it’s a perfect analogy. I dunno).
    Not just restricted to Ferraris...
    I've had to rewire, rebuild a couple of Ducatis over the years too.
    Part of the charm, I'm led to believe...

    Mal.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Not just restricted to Ferraris...
    I've had to rewire, rebuild a couple of Ducatis over the years too.
    Part of the charm, I'm led to believe...

    Mal.
    I had a "charming" Moto Guzzi once. I know just what you mean, Mal!

    When it was on-song it was euphoric...when it was being "charming", it was an utter pig!
    Dimal and inorog like this.

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