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Thread: New Espresso Machine and Grinder

  1. #1
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    New Espresso Machine and Grinder

    Hi there,

    I'm looking at purchasing a new espresso machine and grinder. I mostly drink milk based coffees and I'm the only one in the house that drinks coffee and my wife likes chai lattes (another milk based drink). I will be making coffee for friends when they come over as we enjoy entertaining.

    I have been recommended to look at the following HX machines Lelit Mara, Bezzera Magica, ECM Mechanika, Profitec Pro 500 and Rocket Appartamento. I would appreciate some feedback from what people's experiences are with the machines above.

    I really like the lever operated steam and water options.

    If you could also let me know what grinder would suit. I'm not interested in a step grinder and would like something that will deliver good results.

    The budget isn't really a concern as I would like to purchase what I need rather than what $$$ figure dictates.

    I look forward to hearing all of you.

    Cheers.

    Cupajoe

  2. #2
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    All the machines you are quoting are based on the same grouphead design, so with a given quality grinder I can't imagine one giving different results in the cup from the other. It really comes down to what you want to spend on features, such as stainless steel internals (ECM) vs. the toggle-operated steam and water taps (Bezzera standard feature) vs. larger water reservoirs (Bezzera). The Mara and the Appartemento will be the "lean and mean" options here, where I would gravitate towards the latter.

    The biggest bang for the buck regarding steam power may be the NS Oscar II, If you don't mind the plastic external parts.

    If you want to be able to bang out multiple cappas in a minimum of time, a programmable electronic water dosing may be of use, so you can focus on steaming while the extraction is automatically stopped. This is an option on the Bezzera BZ13. Different grouphead design, but not worse, heats up faster and takes less real estate. Could be practical for your usage pattern.

    Regarding grinders, most commercial grade flat burr grinders will do the trick If your main choice of drinks is milk-based and your beans of choice are medium to medium dark roast. If stepped adjustment is a no-go, think Compak K3, Fiorenzato F4, Bezzera BB005 for entry level, else you can include Quamar and Macap M2 as well. If you start appreciating straight espressos and value flavor separation as well as lighter roasts, some might direct you to grinders of larger flat burr diameter or comical burrs.
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  3. #3
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    Thank you degaulle!

    So in your opinion which machine would have a better build quality Bezzera or ECM since both ECM and Bezzera comes with levers.

    You have me intrigued with the electronic water dosing option... I cant find a BZ13 model in Australia. Are there any other models worth looking at?

    I'll have a look into the recommend grinders as I havent done much research on them as yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cupajoe View Post
    Thank you degaulle!

    So in your opinion which machine would have a better build quality Bezzera or ECM since both ECM and Bezzera comes with levers.

    You have me intrigued with the electronic water dosing option... I cant find a BZ13 model in Australia. Are there any other models worth looking at?

    I'll have a look into the recommend grinders as I havent done much research on them as yet.
    Hi Cuppajoe, I confess I am biased here, since I am a happy Bezzera owner (no commercial interests though). The BZ13 is a newer model available in Europe. If you can't find it in Australia, the BZ07 is its predecessor that may still be available with the same dosing option.

    As much as I appreciate the ECM looks and overall build quality, I tend to find them relatively expensive, although it is for a good reason. There is another thread going on on the forum where a YouTube video from WholeLatteLove is refered to, in which you can see the difference in build quality inside between a BZ and an ECM machine. E.g. ECM uses knitted Stainless where BZ uses teflon tubing. You might want to take Paul's advice and see some of those shiny machines in the metal. Happy shopping!

  5. #5
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    I'd stress try to spend as much as you can in a quality grinder. For years I had an average one (Iberital Challenge) and then went sideways to a Lelit PL044MMT and finally bit the bullet band spent a relatively recent amount to get a 64mm burr grinder ( Fausto) and I find it really translates into a great cup every single shot!
    Last edited by nickm; 1st May 2017 at 07:44 AM. Reason: Spelling - autocorrect

  6. #6
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    Hi Paul,

    We have already spoken over the phone, hence the recommendation for the Lelit Mara. As I'm based in Adelaide, I could only find one espresso machine seller and it was only for ECM and Rocket gear. The pricing was over the top though and I couldn't demo any of the machines. If you have any other companies in mind here in Adelaide I'd be more than happy to go and have a look and play if at all possible.
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for the advice Nick! I'm definitely keen to look at a decent grinder. What grinder did you have before purchasing the Fausto?

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    Hi Joe,
    My advice if you can't see machines locally, is to take a long weekend and visit someone who has lots of machines to look at and demo.
    I come from a regional centre and this helped me decide, as all machines look good on the internet and all machines have pro's and cons. Its a matter of deciding what is best for you and your needs

    I love my Izzo Leva and would not change it. I have just bought a new grinder (Compak F10) which I am just getting to know after owning a macap M4D - also a great grinder

    Good luck and remember to have fun with the decision making!
    Cheers
    Dave
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cupajoe View Post
    Thanks for the advice Nick! I'm definitely keen to look at a decent grinder. What grinder did you have before purchasing the Fausto?
    Have sent you a PM Joe.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    ....and look beneath the surface to see why the German brands (ECM and Profitec) cost a little more.
    Here's a pic from a Home Barista thread showing an Italian Lucca M58 (left) vs a German Profitec Pro 700 (right).
    Sorry, but I'm calling that one Paul. It is neither fair nor realistic to compare a dog's breakfast brand in place of the Rocket Espresso gear mentioned discussed to the Germans. It creates false and misleading impressions.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member 2muchcoffeeman's Avatar
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    Yes- in the context of fair and reasonable comparison to the 700, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqBSfikYp7U shows it as it really is.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    I think someone misread M58 as R58 ???
    Nope- nothing was misread.

    My opinion is that in the context of discussion of the 700- and given that the OP never mentioned Quickmill but had mentioned Rocket, why introduce a graphic from a very poorly laid out brand which has nothing to do with the general build quality of the brands in which he had expressed interest?

    Gullibles could be easily misled and then conclude that Germany is streets ahead of Italy and then view Italy in a poor light. Put graphics of the internals of the R58 beside the 700 for a fair and realistic comparison. A Toyomotor Pious looks great against a Tata; less so beside a Ferrari.

    Apples and apples as they say.
    Last edited by 2muchcoffeeman; 1st May 2017 at 02:28 PM. Reason: further info.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member 2muchcoffeeman's Avatar
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    Yes and no- once again....

    I can think of an Italian made competitor to the 700 and R58 which is betterer built than Germans..... There is always something else, so best not to make all encompassing statements
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    ....and look beneath the surface to see why the German brands (ECM and Profitec) cost a little more.
    Here's a pic from a Home Barista thread showing an Italian Lucca M58 (left) vs a German Profitec Pro 700 (right).

    Hi Paul,

    I also think you made quite an unfair comparison here. The inference that I took and that most who read your post is "here is the Italian made machine V here is the German made machine"

    The dogs breakfast on the left is not something that the OP has even mentioned on his short list...nor any one else suggested

    That's just not Cricket...

    Cheers

    Antony

  15. #15
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    Yes, I hear you, and Antony, and I agree 100%
    However, I didn't say "the pic on the left is what all Italian brands look like inside." I'm not quite silly enough to think or imply that, and I wouldn't think anyone on this forum would take it that way.
    It was a sloppy post though so big apologies for causing you guys grief
    Is it too late to edit your post Paul?

    You have a habit of making broad sweeping statements that may be misleading to new coffeesnobs. Labelling the sette 270 as the best home grinder is another example from recent times. Perhaps passion getting in the way of impartially presented facts?
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  16. #16
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    Thanks everyone for your feedback. For what its worth I took K Bean's comment as he intended as I have done enough research to know that how you guys interpreted is simply not true. Having said that I realise that its worth pointing it out as others may read this thread and make a decision on a generalisation. I hope that clarifies my stance on the subject...

    Now I have been to a local company here in Adelaide (thanks Yelta for the info) and they were trying to sell me on the Expobar Leva coffee machine with a Macap M4D grinder. He was saying the machine is comparable to a Holden Commodore and would make just as good a coffee as a Profitec Pro500. Would you guys agree with this statement?

    Nobody has mentioned anything good or anything bad about Expobar on this forum so I thought I'd run it past you guys. He also gave me an insane price on the Profitec...
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  17. #17
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    I reckon once you get into a decently tuned e61, the output quality will largely depend on your ingredients and technique, all other things being equal.

    Even a single boiler Lelit or Silvia with correct technique/beans can give a better result than an e61 with sub standard technique/beans.

    Best to sample as many in the metal as you can, it's the little differences that can make or break it for you, and often only noticed once you sample them.

    Cheers
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  18. #18
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    Artman,

    I would love to sample some of these machines but no one in Adelaide is offering that service.

    I'm also not prepared to fly interstate to test these machines as this will add to the cost of the equipment.

    I know its a significant purchase but I'm pushing my budget limits as it is especially since I started on $2500 for a machine and grinder. I had a laugh
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  19. #19
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    New Espresso Machine and Grinder

    An Expobar machine will make a perfectly good coffee. And if well maintained it should last for years. They might not have the same reputation as the other machines mentioned above, but I'm sure there's hundreds of happy Expobar owners in Australia.
    All that being said my personal opinion is that if I was to spend thousands of dollars on a domestic coffee machine I'd buy something with better build quality and finish than an Expobar Leva.
    Also your first post said budget isn't really a concern. If that's the case I strongly recommend a single group Slayer and a Compak E8 grinder. But if it's actually more around the $2500 mark than the $12500 mark I think you need to look closely at the Lelit and Appartamento.
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  20. #20
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Oh, I thought there were a few sponsors in Adelaide?

    Otherwise I guess YouTube away and make a choice from there.

    I guess my point is it probably doesn't really matter what you get , once you are in the pointy end they are all pretty good.

    The other consideration is get something second hand, snob gear is generally well looked after and it can be a good entry to try something that you can resell at minimal loss if required?

    Or see if any local snobs will let you check out their gear? They are often a friendly bunch.

    Cheers
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  21. #21
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    images.jpg
    7c4c3551e5abac2a3a73919fbbcd90e0.jpg
    Hey guys, trying to work out whether to get a German or Italian car, any recommendations? I've shown a pic of the two cars engine bays I'm thinking of. Tossing up between the opel kadett and the 360 modena, do you think it's worth paying a few extra bucks for the fine German engineering?
    Cheers snobs
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  22. #22
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    Don't feed the trolls...
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Also your first post said budget isn't really a concern. If that's the case I strongly recommend a single group Slayer and a Compak E8 grinder. But if it's actually more around the $2500 mark than the $12500 mark I think you need to look closely at the Lelit and Appartamento.
    I dont like working with budget since I'm in sales myself. Most of the time, if you tell a sales person your budget then they are going to get you bang on or just over what you intended on paying. Therefore I have never gone into any negotiation by telling someone what I want to spend. Who in their right mind wants to spend exactly what they hand in mind or more... I had a laugh

  24. #24
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    Rocket Espresso machines aren't that neat on the inside as well, compared to ECM and Profitec... just sayin'.

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    Any chance a mod could lock/incinerate this thread?

  26. #26
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanax View Post
    Rocket Espresso machines aren't that neat on the inside as well, compared to ECM and Profitec... just sayin'.
    Does it even matter?

  27. #27
    Senior Member 2muchcoffeeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanax View Post
    ...aren't that neat on the inside... just sayin'.
    Yeah- they're terrible....Unless you want to actually do something like change an element, access the PID or pretty much any tech task.

    When I look at a machine, I consider what it's actually like to work on. When I want to look at something pretty, there are other options...
    r58 internal.jpg
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  28. #28
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cupajoe View Post
    I dont like working with budget since I'm in sales myself. Most of the time, if you tell a sales person your budget then they are going to get you bang on or just over what you intended on paying. Therefore I have never gone into any negotiation by telling someone what I want to spend. Who in their right mind wants to spend exactly what they hand in mind or more... I had a laugh
    Yeah I totally get your point. My example above was unnecessarily extreme as from your initial short list it's fairly obvious that you're not looking at $12000 Slayers or KVDWs. But it's still good to give a bit of an indication on a forum like this so that other users can give genuine advice. Even the sponsors aren't in the same sort of selling mode as they would be if you were standing in their show room.
    Even if it's obvious that we're not looking at extreme high end machines there's still a big difference between say $2500 and $4500. And in that prosumer territory it wouldn't be hard to start off wanting to spend $2500ish and end up talking yourself into a $4000+ set up. I'll elaborate:

    My personal opinion is that pretty much all the machines mentioned already make great coffee and if well looked after will last a long time. Proper care and maintenance is really key and an extremely well built ECM or the like can still be ruined quite quickly in the wrong hands. If I was in a similar position I would base my final decision on these factors:
    What's the best package I can get? That's not about price, that's about everything that a seller is offering - good initial advice without a specific sales pitch, a good package including grinder and accessories, a good reputation, and good after sales service.
    What features do I want? HX or DB? Plumbed, tanked or both? e61 group? Lever? Volumetric dosing? Overall functionality such as drip tray volume and dial placement. These decisions should be based on how you'll be using the machine 80% of the time, not on the possibility of entertaining guests a few times a year.
    Am I likely to want to upgrade in the next 5 years? If this is a possibility then keep the costs down, but make sure you buy something that'll have good resale value. A lower end Rocket, ECM or Bezzera will cover this base. If upgrading isn't really on the cards spend as much as you can possibly afford, to get the best machine you can get now and make it last. So something like a Profitec 700, ECM Synchronika or Rocket R60 for example. Paired with a top grinder like a Macap M4D or Compak E8 you'll be paying $5000, but be set up for life just about.

    Hope this is helping somewhat and not confusing the situation at all.
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  29. #29
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    Re: 2muchcoffeeman
    I agree. It worries me when the insides are so neat and hidden, it means that it is a trained technicians job with manual and probable specific wiring harnesses. On the other hand the insides like spaghetti are confusing. So something sensible is good because you can visually trace the circuits or plumbing. I have been able to do normal minor repairs myself, often a simple cleaning, or at least locate the problem so I can see it I can do it or that it is a service job.
    (Declaration: I have 2 Rockets and I am very happy with their internal layouts)

  30. #30
    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    Looking back on those photos I posted, I'll admit that the kadett actually looks a breeze to work on

  31. #31
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    I disagree. With a clean inside it's MUCH easier to actual fix something yourself. But to each his own. Rocket machines are beautiful so not trying to bash them. I just, personally, feel that both Profitec and ECM machines have a little higher standards on their components.

  32. #32
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Are you guys talking about the latest Rocket models or older models? They have really stepped up their game in the last couple of rounds of product releases so you almost can't even compare the late model Rockets to those from 8 years or so ago.
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  33. #33
    Senior Member Logga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanax View Post
    I disagree. With a clean inside it's MUCH easier to actual fix something yourself. But to each his own. Rocket machines are beautiful so not trying to bash them. I just, personally, feel that both Profitec and ECM machines have a little higher standards on their components.
    Oh my god, those ugly Profitec steam and water valves and knobs that look like flowers.

  34. #34
    Senior Member readeral's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Are you guys talking about the latest Rocket models or older models? They have really stepped up their game in the last couple of rounds of product releases so you almost can't even compare the late model Rockets to those from 8 years or so ago.
    The new Rocket feet - excellent.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Are you guys talking about the latest Rocket models or older models? They have really stepped up their game in the last couple of rounds of product releases so you almost can't even compare the late model Rockets to those from 8 years or so ago.
    I saw a technical video with the insides of the evoluzione by WholeLatteLove from 2 years ago. It looked much more messy than the ECM or Profitec machines.
    I haven't seen an under-the-hoods video for the new 2017 Rocket models though, maybe it's better than from 2 years ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by Logga View Post
    Oh my god, those ugly Profitec steam and water valves and knobs that look like flowers.
    I haven't talked about how they look. That is purely personal.
    I am talking about technical specifications only and what materials they use for their components.

  36. #36
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    I think "cupajoe" (OP) after following this thread will pop off to Coles and buy an electric jug and a jar of Nescafe 
    Safer!
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  37. #37
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    Italian or German jug?
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  38. #38
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanax View Post
    I saw a technical video with the insides of the evoluzione by WholeLatteLove from 2 years ago. It looked much more messy than the ECM or Profitec machines.
    I haven't seen an under-the-hoods video for the new 2017 Rocket models though, maybe it's better than from 2 years ago?



    I haven't talked about how they look. That is purely personal.
    I am talking about technical specifications only and what materials they use for their components.
    Ok. While it's good to watch these sort of videos to learn and gather info (even the ones by muppets like WLL and SCG), it pays to view them in context when forming opinions and making purchasing decisions. If the video is only two years old it probably does show the latest version of the Evo as I'm pretty sure the V3 is the current model and has been out for at least that long. However it'll show the 110v model rather than the Australian spec, so there'll be a small point of difference there. Also the R60 and Appartamento are completely different beasts and by all accounts are much improved for design and internal build. The Appartamento was a ground up design and is now considered the leader in its class.
    I guess what I'm saying is, if you make generalised comments about an opinion on a brand based on one video of one model from 2 years ago you need to be clear about the way that opinion was reached.
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  39. #39
    Senior Member 2muchcoffeeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    If the video is only two years old it probably does show the latest version of the Evo as I'm pretty sure the V3 is the current model and has been out for at least that long.
    EVO V3 models- Giotto and Mozzafiato were launched a few weeks ago.

  40. #40
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    New Espresso Machine and Grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by 2muchcoffeeman View Post
    EVO V3 models- Giotto and Mozzafiato were launched a few weeks ago.
    There you go, so the V3 is the just launched model, thanks for clarifying that 2mcm. I'm sure these models see a further improvement in quality and performance over previous versions.

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