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Thread: Ive finally decided its time to buy an espresso machine

  1. #1
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    Ive finally decided its time to buy an espresso machine

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    A couple of things have stopped me from buying one before:
    • 1st is the fact that I enjoy the break in routine that going out for coffee allows
    • 2nd they just seem to cost so much, especially when you include the cost of a grinder
    • 3rd the fear that it will never be used

    However the more I read, and speak to people that have them the more I think that I want one, and the fact that I probably spend close to $1000 a year on cafe coffees has just about pushed me over the edge.
    I had been trying (unsuccessfully so far) to save up enough to get something above entry level so that hopefully I wouldnt feel the need to upgrade any time soon.
    However, thats not working out so well at the moment, and I really cant afford $1200 or so for the silvia / rocky combination that many people seem to suggest as a good starting point. *In fact, $500 for the pair is the maximum I could stretch to at the moment.
    Ive seen that a certain department store is offering the Breville Ikon, and a Breville grinder for $299 combined this week, and am trying to decide if it is worth starting with that, or if I really should wait until after tax time, and see what the tax man gives me back.
    There seem to be quite a few people that have the Ikon here, and it doesnt seem that its that bad a machine, however I guess the grinder leaves a bit to be desired.
    After all that waffle, I guess my question is do I go with the Ikon now, or wait and hope I can get something better at the end of the tax year?
    Unfortunately, due to my location (Cairns), I doubt any of the sponsored suppliers have a store locally that I could go and test different machines at, so I am limited to either department stores, or online.

  2. #2
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Ive finally decided its time to buy an espresso machine

    Hi linnaen and welcome,

    Yours is one of the most difficult question to give a definitive answer to.

    If money was no object, I would simply say "Go in high and hard and get a combo youll be happy with for years."

    However, money IS an object as it is so often.

    Most of the time, members here tend to tread one of two paths:

    1 - Start with budget gear, upgrade a number of times (sometimes forced to when appliances break down). Take a while to get to their preferred setup. Planning 1 or MORE upgrades in the future. I trod this path. Went through appliances, more appliances, Silvia/Rocky and landed with Expobar/Macap. (Currently planning 0 upgrades).

    2 - Went in at more towards the high end. Have been happy with their setup from day one. Planning 1 or LESS upgrades in the future.
    Users like Thundergod trod this path and he has been very happy.

    So I guess you need to find out what sort of coffee snob you are.

    By this I mean:
    Are you likely to be happy with using the Breville for a few years and when it dies, continue with similar
    OR
    Are you likely to suffer through with the Breville whilst yearning for or saving for the next upgrade?

    I would suspect (especially since you have posted here) that you are of the 2nd kind, and would suggest you hold off buying and save for the better stuff. Itll save you money in the long run.

    The bonus of the Silvia/Rocky (or similar quality) is that their re-sale value are both quite good. The same cannot be said for the Ikon.

    Hope that helps.

    Brett.

  3. #3
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    Re: Ive finally decided its time to buy an espresso machine

    Thanks Brett,
    I think one of the major problems I have is where I am located. There just isnt anywhere (I am aware of) I can go to taste the difference between machines.
    I should get a work trip down to Brisbane in a few months, maybe I should just wait until then, and visit a sponsor or two.

  4. #4
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Ive finally decided its time to buy an espresso machine

    Welcome linnaen.... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Great advice from Brett as usual... 8-)

    Another alternative might be to buy the Rocky now (or similar), a manual brewer like an AeroPress for example, some fresh high quality beans from Andy or one of our Site Sponsors and then go for it. Although the AeroPress isnt an espresso device, it does produce an excellent quality brew that lies about halfway between an espresso and a Drip Brewer (to me at least). That way, the Rocky/AeroPress combo will sate your requirements for excellent coffee, while you save up for a Silvia or something else.

    As you will read here and oft repeated, a decent grinder is much more important than the machine you end up with, with lots of posts from members to back this up. All the best mate :)

    Mal.

  5. #5
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    Re: Ive finally decided its time to buy an espresso machine

    Rather than buy plastic appliances/issues have a look around at the Mokita Combi (same as the Dell Opera) machine/grinder package. There was a couple sold here recently for around $500 second hand in good nick. They are a good compact boiler machine.

    Or as the other guys said above buy a great grinder and a manual brewer of some sort while you save the $$ for a better machine.


  6. #6
    TC
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    Re: Ive finally decided its time to buy an espresso machine

    Quote Originally Posted by 595E5A555D574252555C3B0 link=1241585563/4#4 date=1241598075
    Rather than buy plastic appliances/issues have a look around at the Mokita Combi (same as the Dell Opera) machine/grinder package. There was a couple sold here recently for around $500 second hand in good nick. They are a good compact boiler machine.

    Or as the other guys said above buy a great grinder and a manual brewer of some sort while you save the $$ for a better machine.
    Yes, these are a very good little machine- but a tad hard to find these days as the exchange rate has pretty much killed imports..

  7. #7
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Ive finally decided its time to buy an espresso machine

    Thanks for the mention Brett.

    linnaen - I recommend you wait a little.

    I jumped in the deep end as Brett said and have been happy with my setup and dont foresee any required upgrade.

    This has indeed saved me trodding the expensive path of upgrading from cheaper machine to better machine etc etc.

    I did a lot of research before buying my equipment, including a barista course. The course was also to help me decide what I wanted my equipment to be capable of.

    I then did a lot of talking to a site sponsor ( Talk Coffee ) before making my decision.
    No regrets since.

    I know I tend to take a long time to research and decide but it works for me.

    If you can save a little cash, do some more research (including that trip to Brisbane) and make an informed decision, I think youll be happier in the long run.

    "All good things come to those who wait."

  8. #8
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    Re: Ive finally decided its time to buy an espresso machine

    Quote Originally Posted by 1529342F252433262E25410 link=1241585563/6#6 date=1241614379
    I know I tend to take a long time to research and decide but it works for me.
    "All good things come to those who wait."
    You think you take a long time to research and decide?
    I first started talking about buying the Rancilio with a friend in the UK in 2006! However, at that stage I was putting myself through uni after deciding it was time for a career change so it was put on the back burner.

    Looks like I am going to take everyones advice and wait those extra few months to see what Mr Taxman decides to give me back.

    Now I just have a couple of further questions. The Aeropress - is that just a form of cafetiere / plunger using a paper filter instead of the usual metal disk / gauze? *I presume it must be more efficient than the cafetiere at catching the solids?

    Finally, a question regarding the grinder. I note that the Rocky is stepped - at around the same price range is there a good quality stepless grinder, or would that be another huge step up in price?

    And thanks all for the advice.

  9. #9
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    Re: Ive finally decided its time to buy an espresso machine

    I have a Sunbeam EM0480 ($180) and a second hand Silvia ($500) that does quite a nice job. There are plenty of better grinders out there but these cost considerably more. I dont have any plans to upgrade Silvia for a while, but the grinder will need upgrading sooner or later. The above combo may suit your budget and give you good results without needing to upgrade the grinder immediately.

  10. #10
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Ive finally decided its time to buy an espresso machine

    The Aeropress works as you describe. It gives a cleaner result.
    I have one at home and my wife insists I only make her longs black now using it instead of my expensive espresso machine.



  11. #11
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    Re: Ive finally decided its time to buy an espresso machine

    +1 for aeropress

    just tried out the hand grinder with it and it is a pretty good combo, especially for around $150. then you can keep saving for a better espresso machine/grinder combo while getting good coffee straight away...



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