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Thread: Entry-level home machine able to do latte art

  1. #1
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    Entry-level home machine able to do latte art

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi there,

    I have worked in a mainly takeaway style coffee shop for close to 4 years, and in the last 6 months have finally taken an interest to latte art! I am starting a new job in a cafe more focused on presentation, and would love to practice and grow my coffee skills at home. The problem is, I am torn between what machine to buy!
    I really like the sound of the Rancilio Silvia, but cannot afford a new one (looking to spend around $500) and would like recommendations as to the reliability of buying a second hand machine? Also, is there anywhere online that hosts second hand espresso machine sales?
    I am also considering the Gaggia Class, but I am concerned with the aluminium boiler. Although I myself have no idea what this means, everyone seems to say it is a very bad thing. Could someone clarify just how bad it is?
    I would looove a Francis! Francis!, either the x1 or x3, but know little about the mechanics, just that they look verrryy nice hehe. If someone could tell me a little about this would be great!
    Lastly, I have seen the Breville Café Latte EM5600 on Ebay and could get it for around $100. Would this be worth it? I know I would need to upgrade in the near future, but does it have enough power to steam milk for lattes?

    My parents have a new but very basic Sunbeam machine which I have used a few times but have found that it takes a rediculous amount of time to steam milk even for one coffee and just cannot create a good shot of coffee. I dont want this to occur on my own machine.

    If people could tell me about the machines I have talked about and whether they are suitable, or reccommend another suitable machine I would appreciate it A LOT! :D

    Thanks guys!

  2. #2
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    Re: Entry-level home machine able to do latte art

    Sorry, Gaggia Classic**

  3. #3
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Entry-level home machine able to do latte art

    Will you be needing the machine to make coffee?
    If so you need to budget in a grinder

    If all you want to do is steam milk you can purchase a steam boiler machine. These can be picked up used from used commercial equipment dealers or auctions e.g. OMaras

    Next would be a stove top steamer only unit like the stainless steel Bellman


    http://sorrentinacoffee.myshopify.com/collections/coffee-machines-1

    KK

  4. #4
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    Re: Entry-level home machine able to do latte art

    Hi KK,

    I want to be able to make coffees, be able to have a couple of decent cups a day. I am certain I want an espresso machine too as I want it to be as close to making coffee at work as possible.

    As far as grinders go, I was considering not buying one as I can use a commercial grinder at work (= free! hehe). However, I was just checking out the Sunbeam 6910 + free grinder deal and am considering it if I can get it for the right price!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Entry-level home machine able to do latte art

    You will be better served with a Lelit Combi
    Similar Quality to the Silvia & has an inbuilt grinder



    KK

  6. #6
    TC
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    Re: Entry-level home machine able to do latte art

    hmm...Interesting topic...

    Most espresso machines are capable of texturing milk in a fashion- eventually... ::)

    Given adequately textured milk, latte art is the result of practise so it comes down to the nut on the group handle more than the machine. Whether the product will be drinkable from the low end stuff is a whole other discussion. ;)

    Set your sights on the best you can afford and dont waste good money on bad appliances.

    My suggestion- Wait for a good pre-loved Silvia in http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?board=Sale and then jump on it. $500 is the going price for a 2nd hand one. Bonus is you will not lose if/when you sell and you wont have to junk a useless cheapie into landfill.

    A Sunbeam will do the job until it breaks- and ends up in landfill. There are CSers on Sunbeam #4. This skews the value for money equation somewhat IMHO...

    2mcm

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    Re: Entry-level home machine able to do latte art

    Quote Originally Posted by 28776F797279757C7C7F7F777B741A0 link=1256427752/5#5 date=1256443974
    Given adequately textured milk, latte art is the result of practise so it comes down to the nut on the group handle more than the machine.
    After months of trying to produce more than a withered apple on my latte, I now know the problem: I need my group handle nut replaced. *Do you reckon Coffee Parts would stock them?

  8. #8
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    Re: Entry-level home machine able to do latte art

    yeah, they do have em, 2mcm advised i order a new one a while ago, so happy with the results, bit pricey but they are cheaper by the dozen ;D

  9. #9
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    Re: Entry-level home machine able to do latte art

    Quote Originally Posted by 202C252526262F363037430 link=1256427752/6#6 date=1256446237
    After months of trying to produce more than a withered apple on my latte, I now know the problem: I need my group handle nut replaced. *Do you reckon Coffee Parts would stock them?
    Just make sure you order one that hasnt been stripped.

    It can complain when working with hot bits.....

    Caff.

  10. #10
    Tassiebean Phil_Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Entry-level home machine able to do latte art

    The title of this thread intrigued me - since I am both an "entry-level" person (read newbie), and also am a latte art fan.

    I can only agree with 2mcm "Most espresso machines are capable of texturing milk in a fashion- eventually... "

    I have a Sunbeam 4800C (need to use unpressurised baskets), and this is pretty much as basic as it gets, and yes, the coffee probably isnt great, and it takes me a Whopping(!!) 90 seconds to steam a cup of milk, but you CAN do great latte art.

    I give one picture here:
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1136768349/200
    (mines the one in the red stripy cup 3/4s of the way down)

    I presume from this that it does indeed come down to the nut on the group handle rather than the machine itself....

  11. #11
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    Re: Entry-level home machine able to do latte art

    A Gaggia Classic with a modified Silvia wand will make it really easy to make good froth!

    you can also make decent coffee out of it too.. just takes some practice n of course a damn good grinder!

    You got to learn the "froth only when element is on" technique to maintain the steam pressure though!




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