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Thread: Machines under $500 that are decent

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Machines under $500 that are decent

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    ive got a vague understanding about coffee and i live in Melbourne, i recently joined coffee snobs because i recently found a love for coffee. i also just completed a barista course and want to buy a machine.

    Just wondering if the Saeco Via Venezia was any good? and also, if the sunbeam and brevilles are decent? (if so which models of sunbeam and breville ?)

    thanks

    ;D

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Machines under $500 that are decent

    No idea about the Saeco Via Venezia

    If you can afford it look at a Sunbeam 6910. Then pick up a grinder at some point.

    or talk to one of the sposors....

  3. #3
    TC
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    Re: Machines under $500 that are decent

    Quote Originally Posted by 1E393D320C292F34392E5C0 link=1293762422/1#1 date=1294203954
    No idea about the Saeco Via Venezia

    If you can afford it look at a Sunbeam 6910. Then pick up a grinder at some point.

    or talk to one of the sponsors....
    I disagree. Pick up a good grinder first, then worry about the machine, not vice versa. No value in trying to run your Ferrari on diesel ;)

    Chris

  4. #4
    brett230873
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    Re: Machines under $500 that are decent

    Quote Originally Posted by 1E2B26211509252C2C2F2F4A0 link=1293762422/2#2 date=1294205653
    I disagree. Pick up a good grinder first, then worry about the machine, not vice versa. No value in trying to run your Ferrari on diesel ;)

    Chris
    The VV is a very good little machine and suprisingly robust (take my experience with a grain of salt: 3/3 machines I know of going strong after 11 years); however, Chris advice is absolutely spot on. I, and any snob worth their coffee cant stress this strongly enough! *;)

  5. #5
    Caffeine Junky
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    Re: Machines under $500 that are decent

    Welcome no-clue. I too was in your position around 2 years ago. In that time I have gone through around 10 coffee machines and even more grinders. They have ranged from a $20 second hand La Cimbali espresso machine (which worked beautifully) to my current VBM + grinder which I bought new for ~$3K.

    With the benefit of my experience I would recommend the following options (in order of preference):

    1. Increase your budget to $3K and buy yourself a high qualityy HX (heat exchanger) coffee machine and quality coffee grinder to match. This way you are starting at the top of the tree and will end up saving money in the long run. Most people start off trying to do it cheaply then make progressive upgrades and eventually end up with something in this ball park sooner or later.

    2. Increase your budget to around the $1000 and buy a Lelit machine with a built-in grinder or for $1200 a Rancilio Silvia and Rocky.

    3. Look at good quality second-hand equipment. Be careful with buying off ebay. Watch the Coffee Hardware for Sale section on this forum. Something like this would be within your budget http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1294140571/3#3 although this particular one is in Brisbane.

    4. Blow your budget on a decent grinder e.g. Rancilio Rocky and use it with fresh roasted beans to enjoy good quality plunger coffee. Save up for a decent machine later.


  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Re: Machines under $500 that are decent

    His budget is $500, I know what folks are trying to say with buying a quality set straight up but not everyone has the kind of budget/requirement (or bench space).

    If you can get the PU5900 pack on special (I paid ~$380) then I really recommend that. Im very happy with the coffee I am getting out of it. I dont expect it to last me 10 years, but probably at least 5 with a bit of TLC. That would leave you ~100 for other things youll need, such as a proper tamper, unpressurised basket maybe and bang bang (I got mine for $33 - gotta love sales).

  7. #7
    tek
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    Re: Machines under $500 that are decent

    Via Venezia is the only half decent machine saeco has ever made, for under $500 check ebay for a second hand Silvia or Audrey and the hardware for sale section for something decent grinder wise

  8. #8
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    Re: Machines under $500 that are decent

    Grinder (Sunbeam 450/480 minimum) first as mentioned above, good beans second. On the machine whatever you buy make sure it has proper non pressurised baskets fitted be it Breville, Saeco, Sunbeam etc.

    If you get the first two items right with a good technique then a $3-400 machine will make decent coffee that will shame the average cafe.



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