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Thread: Breville Ikon v Via Venezia

  1. #1
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    Breville Ikon v Via Venezia

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

    Im replacing a Breville Cafe Roma that has served well for a few years, but needs replacing. I googled for some opinions/reviews on replacement options and stumbled across the site... very helpful, although is clearly going to cost me money in the long run!

    Grinder it appears is as important, if not more than the machine itself. Ive been using a cheap blade type coffee/spice grinder with the Cafe Roma and been satisfied with the result... my wife and I generally just have a cappucino in the morning, and sometimes another in the arvo.

    My question, due to budget constraints, I am looking at either getting the Via Venezia and continue using the blade grinder, OR the budget could cover a refurbed Breville Ikon plus an entry level burr grinder. Seems the Sunbeam 0480 is mentioned a lot... whats wrong with the Breville equivalent? I can get the Breville from the same place as the Ikon which would be cheaper and easier.

    Thoughts/recommendations appreciated!

    Cheers, Damien.

  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Breville Ikon v Via Venezia

    First of all Damien, welcome to Coffee Snobs.

    Now for the hard bit, the truth. Can you handle the truth?

    The Breville grinder is not good enough, (frankly neither is your spice grinder) and youd be throwing money away for no improvement.
    Thats why its call a spice grinder not a coffee grinder; coffee is not a spice.

    If you want to save a few dollars, the Sunbeam 0450 is essentially the same as the 0480 but doesnt have a metal body or automatic grind setting; for those differences it should be about $50 cheaper.
    Ive had one, as youve read, theyll do.

    The Breville just wont cut it (pun intended).

    Just getting a proper grinder will make a difference to a better tasting and more consistent coffee.

    I know friends who use a spice grinder and admit that if they are using freshly roasted coffee its a step up from preground supermarket beans.

    Please tell me you are at least using freshly roasted beans..........????

    I havent used either but hear that both the Via Venezia and the Ikon are both good machines.
    In fact I recently bought a second hand Ikon for a young friend of mine.

    I dont remember the specs off the top of my head so dont know if the VV has a Stainless Steel boiler but do recall the Ikon does, and thats good because it should last longer.

    So my recommendation is buy the Ikon and look for a Sunbeam EM0450 grinder.

    P.S. while you are there, ask if they have a spare basket, Part number ESP 4/51.
    Dont let them talk you out of it as youll need it to get the best coffee out of your freshly ground coffee and new machine.

    The basket is NON-pressurised; thats the key.
    Pressurised baskets are used with (stale) supermarket coffee to give the impression of fresh coffee.

    The one I bought the other day to go with my young friends Ikon cost less than $10.

    Good luck on your journey to better coffee.

  3. #3
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    Re: Breville Ikon v Via Venezia

    Thanks Thundergod.

    So basically there is a difference between the Breville burr grinder and the Sunbeam burr grinders, even though priced similarly? *I assumed from the frequent mention of the Sunbeams, and nil reference to Brevilles line that this might be the case : )

    The other option is that the current Cafe Roma may be salvageable, possibly with a good descale (we do it approx. every month or two with a solution that HN stock), and a non-pressurised basket. *Our machine was getting blocked - would put it on to brew and nothing would flow. *Tried to drill out the lower hole with a small drill bit and went right through! *If salvageable, it may do the job well enough, and free up extra cash for the grinder? *At worst, the un pressurised basket may well fit our future upgrade, and therefore not a total waste of money to try first off?

    Alas, not using freshly roasted beans. *Buy beans from supermarket and grind as required. *Until a few days ago I didnt realise this was an issue! *Any suggestions on sourcing the best beans appreciated, keeping in mind Im in regional Victoria - not sure where Id start!

    The VV is boiler, as is the Ikon. *A couple of other Sunbeam & Breville models in a similar price range are Thermoblock. *Seems the Ikon is OK for the money, and at around half the price of the VV you may have swayed us that way.

  4. #4
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Breville Ikon v Via Venezia

    Ive had an Ikon at work, and a girlfriend had a VV.

    Given your options Id go for the Ikon and a Sunbeam grinder. If you need an unpressurised basket for the Ikon, see my thread in "Pay it Forward".

    The VV is a more robust machine than the Ikon, and is likely to last longer, although I have no real evidence of that.

    For fresh beans, check your local Yellow Pages, or order from some of the sponsors here. CoffeeSnobs fresh beans are available for mail order as well (top right).

    Fresh beans and a grinder will make more improvement to your coffee than going to a $2000+ machine.

    Greg

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    Re: Breville Ikon v Via Venezia

    I definitely would get an unpressurized basket for the Ikon.. I have one and I get ok results. *I think grinding and tamping becomes more important as the Ikon was designed for the pressurized baskets.. If your not careful, the extraction seems to happen too quickly..

    I was also under the impression that the Ikon is a thermoblock and not a boiler..

    Adrian

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    Re: Breville Ikon v Via Venezia

    Quote Originally Posted by 0F3A2D2F1F273A2529242C480 link=1281306981/3#3 date=1281453263
    The VV is a more robust machine than the Ikon, and is likely to last longer, although I have no real evidence of that.
    The Ikon is a sturdy unit. Ive had one almost 3yrs and its been litterally bashed way beyond what its intended duty should be. The design of the machine for the price is very good.

    The Ikon if you can find left over stock is usually much cheaper. The Via Venezia price seems too close to the Nemox Caffe Fenice for it to be a good buy. The Nemox is plenty more for the price delta of $30-40.

  7. #7
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Breville Ikon v Via Venezia

    Quote Originally Posted by 46594257595E6F525C4555300 link=1281306981/4#4 date=1282164740
    I was also under the impression that the Ikon is a thermoblock and not a boiler..

    Adrian
    Definitely a Boiler machine Adrian.... 8-)

    Mal.

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    Re: Breville Ikon v Via Venezia

    agr I wrote a long post and lost it. Basically said I have the Breville burr grinder & IKON machine. I upgraded from the Roma also with a limited budget. Bang for buck I reckon its a good setup. The burr doesnt grind very finely though even on the finest setting. The extraction happens too quickly no matter how hard I tamp. The baskets are a PITA to clean and always leaking water after washup. Cant dry them ,the water sits inside.I always have wet soggy pucks too.

    The machine itself takes forever to froth and it has this stupid timer that automatically switches the machine back to brew mode even if you are in the middle of frothing so got to keep a watch on the lights.

    This setup has served me daily for 2.5 years. Its a great looking machine and even though Ive pointed out the negatives Ive been quite happy with it. Sure its no $2k machine, I paid $299 for the combo years ago thru HN. I notice Target often bundle this lot for less. Having talked about the negatives I still think for the price you cant complain. *Better than instant and better than preground.!! If your expectations are in check with the budget then its fine.It took me a while to get used to, at first I thought it was a dud. Just keep the Roma frothing jug for your milk, the one that comes with the IKON is too wide, I found when I ditched it I got much nicer results with the small jug.

    If you are paying the same price for the breville and sunbeam grinders I would get the sunbeam one. Its been highly talked about here.




  9. #9
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    Re: Breville Ikon v Via Venezia

    Quote Originally Posted by 2215120C0F06600 link=1281306981/7#7 date=1282220420
    The burr doesnt grind very finely though even on the finest setting. The extraction happens too quickly no matter how hard I tamp. The baskets are a PITA to clean and always leaking water after washup. Cant dry them ,the water sits inside.I always have wet soggy pucks too.

    The machine itself takes forever to froth and it has this stupid timer that automatically switches the machine back to brew mode even if you are in the middle of frothing so got to keep a watch on the lights.
    Sounds like your Ikon is poorly setup. Easy to fix though and coffee will improve out of sight.

    * Buy Un-pressurised baskets, throw away or modify the pin hole pressurised ones.
    * Get a decent grinder No matter what.
    * If the steam for milk is taking forever ; either you are using a huge milk jug or the boiler / pipes and steam wand are clogged with scale and milk gunk. Clean them all. *** Steaming on my 3yr old Ikon is very punchy for what it is. Comparson wise better than the Sunbeam 6910 in terms of volume.



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