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Thread: Advice needed on best cheap and nasty espresso machine for smart grinder

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    Advice needed on best cheap and nasty espresso machine for smart grinder

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

    Need advice on a machine for around $200 to team up with the Breville smart grinder. I intend on getting the BES 900 later down the track when I can afford it. So, any recommendations would be appreciated. I have been reading a bit on CS so I understand the limitations of these machines but its going to have to do for now.

    I drink espresso, while my wife drinks milk based coffee. Bought the Aldi Automatic, and needless to say, "what a piece of Sh)t."

    So which of the Breville/Sunbeam espresso machines is a good buy?

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    Re: Advice needed on best cheap and nasty espresso machine for smart grinder

    I had the Sunbeam EM4800 as my first machine, with unpressurised baskets. It produced decent espresso and was good to froth milk in a 600mL jug.

    Im not sure what the retail is but Im pretty sure its below $200??

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    TC
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    Re: Advice needed on best cheap and nasty espresso machine for smart grinder

    Welcome TP,

    Id suggest a pre-loved CS Silvia or Lelit even if it cost a few extra bucks.

    You buy in 2nd hand, look after it and then sell it for pretty much what you paid for it when youre ready to upgrade. The result is it cost to is little to zero.

    Best to buy a machine which you know will sell easily rather than something which nobody will want and have to wear the resultant loss of 100% of purchase price ;)

    Good luck!

    Chris

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    Re: Advice needed on best cheap and nasty espresso machine for smart grinder

    Thanks Chris and Tango for your replies. Thought about a used machine but Ill still be up for about $400 I think plus the grinder. Need a quick fix because Im returning the Aldi, and my wife insists she cant go back to instant. Thats why I thought Ill go down the cheap and nasty and write it off later.

    The other thing I would like to know about is if there any cheaper boiler type machines as opposed to thermoblock. From what I have read the boiler type machines a said to be better. Correct me if Im wrong.

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    Re: Advice needed on best cheap and nasty espresso machine for smart grinder

    I just picked up a Breviile 800ES for $100 on Gumtree (in Tassie). It was a couple of years old and unused. I have given it a descale and general clean and replaced the dual wall basket with my existing single wall basket (Krups).* Im still learning how to use the machine in terms of grind, tamp pressure and milk texturing but the results are improving.

    I also won an evilbay auction for a Sunbeam EM5600 just before buying the 800ES. It cost $91.00 delivered from the Gold Coast.* I had used my sisters 5600 previously and it was quite easy to use.* I sold this machine 2 days after it arrived on Gumtree for $100.* I tested it when it arrived and it seemed fine.* The buyer sent me a message a day or so later to say that it was working fine.

    I had won the evilbay auction 1st then found the 800ES a few days later, not sure if I kept the right machine but time will tell.

    New, the above machines sell for around $280 to $400 and both are single thermoblock.

    My previous machine was a Sunbeam EM2300 (Ristretto) single boiler machine.* This machine paired with a single wall double basket and EM0480 grinder gave quite good results with fresh beans and from memory, it cost $90.00 brand new about three years ago.

    Im not sure if Sunbeam are still making the EM2300, I think it may have been replaced with the single thermoblock EM2800.

    In the Sunbeam range, the EM4800C and EM3800/3600 (same machine, different casing), are around $200.00 or less. Both machines are single thermoblock.

    In the Breville range, the discontinued Ikon was a single boiler.* The entry level range machines are now single thermoblock as well; BES250, BES230 and ESP8C with rrp of $200.00 or less.

    Im not familiar with other machines from other manufacturers, Im sure others may have suggestions and tell you to avoid anything from an appliance maker...

    I too would like the BES900 or even the 6910 but for now, Ill continue to muck around with what I have.

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    Re: Advice needed on best cheap and nasty espresso machine for smart grinder

    Would French press or a stove top keep the wife happy? :-?

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    Re: Advice needed on best cheap and nasty espresso machine for smart grinder

    some non-sponsor have the Sunbeam EM4800C for $149 until Monday I think - pay less pay cash.* I paid $143 to replace my 8 year old EM4800C which has served me well.

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    Re: Advice needed on best cheap and nasty espresso machine for smart grinder

    I might be wrong but i would suggest a better grinder as its more important. Some thing Italian and sturdy would be a good investment.

    I am saying this because i realized this the long way. All these breville, sunbeam,etc are still appliances. Also if you read more on here you will know that a grinder is more important then the coffee machine.

    i have downgraded my coffee machine from em6910 to a Russell Hobbs machine ( similar to sunbeam em3800) but i have not had to sacrifice much on quality of coffee as i have the same grinder. The only difference i can notice is the em6910 was a lot easier to use. ::)

    I wish you the best on your journey. ;D

  9. #9
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    Re: Advice needed on best cheap and nasty espresso machine for smart grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by 232C373B23262334420 link=1316307808/7#7 date=1316893728
    I might be wrong
    I would say so. (mostly)

    It is excepted that the the BCG800 is well up to the job and many have said that it is better than the rocky and close to/or better than compak k3.

    Easily the best grinder for less than $300 (sometimes lots less).

    I agree the grinder is more important but you will be more than happy with BCG800 paired with second hand leit or silva or even a gagggia classic (will be the cheaper option)

    You have decided you are going to upgrade so the cost of machine is the purcashe price minus its resale price

    second hand silva etc.
    $3-400 - 3-400 (resale price)= $0 cost
    El-chepo machine
    $200 - $0 (cost of placing in bin/reslae)= $200 cost

    (be careful before you ignore chriss advice)

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    Re: Advice needed on best cheap and nasty espresso machine for smart grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by 3A2C703F7034702E373D353B2C3730395E0 link=1316307808/8#8 date=1316901164
    I would say so. (mostly)
    well you might want to check out this link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlPU-97ik18

    Also you can find some pretty good second hand grinders for less then $300 as well just have to look in the right places.

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    Re: Advice needed on best cheap and nasty espresso machine for smart grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by 3C3328243C393C2B5D0 link=1316307808/9#9 date=1316933770
    well you might want to check out this link:
    Then check this out:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/SeattleCoffeeGear#p/search/1/8piBChRggPM

    People often make the mistake of thinking that how fine a grinder can grind proves how good it is. This is not right, its all about grind quality and consistency.
    My old EM0450 could grind fine enough for turkish, way finer than my BCG800, and way way fine enough to choke any and every espresso machine - from a Sunbeam to a Slayer... this doesnt mean the grinder is good.

    The BCG800 has far better quality and consistency than the sunbeam grinders, and most people have said the grind quality is as good if not better than a rocky.

    BUT - this is a thread about cheap espresso machines, not grinders.

  12. #12
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    Re: Advice needed on best cheap and nasty espresso machine for smart grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by 656A717D65606572040 link=1316307808/9#9 date=1316933770
    Quote Originally Posted by 3A2C703F7034702E373D353B2C3730395E0 link=1316307808/8#8 date=1316901164
    I would say so. (mostly)
    well you might want to check out this link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlPU-97ik18

    Also you can find some pretty good second hand grinders for less then $300 as well just have to look in the right places.
    You will also so note this is an unshimed early review, you should check out the hundreds of posts on CS and you will realise.... you might struggle to find a doserless, timmed, grinder on a domestic footprint , new or seconded hand for less that even gets close on grind quality

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    Re: Advice needed on best cheap and nasty espresso machine for smart grinder

    Where are you located procrastinator?
    Used Gaggia Classic I reckon is a happy medium. If youre metro should be easy enough to find. Recognised as at least being semi-proper but often only $200 used. It is a (small) boiler rather than thermoblock. No experience myself but they are sold in shops that dont sell machines that cant make real espresso.

    Via Venezia might be okay (another boiler) as well and is a bit cheaper.

  14. #14
    Senior Member dr.a.j.pickering's Avatar
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    Re: Advice needed on best cheap and nasty espresso machine for smart grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by 54626D7751626D606A6F6A6C3233030 link=1316307808/12#12 date=1317005088
    Gaggia Classic
    +1 I have one and used it every day for 10 years prior to the bes900 arriving

    Very good coffee when paired with the smart grinder, milk not as good as the other single boilers as the boiler is small. but if you work with it can make fab latte etc.

    and what every you pay for a second hand one you should get back come an upgrade. I dont seem to be able to bring myself to sell mine yet dont know why?


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    Re: Advice needed on best cheap and nasty espresso machine for smart grinder

    Thanks for the advice. Starting to look at used machines also. Hard to find a Silvia at a decent price, looking at the Gaggia classic but concerned about corrosion in the boiler. I was very close to getting a new Saeco Via Venicia for $380, but I realized the newer models (the ones with silver buttons) have a plastic PF, and from what I understand if you take the plastic of the steamer, its to short. Any users have experience with these? The other thing is all the accessories like tamper, basket non pressurised PF etc. Dont really want to have to go and spend another $100 plus on accessories.

    So my options:

    1. Rancilio Silvia (used)
    2. Gaggia Classic (used)
    3. Saeco Via Venecia (used or maybe new)

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    Re: Advice needed on best cheap and nasty espresso machine for smart grinder

    4. A new-ish Sunbeam 6910 (maybe?)

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    Re: Advice needed on best cheap and nasty espresso machine for smart grinder

    Id second that, a used 6910 thats been well cared for would be a good buy. They are dead easy to use and come with both single and double shot baskets in single and dual wall versions, a jug for milk texturing and an ok tamper.*

    Pair it with a grinder and youd be set up until the upgrade bug hits.

    Some people who are upgrading to the BES900/Smartgrinder are flogging their 6910/EM0480 combos.

    Not sure if youd pick one up for $200 though although you never know, you could try Gumtree or that auction site for a local pickup deal.* As Ive written in an earlier post, I picked up a Breville 800ES for $100 on Gumtree.

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    Re: Advice needed on best cheap and nasty espresso machine for smart grinder

    There is a Breville Ikon on a popular auction site at the moment. Comes with unpressurised Krups baskets. If you could get this for under $100 you would be making good coffee paired with your Smart Grinder for a small price.

    I picked up a second hand Breville Ikon for $70 for a family member.



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