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Thread: Hello! And please recommend me an espresso machine...

  1. #1
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    Hello! And please recommend me an espresso machine...

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi! Didnt really see a noobie lounge so I thought Id integrate my big hello and question into 1 post (!).

    Im Dave, from Adelaide, and have recently started appreciating coffee.

    I have been toying with the idea of getting an espresso machine (I have no experience), and my wife has kindly granted me the budget of up to $350.

    I found the Breville 800es (+ free bar aroma grinder) going for $379 this weekend, and with my company discount I can take 5% of that bringig it down to about $350 mark. However my search has returned mixed reviews, leading me to ask: Is there anything better I can get for around the $350 mark?

    My goals are quite simple at the moment - to learn how to make a good cup of coffee for myself, I expect to be making one every morning at least. I will be willing to dedicate the time for trial & error & experimenting.

    In the long term, I dont know whether I will reach some point where I will want to splash out on a more expensive machine, so this machine is probably the one for me where I buy once, buy right; I live by a poor man pays twice principle and dont want to regret the purchase.

    That said, what do you guys think of the deal ($350 for 800es + grinder), and do you have any other deals you can recommend for my budget?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Senior Member shapeshifter's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! And please recommend me an espresso machine...

    Hi and welcome.

    If you watch ebay, you can quite often pick up brand new Sunbeam EM6910 + EM0480 for that price, maybe $50 more for sure.

    That would be the best set to start off with.* I had the EM6910 up until a month ago and seriously I was getting some fantastic coffee out of it.

    If you dont mind second hand you can watch the for sale section on here as well and you might be able to pick up something even cheaper.

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    Re: Hello! And please recommend me an espresso machine...

    Thanks Shapeshifter.

    What is the difference between the sunbeam and the breville, and what makes it better? I am still getting my head around the things to look out for.

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    Re: Hello! And please recommend me an espresso machine...

    The 6910 is the only thermoblock snobs seem to be keen on.

    Eldubb recently followed the well-worn newbie path... http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1320295461/5

    And remember "Its all in the grind" - there isnt much love for that breville grinder

  5. #5
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! And please recommend me an espresso machine...

    Quote Originally Posted by 42525946585F5F310 link=1321352902/2#2 date=1321356016
    What is the difference between the sunbeam and the breville, and what makes it better? I am still getting my head around the things to look out for.
    The Sunbeam is also a dual boiler, which means you can extract the espresso and steam the milk simultaneously. Big plus if youre a milk coffee drinker.

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    Re: Hello! And please recommend me an espresso machine...

    Quote Originally Posted by 7D584F505D01390 link=1321352902/4#4 date=1321358026
    The Sunbeam is also a dual boiler
    dual thermoblock to be precise :)

    I would reiterate the importance of the grinder! Look for the sunbeam 0480 (good) or Breville smart grinder (better) as a minimum. You could easily keep the sunbeam 6910 for a couple of years or more without upgrading. Beware of the lifetime - I would add an extended warranty of you can.

    Hope that helps!

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    Re: Hello! And please recommend me an espresso machine...

    great advice peeps - Looking around the forums looks like the 6910 does have a fair bit of reliability issues.

    Is there really no other recommendation for anything near my budget? The 6910, even at rrp shouldnt even belong in this sub 500 category!!

    Looking at ebay, brand new ones still go for $600 cheapest - did you mean 2nd hand I could get one around my budget?

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    Re: Hello! And please recommend me an espresso machine...

    Is there really no other recommendation for anything near my budget?
    Quote Originally Posted by 5E4E455A4443432D0 link=1321352902/0#0 date=1321352902
    so this machine is probably the one for me where I buy once, buy right; I live by a poor man pays twice principle and dont want to regret the purchase.
    does that answer your question?!

    The 6910, even at rrp shouldnt even belong in this sub 500 category!!
    It can be had for less... Isnt it fathers day soon? The FD sales usually offer good deals here.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5E4E455A4443432D0 link=1321352902/6#6 date=1321360180
    great advice peeps - Looking around the forums looks like the 6910 does have a fair bit of reliability issues.
    The reliable ones dont get people fired up to post ;) I think you would have similar issues with any electrical appliance in this range - its not made to last or be repaired.

    Happy to answer any more questions as best I can!

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    Re: Hello! And please recommend me an espresso machine...

    Thanks Iaindb for pointing out the rock and the hard place Im in.

    I was looking at eBay and found a 2yo EM6910. What do you think? Seller claims factory refurbed (although I suspect it was more* of the recent pump replacement). Would it come back from repairs in brand spanking new order?

    Also, is a sign that the pump had to be replaced, an indicator of the condition of the rest of the machine? How long do warranties last on this?

    Ive spent the last 2 hours trawling through cs, and it looks like itll either be:
    1. A lucky buy for an older (2yo+) ES6910 + EMO480/450, or
    2. 800ES + BCG450, with new basket & grinder modification.
    My finance minister has placed a strict budget on me, probably because of the possibility of me being fickle and not further pursuing this interest. If it were between the 2 choices above, what would you do?

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    Re: Hello! And please recommend me an espresso machine...

    Hi Mate,
    Id like to third the get the best grinder you can afford motion - how about
    1: Gaggia MDF - $150 site sponsor http://mydibellacoffee.com.au/product_info.php?products_id=592&osCsid=a3ve860sl7 phoeuuflj7cpvlf4
    2: Gaggia classic - 2nd hand on evilbay - check the completed listings and youll see plenty sell for under the $200 mark.

    I know it wont as reliable as a new machine, but for that money you might not have that luxury! If you look carefully you should get one that hasnt been used much. I have an old Gaggia Baby that I used to take away with me, and combined with a good grinder, I can pull some killer shots!!

    So theres another option for you Dave.... Good luck* ;)

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    Senior Member shapeshifter's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! And please recommend me an espresso machine...

    schwinn I was serious about the new on ebay for that much, you just have to be in the right place at the right time to get them for that much. I was looking for a while for second hand ones for parts and found two that went for that, that people had either been given or got with another purchase and didnt want.

    What would I do I had a laugh Id ask for an increase, if you want to seriously think about getting into the coffee world you need at least a half decent base to start from. You can always resell it later.

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    Re: Hello! And please recommend me an espresso machine...

    Quote Originally Posted by 27373C233D3A3A540 link=1321352902/8#8 date=1321369953
    Thanks Iaindb for pointing out the rock and the hard place Im in.
    anytime :D

    seriously though...

    So you have some 2nd hand options, and unfortunately no-one can fortell how long any machine will last. I dont know if its because theyre less common or more reliable, but I seem to see less complaints about the Gaggia than the Sunbeam. The Sunbeam (IMHO) does do the job nicer than the Breville 800 / 820. It just seems to handle the pressure better and give you a nicer extraction.

    Sorry to keep adding options to your mix, but here are two more:

    1. How about "other" brewing methods like the Bellman CX25 Stovetop, or the Bialetti Mini Espress? Or a Syphon or Pressi? Have a quick browse through Dibartolis "other" section. With a bit of learning (that youre going to do anyway) you can make a great cup.

    2. How eager are you? I will be selling my Breville BES 820 (just serviced) and brand new BCG450 (warranty replacement) soon, but I have to replace the steam tip first. I have a bunch of accessories, like naked portafilter and krups basket. I just need to call about the steam tip and try it out since it got back from repairs, then Ill be listing it. You can "modify" this grinder, but TBH I would prefer the sunbeam combo to this one. Keep it in mind.

    HTH :)

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    Re: Hello! And please recommend me an espresso machine...

    I have to agree with Chookdoyle,
    * *The best super budget setup would be a good second hand gaggia classic and mdf grinder. At this price nothing will come close. Although the classic would be second hand, i would probably still bet it would last longer than most of the cheaper machines.
    A lot of people agonise over these sort of budgeting decisions, which i can appreciate. I would attempt to simplify it like this. If you really appreciate good coffee and drink it most days, get a better machine as the cheapies will not satisfy you.

  14. #14
    Senior Member shapeshifter's Avatar
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    Re: Hello! And please recommend me an espresso machine...

    Quote Originally Posted by 19333F306F5E0 link=1321352902/12#12 date=1321401404
    If you really appreciate good coffee and drink it most days, get a better machine as the cheapies will not satisfy you.
    What he said 8-)

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    Re: Hello! And please recommend me an espresso machine...

    Thanks everyone once again.

    Ive made up my mind. Ill be putting off an espresso machine, unless a really good deal comes by (like a new em6910 + EMO480 for sub $450).

    Other than that Ill just bide my time and earn a little bit more credit, so I will have more options when it comes to the time to reevaluate.

    On a side note, what do you all think of a 2 year old 6910, pump recently warranty repaired + EMO450 for $200? no??

    :P

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    Re: Hello! And please recommend me an espresso machine...

    If its still under warranty - fine value.

    Replace the grinder when you have the $$$.

    Replace the machine when its dead/costly to repair.

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    Re: Hello! And please recommend me an espresso machine...

    Quote Originally Posted by 14222D3711222D202A2F2A2C7273430 link=1321352902/15#15 date=1321442042
    If its still under warranty - fine value.
    Im quite sure its out of warranty. 2 years old, standard warranty is 1 year, with 5 years for pump.

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    Re: Hello! And please recommend me an espresso machine...

    Of course it is, sorry.

    I was hoping someone with direct experience would reply. Notionally as the Sunbeam is full of electronics it wont last as well as say a Silvia but at this price even just 12 months would provide value. Whether a pump repair means the machine is already likely to have compromised performance... I dont know.

    Can you visit the seller and ask that they make you a nice coffee? If you have confidence in the seller its a risk managed?



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