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Thread: Help - advise needed asap!!

  1. #1
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    Help - advise needed asap!!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello,

    I am new to this site and buying coffee machines. I am buying a machine for my mum for Christmas, so the clock is ticking and Im so confused. :(

    So far I have a Delonghi KG100 Coffee Grinder. From reading posts on here, a good coffee grinder is a good place to start.

    Now for the coffee machine. I have a budget of $250.

    I was considering the:

    Sunbeam Cafe Ristretto (Boiler)
    Sunbeam Cafe Crema 2 (Thermo)

    Any other suggestions??????

    Also, do you recommend I get an unpressurized basket too???



  2. #2
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    Re: Help - advise needed asap!!

    Hmm, I believe the Ristretto (em2300) has been out of production for about six months, finding one new would be very difficult indeed

    The Cafe Crema 2 (em4820) would certainly be easier to find

    Other suggestions include the Cafe Espresso (em3600/3800) and the breville Cafe Venzia (bes250) All three are somewhat much-of-a-muchness, with minor detail differences between all of them

    You might have trouble getting a good enough grind with the grinder you have (its somewhat unreliable when it comes to espresso), Especially if you go for an unpressurised basket (which I would suggest you do, cos its awesome)


    Other things to consider? Tampers that come with (most) espresso machines tend to be rubbishy plastic undersized things, Id suggest looking into getting a better tamper to go with it, due to, well, Less Rubbish. Also, a bang-box/waste coffeepuck holder is also a good option.

    all the rest? well, that can come later though



  3. #3
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    Re: Help - advise needed asap!!

    All good advice but lets not lose sight on the budget mentioned.

    There is always bdays and Mothers day for the extras.

    NotASnobYet - you have to start somewhere so read all the advice offered.

    Ive owned a Cafe Crema some years ago. Machines at this end of the market are simple and easy to use, and depending on your expectations they are fairly forgiving and can produce a good drink straight out of the box.

    More importantly, what does your Mum expect from her coffee?
    dabbler

  4. #4
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    Re: Help - advise needed asap!!

    I spotted a ristretto at BigW on the weekend here in Perth. Guess theres a warehouse full of them somewhere...

  5. #5
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    Re: Help - advise needed asap!!

    Hello all,

    Thanks for the advice. I have found a couple of places that have the Ristretto too, so I guess it is still in the running.

    In most peoples opinion, when buying machines at this low level....am I better off going for the Ristretto with the boiler or the Cafe Crema II with the Thermo. system?????

    I have read really good reviews on both machines so I am really tied on these too.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. :)

  6. #6
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    Re: Help - advise needed asap!!

    Guess there must be Ristrettos out there, Curious, I havent seen any for months, Theyre all Piccilos here

    The Ristretto is a good machine, Certainly got me started in the Espresso game. However, the boiler is small, Theres _just_ enough steam to get enough milk frothed enough for a single standard mug, and the warmup/cooldown times are slightly annoying when switching between shots/steam (admittedly its not as bad as some)

    The Thermoblock machine is a bit more flexable in how much milk you can froth, and which order you pour your shot/froth milk.

    in truth, Both machines will give you a good starting point, The Ristretto is slightly cheaper, and it does show, with somewhat cheaper materials included (Ive not encountered a sunbeam yet that keeps the chrome coating on the aluminium portafilter longer then three washes). The Crema ii has a brass portafilter instead, which is a good selection for keeping temps stable. I believe the chrome plating is better attached with that (so you are less likely to find shiny particles in your mothers coffee)

    But no, in real world terms, Neither would be an embarressing choice to start with, they both make good coffee (especially when paired with a good grinder, and a nice unpressurised basket)

  7. #7
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    Re: Help - advise needed asap!!

    Awesome advice....thank you so much.

    Now for the stupid questions....where do you buy unpressurized baskets from and what do they look like?

    Im such a novice!!!

  8. #8
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    Re: Help - advise needed asap!!

    Quote Originally Posted by 67465D687A47464B704C5D290 link=1323087795/6#6 date=1323316221
    Awesome advice....thank you so much.

    Now for the stupid questions....where do you buy unpressurized baskets from and what do they look like?

    Im such a novice!!!
    Not a stupid question at all, Theres generally three options for unpressurised baskets, Theres a Krupps basket, which fits the 51mm portafilter that Sunbeam/Breville use, Theres a Breville unpressurised basket thats made for the same Machines, and theres the "cut the bottom out of the portafilter" routine which costs nothing

    Check out your local Breville or Krupps repair agency, I believe the Breville baskets are more likely to be in stock, They retail at around 20-30 dollars, but are well worth it

  9. #9
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    Re: Help - advise needed asap!!

    Thank you everyone.

    I got the Sunbeam Cafe Crema II, a good tamper, a knock box, 2 unpressurised baskets and a thermometer to go with the milk jug, cleaning equipment, and I will pick up some freshly roasted and ground coffee the day before I give my parents their gift.

    This should be a good starting point for them.

    Thanks to all for your valued advice.....boy have I learned a lot about coffee and coffee machines in a short time :D.



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