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Thread: First Setup $5-$600.

  1. #1
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    First Setup $5-$600.

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

    So i've recently worked out i spend nearly $1500 a year on purchased cafe coffee so i'm looking to purchase some home equipment to save on these costs and also learn myself.

    I'm looking to spend around $5-$600. I've read that spending around this amount you should be splitting the cost of grinder and machine 50/50 as the grinder is just as, if not more important than the machine. This has scared me away from fully automatic machines with in-built grinders.

    what are your thought's on which way i should go? Are fully automatic machines around this price range worth it or should i go the route of buying the grinder separate to the machine?

    Thanks for your feedback!

  2. #2
    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    If you know you spend $1500 on cafe coffee why not up your spend to $1500 for a better equipment? $600 split 50/50 means $300 each will not get a lot for your money unless you are looking at used equipment and even then not unless you find some cracking good deals or go the used Lelit combi way which is a grinder and espresso machine in one. $600 on a single item possibly will get you something a little more reasonable.

    I am guessing $1500 at $4 a coffee = 375 coffees a year? If you intend to roast your own coffee beans @ approx $15/kg and 18g per coffee = $0.26 an espresso add milk for say $2 a litre using approx 200ml a latte = ($0.40 + 0.26) x 375 = $247.50 a year you will spend on coffee (no allowance for electricity and maintenance). So even if you round it up to $300 a year you are saving $1200 a year on your cafe coffees. So personally I think that justifies spending at least $1200 on your equipment...don't you?

  3. #3
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saoye View Post
    If you know you spend $1500 on cafe coffee why not up your spend to $1500 for a better equipment? $600 split 50/50 means $300 each will not get a lot for your money unless you are looking at used equipment and even then not unless you find some cracking good deals or go the used Lelit combi way which is a grinder and espresso machine in one. $600 on a single item possibly will get you something a little more reasonable.

    I am guessing $1500 at $4 a coffee = 375 coffees a year? If you intend to roast your own coffee beans @ approx $15/kg and 18g per coffee = $0.26 an espresso add milk for say $2 a litre using approx 200ml a latte = ($0.40 + 0.26) x 375 = $247.50 a year you will spend on coffee (no allowance for electricity and maintenance). So even if you round it up to $300 a year you are saving $1200 a year on your cafe coffees. So personally I think that justifies spending at least $1200 on your equipment...don't you?
    +1. You're better off spending a little more, it will keep you happier in the long run as well. Prolong upgraditus...

  4. #4
    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David8 View Post
    +1. You're better off spending a little more, it will keep you happier in the long run as well. Prolong upgraditus...
    Hehe...I just realised I used $2 a litre for milk...milk is $2 for 2 litres! = $0.20 per coffee instantly saved from my original calculations! See you're saving money already!

  5. #5
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by saoye View Post
    Hehe...I just realised I used $2 a litre for milk...milk is $2 for 2 litres! = $0.20 per coffee instantly saved from my original calculations! See you're saving money already!
    Homebrand milk at least is $1 per litre. The fancier milk is more expensive.

    I use the cheapo milk. :P

  6. #6
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David8 View Post
    Homebrand milk at least is $1 per litre. The fancier milk is more expensive.

    I use the cheapo milk. :P
    And when all the Dairy Farmers have been sufficiently screwed by the private labels, the 'cheapo' milk will suddenly get more expensive. And by then, they will be your only choice.

    I use milk that costs me more than $1 per litre. At present, this does translate to a better gate price for the Farmer.
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    You make a good point haha. I don't pay for milk as i own a convenience store and write off my take home groceries in tax . So spending around $1000-$1200 on equipment would you go for an 'all-in-one' machine? What products do you suggest?

    I guess what i'm trying to say is do machines around this money have decent in-built grinders or am i better off purchasing separate products.

  8. #8
    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alistair View Post
    You make a good point haha. I don't pay for milk as i own a convenience store and write off my take home groceries in tax . So spending around $1000-$1200 on equipment would you go for an 'all-in-one' machine? What products do you suggest?
    I would not suggest a combo machine. It really limits your upgrade potential in the grinder. Also, if the machine or grinder part breaks down, then you are up for a new machine and new grinder. I would suggest something like a Compak K3 Push grinder, with either a Lelit or Silvia single boiler machine. By the sounds of it you drink milk coffees, so the single boiler might be an annoyance, but you do learn to live with it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member yabba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alistair View Post
    You make a good point haha. I don't pay for milk as i own a convenience store and write off my take home groceries in tax . So spending around $1000-$1200 on equipment would you go for an 'all-in-one' machine? What products do you suggest?

    I guess what i'm trying to say is do machines around this money have decent in-built grinders or am i better off purchasing separate products.
    Did I hear you say that the shop was buying it? :-0. With depreciation and tax free bits you can justify an even better machine now. Soon you'll be making money from buying a machine...


    Cheers Yabba

  10. #10
    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alistair View Post
    You make a good point haha. I don't pay for milk as i own a convenience store and write off my take home groceries in tax . So spending around $1000-$1200 on equipment would you go for an 'all-in-one' machine? What products do you suggest?

    I guess what i'm trying to say is do machines around this money have decent in-built grinders or am i better off purchasing separate products.
    If you can afford it, go for separate equipment (not that there's really anything wrong with the lelit combi (single boiler) - I have one myself) and if at all possible I'd go a heat exchanger (HX) machine rather than a single boiler just for the flexibility and convenience of being able to steam a lot more milk and pull multiple shots when entertaining and steam and pull shots at the same time (I also have a mazzer mini A grinder and a Rocket Giotto so I can compare the diff between the combi and the HX), but that would stretch your budget closer to upper $1500...however, any way to write some of the coffee equipment off in tax? If so you might be able to bump your budget up to $2k!! I'm not helping you am I? hehe.

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    Re: First Setup $5-$600.

    Haha I wish money was no object. Unfortunately this is strictly a home purchase so I can't claim the tax. Appreciate all your inputs though, thanks. I will check out the products suggested and please list more to look at with a total budget of around the 1200 mark

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    Quote Originally Posted by alistair View Post
    .... please list more to look at with a total budget of around the 1200 mark
    Buying new ?

    Breville Smart grinder @ <$200
    + NS Oscar @ <$1k
    0r Rancillio silvia @ <$500 + Rocky grinder @ < $400

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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    Buying new ?
    0r Rancillio silvia @ <$500 + Rocky grinder @ < $400
    This is the combo im looking at but probably leaning towards the Compak K3 Push for the grinder.

    Any idea on the best place to purchase the Compak?

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    Yeah im thinking of going the Silvia except with the Compak K3 Push. Any idea on the best place to purchase this grinder?

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    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alistair View Post
    Yeah im thinking of going the Silvia except with the Compak K3 Push. Any idea on the best place to purchase this grinder?
    Where are you located? A local site sponsor would be the best place to buy. Having a chat to them will be the best bet to get some advice and personal service.

  16. #16
    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alistair View Post
    Yeah im thinking of going the Silvia except with the Compak K3 Push. Any idea on the best place to purchase this grinder?
    Personally I'd go the NS Oscar because it is a HX...even though they have the plastic casing and not so purtty. Do you think you will be entertaining? Would you be making milk based coffees or mostly straight espresso shots? I'd seriously reconsider the single boilers if you intend to steam milk...they are fine if it's only for yourself (1 or 2 lattes) but they do take a lot more effort and self discipline to avoid a burnt out element.

    Compak K3 push is a good grinder. The site sponsors here will help you with the best options.

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    I'm located on the Gold Coast.

    I will rarely, if ever, be making more than 2 coffee's a day and it will be for myself only. I will be making latte's 99% of the time. I would like to go the Oscar but it's just pushing the budget a bit too much.

  18. #18
    Senior Member saoye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alistair View Post
    I'm located on the Gold Coast.

    I will rarely, if ever, be making more than 2 coffee's a day and it will be for myself only. I will be making latte's 99% of the time. I would like to go the Oscar but it's just pushing the budget a bit too much.
    Try using the Quote form at the top left corner of the forum page and you might get somewhere. Just a thought, there's less that could go wrong with a good grinder so maybe consider a combination of new and old to get to your budget...but $1200 should get you what you want if you shop around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alistair View Post
    I've read that spending around this amount you should be splitting the cost of grinder and machine 50/50 as the grinder is just as, if not more important than the machine. This has scared me away from fully automatic machines with in-built grinders.
    I'm not actually convinced about 50-50; it's more that you need a certain minimum level of grinder to get the most out of a machine, and that level goes up with machine. so i don't think anything less than an EM440 for any espresso machine really, BCG800 for a silvia/gaggia/lelit, and maybe K3 for e61 class machines.

    Does anyone have experience with the saeco poemia? appears to have the guts of a via venezia for $130.
    Barry O'Speedwagon likes this.

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    Several people seem to be suggesting you can get a Silvia for $500 or less but I haven't found anything under about $600. Any specifics would be appreciated, even from sponsors thanks.

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  22. #22
    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grumbler View Post
    Several people seem to be suggesting you can get a Silvia for $500 or less but I haven't found anything under about $600. Any specifics would be appreciated, even from sponsors thanks.
    For one they pop up on the hardware for sale part of this forum pretty often. Some maybe a little over $500 but i know i have seen some under $500 also and thats just on here. Also if someone is wanting a certain something you can place a request to see if someone is selling exactly what you want with a price you are willing to pay and thats just on here

  23. #23
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    aeropress or Hario v60 or similar ~ $50
    good grinder (Baratza Preciso) ~ $300
    good kettle (Bonavita variable) ~ $100
    a nice selection of coffee ~ $50

    total = $500.

    can't lose!

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    Re: First Setup $5-$600.

    Quote Originally Posted by grumbler View Post
    Several people seem to be suggesting you can get a Silvia for $500 or less but I haven't found anything under about $600. Any specifics would be appreciated, even from sponsors thanks.
    Grinders sell the Silvia v3 delivered for $499. I've already been in contact with them and about to purchase.

  25. #25
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    So i have finally made a purchase of the Rancilio Silvia and Rocky combo and am about ready to get started making some coffee, just waiting on my grinder to arrive.

    What setting do you guys recommend i start grinding at before i start fine tuning it? Somewhere in the middle?



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