Advice on new machine
Just joined and looking for info on my 1st decent machine. Site looks full of good info.
I had my 1st machine when i was in OZ last year, (back in the UK now). I had the Delonghi Icona, didn't like the machine at all, found it hard the get the milk right as it kept frothing up to much.
Just by browsing through i have been looking at the Gaggia Classic, rancilio silvia or the Breville Barista Express which is the more expensive of the 3 and don't know if i should be spending that much. One i have saw in my local shops is the Kitchenaid, does anyone have any experience with it?
What price range are thinking of?
Well the ones I mentioned are between the £300-£600 range.
I reckon your best bet would be to get a Gaggia Classic (think they are pretty cheap on amazon UK), buy either a Rancilio Rocky (also pretty cheap on Amazon UK) of a Breville Smart Grinder and a non pressurised filter basket and you will be pretty surprised with the shot you will be able to get out of it and all for under £500. Only problem is if you have milk with your coffee the best bet would be to change the steaming arm on the Gaggia..there is plenty of threads on here about how to do it.
What machine has a better steaming arm so that I didn't have to change it on the gaggia? Does anyone have any more suggestions for me.
Typically people upgrade the Gaggia steam wand to one off a Rancilio Silvia, not sure about prices on Silvias in the UK though.
Originally Posted by itsdogslife
Not sure if you're mechanically inclined but to throw a wrench into the mix. . . how about looking for a used commercial machine and rebuild it? I got mine from an auction house and did a full tear down and rebuild it. All in all, I spent $700 including the machine. It's a 2 grouphead San Remo Capri.
It would be pointless buying the gaggia to upgrade the steam wand when I could just go for the Silvia. Does the Silvia necessarily need the pid upgrade?
As to refurbishing a machine, it would probably be a good project to do but I think I will just stick to buying a new one for the time being.
Is the gaggia and Silvia the two most popular or best buys, or is there something else?
Oh I have saw the Silvia here for about £400 works out to about $600.
You can run the Silvia as is without a PID. Same goes for all single boiler machines.
You just need to do temperature surfing which is just a process of flushing the machine and watching the light to gauge you tempreture to pull your shots.
The gaggia has a smaller boiler which allows a quicker heat up time but does lack the steam power compare to the Silvia but is more than capable. A PID just makes the process easier by eliminating the need to temp surf and speed up the process a little (remove some guess work)
If you are looking at making more than 2 milk base drinks at a short amount of time then a single boiler machine may not be your option. Otherwise the gaggia and Silvia are more than capable of making good espressos.
Just a warning that the Silvia is very picky on grinders so make sure you get a decent one to go with it.
Another machine you could consider is the Solis SL-70, it's not as widely available in Australia but quite popular in the US. It may or may not be available locally to you.
With regards to the KitchenAid, reviews have been disappointing. Most of the folks on this forum would suggest the Gaggia Classic or the Rancilio Silvia if budget allows.
Just make sure to set money aside for a decent grinder, the Rancilio Rocky being the crowd favourite at this price point.
I have a Sunbeam EM6200 - retails for about $450 I think but I got it for around $350 in last years post-christmas sales. I haven't seen many other reviews of this machine on CS but I quite like it.
It's got a built in PID, pre-infusion function and a brew pressure gauge (whether that actually helps get a better coffee I don't know... Just gives a general reference probably)
I've paired it with a gaggia mdf grinder and for the most part I'm happier with most coffees I make than ones I buy.
Also I came from a delonghi icona before this machine too and it's much better so there's another option to consider...