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Thread: Help me decide between 2 espresso machines

  1. #1
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    Question Help me decide between 2 espresso machines

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

    I'm new here so please be nice

    I've got some FlyBuys points I want to blow on an espresso machine since we have switched to Woolies and won't be accumulating any more points anyway.

    I have the choice between two from their rewards catalogue:
    • Breville Cafe Venezia Espresso Machine BES250
    • DeLonghi Dedica EC 680 Pump Espresso Coffee Machine - Silver

    (The Breville I have enough points for, for the DeLonghi I'd have to pay an extra $77.41.)

    My preferences and usage patterns:
    1. I only drink black coffee (my wife doesn't drink coffee), so I don't need a milk frother
    2. It would only be used occasionally on weekends - only if I want a coffee after 3 pm when the local cafes close (I generally prefer the cafe experience )

    Point 2 above is why I don't want to spend a significant amount of money on a better machine - couldn't justify the expense.

    The other question is whether getting ground beans and keeping them in an airtight container instead of buying a grinder (again, see point 2 above) is a good option.

    Thanks a lot in advance!

  2. #2
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    IMHO. If it's a good coffee and the cafe experience you love.. I would recommend to save your points and go for a different approach. For example hand grinder and a mokkapot. Would give you a good quality coffee at low expense. And you can always buy a small quantity of fresh roasted goodness from specialty roaster/cafes these days.

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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Help me decide between 2 espresso machines

    Neither of these machines will provide a good coffee without making modifications to them, and especially when using preground coffee with them. Everyone has different standards, but I'd be surprised if you weren't disappointed with them so I'd use the points for something else if I were you.

  4. #4
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Use your points for something else. You won't be happy with the coffee they produce.
    Rolf likes this.

  5. #5
    rbk
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    Maybe use your points to buy a Breville smart grinder (not bad for the money) & look for a better second hand machine on Coffee Snobs. Freshly grinding your beans will give you a completely different drinking experience

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    Agree with the above, buy a manual coffee maker like a moka pot, aeropress or pour over and a hand grinder like the Hario skerlton. Will be the closest to decent coffee without spending too much.

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    Thanks a lot for all the replies and suggestions, appreciate it. I guess the message is to stay away from these 2 machines

    But at the same time, let me clarify: I just need the occasional coffee on a weekend afternoon, that is 1-2 coffees per week. At the moment, all I have is Nescafe Short Black. Yes, instant coffee... So basically, all I am looking for is for an improvement over that.

    As to your suggestions, I will look into the Aeropress, Mokapot, etc. options - don't know much about them. Any cafes in Melbourne CBD / southeastern suburbs where I could try such coffee? Also, what do you think of percolators?

    On another note, what do you think of Nespresso machines? I have tried a few pods, and even though they are nowhere near a properly brewed coffee in terms of taste, they are definitely a huge improvement over instant coffee. And the convenience is a big plus. I know, the cost per coffee is not so cheap but with my usage that shouldn't be an issue.

  8. #8
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Fresh decent roasted beans ground for brewing (no matter what device) will be a different world of flavours to nespresso i reckon. And as above I would go a simple manual device over one of those machines you listed. a hand grinder and pour over (or moka pot, plunger, aeropress etc) will be quick, easy and delicious!

    Cheers

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    Aeropress and mokkapot would be able to give you a similar coffee to an espresso or long black if that helps. YouTube research into these brew methods may give you more insight. Hand grinders can cost from $50-$300 mokkapot safe as cheap as $20 aeropress kit around $40 mark. Aeropress and mokkapots are easy to use methods of brew.

    Pods are super convenient, that's about it. Personally I would go for one of the mentioned brew methods and possibly even roasting your own coffee in a popcorn maker for fresh coffee in small batches. Obviously all dependent on how much time and $$ you would like to invest into the obsession that is coffee.

    Hopefully that helps.

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    If you drank milk based coffees then a pod machine isn't that bad as the milk can help (read mask) the coffee taste. But if you are only drinking black then make sure you try one out first. The last time I had one was a Nespresso demo at Dick Smiths and it was feral. No wonder DS went belly up.

  11. #11
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    How much are you willing to invest in that weekend coffee?

    I second dodgy x suggestion of hand grinder and pour over. You'll get a good black coffee with minimal effort.
    Buy 250g of good freshly roasted beans and stored carefully should get you three weekends out of them. More if you're not fussy. It's an easy way to make coffee and less effort than aeropress or moka.
    It's a different flavour profile to espresso based coffee but holds its own. You can get pour over at good cafes but worth researching here for one close to you.

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    Thanks a lot! Will look into these methods then. I guess I will invest my points elsewhere.

    Cheers!

  13. #13
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Simple? Fancy scales with temp measuring ....

    Sorry just appreciating your gadgets (can one ever have enough coffee gadgets).

    I'm the same, love an espresso but have also been enjoying pour over and aeropress brews.

    Cheers

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    I have a pointy end espresso machine but still love a simple pourover. See pic from this morning below:
    Wow, that's some advanced operation happening here!

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    Rock an aeropress or a pourover if you are into black coffees (heck a touch of milk with them are fine too). Add a hand grinder into the mix and you are well on your way.

    I'm a no to pods, sure they are convenient but the greeny in me says it sucks for the environment too. Espresso and manual brewing is a bit of a therapeutic process to me, probably why the pods don't really appeal.

    Give Patricias or LB2 a stop in the CBD for some filter, they usually have decent beans on rotation there for filter (they are generally busy so they are probably your stop for a espresso based drink).

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    Thanks, tannyboy, will Google those 2 cafes. I tried filter coffee before and found it not very flavourful - maybe it was the beans.

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    PS: I started a new job today and gave the Nespresso machine in the kitchen a go. Chucked it down the drain. Glad I didn't go for one. Oh and yeah, the environment.

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    Filter is more a subtle flavour and plays with the taste buds a bit more, it's not a "ballsy" espresso punch.
    If you get a good filter brew, you'll know.

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    What do you think of this Aeropress kit:
    Commercial link removed as per Site Posting Policy

    It has the Aeropress, a hand grinder and some filters for $110. A pack like that can also be had from League of Honest Coffee in the CBD for the same price - don't remember if it's the same grinder.
    Last edited by Javaphile; 3rd August 2016 at 09:25 AM. Reason: Commercial Link(s) Removed

  20. #20
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Help me decide between 2 espresso machines

    Quote Originally Posted by mathemagician View Post
    What do you think of this Aeropress kit:
    Commercial link removed as per Site Posting Policy

    It has the Aeropress, a hand grinder and some filters for $110. A pack like that can also be had from League of Honest Coffee in the CBD for the same price - don't remember if it's the same grinder.
    I love my Aeropress so much I've got two! One at home and one at work. Even used the most simple way they are a little more fiddly than say a French press or capsule machine. But they are extremely versatile and while they can't replicate actual espresso you can make a good strong black coffee with them if you so desire. I'd say it's definitely worth considering and it's good value in a pack with a grinder as you want to use freshly ground coffee in them to maximize their potential. Worst case scenario is you don't like it or you can't be bothered with the process. If so just sell them on here or Gumtree or something and you'll lose no more than 30-40% of their original value.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Good call ditching the pod machine. I bought one of the Aeropress packages from, ah, their biggest retailer... grinder, Able fine disc and AP. Great starter kit, even better now they've switched to the Rhinowares grinder.

    You can also make a decent 'espressoish' brew with the AP using the right beans and recipe - a quick search of this site should yield results.



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