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Thread: Cheap machine and sound proofing or 2nd hand lever

  1. #1
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    Cheap machine and sound proofing or 2nd hand lever

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

    Long term lurker rare poster.. However just wanting the opinion of the collective wisdoms.. I have finally been given the authority to buy a coffee machine again. (Been using the aeropress for a number of years). Love esprsesso though so have been really missing it.

    The requirements for the machine are that it needs to be quiet so that I don't wake the whole house when I get up for work at 5:10 and it must cost me < $500.

    So should I wait for a 2nd hand lever to come up. They seem fairly rare at least in qld. Or should I instead buy a cheap 2nd hand machine pull it apart and try to minimise its noise..

    Or does someone have a better suggestion..

  2. #2
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    One of the manual non-electric lever machines will give you an espresso of a standard that would cost much more on traditional machines and also meet your requirement for quiet operation.

    The Flair fits in your budget and if you could stretch just a bit more the Cafelat Robot is another good option.

    A good espresso grinder is essential to get the best out of these machines and, as it just for yourself, one of the high end manual grinders will deliver the standard required. The Lido E or ET is a good starting point. A manual grinder will also deliver on your requirement for quiet operation.

    A base model Flair and a Lido can both be had new almost within your budget.
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  3. #3
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    I definitely like the thought of either of those. I am only wondering a couple of things having had nothing to do with either machine before.

    1. How do people get the water temperature right in them.
    2. What does everyone do for milk. Although I don't personally use it, SWMBO does so I think it might be unpopular if I was the only person that could have a coffee from the machine.

    Thanks

    Warwick

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    I believe that temperature, on the Robot at least, is not as great an issue as it is made out to be; as long a light roasts are avoided. If you favour light roasts there are a number of pre-heating regimes that can be followed.

    I previously had a Flair and temperature was also not an issue for me. Similar pre-heating measures can be undertaken if needed.

    A simple, affordable and readily available solution for steam is the Bellman stovetop steamer.

    Have a look at the various forums for more info on these machines. You will find the comments are predominantly positive and the Flair has the support of a number of senior and knowledgeable members of this forum.

    The Robot recently received this accolade from Socratic Coffee at the recent World of Coffee Berlin. "The Robot is definitely a winner, makes an awesome espresso for a couple hundred bucks." They're probably a little out on the price. The base model is $600 here. The Robot also won best new product at the SCA Boston earlier this year.

    No affiliation with Cafelat - just a very happy owner.
    I

  5. #5
    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    With the flair, I boil the kettle with a litre of water, I put the brewhead in a steel bowl and fill it with boiling water. Reboil the jug then drain and refill. I leave for about 30s before draining it and putting it on the portafilter then fill with the slightly cooled water from the kettle. Using my thermapen it's consistently 93-95c

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    If you are near Brisbane there is a Rok Espresso and Rok grinder combo on Facebook marketplace for $525 (not mine) that might be of interest. I have no experience with this machine so others can comment on how well it works but they seem to be well made.

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    A ROK espresso and grinder on Facebook, if second hand, would not be a good buy at $525. You can get the latest model ROK GC and grinder for $510 brand new. You can get a GC upgrade kit for $50 if you can find an earlier model at a good price second hand. I had a ROK earlier in my manual non-electric espresso machine search and they were ok. The GC upgrade kit would address the reservations I had about the machine at that time.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Otago View Post
    A ROK espresso and grinder on Facebook, if second hand, would not be a good buy at $525. You can get the latest model ROK GC and grinder for $510 brand new. You can get a GC upgrade kit for $50 if you can find an earlier model at a good price second hand. I had a ROK earlier in my manual non-electric espresso machine search and they were ok. The GC upgrade kit would address the reservations I had about the machine at that time.
    I noticed the same thing..

  9. #9
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    Sorry I didn't check out the RRP, but maybe at $300 odd this would be good value for the op. The ROK grinder is a funny looking device how it is arbitrarily the same shape as the Rok and quite large.

    Probably better off with a more orthodox hand grinder from some recent thread the precision hand grinder was rated for value at around $100. Also the new Hario Slim/Skerton Pro grinders seem to get decent reviews, but might struggle to get fine enough in a good quality manual coffee machine like Flair or Robot.

    The other option might be a Bellman Stovetop espresso maker (which steams as well) but this can make some noise while the water is being sucked up and extracted into the top unit. This might rule it our due to noise. Also the basket/filter take coarser coffee (unlike a proper espresso machine).

  10. #10
    Senior Member speleomike's Avatar
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    Hi Leahy

    > So should I wait for a 2nd hand lever to come up. ....
    > Or should I instead buy a cheap 2nd hand machine pull it apart and try to minimise its noise..

    For what its worth I would not try to quieten a conventional espresso machine. Most of the noise will come from the vibration pump if its not a plumbed in machine and it would be difficult to reduce the sound from that pump when it is running.

    I'd suggest to use any moka pot and wait till a lever machine comes up. I have a 2nd hand La Pavoni and 2 group Ponte Vessio bought new some years ago. They are silent compared to my noisy Bezera Galatea! Lever machines will come up. (In fact my La Pavoni came from a Coffee Snob in Brisbane and I'm in Sydney)

    Get a good electric burr grinder though and use it to grind your coffee in the evening so you have enough for the morning. Although its best to grind just before you use it, doing it the night before will still be OK. You probably would not be wanting to manually hand grind coffee in the morning when in a rush to get to work. Five minutes of more sleeping in trumps hand grinding coffee :-)

    Mike

    Mike

  11. #11
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    Sounds like a plan. Might keep an eye out a bit more often for a 2nd hand lever. Would love a Ponte Vecchio but might have to wait for one of those... Oh well I'll keep looking. Big thanks to everyone for all of the information and help.
    Dimal likes this.

  12. #12
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    A PV has just popped up for sale. https://coffeesnobs.com.au/654977-post.html
    Dimal likes this.

  13. #13
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    That would be right. But I've just pulled the trigger on a La Pavoni professional from Italy.. Fully refurbished by a guy that Jack from Sorrentino coffee recommended..



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