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Thread: Whats the best coffee machine I can buy for <4k

  1. #1
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    Whats the best coffee machine I can buy for <4k

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi, I am looking to purchase a new coffee machine. I have always had average (under 1k) coffee machines, and they are all made in china rubish that breaks after a few years.

    Anyway I want to get the best coffee machine for around 4k. I have looked at the Miele unit, but I havnt been able to find many others available.

    What are some other machines for this price range that would be worth considering, and is the Miele any good? Also I would prefer to go German made, as opposed to Italian, as I have had Italian coffee machines before, and they are worse than the Chinese ones.

    Any help or suggestions would be great, thanks

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    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the best coffee machine I can buy for <4

    Welcome. What a great first question....I havent heard of German coffee machines, apart from Braun drip filters, but perhaps they do make them - who knows, they might be more reliable and better value that their vehicles.

    The Italians make excellent machines. Italian coffee machines are not the Alfa Romeos of the coffee machine world.

    Im sure a site sponsor might give you some news on prices etc.

    If you have had Italian made coffee machines before, and they were not up to your expectations, chances are they were cheap rip offs with an Italian name. For example a genuine Italian machine for about $1k is the Rancilio Silvia which is excellent.

    Cheers

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    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the best coffee machine I can buy for <4

    ....couldnt help but have a go given your handle and your talking down of Italian Coffee machines. Seriously though if you try to rule out Italian coffee machines in this category of machine but still want the best machine you will end up taking your BM through Maccas drive through for a drip filter for the rest of your life.

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    Re: Whats the best coffee machine I can buy for <4

    Hi e32lover and welcome,

    "Best" will depend on your preferences to some extent. First thing to establish is whether you want something thats going to do it all at a touch of a button or are you prepared to do a little more work and take up a little more bench space for a better result (ie separate grinder and espresso machine)? The Miele ones are inbuilt arent they? So does it need to be inbuilt?

    charlie

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the best coffee machine I can buy for <4

    The importer may be able to answer this with more accuracy

    But ECM Technica is made in Germany built in Heidelberg
    Not sure if is still the case

    KK
    Edit
    Found out some info from the WWW

    After some years the two companies broke up and then you had ECM, and ECM Manufacture, the German version. They started to improve on the original design and out came the Technika, Mechanika etc. They are indeed gorgeous, immaculate, and seem to be very good. And expensive.

    Here is the website of ECM Manufacture http://www.ecm.de/en/products/espresso-machines.html

    KK

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    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the best coffee machine I can buy for <4

    Arrhh....see thats where I go wrong. Someone mentions best machine in this category and I think of traditional espresso machines not full autos. Jura is a brand that gets a very good wrap on here. Swiss made though not German Im afraid.


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    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the best coffee machine I can buy for <4

    The new ECM company as I understand it is German - eg making Giotto that used to be made in Italy. Dont rule out Italians though as the lions share of excellent machines (volumetric/semi autos)...but alas if its German quality engineering youre after then thats a personal choice I guess. Im sure a site sponsor can fit you up with one.

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    Re: Whats the best coffee machine I can buy for <4

    Di Bartoli, I think, *have the TECHNICA in their range.

    Aside from that though, I reckon youre kidding yourself if you dont consider the Italian machines. Pair anything up with stale coffee and a cheap grinder and any machine will produce dishwater.

    Seems like youre looking for a superauto, where you press a button and watch it all happen. FWIW Ive never had a coffee out of a superauto that Id be satisfied drinking everyday; fresh beans or not. And if I had to shell out 4K for the priviledge Id put my share into a cafe.

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    Re: Whats the best coffee machine I can buy for <4

    Quote Originally Posted by YeeZa link=1228043892/0#7 date=1228078197
    Di Bartoli have the TECHNICA in their range.

    Aside from that though, I reckon your kiding yourself if you dont consider the Italian machines. Pair anything up with stale coffee and a cheap grinder and any machine will produce dishwater.

    Seems like youre looking for a superauto, where you press a button and watch it all happen. FWIW Ive never had a coffee out of a superauto that Id be satisfied drinking everyday; fresh beans or not. And if I had to shell out 4K for the priviledge Id put my share into a cafe.
    There have been a host of improvements to the Rocket.

    If I had 4k to spend, Id be getting a great HX/dual boiler and the best grinder I could with the change....

    Chris

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    Re: Whats the best coffee machine I can buy for <4

    I would be less concerned with the country of origin, and more concerned to buy a good piece of equipment for your price bracket. If you have something against Italian made espresso making equipment in general then you may as well go buy a plunger.

    Your price bracket puts you in the semi commercial / sn/\/mall commercial area where there are a lot of good machines.

    If you are new to this then I would not like to think that you might, as a result of reading special interest coffee forums like this, develop the idea that there are only a couple of brands worth looking at as recommended here.

    You need to go see an espresso machine trader who is local to you and start there with hopefully, good local advice and a good local source of service.

    An example of the above sentiment would be, lets say you live in my own local area you would be mad not to visit my humble establishment and see whats on offer, see how it works, and see if you think we can offer good local backup and after sales service. We sell Diadema brand machines. If you live in my area you would be mad to buy anything else, just as if you lived near the azkoyen regional service agent and reseller (example only), you would be mad not to go see them and consider them seriously.....yet, these "brands" are not necessaruly the type of brands that will be recommended in this type of topic.

    Food for thought.

    Regardz,
    Attilio.
    first / original CS site sponsor.




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    Re: Whats the best coffee machine I can buy for <4

    Quote Originally Posted by YeeZa link=1228043892/0#7 date=1228078197
    Seems like youre looking for a superauto, where you press a button and watch it all happen. FWIW Ive never had a coffee out of a superauto that Id be satisfied drinking everyday; fresh beans or not. And if I had to shell out 4K for the priviledge Id put my share into a cafe.
    I know quite a few people at work who have super-autos. They either dont care at all about coffee (ie to them is may as well just be instant coffee), or theyve been disappointed in the machine when considering how much they paid.

    When people ask me about what espresso machine to buy I VERY strongly suggest they steer away from super-autos and instead buy a separate machine and grinder. For 4 grand you could have a very sweet home set-up with a prosumer machine and good quality grinder, both of which will last you a lifetime (and if looked after, well beyond), and will be capable of producing world class espresso. On the other hand Id personally be surprised if any super-auto wasnt going in the bin within 10 years.

    Regarding convenience, its easy to have a machine on a timer so its good to go in the morning etc, and the "ritual" of making a milk based drink takes me about 2 minutes on a heat-exchanger based machine. Some people mention the mess involved and I cant for the life of me imagine what they must do. Armed with a damp and a micro-fibre cloth, I grind the beans into the doser (no mess), dose it in to the handle (a few grounds), pull the shot (no mess), steam the milk (wipe the wand), dump the grounds (mess removed), wipe the screen and rinse the group. If you dont have the machine plumbed in then an additional step will be to pull out and dump the drip tray. Boom, within 2 minutes jobs done, Im enjoying a SWEET drop, and out of that I had a few grounds on the bench, big deal it IS a kitchen ::)

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    Re: Whats the best coffee machine I can buy for <4

    Hi E32,

    Have to agree with Pete. No comparison in the HX V auto machine. Also what Attilio is saying is completely accurate. If you are in Sydney area then I would drop into Di Bartoli Coffee Centre. These guys have it covered. You can have Italian, German & Spanish. Spain is where the new Minore III comes from! Re The Technika III from Germany. This is a beautiful machine and I know they have it there also. It is basically an Italian build with major assembly in Germany.

    Good luck

    Moto

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    Re: Whats the best coffee machine I can buy for <4

    Thanks for all the advice guys, i cant believe how little i know about coffee machines.

    I guess i could go Italian, i just assumed that since the 2 i had were no good, theyd all be like that. I dont really mind if its fully auto or not, as I have always put a bit of labour into my coffee making, and i enjoy it very much.

    Basically, I just want something that makes an excellent tasting coffee, and is reliable. The amount of effort required to make a coffee is not a major concern.

    I will take a look at the suggested brands, but the next question is where to look at them? I somehow doubt that these brands are sold in Myer.

    If someone could recommend me a high end coffee shop in the Melbourne area that would be great,

    Thanks.
    -Regards, Michael

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    Re: Whats the best coffee machine I can buy for <4

    Quote Originally Posted by e32lover link=1228043892/0#12 date=1228100890
    Thanks for all the advice guys, i cant believe how little i know about coffee machines.

    I guess i could go Italian, i just assumed that since the 2 i had were no good, theyd all be like that. I dont really mind if its fully auto or not, as I have always put a bit of labour into my coffee making, and i enjoy it very much.

    Basically, I just want something that makes an excellent tasting coffee, and is reliable. The amount of effort required to make a coffee is not a major concern.

    I will take a look at the suggested brands, but the next question is where to look at them? I somehow doubt that these brands are sold in Myer.

    If someone could recommend me a high end coffee shop in the Melbourne area that would be great,

    Thanks.
    -Regards, Michael
    Dont go to Myer :)
    Try talk coffee - Chris is great.
    Look at the links on the left.

    B

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    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Whats the best coffee machine I can buy for <4

    Dont go to Myer
    Try talk coffee - Chris is great.
    Look at the links on the left.
    And I will add to that
    Michael as you have mentioned in your last post RE: Myers
    All mechanical devices have there place
    However most brand name retail stores donít sell coffee machines
    I would class them as coffee making appliances (and thus have a use by date)

    Now a coffee machine is in a class on its own
    Talk to Chris "test drive some Coffee Machines side by side" and he will set you on the right path

    KK

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    Re: Whats the best coffee machine I can buy for <4

    Michael, youre in the right part of the world the world to get a good machine. I personally cant suggest any particular place but am certain there will be no shortage of suggestions.

    When you say youre not concerned whether its super-auto or not, I cant stress strongly enough that they are completely different fields and it will need to be the first decision you make even before you walk in to a store. It may sound a little harsh, but as a generalisation super-autos are designed for people who just want to push a button and basically dont care much about what comes out, or at least thats their second priority. In this price range "manual" machines are capable of (literally) producing better espresso than youre likely to find in 99% of cafes, even in Melbourne, however convenience is certainly second priority.

    I had the above point illustrated to me over a "discussion" with a colleague who insisted there was absolutely NO difference between machines, as he had gone from a "cheap" machine to an "expensive" machine and couldnt taste the difference. The whole truth was that he had gone from a POS manual machine to an even bigger POS super-auto (one of the cheapest on the market) so of course he couldnt taste any difference!

    In terms of brands, as a rule most people, even snobs/geeks generally havent had a lot of experience with a large number of different brands at the same quality level. While many have had a number of different machines, generally when we change its an upgrade so its difficult to compare. Its not to say reputations dont circulate, but as a whole I think its safe to say we learn about our own machines and become faithful to them. Its a point that many will find difficult to admit but know its the truth. As a result be a bit wary of somebody saying "you should buy brand x". In this price range you WILL get a VERY good machine you will be proud of, and I can assure you will result in a "wow" from many guests regardless of how nice the rest of your kitchen. With that in mind these are my suggestions:
    Steer well clear of the "built in" units, developed for "designer kitchens" they often consist of cheap internals with a fancy facade and an even fancier price tag
    Do NOT shop for this type of machine at a department store, the people there, pretty much without exception, dont know one end of an espresso machine from another
    Dont get sucked in by "offers" like a kilogram of free beans. Any decent retailer will send you on your way with good/fresh beans to get you going and not some pre-packaged stale crap
    Do the "wife test" on the brand (feel free to insert significant other as long as they know NOTHING about coffee). If your wife recognises the brand, its likely a POS *;D Sorry a sexist joke I know (no offence to the female snobs here so substitute husband), but I think you get my point. Ask the average person if theyve heard of a Bezzerra/La Marzocco versus a Saeco/Miele. Hint; youre not buying a dishwasher!
    There IS a learning curve and how far you want to progress along it is up to you. Buy a super-auto and the curve involves learning how to program it to begin with, pushing the appropriate buttons, and waiting for it to break down. A "manual" machine (I say it so, as many people confuse semi-automatic/fully-automatic with super-autos. By "manual" I refer to a separate grinder and machine, regardless of whether the machine automatically doses a pre-programmed amount of water), will require a certain amount of "training" and I would be looking for a place that will do that as part of the purchase. The "training" is probably an hour or so of your time (but some places that sell training may offer more if youre interested) where theyll run through how to use the grinder and machine. On this point I think some people may believe it is necessary to be a part-time Barista in order to get good coffee at home. Thats not so. The requisite knowledge will come within that hour and at the end of that you will be capable of producing coffee at home better than most commercial establishments. However you CAN continue to learn (as the majority here have done) and in so doing continue to push the envelope in terms of quality. I warn you that once you realise just how good coffee can be (as you will be producing such nice coffee at home) it can be VERY addictive and you may find yourself "tinkering" more and more with your set-up and technique as you realise the best coffee you can get is actually in your own home! Maybe think of it a bit like walking into a Porsche dealer cash in hand. You dont HAVE to polish/tinker/tune that car, you can learn how to operate the gearbox, where to put the fuel and oil and simply drive it. However if you CHOOSE to polish/tinker/tune the car will probably drive and look better. However the choice is yours.
    Buy fresh beans. Hint: theyre NOT in a supermarket.
    Keep your machine/grinder clean. By that Im not referring to the outside, rather the path the water/espresso/beans/grind travels. Super-autos suggest they do this for you (they dont), but the path is very short in a manual, therefore easy to keep clean
    Finally, dont be surprised when the retailer suggests a grinder that will cost more than your previous espresso machine! We tend to focus on the machine, as its the "bling" part of the equation, the other half of the equation is the grinder and its just as important to a quality product.

    Hope that helps. Enjoy.

    Pete

  17. #17
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    Re: Whats the best coffee machine I can buy for <4

    Hi Michael,

    Were in Melbourne and sell a wide range of the machines discussed. Perhaps you might call and come for a look and play?

    regards

    Chris






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