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Thread: Advice needed - Home machine for under $1000

  1. #1
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    Advice needed - Home machine for under $1000

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello all,

    Just started reading this site today as I am looking for a machine for home that will be used for espresso and lattes - Im fed up with having to leave the house for a half decent shot.

    I dont want to spend big money (under $1000 total), but also am very nervous of cheap machines (having owned a Krups basic machine in the past). So this one would need to last a few years and be good enough to stop me needing to go to a cafe.

    So what do you suggest? And where would you recommend to go in Adelaide to check out machines?

    I am assuming i need a machine and grinder (or built in) and a decent tamper - anything else?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Re: Advice needed - Home machine for under $1000

    Welcome to the gang :)

    Nemox or equivalent machine grinder combo is a good one or the Sunbeam 6910/480 grinder (still not a good long term option IMO) are about the best under the $1k. If you can stretch then the new Gee looks worth a look or there is the tried and tested Silvia/Rocky combo but you are $1.3k+ for these.

    If you are on a serious budget the the Nemox is the toughest option for the $$ but it does have a few drawbacks if you want to pump out more than 2 or 3 coffees in a row with the delay between shots to steam and back again.

    One more thing do you currently have a grinder of any sort?

  3. #3
    A_M
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    Re: Advice needed - Home machine for under $1000

    Quote Originally Posted by 2027232C242E3B2B2C25420 link=1280558011/1#1 date=1280564304
    Welcome to the gang :)

    Nemox or equivalent machine grinder combo is a good one or the Sunbeam 6910/480 grinder (still not a good long term option IMO) are about the best under the $1k. If you can stretch then the new Gee looks worth a look or there is the tried and tested Silvia/Rocky combo but you are $1.3k+ for these.

    If you are on a serious budget the the Nemox is the toughest option for the $$ but it does have a few drawbacks if you want to pump out more than 2 or 3 coffees in a row with the delay between shots to steam and back again.

    One more thing do you currently have a grinder of any sort?
    BF has covered it..

    Just remember... A good GRINDER must not be forgotten and note the important fact of; Good quality beans.

    PS. *Specials can be a boon... [s]Retrovision or Clive Peters I think [/s] The Good Guys was running a special of an EM6910 and EM0480 or 0450 *for *about $699 I think... *Binned the junk mail - but went diving, it was in the mail box Monday / Tuesday last week.

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    Re: Advice needed - Home machine for under $1000

    The Lelit Combi is likely the best option if you are grinderless. The Silvia would do the job as would the Gee but neither have a grinder and the budget wouldnt allow a decent grinder if you bought either of these (you would be looking at $1300-$1500ish for machine + grinder). The other option is to buy a decent grinder and a cheapish machine and see how you go, as a good grinder will give you better results than a cheap grinder with a good machine. But most people state that the Lelit Combi is a great machine and a great grinder for the price so would seem the most practical option.

    You will need machine cleaner which you backflush with weekly. A milk jug if you dont have one and some form of cloth/s to wipe the machine down/wipe the steam wand/dry the portafilter with. Most of the other stuff is optional or can be gotten around (quality paint brush and vacuum instead of grinder brush etc).

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    Re: Advice needed - Home machine for under $1000

    Thanks for the welcome and comments so far - very useful.

    We dont have a grinder at the moment so thats a must - and a combined machine has its attraction. *Are there any known issues / limitations with such machines - do they tend to break down more frequently or anything like that? I assume that like hi-fi, separates will always tend to be superior, but cost is a factor.

    It seems that the Lelit Combi is well reviewed and gets some good comments on this website so that one makes the audition list I think.
    Ill be honest that the thought of spending $700 or so on a Sunbeam is a little worrying! *Am I being too dismissive? (snoblike?!)

    And again - any recommendations for Adelaide stores to check out some of the suggested machines?

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
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    Re: Advice needed - Home machine for under $1000

    I owned a second hand EM6910 (the $699 or whatever it is Sunbeam). It did the job. Im not sure what sort of life it lived prior to coming to me (or how old it was) but it was dead within 12 months. I cant complain because it was second hand. But there are quite a few posts on here of people buying them new and the machine dying quite early on in its life, or being in and out of the shop whilst under warranty.

    If they were reliable Id have no problem recommending the Sunbeam (beyond a caveat about the steam not being too crash hot), it made a decent coffee, had nice clearance under the group head, and looked the goods. But they do seem to have problems. Although this could be that since they are in main stream shops more people own them hence a more visible amount of complaints. Not to mention people may be buying them as a first machine or an impulse buy and not knowing how to care for them. There are a few advocates for the Sunbeams on here which shows they arent bad.

    If it was my $1000 though I would definitely be buying the Lelit or as a second option living with pre-ground coffee and a Gee until I could justify spending the extra on a grinder. Fresh beans and a fresh good grind are the most important aspects of a decent coffee which is why I would choose the Lelit.

    Im not sure of stores local to you. When I was looking for local stores I clicked every sponsor and bookmarked the home page of all the ones in my State (Vic), took some time but gave me something to do. :)

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    Re: Advice needed - Home machine for under $1000

    Adelaide sponsors: The Coffee Barun in the north, Coffee Craft to the south. See the list at the left of the window.

    There are a lot of options in that price range, including, IIRC, some manual lever machines, and some that dont even heat the water (Presso for instance).

    I suggest you figure out what you want to do in the way of coffee, read extensively, and then re-figure and re-read until its all clear. Then visit a sponsor and go through the whole process again. :)

    If good coffee becomes a hobby, or even worse, a passion, then upgraditis can strike at any time; and it is more economical to save and spend up big at the beginning in this case.

    Remember its all fun, and the goal is good coffee in the mouth.

    Greg

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    Re: Advice needed - Home machine for under $1000

    Ive been weighing up options to replace my Sunbeam EM3800 which is almost dead... My Sunbeam grinder is OK but could do with an upgrade too. I have decided on the Lelit Combi and will be ordering on Monday... will report back with results.

    For me it was the +ve reviews, small benchtop footprint with the combined grinder, high quality build, and killer price that decided it.

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    Re: Advice needed - Home machine for under $1000

    I have a Lelit combi and love it. Makes great coffee in 5 minutes. Jump onto my profile and hunt down my photos and video if you want to see how it runs.
    PS. If you havent already discoverd, the Nemox and Lelit are the same machine. Its a less commercial Silvia (albeit only slightly so). Differences are 1mm in group size and the steam wand.

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    Re: Advice needed - Home machine for under $1000

    Thanks Lukewarm - Id already seen your video via your Whirlpool link - good work and I think its convinced me that the Lelit is the way to go for this first foray into the world of proper espresso at home.

    All I need now is the iPhone - sick daughter meant no trip to the store on Friday morning, but my wife got one and needless to say I am jealous! Adelaide seems sold out of them at the moment but in the next couple of weeks I hope to get sorted.

    Back to the coffee - how reliable are your espressos? The one in your video looked pretty good. And did the tamper come with the machine or should I be shopping around for a good one to go with the machine?

    Thanks again!

  11. #11
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    Re: Advice needed - Home machine for under $1000

    Quote Originally Posted by 7370776A782B2A190 link=1280558011/9#9 date=1280660916
    Back to the coffee - how reliable are your espressos? *The one in your video looked pretty good. *And did the tamper come with the machine or should I be shopping around for a good one to go with the machine?
    The coffee is pretty reliable as long as you tamp it evenly and consistently. That coffee I made in the video was intended for me to drink in the first place but I ended up filming it anyway - so I didnt pull extra shots to get the perfect shot (excuse the pun). Same for the milk texturing too. It was all done one handed too and at while I was tamping, I was holding the phone upright between my chin and chest, ie. not being able to actually see my tamping.

    The tamper unfortunately is not included - invest in a decent one which will set you back about 60 dollars. I bought my tamper and machine from Jetblack but you can also get one from Talk Coffee in Melbourne or Cuppacoffee in Sydney.
    Any questions let me know. :)

  12. #12
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    Re: Advice needed - Home machine for under $1000

    JamesrSA check out the hardware for sale section there is often some good setups for a lot less than new, and seeing CSs have owned them, they are normally in great nic!!

    worth an investigation.

    otherwise others have said it all.

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    Re: Advice needed - Home machine for under $1000

    Now the fun begins!

    A relatively quick decision was made - the catalyst being a discounted nearly-new Lelit Combi (switches version not push button / pressure gauge) from Den at Cuppacoffee. thanks Den - it arrived safe and sound.

    So a few days in I have had some successes and failures, with the predictable grind coarseness - tamp pressure / evenness experimentation in full swing.

    The highlights have included a few great espressos - creamy smooth and full mouth coating sensation, and lacking that bitterness that I was used to... and semi successful steaming of milk (babychino for my daughter was a hit, as were a couple of lattes on Sunday).

    Theres a lot of work to do to get the extraction speed right (too coarse and it was a < 10 second pour, too fine and after 30 seconds there was barely a few ml in the cup) but now my attention turns to my next bean purchase. First up will be a pack from Rio in Adelaide (its conveniently located, and by most accounts decent quality) before a likely trip to the Coffee Barun one weekend soon.

    Thanks again for the advice - Im sure Ill be back for more, especially when it comes to cleaning & backflushing!

    Cheers,

    James



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