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Thread: Mid-range advice. Need some help choosing a replacement machine.

  1. #1
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    Mid-range advice. Need some help choosing a replacement machine.

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Ladies & gents,

    Ive read this forum over the years for help and advice, and am finally posting.

    Im sensitive to the I post once, and you give me all your hard earned advice issues that forums can have, so I hope this is not taken as such.

    Im a coffee lover, but must profess Im not completely equipment-literate. There has been a good espresso machine in my home since I was a little kid (various Rancillio, San Marco, Isomac), and I was taught how to make coffee for my parents long before I could drink it. To this day I make a strong flat-white the very first moment I awake.

    For the last 5 years I have used a 2 group Carimali machine I swapped with a cafe customer whom owed me some money. It sits in the laundry and performs nicely. I have finally accepted though that its an indulgence to have such a beast taking up half the bench-space.



    So here I am, on the verge of selling it (via coffeesnobs i hope) and need to get something in its place. Im hoping I could get some quick make/model advice to research and purchase.

    Basic needs- to make about 5 coffees a day, with occasional entertaining where I would make 6-8 in a row. To produce consistent, reliable coffee. Im comfortable adjusting the grinder to get the coffee right, but am not up to speed with adjusting/managing other settings for internal temps, pressures etc. Looking for something that would be described as compact, well tuned and not finicky to get dialled into the zone.

    So how about I spend $800-$1200 on something that will make me happy. Ill probably look for something secondhand, so happy to research older models. (Also, as I will be selling the Carimali, Ill open up the idea of a swap on the Market Square).

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated and karma sent by express post.

    David



  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2008
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    1,520

    Re: Mid-range advice. Need some help choosing a replacement machine.

    Hi David

    i think you will need another commercial HX to be really happy... after 5 yrs it would be hard to go back to a small boiler machine. I love the power of mine ;)

    your budget will also only buy you something that is similar to your 2grp unless you score a bargain

    consider the "keep the current" option as the risk of swapping into something with extra repair cost is possible...

    tough challenge and choices :)


  3. #3
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    Re: Mid-range advice. Need some help choosing a replacement machine.

    Thanks for the response. I feared that may be the case. (And yes, I do love the power of it, but as I said, it feels like mega-overkill for my needs).

    Im happy to trade sideways, even if it just means I get a smaller footprint and less electricity use.

    Is there any logic/reality in this situation- I sell for $500-$700, (possible?...not to drift the thread), then hunt for a second hand, lower-end Isomac, Bezzera etc around $1200-$1500.

    Or should I be after something more specific?

    Just hoping to line up the options in my head.

    Thanks

  4. #4
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    Re: Mid-range advice. Need some help choosing a replacement machine.

    Hi there David,

    There was a Bezzera BZ07S for sale by a CSer here in the hardware for sale section just before Christmas, I have noticed that it is still unsold and now listed on *that* auction site, ending today, currently sitting around $900. It does look like a fine machine and less than 2 yrs old... What you might lose in raw power you will save in $$ on your electricity bill. That must be a seriously big boiler you are keeping hot in your laundry!

    I just thought I would toss that in the ring... happy hunting! :)

    cheers, Jane

  5. #5
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    Join Date
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    Re: Mid-range advice. Need some help choosing a replacement machine.

    Hello David and welcome to CS.

    a) I believe your pricings are unrealistic if you are looking for small commercial or semi commercial machines that work well straight up new or second hand. Its ok to set a budget but its another to see if you can stick to it if and when something comes up and you need to be careful...because it seems people in these forums get an unrealistic idea of relative values. If you see something and you like it and you WANT it.....you may have to pay the ransom whatever it is and that is the problem with asking people in these forums what they think....what they think in the main and with respect, is only relevant to something they bought once and only once which was available at the time....and in many cases wasnt a proper runner and needed work (in some cases lots of). I am talking proper function machine. While real bargains do come up from time to time, you have to be in the right place at the right time....

    b) I mentioned small commercial and semi commercial because it is what you are used to and they are easier to use than domestics. If you go from your commericial machine to a domestic you will find it strange to get used to with extra steps in the milk coffee making process (ie there is no steam on demand like on a commercial) BUT for your stated use something like a Silvia or a Diadema Perfetta will be just fine and they are in your stated budget.

    c) You stated that you are "....not up to speed with adjusting/managing other settings for internal temps, pressures etc....." Very few are and you shouldnt need to go there if you buy a properly functioning machine...beware of not reading too much into the things you read in these forums.

    d) I have to say with commercial interest firmly stated here, that you couldnt go past one of our Diadema Junior Plus semi commercial machines, brand new with guarantee, for a few dollars more than the top of your stated budget. They are excellent small machines, you will be able to place straight on bench and make best quality espresso for an extended period, not needing fettling or repairing (notwithstanding unforeseen warrantable problems that could arise with anything brand new). If you are not an espresso machine mechanic, dont buy OPs (other peoples) problems* ;)

    Hope that helps.

    Regdz,
    Attilio
    very first CS site sponsor

  6. #6
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    Re: Mid-range advice. Need some help choosing a replacement machine.

    Thanks for the advice, Attilio.

    My budget is certainly flexible, because at the end of the day, Im not going to sacrifice quality (or even too much convenience) just to save a few hundred dollars.

    You make some great points and Ill start looking down this path.

    David

  7. #7
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    Re: Mid-range advice. Need some help choosing a replacement machine.

    Thanks for all the help. I think Ill look into a Diadema Junior Plus or a Expobar Office Leva.



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