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Thread: Time to upgrade

  1. #1
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    Time to upgrade

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi guys, Ill start by saying Im new here, but an old hat at caffeine addiction.

    My story is this: Ive had my DeLonghi espresso machine for 7 years. I used to buy preground beans, but developed taste and went for fresher whole beans. I bought a cheapo blade grinder from Bodum but it didnt cut the beans fine enough for an excellent coffee. Stupidly I started to use a french press for my fix and my machine has been dormant for some time.

    I really want to get back into nice espresso and latte/capuchinos. I have decided to get a good grinding mill and either a new espresso machine or descale my current one. Im not sure on the model of the machine but its a simple manual one. It can really only manage one cup before the boiler starts to struggle.

    I have a budget of about $400 for the grinder, and $700 for an espresso machine.
    I generally only make one coffee, but sometimes need to be able to make about 5 at once (this includes milk frothing). I want something that heats up fast as I am always late for work :P

    anyway Im not entirely sure about any brands at all and Ive got a lot of reading here to do.

    Do you guys think I should stick with the DeLonghi and just get a grinder or upgrade the whole kit?

  2. #2
    Senior Member shapeshifter's Avatar
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    Re: Time to upgrade

    giggled like a schoolgirl I dont think anyone will say stick with the DeLonghi :D

    Where are you? Then people could direct you to places you can go and try out machines and grinders.

  3. #3
    Senior Member SniffCoffee's Avatar
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    Re: Time to upgrade

    Hi Blatant,

    Best bet would be to look in the for sale section in CoffeeSnobs.

    For example, you could get the BZ09 thats listed there and the Sunbeam grinder thats listed separately* for a combined total of $1320, not much above your budget.

    The BZ09 would satisfy your needs easily.* Its just ugly! Stick it on a timer though and itll be ready to go when you get up in the morning.

    The sunbeam grinder would be a good start.* Or, you could go for a new Breville Smart grinder from a sponsor.

    Or like shapeshifter says, check out a sponsor.* For a up to 5 drinks at once, including milk, youd be looking at a HX machine.

    Regards

    Sniff

  4. #4
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    Re: Time to upgrade

    well the De Longhi has done its job so far hah
    Im in melbourne, and the only local places are harvey normans etc. other than that it would have to be online ordering.

    Ive been reading a bit about the sunbeams and their chief rivals.. Whats an HX machine mean? and for 5 cups on rare occasion but 1 at a time for everyday, 1 or 2 boilers? Im really lost here guys.
    thanks for the help

  5. #5
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    Re: Time to upgrade

    Aldi has a cheap burr grinder for about $30 this week, but would recommend the breville smart grinder.
    a good grinder will make a big difference to your quality of coffee, make sure you use single wall baskets with your DeLonghi espresso.

    I would revive your machine and see how good it can be, at least you will learn more and can always sell it and upgrade later.



  6. #6
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    Re: Time to upgrade

    Im sorry but whats a single wall basket?
    for the record I found my invoice, its an EC410B

  7. #7
    Senior Member SniffCoffee's Avatar
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    Re: Time to upgrade

    Okay...

    1)* HX means a heat exchange machine.* It has a single boiler that is heated to a pressure that allows for good steam.* The brew water is heated by being pumped through a pipe in the boiler (where the heat is exchanged from the steam) to the right temp for brewing a lovely espresso.* The advantage of this is that you always have plenty of steam power, because the boiler is always heated to the right temperature for steam.* However, HX machines if left unused or idle for a while heat up the brew water in the pipe too high, so a cooling flush is needed (where you run the machine for a few seconds until the too hot water is cleared from the brewing path)

    2) another option is a single boiler system (eg Rancilio Silvia, Lelit).* Here, a single boiler is first heated to the right temperature to brew the espresso.* Then, the boiler is reheated to a higher temperature so that it produces sufficient steam for your milk.* If you want to make more than two shots, the boiler then has to cool back down to the right temp.* If your Delonghi has a boiler, then you are probably used to making the shot first, then steaming the milk.

    With a HX machine, you can just keep pumping water through the tube in the boiler and keep making shots.

    HX machines cost more than single boiler machines. Dual Boiler machines have a dedicated boiler (set to one temp) for making steam, and another (set to another temp) for making the brew. Dual boilers cost more than HX machines, although Breville is set to release a dual boiler machine in the next couple of months which is considerably less than other dual boiler machines and less than most Italian HX machines.

    3)* many domestic bulk brands (Sunbeam, Breville), used a pressurised (or double walled) filter basket to help extract lots of crema from the stale ground coffee you get from supermarkets.* The double wall means that water passes through the first layer at the bottom of the basket through many holes, but then is forced through a single hole in the lower wall of the basket - the pressure is increased so that it forces the coffee to produce crema.

    Coffeesnobs often modify their domestic machine by using a single walled filter basket, so that the water passes through the coffee and then down through lots of holes in the bottom of the filter basket then into the cup.* With freshly ground coffee, this produces a much nicer flavoured coffee.

    Have a search of the site for some of the terms above and youll learn lots, but above is the basic idea.

    Cheers

    Sniff

  8. #8
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    Re: Time to upgrade

    thanks for all that info - really easy to understand.
    Im guessing some boilers recover faster than others? perhaps I could get away with that as like i said, its once in a blue moon that Ill be making more than 1.

    Im fairly sure the delonghi uses double walls. theres a mesh grille, and a plastic plate under it with one hole.

    I quite like the idea of HX being a good middle between single and double though.

    do the big electronic stores sell all those brands? I might use the public holiday tomorrow to go investigating.

  9. #9
    Senior Member SniffCoffee's Avatar
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    Re: Time to upgrade

    HX machines are generally not sold by the big stores - but you could check out some local sponsors.

    Talk Coffee & 9bar are in Melbourne and both have good websites showing the machine bling they have for sale.


  10. #10
    TC
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    Re: Time to upgrade

    Hi Blatant,

    I think you will struggle to get anything good and HX within budget. This http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1307237234 and the BZ09 are both good value.

    In new, you might look to a SIlvia or Lelit PL041 or perhaps even our Combi offer http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1163933911/7#7

    I wouldnt recommend a Sunbeam grinder with any HX machine and for a new owner, would be suggesting you start your looking at Compak K3T.

    What might be a good idea would be to source a Compak or similar grinder and then wait for a little while until you can afford the right machine for you.

    Cheers

    Chris

  11. #11
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    Re: Time to upgrade

    the kt3 is a little over my budget.

  12. #12
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    Re: Time to upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by 557B7663767963170 link=1307867619/10#10 date=1307934413
    the kt3 is a little over my budget.
    You could pair a K3T with great, freshly roasted coffee and your press or an aeropress and hold off on the machine. With a lot of the low end stuff its a case of save on the ginder, lose in the cup. If it absolutely has to be under $400, the Breville Smart grinder is my pick.

  13. #13
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    Re: Time to upgrade

    Hi Blatant

    I would second those suggestions for a Compak K3 Touch. A good grinder is more important than a good espresso machine and the K3 is streets ahead of a Sunbeam. Buy the grinder and try it with the DeLonghi. Get fresh beans and carefully adjust the grind so that a single shot takes around 25 seconds to produce 35-40ml of coffee. With clean espresso equipment and some temperature surfing you should get good results !

  14. #14
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    Re: Time to upgrade

    Quote Originally Posted by 464A5756414A220 link=1307867619/12#12 date=1308306641
    adjust the grind so that a single shot takes around 25 seconds to produce 35-40ml of coffee.
    Errr, no. 25-30mL from a single shot.

  15. #15
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    Re: Time to upgrade

    I stand corrected. Was thinking of my morning 12g cup...

  16. #16
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    Re: Time to upgrade

    Im also in Melbourne going through a similar process and looking at an Ascosa i mini for around $270, Iberital Challenge for around $340 or the Breville Smart Grinder for around $300. The shims problem is putting me off the latter.



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