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Thread: The old “What machines?” question.

  1. #1
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    The old “What machines?” question.

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi,
    I’ve spent many hours over the last couple of weeks looking through the posts on Coffeesnobs trying to work out what to upgrade to. There is a lot of discussion about the Silvia and Rocky but I am not sure whether these are the right machines for me. My big concern is getting a machine and grinder that can produce a great coffee with minimal fuss in the mornings before I go to work. On the weekends I’m happy to fiddle about and experiment to get things perfect but during the week I want to create something very good quickly. If anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated.

    Background info;

    I want great espresso.
    I wouldn’t go out of my way to get a coffee from an average café; I am not a fan of coffee flavoured milk. I would however gladly go out of my way to have an espresso from Espresso Garage at Southbank, and the Copper Lounge at West End. I don’t mind if the machine only does espresso and not milk.

    Complexity
    I don’t mind spending the time learning how to make a good espresso. I’m looking forward to learning how to create a great espresso and perfecting the skill over the next few years. However when I want to make an espresso on a work day I want to be able to do a pretty good shot pretty quickly, once the machine is heated. (Am I asking too much to be able to get a great shot with minimal fuss in the morning?)

    Budget
    Flexible. Started off thinking $750 for a machine and $750 for a grinder, but I can stretch to $2000 in total, maybe. If I can get exactly what I want I could possibly spend a tad more.

    Thanks,
    Scott

  2. #2
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    Re: The old “What machines?” question.

    Hello Scottt!

    Im not sure if the Silvia and Rocky are right for you if you are chasing good results quickly. If you are willing to spend more $ you can get a more "forgiving" machine, such as something with an E61 group.

    As for the grinder, I would definately go straight to a Mazzer/Macap if you can afford it. The Rocky is a very capable little grinder, but stepping up will still make a big difference. I went from a Rocky to a Mazzer Super Jolly and was amazed by the difference.

    The Sunbeam EM6910 is great value for money, and because of its ability to steam milk and extract espresso at the same time its a real time saver in the mornings before work! Perhaps a good machine to start off on?

    Hope this helps!
    Ben.

  3. #3
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: The old “What machines?” question.

    Welcome Scott

    Well youve done the research. Given the desire for a great espresso with not a huge steamed milk requirement I would stretch the budget to a VBM Domobar Piccolo.

    Some sponsors might consider a package deal for, say, a VBM Domobar Piccolo + Compak K3 Touch in the vicinity of $2000. They make a nice matching pair. I also think that the last thing you said is good advice in this situation.

    The best advice is to visit a sponsor and have a look yourself. They may have a better suggestion about matching your requirements to the best combo.


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    Re: The old “What machines?” question.

    Id have to agree that for a total of $1400 max, its hard to beat the Sunbeam 6910 for that fast morning cuppa, paired with the Mini Mazzer. The Sunbeam will give you the gentlest, foolproof intro to high-quality coffee and the Mazzer will be a grinder to last you for years of great service. Wish I had one .....

  5. #5
    A_M
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    Re: The old “What machines?” question.

    AS a 6910 owner I am happy...

    However if your passion is NON milk based drinks.... And you want some ability to tweak and fine tune....

    Then there while are many options. Your Grinder budget is OK, but the machine budget could be lacking...


    I would e-mail the Sponsors with your Functionality specs and you never know... One may be able to match a good grinder with a special or a pre loved unit...

    There were some shop / demos going quite cheep at around $1.5K but with a grinder included ... Who knows what could be offered...

    It could still come in around the Top end $2K limit....


  6. #6
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: The old “What machines?” question.

    Hi Scott, some great advice above, Ive just moved up to an HX machine with the E61 group from a Silvia, I was able to produce some great shots on Silvia but she was a little inconsistent, since using the E61 my shots have been very consistent, even if dosing or tamp isnt quite spot on she is pretty forgiving. If you can stretch your budget to a single boiler with E61 group or an HX go for it, it will save you upgraditis down the track, match it with a Mazzer or Macap grinder and youll turning out amazing espresso in no time.

  7. #7
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    Re: The old “What machines?” question.

    Thanks for all the advice guys. I am pretty sure I will go for something with an E61 group, so now it’s back to the posts to learn a bit more. (I can see this getting a little expensive! Anyone need their lawn mowed?)

    I will let you know what I end up with.

    Thanks again,
    Scott

  8. #8
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: The old “What machines?” question.

    Scott
    At this stage a Bezzera Galatea is still for sale on CS
    The best bang for your buck and within your 2K budget

    Take it form me an owner of the same machine
    you wont regret owning this little beauty.

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1230976098

    KK

  9. #9
    Gra
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    Re: The old “What machines?” question.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4A405542424D595F2C0 link=1232771497/2#2 date=1232773920
    Well youve done the research. Given the desire for a great espresso with not a huge steamed milk requirement I would stretch the budget to a VBM Domobar Piccolo.

    Some sponsors might consider a package deal for, say, a VBM Domobar Piccolo + Compak K3 Touch in the vicinity of $2000. They make a nice matching pair. I also think that the last thing you said is good advice in this situation.
    Hi Scott and welcome

    Im with Flynn RE VBM & K3 Touch this my setup great coffee for around the 2K mark.

    Cheers Gra..


  10. #10
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: The old “What machines?” question.

    The E61 machines (I have the VBM Piccolo) are very fuss-free, with the exception of warm-up time. But all machines need a good warm-up to perform well. This can be accomplished with a timer so they are ready in the morning for you.

    Once my machine is warm, an espresso is only about 90 seconds away, and its now been months since I had a bad one.

    Good luck on your search.

    Greg

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    Re: The old “What machines?” question.

    Ditto .... Ditto .... Ditto

    What Greg ,Flynn, & Gra said

    Having owned the little VBM Piccolo for just over 2 weeks plus the addition of a grinder and precision tamper, Im now getting the espresso shots that I was chasing when I started this journey into the world of quality espresso.

    90% of our drinks are espresso and the VBM piccolo performs this task brilliantly..... plus can steam milk when required... not that often.

    The 2 other competitors in this cat are Isomac Zaffiro and the Diadema Perfetta, all seem to have the same specs , so it would be personal choice and budget ....

    thats my 2 cents worth after doing exactly this 3 weeks ago

    Bono

  12. #12
    TC
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    Re: The old “What machines?” question.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5552494E5552593D0 link=1232771497/10#10 date=1233020048
    Ditto .... Ditto .... Ditto

    What *Greg ,Flynn, & Gra said

    Having owned the little VBM Piccolo *for just over 2 weeks plus the addition of a grinder and precision tamper, Im now getting the espresso shots that I was chasing when I started this journey into the world of quality espresso.

    90% of our drinks are espresso and the VBM *piccolo performs this task brilliantly..... plus can steam milk when required... not that often.

    The 2 other competitors in this cat *are Isomac Zaffiro and the Diadema Perfetta, all seem to have the same specs , so it would be personal choice and budget ....

    thats my 2 cents worth after doing exactly this 3 weeks ago

    Bono
    Just to clarify, the specs are not quite the same. The VBM machine is temp tweakable via the boiler rheostat. In my experience, it needs this as there is a fair amount of variation out of the box. Element replacement is a tad fiddly as the boiler needs to be removed- a 60-90 minute job.

    The Diadema machine has dual thermostats on the boiler which in theory would lead to a Silvia style deadband. In the real world, thats not the case and the Diadema is a terrific little machine. It also has the best steam wand in class and leads in build quality. Element replacement is a 15 minute task should a failure occur.

    I am yet to have a hands on with the Isomac, so cant offer an opinion on it but Renzo should be able to provide the specifics.

    2mcm

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    Re: The old “What machines?” question.

    Quote Originally Posted by 72716071716072010 link=1232771497/0#0 date=1232771497
    when I want to make an espresso on a work day I want to be able to do a pretty good shot pretty quickly, once the machine is heated. (Am I asking too much to be able to get a great shot with minimal fuss in the morning?)
    Will you run the machine constantly or off a timer to heat up before you wake? A HX machine needs a decent warmup period. If you just want to be able to turn on the machine and be able to pull a shot inside 10 minutes, then the Sunbeam EM6910 or a domestic Gaggia (Cubika excluded) would be the best bet.

    Yes the EM6910 will allow steaming while pulling a shot but Gaggias have a VERY fasy cycle time between brew and steam mode so either is suitable on this criteria (and both will pull great shots with care).



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