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Thread: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

  1. #1
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    Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    HI CSrs,

    I have finally convinced the wife that a automatic is not an option and now she has left it up to me to make the all important decision on our first "Real" coffee machine.

    I have read too much info and i am now dizzy with information and need some clear facts and experiences to help me out.

    The machines i have looked at are the sunbeam cafe series, Roncillio Silvia, Lelit combo and a few more expensive machines.

    Our main issues is that on weekends we would be making between 2-4 milk coffees so we need a good sized boiler, though we are willing to wait to steam the milk the ability to do both at the same time is obviously a better option. We would prefer a semi auto rather than all manual.

    We are living in Karratha WA at the moment which is 1500kms away from Perth so a try before you buy is out of the question so basically looking for some honest opinions about machines and grinders that fall in our price range ($1500)..including any deals from the sponsors on the left ;) ;)

    Many thanks in advance,

    Rob


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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    Have search of the site Rob. This question has been asked countless times by people with the same budget as you.

    My vote is for a Silvia / Rocky combo.

    I got my Silvia posted (Im in WA too) to me by site sponsor Coffee Parts - quick reliable service that I cant fault. They also stock spare parts should the need arise.

  3. #3
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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    dont muck around buy this, great deal and change for a grinder :)

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1250822178

    shipping might be $50-100?

    the brother in law flyes into karatha but ex-bris.....
    if he was coming ex-syd might have been able to sort some free postage for you right to the door. Hes off to devils creek soon, i think that is into Karatha as well?

    oh and i can vouch for coffeehorse vouching for JDW, not sure if anyone will vouch for me.... I had a laugh ;D

  4. #4
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    Hi Rob, I think a Silvia combo would suit you too, the Sunbeam 6910s are great but sometimes unreliable and need service and its a long way from Karratha to a service agent.
    Silvia is build like a brick sh.....se and parts are readily available from Coffeeparts. It is a very user friendly machine as far as changing the group seal etc go, with good care you should not have any problems and if you do CSers will help you sort them out pretty quickly. Rocky is a very solid reliable grinder and with a couple of simple mods becomes a stepless grinder to boot.
    A Corretto in the garage and some green beans and you will be fully self sufficient in the quality coffee department.
    I had the Silvia/Rocky combo and was totally happy with it--good luck with your choice
    cheers gm :) :)

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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    x2 for Silvia in that price bracket. As your budget allows why not go a little further upmarket on the grinder? A Compak K3 or Macap M5 will help stave up grinder upgraditis in the future even if you go a high end HX machine down the track.

  6. #6
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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    JDW has a great pre-loved Vibiemme DOmobar Piccolo for sale: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1250822178 They are far superior to the Silvia and Johns machine is not much more than a new Silvia. A veritable bargain which may be worth considering if it hasnt already sold.

    x 2 for a better grinder if at all possible. Realistically, I believe that we should all be aiming to head towards the Mazzer/Macap/Compak price bracket for grinder quality.

    Hope that helps...

    2mcm

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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    Thanks for the replies so far, i have been using the search function but due to limited time at work i thought it was advisable to post here and have some experienced people share their opinions :)

    I have been leaning towards miss silvia but not sure about the 300ml boiler size??

    I will have a look at the VBM posted, i have another to throw into the mix with the Nouva Simonelli oscar.. this will also allow plumbing in when i get back to Perth and allows steaming of the milk when doing shots.. does anyone have any experience with this unit??

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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    here is a sponsor and a past post (you may have seen) about oscar

    http://www.lamborghinicaffe.com.au/espresso-machine/oscar.php
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1121420031


    IMO, even better than the VBM as its a HX machine, you then can steam and pour a shot at the same time. that said i dont know of the quality of the oscar? commercial Nouva machines look great but i would check out the pipeing etc inside the "new" oscar it might be plastic? i prefer the copper...... also the new ones have ABS plastic body that also might have problems in the future, Ssteel would be better?

    i have a fully plumbed machine here, a Brugnetti 1grp commercial HX machine and i hope never to go back to non-plumbed. i love the ease of use of plumbed in and the HX steaming ability.

    its frustrating living so far from anywhere...... i have done that too and it can be annoying not being able to jump in the car and go get something you want.... but i am told there is great fishing and lobsters over your way :)


  9. #9
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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    Quote Originally Posted by 6A777A6C7D7568747D6C7776180 link=1252387341/6#6 date=1252399442
    this will also allow plumbing in when i get back to Perth and allows steaming of the milk when doing shots.. does anyone have any experience with this unit?? *
    Hi Robs and welcome,

    A HX will always be more user friendly ;)

    I think its crazy to attempt to plumb a vibration pump machine- regardless of whether a manufacturer stocks a kit or not. If youre planning to plumb, buy a machine with a rotary pump and run it off a tank of water in the meantime. NB that you may need to purchase a water pump to bump the water pressure up for the machine. Some dont mind drawing water from a plakky jerry can, some simply wont..

    With your budget, you may need to look for a restoration project if you want to plumb a machine though....

    Good luck!

    Chris

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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    Thanks Maheel, i have seen the post you mentioned. I answer to your comments, Devil creek is just south of Karratha, the fishing is great, the lobsters are yummy and the weather is fantastic at this time of year.

    Thanks for the info Chris i will keep this in mind, i have read that parts are hard to come by with the Nouvo, does any one have any experience with the nouvo??

    The more i look into it the Silvia or the lelit combo might be the entry i am after as long as i can do at least 2 milk coffees.
    i may be giving you a call soon Chris.

  11. #11
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    Hi RR,

    A 300 ml boiler is no problem for coffee--because running the pump for an espresso automatically re-fills the boiler--and the decent wattage element means the water re-heats pretty fast as well.

    Larger boilers are a bit more temperature stable in dual purpose single boiler machines and the VBM on sale will have a 700 ml boiler and an E-61 group head. (IMO it also out-blings a Silvia.)

    The real difference in boiler size will be in steam power. The boiler does not auto-fill when steaming and this must be done manually to keep the element safely covered with water, and you then wait for re-heat. Run the water too low and repairs are a likely outcome.

    That said, two lattés at a time should be easy on the Silvia, and on my previous VBM I once boiled a litre of water by steaming, just to see if it would do it. That should be enough steamed milk for lots of milk coffees.

    A good grinder (Rocky is fine although better would be better :D), a popcorn maker or corretto and some green beans and youll be in heaven.

    Greg

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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    Has anyone had any experience of the Expobar office semi auto or auto machine??
    I think the ability to brew and steam at the same time will ensure the Wife Appreciation Factor any thoughts??

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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    Quote Originally Posted by 564B46504149544841504B4A240 link=1252387341/11#11 date=1252568287
    Has anyone had any experience of the Expobar office semi auto or auto machine??
    I think the ability to brew and steam at the same time will ensure the Wife Appreciation Factor any thoughts??
    Hi Robs,

    Its pretty good for the price but ships at 12 bar and needs thermosyphon work as it runs hot hot hot. Without a full calibration and thermostability upgrade, its a pig to use. It can be turned onto a nice machine though after the upgrade. We do this on all Office FA & SA machines now....

    Chris

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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    Moving into Expobar territory is going way out of ur budget.

    To keep within ur budget i would go with the VBM picollo that is in the for sale section. The VBM is one of the better single boiler machines and if i had the money i would of bought one of these instead of my silvia.

    I also got the Compak K3 Touch and its a breeze to use. ive got the "upgraded" version with no slack in the burrs and the switch on the right.

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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    This is a nightmare, i keep reading and finding different machines and thinking that this is the one...

    I keep reading about the quirks in steaming milk with the silvia that is putting me off, maybe i am fretting over nothing.... not being able to walk in and try the machine is making this very hard..

    off to youtube and watch a few videous of the silvia being operated.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    Quote Originally Posted by 465B56405159445851405B5A340 link=1252387341/14#14 date=1252583782
    This is a nightmare, i keep reading and finding different machines and thinking that this is the one...

    I keep reading about the quirks in steaming milk with the silvia that is putting me off, maybe i am fretting over nothing.... not being able to walk in and try the machine is making this very hard..
    I feel for you Rob, but in some ways, its better than walking into a shop that has a gazillion machines on the bench with a few duds amongst them.

    At least here youll get some good advice. Alternatively, you could pick up the phone, have a chat with Chris, and learn more in a 10 minute conversation than spending 10 hours surfing the net.

    Dennis (cuppacoffee - Talk Coffees Sydney Agent)


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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    Having a Sunbeam EM6910 on the bench right now, 2 months out of warranty and with water leaking from an unknown location, Id advise a Silvia or better instead! Is the $1500 a set upper limit? Id advise a Silvia and a Mini/M4 or equivalent grinder, but thats stretching the budget.

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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    Quote Originally Posted by 7C51505B415C414C350 link=1252387341/16#16 date=1252634719
    Having a Sunbeam EM6910 on the bench right now
    hey you upgraded :), that will do those BNZs justice

  19. #19
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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    Well im a fan of the em 6910, never had a problem with it and it means you could put more money towards a great grinder, by thats just IMHO, ease of use, easy to clean, parts arent too hard to source, makes great coffee, my wife has never had a problem with it, she hasnt even done the coffee course, brilliant machine in all aspects. Used a silvia once or twice at a friends maybe im biased but i wasnt at all impressed by it, but again some people like fords and others holdens, they may be both perfectly good machines but we all have our preferences.

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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    Finally a decision has been made and hopefully the right one!!! I have bought a Rancillio Silvia and Wega mini instant (K3T) being dispatched this week and i am eagerly awaitng to try out Silvia for the first time.

    Thanks to everyone who gave good advice and honest opinions especially to Chris from Talkcoffee who is supplying the said units.

    I will let you know how i get on..

  21. #21
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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    Congratulations Rob.... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Im sure youll be very happy with the results that this combo can produce in the cup. If possible, attending a reputable Home Barista Course would be a great investment to go along with the hardware. Youll save big time on unnecessary disappointment and frustration.... 8-)

    All the best :)
    Mal.

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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    Well finally its arrived. 8 days after ordering miss silvia she has come across the Nullabor and up to Karratha. All i need to do now is sneak away from work to set her up. No sleep tonight i think... caffine overdose :D

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    Re: Entry machine and grinder for $1500 help!!

    Congrats on what im sure will turn out to be a steamy love affair, there is nothing like dragging yourself out of bed in the morning to have the sweet nectar soon dripping out into your awaiting cup.

    Im not familiar with your grinder so keep us posted on how it performs



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