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Thread: Any advice on best machine for me..

  1. #1
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    Any advice on best machine for me..

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I'm a newbie here, and a newbie to coffee machines. I've never owned a decent machine. I currently have a Nespresso pod machine (received as a gift) and don't use it much as I don't like the coffee. I am looking for a mid-range up to $1,500 and would really appreciate any advice from the experts. After reading various threads I thought that perhaps the Breville dual boiler would be good, but I'm concerned about its size - I have fairly limited amount of bench space. I've looked everywhere online trying to find out the actual measurements of the machine but can't find them, even on the breville website. Anyone with a BES900 or 920 who could tell me the w x d x h I'd appreciate it.

    I don't drink milk, I never make latte or cappucini except maybe once in a while for friends. I'm a long black drinker, no milk, no sugar.

    Does anyone have any recommendations on a decent machine for me with a reasonable footprint. Brewing coffee and frothing milk at the same time isn't the issue for me. I just want a decent coffee.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

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    Love our Sunbeam EM7000: 29cm x 36cm x 34 cm (H)...have seen them for under $730, way under RRP. Good luck, Ray

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    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    If you're only going to do milk every now and then, I would say that the dual boiler is overkill.
    I would suggest something in the category of the Rancilio Silvia. Dimensions are 235x290x340 mm according to Coffeeparts.

    I'm sure there are others in the single boiler category that would also fit the bill, but I have only had personal experience with the Silvia. It was a great machine for a few years to us and got sold when we upgraded to a dual boiler (we DO drink lattes).

    Brett.

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    I'm extremely new to all this so not sure if I'd call what I'll add as advice more... recently learned opinion?

    Regardless, from what I've been reading around this place and other places, it would seem that your needs could be better served by a good grinder and a Chemex or other pour-over method. Maybe even a hand grinder like the Porlex? A kettle, a scale and freshly roasted and ground beans with these items seems to be the go-to method for black coffee with no additives.

    Others will come along and probably correct that opinion but I've never been shy of offering one regardless of whether or not it was well-informed

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    Thanks for the replies. Ray, I looked at the Sunbeam EM7000 but was a little put off by the number of issues both that model and its predecessor seemed to have. While Sunbeam have excellent support, it appears that you probably need it?
    ThankDog, I spend a fair bit of time in Indonesia where all of my coffee is made via a pour over method - the coffee is ground to a talc type consistency. It is a completely different flavour and way to drink coffee. I also like espresso style coffee which is why I'm looking for a machine.

    Fatboy, while I don't need to do milk and brew at the same time, I thought one of the advantages of a machine like the BES920/900 is that the temperature and flow is well controlled making for a better brew, hence looking at a machine like that. But I am a novice and will stand corrected if I'm on the wrong track. I will check out the Rancilio Silvia

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    I agree that a dual boiler is probably overkill if you have no need to steam milk that often.....DO NOT skimp on the grinder though!

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    I realise I need to start researching grinders! Over to the grinder page I guess

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    Quote Originally Posted by freogirl View Post
    I realise I need to start researching grinders! Over to the grinder page I guess
    I'm not expert but I just bought the Breville Smart grinder based on reviews and it really is great (can also be had for a song on special). I got that for $188nzd down from the rrp of $399!

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    When the Myer website was up last night I saw that the Breville Smart Grinder was $199 and that they were doing the BES920 for $1199 (silver and red only) and the black BES920BS was not available and $200 more. Now the website is down again so I can't confirm that. I was at Myer Karrinyup today and they didn't have either on display.

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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Hi freogirl,

    Welcome to CS!

    The BES900 : H 378mm x W 405 mm x D 377mm
    and the 920 : H 377mm x W 404.5mm x D 372.6mm
    have fun shopping!! ;-D

  11. #11
    Member ThankDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freogirl View Post
    ThankDog, I spend a fair bit of time in Indonesia where all of my coffee is made via a pour over method - the coffee is ground to a talc type consistency.
    Ah, ok, I was led to believe that the Chemex style uses a courser ground than espresso, or Turkish.

    Quote Originally Posted by freogirl View Post
    I also like espresso style coffee which is why I'm looking for a machine.
    Fairy-nuff

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    Well, for your budget (and with espresso drinking habits) something like this Home Espresso Coffee Machine Packages | coffeeparts.com (very first package Silvia + Rocky + stuff) is hard to beat.
    Yes, you really need a decent grinder - and Rocky delivers. I am not sure whether various Breville grinders come close.
    Silvia is a time proven tractor-like reliable coffee machine for espresso drinkers. You can go fancier than that (other Italian machines), but not sure whether it is worth it.

    On other hand, you would not save much by going Breville/Sunbeam way - and would not get any advantage by going DB with your coffee habits.

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    Thanks heaps everyone for the great advice, I really do appreciate it. I know what it's like answering the same old questions for newbies over and over (different forum where I know a bit about the topic) , so thanks for your patience.
    So I've been reading up on the Rancilio Silvia, and it does look like a good way for me to go. What has me fretting now is whether I "need" a PID??? It seems you have to hack the machine to put one on, and without it you have to fiddle around a fair bit to get the temperature right. Is that true?
    Is there anywhere in Australia that sells them with the PID fitted? I'm concerned about voiding the warranty too
    Ive had to rule out the Breville dual boiler, even if I could squeeze it onto my bench there would be nowhere to put a grinder, and I get that the grinder is essential.

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    Junior Member gusteaundarly's Avatar
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    Hi Freogirl. I have been shopping for an espresso machine + grinder around $1.5k for the entire 2013 year. I too had very little bench space, so was also looking for a compact set. I had the Rancilio Silvia on my mind for most part of the year but settled with the Breville dual boiler. I figured the Silvia isn't going to save me much space, and at the end of the day it comes down to what's the best machine for that budget, for me at least that's the BDB. It might have features that you may not need, but they might come in handy when you need them. With the built in PID boiler, you don't need to waste time temp surfing like you do on the Silvia. If you're a picky person like I am, you might start wondering whether you're pulling shots at the right time or right temp, etc.

    If you're still interested in the Silvia, Jetblack sells them with PID installed, comes with warranty. Btw PID'd Silvia cost not much less than the BDB I think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gusteaundarly View Post
    Hi Freogirl. I have been shopping for an espresso machine + grinder around $1.5k for the entire 2013 year. I too had very little bench space, so was also looking for a compact set. I had the Rancilio Silvia on my mind for most part of the year but settled with the Breville dual boiler. I figured the Silvia isn't going to save me much space, and at the end of the day it comes down to what's the best machine for that budget, for me at least that's the BDB. It might have features that you may not need, but they might come in handy when you need them. With the built in PID boiler, you don't need to waste time temp surfing like you do on the Silvia. If you're a picky person like I am, you might start wondering whether you're pulling shots at the right time or right temp, etc.

    If you're still interested in the Silvia, Jetblack sells them with PID installed, comes with warranty. Btw PID'd Silvia cost not much less than the BDB I think.
    Another thing to consider is that the Silvia doesn't have a low water sensor. Over the past 1-2 months of having a new machine and being a noob, I have just realized how useful this feature really is as the low water sensor has kicked in multiple times over the past 1-2 months. Then again if you are more vigilant over tank water then its fine but sometimes early in the morning its easy to forget.

    Although definitely look carefully at the grinder and then work out backwards how much you have left for a machine. As a black drinker, there should be a fair few options out there in the single boiler options besides the Silvia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by freogirl View Post
    Thanks heaps everyone for the great advice, I really do appreciate it. I know what it's like answering the same old questions for newbies over and over (different forum where I know a bit about the topic) , so thanks for your patience.
    So I've been reading up on the Rancilio Silvia, and it does look like a good way for me to go. What has me fretting now is whether I "need" a PID??? It seems you have to hack the machine to put one on, and without it you have to fiddle around a fair bit to get the temperature right. Is that true?
    Is there anywhere in Australia that sells them with the PID fitted? I'm concerned about voiding the warranty too
    Ive had to rule out the Breville dual boiler, even if I could squeeze it onto my bench there would be nowhere to put a grinder, and I get that the grinder is essential.
    You do not need a PID.
    I use one Silvia at work (13 years old, around 20 daily users, was serviced several times). Has no PID.
    Another one at home- bought in 2007 or so , PIDed last year.

    With the right skill - no difference in the shot. PID makes it a bit easier - but not essential.
    Silvia is not without drawbacks. Yes, you need to put water in. I just check every time without thinking.
    And single basket is useless.
    But as a package for espresso in your price range - I am not sure what I would look at.
    And if you decide go Sunbeam/Breville (similar price) - consider factoring in 5 years warranty.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Considered a lever? A mate of mine just picked up a second hand La Pavoni for under 500 and is loving it. Leaves plenty left for a grinder.


    Quote Originally Posted by ThankDog View Post
    I'm extremely new to all this so not sure if I'd call what I'll add as advice more... recently learned opinion?

    Regardless, from what I've been reading around this place and other places, it would seem that your needs could be better served by a good grinder and a Chemex or other pour-over method. Maybe even a hand grinder like the Porlex? A kettle, a scale and freshly roasted and ground beans with these items seems to be the go-to method for black coffee with no additives.

    Others will come along and probably correct that opinion but I've never been shy of offering one regardless of whether or not it was well-informed
    For brewed coffee or as a an alternative to "I can't justify the spend for good espresso", true. Not so much for someone with a want for espresso and the budget leaving her many options.

    I feel like an ass for saying this, but advice is better offered from at least a basic level of practical experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by freogirl View Post
    When the Myer website was up last night I saw that the Breville Smart Grinder was $199 and that they were doing the BES920 for $1199 (silver and red only) and the black BES920BS was not available and $200 more. Now the website is down again so I can't confirm that. I was at Myer Karrinyup today and they didn't have either on display.
    It's in the boxing day catalogue at those prices.

    If you drink long blacks, I'd use an aeropress, depending on how many you drink in a day. Does a great long black style drink, even with the tiny amount of crema.

    The place I bought my silvia for at $499 is no longer selling them, it seems - although you could call them (they still stock a range of other rancilio products). The other option if you want new would be a gaggia classic at around that price too. It's narrower than the silvia.

    The rocky is a nice narrow grinder but has its limitations. I have my Wega K3-rebrand on top of my microwave - it's a touch big.

    If space is at a super premium, I don't think you can go past the Lelit combi - but only if you can't justify the space for something else. I have a friend with one that he loves; but I think that - A, having your beans in a hopper with such heat variations - B, having a non-standard basket size - are compromises too much for me to recommend unless you can't afford the space for anything else.

    The advantage of 58 is that you can experiment with / buy upgrades for commercial style machines, such as the VST baskets etc.

  19. #19
    Member ThankDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    I feel like an ass for saying this, but advice is better offered from at least a basic level of practical experience.
    No, you're right, and I shouldn't have said anything. My enthusiasm and arrogance overshadowed my common sense which was telling me from a deep, dark, recessed place in the back of my mind, "Be quiet, say nothing, observe, learn!" It's a very neglected and overlooked part of my psyche and I apologise for overstepping the boundaries of my extremely limited and very new knowledge and experience

  20. #20
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by viktor View Post
    You do not need a PID.
    I use one Silvia at work (13 years old, around 20 daily users, was serviced several times). Has no PID.
    Another one at home- bought in 2007 or so , PIDed last year.

    With the right skill - no difference in the shot. PID makes it a bit easier - but not essential.
    Silvia is not without drawbacks. Yes, you need to put water in. I just check every time without thinking.
    And single basket is useless.
    But as a package for espresso in your price range - I am not sure what I would look at.
    And if you decide go Sunbeam/Breville (similar price) - consider factoring in 5 years warranty.
    Morning Freogirl,

    I'm with Viktor on this one, if a long black is your drink of choice a standard Silvia (no PID) will do the job admirably, easy to use and just about bullet proof.

    I owned one for almost 10 trouble free years before I decided to upgrade, the person who bought my Silvia is still using it 4 years on.

    Re the Aeropress, if you enjoy a long black the Aeropress wont do it for you, no crema and more like plunger/French press style coffee, a lot like the style, it doesn't suit me.

    Good luck with your choice.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThankDog View Post
    No, you're right, and I shouldn't have said anything. My enthusiasm and arrogance overshadowed my common sense which was telling me from a deep, dark, recessed place in the back of my mind, "Be quiet, say nothing, observe, learn!" It's a very neglected and overlooked part of my psyche and I apologise for overstepping the boundaries of my extremely limited and very new knowledge and experience
    Well said Thankdog, although I doubt apologies are called for, good dog.
    Dragunov21 likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Morning Freogirl,
    Re the Aeropress, if you enjoy a long black the Aeropress wont do it for you, no crema and more like plunger/French press style coffee, a lot like the style, it doesn't suit me.
    You get more crema-like-substance with the metal filters.

    I occasionally drink long blacks (although they're actually americanos) when I decide that I'm cold and want more hot water in my espresso (from a silvia - which I highly recommend) - and to my uneducated mouth, not being a massive long black drinker, the aeropress is ok as a substitute (I drink it first thing before my silvia has warmed up, or when travelling with the porlex grinder).

    Does anyone know where I can get Daterra Opus 1? I need some beans with less caffeine in it.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThankDog View Post
    No, you're right, and I shouldn't have said anything. My enthusiasm and arrogance overshadowed my common sense which was telling me from a deep, dark, recessed place in the back of my mind, "Be quiet, say nothing, observe, learn!" It's a very neglected and overlooked part of my psyche and I apologise for overstepping the boundaries of my extremely limited and very new knowledge and experience
    Chillax, it wasn't a reprimand :$

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    Definitely a lot of Silvia fans here, and for good reason it seems I realised last night that I DO have space for a larger machine by using a different area of my kitchen. So the larger machines are back in consideration. Still doing lots of research.
    I do have another question if anyone can indulge me... I live in Perth. Years ago I bought coffee beans from European Foods which were fresh roasted but I imagine there are other alternatives now. I don't know where to start with what coffee beans to try. Of course I want fresh roasted whole beans only. Can anyone make any recommendations on where to buy, and also some good online resources about what beans as I have no idea which to choose. I've had a look at the 5 senses site. I guess I can just work through the menu, but it would be good to get some advice somewhere.
    And of course everything is closed for another week, so even if I bought a machine today I can't use it for lack of beans!

  25. #25
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    2 other points I'd like to add about the Silvia:
    1 - You don't need to PID or temp surf unless YOU decide to. I never went down that path and I was always happy with the coffee I could produce.
    2 - It has good resale value should you decide to upgrade your machine in the future. Good condition 2nd hand ones can fetch $200-$400 towards your upgrade path.

    As for beans, taste is a very personal and subjective thing. I think you are on the right train of thought with trying a few different beans on offer and finding what you like.
    The main thing with beans is knowing when they were roasted. If a seller won't/can't tell me the roasting date, I'd be reticent in spending my hard earned with them. Many sponsors sell roasted beans as well, but of course postage can be a killer.

    Good luck.

  26. #26
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freogirl View Post
    I live in Perth. Years ago I bought coffee beans from European Foods which were fresh roasted but I imagine there are other alternatives now. I don't know where to start with what coffee beans to try. Of course I want fresh roasted whole beans only. Can anyone make any recommendations on where to buy, and also some good online resources about what beans as I have no idea which to choose. I've had a look at the 5 senses site.
    Look no further (well, you *need* look no further, at least)

    It's worth checking out their "cleanskins". Same concept as wine; you'll get an unlabelled bag of fresh beans at a lower price and I have yet to come across an offering I haven't loved.

  27. #27
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    And, of course, re fresh roasted beans direct to your door.......... Coffee Snobs own Bean Bay ???

    CoffeeSnobs - BeanBay - Roasted Coffee
    Last edited by chokkidog; 28th December 2013 at 04:01 PM.

  28. #28
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Thank dog........ don't for a minute think that this is a forum for experts, real or imagined.
    It's a forum for lovers of coffee, at all levels, to ask for help and information and to exchange ideas, experiences, some facts and a lot of opinions.

    The only qualifications that I am aware of of are:
    1. An interest in or passion for coffee
    2. Respect for fellow members

    Some people seem more willing to set themselves up as self proclaimed experts and bludgeon us all with their discourse while others
    earn the respect of members by their long term participation in the forum, soundness of their input and respect for others.
    (even when they are filling the role of 'lone haranguer', keeping us all honest ;-D )

    The forum caters to all because it is about participation, so, please don't let your unwarranted statements above, (about yourself) give you the idea
    that your participation is not yet wanted or required. Quite the opposite. You learn to swim by getting in the water.

    It is up to Andy and the mods to do any reprimanding, if and when it's called for, it's not up to us as general members.

    We were all beginners once and racking up a large number of posts in a short space of time doesn't necessarily
    qualify anyone as an expert; after all, it's the computer software that awards the tag 'senior member'.

    Keep posting!!

    P.S. Apologies to freogirl for wandering a bit Off Topic.
    TC, Thundergod, Yelta and 7 others like this.

  29. #29
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chokkidog View Post
    Thank dog........ don't for a minute think that this is a forum for experts, real or imagined.
    It's a forum for lovers of coffee, at all levels, to ask for help and information and to exchange ideas, experiences, some facts and a lot of opinions.

    The only qualifications that I am aware of of are:
    1. An interest in or passion for coffee
    2. Respect for fellow members

    Some people seem more willing to set themselves up as self proclaimed experts and bludgeon us all with their discourse while others
    earn the respect of members by their long term participation in the forum, soundness of their input and respect for others.
    (even when they are filling the role of 'lone haranguer', keeping us all honest ;-D )

    The forum caters to all because it is about participation, so, please don't let your unwarranted statements above, (about yourself) give you the idea
    that your participation is not yet wanted or required. Quite the opposite. You learn to swim by getting in the water.

    It is up to Andy and the mods to do any reprimanding, if and when it's called for, it's not up to us as general members.

    We were all beginners once and racking up a large number of posts in a short space of time doesn't necessarily
    qualify anyone as an expert; after all, it's the computer software that awards the tag 'senior member'.

    Keep posting!!

    P.S. Apologies to freogirl for wandering a bit Off Topic.
    Well said Chokkidog, looks like Coffee Snobs is getting to be home to a pack of hounds, I'm surprised we don't have a coffeedog, perhaps even a hotdog.

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    Quote Originally Posted by freogirl View Post
    I'm a newbie here, and a newbie to coffee machines. I've never owned a decent machine. I currently have a Nespresso pod machine (received as a gift) and don't use it much as I don't like the coffee. I am looking for a mid-range up to $1,500 and would really appreciate any advice from the experts. After reading various threads I thought that perhaps the Breville dual boiler would be good, but I'm concerned about its size - I have fairly limited amount of bench space. I've looked everywhere online trying to find out the actual measurements of the machine but can't find them, even on the breville website. Anyone with a BES900 or 920 who could tell me the w x d x h I'd appreciate it.

    I don't drink milk, I never make latte or cappucini except maybe once in a while for friends. I'm a long black drinker, no milk, no sugar.

    Does anyone have any recommendations on a decent machine for me with a reasonable footprint. Brewing coffee and frothing milk at the same time isn't the issue for me. I just want a decent coffee.

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
    Hi freogirl

    Being a very busy silly season for me, I thought I would let a few posts go through before I weighed in here.

    A decent grinder is way more important than the machine at first. Garbage in, garbage out rules supreme. For espressos, particularly black ones (long short or whatever) there is no way to hide poor grinder output. For a mixture of space, quietness, low level of fines, lack of mess, minimal grind retention* and really quick / precise "within espresso grinding range" adjustment the Mahlkonig Vario gen2 wins hands down. About $650 at Grand Central in Bibra Lake: google it. He also does exceptionally good boutique roasting at a reasonable price (although that is subjective: some people think Starcharcoal is coffee).

    minimal grind retention*: Freshly "espresso ground" coffee is oxidised within 15 minutes of air contact. 2g of stale coffee in a 15g VST double basket is an execrable brew in a latte and even worse black. The Vario "gen1" is between 0.2 and 0.5g retained in lab tests. Most grinders retain from 3 to 15g, which is why you see good baristas in a quiet time at their cafes grind / dose out some waste coffee before they fill your basket.


    Quote Originally Posted by freogirl View Post
    Definitely a lot of Silvia fans here, and for good reason it seems I realised last night that I DO have space for a larger machine by using a different area of my kitchen. So the larger machines are back in consideration. Still doing lots of research.
    I do have another question if anyone can indulge me... I live in Perth. Years ago I bought coffee beans from European Foods which were fresh roasted but I imagine there are other alternatives now. I don't know where to start with what coffee beans to try. Of course I want fresh roasted whole beans only. Can anyone make any recommendations on where to buy, and also some good online resources about what beans as I have no idea which to choose. I've had a look at the 5 senses site. I guess I can just work through the menu, but it would be good to get some advice somewhere.
    And of course everything is closed for another week, so even if I bought a machine today I can't use it for lack of beans!
    Research away, it is the only way to learn...

    For your use a Silvia is a good choice at the price. Fiends like me develop their own devious means to "temp surf" it and the result is superb coffee without needing a PID. The downside: if you are a "set & forget" person, 90% chance you will destroy a boiler a year ('bout $500 a pop). Perth repairers are full of them.

    Also, our local water may as well be battery acid: use tap water in any decent machine here and it will break very quickly. Cause: the high temperatures & pressures in an espresso machine seem to bring out the worst of its corrosive properties.

    Beans: Highly subjective. However matching your gear to your beans is a critical part of setting your grinder and machine up properly. Personally, I use Caffissimo W Pth (fresh boutique roasting since the mid '70's) which is not to be confused with the bulk Bonissimo / Caffissimo roasts (bulk roasting). IMO, easily worth a 100km round trip from Rockingham. A nearer (also really close for you), new kid on the block is Grand Central, Bibra Lake: definitely also worth a try. My local (Rockingham) roaster tends to roast too cool for too long and the inside of the beans are overly dessicated for my tastebuds. result: A 22g shot from theirs has lower & less desirable flavour than a 15g from either of the other two. YMMV.

    Hope this helps, PM me if you want more local info.

    TampIt

  31. #31
    Member ThankDog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Most grinders retain from 3 to 15g, which is why you see good baristas in a quiet time at their cafes grind / dose out some waste coffee before they fill your basket.
    Heh, I actually saw someone doing that once and throwing out the grinds and was silently thinking, "Is he insane?" I don't know why I didn't ask him about it as normally I'm very curious and not shy about asking people things. I probably got distracted by something shiny. Regardless, seems like he qualifies as a good barista

  32. #32
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    Thanks Tampit, although much of what you said is like a foreign language to me . I have much to learn.
    I think all the brew houses that roast here in Perth are closed until next year. Passed by Antz in Vic Park today and they are open on the 2nd. I'm assuming Caffissimo will be the same given the location.
    I also need to learn patience.

    And thanks again everyone for your very valued advice and thoughts. It is very much appreciated.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by freogirl View Post
    Thanks Tampit, although much of what you said is like a foreign language to me . I have much to learn.
    I think all the brew houses that roast here in Perth are closed until next year. Passed by Antz in Vic Park today and they are open on the 2nd. I'm assuming Caffissimo will be the same given the location.
    I also need to learn patience.

    And thanks again everyone for your very valued advice and thoughts. It is very much appreciated.
    Hi again freogirl

    Antz is not consistent yet, however it is also up there with the best coffee you can get over the counter in Perth on a good day. You must have taste.

    Reminds me of an old poster I used to have "Lord give me patience, right bloody now".

    Enjoy your NY.

    TampIt

  34. #34
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    Gordon street garage in west perth is open every day that isn't a public holiday o'er Xmas period if you're after some tasty fresh roasting. I know it's getting OTish :P

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    Hi Everyone, just thought I'd update you on my decision. Well, I almost went for the Silvia, but (in typical Librian woman style) changed my mind at the last minute and went for the Breville BES920. I am still deciding on grinders so for now just picked up the Breville smart grinder and it seems to be doing an ok job so far.
    I got the BES920 + grinder for $1214 at Myer (plus another $100 for a 5 year warranty which I thought best do after advice from this forum).
    The free Toby Estate home barista course was not included - that expired on 24th December, but I thought as I am a newbie to making coffee I would pay for it and do it anyway. I found that really helpful and after doing that course am making some really great coffee!
    Another thing that I have found is that because the machine does such great milk, I am actually having milk - and it's not upsetting me like it does when I have it in a cafe.
    I'm really pleased with my coffee machine.
    The grinder is ok. I was expecting to have to put it on the finest setting, but it is actually dialed right back to about 4-5 from the finest (depending on the coffee bean) anything finer than that and the coffee does not flow through at all - I'm getting that nice honey type pour at my current setting, the grind seems pretty consistent and I'm just still playing around with dosing. I've moved to the double basket even when making coffee for one which has helped I think.
    So thanks everyone! I really appreciate all the advice. I'd say the only down-side of this is that I'm a bit sleep deprived haha
    Hildy, Thundergod and okitoki like this.

  36. #36
    Junior Member Kyoto's Avatar
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    This might sound like a silly reply from a NOOP. But since you like the Breville but lack space for the grinder. Why not try the BES870 or BES980 with integrated grinders? I am assuming it's similar quality grinder comparing to the smart grinder?

  37. #37
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    I recommend the Saeco Via Venezia. If you get the "Temperature-Surf" O.K., you can't get a better or more reliable machine for the money.

  38. #38
    Senior Member Arcade's Avatar
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    Well done on the purchase. Now you get to experiment with different beans to really hone in on your favourite flavour!

  39. #39
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    Kyoto, I believe the inbuilt grinder is the same mechanism, but 1. I wanted the option to upgrade to a better grinder, and 2. I wanted the dual boiler. Inbuilt grinder saves space I guess, but you're locked into that grinder

  40. #40
    Junior Member Kyoto's Avatar
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    I see. Well you have made your choice and now it's time to enjoy the result literally !

  41. #41
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    Congrats on your purchase. I was tossing up between the Sylvia and BES920. Got the Sylvia in the end and very happy with it. I'm using a Sunbeam EM0480 grinder but have a Compaq K3P coming. Will be interested to hear which grinder you decide on, and how your coffee making improves as you bed in the machinery. Have fun



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