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Thread: thinking about a new machine

  1. #1
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    thinking about a new machine

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have had a Breville dual boiler since they came out and had a great run with it and made some great coffee. Now it starting to play up a bit and needs a bit of service work which I will get done but I have been thinking about getting a new, different machine. What machine I don't know yet but I was wondering is it a case of the higher end the machine the better the coffee or is it the beans and operator that make the difference. I would like a Rocket or something similar but they are like $3k plus. Can the home machines match the café commercial machines in coffee?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonym1 View Post
    I have had a Breville dual boiler since they came out and had a great run with it and made some great coffee. Now it starting to play up a bit and needs a bit of service work which I will get done but I have been thinking about getting a new, different machine. What machine I don't know yet but I was wondering is it a case of the higher end the machine the better the coffee or is it the beans and operator that make the difference. I would like a Rocket or something similar but they are like $3k plus. Can the home machines match the café commercial machines in coffee?
    What grinder do you have?

    I ask because if your going to pay for machine repair either way and your using a smart grinder or similar, you may be better off upgrading your grinder (think large conical) and doing some side by side comparisons with your current grinder.

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    I have a Compak K3 touch and a Breville smart grinder. I use the hot water on the machine a fair bit also as we usually drink Americanos or Short black, very rare to use the steam wand for milk I am not that fussed on the K3 as I find it very fiddly to get the grind spot on and to get the dose the same all the time(I should weigh it I suppose) I would like a grinder that doses the same automatically every time

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve82 View Post
    you may be better off upgrading your grinder (think large conical) and doing some side by side comparisons with your current grinder.
    Don't know about opting for a Large Conical, unless you drink mainly black coffee. Once you mix the coffee with milk, you won't be able to tell the difference... Just in case some other CSers read this and think that's what they need to do...


    Mal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Don't know about opting for a Large Conical, unless you drink mainly black coffee. Once you mix the coffee with milk, you won't be able to tell the difference... Just in case some other CSers read this and think that's what they need to do...


    Mal.
    Most of the time I will agree. However as with anything coffee there are many variables, quality of beans used, quality of the roast and the skill of the person making the coffee.

    My experience is that I can tell the difference in a piccolo or double ris flat white and I have tested many other non coffee nuts blind, without telling them anything, who have also remarked non specifically about it being overall more enjoyable depth of flavour.

    And if someone wants to get a large commercial grinder / espresso machine and only make milk drinks, more power to them, go for it I say.

  6. #6
    TOK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve82 View Post
    A) Most of the time I will agree. However as with anything coffee there are many variables, quality of beans used, quality of the roast and the skill of the person making the coffee.
    ......................
    B) And if someone wants to get a large commercial grinder / espresso machine and only make milk drinks, more power to them, go for it I say.
    A) which is exactly why I am 100% with Mal on this one (many variables). In my (considerable coffee industry) experience, most clients cant tell the difference in real, practical terms. Yes they may not be CoffeeSnobs, but it doesnt change the outcome which is that most of them cant tell or dont care if there is a difference, they just want their larteh. And of course there really are plenty of individuals that physiologically do not have the palate (a science in itself).

    B) From where I sit, the problem is that incessant repetitive posting from all and sundry anonymous participants on web based For-Rums (ie now a huge part of the "trust" network), convince buyers that to buy a large conikal is to get a significant / perhaps obviously noticeable increase or difference in the quality of their coffee....which subject to my reply A) directly above, is not really so for the most part,.

    But it is great for businesses that plug away at selling clients whatever they want for the requisite bucks despite it is a total over kill for most, where the reality is that they are buying volume commercial grinders to make their 2 cups of coffee in the morning. Which is ok....as long as they think it tastes better or understand the other side of the coin which I have just gone to great pains to explain (ie...eyes wide open please).

    A great example of all of this given the OP mentioned he has a K3 (not conical but serves the purpose of the discussion) but doesnt like it for a specific reason. Why is it continually mentioned as being a great grinder or "class killer" (my words)? Because it is the same capacity as a Mini Mazzer and Macap M4, for a significantly lower price. So its really the price that makes it such a "great" grinder. What about ease of use, if you happen to be one of these people (me included), that doesnt like the "stepless" adjustment?. The STEPPED M4's are much much more accurate (not to mention the micrometric M4's), BUT......interweb For-Rums have absolutely decimated the market for excellent modern stepped grinders, by saying that stepless is better. A stepped M4 is a way "better" (more accurate, quicker to adjust) grinder than a stepless K3, but costs more and is stepped.....so the K3 is a "better" grinder. QED.

    This begs the question as always....what is the definition of "better", and who is pushing what barrow and for what reason?

    I repeat...eyes wide open please.

    Just my opinion.

    To answer the original question from tonym1 (ie post #1) "thinking about a new machine....I would like a Rocket or something similar but they are like $3k plus. Can the home machines match the café commercial machines in coffee?..."

    Depends entirely on what you are looking for, because there actually is more to a machine than its capability to make a good coffee.

    Answer: yes some can, but what about ease of use and aesthetics (important in the home)? Ease of use takes in important stuff like....when i aplly the group handle to the group, do I push the machine off the bench because it is so light? Is it cramped to use? How is it set up (thermal stability) etc.

    Without going into any more detail, yiou may buy a semi commercial machine to replace your home appliance machine and it may not make coffee any better, but making the coffee Or the whole experience of use of the equipment, may be significantly better.

    I would say, the OP needs to get off the keyboard, and go and get a demo in a bricks and mortar establishment after which he will be clear on the differences and decide if he wants to replace his machine or not.

    Also please note, there are enough great machines in the market place that are not always memntioned in these pages, and owing to the (still) crap internal economy, prices are very very keen. You should be able to pick up a great "budget class" semi commercial for around 2 thou.....a little lower than your stated 3 thou, except if you are set on getting a particular model.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by TOK; 27th January 2015 at 05:39 PM.

  7. #7
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    Very well said TOK...

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    A) which is exactly why I am 100% with Mal on this one (many variables). In my (considerable coffee industry) experience, most clients cant tell the difference in real, practical terms. Yes they may not be CoffeeSnobs, but it doesnt change the outcome which is that most of them cant tell or dont care if there is a difference, they just want their larteh. And of course there really are plenty of individuals that physiologically do not have the palate (a science in itself).

    B) From where I sit, the problem is that incessant repetitive posting from all and sundry anonymous participants on web based For-Rums (ie now a huge part of the "trust" network), convince buyers that to buy a large conikal is to get a significant / perhaps obviously noticeable increase or difference in the quality of their coffee....which subject to my reply A) directly above, is not really so for the most part,.

    But it is great for businesses that plug away at selling clients whatever they want for the requisite bucks despite it is a total over kill for most, where the reality is that they are buying volume commercial grinders to make their 2 cups of coffee in the morning. Which is ok....as long as they think it tastes better or understand the other side of the coin which I have just gone to great pains to explain (ie...eyes wide open please).

    A great example of all of this given the OP mentioned he has a K3 (not conical but serves the purpose of the discussion) but doesnt like it for a specific reason. Why is it continually mentioned as being a great grinder or "class killer" (my words)? Because it is the same capacity as a Mini Mazzer and Macap M4, for a significantly lower price. So its really the price that makes it such a "great" grinder. What about ease of use, if you happen to be one of these people (me included), that doesnt like the "stepless" adjustment?. The STEPPED M4's are much much more accurate (not to mention the micrometric M4's), BUT......interweb For-Rums have absolutely decimated the market for excellent modern stepped grinders, by saying that stepless is better. A stepped M4 is a way "better" (more accurate, quicker to adjust) grinder than a stepless K3, but costs more and is stepped.....so the K3 is a "better" grinder. QED.

    This begs the question as always....what is the definition of "better", and who is pushing what barrow and for what reason?

    I repeat...eyes wide open please.

    Just my opinion.

    To answer the original question from tonym1 (ie post #1) "thinking about a new machine....I would like a Rocket or something similar but they are like $3k plus. Can the home machines match the café commercial machines in coffee?..."

    Depends entirely on what you are looking for, because there actually is more to a machine than its capability to make a good coffee.

    Answer: yes some can, but what about ease of use and aesthetics (important in the home)? Ease of use takes in important stuff like....when i aplly the group handle to the group, do I push the machine off the bench because it is so light? Is it cramped to use? How is it set up (thermal stability) etc.

    Without going into any more detail, yiou may buy a semi commercial machine to replace your home appliance machine and it may not make coffee any better, but making the coffee Or the whole experience of use of the equipment, may be significantly better.

    I would say, the OP needs to get off the keyboard, and go and get a demo in a bricks and mortar establishment after which he will be clear on the differences and decide if he wants to replace his machine or not.

    Also please note, there are enough great machines in the market place that are not always memntioned in these pages, and owing to the (still) crap internal economy, prices are very very keen. You should be able to pick up a great "budget class" semi commercial for around 2 thou.....a little lower than your stated 3 thou, except if you are set on getting a particular model.

    Hope that helps.
    Great post TOK.

    The specialist coffee industry, like the hifi music industry thrives on people who claim to be able to detect miniscule differences, perhaps a few can, however I would wager 99.9% cant.
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    Going back to OP's original question, I think there are few people who would fault the quality of coffee produced by the breville db and it would actually match up quite well against commercial machines in this regard. It is obviously not going to last as long or have the same volume output but it is not designed for this kind of use.

    If you want to upgrade for the coffee quality you could do a lot worse and may end up taking a step back. Other machines also will have a 30 min or so warm up time which discourages me. Granted they look better and are more easily repairable and perhaps longer lasting etc.

    if you want to take your coffee up a level I would get a home roaster and some of the beanbay beans if you havent already.
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  10. #10
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    Breville Dual boiler, unless it's still under warranty those machines aren't really meant to be repaired... just replaced (from my experience).

    As TOK mentioned, best to travel to a place where you can try, practice, taste to find the machine/grinder combo for you.

    I would work out what you want your new machine to do and how it will fit into your lifestyle. There is plenty of shiny 3k+ machines out there from push-button-receive-coffee to a La Marzocco. Everyone has different needs to work in with their lifestyles. Best place to work that out is try them

    Good luck

    KennyM
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonym1 View Post
    I have a Compak K3 touch and a Breville smart grinder. I use the hot water on the machine a fair bit also as we usually drink Americanos or Short black, very rare to use the steam wand for milk I am not that fussed on the K3 as I find it very fiddly to get the grind spot on and to get the dose the same all the time(I should weigh it I suppose) I would like a grinder that doses the same automatically every time
    I had the same 2 grinders and machine side by side for while as well. The K3 is a really solid piece of kit, but its adjustment is its weakness. As TRRR has said the BDB is quite a capable machine in terms of the quality of shot it can produce.

    Where are you located? I for one would be happy to spend a few hours doing some testing. Or someone else might be near by who has a larger more consistent grinder to try out with your BDB. Much better use of this community IMO, than the pages of continuous rhetoric.

    I am guessing you are not interested in hand grinding?

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    Hi - I noticed that you indicated you like to drink Americanos and short blacks - perhaps you should consider a Rancilio Silvia? I have a V.4 that I'm enjoying and although it's a pain (compared to a higher-end machine such as a Rocket, say) to switch to steam, it makes great espresso, sports heavy-duty build quality, has a chunky full-sized group handle and you'll see quite a bit of change if you're throwing down $1K

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    I have a hand grinder( a Porlex tall and a Kyocera) and use it occasionally for my aeropress but not with the BDB. I went to a couple of coffee specialists in Newcastle and Sydney and had demos on different machines across a wide price range before I bought my BDB and thought at the time the BDB was great value for money and still think it is a great machine. My K3 is about 2 years old and has the adjustment underneath the base of the machine which peeves me off somewhat as they now have the knobs on the outside. I wouldn't change it because of that though. Maybe a stepped grinder might be the way to go and keep my BDB once it is repaired.

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    And get a set of scales! Sounds like you are chasing your tail varying grind and dose. I find the k3 grind adjustment no problem but don't use the timer

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonym1 View Post
    What machine I don't know yet but I was wondering is it a case of the higher end the machine the better the coffee or is it the beans and operator that make the difference. I would like a Rocket or something similar but they are like $3k plus.
    Hi Tony,

    Have you considered the possibility that *both* the 'man' and the machine matter? Each are effectively a constraint on the other, but you can just as easily produce a cup of mud on an expensive machine as in Moka pot. I'm curious as to why your first (new) option is to aim for a Rocket or similar (i.e. why do you need to 'jump that high'). If I had my time again, I reckon I'd be pretty happy with a Diadema/VBM/similar entry-level HX machine + M4D, which I'd guess you could pick up for $3200-3400 for the lot. Then again, I don't have any real issues with my K3, and have never used the timing function. Will your coffee taste better? Can't answer that. But you're more likely to have a machine in 5-10 years time rather than a shed filler.
    Cheers
    BOSW.

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    TC
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    I'd go as far as to say that given good beans and skill, it's possible for an expert to make a better coffee on a Breville/Smart grinder than the majority might make with their Rocexpozoccos and >1k grinders. It's also possible to drive down to the shops in a $500 banger.

    Regardless, there is a certain pleasure in having a beautifully manufactured and finished car or espresso machine and I for one know which I'd sooner drive to the local.

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    I will drive my Toyota or walk to the pub, having made a coffee, second to none, on my BDB or with my Little Guy. Both were bought from Site Sponsors.

    Barry
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    Breville will completely repair / refurbish the unit for 350 which includes shipping both ways. I is almost to cheap not to do. According to the CS rep on the phone they may just send out a completely rebuilt 920xl instead of the 900xl I sent them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonhirschman View Post
    Breville will completely repair / refurbish the unit for 350 which includes shipping both ways. I is almost to cheap not to do. According to the CS rep on the phone they may just send out a completely rebuilt 920xl instead of the 900xl I sent them.
    I think it would be 'rather courageous' to generalise from your personal circumstance to Breville's general policy on older machines experiencing a few hiccups

    But who knows, maybe they don't mind running negative margins?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonhirschman View Post
    Breville will completely repair / refurbish the unit for 350 which includes shipping both ways. I is almost to cheap not to do. According to the CS rep on the phone they may just send out a completely rebuilt 920xl instead of the 900xl I sent them.
    I'd like to know where you found out about this. I spoke to Breville on the phone about the many issues with my BDB900 (purchased march 2012) and I was told "its out of warranty. Take it to one of our designated service agents but you will have to pay for any repairs"

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    Also please note, there are enough great machines in the market place that are not always memntioned in these pages, and owing to the (still) crap internal economy, prices are very very keen. You should be able to pick up a great "budget class" semi commercial for around 2 thou.....a little lower than your stated 3 thou, except if you are set on getting a particular model.

    Hope that helps.
    A great post thanks. This last paragraph is a little cryptic, and if you were able to be more forthcoming on the machines you are referring to it would be appreciated.

    I think Breville may well be responsible for a large group of converts to decent home coffee who may now, as their machines predictably start failing in numbers, are all going to be faced with the same dilemmas as the OP. Believe me, all those shiny $2000+ boxes look very similar, and it is not that easy for everybody to even find a 'bricks and mortar' establishment with a decent range of machines on demo, or to receive impartial advice on what to buy next. So ease of use becomes difficult to assess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonhirschman View Post
    Breville will completely repair / refurbish the unit for 350 which includes shipping both ways. I is almost to cheap not to do. According to the CS rep on the phone they may just send out a completely rebuilt 920xl instead of the 900xl I sent them.
    Quote Originally Posted by coolie21 View Post
    I'd like to know where you found out about this. I spoke to Breville on the phone about the many issues with my BDB900 (purchased march 2012) and I was told "its out of warranty. Take it to one of our designated service agents but you will have to pay for any repairs"
    You should note that johnhirschman (welcome to the forum, John!) mentions 900xl and 920xl machines. This means he is in North America not Australia, and his circumstances won't apply here. You probably won't even get close unless you can get Breville to accept an ACL claim.

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    Actually I called to get the name and location in the US where I could get my unit services. They tolde they don't have any authorized repair facilities. That is when they said for any out of warrantee unit there is a fixed price to repair it. And he said it doesn't matter what is wrong with it because they just do a total refurb.



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