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Thread: Best combined machine and grinder - midrange $

  1. #1
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    Best combined machine and grinder - midrange $

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all - first-time poster but long-time reader!

    I've just given my folks my Rancilio Silvia & Rocky and am looking to replace this with an espresso machine with an integrated grinder.

    Hoping to get some advice on the best machine out of the following (I will mostly be making macchiatos, piccolos, and lattes):

    1. Lelit Combi with PID ($1249 from JetBlack Espresso)

    2. Isomac Maverick Plus ($1351 from New Coffee Italia)

    3. Ascaso iSteel with Grinder ($1199 from The Beanery)


    Thanks in advance!

    Rubyhill

  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    My vote would be with the Lelit machine every time....

    By far and away the best bang for buck machine around and very well built, easy to work on and easy to get parts for....

    Mal.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    My vote would be with the Lelit machine every time....

    By far and away the best bang for buck machine around and very well built, easy to work on and easy to get parts for....

    Mal.
    Thanks Mal! I guess my follow on question would then be...
    Would you go for the Lelit Combi without PID for $999 or with PID for $1249? I've never had a machine with a PID before... is it worth the extra $250?

    Anybody else have any thoughts on the 3 machines I mentioned at the start of this thread?

    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    G'day rubyhill...

    The PID Controller makes for a much more flexible and responsive machine and once you get a handle on the various coffees you like to drink, you can just 'dial-in' the optimum brew temperature for any particular coffee.

    The other real advantage of the PID Controller, is that it also controls the Boiler when in 'Steam Mode'. Set to about 125 Deg.C, it will ensure that you don't run out of plenty of great Dry Steam in the middle of texturing some milk.

    Whether you think that these advantages are worth the cost, may come down to a demonstration 'in person' if that can be arranged. The Non-PID Controller unit is no slouch either but it does require a bit more finesse in getting the most out of it. This holds true for pretty well any Dual Purpose Single Boiler machine though...

    All the best,
    Mal.

  5. #5
    Senior Member noidle22's Avatar
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    The Breville BES870 is also a good combo machine. Can be picked up for $600-800.

    It uses a thermocoil rather than a boiler so much faster to heat up and switch to steam. Steam won't be as powerful but it's a well designed steam wand and is very easy to make quality microfoam, will just take a bit longer than a boiler machine.

    Obvious downside is the longevity; the Lelit will outlast it.
    However the older model, the BES860, is around 6 years old now and there's plenty out there still going strong.

    I think by the time it breaks down in a serious way you'll be looking to upgrade to a better machine and standalone grinder.
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    Thanks so much Mal and noidle22! Much appreciated.

    I think I'll stick to the Lelit over the Breville, and will fork out for the PID option.
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  7. #7
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    You'll love the PID Lelit mate...

    Great home machine.

    Mal.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rubyhill View Post
    Hi all - first-time poster but long-time reader!

    I've just given my folks my Rancilio Silvia & Rocky and am looking to replace this with an espresso machine with an integrated grinder.

    Hoping to get some advice on the best machine out of the following (I will mostly be making macchiatos, piccolos, and lattes):

    1. Lelit Combi with PID ($1249 from JetBlack Espresso)

    2. Isomac Maverick Plus ($1351 from New Coffee Italia)

    3. Ascaso iSteel with Grinder ($1199 from The Beanery)


    Thanks in advance!

    Rubyhill

    Also keep in mind that options 1 and 3 come from Australian vendors that provide local support, warranty and of course machine supply. Option 2 ships directly from a guy overseas so you will be on your own

    Don't let the ".com.au" domain name and local phone number answered by a call service fool you. I know because we are regularly asked to pick up the pieces by customers who receive a faulty machine and who didn't realise they weren't dealing with an Australian company.

    charlie
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by JetBlack_Espresso View Post
    Also keep in mind that options 1 and 3 come from Australian vendors that provide local support, warranty and of course machine supply. Option 2 ships directly from a guy overseas so you will be on your own

    Don't let the ".com.au" domain name and local phone number answered by a call service fool you. I know because we are regularly asked to pick up the pieces by customers who receive a faulty machine and who didn't realise they weren't dealing with an Australian company.

    charlie

    Thanks Charlie for the heads up... good advice

  10. #10
    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by JetBlack_Espresso View Post
    ...I know because we are regularly asked to pick up the pieces by customers who receive a faulty machine and who didn't realise they weren't dealing with an Australian company.

    charlie
    Us too- and believe me we have picked them up. Literally- and not just once.

    Lelit every time from your shortlist as far as I'm concerned Rubyhill. Charlie will look after you.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Us too- and believe me we have picked them up. Literally- and not just once.

    Lelit every time from your shortlist as far as I'm concerned Rubyhill. Charlie will look after you.

    Thanks so much Talk_Coffee! Appreciate your opinion.
    Another thumbs up for the Lelit makes my decision easy

  12. #12
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    I may be wrong (please correct me) but the thing that turned me off buying a Lelit instead of Silvia is that Lelit does not use a standard size group handle/baskets, unlike my Silvia. So my Silvia naked portafilter will not fit into Lelit and neither will my Synesso double basket.
    I dont understand why Lelit produces a machine with non-standard group handle size, it wont cost them anything to use the industry standard sizes.
    Bizarre.

  13. #13
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    You have a point with the baskets , although I believe some Lelit models have 58mm group? Portafilters are not generally interchangeable between machines anyway, except most E61 groups which should work together, but I understand there are some variations.

    In terms of performance, nothing wrong with the 57mm group, mine is capable of ripper shots.

    Cheers
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    You have a point with the baskets , although I believe some Lelit models have 58mm group? Portafilters are not generally interchangeable between machines anyway, except most E61 groups which should work together, but I understand there are some variations.

    In terms of performance, nothing wrong with the 57mm group, mine is capable of ripper shots.

    Cheers
    thanks.
    So Lelit with 57mm group basket makes a better double espresso than Rancilio Silvia ?
    I am wondering what to buy when my Silvia finally wears out.... Another new Silvia or something else?
    I want reliability and I want a long lasting machine (5-10 years, no issues) which is why I would not consider Breville Double Boiler, even if it makes better double espresso than Silvia.....

  15. #15
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acid_rider View Post
    thanks.
    So Lelit with 57mm group basket makes a better double espresso than Rancilio Silvia ?
    Perhaps not better but just as capable. If your beans and technique is good both are capable of producing a ripper shot.

    Mine (it's a Nemox but same as Lelit essentially) is 8 years old or so and is still going strong, no signs of giving up.

    Lelit also gives option of factory PID if that's what you want.

    Cheers
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    Perhaps not better but just as capable. If your beans and technique is good both are capable of producing a ripper shot.

    Mine (it's a Nemox but same as Lelit essentially) is 8 years old or so and is still going strong, no signs of giving up.

    Lelit also gives option of factory PID if that's what you want.

    Cheers
    thanks, so how much wiil a Lelit with a factory PID improve the double espresso over a Silvia without PID ??
    Let us assume that my "technique" is very good on Silvia, say 7/8 out of 10. Can I get to 9 out of 10 on Lelit with a PID ?

  17. #17
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    You will get much improved consistency as the brew temp will be much more stable and consistent.

    Not required but desirable.

    Cheers

  18. #18
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    Hi
    I have the Lelit PL41 with PID and separate grinder, upgraded from a Gaggia Baby Dosata and Sunbeam grinder.
    Seems to be pretty consistent cup to cup without too much effort once grind is set, Gaggia was a lot more effort. Maybe that could be down to the operator.
    I haven't really used the steam wand much so can't comment on that side of it.

    Cheers



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