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Thread: $1000 budget beginner setup

  1. #1
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    $1000 budget beginner setup

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all,

    I've had a look around the forums and am after a bit of advice about what I should purchase. There was a manual coffee machine in my recent work experience's kitchen that I enjoyed using and it has inspired me to purchase myself a home set-up to hone my skills.

    Looking to spend around $1000 for a machine and grinder. Bench space isn't really an issue, I would like something that is going to have a good resale value should I lose interest.

    I enjoy white coffees and definitely want to be able to improve my poor steaming skills (and even branch into some latte art).

    I've seen a couple machines like the Breville BES920 or the Lelit Combi recommended fairly often, but they feel slightly out of range price wise. Is there any recommendations for a set up cheaper than the machines above? Or should I make the sacrifice to my wallet and take the dive on one of the above machines?

    Beans would probably be sourced from the markets in Adelaide or online. I have no clue where to start on my coffee making adventure, but I figure a good machine should allow me to pick up the basics and progress into some experimentation.

    Thanks in advanced for your help!

  2. #2
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome,

    Having a restricted budget and also wanting good resale value are a couple of things that don't always line up. It sounds to me like you probably want a fairly user friendly set up so I would in this instance usually suggest something like the Sunbeam PU6910 combo. I think it ticks all your boxes, and can be bought for around $550-$600. So it's well under budget, but doesn't have the best resale value. The next option would be the Sunbeam EM7000 and EM5000 (or Breville BCG820 if it's cheaper) combo which I'm pretty sure would package up below $1000 if you bargain a bit at HN or BL. Resale value is slightly better, but still not great.
    If you really want to maximize your potential resale you'll need to look at a reconditioned or ex-demo machine from someone like Jetblack. You'd probably be looking at a Rancilio Silvia V2 and could grab a decent 2nd hand grinder off the sales forum here at CS or maybe a new Breville BCG820 on sale to go with it. It's definitely worth keeping your eyes on the sales forum here as there can be some good deals at times and it's a fair bit safer than running the eBay/Gumtree gauntlet.
    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Senior Member skidquinn's Avatar
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    Hello mate
    Certainly no expert on coffee machines, but I purchased a new Rancilio Silvia almost 8 years ago and it hasn’t missed a beat. I paired it with a Sunbeam EM series grinder (purchased new at the time for about $150 from memory). I think the total outlay was just shy of your budget of $1k.
    About 12 months ago I started becoming a little more interested in producing better coffee which led me to this website. One thing I kept reading, and have now learnt first-hand, was the difference a quality grinder makes. I decided to upgrade my grinder to a (used) Gino Rossi which I picked up through a colleague (accounting/liquidations…… one of the many unfortunate stories of cafés going under…..) The difference in the coffee I produced was remarkable. I’ve seen these around for ~$300 second hand.
    I’ve since upgraded the grinder again, but cannot stress enough the importance a decent grinder makes. I just wish I knew this 8 years ago…..
    I also have a Gaggia Classic which we use solely in our beach house. These are another machine that (with minor changes to milk wand), can produce good results and you can pick up pretty cheap.
    As LeroyC said above, your best bet if you are looking for resale value as well may be a used or ex-demo machine & grinder.
    Best of luck with it.
    Greg

  4. #4
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    I would bypass the appliance gear and be looking for some quality second hand equipment.

    My current setup (a Bezzera BZ99s and a Compak K3P) cost less than $900 - around a third of the cost of new. As for longevity, the Bezzera was over 15 years old when I bought it nearly 3 years ago and hasnt missed a beat.

    My previous Breville BES820 and Sunbeam em480 were toys by comparison.
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  5. #5
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    My opinion is a second hand Rancilio Silvia (can be had for $400-500 easily) and a grinder to match like a Rancilio Rocky, Compak K3 etc. You should get this comfortably for under 1k second hand, then throw in $100 for accessories such as a tamper, milk jugs, cleaning brush etc.

  6. #6
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    I also love my bezzera bz99. Bought second hand from this site for 700. Huge upgrade over my previous silvia v3. Especially for milk based drinks. I have a compak k3p also and reckon its a ripper simple no fuss grinder. You can also pick up many other grindrrs second hand that will last ghe test of time for circa 250 to 300. Happy shopping.

  7. #7
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    All very good advice in the previous posts. Check out this listing that just came up in the for sale section - http://coffeesnobs.com.au/coffee-har...c-zaffiro.html

    Pair that with a decent grinder and you're set. You should be able to get a Compak K3 push for about $490 new, or even less second hand.

    Cheers, Dave

  8. #8
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    Both the Silvia/Rocky combo and the Breville 920 and smart grinder are both great brand new setups that will last you years. As stated above though, don't be afraid to buy second hand. Most of these machines/grinders will last a very long time

  9. #9
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    Thank you all for the warm welcome and great advice. Am I likely to see any disadvantage by going a single boiler over a dual boiler? Do the second hand Silvia's/Bezzeras come up for sale often or should I bite the bullet on the isomac zaffiro already listed (I'm in Adelaide, so that's a plus!)?

    Thanks again.

    Edit: Just realised that the coffee machine @ my work experience was a Profitec Pro 700, I never realised how lucky I was

  10. #10
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmadden91 View Post
    Both the Silvia/Rocky combo and the Breville 920 and smart grinder are both great brand new setups that will last you years. As stated above though, don't be afraid to buy second hand. Most of these machines/grinders will last a very long time
    I agree the Silvia/Rocky combo has the potential to produce good espresso for many years, not so the Breville products, they are not noted for either longevity or reliability.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iMagoo View Post
    Thank you all for the warm welcome and great advice. Am I likely to see any disadvantage by going a single boiler over a dual boiler? Do the second hand Silvia's/Bezzeras come up for sale often or should I bite the bullet on the isomac zaffiro already listed (I'm in Adelaide, so that's a plus!)?

    Thanks again.

    Edit: Just realised that the coffee machine @ my work experience was a Profitec Pro 700, I never realised how lucky I was
    Morning Magoo,

    The Isomac Machine is in a different class again compared to the Silvia or Breville, if is within your budget certainly well worth a look.

    Just remember your going to need a decent grinder as well, perhaps a good s/h Rocky would do the job, you would still be within the $1000 limit.

  12. #12
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    A single boiler will produce basically as good espresso shots as a dual boiler of a similar level of quality, however if you plan to make milk based drinks, there is a level of hassle involved as the steam temperature is much hotter than brew temperature, so there is some delay in time to heat the boiler or cool the boiler temp, depending whether you pull the shot first or steam the milk first.

  13. #13
    kbc
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    Go for a 2nd hand Siliva or Lelit and a Macap M2M grinder. $1000 will get this. Forget sunbeam and Breville

  14. #14
    kbc
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    The Lelit single boiler is a beauty. Same price as a Silvia but better looking and better build IMO.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly404 View Post
    The Lelit single boiler is a beauty. Same price as a Silvia but better looking and better build IMO.
    How do you think they compare to the isomac zaffiro?

  16. #16
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Not in the same class Magoo, the Isomac with E61 group head is a far better machine, unless your referring to thee Lelit Mara which also has an E61 group and priced around $2500, Lelit Mara (PL62)
    jbrewster likes this.

  17. #17
    kbc
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Not in the same class Magoo, the Isomac with E61 group head is a far better machine, unless your referring to thee Lelit Mara which also has an E61 group and priced around $2500, Lelit Mara (PL62)
    Agreed. Completely different class

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pauly404 View Post
    The Lelit single boiler is a beauty. Same price as a Silvia but better looking and better build IMO.
    just a word of caution - Lelit single-boiler does not use industry standard portafiler/basket sizes unlike Silvia.
    This may or may not be important so I just mention it.

    (beats me why Lelit decided to go alone re basket/portafiler sizes, looks like a stupid design to me).

  19. #19
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    Damn, the Isomac sold.. I'll just have to wait for another bargain to come up.

  20. #20
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  21. #21
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    Nah he had it on Gumtree as well, got his number from there, sold last night.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Bad luck, certainly sounded like a good deal.

  23. #23
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    Keep your eyes peeled, bargains pop up regularly here but don't tend to last so be prepared to act quickly.

    Cheers

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by acid_rider View Post
    beats me why Lelit decided to go alone re basket/portafiler sizes, looks like a stupid design to me
    We're all entitled to our opinions of course, but Lelit is far from being alone in not opting to go for the standard 58mm basket...

    Mal.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    The lelit 57mm group doesn't limit its ability to get great shots.

    The only consideration is if you plan to upgrade at some stage to a "normal" 58mm group you could invest earlier in a quality basket/tamper and use it one your next machine.

    Or keep the lelit as a back up!

    Cheers

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by artman View Post
    The lelit 57mm group doesn't limit its ability to get great shots.

    The only consideration is if you plan to upgrade at some stage to a "normal" 58mm group you could invest earlier in a quality basket/tamper and use it one your next machine.

    Or keep the lelit as a back up!

    Cheers
    Exactly. I'm currently using a Lelit 42TEMD while away on holiday and enjoying fantastic coffee with the whole gang (8 coffee drinkers). It's laughable that people will write off a machine based on one criteria - usually this type of statement will come from someone without experience of said machine and usually just regurgitating something written by someone else. Unless you have a specific reason to exclude a machine with a 57mm group head (eg your lucky tamper happens to be some other size) then excluding a machine based on the group head size alone is unnecessarily reducing your short list and possibly excluding the perfect machine for you situation. My situation (for this week at least) was needing a machine that made great coffee, didn't take up too much space and was relatively easy to transport.

    charlie
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  27. #27
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    Alright, I've got a Rancilio Silvia V3 lined up locally for $450, it has the KIT-RSPb PID fitted too which is nice. Now I just need to pick a grinder.. Thinking I might just pick up a Rocky unless someone can suggest a better alternative?

  28. #28
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    good work!

    people dont tend to rate the rocky well compared to say compak k3 or macap m2m. i would go one of these over the rocky.

    cheers
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  29. #29
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iMagoo View Post
    Alright, I've got a Rancilio Silvia V3 lined up locally for $450, it has the KIT-RSPb PID fitted too which is nice. Now I just need to pick a grinder.. Thinking I might just pick up a Rocky unless someone can suggest a better alternative?
    Well....as suggested above, a K3. Or a Macap M2M will do you better in the long run, and you should still come in at about the $1000 mark (less with a K3 I suspect).

  30. #30
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    I'll probably pick up a chrome Macap m2d or chrome Compak K3 touch, can't decide between the 2 though..

  31. #31
    kbc
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    Macap m2m. Believe me, it's a better grinder. It's also prettier IMO.
    sprezzatura likes this.

  32. #32
    kbc
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    Macap m2m in gloss White - looks awesome
    sprezzatura likes this.

  33. #33
    Senior Member sprezzatura's Avatar
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    White looks awesome! I love the chrome though.

  34. #34
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    Personally wasn't a fan of the m2m's look, so I went the k3 touch.

    I ended up blowing the budget out and grabbing a brand new Silvia V5 and chrome Compak K3, with accessories for just over $1500.

    The douche that was selling the second hand Silvia screwed me over, so I just called it and bought a new one to save the stuff around.

    Very keen to start brewing!

  35. #35
    kbc
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    Enjoy !!! Nice setup



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