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Thread: Help please: What to buy $1600 budget

  1. #1
    Junior Member mtooler's Avatar
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    Help please: What to buy $1600 budget

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all,
    I finally talked my better half into letting me get an entry level set up. I am no expert and throw myself at your wise feet and am asking for some help as to machine and grinder combo. I have read and read and read.... Based upon my budget and readings if you would kindly point me in the right combo direction Id be most appreciative of your time.

    For $1600 I can get either:

    Silvia and K3 Touch or Silvia and Mini Mazzer.

    Which is the better coffee maker for milk based coffees (2 shots done at once, 2-3 times a day)?

    Am I making any glaring omissions or missing a decent heat exchange machine narrowly?

    Thanks to anyone who can lend advice.

    Michael

  2. #2
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Does it have to be new? Check out the Hardware for Sale section
    Where are you located? If you are in Sydney, you could pick up a Bezzera BZ99s and a Anfim Best grinder and have $200 left over. Sure they are second hand but they will work just as ell as a new one and you will own a HX rather than single boiler.
    Or, if you are quick, you could snaffle the Rancilio S24 + macap M4 combo. A good buy at $800.
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  3. #3
    Junior Member mtooler's Avatar
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    Thanks for replying, Im in Maitland NSW. Not heard of a Bezzera or Anfirm so will have to internet search them.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Brewster's Avatar
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    Hi Michael, welcome to the forum.
    I am also a Maitland resident.
    After doing some reseach on the internet, you should consider getting an up close look and demo of some machines.
    Locally, newly added site sponser Crema Coffee Garage at Broadmeadow have a reasonable range of machines.
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/sponsors/4...ee-garage.html

    I also found the trip to Sydney is well worth the effort as you will generally find a much larger range of machines.
    Jetblack Espresso
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/sponsors/2...-espresso.html

    and Di Bartoli
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/sponsors/2...ee-centre.html

    would be the closest site sponsers (I think). I have dealt with all three for different purchases.

    Good luck with your purchase.
    Mal
    Last edited by Javaphile; 25th November 2016 at 07:12 AM. Reason: Fix bad link
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  5. #5
    Junior Member mtooler's Avatar
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    Cheers mate, i'll pop down to Broadmeadow too. A few of the sponsors have emailed me too about silvia and mini mazzer combo price which is what Im favouring unless I see something to sway me otherwise. They seem to have consistant positive reviews.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    Help please: What to buy $1600 budget

    What's your usage going to be? 1-2 coffees / or a greater number more often? Lots of milk drinks ?

    Have you seen Lelit with PID?

    Like Brewster mentioned a trip to Jet Black or Di Bartoli. Jet Black may have some ex demo machines that will help you get more machine for your dollar.

    Just a thought but if you need milky drinks *fast* you will probably get better bang for your buck from a second hand HX machine.

  7. #7
    Junior Member mtooler's Avatar
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    Cheers yeah 2 coffees at once, 3 times a day. Rarely 4 drinks I'd think if a friend or two are around.

  8. #8
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    Brewter (Mal); thank you for mention us in the post, yes Mtooler (Michael) we believe that the Rancilio Silvia and Compak K3 will do the job for your budget

    Feel free come to and see us as we have these machines on display and we can discuss your needs!

    Thanks Michael
    Di Bartoli Sales
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Brewster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Di_Bartoli View Post
    Brewter (Mal); thank you for mention us in the post,
    No worries, always happy to promote a business that has given me great service .

  10. #10
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    Forgot to mention, we also have few ex demo in great prices and just launch our Christmas sale that puts few other options within budget
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  11. #11
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    Check the Oscar & the Eureka Mignon, great combo color match, sturdy little Grinder and an HX! All within budget...
    http://dibartoli.com.au/christmas-es...nt-combo-sale/
    And whatever @k_Bean_Coffee said, do your research

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    As you're local, drop in to Di Bartoli and get hands on - they are a top sponsor Let us know what you end up getting.
    Cheers K_Bean_Coffee, hope your Sunday is bright as ours!

  13. #13
    Junior Member mtooler's Avatar
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    Thank you all, the more I research, the harder it gets to be honest, I get why people say its overwhelming. Im ok to spend low $2000s even but each time I read some info it seems there is little consensus. I have a basic gist from all the websites that the vibe is dont get a single boiler if possible. Blowed if I know what to get though. There's the Lelit Pl60T as a dual boiler around there, but it doesnt have a group head etc. will have to come to a shop when school holidays start as Im a teacher.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Brewster's Avatar
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    Hi again Michael. I've sent you a PM.
    Cheers
    Mal
    Last edited by Brewster; 3rd December 2016 at 08:07 AM. Reason: correct name
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtooler View Post
    Thank you all, the more I research, the harder it gets to be honest, I get why people say its overwhelming. Im ok to spend low $2000s even but each time I read some info it seems there is little consensus. I have a basic gist from all the websites that the vibe is dont get a single boiler if possible. Blowed if I know what to get though. There's the Lelit Pl60T as a dual boiler around there, but it doesnt have a group head etc. will have to come to a shop when school holidays start as Im a teacher.
    No group head on the PL60T?

    charlie
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  16. #16
    Senior Member artman's Avatar
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    It can be overwhelming but essentially, once you get into serious territory of $1000+ for a traditional machine, they are all capable of great brews given good technique and ingredients.

    So whether it is a "basic" Lelit/Silvia single boiler or a heat exchange machine, the main differences are convenience and aesthetics to a large extent. The end result will be similar (and blitz most cafes).

    Check out as much as you can in the flesh and see what takes your fancy.

    Also, if you don't mind used, there are many great deals here and a way of getting a higher end machine for your $.

    Cheers
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtooler View Post
    Thank you all, the more I research, the harder it gets to be honest, I get why people say its overwhelming. Im ok to spend low $2000s even but each time I read some info it seems there is little consensus. I have a basic gist from all the websites that the vibe is dont get a single boiler if possible. Blowed if I know what to get though. There's the Lelit Pl60T as a dual boiler around there, but it doesnt have a group head etc. will have to come to a shop when school holidays start as Im a teacher.
    At the moment Duel boilers are fashionable, trust me, there are plenty of single boiler machines that equal or surpass the performance of many duel boiler offerings, and only having a single boiler, are easier and cheaper to maintain and service.

    Why no E61 group head? it's a time tested and proven performer, parts and accessories for them are readily available.

    Plenty of quality single boiler machines around that will produce excellent espresso for many years to come at around the budget you mention.

    The question you need to ask is, what do I want a espresso machine for? do you want an easy to maintain and use machine at a reasonable price, or, am I a machine geek who want to play lab technician and have adjustable parameters to the point of total confusion, if the former an E61 single boiler will suit you perfectly, if you want to play rocket scientist! perhaps not.

    It's all about the coffee.
    Last edited by Yelta; 3rd December 2016 at 11:04 AM.
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  18. #18
    Junior Member mtooler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    I'm sure Michael meant "no E61 group." A machine without a group head would make a bit of a mess
    That's the one, E61.

  19. #19
    Junior Member mtooler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    At the moment Duel boilers are fashionable, trust me, there are plenty of single boiler machines that equal or surpass the performance of many duel boiler offerings, and only having a single boiler, are easier and cheaper to maintain and service.

    Why no E61 group head? it's a time tested and proven performer, parts and accessories for them are readily available.

    Plenty of quality single boiler machines around that will produce excellent espresso for many years to come at around the budget you mention.

    The question you need to ask is, what do I want a espresso machine for? do you want an easy to maintain and use machine at a reasonable price, or, am I a machine geek who want to play lab technician and have adjustable parameters to the point of total confusion, if the former an E61 single boiler will suit you perfectly, if you want to play rocket scientist! perhaps not.

    It's all about the coffee.
    Yeah I think i'll have a few people around, I do State of Origin and bbqs etc round my place so looking at heat exchange now which the earlier posters tipped me off towards.

    Upon my quiet little journey of research Ive gone from BES920 to Gaggia Classic, to Rancilio Silvia, to Lelit PID, to Lelit Dual Boiler and now to a machine like ECM Barista or Vibiemme Junior etc. So Im now looking at $2500 instead of $1500 which is ok with me as I think from what Ive been reading repairs, longevity and build quality will be better around the $2000-$2500 price point. Grinders better than Rocky but cheaper than Mazzer are doing my head in, really hard to see anyone definitively going grinder .... is the best grinder at $500-$600 price point.
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  20. #20
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Admittedly...

    Dual Boiler machines have become fashionable via the auspices of poorly informed self promoted "reviewers" that abound on the internerd. There are benefits to owning and using Dbl Boiler machines but if your preference is for milk based coffees, then any benefits are wiped out and insignificant compared to a decent HX machine, regardless of the Group design....

    In short, if you're a black coffee drinker, then a Dbl Boiler machine may have benefits for you in the cup, if you're a milk coffee drinker though, then stick with a HX machine design....

    Mal.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Admittedly...

    Dual Boiler machines have become fashionable via the auspices of poorly informed self promoted "reviewers" that abound on the internerd. There are benefits to owning and using Dbl Boiler machines but if your preference is for milk based coffees, then any benefits are wiped out and insignificant compared to a decent HX machine, regardless of the Group design....

    In short, if you're a black coffee drinker, then a Dbl Boiler machine may have benefits for you in the cup, if you're a milk coffee drinker though, then stick with a HX machine design....

    Mal.
    if you're a black coffee only drinker, why not just get a single boiler + PID....just saying.

  22. #22
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    Shameless plug. I have a PID Silvia for sale. Have a look at the hardware sale section.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Hx with e61 group head and a k3 grinder would meet your requirements and keep you happy for many years.
    I am in my 7th year of a rocket Giotto premium plus and k3 wbc grinder. No reason to upgrade other than the desire for a faster doserless grinder.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtooler View Post
    will have to come to a shop when school holidays start as Im a teacher.
    Hi Michael

    Di Bartoli now opens 7 days a week till Christmas. Why not booking some time with us next Sunday, come for the day and you can get to play with most machines / grinders mentioned? You can check now the google virtual tour on our home page to know exactly what's on our benches today.
    http://bit.ly/1biRxhF
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  25. #25
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtooler View Post
    is the best grinder at $500-$600 price point.
    Compak and Macap both have a range of grinders with an excellent reputation, I believe Di Bartoli stock both brands.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Compak and Macap both have a range of grinders with an excellent reputation, I believe Di Bartoli stock both brands.
    Thanks Yelta.

    Indeed we do. We also carry full range of Anfim, Quamar & Mazzer

  27. #27
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by symphonie View Post
    if you're a black coffee only drinker, why not just get a single boiler + PID....just saying.
    Because one may want options....

    Mal.
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  28. #28
    Senior Member matth3wh's Avatar
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    Certainly plenty of good HX options.

    The good news for you mtooler is that a lot of sponsors have some decent deals and clearance sales going at the moment.

    Have fun when you finally get a chance to get in store and play with some machines.
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  29. #29
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    Michael

    There are two pieces of advice you need, already given.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Dual Boiler machines have become fashionable via the auspices of poorly informed self promoted "reviewers" that abound on the internerd. There are benefits to owning and using Dbl Boiler machines but if your preference is for milk based coffees, then any benefits are wiped out and insignificant compared to a decent HX machine, regardless of the Group design....

    In short, if you're a black coffee drinker, then a Dbl Boiler machine may have benefits for you in the cup, if you're a milk coffee drinker though, then stick with a HX machine design....
    Quote Originally Posted by Di_Bartoli View Post
    Why not booking some time with us next Sunday, come for the day and you can get to play with most machines / grinders mentioned?
    You want a machine and grinder that:
    1. you like the look of;
    2. that you enjoy using;
    3. that provide consistent results from consistent inputs (so consistently bad from bad inputs and consistently good form good inputs);
    4. that are within your budget/what you are happy to spend.

    Mazzer, Compak, Macap Grinders: all will do the job very well. Differences likely to be more in usability and aesthetics.
    Buy what you like. If you use it, you will get the idea.
    They ALL have pluses and minuses. They will ALL grind well.

    Ultimately, whatever you buy you will learn to use well. Good technique is worth 000s of dollars.
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  30. #30
    Member GunBarista's Avatar
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    Help please: What to buy $1600 budget

    Quote Originally Posted by AlMac View Post
    Michael

    There are two pieces of advice you need, already given.





    You want a machine and grinder that:
    1. you like the look of;
    2. that you enjoy using;
    3. that provide consistent results from consistent inputs (so consistently bad from bad inputs and consistently good form good inputs);
    4. that are within your budget/what you are happy to spend.

    Mazzer, Compak, Macap Grinders: all will do the job very well. Differences likely to be more in usability and aesthetics.
    Buy what you like. If you use it, you will get the idea.
    They ALL have pluses and minuses. They will ALL grind well.

    Ultimately, whatever you buy you will learn to use well. Good technique is worth 000s of dollars.
    This post couldn't be more on point.

    Yes, yes and yes!

    ... and for your budget of $2,500 or so, you just cannot go wrong!

    The only wrong will be from your skills; therefore I suggest training. You're never too good or too bad for training.
    I've worked as a head barista for many years, owned my own cafe business and I still book in for training every six months or so.
    Sometimes I learn something new, sometimes I don't, but all the time I'm reminded and reconfirmed of what I'm doing correctly or incorrectly.
    ...Even the best athletes have coaches so why shouldn't you.

    I hear that Di Bartoli in Bondi Junction also offers free training with every machine purchase.
    You should really check that out.
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  31. #31
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    Help please: What to buy $1600 budget

    Quote Originally Posted by GunBarista View Post

    I hear that Di Bartoli in Bondi Junction also offers free training with every machine purchase.
    You should really check that out.
    Thank you GunBarista and AlMac

    That is why we love so much what we do, Michael. Not only that we get to help you with the choice of your gear but we also get to spend at least another hour with you to take you through all the basics of coffee making, using your own machine and grinder, also covering cleaning and maintenance. Armed with that knowledge, the right gear, fresh beans and all accessories, nothing is left but for you starting to play at home.

    So things may seem somewhat overwhelming at the moment, but I can assure you that moving you from confusion to clarity is what we do best

    I've sent you a PM
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  32. #32
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    Thanks for the correspondence Michael.

    Whatever your choice might be eventually, I'd strongly suggest to choose a coffee snob sponsor to do the right thing by you.

    These businesses go above and beyond to support the community in everything you need in your journey from equipment testing, warranty repairs, coffee making training, water filtration advice and ongoing support.

    We are here to serve the community and to spread the home barista message wide and far. And we do that with passion for coffee and love for people's education and evolution in their home experiences. Much before the love for the dollar.

    I hope you give yourself the opportunity to engage fully with any one of us and enjoy the same joy and progress many coffee snobs have experienced at home.

    Good luck
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    So well put..... and so true. Thanks for writing the above on behalf of all of us sponsors. Brilliant !! Cheers, Paul
    My pleasure, Paul

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtooler View Post
    That's the one, E61.
    The group head on the Lelit PL60T isn't E61 as you've noted. But this results in faster heat up time (10min versus 30+), lower maintenance costs and excellent temperature stability because it's actually part of the brew boiler. The E61 group head has built in pre-infusion but the benefit of this is harder to quantify. Unless you want an E61 "just because", the PL60T is worth having a look at,

    charlie
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  35. #35
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    In addition to Charlie's comments above...

    Due to the Group being directly coupled to the Brew Boiler, brew water temperature is very, very stable indeed. It's what I particularly enjoyed with a similar older machine I used to own...

    Mal.
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  36. #36
    Junior Member mtooler's Avatar
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    This has been a great read through and after pms with a few sponsors and coffee snobbers upping my spend is the best bet for me to a decent heat exchange machine. I'll do a home barista course for sure.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtooler View Post
    This has been a great read through and after pms with a few sponsors and coffee snobbers upping my spend is the best bet for me to a decent heat exchange machine. I'll do a home barista course for sure.
    Fantastic!

    The good news is, Michael, that you can get one for free while buying your gear from us! So if you drive down here, make sure you book your training in advance and kill 2 birds in one stroke..

    Happy Holidays
    Ofra
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  38. #38
    Senior Member Brewster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtooler View Post
    This has been a great read through and after pms with a few sponsors and coffee snobbers upping my spend is the best bet for me to a decent heat exchange machine. I'll do a home barista course for sure.
    Good to see you are including a basic barista course.
    It's not rocket science, but understanding the basics will save a mountain of frustration and put you on the right path to fantastic coffees.
    Also makes it much, much easier to justify the $$$ when you're pumping out great coffee

    Mal



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