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Thread: Picking a machine; need advice (under $1000)

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    Picking a machine; need advice (under $1000)

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey Everyone,

    I'm purchasing my first at home espresso machine and am trying to make a decision (most indecisive person in the world) from what I have researched I have found

    1) Silvia Rancilio M V5 (bit hesitant about this in regards to having to install my own PID control and would not be able to purchase locally)

    2) Sunbeam cafe series EM700

    3) Breville Barista express (bit put off by the dual machine/grinder combo)

    4) Breville the Duo-temp Pro (unsure what the difference between this and barista express apart from the grinder)

    5) Lelit PL41LEM (wouldn't be able to purchase locally)

    6) Lelit PL41TEMD (bit more expensive and again not available locally)

    Any suggestions and why you would recommend would be rally appreciated.

    I would make 2-4 coffees a day and most of the time not more than 2 coffees at the same time.

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    Senior Member WhatEverBeansNecessary's Avatar
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    Hi eitak,
    Before you getting the actual machine a few questions:
    What grinder do you have?
    What types of espresso are you making? Milk or shots?

    Importantly the grinder will be of equal importance to the machine and will often be half the cost of the setup. If you need a grinder as well you may have to either reassess the machines or the budget!
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    Hi Katie,

    Are you in Australia? If you are the Lelit PL41TEMD is available in Australia, I bought one a few months back.

    I could give the standard advice I often see here, just spend a few thousand more and you will get a machine perfect for you I am not qualified to advise but must say I am happy with my Lelit for the money (which is right on your limit).
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhatEverBeansNecessary View Post
    Hi eitak,
    Before you getting the actual machine a few questions:
    What grinder do you have?
    What types of espresso are you making? Milk or shots?

    Importantly the grinder will be of equal importance to the machine and will often be half the cost of the setup. If you need a grinder as well you may have to either reassess the machines or the budget!

    So I haven't bought a grinder yet but have a local coffee shop which stocks coffee machines/grinders so I was going to suss them out (there coffee machines start at 2k though so machines are out of my budget). As far as budget goes the machines I've listed (bar the lelit) are around $700/$800 and I'm happy to spend more on the whole set-up, so that budget is for the cost of the machine.

    I would like to make good espresso but I do fancy a cappuccino with breakfast so needs to be able to do both well

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    Of the appliance ones mentioned I would not get any of them, having used a few of them, the Em7000 is quite good (with a lot of practise will come close to cafe quality), but for not a lot more on sale the Breville Dynamic Duo BES920XL (around or just under $1000 on sale) is a ball park better in flavor and consistency and the grinder is a lot better than the other appliance level grinders, they occasionally dip below $1000 for machine and grinder.

    The Silvia, Lelit and such will potentially last a lot longer especially if you can DIY the maintenance, I just went through the same decision process but was eyeing of the Lelit dual boiler, but with PID and Grinder well over $2000, having now used the Breville a bit I am more than happy with the quality of coffee, my Chef daughter was impressed with the flavour and strength.
    Life span will be the big question mark due to extremely heavy use in our house
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    Have you used the Breville barista express? If so why would you not recommend?

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    Quote Originally Posted by eitak View Post
    Have you used the Breville barista express? If so why would you not recommend?
    No I haven't used it but see below.

    Single thermoblock vs dual boilers, smaller 54 mm portafilter, from memory rear water tank for filling, the 920 can be filled from the front and again from memory the single and double grinder dose were adjusted together not independently (I maybe wrong on this), the single basket is often not a straight 1/2 the double dose IME.
    The single thermoblock was an instant no.

    Sorry about all the edits, doing 2 things at once

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    Quote Originally Posted by geebee666 View Post
    No I haven't used it but see below.

    Single thermoblock vs dual boilers, smaller 54 mm portafilter, from memory rear water tank for filling, the 920 can be filled from the front and again from memory the single and double grinder dose were adjusted together not independently (I maybe wrong on this), the single basket is often not a straight 1/2 the double dose IME.
    The single thermoblock was an instant no.


    Sorry about all the edits, doing 2 things at once
    Thats ok! thanks for replying so quick. I'm a bit of a newb so I was just wondering; in the sunbeam EM7000 theres a twin thermoblock does that mean there would be seperate heating for the milk nd espresso? Similar to the dual boiler

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    Senior Member WhatEverBeansNecessary's Avatar
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    Well if you are after good coffee on a limited ish budget, there are always the simple Levers like the La Pavoni. They retail new for about $1000. They have a lot of draws like once properly 'tuned' can produce amazing espresso shots and drawbacks they can really only do a couple of coffees at a time so entertaining with it is a no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eitak View Post
    Thats ok! thanks for replying so quick. I'm a bit of a newb so I was just wondering; in the sunbeam EM7000 theres a twin thermoblock does that mean there would be seperate heating for the milk nd espresso? Similar to the dual boiler
    Yes that is correct, you can do them both at the same time or pull your shot and then steam your milk without having to wait for the temperature to adjust.

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    Quote Originally Posted by geebee666 View Post
    Yes that is correct, you can do them both at the same time or pull your shot and then steam your milk without having to wait for the temperature to adjust.
    Thank-you, you have been a huge help!

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    Thanks everyone for your tips. After more thorough research online I decided to go with the sunbeam cafe series EM7100 and the brevile smart grinder. I spoke to my partner and we are having for a wedding so decided not to go to crazy. While I would have loved to purchase a dual boiler it just isn't on the cards for us at the moment and I figured the EM7100 was the closest I could get while keeping within a realistic budget. Will post feedback once Ive given it a whirl!
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    Quote Originally Posted by eitak View Post
    Thanks everyone for your tips. After more thorough research online I decided to go with the sunbeam cafe series EM7100 and the brevile smart grinder. I spoke to my partner and we are having for a wedding so decided not to go to crazy. While I would have loved to purchase a dual boiler it just isn't on the cards for us at the moment and I figured the EM7100 was the closest I could get while keeping within a realistic budget. Will post feedback once Ive given it a whirl!
    There's plenty of people on here that started with a Sunbeam or similar machine. With a bit of practice they're capable of producing great coffee so I think you'll be happy with your choice. Just remember to treat it kindly. The only real caveat with the appliance machines is that they don't handle as much abuse as European machines. If you keep it clean and look after it you greatly increase you chances of a long and happy journey with it. Enjoy.
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