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Thread: Need opinions on a new machine

  1. #1
    Member themurphs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Need opinions on a new machine

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    HI All,

    My BES860 after 10 years has finally died.
    I thought about fixing it but I see an opportunity to upgrade.

    I have been doing my homework and are probably creating more confusion than answers.

    When it comes down to price I am flexible(<$2500), but the higher I go the harder it will be to get the nod from the missus.
    At higher prices, I would lean towards the european machines. Better quality, more reliable.
    Which probably rules out "the oracle". looks easy to use and to set up, but I see on these post that people have a few issues with them.
    At that price, I am going to want at least another 10 years out of it.

    Hence, the following is the direction I am heading;
    For starters.
    My wife likes the Idea of an inbuilt grinder, a lot cleaner on the kitchen bench.

    Looking at the "Lelit Kate" at jetblackespresso.
    Just have concerns about the grinder and adjustments, it looks like you cannot tell what setting you are on. It just has a picture of grinds amount.
    I would like to hear from any Lelit Kate users if this is a problem.
    Also what is the parts situation like, if something goes wrong down the track, am I going to be able to source parts.
    The rest of it looks pretty good(>$1500-$2000).

    I would even go the Breville dual boiler with the smart grinder at the lower price and put up with the extra mess.
    After having the BES860 for 10 years, I wont rule them out.

    If anyone has another alternative, I am happy to hear your point of view and will do my homework.
    Keep in mind my price range and I wont go second hand.

    Also if someone can recommend places in Melbourne I can visit to inspect a machine.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2018

    Need opinions on a new machine

    Hi buddy.
    I reckon you should take a look at HX (heat exchanger) Machines. $2500 puts you in the running for one so take a look.
    I could never go back to a single boiler machine now after moving up.
    Take a look and watch lots of you tube videos and read read and read more and also search on this forum for so much great reading !
    Best of luck
    Dimal likes this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Melbourne, Vic, Aust.
    Combo machines with built in Grinders don't have a strong following for a number of reasons. If you have issues with the grinder the whole machine is taken out of service while being repaired. Heat from the boiler usually finds its way to the grinder which isn't desirable especially if beans are stored in the hopper. When upgrade/replacement time comes you still need to buy another grinder. Grind quality usually isn't as good as a decent standalone grinder. Resale value on a Combo machine won't be great either I'd imagine.

    Google search "coffee machine buying guide" and you will find a number of these which will run you through each type of machine. Same for "coffee grinder buying guide". Be honest about your usage and requirements so you get what you need rather than what someone wants to sell you.

    My opinion is that most people's dis-satisfaction after upgrading is due to 2 things. The first is that their technique lets them down. You need to have a consistent, repeatable routine which allows you to adjust things like grind, dosage, flushing or heat-up times individually to fine tune your brewing. The second is whether their expectations of the equipment they have bought are realistic. Research the differences between the different types of machines. eg. Single Boiler, Single Boiler with PID, Heat Exchahger (HX), Heat Exchanger with PID, Dual boiler with PID etc. Match these to your requirements, expectations and budget (after prioritising which of these is most important) and you'll probably be more confused than ever!

    I'd suggest first look at a decent grinder like a Compak K3 or Macap M2M minimum ($500 odd). You won't need to upgrade one of these due to grind quality anytime soon.

    In the price range you mention, if your usage isn't high (say 2 coffees at a time rather than 4-6 regularly), don't discount something like an ECM Classika PID or Lelit Victoria PID.

    Decide what type of machine suits your needs. Visit stores to see them in real life and if possible see them in operation. Some stores offer tuition also if you're not confident in you brewing skills.
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 3rd September 2018 at 02:05 PM.
    Dimal, rroodd and Janus like this.

  4. #4
    Member themurphs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Thanks for the excellent feedback James and cafelotta,

    I agree with having seperate grinder and upgrading to Hx or dual boiler.
    Going without both grinder and machine is killing me!

    Right now it is mostly 2 cups, but can see it getting to 4 cups when the kids get to the age of coffee drinking.
    I will research a bit more tonight especially the machines mentioned.
    I do like the ECM.

    I also plan to visit stores.

    Dimal likes this.

  5. #5
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Woodend, New Zealand

    Need opinions on a new machine

    Lelit make some of the best small conical burr grinders in my opinion. After trying many different grinders over the years from small budget Sunbeam and Brevilles to large commercial flat and conical burr grinders I’ve settled on a Lelit small conical burr grinder for use with my espresso machine at home. So I’m sure the grinder in the Lelit Kate will be excellent. By all accounts Lelit also make excellent combi units so if the Lelit Kate ticks all the boxes for you then it’s probably worth serious consideration. Parts and servicing won’t be a problem as there’s local supply in Australia.
    As for the two main issues with a combi machine mentioned above I see it like this:
    1. “If the grinder breaks down you’re without the machine while it gets repaired”. Is this not the same when you have separate units? Sure you’d still have your espresso machine sitting on the bench, but you wouldn’t have a grinder to use with it!! You could buy preground coffee I guess, but I’d prefer to have a plunger or moka pot in the cupboard to cover a scenario like this.

    2. “If you keep coffee in the hopper the heat from the boiler system will wreck the beans”. Yes this is mostly true, but it depends on your personal situation. If you want to load up enough coffee to last a day or two it shouldn’t be an issue as it doesn’t really ruin the coffee, it just makes it age faster. If you want to dump a 500g bag in there and use it over a week or two then a combi machine definitely isn’t for you.

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