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Thread: Any worthy competitors to the Breville BES920?

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    Any worthy competitors to the Breville BES920?

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

    A year ago I started the coffee venture and started very basic- just the Breville smart grinder with a Moccamaster machine. This time I would like to go for an espresso machine. I would ideally like a double boiler, but open to alternatives (and if someone could explain to the pros and cons to the DB vs a HX, that would be great as I am still a novice).

    I wouldn't mind going a few hundred extra than the BES920 if necessary- but still need the budget under probably 1200- I know this restricts me. I'm also looking at the new Mignon Silenzio grinder- can someone tell me whether there is a criteria that needs to be met for "matching" a grinder to a machine? Anything to avoid etc?

    Thanks for the advice!

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    I have HAd my silenzio for a week now. Compared to a smart grinder you will really notice the difference in noise levels! It is wonderful for single dosing (been single dosing monsoon malabar all week)and Retention is small for a grinder in this price point (2 grams or less)

    if if I had my time again and I was set on buying an “appliance” espresso machine I would’ve gone the 920 instead of the oracle (grinder in my oracle is stuffed and it’s 10 months old hence why I’ve bought the silenzio)
    Last edited by Hughie; 29th October 2018 at 10:51 PM.

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    Thanks Hughie. Maybe I'm not finding all of the options but it's a bit of a surprise that from a price point, there seems to be a big jump from the 870/920 to other non Breville models? I have read that the oracle have reliability issues and I haven't seen a huge number of complaints about the 920 but nevertheless I do care about durability hence why I'm also looking at the silivia

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    Hi Coffeechick, if you are looking at the Silvia probably worth comparing the Lelit PL41TEMD also a single boiler but has a PID (stabilises the temp). There is also a non PID version. Similar pricepoint and capabilities to the Silvia and there is a comparison thread or two on this forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 338 View Post
    Hi Coffeechick, if you are looking at the Silvia probably worth comparing the Lelit PL41TEMD also a single boiler but has a PID (stabilises the temp). There is also a non PID version. Similar pricepoint and capabilities to the Silvia and there is a comparison thread or two on this forum.
    Thanks so much for the advice I'll look into the lelit. Are there any massive disadvantages to a single boiler if I'm just using it for home use?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeChick6462 View Post
    Thanks so much for the advice I'll look into the lelit. Are there any massive disadvantages to a single boiler if I'm just using it for home use?
    My perception of the disadvantage of a single boiler is the learning curve, particularly if you want to drink or make milky coffees. Very doable, but not as straightforward as the Breville.

    When I upgraded from my BES900 the key criteria I was looking for was that other family members would be able to use the machine easily, (ie just like the Breville), without having to remember which order to push the buttons, and without worrying that one of them would leave an empty boiler on heat or something...

    an HX machine would take away that worry somewhat but be a bit more expensive.

    Having said that the BES900 served me well for 3 years and I understand the BES920 is a much better machine.

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    If people had to choose between these two options, what would you go with and why?

    Breville dual boiler with baratza sette 270wi /mignon silenzio or an Oscar II with rancilio Rocky?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeChick6462 View Post
    If people had to choose between these two options, what would you go with and why?

    Breville dual boiler with baratza sette 270wi /mignon silenzio or an Oscar II with rancilio Rocky?
    My opinion only, FWIW

    The Breville is a good machine. But I almost guarantee you won't stop there. I won't insult it by calling it an appliance but it is not built to last forever in the way a 'standard' espresso machine is. Some of these with simple maintenance and care will last for decades. Buy the Breville and you will be upgrading down the line.

    The Oscar I have never seen in the flesh. Its looks - some will love, some hate. It also appears to sacrifice some of its build quality to save $$, parts are plastic that would be metal in other machines.

    Have you considered saving some money on your grinder choice and getting say a Compak K3? Built like a tank, will last forever, no fancy electronics to go wrong. The Rocky is also a solid performer, but personally I can't get past that horrible blue plastic...

    The next step up in looking for an HX might be Lelit or Exobar. The latter also built like a tank.

    As I say, my opinion only. Good luck with your journey, we have all been there

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    Thanks coolie. I'm still uncertain on the grinder because it's always in the back of my mind how a good grinder really makes or breaks everything and the anti clumping and sound deadening in the silenzio is hard to ignore but I can't help but wonder if there's an equivalent with similar features that would go for less than the new mignon prices? I think my top priority for a grinder, outside of reliability, would be good fluffy grounds with minimal retention.
    I *think* I'm ok with knowing that I'd be up for a replacement in a few years if I go with the breville. Money has improved for us but probably not enough to the point where I could be looking at the Italian machines, not yet anyway

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeChick6462 View Post
    Thanks coolie. I'm still uncertain on the grinder because it's always in the back of my mind how a good grinder really makes or breaks everything ...
    Hi CoffeeChick,

    A bad grinder can break a good setup but a great one can't make a bad setup good. So for example if you have a machine that isn't temperature stable it doesn't matter how good your grinder is, you're going to burn your coffee or go crazy trying to temperature surf it. So look at the whole package and make sure there aren't any weak links. As far as the Lelit range is concerned, and given your budget and requirements, I'd put the Lelit Kate into the mix. It's a PID controlled SB with auto fill (so doesn't have the normal SB caveats regarding refilling the boiler), digital timed conical grinder - with fluffy grinds! And built like a tank - lots of stainless steel.

    charlie
    Last edited by JetBlack_Espresso; 30th October 2018 at 10:33 PM. Reason: syntax error!
    greenman and CoffeeChick6462 like this.

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    I have read on a number of different coffee forums and in Home-Barista's how-to's that the grinder is in fact more important than the espresso machine. It appears you can hardly go wrong with the Compak K3 for the money - built like a tank as well. I own a Wega Max 5.8 Instant which is a clone of that Compak but in RSA about AUS$140 cheaper. Have been using it for just over two years with zero problems, grinding at least two doubles every day, and on average another four doubles every week. But it does not produce nice fluffy grounds - soft clumps that you ideally have to stir in order to minimize channeling.



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