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Thread: Advice for a machine and grinder under $1500

  1. #1
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    Advice for a machine and grinder under $1500

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi All,
    I've been stalking on here for a while and for a number of years wanted upgrade by automatic Gaggia machine, but I couldn't convince my wife while it was still working. Well it has finally died and I've been given a green light to get something new. I've been reading this site for most of day and when I think I have things sorted I find a new post that changes my mind again.

    I've got max $1500 to spend on both a machine and grinder, and was originally thinking of getting the Breville Dynamic Duo, but after readying a few posts it sounds as though the grinder isn't that great. So If you had $1500 to spend (absolute max, I'd prefer to be closer to $1250) what would you get, either new or used (though I'd like to get at least a short warranty for used)?

    Thanks for the advice.

  2. #2
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Where are you located?
    How many coffees a day?
    What type of coffees?
    Personal preferences for machine features (heat up time, longevity, size, etc)?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by level3ninja View Post
    Where are you located?
    How many coffees a day?
    What type of coffees?
    Personal preferences for machine features (heat up time, longevity, size, etc)?
    Thanks for the reply. Generally I would average 1.5 coffees a day, and unless I have guests over it's always a latte for me.
    I live in SE Melbourne.

  4. #4
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    This grinder would be a good buy. https://coffeesnobs.com.au/coffee-ha...-advanced.html

    As for machine I'd think a Lelit PL41TEMD would suit you nicely.

  5. #5
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by level3ninja View Post
    This grinder would be a good buy. https://coffeesnobs.com.au/coffee-ha...-advanced.html

    As for machine I'd think a Lelit PL41TEMD would suit you nicely.
    Site Sponsor JetBlack Espresso can help you with Lelit - https://www.jetblackespresso.com.au/...ffee-machines/

    Although it's usually recommended to go for a seperate grinder, it might be worth a look at the PL042TEMPD combo unit as it falls right in the lower price range you mentioned. https://www.jetblackespresso.com.au/...mbi-PL042TEMD/

    Ring Charlie at JetBlack if you need more info on the Lelit. I think they still have free delivery and have local repairers if any warranty issues arise.
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 16th March 2019 at 11:57 AM.
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  6. #6
    Junior Member coastroaster's Avatar
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    I'd try and stay away from any duo's. Best bet to get your grinder and machine separately. Hunt the forums for a bargain. I find personally that my Silvia does the trick for my couple a day. Pour some money into a grinder and then do a machine upgrade in a couple of years if you outgrow the Silvia.

  7. #7
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coastroaster View Post
    I'd try and stay away from any duo's. Best bet to get your grinder and machine separately. Hunt the forums for a bargain. I find personally that my Silvia does the trick for my couple a day. Pour some money into a grinder and then do a machine upgrade in a couple of years if you outgrow the Silvia.
    Unless you PID the Silvia, it's comparing apples and oranges. If you want a seperate grinder and a Lelit PL41TEMD, see if the grinder mentioned in post 4 is still available or allow around $500 for a decent new grinder that will serve you well if you have future upgrades. A rock solid, reliable, good quality grinder in that price range is the Compak K3 Push. Nothing fancy but delivers the goods. I'm still happily using a 10 yo version. It has the timer function (K3 Touch) which I have never used and run it just like a K3 push. Check with JetBlack Espresso for a package deal price.
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  8. #8
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    Thanks for the replies. I'm looking at either a used K3 or Rocky grinder.

    One consideration for a machine which I hadn't really considered is the heat up time and noise, and being able to turn it on based on a timer. Looking at both the Silva and PL41TEMD it appears they are controlled by a switch so that fine. I'm also looking at the Oscar II, which would really stretch the budget, but the ability to use the steam wand while pulling a shot really appeals to me. Does anyone know if it's power can be controlled by the main switch, or do you also have to press the button?

    Thanks

  9. #9
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CafeLotta View Post
    Unless you PID the Silvia, it's comparing apples and oranges.
    Couldn't agree more, they're similar money too. I couldn't recommend anyone buy a Silvia new.
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  10. #10
    Junior Member coastroaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CafeLotta View Post
    Unless you PID the Silvia, it's comparing apples and oranges. If you want a seperate grinder and a Lelit PL41TEMD, see if the grinder mentioned in post 4 is still available or allow around $500 for a decent new grinder that will serve you well if you have future upgrades. A rock solid, reliable, good quality grinder in that price range is the Compak K3 Push. Nothing fancy but delivers the goods. I'm still happily using a 10 yo version. It has the timer function (K3 Touch) which I have never used and run it just like a K3 push. Check with JetBlack Espresso for a package deal price.
    True. I was thinking of the wife factor. Spread the pain across a broader time frame. To be fair I PID'd my Silvia day one so I don't know what it's like without.

  11. #11
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    I am also looking at the PL41TEMD, is going up to the Victoria worth the extra ~$500?

    The auto-fill of the boiler for steaming milk the main step up?

    I would be doing 2-3 milk coffees in a sitting, max 3 times a day.

  12. #12
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    I am currently running a bit of an experiment with my coffee machine - I downgraded! Shock Horror!!!!!
    Over the past 15 years I have consistently had great and expensive shiny coffee machines - (Expobar Minore 2, ECM Giotto premium, Bezerras etc...). I paired them with grinders, starting with a Rocky, then upgrading to a Mazzer Mini, and now a Mazzer Super Jolly for the last 5 yrs. All of them made great coffee.
    My last coffee machine was on getting on in age, and it had seen a lot of use, and was requiring extensive attention pretty soon with boilers needing replacement amongst other things. But...I bought a new breville 920 paired with a grinder on a big department store sale. I promptly sold the breville grinder without ever even switching it on, and I sold my old shiny coffee machine.
    So I now have extra money in my pocket, and a new machine with a good grinder. To my taste, the coffee I make is just as good as before, but the rapid warm up time is really nice! Time will tell whether I made a good decision (how long this machine will last), but at the moment I am very happy (even if it doesn't look great in the kitchen)
    My general advice is to get a good grinder (second hand is fine). Then work out your budget for the coffee machine. It doesn't need to be really expensive to consistently make delicious coffee.
    Good luck
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  13. #13
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharpyy View Post
    I am also looking at the PL41TEMD, is going up to the Victoria worth the extra ~$500?

    The auto-fill of the boiler for steaming milk the main step up?

    I would be doing 2-3 milk coffees in a sitting, max 3 times a day.
    The Lelit Victoria looks quite good on paper but doesn't seem to get mentioned much. It has an auto refill when steaming for supposedly continuous steaming, quick heat-up, PID and a 58mm portafilter so filter baskets and tampers can be carried over if you upgrade in the future. I'd be quite interested to know if anyone here on CoffeeSnobs has one and how they have found it in everday use. I suspect that it's price point has alot to do with it not being as popular as it might be. If it sat around the $1300 - $1350 mark it would probably attract more interest I'd imagine. Might be worth a look though if you can get a good package deal with a grinder.
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  14. #14
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    I agree...

    For that sort of money, I would be looking more closely at a Nuova Simonelli Oscar II. Ticks more boxes I believe...

    Mal.

  15. #15
    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    I agree...

    For that sort of money, I would be looking more closely at a Nuova Simonelli Oscar II. Ticks more boxes I believe...

    Mal.
    Does appear to possibly be a bit higher quality machine internally and has the option of adding an OPV kit for extra $150 installed. It is a bit of the apples and oranges scenario though. A 2L boiler Heat Exchanger machine with OPV option v PID Single boiler with OPV and quick heat-up.

    "Smilesy", as you're located in SE Melb, Site Sponsor Casa Espresso might be worth a visit as they have had a fair bit to do with the Nuova Simonelli Oscar II.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8z7mObdXN4

    Rancilio Silvia v original Oscar -

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJlbqkx-55o
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 19th March 2019 at 09:45 AM.
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  16. #16
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Yep, they are totally different machines and both have an excellent pedigree.
    I pointed out the option of the Oscar II in an effort to show what kind of scope is possible within the budget limits...

    Mal.
    CafeLotta and lestone like this.

  17. #17
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    Hi All,
    Thanks for the help and advice. I've ended up streeeetching my budget a bit and bought a NS Oscar 2 and a used but almost new Sette 270 grinder. So far so good, after a fair bit more fiddling than I expected I have the grinder dialed in and the coffee coming out is delicious.
    I bought the machine from Coffee A Roma as it was reasonably local to work. They were very helpful and talked me through a few options and the pros and cons of their machines, I certainly recommend them.

  18. #18
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Aha...

    The journey begins. Congratulations...

    Mal.



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