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Thread: $1000 Set Up Recommendation

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2019

    $1000 Set Up Recommendation

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

    New member here, I am wanting to finally upgrade from a capsule to a "real" coffee machine.

    Budget ideally < $1k. Don't know a lot about machines, but certainly love good coffee.

    I've done some research here and it seems like a good grinder is the key.

    A BES920 combo will be < $1k mark when on special and seems like a pretty good bang for buck kit fot what you get. Welcome suggestions on alternate set ups too. Open to second hand as well, however unsure about the longevity of 2nd hand grinders and/or machines?

    Thanks all.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    The BES920 is hard to beat for value for money. I had the previous model (BES900) for 6+ years and have since moved to a double boiler E61 machine but I still miss some of the functions of the Breville, such as the volumetric shot buttons, fast warn-up time and the shot clock. I would pair the Breville with the Baratza Sette 270, which can be found for <$400 when on special. The Sette is significantly better than the Breville smart grinder in terms of clumping and taste. Both machines can suffer from "quality" issues but I think the odds are very good they'll be still going after 5+ years if looked after well (e.g. using descaled water). You really need to spend significantly more money (more than 2x) to get "peace of mind" robust design and longevity and personally I'm not sure its justified for someone starting out on their espresso journey.
    CafeLotta likes this.

  3. #3
    Junior Member davltay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Hi Jeff , good grinder is the key buying second hand grinders is a less risky proposition.
    level3ninja likes this.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Used Silvia and new Breville Smart Grinder Pro is my recommendation. As good as the Breville is, I wouldn't touch a used one as the only issue with it is that it doesn't hold up well over time (over 5 years) if it's used heavily and without any way of knowing how many kilos have been through it and since it's so cheap new, why take the risk?

    The Smart Grinder Pro is $150 (on eBay from Australian store) today, I just bought one delivered for $160.

    There are very good condition Silvia's for $500-750 with all the accessories you'll need (milk jug, tamp etc.)

    I use this conbo at home with almost as good results as a $5K setup at the office. The office setup just makes similar results faster.

    Hope that helps
    Last edited by BobSac; 2nd June 2019 at 05:30 PM.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    I'm in the same boat here - chasing my first decent home setup for about $1k.
    After a few weeks research I'm more inclined to steer away from the "applicance" machines and grab a better quality machine and grinder second hand.
    Something like the Rancilio Silvia/Lelit PL41 paired with a Eureka Mignon/Compak K3 seems to be able to be purchased within your price range and, from what I've read, will provide great coffee once dialled in.
    davltay likes this.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    So I ended up spending close to $2k in the end.

    Got a Niche Zero grinder, Breville dual boiler and a Pullman Big Step tamper. The grinder is great quality and will continue to be perfectly adequate for an upgraded machine in the future, the tamper is top notch quality and will last a lifetime.

    The dual boiler for $630 on sale was good bang for buck, even if it ends up last only 3 or so years, by then I'd probably be wanting to upgrade anyway. Great set up for this stage of my coffee journey - no complaints. Now only if my coffee making skills are better.

    Good luck finding your desired set up.
    CafeLotta, level3ninja and gerbi like this.

  7. #7
    Senior Member noonar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Great grinder and tamper jefflu88, not sure on the brev, never tried one - although was once tempted and went higher instead (mokka pot --> Domus Galatea --> R58), you have somewhat future proofed your upgraditis anyway... good move. Enjoy.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Quote Originally Posted by jefflu88 View Post
    Got a Niche Zero grinder, Breville dual boiler and a Pullman Big Step tamper.
    Smart choice.
    You won't regret it for at least two years (BES920 warranty is two years ).

    I would say... If you went that far... To simplify your learning/fiddling curve get naked portafiler.
    And scales - with Niche you need it anyway.

    Also... My recent discovery... Single shot Breville basket is not making good extraction (low TDS?).
    I have nothing to measure TDS with but by looking into the cup...

    First of all it is hard to get a shot without channeling in Breville single basket. Possible but you have to very precise.

    Then the strength of the shot...
    I will run another set of test but so far I believe 12.2g in Single Breville basket produces weaker espresso compared to 7.5g in Single VST basket (judged by 'darkness' of latter and taste)

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