Planning on buying a machine... Please help
Hi everyone here at coffeesnobs, i am very new to this forum and to be exact this is my first post.
I just moved to Melbourne from my country and planned on purchasing an espresso machine and a grinder. First of all, I used to operate VBM Domobar Super 2b automatic with Compak K3 grinder. I could say that i pulled quite a good shots from them everyday, and also i used my machine 3x daily. I am planning to buy a machine that is cheaper and good here (Because i am not going to stay here for a long time) my budget is around $500 - $800 for the espresso machine and a grinder that cost $200 - $400. I have no problems in buying a 2nd hand product as long as it is a durable, repairable, and the spareparts are easy to find. For that budget, i am well aware that i will not get shots as good as my old setup.
My main problem is that i am very confused with the wide range of espresso machine and grinder that is available in Australia. From my budget, I have been recommended by several friends to check out Rancilio Silvia V3 and a rocky doser, but i also heard that it was very difficult to operate.
So can anyone here please help me recommend the best machine and grinder for my budget?
THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!
Welcome to CoffeeSnobs Jaeger64!
You can't go too wrong with a Rancilio Silvia, the Rocky is a very solid grinder which is unbreakable, the only slight downside it has set grind increments. These days there are a few grinders around the same pricing level which provide finer settings for grinding for espresso such as Compak K3, Macap M2M or M2D, Eureka Mignon, Baratza Sette (this has some mixed reviews on this forum), Mahlkonig Vario. There seems to be a fair few Mazzer Minis that pop up used if you don't mind one with a doser, this is built to last and has fine adjustments. Couple more options similar to Rocky with stepped grind increments are ECM/Anfim Best,Iberital Challenge.
To give you some alternatives for machines with about the same features here is a few I would consider;
1. Rancilio Silvia
2. Gaggia Classic (this is not a high end machine as a Silvia but is still quite solid)
3. Lelit PM41 series
4. Lelit PL42 combo (this has a built in grinder)
5. ECM Casa
All the above machines are single boilers without a heat exchange unit so you need to wait for steam pressure/temperature to build for a minute or so after running your shot to be able to steam milk.
If you have a look on the For Sale threads here you can probably find some good grinders from the above list and also Silvia's are quite common. If not eBay and Gumtree should have a few options. Mods can confirm how many posts you need (maybe 5 I can't recall) to be able to post there, but you could also post a WTB (wanted to buy) thread on the For Sale threads.
I just noticed your machine was a Domobar Super 2B so you might struggle to step down to the machines above, but they are definitely more within your budget. Good condition E61 machines even used are $1200+ and for a dual boiler probable more like 2k+ even used.
The other plan might be to check CoffeeSnobs sponsor websites as they often have ex-demo or refurb coffee machines and grinders items which might fall within your budget.