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Thread: Midrange setup to replace pods - from JB !

  1. #1
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    Midrange setup to replace pods - from JB !

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

    Have a few hundred dollars in JB Hifi vouchers and think it's time to replace my nespresso machine (getting a little sick of the expense and waste of the pods).

    I am looking at a mid-range setup with the caveat it has to be bought from JB - from the breville range, the new Barista Pro is about the price range I'm looking at. I could probably stretch to a dual boiler + grinder setup, but the extra cash makes me wince a bit given the fact it doesn't seem likely to last all that long (5+ years), from what I understand?

    Any suggestions or thoughts? Is the Delonghi La Specialista worth looking at?

    Thanks,

    Danny

  2. #2
    Senior Member WhatEverBeansNecessary's Avatar
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    Truth is you aren't going to get a lot of love for MOST JB hifi levels machines from the team here. That's because most of the members on a different level brew - semi commercial and boutique machines, not so much the consumer level brevilles, delonghis etc.

    Having said that if you want to go down that path, which is your prerogative, look for a machine that has a separate grinder and espresso machine. The grinder is by far your most important piece of kit. You can make good coffee with an okay machine and a great grinder. You can't make good coffee with an exceptional machine, but a poor grinder.

    The Breville dynamic duo (smart grinder + dual boiler) punches above it's weight in terms of price. Personally I would look at a good quality second hand grinder + the sunbeam cafe series. The look at replacing the sun beam in a few years if you want something a little more serious.
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  3. #3
    JZ4
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    I just wanted to put my 2cents in for what it's worth and in this instance not much at all!

    Just be weary of the Breville coffee machines. I had the Dual Boiler + Smart Grinder Pro and I had nothing but problems. The first two died within 3 months of ownership, the 3rd had a catastrophic failure which it was in the shop for over a month only to be told it isn't fixable so demanded a refund. You'll be lucky if it lasts 5 years though. For the price you would think they will but reality is they're just mass produced China products with very cheap internals.

    If you do go down that route just mindful is what I am saying. Albeit many have their Brevilles for a while but many also have a lot of issues with them either it be the solenoid going, the boilers going or the pump, or something else.

    I would just get the cheaper one and a decent grinder. That way if anything goes wrong with the machine it will be easier to swallow then a expensive one. And JB are great for returns/exchanges if anything was to arise so not much to lose there.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JZ4 View Post
    I just wanted to put my 2cents in for what it's worth and in this instance not much at all!

    Just be weary of the Breville coffee machines. I had the Dual Boiler + Smart Grinder Pro and I had nothing but problems. The first two died within 3 months of ownership, the 3rd had a catastrophic failure which it was in the shop for over a month only to be told it isn't fixable so demanded a refund. You'll be lucky if it lasts 5 years though. For the price you would think they will but reality is they're just mass produced China products with very cheap internals.

    If you do go down that route just mindful is what I am saying. Albeit many have their Brevilles for a while but many also have a lot of issues with them either it be the solenoid going, the boilers going or the pump, or something else.

    I would just get the cheaper one and a decent grinder. That way if anything goes wrong with the machine it will be easier to swallow then a expensive one. And JB are great for returns/exchanges if anything was to arise so not much to lose there.
    FWIW I've had a second hand Breville BES920 running flawlessly for about 3 years. Probably longer than I was expecting it to. I wouldn't have paid anywhere near retail for it though.

    We had a Barista Express in the office for a while (an older model possibly) and the switch to go from brew to steam was annoying (took a while for steam to get up to temp and was quite weak) and the portafilter was an odd size so getting a quality tamp would be harder (and probably unusable in a future system).

    If you're not in a rush then I'd wait for someone to have a sale on the dual boiler bundle (happens fairly regularly) and try to get JB to price match. The BES920 on its own comes down to $800 or so and the bundle for $1000.

    Or you can sell your gift cards to someone and buy some used gear off here.
    rtyuiop likes this.

  5. #5
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    Yeah, I am little hemmed in in terms of choice given I want to burn these gift cards instead of cash! If the dual boiler bundle gets down to $1000 I think I'll jump on that, and I'm not in a rush so I can wait and see if it happens.

    The quality/reliability concerns worry me a little, but I can probably take a little bit of a risk without it being the end of the world.

    Fortunately I own both wood and metal lathes so a weird size portafilter just gives me motivation to make my own tamp... Which I should do anyway!

  6. #6
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    Well, having to put an order in for pods coincided with JB (and most other retailers) putting the dynamic duo on sale ($1200 so not quite as cheap as it might have been in the past, but cheap enough). I took the plunge, now just need to learn how to use it!
    Dimal, level3ninja and IrisGanache like this.

  7. #7
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Welcome to the world of proper coffee! If you haven't already make sure you only use fresh roasted coffee beans, within 3-4 weeks of the roast date. If the bag doesn't have a roast date but just an expiry date then it's probably not fresh. Most supermarket beans have an expiry date 12-15 months after the roast date and will already be 3-6 months old by the time they hit the shelves. If you're not sure where to get fresh roasted coffee look no further than here: https://beanbay.coffeesnobs.com.au/
    Dimal likes this.

  8. #8
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    Yep, got a visit to my local roaster pencilled in for lunchtime tomorrow.

    Looking forward to getting up early to try to dial in some settings for some supermarket beans to start with, though!

  9. #9
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    If they're not fresh the settings will be so far out as to be useless. I get the urge to play though. If you absolutely must buy supermarket beans Aldi have the roast date in reverse order below the expiry date on the side of the bag, they're useless after 4 weeks though.
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