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Thread: Which Machine-very new

  1. #1
    ozychris1
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    Which Machine-very new

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi. I am very new to all this. I love a good coffee but know almost nothing about the making of it. I want to buy an expresso machine and am confused by all the brands. I have read the reviews and understand the Rancho seems to be the best. My friend has a Saeco majic and thinks it is great.
    I am happy to pay for the right machine but I guess I need something not to complicated.
    Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    Well, thats the big question really.
    I think my progression through equipment will be a similar story to most - ending up with what I now believe will last me for a good long time.

    Started with a Braun Espresso master - no grinder
    Got a spice grinder - manual thing
    Got fed up with manual grinding, bought a Brville burr grinder.
    Braun coffe machine dies after 2 years - Buy a Breville Bar Italia - cos it was cheap.
    Find out it was cheap for a reason. All it can handle is hot chocolate really.
    Buy a Delonghi Caffe Norma (EC410).
    Grind of coffee now not fine enough, buy a Gaggia grinder.
    This set serves me well for 2 years.
    Get a rush of blood and buy a Delonghi KG100 grinder as the Gaggia is a bit messy and has no switch to leave it turned on (thats my excuse anyway).
    This serves me well for another few months.
    Delonghi Caffee Norma starts making odd gurgling sounds when heating up and gives impression that it will die one day in the near future - decide to go nuts and get the Rancilio Silvia.
    What the hell, might as well buy the Rocky grinder at the same time.

    The upshot is, I have 2 working machines and 4 grinders of various quality.

    My recommendation - same as many others on this site - Buy quality first time around.

    As for which machine, I am biased, but I reckon the Silvia is very competent, sturdy, not too big, great steam pressure, solid portafilter and so on.

    Have a read through some stuff here and on coffeegeeks. In the end, it might come down to a personal preference on your part, but at least you will know something about the machines you are comparing.

    Good luck.

    PS. Then of course, once you have your machine, we can drag you into the wonderful world of roasting your own beans ;D

  3. #3
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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    My only problem with the Sylvia is the long heat up and cycle times (brew->steam->brew) but it is built very well.

    I agree with fatboy that getting the right grinder 1st is probably more important. The Nemox/Imat/Quaha Lux is the minimum (cost/appearance/noise wise - it grinds as well as a Mazzer) in my book.

  4. #4
    ozychris1
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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    Thanks.
    What about the machines like the Saeco that have there own grinder and are fairly automatic?

  5. #5
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    Again, I think it comes down to personal preference.
    I am happier with a separate grinder as I also grind coffee for use in a plunger at work.
    If you went to a seller of Saeco (or other models), I am sure they would be happy to demonstate it to you and let you have a drive. If you are comfortable with the semi-auto, then by all means see if you can try some out.

    By the way - what sort of coffee do you drink? Espressos, lattes, cappas?
    Im a mik person, so the shot taste has some leeway with me.

  6. #6
    ozychris1
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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    I normally drink lattes.
    I am concerned about a few things with the less automated
    the heating time of the Silvia
    if my family would be able to use it ie not too complicated
    Being able to make a number of cups 4-6 without taking all day
    thanks

  7. #7
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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    Oh I forgot... Chris,

    If youre enthusiastic and want a good machine to start on a Gaggia Carezza is a good bargain priced starting point (think you can get them for about $250 at the moment). Ive got a Lux Grinder and this works quite well as well for about the same price. So for $500 you can be making very good coffee.

    But beware of upgradeitis (read my getting a Silvia soon). You wont stop till youve got yourself a Isomac/Mini Mazzer combo and youll b e bankrupt but happy :-/


    Warren -

  8. #8
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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    Quote Originally Posted by gwdcoffee link=1094167848/0#13 date=1094198110
    I suspect the real question that could be asked about the Silvia is the total cycle time when producing milk drinks. If you want the ability to serve lattes etc for more than 2 people and you are working with a 2 cup jug of milk and you want to make and serve 2 drinks at a time, riding the brew/steam/brew/steam cycle is a pain. Nothing unique to the Sivia though. If that is your requirement and you have the budget for an HX machine, that is probably what you need to be investigating.
    ......
    On the other hand, if you have a regular requirement to produce 4 or more milk coffees you should be considering a machine built for the job. *Which is a very long way of repeating what Thomas has just said in much fewer words.
    Hi Graeme,

    My comments on the Sylvia heat up from cold was based on the comments of a Sylvia owner so I took them at face value - maybe he just doesnt like cheating it up. I imagine that a Sylvia (and any other dual purpose boiler machine) can be cheated up to full temp as you describe - I actually use a couple of blank steam shots to speed things up even further to the point where my Gaggias can be up to full temp in 3minutes 30 seconds. What I have had some experience and frustration with is the long time it takes to transition from brew->steam->brew on the Sylvia. On a Gaggia, they transition time is about 30 secs brew->steam and 15 secs steam->brew so the teeny boiler does have some advantages (along with some problems).

    As for HX machines, Ive stated on CG that they are fundamentally unsuited for domestic use but currently they are the only high end solution short of the very expensive dual boiler machines - hopefully, these wont be the only path to espresso nirvana in the future (maybe near future).

    Greg

  9. #9
    sam
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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    hi there. has anyone used the saeco magic machine? im considering it & the delonghi grinder. thanks.

    sam

  10. #10
    Brian
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    Re: Which Machine-very new (me too)


    Hi,

    This is my first post on this website.

    My query is along same lines as very first post of the forum (OzyChris?). I have been offerred a ECM Giotto, 2yrs old used at home by a couple.

    The price offerred to me is $1,500.

    The question is, if the machine has been looked after (maintained), is the asking price reasonable?

  11. #11
    sam
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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    hi there rich.
    i do like the rancilio silvia machine, it seems like a very strong unit & is very popular but the price is prob a little steep. i was considering the saeco magic machine because it got fairly good reviews and is better priced. i guess im looking at spending $350-$400 on the machine & about $200 on a burr grinder.
    what is your opinion or what would you recommend getting in this price range?
    thanks.......& in the meantime im drinking tea!!!!??? help!! ;D

    sam

  12. #12
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    Re: Which Machine-very new (me too)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian link=1094167848/15#18 date=1096435688
    My query is along same lines as very first post of the forum (OzyChris?). I have been offerred a ECM Giotto, 2yrs old used at home by a couple.

    The price offerred to me is $1,500.

    The question is, if the machine has been looked after (maintained), is the asking price reasonable?
    Seems like a bargain to me - that machine is abour $2500 new and they should last forever. You will need to run it off a timer (or leave it on 24/7) since they take about an hour to warmup properly

  13. #13
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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    Quote Originally Posted by sam link=1094167848/15#20 date=1096512939
    hi there rich.
    i do like the rancilio silvia machine, it seems like a very strong unit & is very popular but the price is prob a little steep. i was considering the saeco magic machine because it got fairly good reviews and is better priced. i guess im looking at spending $350-$400 on the machine & about $200 on a burr grinder.
    what is your opinion or what would you recommend getting in this price range?
    I would say Gaggia Carezza and Lux (Nemox/Quaha or Imat) grinder in that price area. the Gaggia is a bit under and the Lux a bit over budget which equals out. This combo would kill the one you are considering in just about every way.

    The Sylvias are great machines but the Gaggias are very close in the espresso stakes (steam power is comparitively wimpy but good enough for most home use) and warm up and cycle very fast compared to other machines.

  14. #14
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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    Quote Originally Posted by kaanage link=1094167848/15#22 date=1096528295
    I would say Gaggia Carezza and Lux (Nemox/Quaha or Imat) grinder in that price area. the Gaggia is a bit under and the Lux a bit over budget which equals out. This combo would kill the one you are considering in just about every way.

    The Sylvias are great machines but the Gaggias are very close in the espresso stakes (steam power is comparitively wimpy but good enough for most home use) and warm up and cycle very fast compared to other machines.
    I think that about sums it up what really put me off the saeco magic was the stylishly rounded rear of the machine. Which limits its usefullness as a cup warmer. Sooner or later your laté glass is going to slide down the back and probably break. Where we have our machine set up it would hit the tiled floor and with a 2 year old running around we didnt think it safe.

    The Silvia does have enough steam to get the milk swirling in the jug and with practice turn the milk to custard. (which is to thick but great for hot chocolates.) ;D

    Kaanages sugestion would be a good option for your budget. At least ubtil upgrade fever strikes.;)

    Cheers
    Rich

  15. #15
    sam
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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    thanks guys, i have a lot to think about now :-/
    after continuously reading the review http://www.coffeeco.com.au/articles/july2002.html , i am more leaning toward the silvia, mostly because the brass insides will last much longer than many other machines. i dont really like the idea of saving a few bucks now then upgrading in a couple years as many of u guys seem to have done....hey the more reasons i can think of to justify the $ilvia the better ;)
    thanks for your suggestions.......ill keep u posted of my upgrade.

    sam

  16. #16
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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    Quote Originally Posted by CoffeeMugs link=1094167848/15#25 date=1097572229
    I bet a humble $650 Silvia can out brew (Quality of shot) most super autos. For Rocky and Silvia and base your looking at $1100 - $1200 beats $1895 for a Jura Impressa E85
    .

    Rich
    Rich,

    Youre spot on. As someone who owns both a superauto (Gaggia Syncrony) and a decent manual machine (Brasilia Lady), Ill confirm that theres no competition between the two. If all youve ever tried is a superauto, then it seems very good, but once youve tried using a Sylvia type machine, the stuff that comes out of the superauto is like dishwater - thin, pale and a yellow crema that dissipates in 20 secs, and no amount of playing with the grind fineness and dosage settings makes it much better. Having said that, the Syncrony is very convenient, but we find ourselves using it less and less nowadays. (Not to mention that its currently in for its 4th repair in a year). If I were starting again today, Id definately look at spending the funds on something like an Expobar HX machine and decent grinder.

    Regards,
    Phil


  17. #17
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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    As stated earlier... I have no fondness for Super Autos either :-/

    Friends of ours have a Saeco Magic (think thats the one). 2 grands worth of plastic and garbage. The shots seem to come out, how should I put this... Very aerated with almost a carbonated character. Id suspect some sort of crema ehancing devices are at work here? This is the face I try to supress whilst drinking the shot... :-X :-X :-X

    They always seem to think that Im trying to provide some sort of one-upmanship when I pull a couple of shots from the Imat and they come out with a full body and normal crema. Though as all of you know this is pretty much expected to be the norm for all of us.

    It would kill them to know that you can provide superior shots on about $500 worth of equipment. Say a Starbucks or Lux grinder and a Carezza.

    Cant convince them to use fresh beans because they fall under the $10 per kilo from the market adage.

    Oh their reason for buying the auto?? They have to make more than six shots a day. Phhhttttt! ;)

    Warren -

  18. #18
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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    In all Fairness Warren, When we all first started out (well some of us at least) knew nothing of the coffee process, and I am certainly one of these. I scough at the machines as well, I own a Saeko Royal professional and this is a very very good unit, however, If I still knew nothing of coffee I would insist that the machine id everything that I want, It steams, Froths milk, and makes a decent espresso and indeed it does, but to compare it to a semi commercial machine would be like comparing a Utility to a Four wheel drive, you just cant do it, Both of them are built to do totaly different jobs, just as the Semi Autos are designed to lure people into processing their own coffee, I think the machines are good if people are happy to have fresh roasted and a machine do the rest for them, At least it starts them on their road to Coffee appreciation. Knowing what I know now I would say that I wouldnt have an Auto, but hindsight is a great thing, but there are a heck of a lot of them being sold here in Australia and overseas as well, so thats indicates that their are a lot of people who are going to learn what coffee really is and I think that its a good thing. Everything has its place, Autos at least introduce people to REAL coffee and isnt that what its all about?..... Thats my twenty one cents worth.

    FB :)

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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    As I said earlier, I had one and still do, but our Boema is the prefered machine, thus we in this house have been converted, However I must admit there wasnt much chance of me at the time saying that I wished I had got a Semi-commercial machine instead..... Too embassed to admit it and had to live with what I had untill something else came up.

    I suppose it all comes down to education doesnt it. But at least the (dare I say) Instant coffee has a place now....... The BIN

    FB ;D

  20. #20
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    Re: Which Machine-very new (me too)

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian link=1094167848/0#9 date=1096435688
    Hi,

    This is my first post on this website.

    My query is along same lines as very first post of the forum (OzyChris?). I have been offerred a ECM Giotto, 2yrs old used at home by a couple.

    The price offerred to me is $1,500.

    The question is, if the machine has been looked after (maintained), is the asking price reasonable?

    Ive tried the ECM Giotta back-to-back with a commercial ECM and the ECM Botticelli II. I ended up purchasing the Botticelli, as it produced coffee easily as good as the Giotta and almost indistinguishable from the commerical ECM machine.

    I paid $1080, 10% off RRP as it was their demo model.

    Im now very happy with the machine - like any machine it took ages to get it working optimally, made more complicated that I also bought the Isomac Granmachinato grinder, so I had beans + tamp + quantity as 3 variables to get used to...

    As another post says, the Giotta takes a while to heat up. Its also big. Best advantage is that its a heat exchanger machine, so you can get steam instantly (after the long warm-up period).

    At $1500 its probably a good buy, but having paid $1400 for my grinder plus the Botticelli II, I would take that over the Giotta.

  21. #21
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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    David,

    what did you see as the advantages of the Botticelli over the Silvia?
    Obviously the temp/pressure? gauge is a nice feature but both are single boiler machines.

    The Botticelli certainly looks more stylish and less industrial but were there functional differences? Just curious!

    Maurice

  22. #22
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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    Quote Originally Posted by mauricem link=1094167848/15#20 date=1099889505
    David,

    what did you see as the advantages of the Botticelli over the Silvia?
    Obviously the temp/pressure? gauge is a nice feature but both are single boiler machines.

    The Botticelli certainly looks more stylish and less industrial but were there functional differences? Just curious!

    Maurice
    Maurice,

    Could be wrong here but I think that the ECM Botticelli II is a HX machine. Allows you to brew and steam at the same time. ???

    If David snagged it for around a grand he got a bargain IMO. :)

    Warren -

  23. #23
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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    As an ex owner of a Rancilio Silvia I can say that it is capable of making coffee almost as good as my ECM Giotto, but it is a lot of hard work to achieve that result and it is not a family friendly machine by any stretch of the imagination.

    It will certainly beat the pants of any of the Saeco auto type machines and has very good steam pressure for foaming milk. The Silvia is the best of the low end machines IMO before moving into heat exchanger based gear. That involves a big jump in price.

    Going back to the original question that was asked, it is most important to buy a good grinder like the Rocky doserless for ~$400 and start with a low end machine like a Gaggia to keep your initial spend down.

    When you outgrow the Gaggia you can buy a better machine but the grinder will still be an excellent match. Indeed the Rocky is a good match for any domestic machine and has good spare parts support.

    I sold my Silvia after eighteen months because I wanted more reliable results with less effort and the ability to make consistently good cup after cup after cup after cup after cup...

  24. #24
    oxbow
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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    I started with a Krups heat pump and used pre-ground coffee. It produced coffee slightly better than plunging but was not something that ever produced commercial quality.

    My first (MAJOR!!) improvement was getting a good quality grinder (Gaggia MDF). Suddenly, I had an excellent crema and better taste. I have only one rule: Only grind what you are about to use!

    A few months later I purchased a 25yo Rancilio single group machine (with the lever on the top for $200 plus $90 for new seals and a check-over. This machine required plumbing into the water supply, so a committment was required from me as to wheere to site it. Warm-up is 12 mins from cold.

    For sometime I could not reproduce the crema of the Krups, but the flavour was better. My grind went from setting 16 to 6, so i was getting better extraction from the finer grind. After a couple of months, some support from the snobs, and about 8kgs of coffee, I am getting an excellent, and consistent, cappucino.

    These machines are acknowledged as being a bit fickle, and I need to change the grind slightly on a daily basis, but I now love this machine and the challenge of working with it. (Oh, and frothing milk? takes about 20 seconds and it is soooo light and bubbly.)

    So maybe think about a s/h commercial machine?? They are $500-$1000 on eBay and Trading Post, and less at auctions.

  25. #25
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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    Ive had my Silvia for 2 weeks now and havent looked back!
    I made my choice after much pondering and surfing (the guys and gals on this site are great and know their stuff)

    The Silvia may cost a little bit more than other brands/\/models that have similar features, but it makes excellent (repeatably) coffee and has class. Even my wife who is now owed many thousands of favours (I even gave her my favourite sunnies) thinks it looks great in the kitchen and is willing to spend "more" money on a Rocky. ;D

    Ive got my first load of greens on the way (once Ive paid) and am heading out to Big-W for a colander and Bunnings for my Ozito flame thrower on the weekend.

    Ive not had this much fun in years (spending money is fun isnt it?)

    Mick

  26. #26
    TC
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    Re: Which Machine-very new

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    [split] [link=http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1249716541/10#10][splithere][/link][splithere_end]



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