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Thread: Recommendations for new machine

  1. #1
    CJ
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    Recommendations for new machine

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

    I currently have an ageing domestic Delonghi that I want to out-grow *:) *It makes a reasonable coffee/crema (after a lot of tweaking), but the milk steaming has always been abysmal (I dont use the "enhancer"). *I have used an Italian semi-commercial in the past and was able to get plenty of microfoam, but just cant get the hang of it with domestic machines. *For financial reasons only, Im looking for a sub NZ$700 machine. *Any recommendations ? * From a quick perusal of the posts, should I be looking at a 2 hole steam wand ? *I like the look of the wand on the Sunbeam EM6900 (NZ$650) but have read conflicting reviews - I understand the PF is not industry standard and cannot be swapped. *Alternatively, the Breville 800 series is reasonably priced at NZ$300+. * I did like the look of the Rancillio Silvia, but at NZ$1000 its a little out of my range *:( *Machine will only be making about 4-5 lattes a day (2 at any one time). *

    Thanks for any suggestions !

    Cheers
    CJ

  2. #2
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    Re: Recommendations for new machine

    I think that your best option is probably the Sunbeam. The Breville 800 series is just a $50 thermoblock in fancy pants. There have been problems with the sunbeams, but at least sunbeam seems to be providing relatively good support. The portafilter is not industry standard in that you cant lock it into a commercial machine because of the position of the lugs, but Im pretty sure that you can put standard commercial baskets into it. Steaming is supposed to be OK, but slow, but at least you can start the thermoblock heating up while youre grinding, then steam while the shots are extracting. And with the MEGA double baskets that they come with, you could probably pull two relatively long shots at once and use them as bases for your lattes. If the sunbeam doesnt suit then, sorry to say it, but realistically I dont think that youre going to get "rock your world" improvements in your price range. The Silvia has fantastic steam, but temperature surfing it to the right temperature for espresso and going to steam takes a lot of time, especially if youre making two lattes at once and you want to base each off a double shot. The alternative is to use smaller cups/glasses and base each off a single shot. Quite frankly, Id be inclined to grin and bear the Delonghi until you can get a cheap heat exchanger machine, unless the sunbeam is good enough for you. (And Im not even going to mention the grinder)

    Cheers,

    Luca

  3. #3
    CJ
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    Re: Recommendations for new machine

    Thanks for the info Luca. Much appreciated. By "cheap heat exchanger machines", do you have any names/models ? Possibly something may come up on TradeMe - Kiwi Ebay ;) Today theres a Brasilia Cappucino and a Brasilia Club.

    Cheers
    CJ

  4. #4
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    Re: Recommendations for new machine


    Id seriously consider the Sunbeam. The brew thermoblock looks good. The temp management is digital, not a thermostat. Damian Court from Sunbeam mentioned the group was based on a Cimbali, so maybe Cimbali portafilters fit? Im not sure, but I know Cimbali portafilters wont fit my Bezzera (which seems to accept many other portafilters). Sunbeam are also putting a lot of aftersales support behind this machine as well.

    Im not sure about its steaming ability, but its not worse than a Gaggia. I know of one person who sold their commercial Wega HX machine to get a Sunbeam and hasnt looked back.

    Otherwise I would normally suggest a Gaggia, which can make great shots, but the aluminium boiler has really put me off. Especially after opening one to see the horror inside.

    Another option is the Imat Mokita, which is a single boiler machine like the Silvia, but with a smaller 57 mm non-commercial portafilter.

    So theres a few choices. Bang for buck, nothing comes close to the Sunbeam though (as long as it doesnt break down).

    Dont forget to get a decent grinder if you want to get any of these machines!

    Cheers,

    Mark.

  5. #5
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    Re: Recommendations for new machine

    CJ:

    You will need a decent grinder for sure and you need to budget for this if you dont have one.

    The EM6900 doesnt have the presence, resale or steaming ability of the Silvia but seems to be a capable machine in its own right.

    Sparky and I both measured temperature drops in the Silvia and really the EM6900 is probably more stable shot to shot unless you carefully temperature surf and use a PID.

    The only downside is probably the steaming ability of a thermoblock wont approach that of a boiler machine. To be honest though they still do a reasonable job (from what Ive heard).

    Grant

  6. #6
    CJ
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    Re: Recommendations for new machine

    Thanks for the info. Much appreciated. What are the best "entry level" HX machines I should be looking at? I am considering second hand/reconditioned, if they can be found. Will put up with the Delonghi EC410/Norma in the meantime.
    Cheers, CJ

  7. #7
    TC
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    Re: Recommendations for new machine

    CJ- look at something like an Expobar pulsar....price is reasonable and with a few checks you will get outstanding results. I can assist you with one if you choose to go down that route but Im sure that there must be a supplier somewhere in NZ. You will need to pair it with a good grinder. Id suggest a rocky doserless or if $$$ are tighter, go for an iberital challenge....

    Its probably worth having a look at these: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1151320885 and http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1148648086

    Hope this helps...

    Chris

  8. #8
    CJ
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    Re: Recommendations for new machine

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Thanks for the info Chris. Checked out the Expobar yesterday. Beautiful machine, but well beyond my pocket :( Checking out a Brasilia Club/Nemox Napoletana ?? (see new post) Cheers CJ



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