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Thread: A not so simple question

  1. #1
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    A not so simple question

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi everyone.

    Im looking at getting my wife a coffee machine for Christmas, but alas I have no idea about coffee.

    I occasionally drink a cup at work with milk and 2 sugars (judging from the name of this website Im pretty sure thats as close to blasphemy as I can get - sorry!) and always have a hot chocolate every time we go out somewhere. I have a tenancy to waffle on so Im going to bullet point the rest of this post and hope you lovely people can help me out a bit - please excuse any stupidly simple questions!

    • Ive tried to do a little research already
    • I have a budget of about 400 GBP (around $900 AUD)
    • Im based in the UK and as far as I know cant buy Sunbeam coffee machines, which get good reviews on here
    • I think I want to get a Burr grinder(?) as well, with a doser (although Im not sure what a doser is, I think shell need one?)
    • Do I need the grinder, or are they any good pre-ground coffees thats make do?
    • The top contender so far, from looking around this price range, is the Rancilio Silvia.
    • I ve found the Silvia with a Rancilio Rocky grinder(good?) for 450 ($1033 AUD)
    • My wife used to a be a pretty good barrista (so she says!) so technical issues shouldnt be an issue
    • Are there any machines comparable machines, quality wise, to the Silvia that are easier to use?
    • We have have 2 children under two years old - hence her need for coffee, but also a huge lack of time to spend half an hour every morning making the perfect cup
    • Am I been silly even looking at a Silvia - am I jumping on a bandwagon?
    • Are there any machines at say half the price of my budget that even you coffeesnobs think makes a decent, better-than-caffetiere coffee?
    • Do I even need an espresso machine, considering the fact that ease will be a greater factor over a sligh drop in quality of the outcome for the next year ro two while the kids grow up and arent so dependant on their mum?
    • Would a perculator be a good, very cheap compromise to get better-than-caffetiere coffee?


    I think thats all and I hope you can help, even if its just to say "yes, youve done well for a non-coffee drinker, go with the Silvia", or "No, stick with Starbucks (another swear word?!) if you cant afford something better"

    Thanks in advance everyone,
    Rich

  2. #2
    Senior Member fatboy_1999's Avatar
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    Re: A not so simple question

    Rich,

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs.

    Fear not - this is by no means an easy question.
    Ill try to add some responses to the list. Im sure others will join in too.

    • Ive tried to do a little research already
      Good lad.
    • I have a budget of about 400 GBP (around $900 AUD)
      In the right ballpark - sorry, cricket stadium.
    • Im based in the UK and as far as I know cant buy Sunbeam coffee machines, which get good reviews on here
      No - I think the Sunbeam EM6910 is an Australia only product at present, but rumors have been floated that Sunbeam are going to roll it out to other markets. Although, probably not in the timeframe you need.
    • I think I want to get a Burr grinder(?) as well, with a doser (although Im not sure what a doser is, I think shell need one?)
      A doser is a chamber attached to the front of the grinder. The idea with a proper doser is that you can set each click of the doser to deliver specific weights of ground coffee. In grinders without a proper doser, its just a chamber to catch the grinding coffee. Many and varied opinions on their value, but in the end it seems to be a personal choice for people whether to go doser or doserless. I personally have owned 2 decent grinders, both with dosers and I like grinders with a doser.
    • Do I need the grinder, or are they any good pre-ground coffees thats make do?
      HELL YES YOU NEED A GRINDER. Its actually more important than the machine. A good grinder / bad machine will still probably produce decent coffee. A good machine / bad grinder will not.
    • The top contender so far, from looking around this price range, is the Rancilio Silvia.
      I used to own one and thought it was a good machine
    • I ve found the Silvia with a Rancilio Rocky grinder(good?) for 450 ($1033 AUD)
      Sounds like a good price for the combo. Yes, the Rocky is a good grinder. I also used to own one of them.
    • My wife used to a be a pretty good barrista (so she says!) so technical issues shouldnt be an issue
    • Are there any machines comparable machines, quality wise, to the Silvia that are easier to use?
      Im sure there are and others are better qualified to answer that one.
    • We have have 2 children under two years old - hence her need for coffee, but also a huge lack of time to spend half an hour every morning making the perfect cup
      I use a timer and my machine comes on 30 minutes before I get up. If the machine is up to temperature, it should only take 5 minutes to make 2 coffees (with milk) using a Silvia or similar.
    • Am I been silly even looking at a Silvia - am I jumping on a bandwagon?
      Nope - the bandwagon exists because they are a good machine. BUT, they are not the only thing out there in the price range.
    • Are there any machines at say half the price of my budget that even you coffeesnobs think makes a decent, better-than-caffetiere coffee?
      Hmmm.. Id say no, but its all a matter of taste.
    • Do I even need an espresso machine, considering the fact that ease will be a greater factor over a sligh drop in quality of the outcome for the next year ro two while the kids grow up and arent so dependant on their mum?
      There are other options. Aeropress, presso, plunger etc. Again, it comes down to taste.
    • Would a perculator be a good, very cheap compromise to get better-than-caffetiere coffee?
      Possibly, but only if you have access to good fresh beans. And it really depends on a number of factors.


    Hope that helps.

    One thing you didnt mention - what type of coffee does the wife drink? Espresso, short black, long black, cappuccinos?

    Brett.

  3. #3
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: A not so simple question

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs Rich.

    I dont think I can add to Bretts reply but will repeat "HELL YES YOU NEED A GRINDER".

    I think the Silvia Rocky combo youve spotted sounds like a good deal.

    I dont know what other machines/grinders are available to you there.
    If you mention a few, there may be some opinions for you.

  4. #4
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    Re: A not so simple question

    Arent on-line communities great! How folks ever found out anything in the years before the world wide web Ill never know :)

    Anyway thanks for the replies so far you two, especially fatboy. Looks like a grinder is a necessity at least then - Ive learnt something new today!

    @Thundergod > As for other combo options Ive seen, Im basically weighing up the ones on this site as it seems pretty reliable...

    http://www.myespresso.co.uk/section....e-machine-sets

    In summary, on that page theres the...

    • GAGGIA CLASSIC BUNDLE GRINDER+MACHINE for 370 ($830 AUD)
    • GAGGIA NEW BABY CLASS BUNDLE GRINDER+MACHINE for @390 ($880 AUD)
    • ASCASO DREAM & ASCASO I MINI GRINDER for 390 ($880 AUD)


    And then the Silvia combos Ive been looking at.

    The GAGGIA CLASSIC BUNDLE GRINDER+MACHINE is appealing on price and Iv found some very favourable reviews of it, but from what I can tell the Silvia bundle for 80 more is most likely worth it for the quality of the machine.

    Ive not found any reviews about the GAGGIA NEW BABY, but the reviews of the ASCASO DREAM Ive found are also very good. The issue with the ASCASO DREAM + GRINDER bundle is that I cant find any info on that particular grinder, whereas I know (well, have read that) the Rancilio Rocky is a good un for its price.

    @fatboy> she likes to drink Espressos and cappuccinos when shes out, but at home shes only got a cafetiere so its just a big mug of black coffee when shes not out and about.

    Shed *love the flexibility to foam her own milk, which is another reason Im plumping for the Silvia as that looks like it does a vert good job of that. I cant find any info on the ASCASO DREAMs milk foaming properties specifically.

    Any other help anyone can throw at me would be much appreciated!

    I might even try a cup in thanks to you all when I get the *whichever it may be* machine at christmas :)

  5. #5
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: A not so simple question

    Bundling may not give the best combo but it may give you the best overall price.

    The Ascaso mini is supposed to be a good grinder.
    I havent used one but my info source is reliable.

    Im off to look at that link.

  6. #6
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: A not so simple question

    What the other guys have already said, plus......

    Get the best grinder you can afford. ;D

    Welcome to CoffeeSnobs Rich..... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    If the Silvia/Rocky combo is a little too expensive all-up, ask the retailer to give you a quote on the Silvia bundled with this http://tinyurl.com/6negc8 grinder instead. As TG has already mentioned, they are quite a capable little grinder and would be well matched with the Silvia and gets you back towards your 400 budget.

    All the best :)

    Mal.

    P.S.
    Oh, and once you have your shiny new toys sitting resplendent on the kitchen bench, make sure you grab some freshly roasted, high quality coffee. After all, this is where it all starts and unless you have great beans, it doesnt really matter how good your gear is.

  7. #7
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: A not so simple question

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1228903439/0#5 date=1228950343
    Oh, and once you have your shiny new toys sitting resplendent on the kitchen bench, make sure you grab some freshly roasted, high quality coffee. After all, this is where it all starts and unless you have great beans, it doesnt really matter how good your gear is.
    And then we want pictures.

  8. #8
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    Re: A not so simple question

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    :D Hi everyone, my boyfriend and I are thinking of a coffee machine and I thought the Ascaso Dream looked like a possible. Did a search and here you are - the powers of the internet.



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