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Thread: machine suggestions

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    machine suggestions

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi,
    am looking to buy a coffee machine that is GOOD. so many out there it is confusing. i dont have too many restrictions on what i am looking for but want it to make good coffee without too much fuss and obviously dont want a dud. The only machine I have used is a delonghi magnifica and am tempted to get one of those just because I know how to make a good coffee on it. There is a Delonghi Icona Espresso Maker - Red ECO310R for sale at myer at the moment, anyone have any views on this machine? I already have a sunbeam emo 415 grinder. I am prepared to pay a reasonable amount for a good machine but not a fortune.

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    Re: machine suggestions

    Welcome to CS.

    Not wishing to be facetious, but this topic has been done to death in here a thousand times over so there is plenty to read already, after which you will be even more confused*than you already are :)

    Consider your budget and whether you want an auto or a conventional type machine.

    Then look in the appropriate equipment sections below which are already conveniently separated into 3 different budgets from small end to exi end.

    Without the above, any responses to this may give you info on models you dont want or cant afford which really, is a waste of time for both you and the people taking the time to respond.

    Good luck* ;)

  3. #3
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    Re: machine suggestions

    The only suggestion I would make is, Get a better grinder, The one you have isnt really that good for anything apart from chopping herbs and nuts...

    Something with a burr would be an optimal choice, Otherwise, yeah, youd be restricted to pressurised units, which limits yourself to the lower end of the market, What Fresh_coffee said goes however, Name your budget.

    The DeLongi espresso machines seem to be pretty robust, I think theyre built somewhat on the same platform/line as the low end Gaggia range (philips-saeco) Not had personal experience with them, but well, Theres better, and theres worse.

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    Re: machine suggestions - rebuild saeco vs repacked gaggia

    Ok, I have been doing a LOT of looking at different machines and reading reviews and am not really any the wiser. So much to learn for an enthusiastic novice machine purchaser. I think I have found some gold at the end of the machine rainbow (let me know if Im wrong). I am looking at rebuild/repacked Saeco and Gaggia machines and the ones I like are:
    Saeco Syntia Stainless Steel - rebuild $799
    Gaggia New Baby Twin - repack $399
    Gaggia Brera - repack $899

    Im pretty excited about these machines as Ive read Gaggia is pretty great, and would probably prefer a repack than a build. They all come with 1 year warranty.
    I guess Id like to get something for under $700 but am willing to spend up to $900 for something really good, and these machines are significantly reduced.
    Thoughts?

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    Re: machine suggestions

    Im probably posting in the wrong section ... :-/

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    Re: machine suggestions

    Hi Deedle,

    I just traded my old Bezzera BZ02 in for new Bezzera Magica. Might be up for grabs soon, if it is not already sold.

    When I upgraded from my little Breville Ikon was at a cross roads, where I had the choice down to purchase a new Single Boiler or a second hand Heat Exchanger (Hx) Machine. From experiance and some wise words from my Dad (Mal) and Andy I went for the Hx Machine and was never happier. Hx quality over a Single Boiler and the ability to steam milk and pull a shot at the same time won it for me hands down.

    Some thing to consider.

    KennyM

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    Re: machine suggestions

    Thanks KennyM, being able to steam at the same time sounds great, a real time saver, but if that means getting a top of the line cafe style machine Im probably not there yet. As for the single boiler vs heat exchanger, these are things that are new to me. Im very new to the land of coffee machines. I had a look at the specs on the machines and could not find anything about that, so I guess theyre all single boilers.

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    Re: machine suggestions

    Dont be fooled by the word heat exchanger or the false promise that youll save real time making lattes becasue you can steam and brew coffee at the same time - you wont.

    Id suggest from where you are at, get a Rancilio Silvia or similar based single boiler machine with brass or copper boiler. That will cost $800ish. Avoid chinese rubbish with italian brand names (with the exceptiopn of the sunbeam cafe series which gets a good review)

    Stepping up from here you will pay over $2000, theres very little middle ground. Most of the heat exchanges in this class - you wont taste the difference. The VBM will taste like the Giotto which will taste like the Butterfly which will taste like the Expobar, and so on....People will disagree on theory but reality is theres little difference becasue in practive, not even two shots on the same machine are theoretically identical. The reason is that at this level, other variables come into play and make the actual machine a less significant factor. Grinder still the important factor, as well as your technique.

    Theres a good reason why poeple on these forums rave about the Silvia - it makes a good quality espresso with good steam power.

    I have a Silvia (for past 6 years) and recently a Bezzera Magica (heat exhange) as well as Gaggia Carezza. The Bezzera is definately a beautiful machine to work with and I do not regret the purchase, but if I was honest, with my improvement in technique from the new machine, I have now also gone back and re-mastered the ability to pull similar quality shots on the Rancilio Silvia (with a PID I put on set at 106c). The main difference is I now have a clue about what I am doing with the dose on the Silvia. I wanted that intense flavour from cafes but realised now that the lattes in cafes are overdosed to give more flavour - not neccesarily abouot the machine they use.

    Both have good steam power the Bezz is slightly more powerful but this power goes to waste anyway on 1-4 drinks.

    As for heating and brewing at same time - honestly I make lattes the same time on either Silvia or Bezz Magica. Remeber you still need time to get your jug and pour milk into it - by that time both steamer types are ready.

    But the Bezz Magica is a dream to work with.

  9. #9
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    Re: machine suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by 48535E5158624B54535354583D0 link=1341022093/7#7 date=1341370700
    Dont be fooled by the word heat exchanger or the false promise that youll save real time making lattes becasue you can steam and brew coffee at the same time - you wont.
    Sorry- but I have to disagree. Just because you wont/dont doesnt mean you cant. I do it frequently on our demo machines and on my personal machine at home.

    The big difference with HX over single boiler is the ability to do what you want whenever you want without delay. In addition, no need for boiler priming.

    Agreed that when used well, single boiler and HX machines can each produce excellent coffee in the right hands. From my reading of the thread, I think the OP has a Silvia budget, so its an entry level single boiler (with the caveat that you need to know what youre doing or you end up with cooked elements) or an appliance.

    Cheers

    Chris

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    Re: machine suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by 58434E4148725B44434344482D0 link=1341022093/7#7 date=1341370700
    Dont be fooled by the word heat exchanger or the false promise that youll save real time making lattes becasue you can steam and brew coffee at the same time - you wont.
    Im with Chris on this one. In fact, after having a loaner BZ99 for a few weeks while my single boiler was in the shop got me across the line to upgrading to an HX.

    It was the very convenience and speed of being able to brew and texture milk at the same time that I couldnt give up. Throw in boiler priming and that was it for me - no more single boilers.

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    Re: machine suggestions

    Each to their own. All I can say is that the only two points put forward about the benfits of heat exchangers didnt exist for me, or are marginal at best.

    1) Brew and steam at same time? How. If you have a semi-auto machine you have to pull a level for 25 seconds then pull it closed. How on earth do you steam milk in that time? Even if you could why would you need to try? I have not found that this feature lived up to the hype. At some point all machione users have to prepare milk - that doesnt dissappear when you have a HX so if you want to do that in the 25 second brew time go for it. The Silvia boiler gets to steam temp (140C in about 30 seconds, just about as fast as I could pour the milk in a jug) so the time difference was negligable at best for me.

    2) Boiler priming. Never noticed having to to do that once on my Silvia - and you shouldnt need to because before you turn off the machine you would normally do a cleaning flush, close the steam wand and ensure the water tank is full like any machine - that flush fills the boiler.

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    Re: machine suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by 48535E5158624B54535354583D0 link=1341022093/10#10 date=1341378057
    2) Boiler priming. Never noticed having to to do that once on my Silvia - and you shouldnt need to because before you turn off the machine you would normally do a cleaning flush, close the steam wand and ensure the water tank is full like any machine - that flush fills the boiler.
    No worries Uncle Vinnie. What would I know anyway?

    Id just be the bloke who sold hundreds of them and who gets a call each week from an owner who was never shown how to prime his machine- or didnt bother. I refer them to repairers or those who sell replacement boilers.

    Ill leave this discussion for more knowledgable 2 post internet expert owners of individual machines. ::)
    CafeLotta likes this.

  13. #13
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    Re: machine suggestions

    Well I brew and steam at the same time every morning.
    Whilst a double shot is pouring, I start steaming the milk. When the shot is done, I flick the lever down and finish the milk. Then I immediately do another double and milk.

    Having owned a Silvia previously, I find the Expobar (not a HX, a double-boiler, but silmilar capabilities) allows me to do my coffee faster, but most importantly is the ability to immediately do another double right away. Something I could not do with the Silvia.

    In fact, twice I have produced 50 coffees in a row using the Expobar with the only delays being the operator and a water tank refill.

    But if the budget wont allow it, then it is somewhat moot.

    Brett.

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    Re: machine suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by 64515C5B6F735F56565555300 link=1341022093/8#8 date=1341371308
    From my reading of the thread, I think the OP has a Silvia budget, so its an entry level single boiler (with the caveat that you need to know what youre doing or you end up with cooked elements) or an appliance.
    Well, I probably dont know what Im doing at this stage given its my first purchase so may very well end up with cooked elements.
    Quote Originally Posted by 455E535C556F46595E5E5955300 link=1341022093/7#7 date=1341370700
    Avoid chinese rubbish with italian brand names (with the exceptiopn of the sunbeam cafe series which gets a good review)
    Does that mean saeco and gaggia are in this category?

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    Re: machine suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by 535441575A4C6A040C0C0C350 link=1341022093/12#12 date=1341378885
    Well I brew and steam at the same time every morning.
    Whilst a double shot is pouring, I start steaming the milk. When the shot is done, I flick the lever down and finish the milk. Then I immediately do another double and milk.
    Yes but you havent mentioned the 45 seconds you spent getting the milk into the jug before pulling your first shot.

    With the single boiler you can pull your shot 45 seconds earlier and then get your milk ready while the boiler is heating for steaming. Same time diff.

    Gaggia and Saeco I think are not the same companies they were a decade ago, and this is true of many companies that have tried to lower production costs and acheive mass market distribution. I think the Gaggia Classic and even its younger brother the Carezza (which I still have) can make excellent espressos but I have noticed the boiler temp is very finnicky and steam power nothing like a Silvia or HX.

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    Re: machine suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by 3C272A252C163F202727202C490 link=1341022093/14#14 date=1341381608
    Yes but you havent mentioned the 45 seconds you spent getting the milk into the jug before pulling your first shot.

    With the single boiler you can pull your shot 45 seconds earlier and then get your milk ready while the boiler is heating for steaming. Same time diff
    No. Not same time diff.
    I dont take 45 seconds to pour the milk into the jug.
    Its part of my preparation routine.
    I bring the milk to my machine.
    I grind the coffee whilst getting my cups in place and pour the milk into the jug.
    I dose my group handle, tamp, lock and begin the shot.
    About 5 seconds into this, I am ready to start steaming the milk.
    At around the 30 second mark, I push the lever down to stop the shot. The milk for a double takes a bit more time to complete on my machine. Havent timed it, but I reckon its less than 30 (more) seconds.
    When the milk is done, wipe wand, purge, and pour milk into coffee(s).
    I dont know why you find it so hard to believe that it is ACTUALLY quicker.
    Like I said, I did own a Silvia prior to this. I am comparing my own experiences on the 2 machines.
    The Expobar is faster.

    Brett.

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    Re: machine suggestions

    I could try your routine but saving 30 seconds is not my priority.

    Id rather enjoy watching the magic of the syrupy espresso shot from my fresh Di Bella beans rather than steam a milk jug during a shot. So much to look forward to - the countdown to the first stream out of the spout, the rise in the OPV gauge reading and monitoring the flow and quantity. Its a very enjoyable experience.

    Then I can steam at my own pace. Maybe thats why I dont see the difference in timing between a single boiler and heat exchange. SO ultimately it depends on your routine.

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    Re: machine suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by 68737E7178426B74737374781D0 link=1341022093/16#16 date=1341387541
    Maybe thats why I dont see the difference in timing between a single boiler and heat exchange. SO ultimately it depends on your routine.
    Race you to three....

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    Re: machine suggestions

    Sorry to open a can of worms guys. Was offering some advice from my own experiance.

    I certainly enjoyed myself with my old second Bezzera BZ02. Not sure if I can quote someone but when I was sitting on the fence deciding to purchase the Silvia or the Bezzera. Was told if I was not happy with the quality of the Bezzera I could bring it straight back and exchange for a new Silvia* 0.o* To get an offer like that speaks volumes for the quality of a good second hand Hx Machine. Was a steep adjustment from a Breville Ikon to the Bezzera BZ02 but worth every moment.*

    Finding a quality second hand Hx Machine might prove to be tricky but keep your eyes peeled (I was very lucky to find Bezzera). But if you only really make coffee for yourself and not quite ready to plunge into a Hx Machine then a quality single boiler machine will suit your needs.

    Good hunting* :)

    KennyM

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    Re: machine suggestions

    Errm, this discussion seems to have gone astray into boiler versus HX, given that I dont know much about either and its not really something Im that concerned about.
    I think Ill just keep researching...
    Cheers anyway :)

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    Re: machine suggestions

    Its certainly a personal preference.

    Ive had both - a single boiler BZ09 thats similar to the Silvia (but better - OP, contact Chris from Bezzera as he might have one of these for sale in your price point. No stuffing about with temp surfing and a much, much bigger drip tray) and now a BZ07.

    I certainly DID have to prime the boiler because the machine stayed on most of the day for the multiple coffees that would get made. I know someone who did fry their boiler element because they neglected this part of the routine.

    And like the other posters, I prep my milk while the coffee is grinding and the *MASSIVE STEAM VOLUME* of an HX means that the milk is done in about 10-12 seconds. Plenty of time to pour a shot in 25 secs while it does it.

    And since Ive started doing a bit more entertaining recently, the HX is a massive advantage. Hosting a dinner party for eight meant losing about 30 mins prepping coffee on the single boiler. It was just a few minutes per two cups with the HX.

    So it depends on your preferences and your use-case. If you entertain, dont want your shots getting cold and souring (slightly) while waiting for the boiler to come up to steam temp and dont want to worry about potentially destroying your boiler element, then an HX is for you.

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    Re: machine suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by 727373727A73160 link=1341022093/19#19 date=1341389128
    I think Ill just keep researching...
    Thats the go deedle,

    Do make the time to perform a CS search on boiler priming. Best to go in with your eyes open.

    Elements and boilers dont come cheaply.

    Chris

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    I'm just going to add my second crack here in this thread.

    I currently have a Sylvia which is about 20 months old in my family. I've learned to make some very tasty coffees on it and think its a great machine, however if budget allowed (or could be stretched) I would be shooting for either a twin boiler or a HX machine, especially post using one regularly (a group of us at work have a communal BES-900 aka Breville dual boiler) the convenience factor alone of being able to pull a shot and steam, works well for a single coffee, and really steps up when you hit multiple.

    The second you step it up to making multiple coffee's is where a single boiler for me falls down. The time required to get the boiler back up to temperature to do the milk has me standing around waiting far too much for my liking, and the second you need to think about catering to 6 people (who naturally all drink latte's) well lets just say person #1 will be finished their coffee by the time yours is done. I've now got little ones who ask for baby chino's, hot chocolates and the like - I'd like to the ability to texture milk all day long without interruption on any future machine.

    For me - I'll be looking to upgrade my machine when the budget allows to make my life easier and save me a few minutes here and there, and it will definitely not be a single boiler machine. If you're going to be texturing a lot of milk, I'd suggest that you might end up feeling the same.

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    Whatever you do , dont buy a Gaccia baby twin...ive had mine for just on 8 months and its been back to Expressoitalia 3 times already and about to go back for no. 4..It leaks, had the base boiler replaced already and still leaks..

    Took the top off it today and still water inside...so dangerous around electrics....also it has silicon tubing inside and its not the best carrier of water...and the steamer on these are so weak ..
    Waiting for it to pack up completely so i can buy a breville or a rancilio.....

    cheers....mark

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    Well , got it back and its working ok for now...will see how it goes over the next few months before the warranty runs out...

    cheers..mark

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    Hi OP you may want to consider a Oscar. Little bit more than a Silvia but having used both of them I really like the bang for your buck you get with the Oscar. Having taken both apart both machines are excelent inside. With the Silvia I reccomend having a PID it make the user expierence much more enjoyable.

    Oscar nuova simonelli & Breville Smart Grinder - YouTube

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    Well..here we are a few months later....and its *** itself again....now it keeps cutting off on power after about 15 minutes being left on...then have to wait 30 minutes before using it again...trouble is now the warranty is out a few weeks ago...Im gonna ditch the thing and buy another one...different brand of course..i wouldnt touch Gaccia again ever with a 10 foot pole...

    Cheers....mark

    (Mod Edit - Language)
    Last edited by Coffee2Di4; 29th November 2012 at 05:01 PM.

  28. #28
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    Hello Mark,

    Sorry to hear that you have experienced issues and I am sure you are frustrated and then some.

    I think that if you approach your supplier, you will find that they will look at the circumstances of this failure and whether warranty support should be extended for this machine. A few weeks out is near enough in my opinion.

    A word of advice though. If you take your experiences to the retailer using similar language to that used in your post, you will probably end up staring as a locked door!

    Good luck.

    Chris

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    Hi ..Final update 6 months on..

    I found out the bottom steam boiler was leaking and needed repairing....Also the power cut out issue was caused by a faulty circuit board..needed replacing....they wanted $280 to fix it...

    Coudnt justify that so i kept using it and made sure i used it within 5 minutes of turning it on...lasted for about 4 months then crapped itself completely..

    Picked up a second hand Gaggia classic for $150 and been using that just for time being ...until i can afford a new rancilio silvia or breville....The technician told me the baby twin is full of plastic parts and very cheaply made

    Its amazing they can sell these things for $600..

    cheers..mark

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    Hey deedle, or any1 wanting a coffee machine good....i got a Breville bes840 in the end...awesome machine and wood recomend it...

    much better than the gaggia twin that i have turfed! makes a awesome shot and quick to heat up in mornings....

    cheers....

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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Missed the thread bump by reading from the start and not looking at the date. Oops!. Comment deleted.
    Last edited by CafeLotta; 12th July 2013 at 11:33 AM.



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