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Thread: Advice for Small Office Environment - Budget $700

  1. #1
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    Advice for Small Office Environment - Budget $700

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    * NB: As I now have more info, I have moved this thread from http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1198929109 and re-worded the request ...

    Hi All,

    The Powers that Be have allocated me the enviable task of making recommendations for a coffee machine for our office. We only have a four person office but we all like good coffee and are sick of running to the (not so) local coffee shop every day.

    The budget is up to $700. I would be happy to add options - with justifications - for a higher budget but I will require at least one option that fits budget. One of the bosses is a label snob and I know he wants me to bring in an Italian model. I dont think Id be popular if I came in with only the option of a Sunbeam regardless of how good a machine it is. If I am going to recommend a non-Italian model, I will need CLEAR reasons why it would be the best option.

    I would want the option of including a grinder in this budget so any assistance on that would be appreciated also (although they may want to try one that they have already but Im pretty confident that it wont do the job).

    The coffee of the day is normally skim flat white or latte and the guys like it strong. And as I have never used a coffee machine (and Im sure I will end up being the barista), ease of use and cleaning will be important.

    The other important thing will probably be being able to make four cups of consistently good coffee in a row. I have read through "Coffee For Six" NON-Sponsor link removed by Mods which tells me it can be done provided I get a machine with a 300ml boiler.

    I have to say that I feel WAY more knowledgeable than I did when I started reading through the forums - although I feel like I have a LONG way to go...

    With all of this in mind Im hoping for some more input?

  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for Small Office Environment - Budget $

    Ill leave you with what Ive already suggested in the original thread but do wish you luck in finding an Italian machine + grinder for $700.

  3. #3
    TC
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    Re: Advice for Small Office Environment - Budget $

    I hate to say it Stephie, but I suggest that its time for the boss to watch that great Aussie film, The Castle, because even at 2nd-hand prices, tell him hes dreamin.

    On the other hand, if he can find me a nice, perfect, new Ferrari for a coupla grand, Im in! *;D

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    Re: Advice for Small Office Enviro - Budget $700

    OK - I get it ::).

    So, any suggestions for a solution - machine and grinder - of non-Italian origin (perish the thought ;)) that falls within the budget and fits our scenario?

    Or... concentrating on the espresso machine alone for up to $700 (and crossing the grinder bridge when we come to it). Im assuming that the Sunbeam EM6910 and the Rancilio Silvia are both in this range? Any other suggestions? Thinking Italian 8-), is the Silvia feasible to push out four coffees back to back using the "Coffee For Six" method NON-Sponsor link removed by Mods?

    Thanks for the feedback so far. You guys rock!

  5. #5
    TC
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    Re: Advice for Small Office Enviro - Budget $700

    Quote Originally Posted by stephiej link=1199076426/0#3 date=1199086071
    OK - I get it *::). *

    So, any suggestions for a solution - machine and grinder - of non-Italian origin (perish the thought ;)) that falls within the budget and fits our scenario?

    Or... concentrating on the espresso machine alone for up to $700 (and crossing the grinder bridge when we come to it). *Im assuming that the Sunbeam EM6910 and the Rancilio Silvia are both in this range? Any other suggestions? *Thinking Italian 8-), is the Silvia feasible to push out four coffees back to back using the "Coffee For Six" method?

    Thanks for the feedback so far. *You guys rock!
    Hi Stephie,

    While the method described will most likely work, I believe that this method will substantially reduce element life.

    The element in the Silvia relies on a re-prime of the boiler to better cool it after milk texturing. By delaying this cooling, the result will likely be premature element failure. I dont think that a jug larger than 600ml should be used with a Silvia.

    The fix for a dead element is boiler replacement (read $$$$) or replacement of the element. There is one guy in Melbourne who can do this.

    As much as my business would love your sale and also the fact that I am not crazy about the Sunbeam, with your budget you really have few options. I would not recommend the Silvia in your situation.

    Chris

  6. #6
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for Small Office Environment - Budget $

    I reckon Chris is giving you very unbiased and realistic advice....apart from the EM6910 you are now out of options for your requirements.

    Good hunting.

    Cheers

  7. #7
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for Small Office Environment - Budget $

    Chris always gives unbiased realistic advice.

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    Re: Advice for Small Office Environment - Budget $

    i have suggested to my work a presso and 0480.... and just be happy with flat whites... because handing a machine to people who dont want to/know how to use it properly is a dangerous thing, it ruins the machine, and also the reputation of the person who suggested it, and the brand of machine (no matter which brand)...

  9. #9
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    Re: Advice for Small Office Environment - Budget $

    Even a non italian option will not leave you with any decent options for that sort of money if you are including a grinder.

    You will need a budget of $1000-$1100 at least

    To be totally honest, the best I would recommend would be the Sunbeam 6910 with an Iberital challenge or Gaggia Classic grinder.

    Your label snob boss must be in la la land if he thinks he could get an italian made machine to suit your parameters for under $1000.



  10. #10
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Advice for Small Office Environment - Budget $

    Hmmm,

    Maybe not..... An Imat Napoletana or Lelit or Fenice equivalent is an Italian made combination system that incorporates both a decent grinder and espresso machine for around the $750 mark. I dont know whether any of our site sponsors have this type of unit but most people who own them or have owned them, enjoy them immensely.

    Of course, the same caveats apply as outlined above by Chris, the Boiler is the same physical capacity coupled with a similar rated element as a Silvia. If none of our site sponsors do stock this equipment then you really do need to make sure that from whom ever you purchase the hardware, will provide top class service and ongoing support otherwise you will eventually run into problems of a potentially severe nature.

    I realise it has been touched on already but whatever equipment you end up buying, someone within your office group (preferably two or three people) need to be trained in how to properly use the gear, and how to properly clean and maintain it. The best bet would be to set up a rotating roster so that one specific person has overall responsibility, say on a one week turn-around basis. This way, the hardware will at least stand some chance of maintaining its capability to deliver great coffee and go on to have a long and useful life.
    Failure to address this aspect properly will doom the whole exercise to eventual catastrophe. NOT something you want to have happen just at a time when you are really hanging out for that vital, excellent brew to keep you going throughout the afternoon.

    Anyway, hope this is of some help to you Stephie.... :)

    Cheers,
    Mal.

  11. #11
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    Re: Advice for Small Office Environment - Budget $

    Quote Originally Posted by gaggiaboy link=1199076426/0#7 date=1199158844
    i have suggested to my work a presso and 0480.... and just be happy with flat whites... because handing a machine to people who dont want to/know how to use it properly is a dangerous thing, it ruins the machine, and also the reputation of the person who suggested it, and the brand of machine (no matter which brand)...
    Ill gladly supply the beans if you choose our machine.....PM for the deal details!

  12. #12
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    Re: Advice for Small Office Environment - Budget $

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    thanks prince - gave the boss a ballpark and waiting on a go ahead. i think this is the only safe option as in my last job we had a semi-auto and neglect (ie not purged correctly, not heated correctly, not maintained etc etc) although used regulary, ended in non-satisfactory coffee for some, and a machine playing up. My wifes work had a full super auto and they went through 3 machines (different brands in 2 years) for the same reasons (repairs booked in all the time!). I think when it comes to offices - simplicity is the key.



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