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Thread: Recommendation for Fully Automatic Machine

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2005

    Recommendation for Fully Automatic Machine

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi Gys,

    First time post here & I hope someone can help.

    With a budget of up to $1500, Im looking for any recommendations for a compact Fully Automatic esspresso machine for home.

    Basically, one that has inbuilt grinder & push buttons to select for brew of choice...and of course one that can produce consistantly great coffees!

    Ive read the Choice "shot out" & it basically states that they all average at best regardless of price, so Im confused.

    Any help appreciated.


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Re: Recommendation for Fully Automatic Machine

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregster link=1128569863/0#0 date=1128569863

    With a budget of up to $1500, Im looking for any recommendations for a compact Fully Automatic esspresso machine for home.
    Hi Gregster -
    If you are spending that sort of money, you are obviously doing so because of the convenience of the Superauto machines. *But dont underestimate what they are capable of. *Depite the inevitable plastic, they really are extraordinary examples of industrial design. *Miracles, in fact. *Just think about what they actually do...

    My brother has a Saeco Superauto at home that he’s had for about 4 years that has worked faultlessly.
    My sister in law bought one at the same time for her office and they do about 30 coffees a day on it. *It has worked brilliantly there, too. I wanted to buy one, and was praying for my Faema Magica to fall apart but it didn’t. *One day I just thought “bugger it” and bit the bullet and bought a Saeco Stratos for about $1400. *I have since sold it - but only because I like the theatre of grinding and tamping and getting my hands scalded and freaking out whenever my other half touches the new machine etc. *SERIOUSLY though - In the time I had it, I NEVER had a commercially produced coffee that approached it and that was using some very nice and very cheap beans called Medaglio d’oro available at Woollies and bi-lo. *Much nicer than any other pre-roasted beans – and only $12 a kilo. * (remember, Nescafe is $40.00 a kilo)
    Once I started using beans I roasted myself the quality skyrocketed from the first cup. *The Saeco did a great job on them.

    My advice - go for a superauto if thats what you want, but roast your own.

    Also - be very sure of the direction your coffee consumption is likely to go before shelling out. *There is nothing like a superbly crafted HX machine with a quality grinder from a "pride of ownership", "tactile daily ritual" and "I like toys" perspective. But if you want a machine that anyone can be trained to use in 20 seconds and produces consistently excellent results, a Superauto is a good choice. *Horses for courses.

    P.S. Ignore the Choice article.
    P.P.S. Ignore all Choice articles.

  3. #3
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Re: Recommendation for Fully Automatic Machine

    Gregster, my advice is dont, especially if great-tasting espressos is what youve set your heart on.

    The rationale of most people Ive discussed this topic with, is that if something like a Silvia and Rocky can make great coffee for around $1100, spending around $1500 is justification for a fully automatic which will produce the same if not better coffee without the fuss.

    The conclusion arrived at in the Choice article, unfortunately is correct: the coffee fully automatics make is average.

    Open one up and it looks more like the interior of a computer printer, with plastic bits everywhere.

    Consider what you are paying for: the coffee has to be ground, dosed, transported to the brewer, presumably tamped, and when sensors sense all that has been done, shoot water through, then the dregs have to be emptied out and the machine self cleans.

    Thats where the $1500 is going.

    You are looking at a lot of plastic bits and pieces which have nothing in common with the essential pre-requisites of proper espresso production: i.e., massive chunks of metal for thermal stability.

    Pick one up and see how light it is relative to its size, and relative to a Silvia.

    Ironically, the simplest machines produce the best coffee.

    A Silvias only moving part -- if you call it that -- is a vibration pump. Its really ancient technology, but you are paying for the essential ingredient: metal.

    A stove top Caffetteria is simpler still. And again, all metal.

    I know this is not what you wanted to hear. But it may save disappointment after youve parted with your money and brought home the new toy full of expectation and promise.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Re: Recommendation for Fully Automatic Machine

    Youre getting conflicting messages here - and the debate probably isnt helping. Remember that this site in not called CoffeeSNOBS for nothing. Theres a lot of elitism tied up with technology and some folk seem to be more interested in minute measurements than the enjoyment of coffee.
    If youre looking for convenience, then the superauto is the answer.
    I, like one of the previous posts, take exception to the Choice the review. I have the Saeco Incanto Digital (rrp $1500) and am satisfied that once set up correctly and loaded with quality beans, it produces cafe-standardl shots (in fact, were now disappointed with most of the cafes offerings, ccompared to our home brews). And sure, even though its not a nuclear power plant, it produces sufficient steam to turn out a more than acceptable latte or capo.
    Again, theres a lot of snobbery in all of this, and I guess there are some in the forum who wouldnt like to admit that a machine can do better than they can.
    But the final test is the tongue, so go to Myer or Harvey Norman and get the Saeco person to demonstrate the machines for you. If you dont like what they serve (and remember theyre trained to get the best result from the product theyre motivated to sell), then go back to the drawing board.
    One final piece of advice. Yes, these machines are full of fiddly parts and there is potential for lots to go wrong, so dont overlook the extended warranty.
    We were unlucky with our first Saeco, which went back five or six times in its first six months. Even the replacement went back a couple of times because it was grinding too fine and clogging up, but touch wood, weve put more than 1,000 shots through it in the last six months and its worked like a dream.
    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Re: Recommendation for Fully Automatic Machine

    It all reminds me of a mate and his purple Hyundai Excel.

    He loved his purple excel - thought it was the best car on the road, and it did the job for him well (getting him to work and back).

    All of my car mates, however, just liked to laugh at the fact that he drove a girls car, and they were more than happy to point out all the faults with his purple excel ... but he still loved his car!

    Like someone said above, horses for courses. Just be sure that youre backing the right horse!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Re: Recommendation for Fully Automatic Machine


    good question..for the simple straight answer you will have to read down a little further...because there is a little housekeeping to be taken care of first regarding

    a) the Choice review, and
    b) others replies:

    Auto machines are intrinsically DIFFERENT to manual espresso machines. The coffee they make is different.

    The coffee made by a traditional Italian stove top espresso machine is also different.

    Why should anyone say that coffee made with an auto is not good. In fact the auto does not burn the coffee like a stove top machine does this mean that espresso made with traditional stove tops is also no good?

    Many seem to accept coffee made with the stove why should anyone rag the coffee made by autos??

    My understanding is that there are basically 3 groups of espresso machines, all CALLED espresso machines, but they work in different ways and produce different brews.

    That doesnt mean one type of espresso machine is "better" than the other...they are different and therefore, they cannot be compared. *

    So if the low rating on the quality of espresso produced by autos as given in the choise artikill is a comparison of "auto" espresso, to commercial style espresso as produced on a "manual electric pump driven" espresso machine, then as far as I am concerned they have drawn an incorrect conclusion...because they are different types of machines, you CANNOT compare the coffee made one from the other.

    It would be like comparing an orange to an apple...they are both fruit but are not the same and do not compete or compare with eachother.

    You can only compare coffee made with autos, against coffee made with other autos!

    If auto coffee suits you, or of an auto espresso machine suits you (and I can assure everyone they make excellent office coffee machines for various reasons), get one and enjoy! *

    So my advice Gregster, is to walk past ALL the rest, and buy the E80 JUra Impressa, RRP $1495.00.

    It has a very well known very low breakdown rate and performs extremely well. The service backup is THE BEST in this country. The importers bend over backwards to help their resellers and service providers and, their retail clients.

    Some other brand autos have extremely HIGH beakdown rates, bad service backup, and unless they have been around for a long time, no history. History is important with automatic espresso machines, in fact because of the high breakldown rate of some brand / models in the past.

    There is another "cheaper" model that is extremely good value for money given it is a twin boiler / thermoblock machine at the same price ($1495.00). I say "cheaper", because otherwise you would not pick up a twin boiler / thermoblock machine for under $2000.00. It works well, is relatively simple and also has an extremely low breakdown/service rate for an automatic machine...called the Spidem Digital. Otherwise, the Jura is certainly the most up *market model of the two.

    If you need help getting into either of these and cant get it in your local areea, I can be contacted privately below.

    Hope this helps,

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Re: Recommendation for Fully Automatic Machine

    Seems like everyone is right to me??

    It seems the main choice you are making is CONVIENIENCE. Superautos will make very good coffee VERY easily. A Silvia/Rocky combo will make even better coffee (almost perfect) BUT, it requires quite a lot of work (grinding, tamping, pouring, frothing, and, practice, practice, practice).

    Sounds like once you get a good superauto they are relyable and very easy to use. But realise that it wont be AS good as it could be. Just MUCH more convienient.

    My partner STILL cant use the espresso machine, and shes not even interested in trying. Im sure with a superauto shed be much happier, so dont tell her will ya!!

    Im also sure ALLl the people with a Silvia/Rocky combo would upgrade to a Brewtus/Mini Mazzer ($3300) given the available cash. There is ALWAYS upgrade fever with coffeesnobs.

  8. #8
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Re: Recommendation for Fully Automatic Machine

    You make a tantalising point, AndyCJ.... *that all CSs would spend $3300 to upgrade to a Brewtus/mazza mini.

    Im not sure of that. Especially given the well-trodden path several have already travelled, having spent, say, $200 on a basic machine, upgrading to a $400 one plus $60 for a chopper grinder, *then $1000 for better one still with bur grinder. *

    Another $3300 on top of that?

    That would make a total $5000 outlay to make coffee. *Sure, for some. But I doubt, *for all.

    $3300 would probably make it the most expensive gadget in the home outside the plasma screen tv. *More expensive than any other kitchen appliance. *More expensive than anything in the boys toys workshop.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2005

    Re: Recommendation for Fully Automatic Machine

    ....given the available cash, yes - most of us would spend it on something else.

    ....perhaps I should have phrased it like this....

    If any CSer was given this combo, they wouldnt put it on eBay ;)

  10. #10
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
    Warwick, QLD

    Re: Recommendation for Fully Automatic Machine

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Snip Quote from FC:-
    If auto coffee suits you, or of an auto espresso machine suits you (and I can assure everyone they make excellent office coffee machines for various reasons), get one and enjoy!
    Very well considered advice FC..... if we had a CS Q&A section, this should definitely be in it [smiley=tekst-toppie.gif]


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