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Thread: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

  1. #1
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    Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello All,
    Ive been lurking here for some time and have learned a great deal from the site and am now ready to purchase a new machine and grinder after (hopefully) some guidance and advice from the experts.

    Firstly let me provide some background on my experience and past equipment. *I am the owner of a recently deceased Sunbeam EM6900 and still living EM480 grinder. *(I can hear the boos and hisses already!). *I realise from experience and trolling through these venerable halls that I need to invest in something more decent if I am to achieve the Coffee Nirvana that I seek.

    The following is a summary of my coffee story. *I hope that it will help you to help me make the right decision on the equipment that I need.

    1. *I generally make (untill recently) 2-4 milk based coffees each day. *This can vary dependant on the number of vistors.
    2. *I live in regional central Queenland (Rockhampton) and dont (easily) have access to a try before I buy location. :(
    3. *I need/want good service, warranty, delivery, backup, etc.
    4. *Im thinking a HX machine but am open to suggestions.
    5. *Naturally would like to keep costs down (wife factor involved!)
    6. *Want the best bang for buck! (Of course ;)!)
    7. *Budget is around $3K (with grinder) may stretch beyond if there is a strong case to warrant.

    I do like the VBM Domobar Super and Giotto Premium plus. *Am I aiming too high considering my circumstances?

    Please help. *All (constructive) advice welcome.

    N.B. Site sponsors are welcome to seduce/cajole/woo me with advice and or tempting offers! I am a serious buyer and will be buying based on best offer that meets expectations. Willing to enter dialogue. :)

    Cheers and thanks. *Great Site!

    Darryl

  2. #2
    TC
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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    Hi Darryl and welcome!

    Both machines you have suggested will easily meet your brief and the great thing is that there is an ECA service agent up your way. We would refer you to him in the unlikely event that warranty service was required and you could also take your machine to him for routine service...

    Your brief to me reads HX and Id stick with one for the intrinsic simplicity given that you are relatively remote. Dual boiler machines being by nature more complex have more things which can go wrong.

    Any great HX machine will meet your brief. The important thing is to ensure you purchase a good one (and believe me there are some good looking bad ones as well!)...

    For mine, allocate a goodly proportion to a great grinder such as a Compak K3, Mazzer mini or similar. You really should look to something better than the Sunbeam if you possibly can. Then, see whats left and get the best machine you can scrounge together the funds for...

    Some suggestions:[*]Expobar e-61 lever[*]Diadema Regal 1.3L (BFC Reale)

    If you can scrape together some more cash, then look at machines like:[*]Top end Diadema[*]Rocket[*]Bezzera Domus Galatea[*]VBM Domobar Super

    We have quite a few clients up your way and would be happy to assist if we can...

    Chris

  3. #3
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    I like the simplicity of my Expobar lever.
    Solid workhorse.

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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    Hi Darryl,

    Definitely go the HX option with your requirements. I agree with Chriss recommendations for good quality smaller HX machines but would extend it as follows:

    * Bezzera BZ07
    * Diadema Regal 1.3
    * Expobar Office Leva
    * Isomac Tea

    As for the grinder, consider the doser option first up. If you decide on a doser go for a mazzer mini, macap m4, ECA Best or a Compak K3 Elite WBC.

    Otherwise a top end doserless such as a Mazzer Mini E or Macap M4D, or the mid range Compak K3 Touch will do the job.

    We bench test to ensure your equipment arrives in perfect working order and then provide you with ongoing after sales service and support.

    Theres a lot of choice and we can help you decide on the perfect set up for you,

    charlie

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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    You really should look to something better than the Sunbeam if you possibly can
    As someone who just went from a sunbeam 480 grinder (and a now dead EM6900) to a Macap M4D, the grinder makes a massive difference.

    I know it seems like alot to pay for something you "already" have, but the 480 is really not up to the task of making true quality shots.

    Just take the extra pain now, or dare I say drink instant for a month or two and get a grinder to match your intended machine.

    And lastly, youll love it when you get your new gear...you really will!

  6. #6
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    I have a Sunbeam grinder and a Macap.
    As lattelover said..."massive difference".

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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    Hello again,
    Well a lot can (and did) happen in a week of pondering, researching and learning! *Firstly, let me thank all those involved in helping me on my path to the right decision. *Especially Chris from Talk Coffee and Charlie from Jetblack Espresso for their honest, no pressure advice. *Since my first post and after doing what I thought to be a thorough search for dealers in my home town and turning up nothing, a friend pointed me to a small local store that he thought sold espresso machines. *I must admit my first reaction to this news was one of scepticism and doubt, but went along to satisfy my curiosity expecting to find at best some dime store equipment.

    As I walked through the door my gaze fell upon two shiny objects on the shelf behind the counter. *As I got closer my excitement grew as it dawned on me what they were, I couldnt believe that the objects were the very machines that were at the top of my original desire list! *The venerable Rocket Giotto Premium Plus and The Vibiemme Domobar Super!! :D Nestled between the two was an ECA Best grinder! *

    OK with the initial excitement over, I put my logic head back on in order to talk turkey about a package deal on the Giotto bundled with the Best. *It was time for surprise No. two! *I was able to negotiate what I believe to be a pretty good deal that in the end surpased, by a reasonable margin, any that Id seen when doing in my research for the same items! :) *Also, no freight charges for me to worry about. *The store has also included a couple of Kilos of decent quality commercial beans as a sweetener as well so that was a nice touch.

    The store has offered/insisted that they do a pre delivery check to ensure all is well and will dial in the grinder for me as part of the service. *Warranty and service is catered for and all this less than 3kms from where I live! *How did I almost miss this?

    My apologies to the guys from Talk Coffee and Jetblack that I couldnt send my business their way on this occassion but this was the logical way to go for me considering our relative locations. *No doubt Ill be looking for more stuff in the coming months/years and will be knocking on their doors for new toys. *I cant recommend them strongly enough to anyone who is seeking great advice and a wide range to select from.

    The new bling is being picked up on Friday so I expect to be back here to report either excited about my new found skills, and or crying for help/advice. ;)

    Cheers and thanks to all those who contributed help and advice. *Terrific site.
    Darryl.

  8. #8
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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    Hey there Darryl....

    Thats excellent news mate. Nothing better than having a passionate specialist vendor on your doorstep. Weve got a "rule" around here though ::)... When you buy bling, we like to see lots of photos of all that shiny stuff and even a couple while pulling shots. We never get sick of seeing beautiful hardware.... 8-) ;D

    All the best :)
    Mal.

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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    When you buy bling, we like to see lots of photos of all that shiny stuff and even a couple while pulling shots.
    Thanks Mal,
    Yes I soon became aware of the rule while surfing the posts and will endevour to honour it :). *Just give me a little time to perfect my shot pulls. *Id hate to provide pics of pretty bling producing poor shots. ::)

    Cheers.

  10. #10
    TC
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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    Congrats on your purchase Darren and many happy coffees...Enjoy! *8-)
    Chris

  11. #11
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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    Now thats the way to do it
    Start in at the deep end
    After a short learning curve you wont look back

    Congrats on your new machine Darryl
    Welcome to coffee snobs

    KK

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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    Well done Darryl, who would have thought youd find a place like that in Rocky! Perhaps I was wrong about Queenslanders and coffee [smiley=wink.gif]

    Ill bet it feels good to have made the "right" choice of equipment. Youll likely have already forgotten the cost and if not, you will after you pull the first shot.

    Look forward to the pics.

  13. #13
    A_M
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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by 323F2A2A3B3231283B2C5E0 link=1251626803/11#11 date=1251961106
    Well done Darryl, who would have thought youd find a place like that in Rocky! *Perhaps I was wrong about Queenslanders and coffee *[smiley=wink.gif]

    Ill bet it feels good to have made the "right" choice of equipment. *Youll likely have already forgotten the cost and if not, you will after you pull the first shot.

    Look forward to the pics.
    We just try to be a little less in ya face and some times it is to our disadvantage ;D


    Good find Dazzler24... A Sponsor may have lost a direct sale... But they know that it is not all about the $$$


    As per http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1251936300

    CSs are not Egg or Carrot types, they are;

    • Coffee-bean people. Take ground coffee beans, put them into boiling water, and soon a delightful aroma fills the room and the crystal clear water takes on a beautiful dark brown color. With the carrot and the egg you throw away the water after you cook them, but not with coffee. It has eliminated that waste. You pour the coffee into your favorite cup; the aroma and taste wakes you up in the morning and settles you down after a fine meal in the evening. The coffee bean has taken the water and transformed it into something better; it has taken its environment and made something better out of it.

    Coffee-bean people do exactly the same thing; they enter into the frantic world we live in and add value to it, bringing more joy and prosperity to the people they come into contact with as well as themselves. They measure their riches by the friends they make, not by the dollars they have in their bank account. We all need to become coffee-bean people.




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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    Hi All,
    Err... please forgive my ignorance but how do I upload/insert photos? :-[ *My babies are here and I want to show them off!

    And on another tack... of those that have an Anfim/ECA BEST grinder, what are your grind settings? *I know that there are always variables that affect these settings but humor this noob, please post your numbers to give me that warm and fuzzy feeling that Im around about in the right area.
    I might post this question in the grinders discussion group.

    Cheers.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by 775249495F56410107330 link=1251626803/13#13 date=1252134040
    Hi All,
    Err... please forgive my ignorance but how do I upload/insert photos? :-[ *My babies are here and I want to show them off!

    And on another tack... of those that have an Anfim/ECA BEST grinder, what are your grind settings? *I know that there are always variables that affect these settings but humor this noob, please post your numbers to give me that warm and fuzzy feeling that Im around about in the right area.
    I might post this question in the grinders discussion group.

    Cheers.
    Your files may be to large?
    Allowed file types: txt doc docx psd pdf bmp jpe jpg jpeg gif png swf zip rar tar csv xls
    Maximum Attachment size: 2000 KB

    You need to download free from Microsoft
    Image Resizer
    This PowerToy enables you to resize one or many image files. When resizing you can choose from one of four standard sizes or choose a size that you specify. You can also choose to resize the original image or create a new one. Right click any image(s) and select Resize Pictures in the context menu.

    Then press browse to insert
    If you have more photos up to 5
    Press + button on attachments and repeat

    You could also link to an online storage facility such as photobucket * :)

    KK *

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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    Thanks Kosmo, I actually have, and used, Image Resizer to make the 1 photo (jpg) = 146Kb. *Used the browse button to insert but then when doing a preview I get a Security warning telling me to browse and attach again?! *I do this but dont get any further? *Is it because Ive only done a few posts that I dont yet have those permissions?

    Darryl

  17. #17
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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by 163328283E37206066520 link=1251626803/15#15 date=1252135495
    Thanks Kosmo, I actually have, and used, Image Resizer to make the 1 photo (jpg) = 146Kb. *Used the browse button to insert but then when doing a preview I get a Security warning telling me to browse and attach again?! *I do this but dont get any further? *Is it because Ive only done a few posts that I dont yet have those permissions?

    Darryl
    Only a Moderator can answer that
    Try the link to photobucket method

    KK

  18. #18
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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by 745059595A5A6074504C52503F0 link=1251626803/16#16 date=1252135668
    Only a Moderator can answer that
    Not so.

    Quote Originally Posted by 64415A5A4C45521214200 link=1251626803/15#15 date=1252135495
    when doing a preview I get a Security warning telling me to browse and attach again?!
    You cant preview before posting the attachment; you lose the attachment; thats why its telling you to attach again.

  19. #19
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    Heres a link to the thread on attaching images... http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1187136315 Just scroll to the last post which describes attaching multiple images with the recent YaBB upgrade.... :)

    Mal.

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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    Thanks guys,
    It looks like I was on the right track. *I guess you just cant preview your image before posting.
    Quote Originally Posted by 675B465D575641545C57330 link=1251626803/17#17 date=1252138462
    You cant preview before posting the attachment; you lose the attachment; thats why its telling you to attach again.
    OK Ill try again! *.... Behold the new shiney toys! *8-). *But avert your eyes if youre not worthy! ...which is sadly what I am having to do at the moment :(. *I need to get my grind fine tuned (even coarse tuned would be good!) *Tomorrows another day.. let the challenges begin.




  21. #21
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    I found your problem, mate :D --the switches are turned off!!! ;D

    Greg

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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0F3A2D2F1F273A2529242C480 link=1251626803/20#20 date=1252196723
    I found your problem, mate :D --the switches are turned off!!! ;D

    Greg
    Ahaaa! *Thanks Greg. *I knew that it must have been something simple! ::) *As you obviously are so wise in the ways of science and know so much about these new fangled devices...where do I put the hops, sugar, yeast and water??? *:P

  23. #23
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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    more pics more pics, and a review if ya can pull ya self away from the bling ;D

  24. #24
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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    Gday WSully,
    Heres a couple more pics showing the packaging - excellent! And one showing a different type of aperitif to mark the grand opening celebration and official launch of the bling. [smiley=beer.gif] (any excuse will suffice!)

    When Im a little (lot) more experienced Id be happy to do a review. I still dont quite feel worthy at the moment!

    Cheers.








  25. #25
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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5A7F6464727B6C2C2A1E0 link=1251626803/23#23 date=1252325790
    I still dont quite feel worthy at the moment!
    Not true, your the one at the controls of that lovely beast, even in laymans term, which in some cases are easier to understand than from an experienced persons point of view because some of the irrelevant science mumbo jumbo is taken out of the equation......

    beautiful set though mate, nice moet shot, too!, great drop isnt it!

  26. #26
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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    Hey Dazzler,

    I have almost exactly the same setup myself (minus the Moet though....I knew I was missing something! *:D)

    Its a great combo which Im sure will bring you much joy.

    Weve actually also followed similar paths by the sounds. Youve come from a Sunbeam EM6900, I came from a Silvia. Ive had my GPP for a little over a month now, and theres been an adjustment period going from one machine to the other. I jumped to the GPP and had pretty much the exact initial experience youve described in this and other threads. Problems with early blonding, shot inconsistency, etc.

    I found that some techniques I used on the Silvia which seemed acceptable, definitely needed adjusting (or even re-learning) when I tried to apply them to the GPP. Ive found the GPP to be a much more technique-sensitive device, particularly in dosing and tamping. I suspect youll find/are finding something similar.

    One of the things that helped me identify the adjustments I needed to make in my dosing/tamping technique was to buy a naked group handle from CoffeeParts <------ over there in the site sponsors section. You might find one helpful also.

    As WSully said, dont get caught up in the whole worthy/unworthy thing. Keep the faith and enjoy the ride!

    Congrats mate.

    Caff.

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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    Thanks Caff, Its nice to know that I am not alone in the journey and others have been there. *Thanks for the tip about the naked group handle. * Do you have any other specific tips and or gems of wisdom (Giotto specific) that you are prepared to part with? *Your technique from grind to settling to levelling to tamp to lock to brew etc.

    And dont worry, I dont give up too easily. *I will get it....eventually *::)

    Quote Originally Posted by 5C587E6767627D6A650B0 link=1251626803/24#24 date=1252326990
    beautiful set though mate, nice moet shot, too!, great drop isnt it!
    Thanks WSully, and yes the Moet is very tasty (hic!)

    Cheers!

  28. #28
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    Re: Please help with new machine and grinder purchase.

    No worries dude. Youre never alone. The great thing about this forum is that theres never a shortage of people willing to listen and help if they can.

    By the way, Im loving every bit of my journey, setbacks and all *::)

    In terms of dosing, tamping etc, after getting advice from those much smarter than I in this area (eg other CSers, and also Chris from Talk Coffee) Ive modified my technique to the following:

    - Dose group handle to about 1/2 full
    - Settling rap on the tamping mat
    - Dose remainder until I get a nice mound in the middle of the group handle (Anfims tend to dose slightly to the left, so you may have to compensate for that a little)
    - 2nd quick settling rap
    - NSEW levelling
    - Single firm tamp + light polish at the end (about 1/2 a turn)
    - Brush away any loose coffee
    - Lock in the group handle (there should be some very slight resistance here to indicate the coffee is right up against the shower screen. Not so much that you have to wrench the group handle into place though)
    - Brew

    Previously, with the Silvia, I was doing a light levelling tamp and a tap on the side of the group handle with my tamper prior to my full pressure tamp. I stopped doing this as I found with the Giotto and the naked group handle this would give me uneven flow and channeling. My altered technique gives me much better results.

    Lots of different techniques are used by different CSers. I think the trick is to find the one that works best for you and is also most easily replicated consistently. This method certainly seems to work for me :)

    Cheers,

    Caff.



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