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Thread: Trying to figure out what sort of machine to get?

  1. #1
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    Trying to figure out what sort of machine to get?

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

    Currently have a Saeco Via Venezia and a Sunbeam Espresso grinder. A couple of months ago we did a Barista course here in Melbourne because we both wanted to better understand how to run the machine and make better coffee. We did the Barista Basics course which uses professional machines and since then have started eyeing off upgrades to the Seaco.

    My girlfriend likes the idea of a volumetric machine so she can pour a shot whilst steming the milk. Im thinking of the E61 machines as Im generally a more manual sort of person. But they seem to require a lot of attention to run correctly - is that correct?

    But the reality is that we mostly just use the machine at weekends so it seems silly to spend a fortune. Im figuring somewhere under $2500 would be good.

    Whilst we both love coffee, I would not say we are fanatical or likely to spend hours tuning a machine down to the last 0.5 degree or anything. So something that gives us a reasonable amount of control, but doesnt need constant adjusting, and makes great coffee :-)

    So what machines would people recommend I look into? recommendations?


    ciao
    Derek

  2. #2
    TC
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    Re: Trying to figure out what sort of machine to get?

    Hi Derek,

    I think with a good machine, you may well find that you may use it far more frequently than you thought you would. A time switch is a very handy accessory...

    Firstly, Id suggest that you should probably allocate at least $500 of your funds for the purchase of a decent grinder. Your Sunbeam will barely cut it. Id suggest that you start the shopping no lower than a Compak K3T. With $100 for bits and pieces such as a good tamper, this will leave you around $1.9K to play with.

    Assuming that the budget is pretty firm and you want HX, you might look towards something like:
    [*]Expobar Office SA/FA (nb these will require a thermostability upgrade to behave nicely)[*]Expobar Office eb-61 leva (better choice IMHO)[*]Bezzera BZ07[*]Diadema Regal 1.3L/Diadema Junior Semi-auto[*]A 2nd hand HX machine in good nick. Be careful though- there are lots of dogs out there. Best (safest) place is here in the hardware for sale area of the forum. Ex CS machines are generally well maintained.

    At $2.5k you have a whole heap of great options, but will be severely held back by what is essentally an inadequate grinder.

    My advice is to avoid volumetrics and keep it simple. The lever operated machines have fewer things to go wrong and ultimately a lever of this style is just a sexy off/on switch. You dont need volumetrics to texture your milk while your shot pours.

    If milk is not too important and you intend only to make a couple of drinks per session, perhaps a dual purpose single boiler machine- like a Diadema Perfetta or Vibiemme Domobar Piccolo. Our Perfetta/K3T package will leave you plenty of change.

    The most mportant thing is to buy once (more) and buy right. Every tme you trad up, you lose $$$.

    You are welcome to make contact if we can assist.

    Happy shopping ;)

    Chris

  3. #3
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Trying to figure out what sort of machine to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by 75404D4A7E624E47474444210 link=1254831155/1#1 date=1254832695
    Expobar Office eb-61 leva (better choice IMHO)
    Ive been happy with mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by 75404D4A7E624E47474444210 link=1254831155/1#1 date=1254832695
    The lever operated machines have fewer things to go wrong and ultimately a lever of this style is just a sexy off/on switch.
    My thoughts exactly at the time of purchase.
    So far it is proving to be true.

  4. #4
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    Re: Trying to figure out what sort of machine to get?

    Try to get your gf thinking about whether the volumetric would actually be an advantage. Sure in theory you can start texturing your milk whilst the shots are pouring. In reality though is it that big a deal to wait an extra 20 seconds?

    In any case, with experience Ive found I can start frothing my milk whilst keeping an eye on the shots. I rarely do this though as I never get tired of watching a shot pour.

    If its only for weekends does it matter if you need to wait that little bit longer? With the improved quality of coffee you may find yourself starting to drink more black coffee anyway.


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    Re: Trying to figure out what sort of machine to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5F495E50505A3B0 link=1254831155/0#0 date=1254831154
    Whilst we both love coffee, I would not say we are fanatical or likely to spend hours tuning a machine down to the last 0.5 degree or anything.

    You will become "fanatical" .......... almost guarranteed

    Quote Originally Posted by 5F495E50505A3B0 link=1254831155/0#0 date=1254831154
    But they seem to require a lot of attention to run correctly - is that correct?
    Depends how obsesive you are ,.... but not really, with a quality machine youll be drinking better coffee tha 98% of the population ever get to taste...... and you could do that in your sleep.
    These machine just require consistancy in method , then it all falls into place.

    Good luck in your quest .... I recently acquired a BFC/Diadema Semi-Auto ....... which places it half way between Volumetic and Lever still with E-61...... and while not as "sexy" as lever in appearance ( some say) it still delivers the shots...... and generally a bit cheaper to purchase.

    Cheers
    hotshod

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    Re: Trying to figure out what sort of machine to get?

    my BZ07 has plenty of steam power, and the time ti takes me to steam milk is shorter than the time it takes me to extract my shots. Plenty of time to hit the pour button (no sexy levers on the BZ07 :(), texture your milk, hit the off button and latte art away!

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    Re: Trying to figure out what sort of machine to get?

    ooppss...hence my point is you dont need volumetric to do both at the same time.

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    Re: Trying to figure out what sort of machine to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5A5C4B54533D0 link=1254831155/5#5 date=1254882149
    my BZ07 has plenty of steam power, and the time ti takes me to steam milk is shorter than the time it takes me to extract my shots. *Plenty of time to hit the pour button (no sexy levers on the BZ07 *:(), texture your milk, hit the off button and latte art away!
    Ditto for me with my DJE.... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Too easy 8-)

    Mall.

  9. #9
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    Re: Trying to figure out what sort of machine to get?

    are VBM Domobar Junior models still not avail in Aust?? (theyd be about $2000, so very much worth considering if you want the shiney chrome & steel!!).

    Quote Originally Posted by 595F4857503E0 link=1254831155/5#5 date=1254882149
    my BZ07 has plenty of steam power, and the time ti takes me to steam milk is shorter than the time it takes me to extract my shots. *Plenty of time to hit the pour button (no sexy levers on the BZ07 *:(), texture your milk, hit the off button and latte art away!

    haha yep, with a decent e61 heat exchanger machine, the slow part is YOU, not the machine :P:P

    Brew levers (also steam knobs) dont need to be held in place manually during the process. The lever is just a switch basically, adn looks 1041293740974 times better than a dumb plastic button.

  10. #10
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    Re: Trying to figure out what sort of machine to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by 68707E7777621B0 link=1254831155/8#8 date=1255061119
    are VBM Domobar Junior models still not avail in Aust?? (theyd be about $2000, so very much worth considering if you want the shiney chrome & steel!!). *
    No skelly.

    The stock which arrived was not produced to requested Australian spec. Many revisions to improve usability and servicability were negotiated and agreed on. Some of the changes did not eventuate and as a result, we are all having to wait a little longer to ensure we get the right gear.

    Our Domobar Junior will be very different to NZ spec Domobar Junior, incorporating a heap of changes for the Australian market and will be nowhere near $2k. Aussies will be shelling out more, but getting a much better machine.

    Chris

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    Re: Trying to figure out what sort of machine to get?

    aaawwwww.......the BZ07 has a dumb plastic button as the brew button :(
    However, it is painted with nice shiny silver paint to match the machine 8-)
    .....which will eventually rub off..... :(
    but I still love it to bits! :D

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    Re: Trying to figure out what sort of machine to get?

    Thanks everyone. Hopefully soon I will be able to make a decision and purchase.

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    Re: Trying to figure out what sort of machine to get?

    Hi DC, It is time for me to chime in with my ad for the Diadema Perfetta. This beautiful polished steel single-boiler is within your budget, very well made and more than adequate for people who mostly want to make less than 4 coffees at a time. IMHO more than 4 and you probably need a HX or better. The time lapse between pulling the shots and steaming the milk is negligible and I find the Perfetta maintains good temperature over several shots & steaming. I have a years experience with mine and would make the same buying choice again. I would be happy to offer further comments on this machine if you desire. I have no vested interest other than seeing someone else as happy as I.
    Good luck, Rocky.

  14. #14
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    Re: Trying to figure out what sort of machine to get?

    Where do you live DC...???

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    Re: Trying to figure out what sort of machine to get?

    Id be getting a Silvia and a Compak K10 WBC with that kind of budget. Skimping on a grinder will reduce the input quality, and that always reduces the output quality. For machine only, you could also look at the Bezzera BZ99 P. Sure, its ugly as a black/silver 1970s lump of machine (not as ugly as a Boema) but when Di Bartoli have them at $1895, itll give you enough change to buy an okay grinder.

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    Re: Trying to figure out what sort of machine to get?

    YA MISSED IT .....

    Sponsor 9Bar Espresso Service had the perfect setup , at a great price .....

    BFC junior + Rocky

    hotshod


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    Re: Trying to figure out what sort of machine to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by 6463787F6463680C0 link=1254831155/15#15 date=1257376714
    YA MISSED IT .....

    Sponsor 9Bar Espresso Service had the perfect setup , at a great price .....

    BFC junior + Rocky
    And I know who got it. A friend of mine!

  18. #18
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    Re: Trying to figure out what sort of machine to get?

    GREAT DEAL ...... and backed by a sponsor

    Ive got one of these machines and I cant speak highly enough of them ...

    hotshod

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    Re: Trying to figure out what sort of machine to get?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5C444A4343562F0 link=1254831155/8#8 date=1255061119
    The lever is just a switch basically, adn looks 1041293740974 times better than a dumb plastic button.
    agreed ..

    and I like the steam/water knobs on the Diadema, wont burn your hands when turning them on and off unlike the Isomacs.




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