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Thread: Need help deciding

  1. #1
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    Need help deciding

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

    Im wondering if you can assist me in picking out an upgrade to my Sunbeam EM6910 & EM0480 combo. *Upgraditis has set in and with Kevins bonus still not spent, Im looking to do my part in stimulating the economy and get something thats a bit easier (and less messy!) to get good coffee out of :) My budget is about $3k for the machine with about $1k set aside for a good grinder to complement.

    The machine would be used almost exclusively for milk-based coffee drinks about 2-3 times a day and a little bit more often on the weekends. Id also like something that is forgiving in regards to technique as while Id be willing to put in the effort to refine my coffee making process, Id like the rest of the family (who probably wouldnt be willing to put in quite so much time) to still be able to make a decent latte :)

    Due to a lack of suitable bench space in the kitchen the machine and grinder will be residing on an island bench opposite the kitchen, so a nice big water tank thats safe and easy to fill to avoid having to go back and forth to the kitchen to refill it will be a big help. Same would apply with the drip tray; a good sized and well made drip tray (no leaks!) is also a must :)

    Im also a bit of a nit picker when it comes to build quality, so Im after something that is solid and well put together both on the inside and on the outside with good attention to detail. I also want this to be the last major coffee machine related purchase I make, so Id like the machine to be able to last for many many years, so something thats built like a tank with reliable and made with high quality parts and will be easily serviced for the foreseeable future would be great :)

    After spending a lot of time reading the opinions on this forum and visiting the sponsors sites, I think Ive narrowed down the list of machines that I think offer what Im after:

    - Diadema Junior Extra
    - Bezerra Domus Galatea
    - Rocket Giotto Premium Plus

    All of the above machines above have received glowing endorsements on these forums, but all the machines seem to offer something attractive that makes deciding between them extremely difficult :( The Bezerra Domus Galatea has a nice big (and from what Ive read, easy to fill) 4L water tank, Mals description of of the Diadema Junior Extras superior build quality in his review left me highly impressed and from what Ive heard the Giotto Premium Plus has great steam and is very forgiving in regards to technique. I did at one stage have the Vibemme Domobar Super Lever on my list, but the machine is unfortunately too deep for the space where the machine will reside :(

    Any ideas or suggestions on which of the above machines (or indeed any machine that I dont have on my short list) that would best fit my needs? Also, Any additional information on how the machines compare to each other in terms of steam, quality of internal parts, build quality, quality of finish, reliability etc. would be much appreciated also :)


    Yikes, that took longer than expected to type ;) Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!


    Tim

  2. #2
    TC
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    Re: Need help deciding

    [QUOTE=35000D0A3E220E07070404610 link=1245399321/1#1 date=1245399897]
    Quote Originally Posted by 360B0F3D2A620 link=1245399321/0#0 date=1245399321
    Hi guys,

    Im wondering if you can assist me in picking out an upgrade to my Sunbeam EM6910 & EM0480 combo.....<snip>

    Tim
    Hi Tim and welcome to CS,

    You have a terrific short list there and you will be delighted with whichever machine you ultimately choose.

    They all make great coffee, all are easy to fill, the GPP and Diadema have cool touch wands and the Extra is the only one on a stainless chassis. They all have lots of fans.

    Choose the one you like, match it with something like a Macap M4D or similar and you will have the perfect home setup.

    One to consider *:-?. Any chance of plumbing in? If so, look VERY closely at the Giotto Professional (GPP with rotary pump, 2 gauges and drained drip tray). I have today popped one on the bench at home and am very impressed. It may well displace my beloved ECM Veneziano S1- and thats a massive statement I thought Id never make...

    Wed love to be in the running for your purchase and will do our best to assist- regardless of where you ultimately purchase.

    Chris

  3. #3
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Need help deciding

    Welcome Tim... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    As Chris says, these are all great machines but the only way to really find out which one is for you, is to try and grab a hands-on Demo with each of the machines, pull a couple of shots on each one and then see which one fits you the best.... :)

    Mal.

  4. #4
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    Re: Need help deciding

    Hi
    Good short list, when i was looking for a machine i did a short list and came up with a giotto fortunately i knew someone with a coffee machine and found out after i had made the decision that it was also a giotto so i knew a little back ground (not really that much though) before purchasing.

    Visit a sponsor and take a look at them, dont decide via a brochure you need to see the unit. Not sure where you are but if in Melb just contact Talk Coffee

    This is a big decision, according to my wife unit it was a mid life crisis for me but then again she used to prefer instant but not any more.

    Good luck with your research.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Need help deciding

    I love the build quality of my Bezzera Galatea

    The inside is almost commercial in its parts

    The welded stainless outer shell actually comes off in one piece (no separate side/back panels) about 4 or 6 screws and its off easy as!
    Plus very easy to keep clean with no side panel seams

    Quote Originally Posted by 013C380A1D550 link=1245399321/0#0 date=1245399321
    a nice big water tank thats safe and easy to fill to avoid having to go back and forth to the kitchen to refill it will be a big help. Same would apply with the drip tray; a good sized and well made drip tray (no leaks!) is also a must * :)
    Re Tank filling
    A rear hinged lid opens to expose the tank
    Tank is large and easy to fill with a jug
    You can also remove the tank straight up and out. No hoses to get tangled
    To replace a full tank is also easy as it has a self centring brass coupling on the bottom

    Drip tray
    The drip tray is full to the brim with 1 litre of liquid but 750 ml is the comfortable limit

    The heavy gauge drip tray just lifts up and out very easily

    For cooling flushes I place a glass bowl under the brew head to keep water splashes to almost nothing

    Hope that helps, but if you need more info dont hesitate to ask *;)

    KK


  6. #6
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Need help deciding

    If you have a chance to do a hands-on with these machines, that will help a great deal in deciding.

    I couldnt do that here in Adelaide and eventually went for the Diadema Jr Extra and Macap M4D almost exclusively on looks and size. I had the same problem re: the VBM Super--too deep, and my finals list was also very similar to yours.

    I am very pleased with my choices, the coffee is superb.

    Have a great time playing.

    Greg

  7. #7
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    Re: Need help deciding

    So Greg, Do I understand your comment correctly in that you purchased you machine without first viewing or road testing them?

    We live 3 hours north of Adelaide, This makes it difficult in the choosing the right machine. We are a little concerned about a blind purchase.

    We like your final 3 Tim, We are leaning towards the GPP

    Wayne and Debi


  8. #8
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    Re: Need help deciding

    I recently purchased my GPP without having a chance to view or road test it. Before the GPP I owned a VBM Piccolo. After a few months of use I still cant find fault with the GPP. I couldnt be happier with it. :)

  9. #9
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Need help deciding

    Welcome Wayne and Debi... [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    In reality, at this level of machine quality, they are all fantastic designs and it really only comes down to personal requirements, aesthetics and ergonomics, i.e. how one machine fits compared to another. At the business end of these machines they all do a fantastic job... Needless to say, I love my Diadema Junior Extra (DJE) and am somewhat biased but Im sure you will be immensely happy with a GPP.

    When making my final choice, it was a very close thing for me between a GPP and a DJE since in the quality stakes they are very much on a par. Thats how it is with this class of machine, it all comes down to little things that might sway you one way or the other. Coupled with purchasing a machine from one of our esteemed Site Sponsors, is the fact that you will be very well looked after, long after the initial purchase is behind you. That is very important if you need advice about anything in the future.

    If at all possible, try to get to a specialist retailer such as one of our sponsors, and get some hands-on experience with machines that are on your short-list. Which ever machine you decide to buy, you will be enthralled with the ease at which you will be able to pull consistently excellent espresso after some training and using only freshly roasted, high quality beans. All the best... :)

    Mal.

  10. #10
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    Re: Need help deciding

    Yup...what he said *;). For me it finally came down to 3 or 4 HX machines and at the end of the day was heavily influenced by foot print. A couple of the Diademas and GPP was a bit of a coin toss.

  11. #11
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Need help deciding

    Quote Originally Posted by 10263E292218002E2121283523470 link=1245399321/6#6 date=1245473716
    So Greg, Do I understand your comment correctly in that you purchased you machine without first viewing or road testing them?

    We live 3 hours north of Adelaide, This makes it difficult in the choosing the right machine. We are a little concerned about a blind purchase.
    I did buy without a road test, although I was able to see all the machines--at different times and in different shops!

    Like Buschy, I had (well, still have) a VBM Piccolo and so was familiar with the build, detail, and general looks of a quality machine. Without a hands-on I purchased the Diadema spurred by Mals review of its coffee-making, other reviews, and on the looks, which I preferred over my other options.

    The short list above is full of high quality machines, and provided that you are in the right ballpark for you, then any of them would easily do the job.

    At 3 hours north, I cant offer to bring a machine to you, but if you get to Adelaide then youd be welcome to have some time with the Diadema.

    Greg

  12. #12
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    Re: Need help deciding

    At this stage Im kind of leaning towards the DJE; I have to agree with what Mal felt in his review; it really has a nice understated look and theres a few awfully tempting specials being run by the site sponsors this month as it would allow me to fit one of those nice Pullman tampers into the budget :) I know I should get out and try and see the machines in person but getting the free time seems to be a bit of a problem lately :(

    I just a few more general machine questions:

    - I understand that reverse osmosis water filtration systems should not be used under any circumstances with coffee machines, but are the other under-the-sink filters okay to use? (ours has a pre-sediment filter for rust,dirt,scale etc. and then a 2nd carbon filter for harmful chemicals but lets the good minerals through)
    - Is there anything apart from the group seal that needs to be changed on a regular schedule? (e.g. our Sunbeam has a cartridge in the bottom of the water tank that needs to be replaced every 12 months)

    Quote Originally Posted by 7F4A47407468444D4D4E4E2B0 link=1245399321/1#1 date=1245399933
    One to considerHuh. Any chance of plumbing in? If so, look VERY closely at the Giotto Professional (GPP with rotary pump, 2 gauges and drained drip tray). I have today popped one on the bench at home and am very impressed. It may well displace my beloved ECM Veneziano S1- and thats a massive statement I thought Id never make...
    Unfortunately the machine wont be in the kitchen but on sort of an island bench opposite and I think a plumbed in model might be slightly outside my budget :(

    Quote Originally Posted by 60444D4D4E4E7460445846442B0 link=1245399321/4#4 date=1245415380
    Hope that helps, but if you need more info dont hesitate to askWink
    Thanks for the info on the Bezerra Galatea KK! Thats exactly the sort of information I was after :)

    Quote Originally Posted by 7F4A47407468444D4D4E4E2B0 link=1245399321/1#1 date=1245399933
    Choose the one you like, match it with something like a Macap M4D or similar and you will have the perfect home setup.
    I know this isnt a forum for grinders so ill try and keep this brief as possible: The Macap M4D is the grinder I was looking at as well (another was the Mazzer Mini electronic, but the Macap looks like its alot easier to set up). It sounds perfect for our situation as I could do all the work of configuring it and making sure the dose/grind settings are correct and then the others can just press the button :)

    Is it messy at all? This was a BIG problem we had with our Sunbeam EM0480, so much so that the others stopped using it as cleanup ended up becoming a bit of a hassle. It would spray grinds everywhere and it seemed like alot of the coffee ended up getting stuck somewhere up in the spout :( Is this much of a problem with the Macap M4D?


    Thanks again everyone for your replies and help :) and sorry mods for the off-topic grinder talk!

    Tim

  13. #13
    Senior Member Koffee_Kosmo's Avatar
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    Re: Need help deciding

    Quote Originally Posted by 79444072652D0 link=1245399321/11#11 date=1245642494
    It would spray grinds everywhere and it seemed like alot of the coffee ended up getting stuck somewhere up in the spout Sad Is this much of a problem with the Macap M4D?
    I have the M4D
    Quick answer is
    Very clean, very quiet, very fast, and does a great job at grinding as well ::)
    Very little if any grinds gets stuck up the spout

    KK

  14. #14
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    Re: Need help deciding

    I have an older M5 and was going to say the same as KK.

    The 0450/0480 all are messy as you described (I have one for use at work and quickly replaced it).

  15. #15
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    Re: Need help deciding

    Quote Originally Posted by 7855515D503C0 link=1245399321/8#8 date=1245483159
    When making my final choice, it was a very close thing for me between a GPP and a DJE since in the quality stakes they are very much on a par. Thats how it is with this class of machine, it all comes down to little things that might sway you one way or the other. Coupled with purchasing a machine from one of our esteemed Site Sponsors, is the fact that you will be very well looked after, long after the initial purchase is behind you. That is very important if you need advice about anything in the future.
    ...
    Mal.
    Indeed, I stood at Talk Coffee for what must have been hours on Saturday pondering the little things. Larger cup warming area on the GPP. Better feel on the steam knob on the Diadema. Commercial Pressure Stat on the GPP. Deeper drip tray on the Diadema.
    Back & forth, back & forth. The coffee tasted great on both. What to choose? What to choose?
    What did I choose? I havent lived with it yet so I wont give it away &, but the photo thread will be up on arrival.
    & our sponsors will certainly look after you, Chris certainly looked after me. Ill definitely be visiting the shed again.

  16. #16
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Need help deciding

    The saying re: Pictures and Words comes to mind so heres a couple of pictures of my M4 after a week of use since last cleaning....

    Mal.




  17. #17
    TC
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    Re: Need help deciding

    Hi Tim,

    Its great to see that youre getting closer to the mark there. All the machines on your shortlist are excellent and many of the sponsors deal in one or all of the brands- names such as Jetblack, Barazi, DiBartoli, Jetblack, Barazi, Cosmorex, Cuppacoffee and other sponsors as well. Diadema are great buying at present with specials from Jetblack and Talk Coffee.

    As dsgfh found on the weekend, its a difficult decision and all are great machines. Choose your favourite and you will be happy- as we all are!

    Now, your water question:
    Filtered, softened water is the go and RO water will kill a machine unless its remineralised. RO is expensive and energy hungry and is overkill for home IMHO.

    As for filtration, most water filters generally available to the public are designed to filter drinking water. Many of them do not remove scale causing calcium and other scale causing elements. You will need to ensure that your filter attends to scale.

    As for grinders, I really like the M4D as if you do want a timed doserless grinder, it will do the job. The time adjustment on a Compak K3T is sloppy and I dont think that the Mazzer is much better in this respect- although when used manually, its an excellent grinder.

    If I remember correctly, Mal has a Macap M4 and Diadema Junior Extra and he clearly uses them very well. If you ultimately choose a doser grinder, you will learn to use it well too...

    Finally, these are big decisions and its good not to rush them. If you can visit some sponsors and see tha machines in action, great. If not, do speak with a few sponsors and get some opinions. These will help you to choose the right gear for you- and only you can do that ;)

    Good luck..

    2mcm


  18. #18
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    Re: Need help deciding

    Thanks Andy for the welcome. My situation is similar to many on this site in that I have been looking for a reliable espresso machine. So many choices and so hard to choose. I have owned a Trevi Spidem for about 3 or 4 years and I doubt that it has operated without a quirk of some kind for any longer than six months at a time and it has recently broken down for the third time this year. I live in a regional centre and getting the thing to the repairer is a pain and to be perfectly honest I have given up! After spending two days searching the net, being helped by some of your sponsors and frustrated by another I have now bitten the bullet and purchased a Bezzera BZ99 DE. It wasnt my first choice, purely on aesthetics, but it was recommended by two of the sponsors and after reading dialogue between CS members it seems to be a reasonable choice. And, yes, I have purchased it sight unseen. My dilemma now is what sort of grinder do I need??!! The coffee maker is only for my use with the occasional social event but after spending so much ($s) on the coffee maker I would hate the resultant coffee to be downgraded by the wrong coffee grinder or wrong grind. So advise away.
    Addicted

  19. #19
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    Re: Need help deciding

    Nice Choice Addicted

    Im seriously lookin at the Mazzer Mini. I was looking at several doserless grinders but im just over the mess.

  20. #20
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    Re: Need help deciding

    Id look at the Macap M4 Dosered grinder - its a beauty and goes well with the Bezzera models visually. If youre skimping, you could get an ECA KS (or the K3 Touch, if you dont care about a dodgy timing style), but Id go for one with a decent burrset (M4/Mini) and stepless (micrometric) adjustment.

  21. #21
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    Re: Need help deciding

    Thanks for the informative post - it helped with my research :)
    Quick q - did you look at the Expobar Minore III or Wega Mininova Classic and if so what caused you to discard these as options??



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