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Thread: 2nd hand machine and grinder for circa $2k

  1. #1
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    2nd hand machine and grinder for circa $2k

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi Folks.

    The wife and I are looking to upgrade from our Saeco manual machine and Sunbeam Cafe Series grinder. Looking to buy second hand, with a budget for both grinder and machine of around $2k, absolute max of $2.5k. Looking for gear that will last a long time, preferably 3-5 years old (no more than 10years) and provide great coffee, consistently. Both of use are pretty capable in making coffee, having been using the Saeco for nearly 10 years.

    Usage is 4 x double shots on weekdays (2 doubles each, usually made all at once), and 6 x double shots on weekends (3 each). I normally drink macchiatos, while the wife likes caps.

    We want a machine which can do the 2x macchiatos and 2x caps relativity quickly.

    Grinders

    For grinders, I've been thinking of either a Macap or a Mazzer. Not really sure if we need a doser or not, or even what the advantages are for/against? I suppose a relatively quick grind would be convenient, that said a consistent, good grind is more important. Must have replaceable parts and with good care and maintenance last a long time.

    Thinking of spending about ~$600 on a second hand grinder.

    Machines


    Reading these forums, I'm hearing names like:

    Expobar
    Isomac
    Vibiemme
    Profitec

    I'm not 100% sure, based on our usage what setup will be best, is it HX or dual boiler, or either?

    I noticed that Bigguy has some gear for sale, which looks around our budget and similar to what we might need. Also have found an Expobar E61 on gumtree for $1,300 which looks interesting.

    Any thoughts on what gear / type / setup is going to be good for us. Thinking of spending around $1500 of the machine, second hand.

    Space and Ascetics

    Our kitchen bench is a standard 620mm deep and we have plenty of bench space length wise.

    Shiny things are nice to look at, and in my opinion as coffee is like art, therefore it is fitting that the machine is also a piece of art. So something that looks nice, interesting, refined, and sophisticated would be nice. Not too fussy, but nothing ugly, or excessively utilitarian in looks.

    many thanks for your thoughts and advice in advance.

  2. #2
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    Hi Teahsrn,

    I am in exactly the same position as you, it's a hard call to make, a few reasons on why it is taking me so long is the internal debate I'm having with myself, about, new V's used, I have seen the same used machines as you have, and if you scroll down a little more in the for sale section here on CS, you will find an expobar minore and m2m for sale.

    My concerns are the age of the machines, what problems may occur, how much money will it cost me to make repairs straight up or maybe a year or two later, and then there is the freight issue for me, all the machine I have looked at so far are a long distance from me, some owners no longer have the boxes and I am concerned about damage in freighting the machine to me as well as the extra cost of freight on top of the machine.

    I am leaning towards new, or used from a shop that provides warranty, these machines have been serviced and checked out and tested, and the prices are attractive, and they will make the effort to package the machines in a way that will help reduce the rough ride in the back of a freight van or truck.

    If you check out the list of site sponsors here on CS you will find $2500 gets you the first 3 machines in your list along with a nice grinder. Other shops are offering similar offers, you just need to make sure you can receive full warranty and backup services from them. The advice I have been given is to go check out all the machines your looking at, not sure of your location, I live 2 hours away from the closet shop that has machines on display, so it makes looking at what you want even harder.

    Take your time, keep reading, keep asking questions. I think all the machines that you have listed, which are as I said, the same as my short list, are all good machines, I'm starting to think it's a bit like the Ford V's Holden debate.

    I am sure you will receive better advice from more experienced CS's soon regarding what machine suits your needs the best, as in boiler size, the amount of time it takes a machine to heat up, number of shots you can expect to pull in a row.

    I wish you all the best in your search, I will follow with interest.

    Tony
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  3. #3
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    Hey Tony,

    Yeah I noticed that we are in the same boat - I used your thread as a reference point. I'm about 1.5 hours from Sydney so it's also not a matter of popping into a shop nearby.

    Best of luck with your quest. I'm just starting, but for sanity's sake want it done by Christmas...

  4. #4
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    Add Diadema/BFC, Bezzera and 'Giotto' to your machine list.
    Most home users find doserless grinders more convenient - there is less waste grinding straight into the basket. Cafes need dosers - the volume cafes handle means proportionally less waste and the doser helps enable multitasking.
    And Welcome.
    Last edited by WantRancilio10; 9th November 2015 at 12:06 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Just an update to everyone following. After much research we have purchased a Profitec 700 new from Di Bartoli which we should have sometime next week. We well and truly went over budget, and purchased new based on the following reasons.

    We decided that we wanted to buy a machine for life, to avoid the upgradeitis which seems to infect coffee snobs on a semi-regular basis. We will also have to avoid an acquaintance, who upon seeing our purchase on facebook informed us that he has a GS3 coming in January....

    We wanted to try out some machines in the flesh, and there were limited opportunities to do this for second hand machines in our area. We also, did not want to go to a store and then buy second hand (so long as we were happy with the service/machine) as this would feel unfair to the shop owner.

    We went for a dual-boiler so we have more adjust ability to experiment in the months down the track once we have got used to the machine.

    There seems to be concerns and reluctance to post a machine, which also presented a challenge buying second hand.

    We were happy with the service from Rezno, he gave us the chance to use a few machines, was patient and kind.

    We choose the Profitec over the R58, mostly on aesthetic considerations, also due to the positive thread here on the machine.

    Grinder

    Now, we still need to decide what to do for a grinder. It will be either a macap m4 or m5, or a mazzer mini e type a.

    I like the look of the macap, wife prefers the mazzer. macap is quicker, while the mazzer has a group head holder. We had an in depth discussion about the relative merits of fast Vs holder, and what option is actually lazier....with the jury out on that one. I figure we will be happy with either. It will probably come down to aesthetic, a coin toss or availability.

    Our local coffee store / roaster, Swell, whom we have a good relationship with and we have been buying beans from for 6 years or so, sells the Mazzer, so we would not mind buying from him to share the love.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated. Also, I've just noticed on the Mazzer site that apparently the mini - e , comes in Red and dark Red. Does anyone know if these can be purchased in Aus, and if so where....red is our favourite colour and would match our kitchen..

    Thanks
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  6. #6
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Not trying to be facetious, but the reason the Mini-E has a PF Holder is probably because it is so slow....

    The Macap M4D (the chrome one is beautiful) is definitely a step up from the Mini-E in many ways and has been described by plenty of very happy owners as the best grinder they've ever had. I'd be trying to talk your lovely lady into seeing the benefits of the M4D from a practical and operational standpoint...

    Mal.

  7. #7
    TC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Not trying to be facetious, but the reason the Mini-E has a PF Holder is probably because it is so slow....
    Yes- you'll have time to cook breakfast and take a shower whilst you wait for your shot to grind.

    In my opinion, the mini-e goes close to delivering the poorest bang for buck on the market. The Super Jolly-E delivers the performance that the mini-e should.

  8. #8
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Yep, also have to agree. The Mazzer Mini is a quality grinder for sure, but definitely overpriced and definitely sloooooooowwwwww.

  9. #9
    kbc
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    The M4D is better than the mini e in many ways AND cheaper. There's no contest IMHO
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  10. #10
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    M4D is fast, grinds well does not retain many old grinds - I sometimes have to grind for 10 cups at the one time, it takes 10 seconds for a double filter basket (16gms) and it is a dream to use.

  11. #11
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    Hi teahsrn, congrats on your decision, I've read good things about the Profitec from other CS members, nice Christmas present.

    You outlined the exact same reasons why I still have not purchased one yet, I am about to have a shoulder op in a couple of weeks as well, so I think it will be next year now before I finally get one, maybe some post Christmas sales going on.

    I look forward to your evaluation on the Profitec, and your choice of grinder. I have been told that I should look at the mazzer major and robur, but wow, those things are big, standing at around 700mm and bigger, I have also looked at the macap m4d, everyone seems to only have good things to say about them.

    Thanks for the update, I am following your journey and others, gathering as much info as I can, enjoy your machine when it turns up.

    Tony

  12. #12
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    So an update. Pablo has arrived.

    We ended up getting a maroon Macap M4D as our grinder. My wife was happy with this option since it's red, and matches our kitchen. This arrived on Wednesday and we had a fiddle with the grind, got used to changing the dose etc. It was nice to have the grinder for a few days before the machine, so we could fiddle and get used to it, with only a single variable.

    The Profitec Pro 700 arrived yesterday afternoon. We have named him Pablo, which is a play between my mispronunciation of Expobar as 'Escobar', the famous Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar, and the fact that Pablo is going to be delivering us our beautiful drug of choice [coffee], often from Colombia.....

    We have also spent a bit of time in Colombia, and love the country.

    the wife and I have only run 4 shots through Pablo each, so at this point it's too early to give a meaningful review. Also as this machine is in a totally different league to our Saeco we are still getting used to the entire Prosumer experience.

    A few remarks: it's not as large as we had feared, which is nice. it looks beautiful in our kitchen, and we love the shot timer. It seems to be forgiving (unlike our temperamental Saeco), all my shots have been either tamped differently, or on a different grind, and have all been good. being able to play, and still get decent coffee is really nice and I suppose the experimenting is half the fun .

    A few pictures - first our old setup.

    IMAG0330.jpg

    New and old side by side.

    12311232_10154379287903696_485774794621254368_n.jpg

    I'll post back some updates and thoughts, once we have got a bit more of a feel of the machine.
    Last edited by teahsrn; 5th December 2015 at 07:51 AM. Reason: Picture attachment difficulties...
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  13. #13
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    teahsm,
    Hello and congratulations on having such a smart coffee setup!
    Are you leaving your previous machine as a reminder where you once were?
    Its wonderful having such a new configuration of equipment in complete agreement and support with your wife,makes your kitchen so more meaningful,good on you two......collaboration is great isn't it,well done.
    cheers,
    mick.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulquemi View Post
    teahsm,
    Hello and congratulations on having such a smart coffee setup!
    Are you leaving your previous machine as a reminder where you once were?
    Its wonderful having such a new configuration of equipment in complete agreement and support with your wife,makes your kitchen so more meaningful,good on you two......collaboration is great isn't it,well done.
    cheers,
    mick.

    Thanks Mick

    The old machine was left on the bench as a backup, in case we could not make passable coffee when we first woke up in the morning.

    Turns out this was unneeded as Pablo is very forgiving.

    Collaboration is great, we are a team stronger together and aligned.



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