Help me spend $2000
I just upgraded my grinder from a Sunbeam to a Quamar Q50e. Now of course, I want to upgrade my Sunbeam Cafe Series to a next-level machine.
I have around $2000 to spend on this. I also have a colleague in the coffee game who can get me around 20-30% off which means I can look a little higher up the chain.
I have had a look around online and in particular this forum, and I think I am down to 3 options...
1. ECM Slim V (current fav)
2. Expobar Office Minore
3. VBM Domobar Junior
It would be used by my wife and myself and we have about 4 coffees per day, all milk based.
Based on experience, what are the pros and cons of these machines?
Also, does anyone have any other machines I should be looking at?
Whereabouts are you mate?
You have the comfort of looking in "you can hardly go wrong" territory.
Links to a couple of comparisons other people have made, one choosing the VBM and another the ECM.
When I looked I bought the ECM. For reasons which appear only briefly in my notes at the time, I did not much consider the VBM, with the BFC Diadema Junior Plus the second ranked, and Expobar 3rd. Size was an important factor for me but I may have been more wary of the VBM's smaller boiler (albeit it has a more powerful heater) and lack of cool-touch steam wand in small kit. I liked its angled gauges, even better than the ones on the ECM which at least are mounted high and not low. Regarding the boiler, the VBM site lists capacity at 1.1L rather than the 1.4L I have seen mentioned? The ECM is 2.2L.
Regarding size, I have not found clutter to be an issue using the ECM. The VBM is a few cm narrower so perhaps try it at a shop.
After a couple of months of ECM coffee, my spouse volunteered the other day that my coffees were now consistently good compared with extractions from the old Silvia. The process is more pleasurable and a couple of minutes faster (being the boiler steam heating times on the Rancilio). Smoothness and precision of controls on the ECM are quite outstanding.
Whichever you choose, I think you will love the upgrade from the Sunbeam.
Last edited by beensean; 29th September 2018 at 07:56 AM.
Reason: editing error
Thank you for the detailed information. I am leaning towards the ECM Slim, I saw a video from Whole Latte Love on YouTube and it looks great.