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Thread: Not another newbie “first machine “

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Not another newbie “first machine “

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    My first post,but I’ve trawled many similar post and its making the ever expanding choices harder! please help
    Looking for a complete set up(machine,grinder,tamp etc) I want to make two milk based coffees everyday occasionally more at the weekend (entertaining) budget around $2500 for setup. Grinder shortlist are Macap m2m step less,compak k3,sette 270 ,open to suggestions .low retention seems appealing,easy clean ,good quality grind obviously,looks less important (they all look ugly) espresso machine shortlistnot very short) Lelit Diana(functional)/Mara(prettiest),Elizabeth(ugliest)
    Profitec 300 (looks very capable,pid +steam gauge) Isomac tea,Expobar office semi/leva …
    Double boilers with pids seems like a good way to control brew temp for relatively quick mornings.Temp fluctuations of the hx machine worry me a little especially as new to dialing in the grind . E61 looks good for lots of shots but maybe less for just 2/4 coffees vs longer heat up needed . Then again the large group head big dial lots of chrome and turney nob things looks great. Lelit Elizabeth probably most sensible but looks ugly as and this thing will stick out in our minimal all white kitchen … So many variables 🤯
    I’ve done a days barista course but on a big volumetric machine, easy to dial grind and make easy foam. so just enough training to no how many things can ruin the coffee but not enough to walk up to a prosumer machine and produce great shots first time!
    I drink double ristretto 3/4 lattes wife’s large cap/mochas, both fussy drinkers 🤦🏼
    Yep I’ve sent out the group email to sponsors but would love to here many more voices from coffee snobs
    thanks guys

  2. #2
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    What part of the country are you in? Seeing things in the flesh and getting hands on will certainly help you decide.

    The Lelit Diana is no longer in manufacture. Whether you can pick up some remaining stock as new I don't know. The Elizabeth replaces the Diana. In regards to heat up time the Elizabeth will beat the pants off the Mara but if you're making coffees at the same time every day a plug in wall timer will solve that. If you get something like a Belkin WeMo you can tell it to switch on before you get home so it's ready when you are. The Diana with PID is very capable of producing great coffee, by all accounts the Elizabeth is essentially the same with a couple of extra features (pre-infusion for one). The Profitec 300 is a great little machine, the only complaint I've heard is that the boilers are small and if you're pumping out dink after drink it will need to take a break after a few drinks before going again. It's also going to make it difficult to fit a grinder into your budget.

    In terms of grinder I would rank what you've listed in the order of Setter, K3, M2. If you're thinking setter take a long hard look at the Mahlkoenig Vario before pulling the trigger. There's also 2x Mazzetti Minis for sale on the forum. Both in Melbourne. As I'm sure you've read the grinder is more important than the machine in terms of quality in the cup.

    Given the 58mm portafilter of all the machines you've listed you can use VST baskets and a matched tamper. Decent and Pullman baskets are also recommended. Be warned though that the may be a bit of a learning curve with these precision baskets, but they will allow you to make better coffee. The most budget friendly tamper of good quality to suit these baskets is a Barista Hustle tamper. But the above machines will be ok without upgrading the basket and tamper for a time if your budget needs to catch it's breath.

    And most important of all, feed your equipment good beans!
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  3. #3
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    Thanks level3ninja
    i really like the sette but a couple of sponsors have been a little off putting on them,sighting bad build quality,or they won’t service them the low retention for our low usage would of been a big plus.
    i got to see the lelits and Profitec , profi is definitely the standout.but the price comparison was for a display item. Add a couple hundred $$ on for brand new and you jump in a new category …when the financial controller saw that she said just get the new one.so now I’ve expanded the options further
    Isomac tea pid
    Expobar Minore IV
    Lelit mara (pl62T)
    And still the little profi pro 300 which actually has a larger brew and steam boiler than the Diana or Elizabeth
    I know just short of very pretty Rocket price but I’m try to draw a line somewhere,I started by looking at the Silvia and now I’m at nearly $2.5k

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic View Post
    I started by looking at the Silvia and now I’m at nearly $2.5k
    Welcome to the club....
    level3ninja likes this.

  5. #5
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    I agree that $2.5k for just a machine rather than everything is a good budget. Those extra few hundred pay dividends. Adding more from here won't have anywhere near the same performance increase.

    The Minore is a heavy hitter at this price range. It's not as "pretty" as a Rocket or Profitec but it is in the same league performance-wise. They have very deep drip trays so you don't have to empty them as often, and no splashback.

    The 300 is a solid little machine, it may run out of puff if you're making more than a few drinks back to back but otherwise it's hard to fault.

    I think the choice is between a faster warm up time but maybe run out of steam (300) vs longer warm up time and go for days performance (Minore). The Mara might be the worst of both worlds in this case, but it's smaller if bench space is an issue.
    Dimal likes this.

  6. #6
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    I've got an older Minore and I think its great but seeing this is your first foray into serious coffee I'd at suggest you at least consider the Breville Dual Boiler. I had the original version and it lasted me over 6 years and probably could've been repaired to last another 3-4 easily (its not as bad as some people make out for repairing). The street price is around $800 and you get decent temperature stability (for 1-2 shots at a time), pre-infusion, volumetric dosing, shot timer, as well as good steaming (for 1-2 coffees at a time). You could buy a new one every 5 years and still be ahead after 20 years compared to a e61 dual boiler. I could make a coffee on my Breville that was at least 95% as good as my Minore. You really only notice the difference with a really good grinder and non-milk drinks. I think the Sette 270 would be a good match or even the Vario with ceramic burrs.

    Edit: I forgot my main point, which is I think the Breville DB is more forgiving* and thus makes it easier to learn the craft. This is because the volumetric dosing and shot timer simplify the process a bit so you don't have to setup your stopwatch and put your cup under a scales in order to get the dose ratios right, etc. Pre-infusion also helps with channeling (although slightly controversial).

    (*compared to an e61 lever machine)
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  7. #7
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dischucker View Post
    I think the Breville DB is more forgiving* and thus makes it easier to learn the craft. This is because the volumetric dosing and shot timer simplify the process a bit so you don't have to setup your stopwatch and put your cup under a scales in order to get the dose ratios right, etc. Pre-infusion also helps with channeling (although slightly controversial).
    This is a great point and something worth considering. I run a Breville BES920 myself, paired with a Eureka Atom grinder (and VST basket, Pullman tamper). I was amazed how much improvement I saw by changing the grinder. It's a very capable machine. You should seriously consider buying a great grinder you won't have to upgrade later (like the Vario) and getting a 920 now. If/when it dies in 5 years or so you will be far better placed to know what you want in a machine than you are now. Only possible downside is that once you've lived with features like volumetric dosing it can be hard to go back, and long term machines with volumetric dosing etc can be expensive)

  8. #8
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    I just bought a lelit Diana, they still have some stock at my coffee shop.com and those have been supplied by jetblack espresso (came with a jetblack warranty in the box). Very good price, and it has the PID. PM me and I can dig out a link. Leaves you with a decent sum left for the grinder
    Last edited by Thatguy87; 1st March 2019 at 02:18 AM.
    Dimal likes this.

  9. #9
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Thatguy87 View Post
    I just bought a lelit Diana, they still have some stock at my coffee shop.com and those have been supplied by jetblack espresso (came with a jetblack warranty in the box). Very good price, and it has the PID. PM me and I can dig out a link. Leaves you with a decent sum left for the grinder
    Thanks guys
    this site has so many helpful contributors and useful information
    i ended up getting the Minore and the settee 270 along with a brewista v2 scale and a hole other bunch of peripheries, pushing me slightly over the initial budget....
    And my coffee journey began!
    weighing beans in grind out and timing shots with volume out.
    long and the short of it my good lady likes my coffees .
    bought the Minore from Jetblack and all the rest from an extremely helpful coffee parts
    Brewster, Dimal and Thatguy87 like this.

  10. #10
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    Cool

    The settee produces such fluffy grinds, first go it took around half a bag to get the grind close to right,we’re on our 3rd bag now(Danes Viking) and it was quick to adjust to the new bean(previously Danes mocha gold). It is a little noisy but not deafening,very easy to adjust grind and has 3 programmable times, i tend to part grind shuffle a bit grind some more shuffle again weigh,grind... I bought a bottomless porter filter as well and deeper basket , doesn’t look like there’s any chanelling and I can fit my 21 grams in . The Minore came with fairly shallow baskets but I think that’s common? So they’ve only been used for Backflush. Trying out a different bean each week at the mo but been happy with all of them so far. So much to learn and experiment with,loving it. Still visiting coffee shops when I get up tooo late or forget to turn the machine on first thing but now I’m either grilling the barista or watching intently!
    happy brewing folks
    Last edited by Magic; 1st March 2019 at 07:03 AM.

  11. #11
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    2 weeks down the line, extremely happy with the Minore and Settee 270?
    Dimal likes this.

  12. #12
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    Hi sharpyy
    still happy with the Expobar �� they’re making our daily start great
    invited a mate over for a fresh brew and he invited 3 more mates ! A quick fill of the tank b4 they arrived and the minore and sette handled it with no fuss,6 21g caps/flats and a piccolo I was the weakest link in that chain. Heats up pretty quick I think and you can always flush the portafilter to warm the group . The pid gives you confidence that it’s reached temperature so no guess work
    Dimal likes this.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic View Post
    visiting coffee shops when I get up tooo late or forget to turn the machine on first thing but now I’m either grilling the barista or watching intently!
    I've got my Minore on one of those Wifi timer switches from Bunnings - "Brilliant" brand $20. Comes on same time every morning. With the app I can turn my machine on when I'm getting into my car at work and machine is heated up when I get home.



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