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  • Newbie: please help me with directions.. I am lost

    I have been reading the forum for the past month, this is my first post.. I am looking for some advice.

    For the last five years, I have been using my cheap Breville Steam/pressure machine. Will I benefit from changing to a machine that has a thermoblock? what are your thoughts on a Breville 800?

    I have a grinder, it is a conical burr HAND GRINDER! Yes, very long time between brews. I have only recently stopped buying supermarket ground bricks, to replace it with supermarket beans. Guess what, not much difference. I have more recently bought a 250gm packet of beans from a cafe that roasts. Wow, amazing difference.

    I have a tamp - it wasnt so long ago that I couldnt understand why my brews were like plunger mud.

    I am interested in roasting my own beans using a popper.

    So, where would you go if you were in my shoes? I am considering buying a Breville 800ES, plus a breville grinder BCG450. Is this a wise step up? Does it have pressurised baskets, and if so, what is the non pressurised basket to buy and where?

    To make my own beans,from what I have read, I need a popper from Kmart, some green beans, and then roast them listening for first and second crack - really that simple?

    I have noticed that my puck is sometimes soggy, and it seems to be when I use supermarket ground coffee. Is that about right, or is there something I am not doing correctly?

    My preference is for espresso shots, but the occassional milk coffee

    Thanks for the great forum!

    James.
    Nelson Bay.

  • #2
    Re: Newbie: please help me with directions.. I am lost

    James, welcome to Coffee Snobs (your salvation from bad/mediocre coffee).

    Youll get a lot more replies soon so let me briefly answer a few of your questions.

    I dont know the Breville 800 so will leave comments to others to compare to a thermoblock unit.

    "Amazing difference" - yes - never return to the dark side.

    800ES - others will comment.

    BG450 - NO! - Sunbeam EM450 is a minimum.

    Is roasting with a popper that simple? - Yes!

    Soggy pucks - probably the fault of the stale supermarket coffee and possibly pressurised baskets in your Breville.

    Enjoy the journey.


    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Newbie: please help me with directions.. I am lost

      Hey James hows Nelson Bay this time of year
      I have visited there several times

      What is you budget because if you can increase it a bit you can get a machine that is more reliable and makes better coffee

      Search out the Nemox Dell opera (machine grinder combo) for around $799
      You can also purchase them as separate units

      KK

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Newbie: please help me with directions.. I am lost

        I think if you are starting down the road of beinga Coffee Snob the Breville will soon prove to be less than adequate. The best thing to do is hang on to your current machine, buy a good grinder and then save pennies towards a decent machine. Spend some time at a sponsor that sells machines to get some idea what you want. Sibonis and JetBlack are in the Northern Suburbs of Sydney.

        The soggy pucks sounds like it may be related to stale coffee but could also be because of not having enough grounds in your group handle (under-dosed) or poorly ground coffee or a limitation of your current machine or just technique.

        Dont buy the Breville grinder. My first grinder was a cheapie and I ended up with poor tasting coffee and soggy pucks. Consider that your first investment towards coffee nirvana.


        This is the advice Andy provides for the sub-$500 coffee machines:

        Entry level (sub $500) domestic appliances that you would expect to find in the kitchen section of whitegoods stores. You can get a pretty good coffee from machines in this category if you use fresh coffee and dose/tamp well.

        If you want a better machine for under $1K then try for a Rancilio Silvia or a Nemox or even a Gaggia Classic.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Newbie: please help me with directions.. I am lost

          So the sunbeam EM450 at $150 rrp is a better choice compared to the Breville BCG450 at $199rrp?

          What makes the less expensive machine a better choice (please dont hurt me, I am a bleeder) ;-)

          How I arrived at the combo of Breville 800es machine plus BCG450 is I have found it for $250 as an unwanted xmas present. BUT, i am not going to let value dictate to me on this one.

          My current machine does not have a pressurised basket (pressurised means one pinhole at the base of the basket?). I think it was $69 5 or so years ago, has basically an on and off switch.

          I think the soggy puck may be from stale coffee fro my tests this morning. fresh ground coffee created a puck that slipped out of the basket and I could crack it in two, with creme in my cup. The supermarket brick created a puck that had to be washed out, because it was muck and there was no crema.

          Are there any machines on the market that have a very classic look to them? like with a pressure guage, and lots of shiney bits, and something noone else will be able to use but me, because its MINE MINE MINE !?!

          I am definately going to roast - done deal.

          question: will I get a better coffee from a new machine? and how much do I need to spend to get a better coffee? I dont care about timers, and blah blah blah. looking at the breville website, I say it is like the bar italia, which says it is 3.5bar pressure - thats bad right?

          With regards to budget, I expected to get away with a machine and grinder for $200. I thought a grinder cost 19.95, till I realised its more a spice smasher. so, I upped it to $400 and now it looks like I will probably be lucky to get a combo for double that.

          Thanks, James.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Newbie: please help me with directions.. I am lost

            Originally posted by 243D2C3624450 link=1241216760/4#4 date=1241225569
            I am definately going to roast - done deal.
            Good for you its a step in the right direction

            Originally posted by 243D2C3624450 link=1241216760/4#4 date=1241225569
            question: will I get a better coffee from a new machine? and how much do I need to spend to get a better coffee? I dont care about timers, and blah blah blah. looking at the breville website, I say it is like the bar italia, which says it is 3.5bar pressure - thats bad right?
            Dont worry to much about - if the machine is new or second-hand
            You need to think - "will this machine be up to the task"
            If you are able to try and use these machines you mentioned then you have your taste buds to guide you

            If you dont like the coffee they make then dont buy them its pointless to buy something that will not satisfy you
            Its better to save up for something that will

            By the way a good quality grinder can make or break an espresso machine it is the most important part of you kit
            Dont skimp on the grinder

            KK

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Newbie: please help me with directions.. I am lost

              AS per flynn_aus

              Here is another post of his that may also go some way to add to your facts..

              http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1224157582/42#42

              The whole post and the others inputs, need to be reviewed as well.


              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Newbie: please help me with directions.. I am lost

                 
                Hi James

                We bought a Breville-800 prior to discovering this site.  I really wish that I had found CoffeeSnobs prior to going shopping, as you have been lucky enough to do.  

                The Breville-800 is OK, but not great.  In retrospect I dont think it is very good value for money.  If I could do it again I would have bought the Breville Ikon, which gets good reviews here.  Or even better, tried to increase my budget a little and looked at the CoffeeSnobs "Hardware for Sale" area.

                This afternoon we are dropping the Breville off to be fixed (still under warranty) as it has stopped working.   So we are back to using the Atomic (not all bad 8-) ) and are frantically putting all our gold coins into a piggybank for the upgrade.

                Cheers - Carrie

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Newbie: please help me with directions.. I am lost

                  after a few hints and tips here and on other threads, i think I have found where I am going. rancilio silvia and rocky grinder.

                  I bought my popper today and my green beens are on the way.

                  Now, to find someone that is looking to upgrade their silvia/rocky combo.. if you hear of anything, please let me know. I will kepp an eye on the FS section as well.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Newbie: please help me with directions.. I am lost

                    Originally posted by 6F76677D6F0E0 link=1241216760/4#4 date=1241225569
                    So the sunbeam EM450 at $150 rrp is a better choice compared to the Breville BCG450 at $199rrp?

                    What makes the less expensive machine a better choice
                    Proven by use.

                    Comment

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