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  • Coffee machine advice

    Hi All, I've been roasting my own coffee for about 3-4 years, received a decent conical burr grinder for my birthday this year, the coffee has been pretty consistent at our place using a stove top percolator.

    Ive started looking into getting an espresso machine. Initially I like the idea of a manual lever machine, as I'm roasting by hand over the stove, and my grinder is a hand operated manual unit. Would be fun to keep the whole process manual as I believe 'll learn the most this way. So a La Pavoni or something like that is a pretty appealing option. Other options are something like a Silvia which are proven good entry points into home espresso making.
    Am looking for second hand budget up to about $400.

    Wondering if if anyone has gone through a similar decision process and can offer any insights or advice? Space is a premium in our kitchen, we generally make 1 coffee in the morning during the week, and we have our coffee with hot milk. I'm leaning towards waiting for a second hand La Pavoni or similar to come under and grab it, figured worth asking the question here as plenty of more knowledgable folks around with experience in case there are better options.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Hi Janus

    Consider the ROK Presso - a true manual lever, very low maintenance, and cheap. Just use your kettle to supply the hot water, and get a Bellman steamer for the milk. You might get all for your budget.

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/brewing-eq...ng-review.html

    Sniff

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    • #3
      I've got a rok grinder, so it's not a terrible idea.

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      • #4
        Hey there. Overall you've got the right idea, but your statement- "Would be fun to keep the whole process manual as I believe 'll learn the most this way" is probably a bit of the mark. Manual lever machines are awesome for sure, but they can be difficult to learn on. Some people have the knack and pick it up no problem, others find them endlessly frustrating and end up giving up. My recommendation would be either a ROK Presso as mentioned above or a simple single boiler like a Gaggia Classic, Rancilio Silvia or Lelit.

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        • #5
          Thanks for the advice Leroy, you've suggested a lever machine may be difficult to learn on and frustrating. Given i hope to learn more about coffee, would the difficulty in using this type of machine not teach me more about the coffee making process?

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          • #6
            Thanks, however i'm in Sydney. There's a shop nearby that does a La Pavoni morning once a month, my budget doesn't extend to buying new though, so i don't really want to go in and waste their time.

            I guess a la pavoni may be more a weekend machine for us as i start work quite early, and then we use the percolator during the week, the benefit of getting a machine like a Silvia would be that it's easier to use for my wife, and would probably be something we can use daily.

            The PID'd Silvia's look like a great option, it might be a case of grabbing whatever pops up first, i've been looking on the classifieds here and on ebay for a couple of months, but nothing's worked out yet. Patience i guess

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Janus View Post
              Thanks for the advice Leroy, you've suggested a lever machine may be difficult to learn on and frustrating. Given i hope to learn more about coffee, would the difficulty in using this type of machine not teach me more about the coffee making process?
              Hmmm, interesting question and I'm not really sure how to answer. It could do, but it will depend very much on individual circumstances. In general terms I'd say it'd be a bit like trying to run before you can walk. I learnt on a Gaggia Classic which was a great entry point. There's more than enough to think about and work out on a machine like this without having to worry about all the techniques you need to operate a lever correctly on top of it. I don't want to say flat out "don't do it", but I do think it's worth considering simpler options.

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              • #8
                That's a very good point.

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                • #9
                  +1 to PID Silvia

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