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Best coffee machine for this price range???

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  • Best coffee machine for this price range???

    Hi There,

    I am thinking of buying a coffee machine for my best friend and am looking to spend up to $300. I have gone through a few reviews but am no expert (she is - but i want to suprise her so dont really want to discuss coffee machines with her). Basically im hoping some coffee experts will be able to tell me which coffee machine is good for $300 and why.

    Thanks for your help, i have a little over a month to review and buy, so all help will be appreciated

    Cheers,
    Razia

  • #2
    Re: Best coffee machine for this price range???

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs Razia.

    If your friend is an expert you may be best to consult with her rather than disappoint her with a poor choice.

    Problem number one though is you havent mentioned a grinder.
    A good grinder is a must in the pursuit of a good coffee.
    Without one, the most expensive machine in the world is useless.

    If she doesnt have a good grinder then your $300 would be best spent on one.

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    • #3
      Re: Best coffee machine for this price range???

      I agree with tg, buy your friend a decent grinder and a plunger and he/she will be able to have lovely freshly ground and brewed coffee every day.
      Then pennies can be saved for an espresso machine while enjoying good coffee.................

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      • #4
        Re: Best coffee machine for this price range???

        hi thundergod - thanks for your reply..actually she doesnt have a coffee grinder..
        i was thinking of getting her one of those expresso coffee machines, do i need a grinder for that? she can buy grinded coffee for the machines right?
        lol i just realised that i may love my coffee but no idea on what goes in to make a good cup

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        • #5
          Re: Best coffee machine for this price range???

          I was reading reviews for different coffee machines and found that a good first coffee machine was to try Breville Bar Roma but then i read confilicting reports about it .. i dont know looking for a coffee machine is harder than looking for a car!!

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          • #6
            Re: Best coffee machine for this price range???

            hi razia,

            it can be confusing. if youre friend is serious about making good coffee, then the best present you could buy them is a decent grinder. You can pick one up for about $300 (which I think was your budget) e.g. Iberital Challenge, Ascaso I-mini etc.

            They can then grind fresh beans and make great plunger or stovetop coffee until they acquire a half decent machine.
            Buying them a machine without having a grinder is like buying the car and not being able to afford petrol....just not worth it. The machine will not produce decent coffee without freshly ground, fresh beans.

            good luck,

            sd

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            • #7
              Re: Best coffee machine for this price range???

              Hi Razia,

              what SD said above.

              Buying good fresh whole beans and grinding your own for whatever coffee making device will give better results than preground and any $300 espresso machine. Preground beans go stale very quickly and produce poor espresso shots (I know I used to use preground) so the coffee will not taste as good as it could.

              A small conical burr grinder and a nice stove top or plunger will come in just under your budget and grab a bag of good coffee to go with it. For a grinder the Breville range is about the cheapest and best others to look at are the Ascaso or Ibiteral ranges (a bit more expensive)

              As to other coffee making devices there is plenty options that might suit such as Syphons, Pour over Drip, Presso, Aeropress etc but for simplicity the 2 above would be best.

              Sorry if it is not the answer you wanted

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              • #8
                Re: Best coffee machine for this price range???

                Hi Razia,

                I recently got a very nice second hand grinder from jdw for under $200 and must agree, using freshly ground beans makes a big difference, even on the simple Moka Pot I use.

                Beanflying mentioned above that Breville burr-grinders would be about the cheapest alternative. If you look around a bit, e.g., Target, BigW, etc, then you may find a Breville Ikon espresso machine and matching burr grinder for $300 total.

                All the Best,

                Daniel

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                • #9
                  Re: Best coffee machine for this price range???

                  Just remembered that poddy66 is currently selling the Breville Ikon for $150. You could perhaps pair it with the Sunbeam EM0450, which retails for about $150. This Sunbeam grinder seems to be a better than any Breville grinder.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Best coffee machine for this price range???

                    If your friend is a coffee expert, chances are that she will be disappointed with any espresso machine in this price range.

                    If your friend is into her coffee, a thoughtful gift might be a Japanese coffee syphon. Sorrentina coffee have a fantastic value package of the Bellina SCA-3 syphon and butane gas burner for $150 - check it out (their web page doesnt seem to be displaying photos for me at the moment). This is probably the best value coffee syphon package around anywhere at the moment. You can follow the links on the site to some videos that will give you a good idea of what they are and how they work and the site itself has a well written explanation of the product.

                    If you have cash left over, the sunbeam EM0450 grinder is pretty fantastic value, but it does have a few irritating quirks.

                    Cheers,

                    Luca

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                    • #11
                      Re: Best coffee machine for this price range???

                      If I had $300 Id be spending it either on the above as Luca posted, or a better grinder, some filter paper....

                      Probably would opt for the syphon/EM0450 combo.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Best coffee machine for this price range???

                        Hi razia, welcome to CS. How did you go?

                        If youre still debating, Ive owned a Roma, and in retrospect knowing what I know now from daily experience, a good grinder would now be my first personal choice along with a bag of freshly roasted beans only a few days old and some form of stovetop like Luca has mentioned.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Best coffee machine for this price range???

                          if you dont get this coffee machine for you mate this year call me on the new year. A will have a machine that will impress you mate...................

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