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Which machine to buy??

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  • Which machine to buy??

    Hi coffee snobs,

    newbie here. Came across this site while looking up coffee machines and there is some great information on here!

    Im buying my mum a coffee machine for christmas, my budget isnt very big, unfortunately. Can only spend $400 on one (wish I could spend more though!). So, Im just wondering what machine I should buy in my price range that is relatively good?

    I have read good reviews on the Breville 800ES, but then also read some not-so-good reviews on it as well ;D So it is all very confusing!! :-/ I am also wondering if there are any other machines in that price range that I may have missed??

    Any help is appreciated!

  • #2
    Re: Which machine to buy??

    gday ml,

    welcome to cs! im sure youll get plenty of advice...just give it a day or so.

    to be able to help you better, wed need to know how serious you mum is about her coffee and most importantly if she already has a grinder. buying her a $400 machine that she will use to make coffee with pre-ground supermarket coffee really is a waste of your money.

    if shes using a plunger or stovetop already, then spend your $400 on a good grinder and her coffee will be hugely improved...then you can buy her a machine next year.

    if she already has a grinder, then I would consider a good second hand espresso machine like a Silvia, they often go for about $500. this is much better value than a Breville, but you may not have time to find one before christmas.

    good luck,



    • #3
      Re: Which machine to buy??

      The other thing to remember is that some skill is required - no matter what machine you choose. Its worth checking whether your Mum will be interested in the whole coffee-making process: grinding, tamping, breawing, milk prep, etc. I know my wife loves espresso, but would never lift a finger to make coffee herself. (This is not a sexist observation as many CSers are female - its simply a note that some people couldnt be bothered with all the "stuffing around" and anything outside of a superauto would just gather dust.) My other half hasnt made a coffee in more than 18 months, since we upgraded from a Saeco Incanto!


      • #4
        Re: Which machine to buy??

        Originally posted by flatwhite link=1228669180/0#2 date=1228703023
        I know my wide loves espresso, but would never lift a finger to make coffee herself. !
        Wide??? Oops. I hope your wife doesnt read CS otherwise you might be bunking with Rover tonight  ;D

        My wife is the same but I have now spoiled her to the extent she can no longer stomach instant coffee. I would have no hope of getting her working on the VBM.

        The answer: Aeropress. I grind the coffee, she makes it, then adds more hot water and milk. She was quite happy with the results and even her mother was impressed. If my wife can manage it, then your mother would have no probs.

        With a $400 budget I would get her a good grinder (e.g. Ascaso iMini for about $300) and an Aeropress about $54 with enough change to buy a couple of 250g bags of beans. Some of the sponsors listed on the left stock them. I think the grinder will be of more use in improving your mums coffee coffee than the Breville.


        • #5
          Re: Which machine to buy??

          My wife now prefers her coffee made with the Aeropress rather than my more expensive espresso machine.

          I have a friend that has always made his coffee in a plunger.
          His wife bought him a good grinder for last Christmas and hes been in coffee nirvana since.


          • #6
            Re: Which machine to buy??

            Thanks for the replies

            I make coffees at work (C Coffee) so know all the tamping, milk prep etc. etc. So luckily, I have a bit of skill up my sleeve lol, and can easily teach my mum.. saying that, at work there is a nice, fancy machine to work with, lol. Obviously the home coffee machine will be different, but does require some of the same skills.

            We dont have a grinder. I plan on buying one in about a month or so time. If I didnt have to buy presents for other people for Christmas, I could have bought both the coffee machine and the grinder. I do plan on buying some nice coffee from The Coffee Barun, here in Adelaide which will have to do for now as I dont really like the idea of giving mum just the grinder. She wont be able to use it or anything LOL.


            • #7
              Re: Which machine to buy??


              I have absolutely NO idea.

              New to coffee making and this site.

              So I just thought Id share my experiences! I decided to kick K Ruds "GFC blues" in the guts, so I went off to David Jones and bought a Breville BES 820 yesterday. The pre christmas sale had this machine 20% off....but wait there is also get this "free" BarAroma grinder (value = $180)---but you guessed it "theres more"..I also got a "free" large bag of coffee beans....all for $489.00. BTW they also through in a stainlesss steel jug for "free".....!

              I was very suspicious of this...I mean why would they be discounting this machine....and with all the negative things said on this site....but what the hell I thought...if it sucks then, Ill have a "play" and teach myself what to do, then Ill keep the grinder and SS jug ,,,and chuck out the machine! total loss being $300.00

              Well just made my first Latte (with some freshly ground beens from Brunettis here in Carlton (Melb)....and Ive been pleasantly surprised. It was a dead sinch...even got the milk to froth OK...and the Latte wasnt all that bad!

              So Im away....for under $500.00..this set up will do me fine...till I get the hang of things...and when I seek perfection Ill get an expensive Italian kit...till then I reckon the Brevilles not that bad...not perfect..but for a beginner like me and <$500...cant ask for much more....

              Anyway sorry for the long post...Cheers....AB


              • #8
                Re: Which machine to buy??

                Buy the grinder first and the Coffee Barun coffee and ask if they have an Aeropress.
                The grinder and fresh coffee is more important than the machine.


                • #9
                  Re: Which machine to buy??

                  I wouldnt worry about an espresso machine for your Mum first up.... By far and away the most important piece of hardware you can own is a decent grinder; always buy the best you can afford, as per...
                  Couple this with an Aeropress and some wonderful freshly roasted, high quality coffee such as Andy and many of our sponsors provide, and your Mum will be in coffee heaven. Guaranteed... 8-)



                  • #10
                    Re: Which machine to buy??

                    Ive decided to go with the Breville 800ES, mainly due to the fact that at David Jones they have a deal where you get the 800ES, the Breville BarAroma coffee grinder, a bag of Harris Reserve coffee beans AND a $60 David Jones gift voucher for $449.95! Quite a good deal and in my budget, I get more then what I was originally after.

                    Thanks for all your help.. I know most of you have said I should get the best grinder and worry about the machine later on, but that deal is pretty good lol.

                    Now, I just hope they have some in stock on Friday!!! :-/\/


                    • #11
                      Re: Which machine to buy??

                      AFAIK the grinder isnt any good and the coffee is suspect.
                      The only value I see there is a DJ voucher.

                      Please dont rush in to what "looks" like a good deal.
                      Read our recommendations again; we wouldnt want your mum to be disappointed.


                      • #12
                        Re: Which machine to buy??

                        Hi All

                        Im new at this too.
                        What the heck is an aeropress?
                        I have a feeling I am going to cop it for this next question, but whats the big deal with coffee grinders? Isnt a grinder just a grinder? :-/
                        I have a grinder given to me by my 85 yo father, it was his Mothers !! By the time I grind enough coffee for two cups, I usually lose interest

                        Tony P


                        • #13
                          Re: Which machine to buy??


                          What the heck is an aeropress?
                          Check out this short video posted by cuppacoffee



                          • #14
                            Re: Which machine to buy??

                            Originally posted by TonyP link=1228669180/0#11 date=1228997651
                            Isnt a grinder just a grinder?


                            • #15
                              Re: Which machine to buy??

                              I agree with the others on this you should get the best grinder you can afford and team it up with something like the aeropress or [presso if she likes espresso].