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First Coffee Machine??

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  • First Coffee Machine??

    Hey CS's

    I'm about to take my first steps into the coffee machine world. I've been making french press coffee and am now wanting to buy my first machine.
    Can anyone give me some advice on a inexpensive manual machine (am a Uni student) that still makes decent coffee?

    Thanks Heaps!

  • #2
    Hi Anthorien welcome to CS

    What grinder are you currently using ?
    How much are you wanting to spend on a machine

    Where are you located ?


    • #3
      Hey Candan,

      Currently I've got a Hario hand grinder but I'd like to upgrade in the future.
      I'm thinking <$500 for a machine - again, uni student. I'm in Melbourne.



      • #4
        Many machines can make great coffee if you use decent fresh beans and right technique. Depends a bit on what you are after in a machine.

        For that money you could get (probably used) Sunbeam 6910, Silvia, Lelit, all capable of making amazing coffee. You could even get lucky and score a HX machine for that money, which might be worth scrounging around for if you are suitable handy in tinkering and fixing.

        Have a look on the for sale section here, very often you will find great machines in your price range.



        • #5
          What style of coffee do you drink?
          Only long blacks or will your machine need to steam milk?
          How many coffees a day do you anticipate making?


          • #6
            I generally drink short macs but my partner drinks caps/flat whites so it'd need to steam milk. I'd probably make 4-6 coffees on a normal day.
            I've been hearing good things about the Silvia but from what I've seen they're mostly out of my price range. Perhaps I'm not looking hard enough :/.



            • #7
              Have you considered a Gaggia Classic? You can import them from the UK for around $300 delivered. They come stock with a plastic 'pannarello' steam tip, but you can easily mod them with a much better Silvia V2 wand.


              • #8
                Yes the Gaggia classic is a great little machine which can produce beautiful coffee,the standard steam arm tends to froth rather than texture your milk,I just modified mine slightly and it textures ok now,but the silvia steam arm upgrade would be a better option.


                • #9
                  Welcome Anthorien,

                  The classic will do the job.

                  FWIW, I'd suggest you look for a pre-loved Silvia or Lelit in good condition. They have good size brass boilers and bits for them are readily available. Keep an eye peeled in the For Sale forum. There are a few currently available.


                  • #10
                    Hi Anthorien,

                    If buying 2nd hand I'd strongly advise that you see the machine working on both the brew and steam functions and pay particular attention to how long the steam lasts and how strong. Be wary if all doesn't seem right as the Silvia V3 heating elements cost $230-$300 to have replaced.

                    If you really want to spend very little then another option is a 2nd hand Saeco Via Venezia. They sell for around $400-$450 new which is too much I believe but can be had at a good price 2nd hand if you wait. I bought two of these 2nd hand. Both are the current model with the round silver buttons. The first was less than a year old and I paid $150. The 2nd which was bought as a spare for $95 is even better and like new. Good start for learning how to use a boiler machine - priming, temperature surfing, maintenance. If you get it wrong it hasn't cost you a fortune. It can make a very decent coffee when using a de-pressurised portafilter.

                    The Via Venezia has a stainless boiler which heats up quickly, stainless steel no-rust construction and plastic no-rust drip tray. Slightly smaller boiler than the Silvia but quicker to come up to temperature being Stainless v Brass. Steaming is probably best at 1 cup at a time. To get the most out of it you need to change the steam wand with a Breville 800es wand for around $20. Easy to do. The other thing is you need to de-pressurise the standard portafilter which is not that hard. This will then do the job adequately. See link below. Same portafilter, different machine. You pull the internals out and only screw the metal body back into the handle. Use fresh roasted beans ground just before brewing.

                    How to depressurize-pressurize the portafilter for Saeco HD8323 - YouTube

                    Another option is to buy either a 3rd party de-pressurised portafilter or a bottomless portafilter for around $100 shipped from USA but not essential to have.


                    • #11
                      Thanks for all the information guys! Currently I think I have my heart set on a Silvia.


                      • #12
                        cant go wrong there a great machine!!!


                        • #13
                          I just picked up a 2 year old (but barely used) Sunbeam EM6910 and EM0480 Grinder in Adelaide over Xmas for $250.00. Found on Gumtree.

                          Would be a decent combo for a beginner and twin thermoblocks and twin pumps means you can extract and start texturing milk at the same time if you wish. The 6910 also has a few functions that you can adjust via programming so you can tweak a bit as well; both extraction and steam.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Anthorien View Post
                            Thanks for all the information guys! Currently I think I have my heart set on a Silvia.
                            Keep an eye on Gumtree.
                            Currently there are several (3) on there in the Sydney area alone.