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Newbie advice - Bellman or Via Venezia ?

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  • Newbie advice - Bellman or Via Venezia ?

    Hello, my name's Joseph, I've been trawling for a bit around here. I'm looking to very cheaply upgrade from a moka pot to something a bit better. I have a kyocera ceramic grinder and I've been considering the Saeco Via Venezia second hand and the Bellman stove top with pressure gauge.

    Ebay has quite a few listings of Venezias for around the same as the Bellman, some with minimal use (though, I understand if the seller is dishonest, I may be up for a new component very quickly doubling my cost).

    So, my question: do I risk a second hand machine in favor of proper espresso or stick with brand new and suffer minimal quality improvement? (what I understand is that the Bellman produces good coffee with the caveat of it being stovetop still but the ability to steam milk is obviously a big improvement).

    I really don't drink coffee enough to justify much, and being a student I don't have much room to move. My main motivation for upgrading is to stop drinking from the aluminum body moka pot... I do prefer espresso extraction, but a thick and rich moka is certainly drinkable for my undeveloped taste Thanks for any insight!

  • #2
    I'm also interested in the Bellman CX-25P as a traveling / camping coffee maker.
    I have an Aeropress, which is quite good, but I'm on the lookout for a unit that can get closer to espresso.
    Does anyone here have any experience with a Bellman ??.

    Thanks, deegee.

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    • #3
      I was considering the CX-25 but just didn't read too many good reports, so bought a mypressi instead which delivers fantastic espresso.

      I did however buy a CX-25S which is the steamer only. It's pretty slow in stock form but drilling out the tip to 1.2 mm made it 2-3 times faster (15 seconds for 180 mL) and I love it now.

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      • #4
        I have the full CX-25, but have only ever used it for milk steaming when travelling. I haven't drilled it out, but time isn't a big issue for me when I use the Bellman. Quality of the milk is pretty good, once you learn how to use it. Paired with a moka pot or more expensive device it's not a bad option, though I've grown to really like my aeropress and don't really find a need for steamed milk so often.

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        • #5
          I thought I might out my two cents in re Via Venezia. I've had mine for two years making between 2-6 coffees a day and it is running fine. I bought mine new though but these are tough machines if they have been well maintained and descaled regularly, that is the key.

          Via Venevias are great machines for people like me who are a bit obsessed with coffee but still new to the actual making of espresso. The pressurised portafilter and panarello steam wand, although limit the quality of the coffee, also assist newbies to avoid producing acid water and bad foam. As you grow in skill so too can you make easy upgrades to the machine. You can buy a de-pressurised portafilter and proper steam wand (there is a thread on this forum about using breville steam wands that fit the machine well) to make even better coffees on the same machine. From there you will likely get the bug, as I do, to upgrade your machine to a hx or dual boiler but the Via Venzia is a great place to start.

          Hope this helps

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          • #6
            Hey rsabz, that helps a lot actually. I had read that the steam wand wasn't great along with the portafilter, I wasn't keen on having to tweak a machine straight away so it's good to know they're usable for a newbie.

            My girlfriend, who now works as a nurse, was a fantastic barista so I'm sure I'll be tweaking soon. I've got a bid on a 2nd hand venezia, hopefully I can't get it for under $300.00

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            • #7
              Glad I could help.

              Good Luck

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