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Advice for Coffee Machine under $300 (second hand ok)

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  • Advice for Coffee Machine under $300 (second hand ok)

    Hi guys,

    Couple of full time students on a tight budget and recently our machine has had intermittent pumping issues. A first world problem for uni students!
    Our current set up is an EM0480 grinder and a Breville BarVista Bes200 or similar cheap machine. It’s about 4 years old and used just under twice a day; admittedly I did not think it would last this long.

    My girlfriend works in a café and pulls a decent coffee on their equipment which obviously we have never replicated at home.

    My absolute budget is $300 but would prefer to spend less and I do not mind buying secondhand on the prevasio replacement parts are available and the machine is worth maintaining.

    We are located in SA and I have looked on gumtree for something perhaps ex-café or commercial without luck.

    Is there any machine worth buying new in my price range?
    Would it be worth looking second hand, and if so what should I be looking for? (make model etc)


    Many thanks

  • #2
    Welcome JonesySA...

    Have you had a look through the For Sale section as yet? Might be something there...
    Coffee Hardware For Sale

    Mal.

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    • #3
      If you can get your hands on a second hand Silvia it will get you so great coffee and last a loooong time!
      Only problem you will have with coffee machines is that they need to be paired with a quality grinder. These can be $300 plus in themselves. But another suggestionis a Porlex hand grinder they are a brilliant little baby grinder and about $50-60 and will produce better ground coffee than most electric grinders under $300.

      As has been suggested stalk the "for sale" section in Coffee Snobs.

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      • #4
        My brother has one of these, it does the trick, pretty similar in function to a Silvia http://coffeesnobs.com.au/coffee-har...ell-parts.html
        Last edited by magnafunk; 24 September 2014, 11:05 PM. Reason: Spulling

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        • #5
          PM sent also sent.

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          • #6
            Any luck Jonsey on solving your coffee dilemma??

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            • #7
              Hi guys,
              Thanks for replies and PM's. I have some major assignments due thus delay in replying.

              I haven't purchased a machine yet still looking however I believe I will probably try second hand. There's more choice than I expected. I have been interested in Gaggia Classics, Sunbeam em6910/7000 and Breville equivalents. Pretty much as I see something come up I search the forum. The GF and I both wish to stay with a manual machine.

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              • #8
                Hi Jonesya

                Good to hear you're ready to upgrade. It can be tough finding something decent within your budget range (except for a gaggia classic), but be persistent with your search and you will land a good deal.

                I would recommend that if you want a good espresso machine and decent conical burr grinder combo in one, the Lelit combi (Nemox, Quaha, etc rebrand) are great machines at the entry level if you can get your hands on one. They are close to what you will get from a Silvia.

                I bought mine for $130 in working order and with barely any cosmetic wear. My GF blew the element on it when I wasn't home since she didn't know it didn't have auto-fill which cost me another $180 to get it replaced. That was actually a good thing because it had a fair bit of scale build up as it had not been in use. For the repair cost I got new seals, boiler refurbished, new shower screen & brew pressure re-calibrated. If I had the knowledge I have now I could have done all that myself for less but In my opinion that was pretty cheap.

                Good luck with the search :-)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mmmcoffee View Post
                  If you can get your hands on a second hand Silvia it will get you so great coffee and last a loooong time!
                  Only problem you will have with coffee machines is that they need to be paired with a quality grinder. These can be $300 plus in themselves. But another suggestionis a Porlex hand grinder they are a brilliant little baby grinder and about $50-60 and will produce better ground coffee than most electric grinders under $300.

                  As has been suggested stalk the "for sale" section in Coffee Snobs.
                  Hi mmmcoffee

                  Just to set the record straight, the Em480 if properly maintained and calibrated can hold its own against most "traditional commercial grinders" costing many times more.

                  I used two well known commercials plus my Bo-Ema RR45 to calibrate my first EM480 (pulled apart, removed excess side play etc etc...). For a few years I used that EM480 to check various cafe's grinders which may have been in need of service / recalibration. My second EM480 was spot on "out of the box", so it came and went without requiring more than a cleaning regime. It had the current, much improved, burr set.

                  I would regard the EM480 is a "no frills conical grinder" which performs very well indeed if kept clean & adjusted: a quick and fairly painless process.

                  One caveat: there are a number of different EM480 varietals, one particular short lived variant (the high revving one) is a "bin on sight" type. The rest that I have encountered are all "over qualified" for a student on a budget.

                  As far as a replacement machine goes, I only recommend Silvias if most of the required coffees are black and there is only one person using it. Completely unsuitable for quality lattes in my view (cannot pull a shot & steam at the same time). Oh, I should mention that I lived with a Silva for 9 years, and used to simultaneously froth milk in another bit of kit (another option for broke students). The other issue, evidently they finally have a low water indicator. Old Silvias in a multiuser environment had the lifespan of a candle: one empty tank = one trashed boiler = a repair cost considerably more than their budget.

                  Having said all that, the guys are on the right track with the machines on their list. Most students can use their "recommended list ones" without a single careless move removing their coffee fix.


                  TampIt

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                  • #10
                    coffe....we all love it!

                    Hello,
                    I have a few sunbeam EM6910's that would suit your situation,when looked after they are real work horse's and so repairable (IMHO).
                    Trouble is you are in SA and I'm here in Victoria,do you know anyone up in North Eastern Victoria.
                    Some just needing cleaning up a bit others ok to go,if your adventurous you could play with one via PM please.
                    Cheers
                    Mick
                    Originally posted by Jonesysa View Post
                    Hi guys,
                    Thanks for replies and PM's. I have some major assignments due thus delay in replying.

                    I haven't purchased a machine yet still looking however I believe I will probably try second hand. There's more choice than I expected. I have been interested in Gaggia Classics, Sunbeam em6910/7000 and Breville equivalents. Pretty much as I see something come up I search the forum. The GF and I both wish to stay with a manual machine.
                    Last edited by Javaphile; 1 October 2014, 02:14 PM. Reason: Take it to PM

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