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Espresso only <$500 - recommendations?

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  • Espresso only <$500 - recommendations?

    Hi all, and thanks for letting me through the door

    For the last few years I've been travelling, relying an Aeropress for coffee. It's been great, but as I'm settling down now I would like to move back to espresso.

    In short, I'm looking for a new, semi-automatic that will make up to two espressos at once, a couple of times a day. Milk frothing is not needed at all. I also don't need a grinder.

    The catch? My budget is absolute max $500.

    I can see that you are all genuine coffee snobs and I'd love to get your thoughts on something that might tick my boxes.

    Cheers!
    Andrew.

  • #2
    All I can think to suggest is the Cafelat Robot... not a semiautomatic but would absolutely do the job you require.

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    • #3
      Or a ROK or Flair

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      • #4
        What grinder do you have?

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        • #5
          Haven't bought one yet, but it will be a good burr grinder. It makes such a difference

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          • #6
            The manual options are going to produce far better results for an espresso than any electric machine available new for sub $500. If it must be electric and new try to score a Breville Bambino or BES840 for under $500. Used machines will give you much better options.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by andrews View Post
              Hi all, and thanks for letting me through the door

              For the last few years I've been travelling, relying an Aeropress for coffee. It's been great, but as I'm settling down now I would like to move back to espresso.

              In short, I'm looking for a new, semi-automatic that will make up to two espressos at once, a couple of times a day. Milk frothing is not needed at all. I also don't need a grinder.

              The catch? My budget is absolute max $500.

              I can see that you are all genuine coffee snobs and I'd love to get your thoughts on something that might tick my boxes.

              Cheers!
              Andrew.
              I have fitted out quite a few family members / friends for $400.

              Buy new: a SB EM480/500 grinder (not lower model). New about $150 on special / $200 otherwise. Alternative grinder is a Breville Smartgrinder for $200/$250. If you wish to expand your coffee wings into commercial stuff later, I suggest the SB as it is a manual unit. The Smartgrinder has a whole pile of "user friendly auto stuff" - easier for newbies who just want a good cuppa. Be warned, both of these grinders vary: the odd one of either is likely to be poor "out of the box. Most of them are pretty good when new.

              Buy secondhand: an EM6910 for about $200. Preferably from someone you know or a reputable repairer (on a cynical day - good luck with that...). The best ones are made between 2006 and 2010 as the newer ones are less industrial in build. Be prepared to give it an A to Z clean (esp important, remove the showerscreens and clean the whole area).

              There are a number of 6910 "care and feeding" threads on this site to guide you.

              Have fun


              TampIt

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              • #8
                Don't need to froth?
                Maybe a single boiler would suffice. Should be a pid rancilio Silvia in for sale section

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                • #9
                  I purchased the Breville Bambino on sale $319 and a Comandante c40 mk3 grinder for $329 a few weeks ago and love how good it is. Very happy works great for me but I only make one espresso a day.
                  Also already added a naked portafilter & non-pressurized basket making some great shots.

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                  • jafa1970
                    jafa1970 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Would you mind providing details of the naked PF? Where you got it from and whether you are using single wall Breville basket with it or a different one? Thanks.

                • #10
                  Originally posted by Rat View Post
                  I purchased the Breville Bambino on sale $319 and a Comandante c40 mk3 grinder for $329 a few weeks ago and love how good it is. Very happy works great for me but I only make one espresso a day.
                  Also already added a naked portafilter & non-pressurized basket making some great shots.
                  Where did you manage to find the Comandante for $329? Second hand I'm assuming?

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                  • #11
                    HI

                    I am in the market for something under $500 as well.

                    I had a Sunbeam EM6910 which was great for awhile but broke down and I am not all that technically minded. My husband got it running but in the end we sold it to someone who was happy to tinker with it.

                    I have a Breville Smart Grinder.

                    I would like to purchase something under $500 to make coffee again. It only needs to do one Coffee at a time it would be great if it does milk but would look at options that don't as well. IT will only be used to make 3-4 a day.

                    Should I go for a Breville Bambino? I have seen some of the Gaggia Baby machines for under $500 or should I steer clear? Can't see any Silivias at the moment for under $500

                    Thanks

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                    • #12
                      If your husband likes tinkering, perhaps this one is worth considering....
                      https://coffeesnobs.com.au/forum/mar...der#post825424

                      Mal.

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                      • #13

                        He likes tinkering having the time to do it at this point is the problem.

                        I will send him the link to look at though thanks

                        I just saw the Choice results on semi automatic machines. Can I ask if anyone has used anything from this list in the $500 or so category?

                        The Sunbeam comes equal second at a very good price point. Not sure if it is worth considering.

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                        • #14
                          Ah Ok, fair enough...

                          Most of us here at CS don't rate Choice's methods very highly I'm afraid and rarely agree with their ranking of submissions.
                          The criteria and weighting they use just doesn't gel I'm afraid.
                          You could try using the QUOTE link below at the bottom of the page and ask if any of our site sponsors have trade-ins or other used machines that might suit your needs and your budget.

                          All the best,
                          Mal.

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                          • #15
                            Originally posted by Pennyc View Post
                            He likes tinkering having the time to do it at this point is the problem. I will send him the link to look at though thanks I just saw the Choice results on semi automatic machines. Can I ask if anyone has used anything from this list in the $500 or so category? The Sunbeam comes equal second at a very good price point. Not sure if it is worth considering. Click image for larger version

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                            Off the Choice list I would definitely avoid these machines - Sunbeam Mini Barista and Torino, and the Smeg. The rest are all capable machines and will do ok, but make sure you pay a fair price. The Bambino is the bottom of the range I wouldn’t pay much more than about $300 for it considering you can sometimes get a Breville Dual Boiler for as little at $650 in Australia.

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