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  • Mid range coffee machines

    Hi All

    This is my first post here although I have been reading about coffee machines here for a little while its about time I signed up and posted my first question and hopefully you wont all go oh not again that question has been asked a million times before.

    Sorry For all the words but here is my story so far:-

    I know that everyone here probably owns and loves coffee, I have been a coffee snob for many years a few years ago being a bit of a novice I purchased a fully automatic Saeco Royal Cappuccino, to start with it made reasonable coffee I admit not fantastic oh my god thats good coffee good, but way better than you know the old 43 beans. Then it broke and it cost $350 to fix it the lady at the shop said I should descale more often whilst I followed the instructions she suggested twice as often hmm a bit odd but anyway a year later and poof its gone again well its the last straw the coffee it made was okay but theres no way I was forking over another 350 to have it fixed again, it didnt work as well as it did when it was new after they fixed it the first time.

    I have since been to a Barista course and made the best coffee that I have ever tasted. I mean WOW what difference the coffee I used to make with the old Saeco was just plain awful by comparison I have to get a new machine. So I talked to my money manager (Wife) and have been allowed to spend $1200 to get some new gear. So Here I am asking you guys for some advice.

    I have looked and looked I nearly went and got a Rancilo Silvia but then I guess I thought hmm I better check around some more and I read that some people have some problems with temperatures plus of course there is the one major draw back which is the single boiler so I looked and looked again and found the ECM Giotto (Droool) wow could they make a coffee machine look any better than that hmm an Isomac millenium maybe very nice .

    Alright now here is my question or problem I can afford to get a Rancilo Silvia however I like the ECM Giotto but I cant afford it or at least I could not get my money manager to approve the purchase. Now heres the thing there seems to be a huge gap between a Rancilo Silvia and say the next best thing so where are the $1000 - $1200 coffee machines half way between a Rancilo Silvia and an ECM Giotto I cant seem to find a coffee machine in this price range.

    so ... that brings me here.

    I would like to ask every one what is the best not quite an ECM Giotto (Which dont seem to available in any case) sub $2000 machine thats better than a Rancilo Silvia but is at least as good in quality. Preferably in Stainless steel with the ability to steam without having to wait for heating up and cooling down would be nice. If there is such a coffee machine out there what is it and where can I get one from. These middle of the range machines seem to be missing from the coffee machine market or have I overlooked some?

    Oh I will definitely get a nice grinder, but that will be another question.

    I appreciate any help or suggestions you may have.

    Thank you

  • #2
    Re: Mid range coffee machines

    Hi Coffaholic and welcome!

    There are some really good machines in your price bracket

    In your price bracket, we stock and recommend the expobar eb-61 leva: http://www.talkcoffee.com.au/equipment/coffee-machine-expobar-eb-61.php

    We also have a demo model Diadema Unico Splendor on special which is achingly close to within budget for you:
    http://www.talkcoffee.com.au/equipment/coffee-machine-diadema-unico-splendor.php

    Also, there is plenty of good info to be found in the machines review section of CS: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1163234999

    Please feel free to call or email if I can assist in any way. I call em as I see em...warts and all

    Chris

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Mid range coffee machines

      Hi Chris

      Thanks you very much for your reply however the machines that you have pointed out both appear to be above $2000 which is way over my $1200 budget unless they are on special, what price are they at?

      I must admit that they both look like fantastic machines I have seen them but I am afraid I may have to amire them from afar with wishful thoughts at $2000

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Mid range coffee machines

        Coffaholic,

        You are correct with the not much between the Silvia (and some other slightly more expensive single boiler machines) - which are all at the very top of the domestic range..... then you jump to the prosumer machines..... with better temperature control, which allow you to brew and texture milk at the same time etc...

        And with a lot of bling!!!!

        But all that "quantum" leap in features comes at a price unfortunately.... There is one small HX which sells for quite a bit less than $2000 - closer to $1000 from memory.... but you dont get the stainless steel bling (basically plastic case)... after all the manufacturer had to save somewhere.....

        The $2K + machines are really nice.... just have to start saving if you want a HX or dual boiler......

        Me, Im dreaming of a Synesso for home use. : :

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Mid range coffee machines

          Originally posted by Coffaholic link=1193655967/0#2 date=1193658740
          Hi Chris

          Thanks you very much for your reply however the machines that you have pointed out both appear to be above $2000 which is way over my $1200 budget unless they are on special, what price are they at?

          I must admit that they both look like fantastic machines I have seen them but I am afraid I may have to amire them from afar with wishful thoughts at $2000
          Sorry Coff,

          When I read this bit,

          I would like to ask every one what is the best not quite an ECM Giotto (Which dont seem to available in any case) sub $2000 machine thats better than a Rancilo Silvia but is at least as good in quality. Preferably in Stainless steel with the ability to steam without having to wait for heating up and cooling down would be nice. If there is such a coffee machine out there what is it and where can I get one from. These middle of the range machines seem to be missing from the coffee machine market or have I overlooked some?
          I thought that you may have revised your thinking to closer to $2k...

          You will have to compromise if youre looking at $1.2k ish, but not too much... Have a close look at the Vibiemme Domobar Levetta: http://www.talkcoffee.com.au/equipment/coffee-machine-vibiemme-domobar-levetta.php. Its sort of like a sexy Rancilio Silvia with fantastic espresso and heaps of steam. The Silvia has its quirks and can be a challenging taskmaster. The Domobar is far more forgiving. I sold our loan Domobar today but there will be another in the stable this week I think- as I miss it already....

          You can blur the line between shot and milk texturing, but you do have to press a button to swap tasks. Its easier to use than the Silvia, much heavier with the e-61 group, looks fantastic 8-) and is remarkable value for what it does.

          Chris

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Mid range coffee machines

            Hi All

            Thanks for the replies so far I may have to see my money manager if I am to get what I would like..... damn its like going to a car dealer how much would you like to pay and all that its going to be really hard to justify the leap from 1200 to 2000 unless I can really show what I am getting for my extra money. So aside from the fact that a $2000 coffee machine looks way the coolest thing next to a my dolorian time machine of course. How do I convince the financial wizard (Wife) that its exactly what I need just the taste and aroma of great coffee should do it Ohhhh the temptation

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Mid range coffee machines

              There is:

              Originally posted by Veneziano Caffe link=1163234999/15#15 date=1178588814
              Machine Name: Nuova Simonelli Oscar Professional
              Price Range: $1.3 to $1.4k
              Sponsor Suppliers: Veneziano Coffee

              [b]Features:[b]
              -2L insulated boiler
              -1200W element
              -Heat exchanger
              -ABS plastic body
              -Innovative metal plate under cup heating tray
              -Proprietary thermosyphon group
              -Ball jointed steam wand
              -Power on, element on, brewing and low water indicator lights
              -Internal vibratory pump
              -Resin filter
              -Dimensions: 41x41x31 cm
              -Weight: 14kg

              Notes:

              Nuova Simonellis Oscar espresso machine is an entry-level heat exchanger, delivering a lot of bang for your buck.
              Not much of a looker though IMHO- however, beauty as they say is in the eye of the beholder  :-/

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Mid range coffee machines

                I think the Black is fantastic...100x better than the Grey. Apparently they come in Ferrari red now! Ill probably get one in just for kicks.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Mid range coffee machines

                  I have a Silvia. It produces fantastic shots, better than all but the very best cafes, but of course the machine is only partly responsible. Without well-roasted beans, a good enough grinder and, in Silvias case, solid familiarity with the machine, theres always the prospect of disappointing coffee.

                  My cousin has a Vibiemme Domobar but he reckons the boiler is so big it takes too long to come to steaming temp/pressure and when it gets there its too powerful to steam a small amount of milk for a single coffee. Tis a good looking beast, though, and in my limited experience with it I have found it more forgiving than the Silvia, as Chris said. What I mean, Coffaholic, is that you dont have to get the dose and tamp exactly right with the Domobar, whereas with Silvia the margin for error is slimmer.

                  The temperature surfing with Silvia is not a big deal, certainly not difficult or complicated, and I rarely have to wait more than 45 seconds after pulling the shot for it to be ready to steam a jug of microfoam for two lattes.

                  Perhaps a compromise would be something like a Botticelli (ie a single-boiler under $1200 but perhaps more forgiving than Silvia)? Also, isnt there an Expobar model for around $1600?

                  Good luck!

                  Rob

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Mid range coffee machines

                    The other option for the single boiler machines is to get something like a Silvia or a Bott with a PID fitted....

                    Doesnt help in the extracting and texturing at the same time department.... but totally eliminates the need for temperature surfing to get that "God shot".....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Mid range coffee machines

                      Oh I will definitely get a nice grinder, but that will be another question.
                      What are you going to use for a grinder, you need to look at both grinder and machine, if both dont fit within budget then maybe go for a grinder first and keep saving for the machine.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Mid range coffee machines

                        Originally posted by JavaB link=1193655967/0#9 date=1193664354
                        The other option for the single boiler machines is to get something like a Silvia or a Bott with a PID fitted....

                        Doesnt help in the extracting and texturing at the same time department.... but totally eliminates the need for temperature surfing to get that "God shot".....
                        Id second the Bott or Silvia with PID. Unfortunately I dont think Botts are available just now- and they are quite forgiving with dosing. The Dobomar sounds great.
                        Brett

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Mid range coffee machines

                          Id second the Bott or Silvia with PID. Unfortunately I dont think Botts are available just now- and they are quite forgiving with dosing. The Dobomar sounds great.

                          Brett
                          Hi Brett,

                          ECM tell us there will be no more Botticellis in Oz....ever - so you own an endangered species. Something about minimum order volumes of 1000 units....Its a shame....

                          Coff, there is the Expobar Semi Auto but its still circa $1.7k

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Mid range coffee machines

                            Originally posted by Coffaholic link=1193655967/0#0 date=1193655967
                            So I talked to my money manager (Wife) and have been allowed to spend $1200 to get some new gear.
                            You lucky bugger Im still getting grief for having spent $800 when the old $200 machine and supermarket preground coffee was fine!

                            Good luck with the purchase, looks like there are some really fantastic machines within or just above your budget.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Mid range coffee machines

                              As has been inferred, the Nuova Simonelli Oscar is the cheapest HX unit around and its just in or just out of your price range depending what price you get it for. However if you dont like the looks then youll have to stretch things to the high side of $1.5k and look at an Expobar or similar.

                              Bear in mind if youre spending that much on a machine, youll need to put aside at least $400-$600 for a decent grinder otherwise you just wont get the best out of the machine.

                              I have a Silvia and dont find the wait from brewing to steaming to be objectionable having always had a single boiler machine, though of course everyone likes things faster (but if youre going away from a superauto youre obviously prepared to take the time to make coffee properly). If youre prepared to pass up that instant on steam functionality, then something like the VBM Domobar Levetta Chris suggested would be perfect for you. Even the Silvia would do a lot better than your superauto; it can be PIDd by Talk Coffee, and its supposed finickyness in my experience is only so relative to much more expensive machines. However if youve got the cash available for the VBM then Id recommend it - the group is far better than that of the Silvia.

                              Good luck!
                              Greg

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