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  • The Dirty "A" Word

    Hi all,

    Buying a coffee machine for Dad for fathers day (more so for the product than the machine itself, loves a good coffee) and weve been talking to people about their machines and doing some research. I personally love making coffee using a manual machine and know that this (coupled with a good grinder and good beans) is where we will get the best quality, the cafe studies teacher at school agrees (yes, cafe studies, how lucky are we?! recess coffee!). Mum on the other hand wants an auto machine...yuck... How can I talk her out of it??? Or, at the very least, what is a good auto machine in this price bracket? I dont want to buy an auto, but its not my call and I suppose its better than nothing...

    Also suggestions of a manual machine up to $1000 might be handy, up to $1500 or theareabouts for an auto?


    Thanks in advance, this is a great website!

    Streety

  • #2
    Re: The Dirty "A" Word

    Hey Streety,

    Welcome to cs! To get a better response from the crew here you should specify whether the budget includes the cost of the grinder or whether that is separate. Secondly, if you let us know what kinds of drinks (milk based, espresso) and how many are needed during one session that will help. Im no expert, but I dont think there are any reliable autos for that price range.

    cheers,

    sd

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: The Dirty "A" Word

      Streety;

      We probalbly will recommend you Rancilio Silvia with Rocky grinder or Domo Bar levetta with Iberital Challage. Check our website www.dibartoli.com.au to get you an idea, you are welcome to give a call or pm I will very happy to guide.

      Regards

      Renzo

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The Dirty "A" Word

        with a half decent grinder, if thats possible?

        Will be 4-5 milk based in one hit normally, reguarly 6-7 though. Heaps, I know.

        So if you cant get a reliable auto for that, how much are we talking?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The Dirty "A" Word

          Originally posted by streety7052 link=1219989376/0#3 date=1219991415
          with a half decent grinder, if thats possible?

          Will be 4-5 milk based in one hit normally, reguarly 6-7 though. Heaps, I know.

          So if you cant get a reliable auto for that, how much are we talking?

          If youre doing that many milk based drinks at one sitting, then youre probably limited to the sunbeam6910 ($500-$600) paired with a good grinder (mazzer mini; macap m4; compak k3 --$500 - $800). The 6910 hass a thermoblock, and is not a heat exchange machine (which are around the $2000 mark).

          Someone else can comment on reliable autos, but theyre quite expensive...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The Dirty "A" Word

            The 6910 would be a bit slow doing 4-5 milks at a time.
            6-7 would send you over the edge.

            I find the steam barely adequate for one and doing two at a time takes an age.
            Triple that and youll realise how slow they are compared to something like my Expobar or any other machine of that power.

            Assuming 4-5 is daily then the wear and tear comes into play.

            Ive found that the group head of the 6910 here at work is wearing from use.
            Ive had to install a spacer under the group seal to get a seal, otherwise it leaks like a sieve.

            Id give a new one 2 years at 4-5 a day before you see this problem, but Ive had my Expobar for 2 years now and shes still like new.

            A Rocky grinder would be more than adequate for a 6910.
            A Macap, Mazzer or the like isnt worth the extra spend to match with a Sunbeam IMO.

            If however you plan to upgrade the machine eventually, then Ill say what I always do, "spend as much as you can afford on a grinder plusd a little bit more".

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The Dirty "A" Word

              Originally posted by smokeydeck link=1219989376/0#4 date=1219991977
              Originally posted by streety7052 link=1219989376/0#3 date=1219991415
              with a half decent grinder, if thats possible?

              Will be 4-5 milk based in one hit normally, reguarly 6-7 though. Heaps, I know.

              So if you cant get a reliable auto for that, how much are we talking?

              If youre doing that many milk based drinks at one sitting, then youre probably limited to the sunbeam6910 ($500-$600) paired with a good grinder (mazzer mini; macap m4; compak k3 --$500 - $800).  The 6910 hass a thermoblock, and is not a heat exchange machine  (which are around the $2000 mark).

              Someone else can comment on reliable autos, but  theyre quite expensive...
              I would have to agree with the above statements, if your requirements for milk and the numbers are correct..

              Auto Vs Thermo block Vs Boilers all have their place and at the end of the day you will get what you pay for. The other point is that You can not apply a $ value and then look at Auto Vs Thermo block Vs Boilers as they are different.

              Then there is you usage and your perception of Quality Vs Maintenance...

              $1k to $1.5 K will give you a;

              1: Good Thermo block (EM6910) and mid range grinder. Should not be too excessive on the Labour and ready at a moments notice
              2: Low end Auto with a built in grinder... Umm Some love them.. I personally - would not consider
              3: Low end boiler.. Silva etc are good, but reading between the lines... May not be what your looking for.

              Instant gratification, press of a button and not have to do any thing else; while getting a top quality Coffee and true stretched milk will cost you significantly more than $1.5K

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The Dirty "A" Word

                Streety,

                For the sort of dollars you are looking at..... any superautomatic is going to be a low end domestic..... therfore be prepared for lots of "down time" and potentially expensive repair bills..... and pretty average coffee. "Whole of life" costs for these machines can be horrendous!!

                Until you start talking Jura (quite a bit above your budget) Id be giving the thought of a superautomatic the flick!

                A single boiler machine (Silvia etc) would probably be too difficult for the number of milk based drinks you are looking at....... It would certainly go the distance..... and last for ages..... but take forever to prepare that many milk based drinks.

                The 6910 would be a reasonable choice..... but it would be working very hard to keep up with your requirements..... and may not last all that long.....

                You are kind of between a rock and a hard place. You can get a machine/grinder within your price range.... but with significant compromises...... or you really need to find a few more dollars...... a small HX would be ideal IMHO.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The Dirty "A" Word

                  What does your Dad want?? Havent heard his opinion mentioned yet.
                  The budget is fairly small given the rather large quantities.
                  If you do 6 milk coffees, buying them would cost about $20. Multiply that by how many times a day and how many days a week to get an idea of the casual spend.
                  If the budget is really that limited you might be better with a good grinder and a french press or similar. While that combo wont make espresso it will make good coffee.
                  Greg

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The Dirty "A" Word

                    Originally posted by GregWormald link=1219989376/0#8 date=1220017862
                    What does your Dad want?? Havent heard his opinion mentioned yet.

                    Greg
                    this is coffee snobs Greg, it doesnt matter what he wants, hes gonna get what we tell him to get.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The Dirty "A" Word

                      Originally posted by GregWormald link=1219989376/0#8 date=1220017862
                      What does your Dad want?? Havent heard his opinion mentioned yet.
                      The budget is fairly small given the rather large quantities.
                      If you do 6 milk coffees, buying them would cost about $20. Multiply that by how many times a day and how many days a week to get an idea of the casual spend.
                      If the budget is really that limited you might be better with a good grinder and a french press or similar. While that combo wont make espresso it will make good coffee.
                      Greg
                      As Greg mentioned, it would be a good idea to look at the savings from making your own coffees if you plan on making that many per day. At $20 a day and $140 a week, that means that youll get back the $1000 in less than 2 months - but for your requirements it would be better to spend a little more on a more reliable machine that can steam & brew at the same time. I used similar calculations to help me ease my conscience on how much I spent on my equipment. 8-)

                      Also, you may need to spend a little extra $$$ for things such as a better tamper, tamper mat, new filter baskets, etc.


                      Cheers,
                      Tim

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: The Dirty "A" Word

                        Originally posted by JavaB link=1219989376/0#7 date=1219998352
                        Streety,

                        For the sort of dollars you are looking at..... any superautomatic is going to be a low end domestic..... therfore be prepared for lots of "down time" and potentially expensive repair bills..... and pretty average coffee. "Whole of life" costs for these machines can be horrendous!!

                        Until you start talking Jura (quite a bit above your budget) Id be giving the thought of a superautomatic the flick!

                        A single boiler machine (Silvia etc) would probably be too difficult for the number of milk based drinks you are looking at....... It would certainly go the distance..... and last for ages..... but take forever to prepare that many milk based drinks.

                        The 6910 would be a reasonable choice..... but it would be working very hard to keep up with your requirements..... and may not last all that long.....

                        You are kind of between a rock and a hard place. You can get a machine/grinder within your price range.... but with significant compromises...... or you really need to find a few more dollars...... a small HX would be ideal IMHO.

                        So youd be happier if I told you were now looking at buying a Jura worth about $3000?

                        I know I had mixed emotions...it looks very good for what it is...but my mind was racing with the sort of machine/grindr combos three grand would buy........anyhow, Im the last person who needs to be happy about the purchase- Dad primarily, mum secondary. Dad just wants good coffee, mum wants the coffee without learning how or getting me to make it...try as I might to persuade her, its an uphill battle which I dont think Im going to win...

                        Thanks all

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: The Dirty "A" Word

                          Originally posted by streety7052 link=1219989376/0#11 date=1220170956

                          So youd be happier if I told you were now looking at buying a Jura worth about $3000?

                          Thanks all
                          Well. Id be happier for your parents! Although I wouldnt entertain a super auto myself : If you want press button coffee, a machine that will go the distance.... and make pretty damn good coffee as well..... then IMHO you cant beat the Jura.

                          There is a reason they are so much more expensive than the others..... and that is quality! Quality of manufacture, quality of the components used and quality of the output! Super-autos are incredibly complex beasts..... and cutting down on cost to make them attractive to the masses comes at a cost...... so you pay relatively little at the start..... and then just keep paying to keep it working!!! At least with the Jura you might pay more upfront..... but you have something which will last!

                          Personally I can think of far better ways to spend $3000..... all of which would be far less automatic..... but thats me (and not everyone has the time, the interest or the inclination to "make" an espresso.....) And if you (or your parents in your case ) dont have this desire..... then you cant get better than a Jura IMHO!

                          Good luck with your purchase.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: The Dirty "A" Word

                            Originally posted by streety7052 link=1219989376/0#11 date=1220170956
                            Originally posted by JavaB link=1219989376/0#7 date=1219998352
                            Streety,

                            For the sort of dollars you are looking at..... any superautomatic is going to be a low end domestic..... therfore be prepared for lots of "down time" and potentially expensive repair bills..... and pretty average coffee. "Whole of life" costs for these machines can be horrendous!!

                            Until you start talking Jura (quite a bit above your budget) Id be giving the thought of a superautomatic the flick!

                            A single boiler machine (Silvia etc) would probably be too difficult for the number of milk based drinks you are looking at....... It would certainly go the distance..... and last for ages..... but take forever to prepare that many milk based drinks.

                            The 6910 would be a reasonable choice..... but it would be working very hard to keep up with your requirements..... and may not last all that long.....

                            You are kind of between a rock and a hard place. You can get a machine/grinder within your price range.... but with significant compromises...... or you really need to find a few more dollars...... a small HX would be ideal IMHO.

                            So youd be happier if I told you were now looking at buying a Jura worth about $3000?

                            I know I had mixed emotions...it looks very good for what it is...but my mind was racing with the sort of machine/grindr combos three grand would buy........anyhow, Im the last person who needs to be happy about the purchase- Dad primarily, mum secondary. Dad just wants good coffee, mum wants the coffee without learning how or getting me to make it...try as I might to persuade her, its an uphill battle which I dont think Im going to win...

                            Thanks all
                            If thats where your heading see http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1163933023 one of the site sponsors, as they should be able to assist you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: The Dirty "A" Word

                              Hi Streety,

                              for an easy to use machine have a read about the Solis SL90 (Swiss made). They are far more common in the US than here but are well suported by Daimond C one of the sponsors http://www.diamond-c.com.au/home.html Easier to use than the Silvia and better steam by all accounts, mine has been great from day one. It comes with a Pod portafilter and pressurised ones that will take preground if you want to keep it really simple and not get a grinder at this stage.

                              Or if you want to complicate you can buy non-pressurised baskets and a decent conical grinder.

                              You should get change out of your $1000 including the grinder (just). I started out running the machine in Auto and pressurised baskets but I have now taken to looking at the shots with the non pressurised baskets. Some more reading and reviews here http://coffeegeek.com/reviews/consumer/solis_sl-90

                              have fun choosing  

                              BTW a Mate of mine USED : to have an auto now a happy manual user

                              Comment

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