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Can anyone recommend a reliable, user friendly machine that makes great coffee in this price range?

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  • Can anyone recommend a reliable, user friendly machine that makes great coffee in this price range?

    Hi everyone,
    Im new to this site. Id like to buy a really good coffee machine, but after having a look at this site, Im more confused than ever. A lot of you guys have Gaggia or Silvia machines which makes me think they must be good, but then so many of the posts are about problems with the machines, so I just dont know.

    Does anyone have a machine in the $500-$1500 price range that they are really happy with?

    PS Id prefer something fully automatic, but only if its not going to break down .

  • #2
    Re: Can anyone recommend a reliable, user friendly machine that makes great coffee in this price range?

    Hi Branjie

    Fully Automatic = esay to break or break down. It seems to be a case of the more electronics/machine driven components a machine has, the more there is to go wrong with it and, when it does, sometimes it can be cheaper to throw the machine away than get it fixed.. I know of a couple of friends who have fully automatics and each one of them have had them replaced / repaired and sometimes more than once. I also had a full automatic before my journey in search of great cup of coffee, and it lasted about 6 months before it needed fixing.

    Your better option is (IMO only) to go possibly something along the lines of a Sunbeam 6910 & 0480 Grinder, or Sylvia and Rocky and grind your own beans (fresher anyway), then pack and tamp your own gropuhead (you get the strength you want), pull your shot and texture your own milk (rather than have bubbley milk from an automatic).

    Otherwise, if you want an all in one unit that has a grinder built in, people recommend the LeLit / Mokita Combi / Queha Nepolitana machine that has the grinder built into it. Have a look over <---- there at sponsors, but I know that Chris at Talk Coffee has the LeLit Combi and can probably give you a demo if youre around Melbourne. Theyre quite a good priced machine at around $800.00 for both the machine and grinder together and are built to last.

    Have fun with your journey.

    Cheers
    Di

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Can anyone recommend a reliable, user friendly machine that makes great coffee in this price range?

      Originally posted by 0C2B3D2F37440 link=1251077272/1#1 date=1251078179
      I know that Chris at Talk Coffee has the LeLit Combi and can probably give you a demo if youre around Melbourne.
      And Cuppacoffee has the Lelit if youre in Sydney!

      And yes, they do make a good cuppacoffee and are built to last!



      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Can anyone recommend a reliable, user friendly machine that makes great coffee in this price range?

        Originally posted by 48584B4440434F2A0 link=1251077272/0#0 date=1251077272
        Hi everyone,
        Im new to this site. Id like to buy a really good coffee machine, but after having a look at this site, Im more confused than ever. A lot of you guys have Gaggia or Silvia machines which makes me think they must be good, but then so many of the posts are about problems with the machines, so I just dont know.

        Does anyone have a machine in the $500-$1500 price range that they are really happy with?

        PS Id prefer something fully automatic, but only if its not going to break down .
        "Automatic" and "not going to break down" are mutually exclusive

        Im pretty happy with my Sunbeam EM6910 and 0480... would probably recommend a better grinder first up if theres room in your budget if you go down this route though. Theres a bit of a learning curve to using any manual machine, but its well worth it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Can anyone recommend a reliable, user friendly machine that makes great coffee in this price range?

          Thanks. Ill check out the LeLit / Mokita Combi / Queha Nepolitana machine. I do have a manual Sunbeam machine. Coffee doesnt turn out very nice. I wonder if it would be worth getting a bean grinder to see if that makes a big difference before buying a new machine???

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Can anyone recommend a reliable, user friendly machine that makes great coffee in this price range?

            First off, buy a grinder...(sunbeams em0450/480 is great a grinder for very little money)and then get fresh beans.  See beanbay or a local roaster than can give you the roast date of their beans. This should improve your coffee and maybe save you the expense of an upgrade.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Can anyone recommend a reliable, user friendly machine that makes great coffee in this price range?

              Agree with CoffeeHorse. Youre not getting good coffee because:-

              (a) Youre using supermarket beans; and/or
              (b) Youre using pre-ground coffee.

              Both of which are huge no-nos if you want a nice cup of coffee and buying a Fully Automatic isnt going to fix that, only freshly roasted beans from a reputable source (not necessarily the cafe down the road, unless they have the roasted on date on the outside of the bag) and buying your own grinder and grinding them as you need them will.

              General rule of thumb that we all live by here:-

              1. Green beans (unroasted coffee beans) last up to three years;
              2. Roasted coffee lasts three weeks or so before they are stale; and
              3. Ground coffee lasts around three minutes before they are stale.

              Yes, machines can make a difference - you mostly get what you pay for in the big wide world of coffee machines - but only subtly and you wont be able to differentiate until you are grinding your own fresh beans.

              Just out of curiousity what manual Sunbeam machine do you own? I used a Sunbeam 4800 for a while in between selling my 6910 and upgrading to my Maver, and personally thought it was crap and couldnt make a decent coffee on it at all, but that was just me. There was just no way I could work with the poxy little 53mm basket and get a good tamp. Everything I made (and I tried 3-4 times) tasted like dishwater and had about the same colour...blech!

              Cheers
              Di

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Can anyone recommend a reliable, user friendly machine that makes great coffee in this price range?

                Buy the Best grinder you can afford. People on here often talk about matching grinders to machines which can lead people to think that some machines are suited more to some grinders this isnt true. Imo if you want a grinder thats going to last a long time then stay away from grinders that have plastic carriers. Unless your just dipping your toes in or are prepared to upgrade at some point anyway. Entry level seems to be in the mid $400s.

                The sunbeam 6910 is the only one they make that im aware of with a commercial inspired group handle and group design (58mm) The smaller machines mostly have pressured baskets (aka crema enhancement) and will struggle to make decent coffee.

                As far as Espresso machines go there are many Sunbeam 6910 users on this forum who are happy with the results. There is debate both ways on whether Silvias or 6910s produce better shots. The fact you dont have to worry about refilling boilers and there is no wait to steam on the Sunbeam gives it points for ease of use.

                Silvia is Solidly built, has a commercial look and feel its uncomplicated and Italian which suits some peoples preferences more.

                There are machines within your price braket with E61 group heads that I apparantly produce serperlative espresso however its pointless dropping the coin on them if you dont have a decent grinder.

                Personally If I had $1500 to spend Id be buying a 6910 or Silvia and dropping the other $700 on a grinder.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Can anyone recommend a reliable, user friendly machine that makes great coffee in this price range?

                  Originally posted by 3A293833226C6E5B0 link=1251077272/8#8 date=1251158706
                  hello, I too am new to the site been lurking for a while.
                  Doing research ! - have been looking at Gaggia classic and new expresso - appears they have aluminium alloy boilers - not particularly happy with that metal.
                  Q. Is the boiler material critical to end result.
                  Q. Does Gaggia Calssic or expresso rate in coffee taste stakes.
                  Q. Should I forget Gaggia and start at sunbeam6910 or Rancillio
                  Aolopgies for all the questions but figure if I do not ask I will not get!
                  Many thanks for a great forum.
                  The boiler material will not effect what comes out in the cup, but being aluminium, if may corrode. In saying that, I have not seen or heard of any cases of this. People recommend the silvia over the classic for this reason.
                  However, the classic has a larger element and thus gets to temperature faster than the sivlia. It is also cheaper than the silvia. But, the silvia has a MASSIVE following and is probably worth the extra couple of dollars. I would definitely choose the silvia or classic over the 6910 and would have trouble discerning taste differences between the silvia and the classic.

                  All the best with your decision!
                  Cheers,
                  Ben

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Can anyone recommend a reliable, user friendly machine that makes great coffee in this price range?

                    Originally posted by 323A35333B6164500 link=1251077272/9#9 date=1251160102
                    The boiler material will not effect what comes out in the cup, but being aluminium, if may corrode. In saying that, I have not seen or heard of any cases of this. People recommend the silvia over the classic for this reason.
                    Id actually recommend the Lelit/Nemox/Mokita machines as stocked by a couple of our Site Sponsors; listed over on the L/H side of the page. They are a great machine and the money you save could be used to put towards some other hardware...

                    Mal.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Can anyone recommend a reliable, user friendly machine that makes great coffee in this price range?

                      Hi Branjie & Archy.

                      FYI, I just picked up a Lelit and Im lovin it.

                      Main positives of the Lelit for you to consider if interested:
                      1. in your price range at around $800 (may even still be able to get the special offer from site sponsors Talk Coffee or Cuppacoffee with a few extras thrown in) and youll have plenty left over for some handy accessories (e.g. good tamper, knock box, etc. - may sound silly but these were genuine value-adds for me);
                      2. has a brass boiler the same size as the Silvia and a decent size 3 litre tank;
                      3. you get a nice grinder built into in the package; and
                      4. all the feedback/reviews I read before buying pointed to a robust and reliable long-term option.

                      Its also a nice looking machine with good resale down the track if you look after it.

                      The main negative Ive discovered so far is that, if youre likely to want to start playing around with naked portafilters or deeper baskets down the track, you may have trouble.

                      Good luck to you both.

                      Damien.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Can anyone recommend a reliable, user friendly machine that makes great coffee in this price range?

                        Both the 6910 and Silvia have huge followings here because both are very good machines. The Silvia IMHO is built better and makes better coffee in the cup. It does take a little more to master but for me that has been part of the journey. The other issue is longevity of the 6910 and the numbers of them that have had to go back.
                        Saying that however they r good and more consume friendly.

                        End of the day the grinder is a HUGE part so dont skimp on this or no matter how impressive ur espresso machine is ur coffee wont match up.

                        Good luck and enjoy the journey!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Can anyone recommend a reliable, user friendly machine that makes great coffee in this price range?

                          Personally If I had $1500 to spend Id be buying a 6910 or Silvia and dropping the other $700 on a grinder.
                          Spot on. Either of these and AND a good grinder.

                          EM6910 if convenience is the decider, Silvia if you want more control/traditional approach and will still be using the same machine each day after 3+ years.

                          Enjoy the journey.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Can anyone recommend a reliable, user friendly machine that makes great coffee in this price range?

                            Originally posted by 404D58584940435A495E2C0 link=1251077272/13#13 date=1251204514
                            Personally If I had $1500 to spend Id be buying a 6910 or Silvia and dropping the other $700 on a grinder.
                            Spot on. Either of these and AND a good grinder.

                            EM6910 if convenience is the decider, Silvia if you want more control/traditional approach and will still be using the same machine each day after 3+ years.

                            Enjoy the journey.
                            I might just add that in my original setup I had a Silvia paired with an Iberital Challenge grinder, The Iberital made a great coffee however the usability was of great frustration to me.

                            I now have the Silvia paired with a Mazzer which is a fantastic grinder.
                            Upgraditis is being held at bay till I have the coin to splash on a GS3, but I doubt that will be anytime soon.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Can anyone recommend a reliable, user friendly machine that makes great coffee in this price range?


                              For great coffee plus convenience you cant go past the Sunbeam EM6910 and the Compak K3 grinder. Well within your budget

                              If on the other hand you are prepared to face a long and frustrating learning curve then Silvia and a Rocky grinder will also fit the budget.

                              I had the Silvia Rocky combination for over five years and even after fitting a PID I found it slow to warm up and not all that consistent in shot quality.

                              The EM6910 is quick and produces great coffee all the time - unless I goof and do something wrong

                              It also will steam and brew simultaneously.

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