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  • whats the difference?

    I have a Delonghi ESE manual espresso machine now about4/5yrs old and nothing fancy.Its starting to drip a little water around the ground seal so perhaps a replacement machine may be needed soon as not worth spending money on it. I have a new burr grinder and roast my own green beans in a popcorn popper so all good there.Which machine to buy- exactly what difference in taste will I achieve buying say the Saeco via venezia,Ikon or even a Breville or Sunbeam ie thermoblock v boiler. Hubby and I only drink black espresso and rarely if ever do I make one for anyone who takes milk. So perhaps some suggestions as to the difference please as dont want to spend extra money only to find theres little to gain

  • #2
    Re: whats the difference?

    You havent stated your budget.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: whats the difference?

      I cant say for all machines and brands, but for the Breville 820 I find that its too underpowered to pull a really good black shot. If I grind for the "highest" pressure the machine feels comfortable with, it pours too quickly (15s) and the shots are a bit bitter. If I grind any finer it starts to block up and the shots become sour. Most of this is covered by adding milk so it still tastes good (to me) but I know theres much better to be had.

      So what I am trying to say is, I think the "high" end domestic appliances still leave room for improvement. However I havent tried the Sunbeam or BES860, which are apparently better.

      hope this helps

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      • #4
        Re: whats the difference?

        I live in NZ so prices a little more restrictive here. I havent set a budget as such but less than $1000. Have been looking at 2nd hand machines but really wondered how much better tasting the black coffee would be if I bought a boiler type of machine compared to the thermoblock type. Drinking black coffee really does bring out the full taste but to what extent will it be nicer.Having said that using my daughters machine [a real low end machine] I cant even get any crema on the coffee using my own roasted beans and wonder why. Also get a lot of water sitting on the top of the puck too .

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        • #5
          Re: whats the difference?

          Many different things go into a good coffee, not just the beans. A boiler will give you a more consistent temperature over the shot, and better steam (usually) however thats not all there is to it. And there are cheap and nasty boiler machines too.

          Water in the puck could be from the basket type, the dose, the grind setting, your tamping... There are many posts here that will give you hints on that (try the advanced search).

          What I am trying to say is a nice boiler machine wont magically make your shots better, although it will give you the opportunity to make great shots if youre getting everything else on the right track too. I think you will notice a difference from (say) a Gee, Lelit, or Silvia over the one you have now.

          Does that help?

          PS. what grinder do you have? Some burr grinders make inconsistent grinds, or burn the beans, causing less-than-desirable outcomes.

          PPS. Have a look at:
          http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1261299456
          http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1272899956/3
          http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1233626247/5
          and Im sure there are lots more

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          • #6
            Re: whats the difference?

            thanks for the info - have been thinking of the saeco via venezia or maybe a Gaggia .I bought a Delonghi burr grinder KG100 which works well.Will delve further into the info on mchines and would definitely set it up properly if I buy one of the better machines

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            • #7
              Re: whats the difference?

              If you like the coffee from your current machine, then replacing the group head seal is easy and cheap ($10 or so).

              Have a think about using this machine until it really dies, and saving your pennies for a real upgrade.

              Greg

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              • #8
                Re: whats the difference?

                Yep after reading that my new KG100 grinder may still not be good enough I wondered if upgrading my machine would make much difference. I do like the coffee it makes and will now look into cost of new seal. Also the basket is not perhaps the best either as gives a drip feed into the cup thereby producing a frothy crema so a little false but still nice to drink.Im just wondering whether the better basket not pressurized [mine isnt pressurized] might make a difference if I can get one to fit and also a tamper [I use the plastic one fitted into the machine ]

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                • #9
                  Re: whats the difference?

                  Hi nzb,

                  If the machine can be fixed and tweaked as you suggest, a grinder upgrade will make a big difference.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: whats the difference?

                    ok so why would an upgrade in the grinder make a difference? Is it because it will grind it finer than mine can do? Ive only just bought this new and wonder how much finer the beans can be ground.Im not keen to make any adjustments to the ginder as outlined in a few posts as saw that this caused "burning" smells and obviously I could invalidate my warranty. I might ask Delonghi what they suggest if its not good enough for the grinding the beans to the required fineness for espresso coffees

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                    • #11
                      Re: whats the difference?

                      Originally posted by 363E3D38302539510 link=1292876016/9#9 date=1293253262
                      ok so why would an upgrade in the grinder make a difference?
                      Simple way to explain is
                      A quality grinder that is regularly cleaned will actually grind the coffee beans in such a way that the ground coffee is exposed to the brewing process to extract more coffee oils & flavours that in turn flow in the cup for you to enjoy

                      KK

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                      • #12
                        Re: whats the difference?

                        Oh so not so much the fineness of the grind -and therefore no amount of "tweaking" my KG100 grinder will give me that taste you describe. Thanks for your explanation . Can I also ask as to what fineness of grind I should aim for use in a moka stove top coffee maker which I use on the boat - very fine or more like for plunger coffee please

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: whats the difference?

                          Originally posted by 70787B7E76637F170 link=1292876016/9#9 date=1293253262
                          ok so why would an upgrade in the grinder make a difference? Is it because it will grind it finer than mine can do? Ive only just bought this new and wonder how much finer the beans can be ground.Im not keen to make any adjustments to the ginder as outlined in a few posts as saw that this caused "burning" smells and obviously I could invalidate my warranty. I might ask Delonghi what they suggest if its not good enough for the grinding the beans to the required fineness for espresso coffees
                          Gday nzb....

                          Id say from your comments above, that you have probably never tasted coffee as good as it can be. A decent grinder is waaayyy more important than the machine used to extract the coffee from the beans.

                          Not knowing what is available in NZ for a reasonable price, its a bit difficult to know what to recommend but at the very least, an Iberital Challenge would be the least expensive grinder that I would be prepared to recommend as a starting point for espresso use.

                          Maybe have a read though this... http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1194680556 and the link(s) contained therein which would hopefully give you an idea of where we are coming from.

                          All the best mate....

                          Mal.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: whats the difference?

                            Originally posted by 525A595C54415D350 link=1292876016/11#11 date=1293265338
                            Oh so not so much the fineness of the grind -and therefore no amount of "tweaking" my KG100 grinder will give me that taste you describe. Thanks for your explanation . Can I also ask as to what fineness of grind I should aim for use in a moka stove top coffee maker which I use on the boat - very fine or more like for plunger coffee please

                            The grind depends on the freshness of the beans and depth of roast
                            But as a general rule the grind on a stove top is close to espresso

                            KK

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: whats the difference?

                              Not only fineness but consistency of size, and speed. Cheaper grinders can have some wobble to the burrs making odd shaped (not necessarily visible) grinds. Also cheaper grinders can mash rather than cut, or burn grinds, destroying some of the delicacy.

                              For the boat you could look into a hand grinder. I use a Hario Skerton (has some wobble for larger particle sizes). Ive also heard the Zassenhaus box grinders are excellent. I take the Hario camping with a stove top and love it

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