Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

HELP! Information overload.... first machine help needed!

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • HELP! Information overload.... first machine help needed!

    Its coming up to Christmas.... that time of year when the house gets invaded by coffee-guzzlers and my beloved Aeropress just wont cut it!

    Ive done a lot of reading on the CS forums and elsewhere on the net, and have to say that Im not sure whether I feel any the wiser for it.  I think maybe Ive read *too* much and Im completely confused.  So CS gurus, please throw your suggestions at me.

    I want to get a setup for under $650 (machine & grinder) but Im posting in this forum rather than the sub-500 as Im aware that there are some good specials floating around, and Im also open to buying a refurbed or second hand machine & grinder (or stretching the budget a little without telling Mr bormongeo!)

    My friends are trying to talk me into a pod machine.  Uh, no thanks. "but they make such fast consistently great coffee"... ? Consistently great? Ive only had stuff that consistently tastes like a blend of coffee and mud.

    Ive only ever pulled a shot from my SIL Sunbeam EM6910 and to be honest I dont recall what it was like.  So Im greener than fresh picked beans but Im thinking Ill go and do a course in the new year.

    To help guide you:
    [list bull-blackball][*]Small footprint.
    [*]Boiler not thermoblock (better I understand?)
    [*]Not aluminium internals
    [*]Cater for two users - one who wants to learn to make a great espresso (me) and embraces process, and one who wants a coffee. now. (Mr bormongeo).
    [*]Would eventually like to try a bit of latte art (just to be a smarty pants) so needs good steam I understand?
    [*]Easy to maintain and keep clean
    [*]Good servicing (should I ever - hopefully not - need it)[/list]

  • #2
    Re: HELP! Information overload.... first machine help needed!

    Hi Mrs B

    I think with your budget you will be sadly underwhelmed unless you pick up some second hand equipment.

    With the $650, I would invest in a good grinder, say a Compak K3 Touch for $600, and put $50 or so towards a decent-sized plunger for catering for the relatives. I think you will get better value with this setup rather than a machine + grinder combo which may not produce much better output than a Nespresso machine.

    Alternatively, buy the Nespresso to keep Mr B and the relatives happy, and enjoy a quiet Aeropress for yourself. But I doubt whether the Nespresso or the cheap espresso could keep up with the high demand.

    Ill stick with my first suggestion. The fist try of freshly ground coffee out of a quality grinder and I think Mr B will be converted.

    There are also several second hard grinders advertised on CS:
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?board=Sale

    (PS Someone is selling a 2nd hand Rancilio Miss Silvia there. I think this will meet all tour requirements but is over your budget and you will still need a decent grinder.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: HELP! Information overload.... first machine help needed!

      I agree with everything Flynn has written. A good quality grinder, a couple of plungers and supply of good quality freshly roasted beans would be your best bet for entertaining crowds over Christmas.

      The Breville Smart Grinder or the K3 Push are cheaper grinder options.

      I dont believe there is anything new within your budget that will meet your criteria. The closest would be the Lelit Combi for around $850. Otherwise a Lelit PL041 or a Silvia with a Breville Smart Grinder for under $1000.

      Note that none of these machines are suitable for entertaining crowds if making mostly milk-based drinks. They will however fit your day-to-day requirements.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: HELP! Information overload.... first machine help needed!

        I think the Smart Grinder can be had for $200, the K3P for $450 and the K3T for $550.

        If you really really want an espresso machine for that price, you could have another look at the SILs sunbeam. It has 2 thermoblocks for fast steaming (compared to single thermoblocks) and makes a pretty good brew. You can probably get a combo with EM0480 grinder for your budget, or possibly stretch to a Breville smart grinder (better) and sell the sunbeam included grinder.

        Doing this youll loose your boiler, & no-aluminium spec, but it is more than suitable for 2-person milk based coffees, and its fast if you dont want to wait the recommended 20 minutes (for better heat-stability). Its also capable for doing small dinner parties since theres no changing temp between brew and steam. The latte art comes down to the user, and there are spare parts available, but servicing may be a bit expensive.

        Beware that youll probably want to upgrade this sooner, so if you save now youll spend less in the long run, but not everyone can wait

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: HELP! Information overload.... first machine help needed!

          Iain, interestingly someone locally in the know who is dealing with coffee every day in a commercial situation has recommended that exact setup. Given that 99% of the time I use my Aeropress, Id say it probably will come up fine....

          The only other one Ive glanced at (given the footprint of the above without a grinder is nothing short of enormous) is the Breville Fresca with the built in grinder. But it was at this point a glance.

          Im over it for another day!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: HELP! Information overload.... first machine help needed!

            Originally posted by 676A77686A6B62606A050 link=1323732349/4#4 date=1323743701
            Breville Fresca
            I own the Fresca, and Ive had some great results with home roasted beans, but Im not sure that I would recommend it to you given your list of requirements.

            It has a lot of good features and for your day to day use with 2 people it is fine but for entertaining it will not be sufficient (you cant brew and steam simultaneously and think circa 1 minute to steam enough milk for a 250mL glass, not including warm up time of the single thermoblock, having said that the microfoam Ive achieved is good and have had success with some dabbling in latte art)

            On the plus side, convincing your OH will be a bit easier. Having everything confined in one footprint at least gives the illusion of some kind of automation (it worked on my OH) but ultimately the 6910 and 0480 bundle will probably meet your requirements better.

            Speaking from experience, machines like the Fresca (and probably to a lesser extent the 6910) are good to start with but upgradeitis hits soon and it hits hard 

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: HELP! Information overload.... first machine help needed!

              I agree, go the 6910 + grinder over the Fresca. I had a single block Breville and it struggled with more than 2 coffees at a time.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: HELP! Information overload.... first machine help needed!

                6910 + grinder vote here as well.

                It can produce some great shots with some practice (I have had one recently) and it will cope with what everyone wants as long as they have some patience and dont want instant pod coffee.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: HELP! Information overload.... first machine help needed!

                  You obviously put a fair bit of research and thought into your list of wants, so make sure you’re not talked into buying EM6910 before re-considering your list of priorities.

                  I did not mention the Sunbeam in my first post as it only meets about half of your priorities.  On the other hand the Lelit Combi will meet all your priorities for an extra  $150-200 over budget.

                  I have owned both machines and this is how I would compare them according to your priorities:

                  Originally posted by 7C716C737170797B711E0 link=1323732349/0#0 date=1323732349
                  [*]Small footprint.
                  Lelit – yes
                  Sunbeam – yes/no. Depends on your definition of small.  It’s certainly not huge.


                  Originally posted by 7C716C737170797B711E0 link=1323732349/0#0 date=1323732349
                  [*]Boiler not thermoblock (better I understand?)
                  Lelit – yes
                  Sunbeam - no

                  Originally posted by 7C716C737170797B711E0 link=1323732349/0#0 date=1323732349
                  [*]Not aluminium internals
                  Lelit – yes
                  Sunbeam - no

                  Originally posted by 7C716C737170797B711E0 link=1323732349/0#0 date=1323732349
                  [*]Cater for two users - one who wants to learn to make a great espresso (me) and embraces process, and one who wants a coffee. now. (Mr bormongeo).
                  Lelit – yes
                  Sunbeam – yes
                  In my hands both machines would have similar warm up times.

                  Originally posted by 7C716C737170797B711E0 link=1323732349/0#0 date=1323732349
                  [*]Would eventually like to try a bit of latte art (just to be a smarty pants) so needs good steam I understand?
                  Lelit – yes
                  Sunbeam - yes

                  Originally posted by 7C716C737170797B711E0 link=1323732349/0#0 date=1323732349
                  [*]Easy to maintain and keep clean
                  Lelit – yes
                  Sunbeam - yes

                  Originally posted by 7C716C737170797B711E0 link=1323732349/0#0 date=1323732349
                  [*]Good servicing (should I ever - hopefully not - need it)
                  Lelit – yes
                  Sunbeam – no

                  One advantage the Sunbeam has over the Lelit is that its more suitable for entertaining as it has longer lasting steam. The Lelit is very good for texturing milk for 1-2 cups but like all small single boiler machines it has limitations beyond that.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: HELP! Information overload.... first machine help needed!

                    Im in a similar situation, but would buy second-hand. Perhaps the Rancilio Silvia is a good choice?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: HELP! Information overload.... first machine help needed!

                      May I suggest a La Cimbali DOMUS. One on the Bay in Vic at the moment. Few gone off here in the past. Think it meets your requirements within reason.

                      Single boiler, but I think 500ml which is larger than the Silvia/Lelit and plastic casing is certaintly easier to clean coming from using a Oscar once or twice.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: HELP! Information overload.... first machine help needed!

                        Can I hijack your thread?

                        Im just wondering, with the Lelit Combi it seems to be in the $700 price range. Why would you recommend this over the Rancilio V3? They are both in the same price range.

                        Personally I was thinking about getting the Gaggia classic set up but the more I read here I am wondering if perhaps its a waste of my money?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: HELP! Information overload.... first machine help needed!

                          Originally posted by 437C717A76130 link=1323732349/11#11 date=1324615102
                          Im just wondering, with the  Lelit Combi it seems to be in the $700 price range
                          More like the $850 or higher price range Pobie- dependent on choice of model.

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X