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Nemox Caffe Dell Opera upgrade - BES900, Silvia, Lelit or something else?

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  • Nemox Caffe Dell Opera upgrade - BES900, Silvia, Lelit or something else?

    Hi everyone, I have a Nemox Caffe Dell Opera which has been the most brilliant little machine for the past five years, but sadly is now starting to show its age, so I need to upgrade. The steam wand leaks (its already been fixed once), the grouphead is worn and I think its really just time to get a new machine.

    I love my little Nemox - the built-in grinder is brilliant and it makes very good (but not always consistent) coffee. My only complaints are it takes a while to warm up, could be more consistent, and is only really good for making one or two cups at a time. Its also a bit hard to clean (back-flush) and the steam wand isnt great, either - but Ive managed to master it as best I can.

    What Im looking for in a new machine, in order of preference, are the following:

    * Durability - I make anywhere from two to 10 or more cups of coffee a day, every day of the year.

    * Consistency/Quality - it goes without saying I need something that will make good, rich, thick crema coffee time and again (once dialled in). I may not be the worlds best barista, but Im beyond the beginners stage and am ready to spend good money on a good machine. I love my coffee and am pretty good at getting the most out my machines, but Im certainly no mad scientist and Im not ready to drop $3000+ on a commercial machine.

    * Speed/Convenience - while quality and durability are my main considerations, it would be nice to have something that warms up quickly and can make a round of four-to-six coffees in a relatively short amount of time.

    * Value - this may seem obvious, but value to me is a machine that will make good, consistent coffee for a number of years and doesnt necessarily have all the bells and whistles.


    Im prepared to pay around $1500, but obviously that needs to include a grinder. The models I have been looking at are:

    * Breville BES900 + Smart Grinder - bit pricey, unproven durability, but by all accounts makes consistent coffee and is fast.

    * Lelit PL042TEMD PID - pretty much what I have now, but with a PID. I know this will make good coffee and last years, but is still a bit slow.

    * Rancilio Silvia + Rocky - pretty much the standard in this price and experience range, but Im wondering if there are now better machines out there for the money? Same pros and cons as the Lelit: durable, quality machine, but a bit slow.


    I must admit, Im leaning towards the Breville, but only because it seems to be a lot of machine for the money. Im not yet convinced about the quality of the machine itself, but it certainly has a few features I could use.

    Having said that, Im very open to suggestions and happy to answer any questions if it makes it easier. Thanks in advance to all those willing to share their experiences and recommendations. Im looking to buy the machine in the next couple of weeks, so I have a little time to discuss this before I splash out.

    Cheers,

    organic.

  • #2
    Re: Nemox Caffe Dell Opera upgrade - BES900, Silvia, Lelit or something else?

    Hi Organic,

    Might I suggest it may be worth having a look over the new lelit Dual boiler? http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1323333109

    Our demo arrived from Jetblack yesterday and all I can say is its one impressive machine. It may be worth extending a tad.

    Chris

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    • #3
      Re: Nemox Caffe Dell Opera upgrade - BES900, Silvia, Lelit or something else?

      Ah, now youve gone and done it! Just started going through the "Pointy End" machines and Im starting to wonder if I should increase my budget. Those Expobar machines look nice . . . :

      OK, so I had a look at the Youtube video of the Lelit on the Jetblack website and it sounds just like the machine I have now - even steams the same. However, I think the steam wands on these machines let them down, as Ive always felt that was my machines weak point.

      Anyone have any experience with them?

      Likewise, if I do up my budget a little, is there another DB machine I should consider?

      Finally, what kind of grinders would I need to be looking at to compliment the above machines?

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      • #4
        Re: Nemox Caffe Dell Opera upgrade - BES900, Silvia, Lelit or something else?

        Hi organic

        The steam wand on the new Lelits is much improved with a ball joint for easy movement and a single hole tip. 

        I have a single boiler Lelit PID and it is very easy to get good microfoam with it. 

        The Lelit Dual Boiler in addition to the extra boiler also has a solenoid valve for the steam which removes the dribbling problem that sometimes occurs on the single boilers.

        As for other dual boilers, the Lelit and Breville are probably the only two under $2k. Once you go above 2k, theres the Giove Dual Boiler, Expobar Minore, Alex Duetto, Diadema Junior Extra Dual Boiler, and it goes on (and the prices keep going up!)

        Sniff

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        • #5
          Re: Nemox Caffe Dell Opera upgrade - BES900, Silvia, Lelit or something else?

          Originally posted by 667B6E6867606A090 link=1328006340/2#2 date=1328095747
          OK, so I had a look at the Youtube video of the Lelit on the Jetblack website and it sounds just like the machine I have now - even steams the same. However, I think the steam wands on these machines let them down, as Ive always felt that was my machines weak point.
          Hi organic,

          The steam wand on the Lelit dual boiler is the same as on the current model single boiler Lelits, but as Sniff alluded to, from the ball joint back, it is different to the single boilers. The key difference is that there is a dedicated steam boiler running at 2.5BAR 

          This enables you to make 4, 6 or more milk coffees at a time with much less fuss and in less time than when using a single boiler machine.

          As far as grinders go, the inconsistency that you mention in relation to your grinder could be due to the grinder but it may also be technique. If your current grinder was consistent would you be happy with it? If yes, then you have many grinders to choose from starting from around $300. If no, then you have many grinders to choose from starting from around $500

          charlie

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          • #6
            Re: Nemox Caffe Dell Opera upgrade - BES900, Silvia, Lelit or something else?

            Hi Charlie

            Are needle valves still used on all the Lelit versions?

            thanks
            Dennis

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            • #7
              Re: Nemox Caffe Dell Opera upgrade - BES900, Silvia, Lelit or something else?

              Hi Dennis,

              Needle valves on all the single boilers. The dual boiler uses a solenoid valve.

              charlie

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              • #8
                Re: Nemox Caffe Dell Opera upgrade - BES900, Silvia, Lelit or something else?

                Thanks Charlie - appreciate you getting back to me so quickly!

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                • #9
                  Re: Nemox Caffe Dell Opera upgrade - BES900, Silvia, Lelit or something else?

                  The grinder is probably the most reliable thing about the Nemox - no real complaints there (for the price). But the boiler is small, loses heat fast, and the needle valve on the steam wand has already been reground and still continues to leak no matter what (its a bit better when the machine is really hot, as the metal obviously expands and creates a better seal, but it never really stops dribbling). The grouphead is staring to leak now, too, but thats the just the rubber grommet that needs replacing.

                  For someone who makes a couple of cappuccinos or lattes consistently each morning - with 2-6 in the afternoon and occasional straight espresso shots - Im just wondering if I really need a dual boiler or if a HX machine would suffice. Im really now starting to wonder if I should buy a decent quality Italian entry-level HX machine for around $1500-$2000.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Nemox Caffe Dell Opera upgrade - BES900, Silvia, Lelit or something else?

                    Try doing some research on a nuovo Oscar. I posted a video on YouTube that may give you a feel for it. can pick one up new for about $1300

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Nemox Caffe Dell Opera upgrade - BES900, Silvia, Lelit or something else?

                      Thanks for all the suggestions and sorry for not replying sooner, but Ive been busy researching machines

                      Well, I guess the more I research, the more Im starting to fall into the old trap of deciding what I "need" and what Id "like" to have sitting in my kitchen. Looking at espresso machines is a slippery slope . . .

                      Anyway, Ive narrowed the grinders down and am probably going to get the Baratza Preciso for around $330 - unless someone knows a better grinder for the money. To be honest, Id probably be happy with the Lelit PL043 (around $300), but the Baratza has good reviews (so does the Lelit) and seems like good value.

                      As for the espresso machine . . . I like the look of the Oscar (thanks InTheCup) but am wondering if the 2 litre boiler might be a bit big for my needs and would take longer to warm up (only 1200w) and waste more power? Or am I on the wrong track with it being a HX machine?

                      The steam wand is important - most of the coffees I make are milk-based - and this is the real reason why Im hesitating at buying something like the Lelit or Breville DB, and am now even looking at some of the better single boiler machines with boilers in the 0.7-1.5 litre range.

                      To be honest, its not that import that I steam and extract at the same time, but rather that I have enough steam power for 2-4 cappuccinos at a time and dont have to wait too long in-between pulling shots and steaming the milk.

                      Having the machine warm up quickly to operating temperature would be a bonus.

                      I thought increasing my budget would make things easier, but it seems to be complicating things! Im now thinking of going up to around $2000 and buying a decent entry-level stainless steel HX or single boiler. Its hard to get over the plastic Oscar body and the fact it might take a while to warm up, but I havent dismissed it yet..

                      Looks like I need to keep thinking things through . . .

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