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  • easy to use new machine - which one?

    Hi there,

    Im helping friends choose a new coffee machine, and am a little unsure what to recommend for their needs, if you could help out, that would be great!

    They want a sub-$1000 which is easy to use. They drink about 4 coffees a day themselves (milky drinks), and often have people over, so they make 4 cups in a row. What bothers them most about their current machine -apart from the taste- is the that it takes forever to make 4 coffees and steam milk, i.e. everything is cold by the time people sit down to drink it.

    Now, while they are somewhat snobbish about the quality of their coffee, they are not very snobbish about preparing it. This essentially means that they will most of the time use pre-ground beans (I know I know), and hence they want a no-fuss machine, where they dont have to go through a 10 minute ritual of carefully grinding, distributing, tamping every time they make a coffee.

    I thought that the Breville BES900 would be their best bet if it was a bit cheaper - it offers them the double wall filters to begin with and maybe I can get them later to start using a grinder and then single wall filter. For now I think there is too much room for error with a single wall filter and theyll be throwing sth like a Silvia at my head after a week...also, it has to be "fail-safe" in the sense of keeping them from burning boilers etc.

    ok, over to you - what do you think? maybe even suggest a fully auto, or try to score a cheap Breville? or is there a machine I overlooked?


    thanks, Kat

  • #2
    Re: easy to use new machine - which one?

    looks like a bridge too far to me for under 1k:  to do 4 coffees in 1 shot you will need the breville DB or similar

    Sunbeam em6910 struggles with 4 in a row.

    Maybe a 2nd hand breville?  Or get Mary McKillop to help i hear shes good with miracles  ;D

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    • #3
      Re: easy to use new machine - which one?

      it might well be a bridge too far. I guess Ill have to see if they can build their bridge a bit further

      I think if I tell them it cant be done for under 1000, they might agree to go the extra 200 for the DB...just want to make sure Im not overlooking anything

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: easy to use new machine - which one?

        Hi Kat

        If you happen to have a decent machine and grinder at home, then Id suggest giving your friends a demo. Hopefully this will give them an idea of what can be achieved, and what is involved.

        Not everyone enjoys the ritual involved, and under the circumstances, your friends might be better off at this point in time by starting with...dare I say...a Nespresso style unit.

        I would recommend a good grinder and the proper use of a french press over the above, if your friends are willing to forego a little perceived bling and go for a better cup of coffee.

        Cheers
        Dennis

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        • #5
          Re: easy to use new machine - which one?

          Hi Dennis,

          thanks for the advice - I should have snapped up that secondhand DB for them I thought the Nespresso would work perfectly for them, but they hate the coffee (after having tried it for a week on holiday). They thought it was too weak.

          I can give them demos galore, but I bet that they will at best buy beans from the supermarket and then grind on the setting that I set up for them on the first lot of beans. Not optimal, but for them it is all about convenience and not having to think about what they need to do. Its beginning to sound like a full auto to me now...  :-/

          I think they want a proper espresso based cappuccino over a french press, but Ill suggest it.
          cheers
          k

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: easy to use new machine - which one?

            Originally posted by 746F73636164657261000 link=1328050744/0#0 date=1328050744
            their current machine
            which is what?

            The biggest thing Ive learned is that its peoples expectations that make them happy or not, rather than attaining a barista champions best coffee, if the new machine fixes their current problems then they may well be happy.

            Which is why I ask about their current machine - if its a $100 single thermoblock then theyd be happy with a sunbeam dual-thermoblock - I can knock out 4 coffees on one reasonably quickly (compared to a cheaper one). However if they currently have one already, then theyre not going to be satisfied with even a single boiler and theyd need to go to the BDB or similar.

            Finally, theres not much point going to $1000 since theyre using pre-ground, you wont notice the difference a more expensive machine makes. Consider the Breville BES820 or 860 which are "fast" for single thermoblock machines (again, compared to $100 cheapies)

            Alternatively, what about a pod machine? Seriously, it will taste better than pre-ground and they can get an auto milk frother to go with it. Or perhaps a thermoblock machine that can take pods as well?

            HTH

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            • #7
              Re: easy to use new machine - which one?

              Hi, just saw the other posts!

              Originally posted by 78637F6F6D68697E6D0C0 link=1328050744/4#4 date=1328058929
              I thought the Nespresso would work perfectly for them, but they hate the coffee (after having tried it for a week on holiday). They thought it was too weak.
              by the same token, I dont like espresso, because Ive had plenty of crap ones There are hundreds of different pods, strengths, flavours, etc...

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              • #8
                Re: easy to use new machine - which one?

                Are they really that opposed to the idea of training? i recently sold my old single boiler machine to a friend of a friend. she cooked me lunch and i spent the afternoon teaching her the routine to make 2 lattes/caps that id dialed down to ~3mins in the couple of years that id owned the machine.

                she walked away from the day very happy with the quality (she can produce coffee better than most cafes in her own kitchen) and the knowledge (she has skipped over the steep learning curve from my couple of years of refinement).

                so, are these friends the sort of people who will make 2 sink shots in a row and give up because its too hard, or can they be trained to make something decent and then see the fruits of their labours? if the former, then they should just head for the local cafe, if the latter then the BDB + a smart grinder sounds closest to the mark...

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                • #9
                  Re: easy to use new machine - which one?

                  Hi Iaindb and early-morning,

                  thanks for your suggestions!

                  Originally posted by 535B53545E583A0 link=1328050744/5#5 date=1328059812
                  which is what?
                  they have a $200 Sunbeam of some sort. Its a good point about a better thermoblock - the Sunbeam EM6900 would probably fix the time problem and be easy to use...I might have to find somewhere where they can have a try. And while Im at it I might schlepp them to a Nespresso bar and ask for the strongest coffee they have the auto-frother I think might solve their milk woes.

                  Originally posted by 5F5B485643655755485453545D653A0 link=1328050744/7#7 date=1328061553
                  Are they really that opposed to the idea of training?
                  Theyre not so much opposed to training, they are...easily distracted Theyll simply forget what I told them, drink the sink shot and be annoyed at the machine. I think Im aiming for the best compromise between eliminating user error and best *possible* coffee (not necessarily best barista champion coffee).

                  Might still be a bridge too far

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                  • #10
                    Re: easy to use new machine - which one?

                    Two sunbeam machines are pod-compatible: http://www.podpack.com.au/sunbeam-pod-machines_21.htm

                    might be a half-way point and you could still grind your own when you visit!

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                    • #11
                      Re: easy to use new machine - which one?

                      good idea - Ill follow that up!

                      Comment

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