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  • Noobs first machine ideas

    Hi all. Been lurking pretty hard here researching an espresso machine..

    Some background info: I only had my first ever coffee in December, but am pretty hooked on it now. Ill generally drink espresso/double espresso/short black etc. No milk drinks. I like the shot rich and strong, but not having a lot of experience with coffee, Im not sure how else to describe it

    So I want an espresso machine for home. Ive been using an Italian pot, but the shots are a little watery and lacking crema, not quite rich enough in flavor. Wifey got me an Aldi special, but I find the shots watery, horrible flavor with a pasty crema

    I was thinking of spending 1200ish, including grinder, I dont want to spend cash on something that wont allow me to get a coffee I really enjoy. I might only make a few shots a week, but I like I said I want to enjoy them.

    So Ive been looking I guess at the usual suspects: Silvias, lelits, maybe a gaggia classic or perhaps up to a asBreville 900. So far my thoughts so far include: I have ZERO experience pulling shots, will something like a Silvia be too step a learning curve? Will i be put off if i dint succeed in a hurry with good coffee? Wifey wont drink at all, if we have people around, it would be very rare to ever have to do more than 4 milk coffees (coming from nothing now) and again zero experience texturing milk. Im thinking of heading in and seeing a sponsor on the weekend, but wanted to get some ideas here first

    (sorry for the long post)

    Cheers ash

  • #2
    Re: Noobs first machine ideas

    Originally posted by 586A713774190 link=1335880656/0#0 date=1335880656
    Hi all. Been lurking pretty hard here researching an espresso machine..

    Some background info: I only had my first ever coffee in December, but am pretty hooked on it now.  Ill generally drink espresso/double espresso/short black etc. No milk drinks. I like the shot rich and strong, but not having a lot of experience with coffee, Im not sure how else to describe it

    So I want an espresso machine for home. Ive been using an Italian pot, but the shots are a little watery and lacking crema, not quite rich enough in flavor. Wifey got me an Aldi special, but I find the shots watery, horrible flavor with a pasty crema

    I was thinking of spending 1200ish, including grinder, I dont want to spend cash on something that wont allow me to get a coffee I really enjoy. I might only make a few shots a week, but I like I said I want to enjoy them.

    So Ive been looking I guess at the usual suspects: Silvias, lelits, maybe a gaggia classic or perhaps up to a asBreville 900. So far my thoughts so far include: I have ZERO experience pulling shots, will something like a Silvia be too step a learning curve? Will i be put off if i dint succeed in a hurry with good coffee? Wifey wont drink at all, if we have people around, it would be very rare to ever have to do more than 4 milk coffees (coming from nothing now) and again zero experience texturing milk. Im thinking of heading in and seeing a sponsor on the weekend, but wanted to get some ideas here first

    (sorry for the long post)

    Cheers ash
    Never having played around with any of the machines you mentioned, i dont really want to comment on a particular machines learning curve. But Im sure a lot of people start out with silvia. So i reckon youd be fine. Look at the silvia and the lelits. Theyre probably your best bet. The lelits may have slightly less of a learning curve. But there is a lot info out there about both machines.

    Head into a sponsor and have a chat, theyll sort you out. =)

    Hope this helps

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Noobs first machine ideas

      I know you say that milk coffees arent your thing and the most you might make is 4 at once if you had people over.

      Single boiler machines like the silvia will take some time to punch out 4 coffees. Probably 15-20mins. It takes me approx 6mins to make a double shot cap on my silvia. So technically I guess I could make 2 x single shot caps in very similar time.

      The Breville Dual Boiler (900) can pull shots and steam milk at the same time so the time taen to make 4 coffees will be greatly reduced.

      If you do consider the Breville then also look at the Nuova Simonelli Oscar.

      I am researching upgrades from my silvia currently and the Breville and Oscar are on my short list.

      In terms of experience.....practice, practice, practice. It would probably be worth doing a coffee course at some stage too. But youtube is great.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Noobs first machine ideas

        Im from the Breville BES900 camp and its a fab machine, im very happy with it and cant pick up any negatives on the machine. My skill is the only factor letting the coffee down.

        Have a search through the various threads on each machine and youll get a feel for peoples satisfaction in each machine. All machines seem to be quite good, some better in some areas, but you cant go wrong really in whatever you decide, esp if you take peoples advice on here.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Noobs first machine ideas

          On the other hand, the BES900 and Oscar is above Ashs budget, and that isnt including a grinder. While a dual boiler would be nice...

          Ash, how often do you have people over for coffee?

          Edit: I see that the OP did consider the BES900. Does this mean you can stretch the budget? Up to what exactly? Remember to leave probably 3-400 for grinder and accessories.

          David

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          • #6
            Re: Noobs first machine ideas

            Stretching the memory here but I am pretty sure I have read of people picking up both the Breville BES900 and Smart Grinder as a package for $1,200.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Noobs first machine ideas

              Originally posted by 525D5E4F55593C0 link=1335880656/5#5 date=1335915166
              Stretching the memory here but I am pretty sure I have read of people picking up both the Breville BES900 and Smart Grinder as a package for $1,200.
              Really? If only I had the funds to get myself one of them.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Noobs first machine ideas

                Thanks for all the replies.

                I know the breville would be pushing my budget, especially once i include the grinder, but in my research ive seen people talking about getting one with a smart grinder for around $1500, and if i need to spend a few $100 more to get the better result so be it.

                We dont have people around for coffee all that often, (maybe a few times a month) but if i know that a silvia might take 15-20mins to knock out 4 coffees that may change my thinking about a single boiler.

                I guess the shots are my priority, and what the machine would be used for 95+% of the time, but Id like to be able to offer something else when the need arrises. I guess my next step will be to check out some shots from the breville, and make sure im going to be able to get them up to scratch.

                I was thinking of investing some coin into a coffee course of some description anyway..

                Ash

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Noobs first machine ideas

                  Originally posted by 0F3D2660234E0 link=1335880656/7#7 date=1335921536
                  Thanks for all the replies.

                  I know the breville would be pushing my budget, especially once i include the grinder, but in my research ive seen people talking about getting one with a smart grinder for around $1500, and if i need to spend a few $100 more to get the better result so be it.

                  We dont have people around for coffee all that often, (maybe a few times a month) but if i know that a silvia might take 15-20mins to knock out 4 coffees that may change my thinking about a single boiler.

                  I guess the shots are my priority, and what the machine would be used for 95+% of the time, but Id like to be able to offer something else when the need arrises. I guess my next step will be to check out some shots from the breville, and make sure im going to be able to get them up to scratch.

                  I was thinking of investing some coin into a coffee course of some description anyway..

                  Ash
                  There are LOTS of people talking about the BDB at the moment, check out the Owners page for a bit of "light" reading (all 42 pages of it). As far as I know, its more than capable of a really good shot, paired with the skills and equipment of course, but that goes for any machine. Check out the sponsors, you may be able to find a machine+grinder+course package, and get a significant discount.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Noobs first machine ideas

                    With $1200 you are so close to BES900 and S.Grinder, infact many people pick both up for that price. I paid a touch more for both.

                    80% of my coffees are made for me only, i drink a combo of espresso and latte. Breville has nice features and doesnt take long to heat up. But these might not be relivant to you.

                    You might not like the design of it or how it produces so if you have the chance you should go have a look at the machines and even better if you can find a running machine, could be a stretch, but have a read and find out what machines people are reccomending and have a look at the machine see if you like the design, after all i assume it will live in the kitchen and youll have ot look at it!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Noobs first machine ideas

                      There is a S/H BES900 for sale on here too - or at least there was for $900 still under warranty only a few months old...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Noobs first machine ideas

                        eh... scratch that - I just checked and its been sold.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Noobs first machine ideas

                          I second the dual boiler.

                          I believe if there is a chance of guests and milk then eventually you are going to feel the stress. Coffee making should be a relaxing process and a single boiler with guests may prove a pinch.

                          If its your own private treat or your guests have a like appreciation of expresso then you two thumbs up.

                          As for the Oscar vs. the dual boiler.

                          Well this is how I see it:

                          Breville:

                          Pros:

                          Adjustability
                          Thermostability
                          Warranty

                          Oscar

                          Pros:
                          Build quality (Copper boiler, heavy brass portafilter etc.)
                          Steam power

                          If you Youtube inthecup1000 you can view a video of an Oscar with a smart grinder.

                          Overall between the two I believe its a matter of the users preference both will produce great results given the users input and routine e.g. I would expect the Oscar to run hotter than the DB but steam and function more robustly, alternatively the DB gives greater flexibility. Again it depends on what you think you would like doing. Personally even when I had a PID I never changed the temp once; I was more interested in maintaining a consistent temperature which is possible on both. 

                          Unfortunately for you this only comes with owning a machine for a few months and understanding what is you like and dont like about the machine. So in a nutshell theyll be shortfalls in both machines and you should talk to the site sponsors and decide between which shortfalls you can live with.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Noobs first machine ideas

                            Was out with Wifey today and ducked into a nonsponsor quickly to have a look a the double boiler as we were going past.

                            I had been doing a lot of reading on it (99% of those 42 pages..) and Im pretty set on it.

                            Wifey doesnt appreciate the size of it, plus the fact that the grinder is going to take up more space "Here is one where its all built in together"

                            So I guess Im now a) looking at something like a Lelit Combi, or b) looking for more compelling reasons that the separate units (and possibly the breville 900/800 combo) are a better buy along with just a little benchspace.

                            Maybe I should just take her into a sponsor and let them sell it to her for me

                            Ash

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Noobs first machine ideas

                              Hey Ash,

                              you blew it by wifey seeing the line up of small crappy machines next to it. The idea is you get a someone to set it up next to a couple of big commercial machines and grinders and then take wifey in and say, "gee, isnt this one small and neat...we better just get this small one." Relativity works!

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