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  • Please help me choose a coffee machine

    Hi all

    I am after an espresso machine that is fully automatic. I have had issues with manual machines in the past - im just no good at brewing! I have a vision impairment so perhaps this has meant I was getting the grind size wrong or doing something wrong... anyway, Id like a machine that does EVERYTHING for me so that i can retire my plunger and my breville grinder and enjoy a cappuccino. I need something that is compact tho, as my bench space is limited.

    Im happy to spend, so long as the machine does everything from go to woh.

    Help?

  • #2
    Re: Fully automatic yet compact

    Okay I have just been reading about fully automatic machines and it seems that there can be a lot of complications and that they may not be the best option.

    So, can someone please recommend a machine that someone with a low level of coffee making skills can use? Happy to spend up to $1500 so long as it doesnt take up a lot of space. I am really worried about getting bitter coffee out of a machine, so need it to be very simple to use. I have a Breville smart grinder, so to pair it with this would be wonderful.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Please help me choose a coffee machine

      How do you take your coffee? Black or milky? If you want simplicity... Maybe a capsule machine (as much as I hate to suggest it). These also have their cleanliness issues. But I think the biggest issue with super autos is on the milk side of things. So maybe a capsule machine that requires you to steam the milk yourself? This wont require your grinder, and may give inferior results... If you want fantastic coffee, you need a decent machine. As for simple machines, maybe a Sunbeam or Breville? But your skills may hinder these as well... Unfortunately simplicity and fantastic coffee dont always go hand in hand. So Im not really sure what else to suggest...

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      • #4
        Re: Please help me choose a coffee machine

        I believe the breville dual boiler may be a suitable option.

        You can extract and steam milk at the same time.

        Comes with water filters.

        Programmed cleaning

        Moderate steam (will allow you to combine milk and bubbles easier than say a more powerful machine)

        Good temperature stability.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Fully automatic yet compact

          Hi drovers-sunrise.
          I dont think the perfect automatic espresso machine exists. If it did it would be massively popular. The problem is that with coffee making there are so many variable including what each of us want it to taste like.
          There are a few fully automatic espressos around. I have not been impressed with their coffees. Our garage has a very good on and I see the customers line up for their while you wait coffee. I took my turn one day and was very disappointed, i couldnot drink it. I think the only way to choose is to go on a tasting spree until you find one that what ticks most of your boxes.
          Depending on where you live there may be a site sponsor near by who, without sales pressure, could take you through a good quality espresso machine and through the process of making coffee with "real" milk and freshly roasted coffee. I think a good quality HX machine and a good quality grinder would be the same price as a good automatic but would produce a superior cup.
          Often it is lack of confidence that is our problem. I have been to two baristers schools because where we live there were no sponsors and the person demonstrating my first espresso machine would have been better employed mixing cement. Now after a few years I can actually froth milk and make a good cup.
          The original breville grinder I had worked better as a food processor.
          If I have misread your question I apologies

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          • #6
            Re: Please help me choose a coffee machine

            Originally posted by 7055425D500C340 link=1336278107/2#2 date=1336289068
            How do you take your coffee? Black or milky?
            I like both black, and milk based coffee. At present i just drink black because I have a plunger and no frother. I do have an aeropress, but of course cannot get the coffee to taste right! And yes I have been reading about pod machines - nespresso in particular...but i think i would rather stick with my plunger than be disappointed!

            Originally posted by 575C465D47585A53340 link=1336278107/3#3 date=1336290816
            I believe the breville dual boiler may be a suitable option.
            Thanks for this suggestion. I am just worried about how big this is. It looks like it will take up a bit more room than I would like. Is there anything similar but smaller from Breville?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Please help me choose a coffee machine

              I live in Mackay, regional QLD, so unfortunately there are no sponsors anywhere near me.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Please help me choose a coffee machine

                Is something like the Rancilio Silvia difficult to use? it looks compact, and from what i have read on here int eh last few years is very popular....

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Please help me choose a coffee machine

                  I had a look at the map - and that is a long way to Brisbane.
                  I am going to stick my neck out. I think it might be safest to go with Breville Cafe Roma.
                  They are very inexpensive. They use a choked basket and make tolerable coffee. They also froth milk. Choice Magazine has used them as a base comparative model. In Perth they are less than $200.
                  It has it own taste which I think is better than the best fully Automatic machine. Your grinder I hear good reports about so that would be a plus.
                  I had one years ago at my house at Rottnest and was quite happy with it.

                  I offer this because of your isolation and lack of coffee support. You could write the Cafe Roma off if something better came your way. In the mean time you would be able to hone your coffee making skills and find fresh bean sources

                  I notice that replies often cross each other - so apologies if irrelevant

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Please help me choose a coffee machine

                    Silvia is very good. Built like a tank. Almost indestructible. No fancy electronics. Has one caveat - the boiler MUST be re filled after each brew and steam for two cups. It does have a learning curve as it is a fully fledged espresso machine. I believe your smart grinder would go well with it. We take our Silvia on holidays sometimes. It usually takes two brews for me to relearn. It will not tolerate overdosing. They are reasonably inexpensive, are heavy but have a small footprint.
                    Others will say more.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Please help me choose a coffee machine

                      Foot note
                      I you do decide on a Silvia I suggest you purchase from a site sponsor. Site sponsors will check it out and reduce the brew pressure if too high and make sure it is fully operational before they send it to you. They will also offer good on going support. I dont feel its appropriate to mention any one in particular. Do check that the one you suss out will do all the adjustments

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Please help me choose a coffee machine

                        Originally posted by 4150484C5C44250 link=1336278107/8#8 date=1336296287
                        I had a look at the map - and that is a long way to Brisbane.
                        I am going to stick my neck out.  I think it might be safest to go with Breville Cafe Roma.
                        They are very inexpensive. They use a choked basket and make tolerable coffee. They also froth milk.  Choice Magazine has used them as a base comparative model. In Perth they are less than $200.
                        It has it own taste which I think is better than the best fully Automatic machine. Your grinder I hear good reports about so that would be a plus.
                        I had one years ago at my house at Rottnest and was quite happy with it. 

                        I offer this because of your isolation and lack of coffee support. You could write the Cafe Roma off if something better came your way.  In the mean time you would be able to hone your coffee making skills and find fresh bean sources

                        I notice that replies often cross each other - so apologies if irrelevant
                        Yes, i am VERY far away from Brisbane so there is no hope of getting any adequate coffee making lessons unless I treat myself to a holiday - which could happen at some point, but not right now.

                        Perhaps you are right about getting an el cheapo machine to get my skills up to scratch (if at all possible). Having a grinder that doses for me might help - in the past i had a lux grinder so was trying to guess how much coffee to put in PFs. The smart grinder shoots out certain amounts of coffee for what you have programmed it to...

                        Its times like this that I just want to give up on coffee and sit in the corner with my plunger and not think about it LOL. Its so difficult to get all the factors right.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Please help me choose a coffee machine

                          There are tricks to getting the right amount of grinds in the basket. I use an 50mm end cap that I reduced in length to contain the right weight of beans when level. I then grind only those beans and so get the amount I want. I had the same frustration that it sounds you have had. I have one of these ($2) for each machine.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Please help me choose a coffee machine

                            Just an update on my situation

                            After spending last night trawling google and youtube, I ended up grabbing the Jura Ena 9 this morning. ITS AMAZING. I just hit the button and coffee popped out, and tasted better than anything i could have made on a manual machine. So glad I decided to get this! I read that Jura was the only way to go if going super auto, and im really happy with it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Please help me choose a coffee machine

                              Originally posted by 233528312235346A343229352E3422470 link=1336278107/13#13 date=1336365314
                              I ended up grabbing the Jura Ena 9 this morning. ITS AMAZING. I just hit the button and coffee popped out, and tasted better than anything i could have made on a manual machine
                              An excellent result then!

                              Feed it with good fresh coffee and follow the cleaning directions (often) and it should give you years of good drinking.

                              Enjoy!

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