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Should I buy a BES860?

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  • Should I buy a BES860?

    My first thread!!

    Okay, so it's another one of those 'what should I buy threads'.. sorry :P

    Let me tell you a bit about myself as it will impact on what you may advise me. I purchase coffee from a cafe everyday, usually twice a day at that! My favourite haunt is Zokoko at Emu Plains (I'm in Penrith) and The Penny Royal in Mosman (I work in the area... yes it's a long way to travel! Anyway...). I've wanted to buy an espresso machine for some time now and my Fiance last week said 'You know it would probably be cheaper if you buy a machine and make it yourself'.. so, I need to strike while the iron is hot!! I am the only coffee drinker in the house, so the machine will be at max making 2 milk based coffees a day. I have NEVER used an espresso machine, but I'd like to think that I know a good coffee from a bad one (although I am thinking of doing a barista course with Jetblack when I get my machine). I am getting married soon and alot of our money is going into deposits for photographer, venue, food etc. BECAUSE I will be the only person utilising this machine it means I dont have a HUGE buget to work with - BUT I still want a good machine that I can make great coffee on (and wont be tempted to buy from a cafe).

    So.....

    I have done a bit of research and while I would love a Silvia/Rocky combination (or Lelit etc), I am thinking a Breville BES860 might be the go for me (looks and sounds easier to use for a noob than the silvia).. and my fiance didn't scoff at the price tag (I can buy it for $650 at the moment).. although he did say that it would count as my christmas present, which I'm fine with.

    So I want to know, is it a good machine that I can make good coffees on? Is the grinder good enough (I've seen many people have modified it, I'm not sure if I could do that myself).. Should I buy a cheaper machine without a grinder and buy a better grinder seperate? Because my Fiance doesn't drink coffee he cannot fathom us spending alot of money on something only I will be using. He HAS given me the green light to buy the BES860... I want a machine that a total noob like me can work it, but can also perform to my standards when my skills improve. Is it a jack of all trades but master of none? What espresso/grinder package could I get for a similar price that a noob can still use?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!

    Kid.
    Last edited by KidSetzer; 21 August 2012, 06:34 PM.

  • #2
    I have a BES860 for my home machine and I have to say for the money its actually not bad.
    The grinder has a good range of adjustment and is quite quick being conical , I can get some very good shots out of it.
    Only thing is if your wanting to make more than 1 or 2 coffees at a time I would suggest you look for something more substantial , as having to wait purge the group after steaming it all takes time and can get frustrating.
    The steam isn't great but it does ok.

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    • #3
      Thanks for the advice nzcoffeetech!

      I'm thinking, am I better off buying the cheaper BES840 and a smart grinder? It seems many of the issues that arise from the BES860 come from the grinder not being able to grind fine enough (and I wouldn't want to mod it and void the warranty). Or is there a better machine and grinder that I can get for no more than $800? As I said, it will only be making 2 milk coffees a day as I'm the only person in the house that drinks coffee. I really want a good machine that is easy to learn on and can make really good coffee - am I setting my sights too high for the price range?

      Kid.
      Last edited by KidSetzer; 22 August 2012, 08:46 AM. Reason: Typo

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      • #4
        Another question: is the BES840 the same machine as the BES860 minus the grinder?

        Kid.

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        • #5
          Hi KidSetzer,

          Making coffee on the BES860 is going to require a similar process to the Silvia or Lelit machines - it's no harder on either of the "Italians". We could give you a rundown of the process in 10 minutes if that helps?

          charlie

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          • #6
            Originally posted by KidSetzer View Post
            Another question: is the BES840 the same machine as the BES860 minus the grinder?

            Kid.
            In brief...NO ! .
            there are several other differences.

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            • #7
              If you stretch your budget a bit more you can get a BES900, which is the flagship. if you want to quantify it to your fiance, then $4 per cup / $400 extra for the BDB = 100 cups of coffee which is divided by 2 meaning 50 cups each. How long will it take u both go through 50 cups each, well 2 per days so 25 days time.

              I realise other costs like coffee etc, but would u rather get the lower model or wait 25 days and get the flagship ?
              Just food for thought

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              • #8
                Thanks for your input

                Well I just went into big w and purchased at em0480 for $98 so I guess that rules out the bes860 :P just seemed to good a deal to pass up. I've also been told that the Em6910 is a pretty decent machine before the step up to the silvia's and lelit's etc. I see alot of talk about the 6910 but not much about the em7000 - is this machine not as good or just not many cs'ers have it?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by KidSetzer View Post
                  Thanks for your input

                  Well I just went into big w and purchased at em0480 for $98 so I guess that rules out the bes860 :P just seemed to good a deal to pass up. I've also been told that the Em6910 is a pretty decent machine before the step up to the silvia's and lelit's etc. I see alot of talk about the 6910 but not much about the em7000 - is this machine not as good or just not many cs'ers have it?
                  Not many have it. As it was only released a month or two ago. The em7000 looks pretty similar to the 6910, just with a few more features.

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                  • #10
                    Okay, so I've had a change of mind. I'm now thinking seriously about the em6910. Is this machine better than the bes860? I would love the breville dual boiler but can't justify the extra cost and extra spec seeing as I will be the only one using it. Thoughts about the 6910? I picked up the em0480 grinder yesterday at big w on sale. Is there another machine around the same price as the 6910 that I should also consider?

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                    • #11
                      Are you set on only a new m/c ?
                      There are some nice used machines you could get for the price of a 6910..
                      A certain auction site has a nice NS Oscar HX for $500 BIN price , in NW Sydney !

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                      • #12
                        +1 to what blend52 said - i would be very tempted to go 2nd hand at that price point. a good friend of mine just got a gaggia classic to pair with his em0480 (also bought on sale from big w) for $200.

                        good to hear you've managed to find just about the only decent cup of coffee in penrith. we're somewhat limited for choice out west, though it does get better the further up the hill you go - pink papaya in springwood is worth the drive on the weekend...

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                        • #13
                          I generally don't mind buying second hand but when it comes to coffee machines I have a couple of worries. One, you don't know how good the machine has been looked after, and two it's out of warranty and with any piece of equipment could die at any moment (this also relates to how good the machine has been looked after or even if it's been looked after at all!).

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                          • #14
                            and that's fair enough - whether buying something like this second hand is a good idea depends a lot on you and how you can cope if you're unlucky enough to buy a lemon. coffee machines are typically pretty straight forward to work on, but obviously can be expensive and you need to know a little bit about what you're doing :\

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                            • #15
                              Oh gosh you're all starting to tempt me! How about a second hand gaggia classic? If I can get one cheap enough it may outweigh the risk of buying second hand. Would that be better than the sunbeam 6910 brand new?

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