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Upgrading from Breville Cafe Roma to ?????? <$1000 options

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  • Upgrading from Breville Cafe Roma to ?????? <$1000 options

    Hi everyone.
    This is my first time to post here. Heaps of good info on the site but I'm struggling to find an answer that suits my situation:

    I've had a Breville Cafe Roma for about 18 months. I bought it 2nd hand off a friend in as new condition for the princely sum of $20. It has given my wife and I many good coffees; not great, but good. It gets used to make around 2-4 cups/day on average. Almost always milk drinks.

    We started out with pre-ground coffee which we thought was a huge improvement over instant and I have since bought a Sunbeam EM0480 which we have been using for about 6 months with fresh beans and getting some fairly good results. I am not considering changing the grinder at any time soon.

    The Cafe Roma has had a few parts fail, I replaced the group head seal and the locking collar a while ago because it cracked and leaked. Now it is leaking again, so I think it is time to upgrade the machine.


    I have been considering a few options but can't make up my mind. I have narrowed it down to three contenders:

    1. Sunbeam Cafe Series EM7000 ~$860.00
    PID twin thermoblock
    Commercial size portafilter (not sure on actual size) with single wall filters
    Pre-infusion
    Hot water tap
    Pressure and milk temp gauge
    Quiet
    Matches the grinder

    2. Breville Infuser BES840 ~$520.00
    PID single thermoblock
    54mm portafilter with single and dual wall filters
    Pre-infusion
    Hot water tap
    Pressure gauge

    3. Rancillio Silivia V3 ~$650.00
    Single boiler
    Commercial size portafilter
    No pre-infusion
    No PID
    No hot water
    Loud

    We would like to make coffees efficiently for up to about 5-6 people some times, but not very frequently. Is the Sunbeam worth the extra money over the Breville?
    I'm pretty much discounting the Silvia because, although I think I would persevere with it to try to make great coffee, my wife and others will find it too frustrating and hard to use.

    Please feel free to offer advice and opinions, or even throw some other options in there if I've missed some.
    Thanks in advance

    krusty

  • #2
    Biggest question, "how do your friends have their coffee?"

    If there's a lot of Lattes and Flat whites and other various milky coffees, You'd be well suited to getting the Sunbeam.

    Doing more then a couple of Coffees on a single boiler/thermoblock machine can be an exercise in frustration (though it does depend on the change-time for the Infuser's thermocoil from steam to brew temps)

    Comment


    • #3
      Gaggia classic is a great little machine I have one as a back up and get great results from it ,and its only half the price of the sunbeam, which would leave you some extra $ to upgrade the grinder to something like a Compak k3 or Baratza preciso,

      If your wanting improvement on your coffee the grinder is probably more important than the machine.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the replies.

        LaughingAtFate, our drinks and those for others are probably 95% milk drinks. I guess the twin thermoblock would speed up the time to produce even two coffees because you don't have to wait for it to reheat after pulling the shot. I am hoping that the steam wand output would also be greater which would allow me to make enough milk for two coffees at the same time, whereas at the moment I can only do enough milk for one coffee at a time.

        Cadan, don't you think that the Classic would run out of puff doing multiple coffees? What is the level of difficulty of it compared to the Silvia?

        Also, do you think the gauges are a useful tool to help you make good coffee or are they really just a bit of a wank? The EM7000's ones actually have Sunbeam's thoughts on what should be an ideal range marked on them. Has anyone here actually made a cup on this machine using their recommendations and tested how it turned out?

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Krusty I have had no problem banging out two milk drinks with the Gaggia brew the espresso then switch to steam mode wait about 20 seconds then easily steam enough milk for two drinks

          But in saying all this I have not used any of the other machines you have mentioned and they probably perform better, this is just my opinion on the gaggia which I believe is a very simple machine to use and gives good results for that price range

          My wife cannot tell the difference with her flat white whether I make it on the Minore or the gaggia .

          Comment


          • #6
            Can anyone summarize the main benefits of a single boiler over any of the thermoblock machines? This price point is the top of the thermoblocks but the low end of the boiler machines. Heat exchanger machines would be nice but start at least $400 above my top price that I want to pay.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by krusty182 View Post
              Can anyone summarize the main benefits of a single boiler over any of the thermoblock machines? This price point is the top of the thermoblocks but the low end of the boiler machines. Heat exchanger machines would be nice but start at least $400 above my top price that I want to pay.
              I was looking at the same machine options not to long ago when looking for a home machine (ended up buying a refurbished La pavoni on ebay for $350), any way from what I read at the time the Silvia would be more consistent in delivering great shots, is more temperature stable and able to froth more milk more effectively than the sunbeam (I was looking at the em6900 at the time). however it does need more care and technique (temp surfing for example) to get it to optimal operation and frothing level. either way I think they are both good option machines but I would recommend upgrading your grinder to a Rocky or Lelit - I am not sure that the sunbeam will cut it for you for much longer. good luck.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by krusty182 View Post
                Can anyone summarize the main benefits of a single boiler over any of the thermoblock machines? This price point is the top of the thermoblocks but the low end of the boiler machines. Heat exchanger machines would be nice but start at least $400 above my top price that I want to pay.

                Sivia benefits:
                A 58mm filter basket (more surface area), the ability to temperature surf to vary brew temperature, temperature stabilility of brass boiler in Silvia (though longer to heat up), steam pressure (depending on which thermoblock machine), probably robustness and quality of build (for the extra dollars), lack of electronics (less to go wrong though modern day electronics are pretty good), easier to repair.

                As mentioned previously, a boiler machine is less forgiving when used incorrectly but if you take the time to learn to use and maintain it correctly, the rewards are there to be had. In the case of a Silvia, getting the grind and brew temperature just right is essential. As far as prolonging its life, keeping the boiler primed and full before brewing and before and after steaming should be part of your routine. Regular backflushing and descaling are also mandatory

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by CafeLotta View Post
                  Sivia benefits:
                  A 58mm filter basket (more surface area), the ability to temperature surf to vary brew temperature, temperature stabilility of brass boiler in Silvia (though longer to heat up), steam pressure (depending on which thermoblock machine), probably robustness and quality of build (for the extra dollars), lack of electronics (less to go wrong though modern day electronics are pretty good), easier to repair.

                  As mentioned previously, a boiler machine is less forgiving when used incorrectly but if you take the time to learn to use and maintain it correctly, the rewards are there to be had. In the case of a Silvia, getting the grind and brew temperature just right is essential. As far as prolonging its life, keeping the boiler primed and full before brewing and before and after steaming should be part of your routine. Regular backflushing and descaling are also mandatory
                  Well Said! :>

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CafeLotta View Post
                    Sivia benefits:
                    A 58mm filter basket (more surface area), the ability to temperature surf to vary brew temperature, temperature stabilility of brass boiler in Silvia (though longer to heat up), steam pressure (depending on which thermoblock machine), probably robustness and quality of build (for the extra dollars), lack of electronics (less to go wrong though modern day electronics are pretty good), easier to repair.

                    As mentioned previously, a boiler machine is less forgiving when used incorrectly but if you take the time to learn to use and maintain it correctly, the rewards are there to be had. In the case of a Silvia, getting the grind and brew temperature just right is essential. As far as prolonging its life, keeping the boiler primed and full before brewing and before and after steaming should be part of your routine. Regular backflushing and descaling are also mandatory
                    What CafeLotta said . In addition to that, parts are easy to come by and if you want to go down the modification route (PID etc.) there are quite a few aftermarket kits and installers out there. Speaking as the owner of a Silvia V3, the one drawback (that is, if you really want the machine to live up to it's coffee making potential) is that banging out more than 2 coffees does take a little longer and is quite involved (do a search on temp surfing in a Silvia). I cannot speak for the other machines (although I did consider them prior to the Silvia) but if you have the patience to learn about the brewing and frothing, with good beans, you can reproduce near cafe-quality coffee for the Silvia and definitely better than the Cafe Roma (which I owned prior to the Silvia).

                    One other thing is that there are many youtube videos out there for the Silvia which teach you how to temp surf and froth milk properly. It really helped with the learning curve for me.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, thanks everyone for the replies. I should give a bit of an update.

                      I went out looking at the EM7000 and the BES840, then went to a couple of local roasters, one who had the Rancilio Silvia and another who had the Gaggia Classic. Looking at the boiler machines it was clear that they were a machine rather than an appliance, ie: built much more robustly and looked like they would have much better longevity than any of the Breville/Sunbeam appliances (no offence to owners of those machines) although the group handle on the Gaggia feels quite lightweight compared to the Silvia. My main concern about the single boiler machines is it sounds like it's a pain making more than a couple of coffees which is my main gripe with the Cafe Roma.

                      I was keen to buy something that would last a long time, so with that in mind I went and saw another local roaster who showed me the Expobar Semi Auto and made me a couple of coffees on his unit which is the machine he takes around to demo their coffees to potential commercial clients.
                      I was very impressed with the ease of steaming and the beautiful flavour profile of the coffee off this machine along with the promise that you can bang out as many as you want without much fuss.

                      Although there are some good machines around the price I was originally looking at, I didn't want to spend that money and still want to upgrade later on, I justify it as an investment by comparing it to a decent surround sound system or similar. So I decided to make the budget stretch to purchase the Expobar.

                      I took delivery early this week and now it is sitting under the Christmas tree waiting for Christmas morning.

                      Excited? I haven't looked forward to Christmas this much since I was a kid

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Good choice Krusty I think the Expobar is the way to go for the price and being HX machine, the other options in the same price range seam to be single boilers which is not as good if your mainly making milk based,

                        Enjoy !!.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cadan View Post
                          Good choice Krusty I think the Expobar is the way to go for the price and being HX machine, the other options in the same price range seam to be single boilers which is not as good if your mainly making milk based,

                          Enjoy !!.
                          Yes- It's a very good machine when souped up with thermosyphon restrictors- which they need.

                          For those shopping in this price bracket, the Diadema Junior semi-auto is also worth considering. 2 group handles, less plastic and street price is $50 more than the Expobar. It flies under the radar of many prospective purchasers. The quality of finish is fantastic.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
                            Yes- It's a very good machine when souped up with thermosyphon restrictors- which they need.

                            For those shopping in this price bracket, the Diadema Junior semi-auto is also worth considering. 2 group handles, less plastic and street price is $50 more than the Expobar. It flies under the radar of many prospective purchasers. The quality of finish is fantastic.
                            [ATTACH=CONFIG]1686[/ATTACH]
                            Ok I was meaning machines up to $1500 which is where the Expobar semi is, I thought the Diadema was closer to 2K that price range opens a whole lot of great options VBM junior,Isomac tea ........

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cadan View Post
                              Ok I was meaning machines up to $1500 which is where the Expobar semi is, I thought the Diadema was closer to 2K that price range opens a whole lot of great options VBM junior,Isomac tea ........
                              Nope- We sell it close to RRP of the Expobar

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