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Trying to help a friend choose a machine

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  • Trying to help a friend choose a machine

    Hi, my friend is looking at spending approx $500 for a machine and his eye on the Saeco Via Venezia.
    Is there anything else in this price range that gives a better bang for buck?
    He may consider spending another $200 max if there is something better.
    By the way he already has a decent grinder.

  • #2
    IMHO - I don't think a via venezia is worth $500 at all.

    If he's willing to spend that much, I think it would be wise to stretch the budget a little bit further and get a machine that he'll be happy with for much longer

    it really depends on what his needs are though - espresso only, milk drinks, simultaneous steaming/extraction etc.? What level of coffee making proficiency is he at? does he want ease of use, willing to tweak, etc.
    hard to make a blanket machine recommendation for everyone because its such a individual decision :-)

    You can pick up a Silvia from a site sponsor for around the $700 mark.

    otherwise scour the the "Hardware for Sale" section on this site for some bargains - check these out

    (i'm curious what grinder he has as well?)


    • #3
      Saeco Via Venezia not worth the $500 in my opinion. Should be a $300 machine new in my opinion. They need a depressurised portafilter and a Breville 800ES steam wand to make them a decent machine.

      Check PM for some additional info.


      • #4
        Thanks for the replies guys, this is great information.
        To answer the 1st few questions,
        He's not looking to do simultaneous steaming/extraction and will mainly be making espresso's with some milk drinks.
        Currently he is using a coffee peculator and wants to take the next step.
        Tweaking, not really other than playing with the grinder settings.
        He has an ANFM Best grinder.


        • #5
          great little grinder - via venezia won't do it justice!

          em6910/7000 is another option, but if he doesn't care about the simultaneous steam/pour than I'd lean toward a small single boiler machine

          the Silvia is one of the most well loved machines, just a bit fiddly in terms of temperature (hence PID controls installed by some). When it's on song though, makes excellent shots

          Oh yes also the gaggia classic is another option.

          (just to be clear with my opinions, I say these things having owned the 6910 and the classic in the past. Played a bit with the silvia, but never owned one )

          Don't know if there's too much else around that price point other than the sunbeam/brevilles which have thermoblocks and have a much lower build quality.

          If he doesn't mind second hand I still think checking in at at the "Hardware for sale" section is a good way to go - second hand from a snob means it's very well taken care of :-)


          • #6
            Originally posted by iggs View Post
            You can pick up a Silvia from a site sponsor for around the $700 mark.
            I little time spent searching Melbourne retailers will reveal Silvias available <$500 !