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  • Advice needed for purchasing sub-$1000 machine

    Hi folks, first post.

    i have done a Bit of reading but I'm just getting more and more confused.

    i currently have the Breville BES860 which I am not very happy with at all. I want to upgrade to a machine that consistently makes a better espresso and has a much more powerful steam wand.

    The more I read the harder it gets.... I want a simple machine without 100 different functions that i will not use. Saeco? Gaggia? Sylvia?

    All advice welcome

  • #2
    I am very happy with my Sunbeam EM6910. Has twin thermoblocks and two pumps so no issues with wrong temps or waiting for pressure. I got mine 2nd hand but I'd recommend have a look at the undated version, the EM7000 - apparently significant improvements over the 6910 and around the $800 mark.

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    • #3
      Hi 13bob,

      Firstly welcome to the forum. You will be able to get many peoples opinions on here, including mine. I good way to start is give us an indication on price you are willing to spend. Also how much you use it and what you intend on using it for. If you are looking for something around $500 but under $1000 i would be looking at something like the silva. If you are willing to buy pre loved machines you may be able to get something with a little more but for a little less.
      My advice like many others will be, what ever price you are willing to spend when looking at a machine. Remember to budget for a grinder also. Some will agree others will not but it is in my opinion as important if not more important than the machine. Just keep that in mind..

      Regards,

      Chris
      Last edited by coffeechris; 10 March 2013, 04:32 PM.

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      • #4
        +1 Silvia / Rocky combo.

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        • #5
          Advice needed for purchasing sub-$1000 machine

          There's a breville dual boiler/smart grinder for sale for $800 on the forum. Looks perfect to me for your needs

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          • #6
            Welcome to Coffee Snobs Bob.

            I would recommend the Silvia Rocky combo, owned both for many years and can vouch for the fact that they make excellent coffee and hold their value well.

            Some would suggest the Silvia is finicky/difficult to master, nothing could be further from the truth, just pay a bit of attention to detail and you would have it pretty well under control in a matter of days.


            The Compak K3 grinder is also well worth a look, may even be better than the Rocky (I have never used one) it has had excellent reviews recently and is in a similar price range as the Rocky.

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            • #7
              I can vouch for the K3 grinder, before this i owned a breville smart grinder. Now having owned the K3 i find it a great grinder and better than the smart grinder. However for the difference in the price the smart grinder is also great value.

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              • #8
                The grinder is important, but there is a limit apparently. I had the impression you're better spending (out of $1000) $600 on the grinder and $400 on the machine, but I look around the forum and I wonder... Almost all the grinders mentioned on here apart from the approx $100 ones does the same thing - they give you a graduated grind from plunger level to high quality bean level. For everyone on here castigating a particular grinder, someone elser is singing praises for the same one.

                Coffee machines are similar. Some people swear by them and some swear AT them.

                My advice? Learn enough to determine what you want. I did a braista course and a follow up café latté course and I found out enough to know I wanted a machine that can emulate a professional machine - I needed twin thermoblocks. I didn't want my crema going flat while I waited for the steam to heat or having my milk go cold while I poured my coffee.

                What do you WANT? What do your taste buds demand? If you can live with a fairly weak coffee with nice overtones, by a grinder, some nice beans and a plunger. But if you want thick and rich flavours in an espresso with lovely crema and the ability to make café latté art, spend the money on a separate coffee and steam system - and then go for the grinder that gives you the best control over your grind.

                My impression is the MOST important factor in producing coffee you love is YOUR willingness to learn. Anyone can make great coffee from a reasonable machine and reasonable grinder. Dickheads can make crapoffee from multi-thousand dollar machines.

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                • #9
                  Welcome Bob,

                  You don't say where you are located. If possible, why not pop into a local coffee equipment specialist (several are site sponsors) and have a demo / chat about your requirements re machine / grinder? Will at least give you a decent starting position, and help you reconcile the often conflicting recommendations found on forums. I have a k3 which I'm very happy with, but haven't owned anything else, so can't really advise in that regard.

                  Cheers
                  BOSW

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                  • #10
                    Thanks for the replies guys. I'm willing to learn and get used to my machine so that's not a problem. I'm really after a machine that can give me a rich full flavoured espresso and a steam wand that doesn't take forever to heat my milk like the BES860 I currently have.

                    Looks like the Sylvia / rocky combo is popular. After buying a Breville machine and not being happy with t I would be reluctant to buy anther Breville/sunbeam machine. I could be wrong, there is the Em7000 that some people have mentioned.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
                      Welcome Bob,

                      You don't say where you are located. If possible, why not pop into a local coffee equipment specialist (several are site sponsors) and have a demo / chat about your requirements re machine / grinder? Will at least give you a decent starting position, and help you reconcile the often conflicting recommendations found on forums. I have a k3 which I'm very happy with, but haven't owned anything else, so can't really advise in that regard.

                      Cheers
                      BOSW
                      Hi Barry, I'm located in the South West (Bunbury) and would have to travel to Perth for a decent selection of machines.... Any suggestions?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Barry O'Speedwagon View Post
                        Welcome Bob,

                        You don't say where you are located. If possible, why not pop into a local coffee equipment specialist (several are site sponsors) and have a demo / chat about your requirements re machine / grinder? Will at least give you a decent starting position, and help you reconcile the often conflicting recommendations found on forums. I have a k3 which I'm very happy with, but haven't owned anything else, so can't really advise in that regard.

                        Cheers
                        BOSW
                        I hear what you say Barry, the only problem I see with this approach is said specialist/retailer may try to direct the purchaser toward whatever he stocks or prefers, which may not be what the customer needs or even in their best interest.

                        In case you hadn't guessed I'm a bit of a cynic.

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                        • #13
                          No prob, Yelta. Perfectly fair point. But I wasn't meaning to imply that you have to buy purely on the testimony of the vendor, but at least you get to have a look at the kit, potentially see them in action etc. And while vendors will obviously promote their own products, the blokes I've dealt with won't push a product that is inappropriate/unnecessary for your needs.

                          Nothing wrong with being a cynic....

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 13bob View Post
                            Hi Barry, I'm located in the South West (Bunbury) and would have to travel to Perth for a decent selection of machines.... Any suggestions?
                            Our Perth members would be better placed to help you, I suspect.

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                            • #15
                              +1 for a silvia + K3 will get both new for $1000 with some of the specials around at the moment.

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