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  • What Machine?

    Hi all,

    I am looking at getting a new machine.. A few years back, I had an EM6900 which I replaced with a Nemox with the inbuilt grinder, I never used it because it was fully manual and I think the quality just wasn't there.
    I swapped that machine for a Playstation3..
    Years later, I'm in my own house and I wanted a coffee machine.. Due to my poor experience with the Nemox, I wanted something easy and went down the dreaded path of a Nespresso machine.. Now I know that is probably a swear word here, but I wanted something easy that was quicker than my stove top 6 cup stainless steel Bialetti. Although, the Bialetti makes nicer coffee!

    That was just over a year ago now and now I can't stand Nespresso. I make myself a cup, take a sip and then chuck it in the sink.
    So now I am looking at a proper machine so I can actually fulfill my want of learning how to make great coffee.
    My requirements are:
    - Up to $2000
    - Dual Boiler, no thermo blocks
    - No inbuilt grinder
    - Semi Automatic
    - No Sunbeam products - the EM6900 I had was replaced with the Nemox because it soundled like a jack hammer, plus, I have never owned any reliable sunbeam products.

    I was considering the Breville BES900, however, in my mind, Breville is not synonymous with coffee machines - don't get me wrong, I have nothing against their products, but I am a bit of a traditionalist and would prefer a European machine.. That said, if you can convince me, I am more than happy to listen.

    As much as I would love to buy a Silvia, I would end up not using it because it is a manual machine - it is just too time consuming and only a single boiler..

    Let me know your thoughts.

    Emille

  • #2
    Originally posted by Emille View Post
    My requirements are:
    - Up to $2000
    - Dual Boiler, no thermo blocks
    - No inbuilt grinder
    - Semi Automatic

    Emille
    Hello Emille.

    The Breville Dual Boiler fulfils your entire requirements mentioned other than it is not made in Europe, other than for the pumps and some valves etc. that are made in Italy.

    Breville did a lot of research on many top machines while developing this machine.

    I have had my BDB and smart grinder for 22 months. I had an O ring fail, like many other early machines. This was quickly fixed and I understand it won’t happen with the latest machines. Mine is now still working very well.

    I have heard that this machine makes coffee as good as other machines that cost double the price.

    I also don't like pod machine coffee.

    Barry

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Emille,
      Is there a reason that you distinctly want a double boiler rather than a heat exchanger machine? You should be able to pick up a European build HX machine at the upper end of your price range (e.g. VBM Domobar Jnr at Talk Coffee recently < 2k; Diadema Junior / Reale and others).
      Nothing wrong with the BDB of course...just a matter of how you value different attributes of the overall product.
      Cheers
      BOSW

      Comment


      • #4
        Hello Emille,

        I suspect you might be looking for simultaneous steam and shot? You don't have to have a dual boiler machine for this as HX machines do this as well. There are many heat exchanger (HX) machines which will also suit and will be within budget.

        You might consider various models from Expobar, Diadema or even our VBM demo as good starting points for investigation.

        Well-configured HX machines produce deadly shots in the right hands and will not require cooling flushes. You simply use them. There are hundreds of CS'ers who use them and love them. My advice is not to discount then without trying them first.

        Hope that helps!

        Chris

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for your input guys.

          Barry_Duncan, thanks for sharing your experience.

          Barry O'Speedwagon, Chris is right, it is for simultaneous shot and steam and for better temperature control.
          I had not considered a HX, in fact I did not know how it even worked, however, I just looked it up and now I understand.

          Chris, I had a look at the VBM demo and it looks good, but cannot tell if it is a semi auto or not, I do not want a manual machine, period!

          Comment


          • #6
            You might want to confirm what you understand by the term semi-auto? You are going to have to dose a filter basket with all of the machines mentioned above (I'm pretty sure). Some will have volumetric options thereafter. All require you to steam the milk yourself.

            Comment


            • #7
              My understanding of a Semi Auto is that it is volumetric for pulling shots, but you have to manually dose and tamp. So basically, dose, tamp, press one button and the shot is measured. Milk is fully manual.

              Basically, the Nemox was an issue, because I had to flick a switch, then flick it back when I was happy with the shot.

              Comment


              • #8
                Hello Emille,

                We would call this a volumetric machine.

                FWIW, all the volumetrics do is to save you from flicking the switch back or lowering a lever. For mine, they have little value in the home. Here, like in great cafes, it's about learning and watching the shot for a reasonable finish point rather than letting a timer decide when enough is enough. They are unlikely to assist you to produce a better shot.

                Volumetrics add complexity and cost to machines. If/when they fail they are expensive to replace and the control boards required to run them are frequently more expensive as well.

                All but the cheapest HX volumetric machines will be beyond your budget (unless you purchase something like the Breville DB). Another option might be to look for a pre-loved machine in good nick. This can be a lottery and there are many hard luck stories amongst the fairytale endings.

                Good luck whichever way you go.

                Chris

                Comment


                • #9
                  I will chime in and say the Expobar Office control maybe more of the volumetric you are looking for but isn't a dual boiler, however i agree with Chris the cost of having the components replaced if they fail are far great than that of a lever machine such as the Expobar Minore. The Chris VBM demo he has for sale would be a good buy, not that i need another machine but i must say the thought has popped into my head about buying it.

                  On top of all this i dont find the Office control terribly appealing to the eye however it depends what you are wanting out of a machine.

                  Regards,

                  Chris

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I was just having a look at some Giotto videos. I like the look of the lever over the switches

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm a new Silvia user for the last 3 weeks and I admit it was very time consuming for me to prepare a shot before.
                      But after a few weeks of using it, I think I have reduced the amount of time I need to make a shot and is quick and easy to clean.

                      So I guess don't write off the Silvia being too difficult. Read up on temp surfing. And watch youtube.

                      Also, I have to say that having a good grinder really makes it much easier to make a good shot.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        If she doesn't want to bother with manual pour, I suspect temp-surfing is not going to go over well, especially with 2k to spend...

                        Emilie, sure you can't be bothered pouring manually? It takes all of thirty seconds (literally) which is just enough time to grab your milk stuff and get it steamed...

                        Are you sorted for a quality grinder? At this price point it's not an optional consideration unless you like disappointment...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Haha, Dragunov, "she" is not a she, I am a he!

                          I am slowly changing my mind, the lever machines look a lot easier.
                          Temp surfing is something I really do not want to do.

                          Grinder is a separate budget.. i think 5-700 for a grinder should be fair.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Emille View Post
                            I am slowly changing my mind, the lever machines look a lot easier..
                            Be careful with your descriptions,...
                            in CS terms a "lever" machine is a very different beast !


                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Haha yes, indeed that is not what I want.

                              I quite like the look of the VBM Domobar Junior and the Expobar Minore IV.

                              Opinions?

                              Comment

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