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$1k combo - my first and last chance

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  • $1k combo - my first and last chance

    Hi all.

    I'm new to the game, currently playing around with a Saeco Via Venezia and a Delonghi KG59 grinder which I took from my folks to experiment with. The Saeco is on it's last legs it seems, it was left unused for a looong time so it wasn't in the best condition to begin with (rust and leaks) and the grinder is next to useless. So I was hoping you could help me find a new combo.

    I call it my first and last chance because I've finally convinced the wife that we need a new machine and grinder. We come from a Nespresso background which I grew out of and she wants to buy another Nespresso machine so it's been tough convincing her that I need about $1k to buy a new espresso machine + grinder + a few accessories so unfortunately $1k is the absolute limit, there is no such chance of squeezing out another 100 bux to get the next level up. The budget has actually risen from $300 (Nespresso) in small steps all the way up to $1k which is why there's no room to move, I simply cannot afford to spend any more!

    And this is going to have to last me at least 2-3 years before I can replace one of them, either the machine or the grinder. I'm thinking from my research on this site, that I get a good grinder now that can last me a while and that it's the espresso machine that I should replace down the track. This also means that I don't want to buy second hand gear cos if it breaks shortly after I purchase it, I'll probably be drinking instant coffee for the rest of my life! At least new gear will have a 12 month warranty. I simply cannot afford the risk of buying second hand.

    So to the details, I drink mostly flat whites. I will be making 1 coffee every day, sometimes 2 but at certain times when we have people over, I could be making up 4-8 at a time. Probably cappucinos and lattes. I hope you can help me.

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    k3p and whatever 58mm single boiler machine you can get out of the change?

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    • #3
      id push it to a pre-loved mazzer mini and whatever 58mm single boiler. just bought a silvia pid and mini combo for that price. mini should be circa 450-550? leaves you with 550-450 =)

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      • #4
        and if anything breaks on pokerstar's second hand gear he'll be back drinking Nespresso ...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Hildy View Post
          k3p and whatever 58mm single boiler machine you can get out of the change?
          Any suggestions on the single boilers?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JetBlack_Espresso View Post
            and if anything breaks on pokerstar's second hand gear he'll be back drinking Nespresso ...
            Yep exactly.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by pokerstar View Post
              Any suggestions on the single boilers?
              There are plenty of CSers meeting your requirements with a Lelit or Silvia - comparo here .

              charlie
              Last edited by JetBlack_Espresso; 29 April 2014, 11:30 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JetBlack_Espresso View Post
                There are plenty of CSers meeting your requirements with a Lelit or Silvia - comparo here .

                charlie
                Thanks, I actually read that thread last night. The problem is a Lelit or Silvia would eat up a significant amount of my budget, only leaving $250 for a grinder leaving me in Smart Grinder territory. Is that the way you would go?

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                • #9
                  The Lelit Combi puts you under budget. Micrometric conical burr grinder included

                  charlie
                  Last edited by JetBlack_Espresso; 29 April 2014, 11:28 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JetBlack_Espresso View Post
                    The Lelit Combi puts you under budget. Micrometric conical burr grinder included

                    charlie
                    Thanks I'll do some research!

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                    • #11
                      I was going to suggest a sunbeam em6910 and em0480 with extended 5 years warranty, coming well under budget. But yeah - the combi sounds good! Other options would be combining a Rancilio Silvia with Breville smart grinder, or a Gaggia with a better grinder i.e. Compak K3. Although the warranty won't be as long, these machines will last far longer than the sunbeam.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by burr View Post
                        I was going to suggest a sunbeam em6910 and em0480 with extended 5 years warranty, coming well under budget. But yeah - the combi sounds good! Other options would be combining a Rancilio Silvia with Breville smart grinder, or a Gaggia with a better grinder i.e. Compak K3. Although the warranty won't be as long, these machines will last far longer than the sunbeam.
                        Thanks. I do like the idea of a separate machine and grinder so I can upgrade the machine a few years down the track.

                        Thoughts on say the Gaggia vs BES840 vs the Sunbeam? Would love a Silvia but I think it would leave me skimping on the grinder. Dual boiler would be nice, the Sunbeam.

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                        • #13
                          I have had the sunbeam (dual thermoblock) and gaggia, and personally prefer the sunbeam. For my morning latte it was better since it reaches a stable temp much faster and you don't need to wait for steam. That said, the shot quality was comparable on both, the gaggia supposedly benefiting from the overpressure valve (OPV). The main catch is the longetivity. I have been lucky, buying a second hand sunbeam which has been going strong for another few years (now 4-5 yrs old), but this is not always the case. Simple measures like backflushing, descaling and not overdosing prevent problems but the electronics are still prone to failure. The Gaggia I bought however, is close to 10 years will probably go for another 5 before any issues emerge. The 5 year extended warranty on the sunbeam is cheap but it would still be frustrating sending it in for repairs.

                          It looks like you've read enough here to understand the importance of the grinder, and I agree its probably a better approach to invest in it and upgrade the machine later.

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                          • #14
                            I've had the Sunbeam and upgraded to a Dual Boiler Lelit. far, far far far far better machine

                            but for your situation I'd recommend one of the Lelit SB machines (used one if it pops up would be even better) or a Silvia and keep your eye out for a good used Grinder.
                            I scored a Rocky w doser for next to nothing and it's a fantastic grinder.

                            There's probably even a Silvia and Rocky package kicking around the sale section

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pokerstar View Post
                              Thanks. I do like the idea of a separate machine and grinder so I can upgrade the machine a few years down the track.

                              Thoughts on say the Gaggia vs BES840 vs the Sunbeam? Would love a Silvia but I think it would leave me skimping on the grinder. Dual boiler would be nice, the Sunbeam.
                              Interesting to note that despite being out for a decent amount of time I couldn't find any reports of issues with the bes840.

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