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Help with mid-range gift purchase

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  • Help with mid-range gift purchase

    Reading through some of these threads makes me wonder if we should just stick with our $70 a week cafe habit... yikes, but here goes...

    I want to buy my partner a coffee machine for Christmas. We have three young children and are extremely limited on time and focus, but we would like to be able to make a decent coffee at home which isn't possible with the cruddy Nespresso we have sitting there getting dusty.

    Thing is, I don't want anything that's fussy or temperamental (does such a machine exist?). We are willing to be trained on the machine, service it as needed, learn its particular quirks but don't want the thing to need the planets to align to make a coffee.

    I've read varying things about the Rancilio Silvia V4 which was my supposedly easy choice, but am now doubtful. What would you recommend? Budget of $800ish for machine only.
    Last edited by elephantintheroom; 4 November 2014, 09:49 PM.

  • #2
    Hi eitr and welcome to CS!

    Machines such as what you describe do exist and only require a good operator!

    Using coffee that you like, getting your grind, dose and tamp trifecta right is the key to good coffee at home; with a good grinder and machine combo

    you will never look back.

    Money?? Well someone's going to do the maths embedded in your post....

    $70pw=$3500pa ..... now you're talking plenty of options and good gear!!


    • #3
      Hi eitr,

      If you decide to stick to your $800 budget for machine only, you could also consider the Lelit PL41LEM. Here is a Lelit v Silvia comparo.



      • #4
        Silvia only makes sense if you pair it with a grinder that is upo to a suitable standard. Brand new, you aren't going to get a Silvia and a grinder for $800. If you are lucky you could pick up a 2nd hand one. The Silvia is a machine that can last 10+ years if well looked after. Mine is 3.5 years old and looks like new other than a few scratches on the drip tray. So a 2nd hand one can be a very doable option.


        • #5
          Originally posted by elephantintheroom View Post
          Budget of $800ish for machine only.
          Originally posted by mentasm View Post
          Brand new, you aren't going to get a Silvia and a grinder for $800.
          A Silvia or Lelit is in the OP's budget.

          Eitr.... what are you going to do about a grinder??


          • #6
            Originally posted by elephantintheroom View Post
            What would you recommend? Budget of $800ish for machine only.
            At that budget (it has been mentioned already) go for the Lelit PL042EMI (built in grinder). It is my preferred start up recommendation over the Silvia due to its convenience and quality build.

            It can pull a beautiful espresso too. Very easy to service and take care of so that isn't really a factor.

            For me the reason I chose this over Silvia was that the grinder is actually decent for a first grinder. As you progress with your coffee journey you won't find yourself leaning towards an upgrade too soon. It saved me space and money. I still miss mine and sometimes wish I had kept it just for memories sake. Good luck with the purchase


            • #7
              One more thing...If you do by some chance take into account Chokkidog's excellent accounting and consider spending just that little bit extra, I highly suggest getting the Lelit Pl042TEMD . This model adds a PID temperature controller. It will be worth the extra if you have the means to do so.

              If you want to know how long one of these can last, I bought a new Lelit combi a few years back after selling a Napoletana Quaha Series II (the old Lelit Combi name or a rebrand or whatever). I sold the old faitful Quaha hand me down for $400 with a lot of accessories...It was 11 yrs old! No rust, 2yr old burrs, almost no cosmetic wear (had always been in good hands) and only replaced the heating element once. That was because my partner forgot to turn it off so it blew after a few hours of being dry.

              That is the quality you can expect even at this price range. Yes my resale value may have been a little high for an old machine but it came down to the extras I was offering with it and I needed the money to buy a new Lelit regardless of the Quaha working just fine (that's just me). It's only worth what a buyer will pay and they had done their research. I also offered to train the buyer and explain everything about the machine, from machine & grinder maintenance, doses, grinder settings, steaming technique etc. You are in good hands asking for help on CS. Good luck