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  • Single boiler or lever machine?

    I've decided to finally take the plunge and buy a proper machine. I'm in love with the Lelit Mara but my partner's forbidden me from spending that much. I'm looking for something around the $1000 mark. I already have a decent grinder - the Macap M2M. Bench space is at a premium in our kitchen, so I'd like something as compact as possible. (Which is why the Lelit Mara looks fantastic.) I was resigned to getting a single boiler machine but have now discovered I could get the La Pavoni Europiccola for around the same place (maybe a little more). I'm considering the Lelit PL041TEMD as the alternative. I was wondering if someone could give me advice on which might be better?

    I'm the only one in the household who drinks coffee and like my milky coffees - usually one in the morning, a second one in the afternoon. I had a very cheap Sunbeam (EM3600 I think) on loan from a friend so I know how to pull shots and steam milk on a simple machine. The Sunbeam died a few days ago and I've realised I can't go back to my Aeropress or old moka pots. I would like to get a decent machine, but one that isn't going to be too difficult to learn how to use. I've been reading about the difficulties of temp surfing on single boiler machines, or else the other difficulties of pulling shots on a lever machine. In an ideal world I think I'd get a heat exchanger, but they seem to be out of my budget for now. I'm really not mechanically minded so I'd like something that isn't too difficult to learn how to use, and won't need lots of care. At the same time, I love the way metal coffee machines look as opposed to the more plastic Breville or Sunbeam models, which is why I ended up looking at these two models.

    Thanks for helping out a newbie.

  • #2
    Keep an eye out in the for sale section, you might find something that fits exactly what you want at your price point.

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/coffee-har...e-machine.html

    From what you have written, I would not recommend you get a manual lever like the Europiccola.

    EDIT: The Lelit you mentioned is PID controlled. Even though its only a single boiler it will be much much easier to master. No need to worry about temp surfing.

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    • #3
      Thanks for replying Steve - are lever machines difficult to use? Is that why you don't recommend it? I've also been debating buying new vs used, but in the end I would like to get a machine as soon as possible because I need my caffeine fix! And it seems that buying new gives you the safety net of having a warranty on the machine. I know that Sunbeam has a shocking reputation for breaking down rapidly. I'm not sure if I need to be so cautious with brands like Lelit or La Pavoni? Still, if that La Nuova Era Cuadra you linked to was in Sydney, I'd be tempted to go check it out.

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      • #4
        Small home manual levers can be tricky to master. With attention to detail and practice you can pull some amazing shots.

        Again, judging by what you wrote in your OP my gut tells me its not really what you are looking for, especially for everyday use to get your " fix ".
        So if your keen to just get it done and want the confidence of NEW gear, I would be off the Jetblack to grab a new Lelit.

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        • #5
          Mate. Bang for buck in Sydney is a breville dual boiler from the breville outlet in Ultimo. Around $750 from memory. But for a nice "non appliance" brand get down to jetblack and check out the lelits

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          • #6
            Yes I got a lelit and was really happy. Go to jetblack - friendly service

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            • #7
              Thanks for all your replies. I have gone back to my moka pot for now. I went through a phase where I seriously considered getting a lever machine, now I'm wondering if I should get the single boiler or just keep saving until a double boiler/HX is in reach. Too many options! I don't have a car, otherwise I'd just drive out and test the demo machines up at Jetblack. I do think I'm going to be ordering from Jetblack when the time comes. Just need to figure out what to get. I've been paralysed by upgrade-itis! (And I still love the idea of a lever machine, and of learning how to hand-pull a good shot.)

              Comment


              • #8
                Have you thought about a Silvia?
                My brother-in-law has a Silvia/M2 combo? Produces great espresso and milk based drinks, especially when it sounds like you're only doing a couple at a time. Lasts forever too - many happy used here with up to 10 years out of them. And they come in well under budget if you look around.

                Cheers Matt

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                • #9
                  http://coffeesnobs.com.au/coffee-har...974-model.html

                  A classic second hand dream lever machine maybe?, which you should not be financially embarrassed by come upgrade time, although according to some respected sources these machines are the pinnacle for levers. Also sold new by a CS sponsor. Good luck. PS no connection to the seller, just greatly admire the Creminas.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kueppercup View Post
                    I've decided to finally take the plunge and buy a proper machine. I'm in love with the Lelit Mara but my partner's forbidden me from spending that much. I'm looking for something around the $1000 mark. I already have a decent grinder - the Macap M2M. Bench space is at a premium in our kitchen, so I'd like something as compact as possible. (Which is why the Lelit Mara looks fantastic.) I was resigned to getting a single boiler machine but have now discovered I could get the La Pavoni Europiccola for around the same place (maybe a little more). I'm considering the Lelit PL041TEMD as the alternative. I was wondering if someone could give me advice on which might be better?

                    I'm the only one in the household who drinks coffee and like my milky coffees - usually one in the morning, a second one in the afternoon. I had a very cheap Sunbeam (EM3600 I think) on loan from a friend so I know how to pull shots and steam milk on a simple machine. The Sunbeam died a few days ago and I've realised I can't go back to my Aeropress or old moka pots. I would like to get a decent machine, but one that isn't going to be too difficult to learn how to use. I've been reading about the difficulties of temp surfing on single boiler machines, or else the other difficulties of pulling shots on a lever machine. In an ideal world I think I'd get a heat exchanger, but they seem to be out of my budget for now. I'm really not mechanically minded so I'd like something that isn't too difficult to learn how to use, and won't need lots of care. At the same time, I love the way metal coffee machines look as opposed to the more plastic Breville or Sunbeam models, which is why I ended up looking at these two models.

                    Thanks for helping out a newbie.
                    Have you thought about getting a new partner?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi kueppercup,

                      I am selling a Ponte vecchio lusso at the moment which might be worthwhile looking into. It is small, easy to use and ideal for making milk drinks.
                      Link: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/coffee-har...-two-group.htm

                      Apart from that I would suggest looking at second hand HX machines. Single boiler E61 machines are great for making black coffee but not so fun if you frequently make milk based coffees.

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