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Help please: What to buy $1600 budget

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  • #16
    It can be overwhelming but essentially, once you get into serious territory of $1000+ for a traditional machine, they are all capable of great brews given good technique and ingredients.

    So whether it is a "basic" Lelit/Silvia single boiler or a heat exchange machine, the main differences are convenience and aesthetics to a large extent. The end result will be similar (and blitz most cafes).

    Check out as much as you can in the flesh and see what takes your fancy.

    Also, if you don't mind used, there are many great deals here and a way of getting a higher end machine for your $.

    Cheers

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    • #17
      Originally posted by mtooler View Post
      Thank you all, the more I research, the harder it gets to be honest, I get why people say its overwhelming. Im ok to spend low $2000s even but each time I read some info it seems there is little consensus. I have a basic gist from all the websites that the vibe is dont get a single boiler if possible. Blowed if I know what to get though. There's the Lelit Pl60T as a dual boiler around there, but it doesnt have a group head etc. will have to come to a shop when school holidays start as Im a teacher.
      At the moment Duel boilers are fashionable, trust me, there are plenty of single boiler machines that equal or surpass the performance of many duel boiler offerings, and only having a single boiler, are easier and cheaper to maintain and service.

      Why no E61 group head? it's a time tested and proven performer, parts and accessories for them are readily available.

      Plenty of quality single boiler machines around that will produce excellent espresso for many years to come at around the budget you mention.

      The question you need to ask is, what do I want a espresso machine for? do you want an easy to maintain and use machine at a reasonable price, or, am I a machine geek who want to play lab technician and have adjustable parameters to the point of total confusion, if the former an E61 single boiler will suit you perfectly, if you want to play rocket scientist! perhaps not.

      It's all about the coffee.
      Last edited by Yelta; 3 December 2016, 01:04 PM.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by K_Bean_Coffee
        I'm sure Michael meant "no E61 group." A machine without a group head would make a bit of a mess
        That's the one, E61.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Yelta View Post
          At the moment Duel boilers are fashionable, trust me, there are plenty of single boiler machines that equal or surpass the performance of many duel boiler offerings, and only having a single boiler, are easier and cheaper to maintain and service.

          Why no E61 group head? it's a time tested and proven performer, parts and accessories for them are readily available.

          Plenty of quality single boiler machines around that will produce excellent espresso for many years to come at around the budget you mention.

          The question you need to ask is, what do I want a espresso machine for? do you want an easy to maintain and use machine at a reasonable price, or, am I a machine geek who want to play lab technician and have adjustable parameters to the point of total confusion, if the former an E61 single boiler will suit you perfectly, if you want to play rocket scientist! perhaps not.

          It's all about the coffee.
          Yeah I think i'll have a few people around, I do State of Origin and bbqs etc round my place so looking at heat exchange now which the earlier posters tipped me off towards.

          Upon my quiet little journey of research Ive gone from BES920 to Gaggia Classic, to Rancilio Silvia, to Lelit PID, to Lelit Dual Boiler and now to a machine like ECM Barista or Vibiemme Junior etc. So Im now looking at $2500 instead of $1500 which is ok with me as I think from what Ive been reading repairs, longevity and build quality will be better around the $2000-$2500 price point. Grinders better than Rocky but cheaper than Mazzer are doing my head in, really hard to see anyone definitively going grinder .... is the best grinder at $500-$600 price point.

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          • #20
            Admittedly...

            Dual Boiler machines have become fashionable via the auspices of poorly informed self promoted "reviewers" that abound on the internerd. There are benefits to owning and using Dbl Boiler machines but if your preference is for milk based coffees, then any benefits are wiped out and insignificant compared to a decent HX machine, regardless of the Group design....

            In short, if you're a black coffee drinker, then a Dbl Boiler machine may have benefits for you in the cup, if you're a milk coffee drinker though, then stick with a HX machine design....

            Mal.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Dimal View Post
              Admittedly...

              Dual Boiler machines have become fashionable via the auspices of poorly informed self promoted "reviewers" that abound on the internerd. There are benefits to owning and using Dbl Boiler machines but if your preference is for milk based coffees, then any benefits are wiped out and insignificant compared to a decent HX machine, regardless of the Group design....

              In short, if you're a black coffee drinker, then a Dbl Boiler machine may have benefits for you in the cup, if you're a milk coffee drinker though, then stick with a HX machine design....

              Mal.
              if you're a black coffee only drinker, why not just get a single boiler + PID....just saying.

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              • #22
                Shameless plug. I have a PID Silvia for sale. Have a look at the hardware sale section.

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                • #23
                  Hx with e61 group head and a k3 grinder would meet your requirements and keep you happy for many years.
                  I am in my 7th year of a rocket Giotto premium plus and k3 wbc grinder. No reason to upgrade other than the desire for a faster doserless grinder.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by mtooler View Post
                    will have to come to a shop when school holidays start as Im a teacher.
                    Hi Michael

                    Di Bartoli now opens 7 days a week till Christmas. Why not booking some time with us next Sunday, come for the day and you can get to play with most machines / grinders mentioned? You can check now the google virtual tour on our home page to know exactly what's on our benches today.
                    http://bit.ly/1biRxhF

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by mtooler View Post
                      is the best grinder at $500-$600 price point.
                      Compak and Macap both have a range of grinders with an excellent reputation, I believe Di Bartoli stock both brands.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Yelta View Post
                        Compak and Macap both have a range of grinders with an excellent reputation, I believe Di Bartoli stock both brands.
                        Thanks Yelta.

                        Indeed we do. We also carry full range of Anfim, Quamar & Mazzer [emoji3]

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by symphonie View Post
                          if you're a black coffee only drinker, why not just get a single boiler + PID....just saying.
                          Because one may want options....

                          Mal.

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                          • #28
                            Certainly plenty of good HX options. [emoji3]

                            The good news for you mtooler is that a lot of sponsors have some decent deals and clearance sales going at the moment.

                            Have fun when you finally get a chance to get in store and play with some machines.

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                            • #29
                              Michael

                              There are two pieces of advice you need, already given.

                              Originally posted by Dimal View Post
                              Dual Boiler machines have become fashionable via the auspices of poorly informed self promoted "reviewers" that abound on the internerd. There are benefits to owning and using Dbl Boiler machines but if your preference is for milk based coffees, then any benefits are wiped out and insignificant compared to a decent HX machine, regardless of the Group design....

                              In short, if you're a black coffee drinker, then a Dbl Boiler machine may have benefits for you in the cup, if you're a milk coffee drinker though, then stick with a HX machine design....
                              Originally posted by Di_Bartoli View Post
                              Why not booking some time with us next Sunday, come for the day and you can get to play with most machines / grinders mentioned?
                              You want a machine and grinder that:
                              1. you like the look of;
                              2. that you enjoy using;
                              3. that provide consistent results from consistent inputs (so consistently bad from bad inputs and consistently good form good inputs);
                              4. that are within your budget/what you are happy to spend.

                              Mazzer, Compak, Macap Grinders: all will do the job very well. Differences likely to be more in usability and aesthetics.
                              Buy what you like. If you use it, you will get the idea.
                              They ALL have pluses and minuses. They will ALL grind well.

                              Ultimately, whatever you buy you will learn to use well. Good technique is worth 000s of dollars.

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                              • #30
                                Help please: What to buy $1600 budget

                                Originally posted by AlMac View Post
                                Michael

                                There are two pieces of advice you need, already given.





                                You want a machine and grinder that:
                                1. you like the look of;
                                2. that you enjoy using;
                                3. that provide consistent results from consistent inputs (so consistently bad from bad inputs and consistently good form good inputs);
                                4. that are within your budget/what you are happy to spend.

                                Mazzer, Compak, Macap Grinders: all will do the job very well. Differences likely to be more in usability and aesthetics.
                                Buy what you like. If you use it, you will get the idea.
                                They ALL have pluses and minuses. They will ALL grind well.

                                Ultimately, whatever you buy you will learn to use well. Good technique is worth 000s of dollars.
                                This post couldn't be more on point.

                                Yes, yes and yes!

                                ... and for your budget of $2,500 or so, you just cannot go wrong!

                                The only wrong will be from your skills; therefore I suggest training. You're never too good or too bad for training.
                                I've worked as a head barista for many years, owned my own cafe business and I still book in for training every six months or so.
                                Sometimes I learn something new, sometimes I don't, but all the time I'm reminded and reconfirmed of what I'm doing correctly or incorrectly.
                                ...Even the best athletes have coaches so why shouldn't you.

                                I hear that Di Bartoli in Bondi Junction also offers free training with every machine purchase.
                                You should really check that out.

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