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  • How would you spend circa 1k?

    Hi all,

    I'm about to dip a toe into the rabbit hole that is home espresso. Have a budget in the 800-1500 range, depending how carried away I choose to get.

    I'm a complete novice, and have only pulled a handful of shots on other people's pretty terrible machines, and have stuck to pour over at home and work.

    I think I've decided on a hand grinder, given bang for buck. I don't mind spending a bit of time and effort making a drink, will very rarely make more than 1-2 flat whites per day and the 1zpresso JX pro at under $300 looks like great value.

    Need help with the machine though. I have JB HiFi vouchers that can get me a Breville BES840 for close to zero cash down. This machine sounds like it might get the job done. Doesn't particularly excite me though.

    Have also considered Rancilio Silvia V6 (brass boiler), Lelit PL41TEMD (PID) and Breville dual boiler (not sure I need). These will obviously set me back a grand give or take.

    My priorities are:

    1. Ability to deliver a quality shot, replicably without a crazy learning curve.
    2. Can steam decently.
    3. Not a huge machine - I don't have a huge kitchen.
    4. Will be long lived. If I like it, I don't anticipate wanting to upgrade the machine for a good number of yrs.
    ​4. Kinda pretty. If it's sitting on my kitchen bench, I'd rather it look good than not.

    What would you choose, one of these, or something else?

    Cheers for any thoughts.

  • #2
    Apart from being big, longevity and looking pretty the Breville dual boiler would fit your criteria (can be had at binglee for <$1k).

    otherwise my suggestions would be the lelit or Silvia that you suggested.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for that, do you think the dual boiler is much different in performance from the 840, providing you're willing to wait a minute for your milk?

      Comment


      • #4
        The dual boiler is a decent step up from the 840, though it is significantly bigger as well. If you want it to last though, I'd look at a Lelit (ideally PL91T) but the PL41TEMD is good too.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by level3ninja View Post
          The dual boiler is a decent step up from the 840, though it is significantly bigger as well. If you want it to last though, I'd look at a Lelit (ideally PL91T) but the PL41TEMD is good too.
          Thanks for the input, I think my main issue with the dual boiler is the real estate it'll take up on my counter. Having just now watched a comparison vid between the 840 and the DB though I can see the benefits of the extra programmability and power.
          ​​
          Leaning toward the Lelit PL41TEMD, as budget won't stretch to the 91T.
          ​​
          Open to used also, in case someone has something they are looking to offload, but there doesn't seem to be a heap of relevant machines FS at the minute.

          Comment


          • #6
            Welcome "Jsheroes"...

            Support 'ninja's comments above re the Lelit. Will definitely see out many years of regular use and is very capable to boot...
            What make/model of grinder do you currently own?

            Mal.

            Comment


            • #7
              Ah, I've literally just upgraded from the 840 to the 920.


              The 840 is great from my experience - for a home unit, it gets the job done and it gets it done well. Are there better machines out there? Definitely. But it's still a good machine.

              It became an issue for me, when you're making more than one coffee with different milks - you either pull 2x shots and then have one sit around while you froth each milk separately, or you pull 1x shot, froth it's milk, pull the other shot, then froth it's milk. Just became very laborious and I'd rather have instant steam, rather than the heating/cooling cycle to get brew/steam temps suitable. Especially with working from home for the foreseeable future, it's now more than just a one-a-day/weekend machine.


              The 920 came up at a good price (899 at Good Guys, less some vouchers) - not as good as some sales (under 700 at times) but I'm itching to help stimulate the economy (didn't get any stimulus payment, I just use it as an excuse to splurge).

              Anyway, it IS bigger - but, not that much at the end of the day. I'd seen a few comparison videos and side-by-side shots, and it looked huge, but it's pretty manageable IMO.


              That said, I stuck with another Breville mostly because I've had a good experience with multiple products from them, and wanted a dual boiler.
              BUT - if you're not phased by dual boilers, then I'd say follow these other guys advise and go with a nice Italian machine.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 1MoreJavaHit View Post
                Ah, I've literally just upgraded from the 840 to the 920.


                The 840 is great from my experience - for a home unit, it gets the job done and it gets it done well. Are there better machines out there? Definitely. But it's still a good machine.

                It became an issue for me, when you're making more than one coffee with different milks - you either pull 2x shots and then have one sit around while you froth each milk separately, or you pull 1x shot, froth it's milk, pull the other shot, then froth it's milk. Just became very laborious and I'd rather have instant steam, rather than the heating/cooling cycle to get brew/steam temps suitable. Especially with working from home for the foreseeable future, it's now more than just a one-a-day/weekend machine.


                The 920 came up at a good price (899 at Good Guys, less some vouchers) - not as good as some sales (under 700 at times) but I'm itching to help stimulate the economy (didn't get any stimulus payment, I just use it as an excuse to splurge).

                Anyway, it IS bigger - but, not that much at the end of the day. I'd seen a few comparison videos and side-by-side shots, and it looked huge, but it's pretty manageable IMO.


                That said, I stuck with another Breville mostly because I've had a good experience with multiple products from them, and wanted a dual boiler.
                BUT - if you're not phased by dual boilers, then I'd say follow these other guys advise and go with a nice Italian machine.
                how do you find the steaming power on the 920 compared to the 840? im thinking about making an upgrade from the 870 soon, once prices drop abit.
                any difference noticable in shot taste?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dimal View Post
                  Welcome "Jsheroes"...

                  Support 'ninja's comments above re the Lelit. Will definitely see out many years of regular use and is very capable to boot...
                  What make/model of grinder do you currently own?

                  Mal.
                  Awesome thanks. My current grinder is a terrible manual 'Holar' bought on holiday. This will be a massive upgrade.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have the Lelit PL41TEMD (PID) but you need to buy a grinder as well don't forget. We got ours in October last year along with a grinder Macap M2M ( bought each from different site sponsors.) Been very happy with it as our first machine. I found I was getting a pretty consistent shot withing a couple of weeks though still have some milk skills to learn. "Might" finally work on those while on holidays. Of course you will also need a decent Tamp, a milk thermometer and milk jug/s. scales, and then the cleaning gear
                    .CAFETTO EVO ECO ESPRESSO MACHINE CLEANER Organic Coffee Cleaning Powder
                    Coffee Grinder Burr CleanerCafetto
                    Group Head Cleaning Brush
                    Grinder cleaning brush
                    and some nice canisters with valves to store the beans. lol oh dear.. the list keeps growing.
                    and in my case I buy my water to use as well. We don't make a lot of coffees each day. usually 2-4. mostly milk based flat white. though I've done espresso shots a couple of times, a hot chocolate and chai latte for friends and a cap for mum twice. .
                    Oh and the coffee cups and latte cups ( funny i now have a set of 8 of these and I don't even drink lattes. ummm
                    some pretty cleaning cloths...
                    I'm sure eventually i'll think of something else. ( at 3 diferent sized milk jugs and 2 thermometers so far)
                    Last edited by kexkez; 17 April 2020, 11:36 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by andrewczy View Post

                      how do you find the steaming power on the 920 compared to the 840? im thinking about making an upgrade from the 870 soon, once prices drop abit.
                      any difference noticable in shot taste?
                      I used it for the first time this morning - so I still need to dial in some shots as the 58mm vs 54mm portafilter seems to be a different learning curve, but as far as steaming goes...

                      IMO - night and day difference. The boiler 920 vs the thermoblock on the 840 is phenomenal, it steamed the milk quickly, evenly, and felt alot 'nicer' to user. I've spent the last 9 months on the 840 and still hadn't gotten texturing milk right every time, but this just felt natural and easy.

                      Again, first use this morning, and based on my personal experience only.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kexkez View Post
                        I have the Lelit PL41TEMD (PID) but you need to buy a grinder as well don't forget. We got ours in October last year along with a grinder Macap M2M ( bought each from different site sponsors.) Been very happy with it as our first machine. I found I was getting a pretty consistent shot withing a couple of weeks though still have some milk skills to learn. "Might" finally work on those while on holidays. Of course you will also need a decent Tamp, a milk thermometer and milk jug/s. scales, and then the cleaning gear
                        .CAFETTO EVO ECO ESPRESSO MACHINE CLEANER Organic Coffee Cleaning Powder
                        Coffee Grinder Burr CleanerCafetto
                        Group Head Cleaning Brush
                        Grinder cleaning brush
                        and some nice canisters with valves to store the beans. lol oh dear.. the list keeps growing.
                        and in my case I buy my water to use as well. We don't make a lot of coffees each day. usually 2-4. mostly milk based flat white. though I've done espresso shots a couple of times, a hot chocolate and chai latte for friends and a cap for mum twice. .
                        Oh and the coffee cups and latte cups ( funny i now have a set of 8 of these and I don't even drink lattes. ummm
                        some pretty cleaning cloths...
                        I'm sure eventually i'll think of something else. ( at 3 diferent sized milk jugs and 2 thermometers so far)
                        Thanks for that, good heads up on all the extra accessories. I think my choice comes down to the 920, if I can fit it (will get out the measuring tape) or lelit if I can't.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I guess the only other thing to consider is you might want to get an extended warranty on the 920. I would probably do that as they sometimes run into issues after 2 years

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            First time post.

                            My BES920 just died (NEVER do the descaling even when the machine tells you to) and it's expensive to repair, but it lasted a long time (5+ easy, but might be 8 years)

                            So now I'm looking again - 2k to spend. And soo confused. lol. was recommended CIME CO-01 by the potential BES920 repairer, who just happens to sell the unit. argh.

                            TL/DR: Extended warranty might not be needed, just do not descale the 920. Instead, get is serviced unless you're handy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by roryhilton View Post
                              First time post.

                              My BES920 just died (NEVER do the descaling even when the machine tells you to) and it's expensive to repair, but it lasted a long time (5+ easy, but might be 8 years)

                              So now I'm looking again - 2k to spend. And soo confused. lol. was recommended CIME CO-01 by the potential BES920 repairer, who just happens to sell the unit. argh.

                              TL/DR: Extended warranty might not be needed, just do not descale the 920. Instead, get is serviced unless you're handy.
                              Hmm. Sucks your machine died. I read incredibly diverse reports on Breville reliability. Did you regularly descale during its life?

                              Comment

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