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  • New guy needing advice for coffee machine

    Hi, im new to all this. Just after some advice. I was entertaining the idea of purchasing a Delinghi Magnifica or Prima Donna coffee machine. Some people have told me that they are not reliable and if im paying that sort of $$$$ i want years of trouble free use from it. Any advice would be greatlt appreciated.
    Kind regards,
    Vanda

  • #2
    Re: New guy needing advice for coffee machine

    We have a Magnifica at work, and while it makes OK coffee it needs service about every 6 months. Thats doing about a kilo of beans a week. And the coffee in just OK with milk, for an espresso or ristretto its not good enough for me.

    My VBM Domobar and Macap M4D beats the coffee easily, and foams the milk better, but is more money. Ill bet a Silvia and a Rocky would easily give better coffee for less money. My current machine has never needed service (not quite 18 months old), and my previous manual machine was serviced twice in 20 years.

    Of course the manual machines take some learning, the Magnifica works for whoever pushes the button.

    Greg

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    • #3
      Re: New guy needing advice for coffee machine

      Hi Vanda,

      As Greg said, its a trade off between ease of use (super auto) versus coffee quality (semi autos). Also, consider that semi autos have less moving parts, less things to go wrong, and usually less plastic! But, there is a learning curve, they usually take up more space and try as I might, I cant seem to keep the kitchen completely free of coffee grinds . The question is, how important is the end result to you?

      charlie

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      • #4
        Re: New guy needing advice for coffee machine

        Hi, it does depend on what quality coffee you like to (or are prepared to) drink. If you like fabulous coffee, in my opinion its well worth the investment in a pair like the Macap M4 grinder and VBM Domobar .

        Personally, since beginning my CoffeeSnobs journey, I now only drink coffee made by a super-auto style machine if I am totally desperate for caffeine at work, because no matter how much I tweak the work machines settings, it just isnt physically capable of producing anywhere near the quality I can make at home. The work machine is a Saeco, not one of the ones youre specifically looking at, but I hope the comments below will give you an idea of what to look out for.

        The grinder in the Saeco cannot grind consistently sized grounds which means that you get a mix of variably-sized grounds and fines (coffee dust). The fines are extracted quickly which means they produce a bitter taste well before the other grounds have finished extracting. This means the coffee is always bitter from this machine.

        The brew-group which contains a plastic version of a basket has really large holes compared to those used in the basket of my VBM Domobar. This translates to needing a larger grind size so the coffee doesnt just fall straight through the holes, which in turn means a fast flow of water goes past the grinds (pure physics), which means the coffee from the larger grinds is not extracted sufficiently and what lands in the cup is largely the acidic (first) part of a typical pour, combined with the bitterness mentioned above from the fines. Pretty awful, and I only drink it if desperate - usually a couple of shots straight down followed by water. Ick.

        Milk is less of an issue, if youre happy with what it produces, however I still prefer my latte-art quality microfoam I can produce on the VBM as it enhances the flavour of the first few mouthfuls in a surprising way.

        Admittedly the learning curve using the VBM took a few months to refine technique - but I was producing better coffee than the work machine right from the first shots, and better coffee than all of the cafes Ive visited bar a local roastery, which I now consider my coffee to be equivalent to. Happy days.

        Hope this helps.

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