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  • machine suggestions

    Hi,
    am looking to buy a coffee machine that is GOOD. so many out there it is confusing. i dont have too many restrictions on what i am looking for but want it to make good coffee without too much fuss and obviously dont want a dud. The only machine I have used is a delonghi magnifica and am tempted to get one of those just because I know how to make a good coffee on it. There is a Delonghi Icona Espresso Maker - Red ECO310R for sale at myer at the moment, anyone have any views on this machine? I already have a sunbeam emo 415 grinder. I am prepared to pay a reasonable amount for a good machine but not a fortune.

  • #2
    Re: machine suggestions

    Welcome to CS.

    Not wishing to be facetious, but this topic has been done to death in here a thousand times over so there is plenty to read already, after which you will be even more confused than you already are

    Consider your budget and whether you want an auto or a conventional type machine.

    Then look in the appropriate equipment sections below which are already conveniently separated into 3 different budgets from small end to exi end.

    Without the above, any responses to this may give you info on models you dont want or cant afford which really, is a waste of time for both you and the people taking the time to respond.

    Good luck 

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: machine suggestions

      The only suggestion I would make is, Get a better grinder, The one you have isnt really that good for anything apart from chopping herbs and nuts...

      Something with a burr would be an optimal choice, Otherwise, yeah, youd be restricted to pressurised units, which limits yourself to the lower end of the market, What Fresh_coffee said goes however, Name your budget.

      The DeLongi espresso machines seem to be pretty robust, I think theyre built somewhat on the same platform/line as the low end Gaggia range (philips-saeco) Not had personal experience with them, but well, Theres better, and theres worse.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: machine suggestions - rebuild saeco vs repacked gaggia

        Ok, I have been doing a LOT of looking at different machines and reading reviews and am not really any the wiser. So much to learn for an enthusiastic novice machine purchaser. I think I have found some gold at the end of the machine rainbow (let me know if Im wrong). I am looking at rebuild/repacked Saeco and Gaggia machines and the ones I like are:
        Saeco Syntia Stainless Steel - rebuild $799
        Gaggia New Baby Twin - repack $399
        Gaggia Brera - repack $899

        Im pretty excited about these machines as Ive read Gaggia is pretty great, and would probably prefer a repack than a build. They all come with 1 year warranty.
        I guess Id like to get something for under $700 but am willing to spend up to $900 for something really good, and these machines are significantly reduced.
        Thoughts?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: machine suggestions

          Im probably posting in the wrong section ... :-/

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: machine suggestions

            Hi Deedle,

            I just traded my old Bezzera BZ02 in for new Bezzera Magica. Might be up for grabs soon, if it is not already sold.

            When I upgraded from my little Breville Ikon was at a cross roads, where I had the choice down to purchase a new Single Boiler or a second hand Heat Exchanger (Hx) Machine. From experiance and some wise words from my Dad (Mal) and Andy I went for the Hx Machine and was never happier. Hx quality over a Single Boiler and the ability to steam milk and pull a shot at the same time won it for me hands down.

            Some thing to consider.

            KennyM

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: machine suggestions

              Thanks KennyM, being able to steam at the same time sounds great, a real time saver, but if that means getting a top of the line cafe style machine Im probably not there yet. As for the single boiler vs heat exchanger, these are things that are new to me. Im very new to the land of coffee machines. I had a look at the specs on the machines and could not find anything about that, so I guess theyre all single boilers.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: machine suggestions

                Dont be fooled by the word heat exchanger or the false promise that youll save real time making lattes becasue you can steam and brew coffee at the same time - you wont.

                Id suggest from where you are at, get a Rancilio Silvia or similar based single boiler machine with brass or copper boiler. That will cost $800ish. Avoid chinese rubbish with italian brand names (with the exceptiopn of the sunbeam cafe series which gets a good review)

                Stepping up from here you will pay over $2000, theres very little middle ground. Most of the heat exchanges in this class - you wont taste the difference. The VBM will taste like the Giotto which will taste like the Butterfly which will taste like the Expobar, and so on....People will disagree on theory but reality is theres little difference becasue in practive, not even two shots on the same machine are theoretically identical. The reason is that at this level, other variables come into play and make the actual machine a less significant factor. Grinder still the important factor, as well as your technique.

                Theres a good reason why poeple on these forums rave about the Silvia - it makes a good quality espresso with good steam power.

                I have a Silvia (for past 6 years) and recently a Bezzera Magica (heat exhange) as well as Gaggia Carezza. The Bezzera is definately a beautiful machine to work with and I do not regret the purchase, but if I was honest, with my improvement in technique from the new machine, I have now also gone back and re-mastered the ability to pull similar quality shots on the Rancilio Silvia (with a PID I put on set at 106c). The main difference is I now have a clue about what I am doing with the dose on the Silvia. I wanted that intense flavour from cafes but realised now that the lattes in cafes are overdosed to give more flavour - not neccesarily abouot the machine they use.

                Both have good steam power the Bezz is slightly more powerful but this power goes to waste anyway on 1-4 drinks.

                As for heating and brewing at same time - honestly I make lattes the same time on either Silvia or Bezz Magica. Remeber you still need time to get your jug and pour milk into it - by that time both steamer types are ready.

                But the Bezz Magica is a dream to work with.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: machine suggestions

                  Originally posted by 48535E5158624B54535354583D0 link=1341022093/7#7 date=1341370700
                  Dont be fooled by the word heat exchanger or the false promise that youll save real time making lattes becasue you can steam and brew coffee at the same time - you wont.
                  Sorry- but I have to disagree. Just because you wont/dont doesnt mean you cant. I do it frequently on our demo machines and on my personal machine at home.

                  The big difference with HX over single boiler is the ability to do what you want whenever you want without delay. In addition, no need for boiler priming.

                  Agreed that when used well, single boiler and HX machines can each produce excellent coffee in the right hands. From my reading of the thread, I think the OP has a Silvia budget, so its an entry level single boiler (with the caveat that you need to know what youre doing or you end up with cooked elements) or an appliance.

                  Cheers

                  Chris

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: machine suggestions

                    Originally posted by 58434E4148725B44434344482D0 link=1341022093/7#7 date=1341370700
                    Dont be fooled by the word heat exchanger or the false promise that youll save real time making lattes becasue you can steam and brew coffee at the same time - you wont.
                    Im with Chris on this one. In fact, after having a loaner BZ99 for a few weeks while my single boiler was in the shop got me across the line to upgrading to an HX.

                    It was the very convenience and speed of being able to brew and texture milk at the same time that I couldnt give up. Throw in boiler priming and that was it for me - no more single boilers.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: machine suggestions

                      Each to their own. All I can say is that the only two points put forward about the benfits of heat exchangers didnt exist for me, or are marginal at best.

                      1) Brew and steam at same time? How. If you have a semi-auto machine you have to pull a level for 25 seconds then pull it closed. How on earth do you steam milk in that time? Even if you could why would you need to try? I have not found that this feature lived up to the hype. At some point all machione users have to prepare milk - that doesnt dissappear when you have a HX so if you want to do that in the 25 second brew time go for it. The Silvia boiler gets to steam temp (140C in about 30 seconds, just about as fast as I could pour the milk in a jug) so the time difference was negligable at best for me.

                      2) Boiler priming. Never noticed having to to do that once on my Silvia - and you shouldnt need to because before you turn off the machine you would normally do a cleaning flush, close the steam wand and ensure the water tank is full like any machine - that flush fills the boiler.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: machine suggestions

                        Originally posted by 48535E5158624B54535354583D0 link=1341022093/10#10 date=1341378057
                        2) Boiler priming. Never noticed having to to do that once on my Silvia - and you shouldnt need to because before you turn off the machine you would normally do a cleaning flush, close the steam wand and ensure the water tank is full like any machine - that flush fills the boiler.
                        No worries Uncle Vinnie. What would I know anyway?

                        Id just be the bloke who sold hundreds of them and who gets a call each week from an owner who was never shown how to prime his machine- or didnt bother. I refer them to repairers or those who sell replacement boilers.

                        Ill leave this discussion for more knowledgable 2 post internet expert owners of individual machines. :

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: machine suggestions

                          Well I brew and steam at the same time every morning.
                          Whilst a double shot is pouring, I start steaming the milk. When the shot is done, I flick the lever down and finish the milk. Then I immediately do another double and milk.

                          Having owned a Silvia previously, I find the Expobar (not a HX, a double-boiler, but silmilar capabilities) allows me to do my coffee faster, but most importantly is the ability to immediately do another double right away. Something I could not do with the Silvia.

                          In fact, twice I have produced 50 coffees in a row using the Expobar with the only delays being the operator and a water tank refill.

                          But if the budget wont allow it, then it is somewhat moot.

                          Brett.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: machine suggestions

                            Originally posted by 64515C5B6F735F56565555300 link=1341022093/8#8 date=1341371308
                            From my reading of the thread, I think the OP has a Silvia budget, so its an entry level single boiler (with the caveat that you need to know what youre doing or you end up with cooked elements) or an appliance.
                            Well, I probably dont know what Im doing at this stage given its my first purchase so may very well end up with cooked elements.
                            Originally posted by 455E535C556F46595E5E5955300 link=1341022093/7#7 date=1341370700
                            Avoid chinese rubbish with italian brand names (with the exceptiopn of the sunbeam cafe series which gets a good review)
                            Does that mean saeco and gaggia are in this category?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: machine suggestions

                              Originally posted by 535441575A4C6A040C0C0C350 link=1341022093/12#12 date=1341378885
                              Well I brew and steam at the same time every morning.
                              Whilst a double shot is pouring, I start steaming the milk. When the shot is done, I flick the lever down and finish the milk. Then I immediately do another double and milk.
                              Yes but you havent mentioned the 45 seconds you spent getting the milk into the jug before pulling your first shot.

                              With the single boiler you can pull your shot 45 seconds earlier and then get your milk ready while the boiler is heating for steaming. Same time diff.

                              Gaggia and Saeco I think are not the same companies they were a decade ago, and this is true of many companies that have tried to lower production costs and acheive mass market distribution. I think the Gaggia Classic and even its younger brother the Carezza (which I still have) can make excellent espressos but I have noticed the boiler temp is very finnicky and steam power nothing like a Silvia or HX.

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