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Recommendations for a $2000-$3000 budget.

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  • Recommendations for a $2000-$3000 budget.

    Hey Guys,

    During my Europe trip I picked up the addiction to drinking coffee, and ever since then after coming back those instant coffees made at home are just intolerable! My goal is to get something that can replicate what Ill be getting at the cafe shops (or close to).

    I have done some prior reading online however havent really come up with a conclusive answer or idea to as what to purchase. All I know is that apparently the fully automatic machines within this price range is a big no go.

    As for my budget, I would say $3,000 would be the upper limit for everything I need to get started. Ive never owned or operated a coffee machine before so Ive literally no idea where I should start.

    My requirements/needs:

    - Usage would probably be under 5 cups a day
    - Maybe some pre-set buttons for Cappacino, Latte and Cafe Machiato would be good.
    - Any sort of easy to clean or automatic cleaning system would be a bonus.


    I guess that about it. Ive heard that Jura makes good machines, is that the case? Or are there some better options out there?

    Any recommendations would be appreciated!
    Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Recommendations for a $2000-$3000 budget.

    Hi Cartmanizm and welcome

    firstly let me say that there are a lot of opinions here and most people (like me) have owned 2 or 3 machines in their life so take their (and my) advice with a grain of salt! Theres nothing wrong with getting opinions from everyone, but in the end I would definitely recommend going to a showroom and playing with some machines. If you tell the sponsor beforehand youre from coffeesnobs theyll usually make a time to show you through their machines and give you feedback on whats good and not.

    There are also some good deals at the moment on pretty good combos if you look at the sponsors pages such as here, here and here!

    Now, a question:
    Originally posted by 0B293A3C252926213225480 link=1331820350/0#0 date=1331820350
    All I know is that apparently the fully automatic machines within this price range is a big no go.
    Maybe some pre-set buttons for Cappacino, Latte and Cafe Machiato would be good
    Do you want a full auto or not? Theyre a completely different beast, and your best full auto coffee may only equal your average manual coffee. They require a different amount of cleaning and maintenance, have more electronics, motors & microswitches, and are harder to service yourself (should you want to in the future).

    I would direct you to either a heat exchanger (HX) or a dual boiler, as one of these set up right will deliver you endless (almost) steam and coffee at the same time.

    A minimum grinder would be a Compak K3(T), Macap M4(D) or Mazzer Mini (E) - doser or doserless. My favourite being the Macap for its superiour timer. They range from $450 to $1100, price not necessarily showing the "best". Its more important to splurge on the grinder than the machine so if you can, look at a bigger burr set than these. Although you may not want to for your very first in case you give it in

    Finally, save ~$100 for a good tamper, plus some cleaning cloths, group head brush, microfibre cloths for the steam wand & cleaning the chrome, maybe even some silicon "skinz" to stop the scratches, a couple of different sized milk jugs, and even a set of good cups (rather than the assorted mugs in my drawer!). Plus the weekly / monthly delivery from your local fresh roaster. If youre going to use supermarket beans, then dont even bother spending $500 on the machine :P

    Hope that helps

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    • #3
      Re: Recommendations for a $2000-$3000 budget.

      Originally posted by 7C5E4D4B525E515645523F0 link=1331820350/0#0 date=1331820350
      During my Europe trip I picked up the addiction to drinking coffee, and ever since then after coming back those instant coffees made at home are just intolerable!
      Which countries/cities did you happen to enjoy the coffee in? The chance of getting a really good coffee varies somewhat.
      Originally posted by 7C5E4D4B525E515645523F0 link=1331820350/0#0 date=1331820350
      - Maybe some pre-set buttons for Cappacino, Latte and Cafe Machiato would be good.
      - Any sort of easy to clean or automatic cleaning system would be a bonus.
      As per the comments above, this makes it a fully auto machine. To be fair, some cafes in Europe use fully auto machines (believe it or not), so I guess you might be able to achieve coffee similar to/ better than the lower of end of these sort of places (if paired with good grinder....but then youd be bypassing the automatic grinder on your automatic machine).

      $3000 should get you a good HX/double boiler machine + at least Compak K3 grinder and a few other goodies from a site sponsor. Depending on where you are, make an appoint to visit one....and see some machines in use. It doesnt take that long to make a milk-based yourself if using a HX or double boiler machine, and cleaning is not usually that onerous if you do so methodically (e.g. wipe the steam wand clean after each use). To each their own, but Id leave expensive auto machines for office set ups.
      Cheers
      BOSW

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