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  • New Automatic Machine recommendations wanted

    Hi,

    I'm considering getting my first auto coffee machine, has anyone used the Saeco Exprelia or Exprelia Evo? The specs say SS boiler and ceramic grinder which from what Ive read on other posts is the way to go. I also like the fact that the milk jug can be kept in the fridge and I can just connect it up each morning to make a quick cuppa before work. The price online is around $1800 but considering I have 10 lattes a week at $5 each, the machine would pay for itself in a year! I saw in another thread someone got 10,000 drinks out of a Saeco before it broke so I'm guessing an extended warranty may be useful as I could go through this many drinks in 2 years.


    Ive previously used the Saeco Royal Cappuccino at an old workplace and it made a great coffee but the unit is pretty big and would take up too much space.


    I read in a old thread on this forum that Saeco xelsis were being discounted to $1700 from $3200 which is a massive amount however since googling nothing coms near that price.

    Can anyone recommend any other machines I should consider in this price range or less. Cheers

  • #2
    FIrst question is Why Automatic?

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    • #3
      My advice would be - don't buy an automatic coffee machine.

      A good e61 machine and compak k3 can be had for about $2500. Taken care of, they will NEVER die. I mean NEVER

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      • #4
        Suemaruk,

        Welcome to CoffeeSnobs.

        You won’t find many lovers of super automatics here.

        The problem is that as coffee beans age they require to be ground finer, otherwise the coffee flows too fast giving a weaker poorer brew. With a manual or semi auto, tho operator senses this and adjusts the grinder, as well as dose and tamp. A fully auto machine does not do this without some help. Just pushing the go button will not give good results.

        Barry

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        • #5
          Hi Suemaruk,
          If you have your heart set on an auto coffee machine, then visit one of the large retailers and ask them for a demo. See which unit you like best, and twist their arm for a good price. The best results will be from fresh beans and the grind setting set as fine as possible.
          The units require lots of maintenance, and a thorough cleaning of any tubes that come into contact with milk.
          The milk steaming abilities are limited, and nowhere near the league of a Breville, Sunbeam or Italian manual machine. The espresso quality is also not of the same league.
          That unfortunately is the compromise you have to live with, for the luxury of pushing a button, and hey presto, beverage is served.
          The majority of the people here prefer to spend a bit of time and effort into producing a cup of coffee that rivals or exceeds what the local coffee store produces.

          As to the machine paying for itself, you must include the cost of the milk and coffee, when you factor in the savings to justify your purchase. It may need a service down the track, as they have lots of plastic parts that are prone to break.

          If you have the time, also check out the Breville or Sunbeam machines and associated grinder. A bit more skill and effort required, but you may become hooked on the higher quality beverage they produce.
          Who knows, budget permitting, a nice shiny stainless steel European made espresso machine might adorn your kitchen. Explore as many options as possible.

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          • #6
            $5 for a latte?

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            • #7
              Thanks for the info everyone, its got me thinking as although a push button would be handy during the week, at weekends with more time on my hands perfecting a cup would be interesting.

              Ive been looking into E61 head machines and there appears to be quite a selection from Rocket Giotta, Bezzara Galatea to Faema Carisma. Are there any requirements in particular I should be looking out for i.e. minimum size water tank, kw size, heat exchanger or twin boiler type, vibration or rotary pump? Are there any brands/models to stay well clear of? Or suppliers that can be recommended? What about second hand equipment, is there much risk with E61 machines given their robustness? Sorry for all the questions but I've now seen a whole new light to coffee than just handing over $5 to a barista!

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              • #8
                You're obviously not in Perth, Thundergod

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by suemaruk View Post
                  Thanks for the info everyone, its got me thinking as although a push button would be handy during the week, at weekends with more time on my hands perfecting a cup would be interesting.

                  Ive been looking into E61 head machines and there appears to be quite a selection from Rocket Giotta, Bezzara Galatea to Faema Carisma. Are there any requirements in particular I should be looking out for i.e. minimum size water tank, kw size, heat exchanger or twin boiler type, vibration or rotary pump? Are there any brands/models to stay well clear of? Or suppliers that can be recommended? What about second hand equipment, is there much risk with E61 machines given their robustness? Sorry for all the questions but I've now seen a whole new light to coffee than just handing over $5 to a barista!
                  There are many threads here in coffee snobs and videos on youtube which go through how to select the machine you're looking for in the semi-auto range.
                  1. brands are brands. they have reputations and characteristics about them. but essentially if you're buying something made mostly out of stainless steel and from a known manufacturer, its hard to really go wrong there the three brands you mentioned (rocket, bezzera, faema) are all amazing, and chances are if a sponsor stocks them, and are not ridiculously cheap, its going to last for a long time.
                  2. tank size is mainly to do with thermo stability in making consecutive coffees. the larger the boiler, the more stable to temp. beware though that the larger the boiler the longer start-up time and power requirements are going to be. as a general rule, all the home 'prosumer' machines have 'reasonably' sized boilers. that is to say not too large that it'll take 20-30mins to heat up, but not so small the machine will need a few minutes to recover from a single shot.
                  3. HX vs dual boiler vs single boiler. to me, this mainly boils down to price. single < HX < dual boiler. for obvious reasons. single boilers limit by making you have to pull the shot, then wait for the boiler to get to steam temp before steaming your milk. HX allows you to pull the shot and steam at the same time, and dual boilers have the same capabilities of the HX, but with added stability as it dedicates a boiler to brewing and the other to steaming. This allows you to not need to have 'cooling flushes' before pulling shots and allows for more repeatability in shot temps.
                  4. pumps are, to me, not that big a deal. another general assumption is rotary pumps last longer than vibes, and are able to handle volume. there are many discussions on 'pressure stability of rotary pumps' and the ability to pre-infuse with mains pressure. Suffice to say rotary pumps benefit from mains pressure and vibe pumps get damaged with mains pressure, meaning a tanked machine usually does better with vibe. Also vibes are much louder than the rotary pumps.

                  If you're looking for local dealers, on the navigation bar of CS is 'quote form' which contacts all the sponsors for you at once to get expert advise on what you're looking for.

                  Hope this helped! and welcome to CS, and the start of a long journey into coffee....... =)

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                  • #10
                    Easiest way to answer your question is look in the Sponsors link above ^^^^ and call one near you. Visit them, check them and wrack their brains there.
                    That way you can see what everything we type here means.

                    But great call on moving from a push button automatic machine to a prosumer machine you won't regret it!!! You'll also save money going out for coffees.

                    Welcome to CS and the journey!!

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                    • #11
                      Hi Sue and welcome,

                      If I was looking for an automatic machine, I think the closest I could go to "push a button" would be the Breville Oracle- which will produce a far better coffee than any of the superautos can.

                      I see you are now contemplating more conventional machines. Our espresso machine buying guide may be of assistance: Buying Guide- Espresso machines | Talk Coffee

                      We also have a variety of educational resources to show you how and why.

                      Cheers

                      Chris
                      Last edited by TC; 25 August 2014, 07:01 AM. Reason: more info

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                      • #12
                        Hi, I've been surfing through a few websites and have come across the R58 and Alex machines which look totally awesome, I probably don't need such a high spec but it would make a nice focal point in the kitchen. The problem is, I would like to view them in real life rather than a website photo but can anyone suggest where I might find these in WA. I did a quick search on google but did come up with anything, in fact I'm struggling to find machine suppliers full stop. Any suggestions would be well received.

                        Thanks

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                        • #13
                          I was at Dimattina's in Osborne park this morning getting a coffee and saw they have an Alex (duetto I think) on display and also a rocket but not an R58. The sign said they had other machines upstairs, why not give them a call?

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                          • #14
                            Thanks ausdb will do.

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                            • #15
                              Hi Suemaruk

                              I went to Diamantina a couple of months back looking for my new machine and went upstairs for a look - it's worth the trip!
                              They had 2 Duettos on display when I went - the current model and the superseded one (mark 2 and 3?) They are both lovely machines to look at I got the Leva which is the same body as the duetto, but with the lever action on the front. They are really lovely machines and really make an excellent focal point in a kitchen

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