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Where do I start??

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  • Where do I start??

    There is a *lot* of information here, but it's all over my head. Hope someone can steer me in the right direction??

    I only drink long blacks. I'm happy for my coffee to improve over time, but it needs to be reliable and drinkable from day 1. (I'm starting from a low base - it only has to be better than an Aldi pod machine.)

    I work just down the road from diBella, so quality, fresh beans shouldn't be an issue, and I'll start a thread under Grinders too.

    I get the impression that some machines are for experts only, and would take months of learning before I get a decent coffee. That isn't going to work for me. If there is a machine for novices that if I follow simple, logical instructions I can expect better-than-Aldi coffee, I'm all ears.

    Are there any guidelines as to what are easy-to-use-for-novices vs for experts only? e.g:
    • lever machines are for experts??
    • a novice should get a machine with PID rather than "listening to the temperature"!!??

    If it's possible to find the list of features I require/ what to avoid, is it then possible to find the machines that meet that criteria?
    Or can you guys just tell me what I need??

    Oh, my other concern is the time it takes to warm up, or if that can be timed and then left ready for some time?? The main use will be to knock out a coffee while the kettle boils for the wife's tea, just once per day.
    I'm happy to work on my technique all weekend, but the daily coffee needs to be quick and simple and reliable.

  • #2
    If you only drink long blacks and do not intend to drink steamed milk drinks then a Rancillio Silvia would be a idea. Fit a PID to it and you can get a very even temperature at the group all the time. Because they have a heavy brass boiler and group they do take a little time to warm up. You will need a good grinder.


    • #3
      Thanks Dumiya. I was getting the impression the Rancillio Silvia was really popular here, but for people who know what they're doing?? I'll find a youtube clip and see what's involved in using it. How long are we talking re warm up? Would doing a flush of hot water through it speed up getting it ready for use??
      Can it be put on a timer to pre-heat?

      ps. I read that the
      Lelit PL41TEMD is "more forgiving"... what does that mean?? That sounds very important to me!
      Okay, I've watched a couple of videos. So with the Lelit I check that temperature and pressure is correct, and press the button. (Then do I press again to stop?)
      With the Rancillio do I need to "sense" what the temperature and pressure is right??

      So what machine has all the features I need, and the fastest warm up??

      pps. I was reading another thread where someone was after a small machine just for black coffees, where the following were mentioned:
      Ponte Vecchio Stainless Steel Export Espresso Machine
      * Lelit PL41LEM
      * la Pavoni (lever = difficult??)
      * gaggia classic
      * gaggia baby
      * Elektra Micro Casa a Leva (spring lever - is that difficult too??)
      VBM Piccolo - mentions "not manual" - that sounds good to me??

      Also noise was mentioned... so which is the most idiot-proof, fastest to warm up, quietest machine??
      Junior Member
      Last edited by w0000992; 18 March 2016, 05:37 PM.


      • #4
        Hi w, you will probably find one of the breville machines will have the fastest warm up and with pid temperature control they are capable of making a good coffee. Maybe the lelit is the next fastest from the italian range at 5-10 mins. The silvia is more like 15 mins wait.

        If you only drink long blacks it might be worth trying an aeropress.


        • #5
          Where are you located, diBella does not ring any local bells, if in WA I have an old PIDed Silvia you could borrow to 'test the waters'


          • #6
            If you have the inclination to "learn" the concepts of pulling a good shot you will get great coffee on almost any machine in a short time.

            Quick warm up will point to a lelit or silvia (you can activate steam then refill with water and it's basically good to go) but they are risky on a timer incase the boiler isn't filled.

            Most heat exchanger machines can be safely put on a timer and be ready when you get up.

            Don't let the PID talk in something like a silvia or lelit put you off. It's desirable but not required. Even without temp surfing you will get great coffee out these with sound technique and good beans.

            If you have someone show you what is involved and how to do it you will be making great brews in no time.

            The aeropress is a great suggestion (with a simple hand grinder) for a cheap and easy entry into quality long blacks while you contemplate what you want. It also makes a great travel machine!



            • #7
              That's very generous of you, but I'm in Brisbane. diBella offers free training, bringing own machine in. I might see if I can just go along as a spectator.

              Having watched a couple of youtube clips, it doesn't look *that* difficult or *that* messy (probably watching experts that's why!!??)

              I have friends who I suspect are coffee snobs, but I don't want to say anything until I'm sure I'm committed... I suspect I'll never shut them up once they think they have a convert.


              • #8
                Thanks Artman (and TRRR). I actually have an aeropress unboxed I bought one for my daughter and another for myself, but she reckons she didn't get the hang of it, so I didn't even try
                I guess I'll start with a grinder then, and see how I go with the aeropress.


                • #9
                  Get one of those small hand grinders, or something swish like the lido and start enjoying yummy brews, you won't look back!!