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  • Compact espresso machine and grinder setup

    Hi guys

    I'm considering investing in a good quality espresso machine and grinder setup but I am quite stumped on the options available.

    I'm quite flexible on the budget and am willing to invest in good equipment if its quality is justified.

    The only requirement is that it must have as small a footprint as possible while being as full featured as possible as I have limited counter space (small apartment).

    Looking forward to hear your suggestions!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Wenzell View Post
    Hi guys

    I'm considering investing in a good quality espresso machine and grinder setup but I am quite stumped on the options available.

    I'm quite flexible on the budget and am willing to invest in good equipment if its quality is justified.

    The only requirement is that it must have as small a footprint as possible while being as full featured as possible as I have limited counter space (small apartment).

    Looking forward to hear your suggestions!
    Hello Wenzell,

    If you can be specific as per the exact measurement of your bench space availability, it will be easier to narrow the myriads of options down to few for you.

    Also, another effective way of narrowing down the options and underwhelm you, is this: http://dibartoli.com.au/the-quest/

    Cheers
    Ofra

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi thanks for the quick response.

      I have a height requirement of 44cm and width of 42cm for both grinder and espresso machine, tho the smaller the better

      Will check out the link as well.

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Wenzell and welcome,

        On a budget, I think your brief possibly looks like VBM Domobar Junior/Lelit Mara or similar and perhaps a Macap M2M grinder?

        Money no object and for something better in the cup? Olympia Express Cremina and Moka combo... Amazing performance from both, but at a significant cost...

        Many of the CS sponsors: Di Bartoli, Jetblack, ****** and ourselves (probably others too) have produced buying guides. For many people a read can help refine thoughts in the selection process.

        Happy shopping

        Chris

        Comment


        • #5
          Welcome Wenzell!

          Chris (Talk_Coffee) and Paul (******_Coffee) are two of our sponsors who'll always give you reliably great advice (as they've clearly already done).

          Taking into account your restrictions, I would also be seriously considering the bijou Rocket 'Appartamento'. It was specifically designed for folk like yourself who have limited space, but still want a sleek, compact, and high-performing espresso machine. A tad cutesy and droid-ish for my liking, but a guaranteed head-turner all the same.

          The Appartamento (priced at around $2500) is 27cm wide and 35 cm tall. That leaves you 15cm spare width, which might be juuussst enough leftover legroom. Pair it with a Macap M2M grinder (as suggested above), and I'd say you're flying in at just under 3k for the whole package. Not too shabby in the grand scheme of things.

          It goes without saying that some nobly ambitious home 'baristi' upgrade their kit almost as frequently as they replace their toilet rolls, until they're forking out the equivalent of the annual personal income in Lebanon (for a grinder with the footprint of Dave Bautista, and a commercial-grade widget with the steam power of a chugging locomotive). If you barrel on down that road, you might have to renovate your apartment. Probably not a good idea.

          Once you've figured out your options, you then need to consider other matters. For example:

          *Your aesthetic leanings;
          *Your taste in coffee (black/milk/both?);
          *Whether you'd prefer a pump machine or a lever-activated machine (although the marginal bench leeway will rule out many otherwise viable alternatives).

          Ask as many questions as you like, we're all here to help.
          Last edited by BalthazarG; 29 December 2016, 12:14 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Compact espresso machine and grinder setup

            Originally posted by Wenzell View Post
            Hi thanks for the quick response.

            I have a height requirement of 44cm and width of 42cm for both grinder and espresso machine, tho the smaller the better

            Will check out the link as well.
            Thanks Wenzell,

            Apart from the Appartamento and the Vibiemme Junior, I can think of few other options:

            The Isomac Tea and the Isomac Tea PID are only 27cm in width and 40cm in height. You can fit an ECA KS next to it (13.5cm width x 38cm height) or a Mahlkonig Vario (12.5cm width x 37cm height)

            Our Buyer's Guide is available here

            Good luck Ofra

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi guys, thanks a bunch for the information.

              Right now they all look like a bunch of knobs and dials to me (pretty ones at that), but the Lelit does stand out for the only reason that it has the smallest footprint of them all. :P

              At the moment I need to do more research on what im getting myself into, starting with those guides.

              I'l probably start off with a grinder first (not much easier to choose), before starting to look more seriously into the espresso machines

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Wenzell,

                Does a single boiler machine meet your brief? Suggest you have a read over some buyers guides and familiarise yourself with boiler priming- and then decide if it's for you....

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'll probably start off with a grinder first (not much easier to choose), before starting to look more seriously into the espresso machines.
                  A wise move, mate. Even with just the grinder you can still enjoy a variety of different coffees (Moka pot, French Press, Chemex, etc.). Better to hone your research before pulling the ripcord.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would prefer a double boiler

                    Originally posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
                    Hi Wenzell,

                    Does a single boiler machine meet your brief? Suggest you have a read over some buyers guides and familiarise yourself with boiler priming- and then decide if it's for you....

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Wenzell View Post
                      I would prefer a double boiler
                      That then removes the compact footprint Lelit range from your options.

                      I suspect that a little reading of those buying guides suggested will bring you to the conclusion that you might actually want a HX (heat exchanger) machine for simultaneous shot and steam. Pretty much everything I can think of in dual boiler fails your footprint requirement.

                      Research time

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I guess the issue i have with the HX is that the startup time is rather long (30 mins)? which makes it quite impractical for real life use

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I would prefer a double boiler.
                          Ok, that narrows it down a bit. If you're sure you want a dual boiler, there are two that spring to mind (while accounting for your limited bench space), which you might be able to squeeze in. Chris can correct me on this if necessary.

                          *Rocket R58 (width = 31cm, height = 41.9 cm)
                          *Quickmill Dual Boiler QM67 (width = 28cm, height = 42cm)

                          Local retail for the R58 is $3,800 if you're happy spending a bit more, and prefer the finish. As far as I know, the QM67 clocks in somewhere between $2600 and $2800, however I can't find any sponsors that offer this model.

                          Performance-wise, I suspect both would be on a par, and by that stage it comes down to styling preferences (ie. which one you'd prefer to look at every day, first thing in the morning).

                          I realise this probably sounds like a stupid question, but if it turns out any of the above choices are edging the grinder off the bench, do you have something of comparable height you can place next to it (maybe an adjustable-height stand) to act as a platform for the grinder?
                          Last edited by BalthazarG; 29 December 2016, 09:31 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Wenzell View Post
                            I guess the issue i have with the HX is that the startup time is rather long (30 mins)? which makes it quite impractical for real life use
                            Timer switch.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Wenzell View Post
                              I guess the issue i have with the HX is that the startup time is rather long (30 mins)? which makes it quite impractical for real life use
                              That's what timers are for, Wenzell. HX, as oppose to SB, CAN be put on timers and that's only one of the great things about them. Auto boiler refill means that when your boiler is low in water, your pump kicks in and draws water, refilling your boiler, so you don't need to worry about potential element burn when the machine turns itself on by the timer and you haven't flushed your group head first thing.

                              Our experience show that what makes real life harder for many who have chosen SB is the need to wait few long minutes between coffee to steam making few milky coffees while friends are waiting at the living room. Another challenge is the unknown wait time between the operation as well as the need to flush from steam back to coffee.

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