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The path to aficianado.. someday .. would love some opinions on starting out!
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > The path to...  
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rlang
Junior Member


Joined: 2 Jun 2014
Posts: 4
Location: canada
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Mon Jun 2, 2014, 8:51pm
Subject: The path to aficianado.. someday .. would love some opinions on starting out!
 

Hi everyone,

Wow, the sheer amount of information on this site is inspiring and overwhelming.  I'm grateful for so many resources!

We (parents of young kids .. need coffee) are in the market for an upgrade.  Our budget is around 1300-1400, including a grinder (Canadian dollars, and including shipping costs etc).  I had hoped to spend about 3-350 on a grinder (thinking Baratza Preciso).  We currently have a Peugeot hand grinder and enjoy the process, but recognize that this doesn't provide adequate grind for the better-quality espresso we're seeking.  

As for a machine, I think we're looking fora a semi SBDU - we'd originally thought about the Isomac Venus, but reviews and forum postings on this site changed our mind.  Now we are leaning toward the Quickmill Silvano, but it's getting to the edge of our price range. There are some strange reviews of that machine too.. and so much information it's hard to process!

What we want:
We will do about 60% espresso, 40% 'foo foo' drinks (as written by another on the forum)
We will only make about 20 coffees a week,  but that number will be going up over the years (probably not more than 2 or 3 at a time)
We want a reservoir tank, not plumbed in
We don't have time to fix anything, we can barely manage to keep the kitchen clean

Ultimately, we want something that isn't toooo finicky (though we're OK with a learning process and much trial/error- that's kind of the fun part), but we especially want something that will last for a good while - something that is quality-made.  

Thanks for any opinions!!  Also - any ideas on where to buy online for Canadians (shipping UPS across the border really stings!).
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Angman
Senior Member
Angman
Joined: 8 Apr 2012
Posts: 239
Location: Vancouver BC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Strega, MCal, Cimbali M20L
Grinder: K10 Fresh, HG One 83mm,...
Vac Pot: Nope
Drip: Technivorm, Hario Woodneck,...
Roaster: Hottop 8828P
Posted Tue Jun 3, 2014, 2:18am
Subject: Re: The path to aficianado.. someday ..
 

Hi welcome to coffeegeek.  Where in canada are you as I also understand the cost of shipping for us.  Are you only interested in new or would you consider used?  There are some good deals to be had used usually locally or in our buy/sell forums.  Nice thing about buying used locally is that if it's a good machine you might find an enthusiast that can help you very much.  Also does size matter?  This is because the grinder is the single most important part outside of fresh beans.  The Preciso is OK but if you want something that is trouble free a used commercial grinder might be better in your budget.
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,219
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Tue Jun 3, 2014, 9:17am
Subject: Re: The path to aficianado.. someday ..
 

CC1 + Vario for $1000 USD at SCG as well as various and sundry dealers who will meet the price.  In Canada, idrinkcoffee (Milton, Ontario) has both machines.  Adding their "retail" prices gets you to $1180 CDN; but I bet the owner, Slawa, will give you a bit of a package discount if you ask.

If quality in the cup matters to you, I wouldn't go any lower down the ladder than either of those two machines.

It's going to be tough to beat a Vario for anything like the same money.  That's not quite as true for the CC1.  You do have some machine options.  The CC1 is $700CDN at idrinkcoffee.  Just looking at their inventory, you might want to think about the Breville 920 (aka BDB) for  $1200CDN, and the Bezzera BZ10 for $1500CDN as alternatives to the CC1.  

If I were buying either of my (adult) kids a machine, it would be the BDB.  A BDB + Vario is an outstanding combination.  

Both the Vario and BDB are somewhat plasticky.  The Vario in particular has some durability and reliability issues related to construction -- but those are balanced by Baratza's excellent customer service.  The same can be said about the previous BDB model 900.  The 920 hasn't been on the market long enough to even develop a reputation.    

Rich
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Yarrenbool
Senior Member
Yarrenbool
Joined: 30 Apr 2014
Posts: 26
Location: Québec, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rocket R58
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: AeroPress
Roaster: FreshRoast SR500
Posted Tue Jun 3, 2014, 9:45am
Subject: Re: The path to aficianado.. ... would love some opinions on starting out!
 

rlang Said:

Hi everyone,

...   ...   ...


Thanks for any opinions!!  Also - any ideas on where to buy online for Canadians (shipping UPS across the border really stings!).

Posted June 2, 2014 link

I've just recently made a major upgrade to a Baratza Vario, a too expensive semi-automatic espresso machine, and a few accessories.  I purchased from idrinkcoffee.com in Ontario.  I've had no previous dealings with them.

I made up a list of everything I wanted and emailed it off to them and a couple of other places.  I ended up with a bit off the listed price of the Vario (I'm real happy with it), nothing off the price of the espresso maker (I went with a model too "good" for my needs and budget :( , my own fault), and they gave me several of the accessories for free plus they added, for free, another $20+ item they thought would be better than what I'd requested and they were definitely right.

I'm very happy with the price they gave me for the items I ordered.  They included free UPS shipping but the shipping times they promised were way off!  Everything arrived about a week after the promised date but that honestly wasn't a problem for me.

After using my new kit for several weeks and still definitely a beginner learner, I now see why almost everyone tells you time after time that the most important purchase is the best grinder you can afford!  I'm glad I went with the Baratza Vario.

I shopped around a lot before selecting idrinkcoffee and I would buy from them again.
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rlang
Junior Member


Joined: 2 Jun 2014
Posts: 4
Location: canada
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Tue Jun 3, 2014, 10:26pm
Subject: Re: The path to aficionado.. someday ..
 

Fabulous suggestions - really great!  Thanks!

We're in a small town, several (4) hours from a major centre and buying used just won't work for us.  Too bad, because I think it's a great option.

I'm intrigued by the BDB.. and could be convinced to step up to the Vario....  I'd be happy with that combo for sure.  We have more reading to do; we're not familiar with the CC1.  The Bezzera is eye-catching, but might be better to spend that money on a better grinder (Vario).  There seems to be a paucity of reviews (on CG) for these three machines.  We've had good experiences with 2 lower end Breville machines in the past...

Thanks for the tips on buying (the list is a great idea) and the link to the site - I hadn't seen that one yet.
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canuckcoffeeguy
Senior Member
canuckcoffeeguy
Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 196
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Magica, Mypressi...
Grinder: K10PB, Vario, Hario Slim
Vac Pot: I have a Dyson vacuum, but,...
Drip: Bialetti Brikka, Bodum...
Posted Wed Jun 4, 2014, 9:01am
Subject: Re: The path to aficionado.. someday ..
 

rlang Said:

We're in a small town, several (4) hours from a major centre and buying used just won't work for us.  Too bad, because I think it's a great option.

Posted June 3, 2014 link

Where in Canada are you located? I’m asking so I can recommend retailers that are closer to you – even if you’re in a small town far from a major city. If and when you invest in a home set-up, it’s nice to be closer to the vendor, for when service is inevitably required. Also, I can recommend some roasters to supply beans that would be in your part of the country.  As you know, Canada is a vast land and (I live near Toronto) so it would take me longer to fly to Canada’s West Coast than to Florida.

If for some reason, you don’t want to disclose your specific town, a ballpark idea of your location would suffice.
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rlang
Junior Member


Joined: 2 Jun 2014
Posts: 4
Location: canada
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Jun 4, 2014, 12:45pm
Subject: Re: The path to aficionado.. someday ..
 

canuckcoffeeguy Said:

Where in Canada are you located?.

Posted June 4, 2014 link

We are closest to either Edmonton or Calgary.  We rarely go to the city.  We do enjoy Transcend, Phil & Sebastian, and 49th parallel coffee.  Really enjoying Transcend lately!
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