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Another damn newbie with the same damn question
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Seegarsmkr
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Jun 2012
Posts: 2
Location: Fairfield, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jun 21, 2012, 1:00pm
Subject: Another damn newbie with the same damn question
 

Hi guys, gals and all others,

I am new to buying my last espresso machine, and need some advice (what else is new)!  

I have been an espresso drinker for the better part of 25 years and have drank great coffee in many countries.  We have always used the stovetop cafetera style espresso maker.  I have also had some cheap semi-automatics and even a couple of not-so-cheap automatic machines...none of which was "it". I have always gone back to the stove as my mother and grandmother did.  I would like to buy a semi-auto machine and of course have scoured the pages looking for nirvana. There seems to be a big price jump with many machines in the $1K (+/- $200) and then they go up by $1k. I do not mind spending more on the front end but would like quality and consistency.  I am a novice barista to say the least but am interested in long term commitment.  I usually drink a triple or quad once or twice per day with some macchiato or capuccino thrown in on the weekend.  My wife usually drinks latte, or cappuccino daily.   We often entertain and serve espresso based drinks.  I was looking at the Quickmills around the $1K range, the Isomac Tea around the same price and the Izzo Duetto II for $1K more.  I have a grinder that I am happy with but would like the opinion of the panel of experts.  I will not initially plumb but wouldn't mind having the option later.  Counter space is not a concern as we have a butler's pantry with no overhead cabinets.  I am not limited to those mentioned and have looked at the Wega but doesn't seem like they offer a lot more for another $1K over the Izzo.  I am curious where people seem to find used machines and have been cautioned about buying "non-reputable" I.e. e-bay...but am not opposed to buying used from a reputable source.  

Thanx in advance for repeating yourselves but I have thrown a couple of other options in the mix that I have not seen in the forums.

Brian (the Irish-Sacilian)
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mrbjvb
Senior Member


Joined: 1 May 2009
Posts: 156
Location: Culpeper Va.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Quickmill Anita, Rancilio...
Grinder: Compak K3 Touch, Rocky...
Vac Pot: Yama 8 cup
Drip: Behmor BraZen, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Jun 21, 2012, 2:20pm
Subject: Re: Another damn newbie with the same damn question
 

Hey Brian, welcome to Coffee Geek. You say you have a grinder you are happy with, what is it? This is THE most important part of your set up. With out a decent grinder, and fresh coffee, you will not get good results from any machine you buy.
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Seegarsmkr
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Jun 2012
Posts: 2
Location: Fairfield, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jun 21, 2012, 4:16pm
Subject: Re: Another damn newbie with the same damn question
 

I have a Le'lit PL53 very selective...havent completely gotten the hang of not spewing some coffee all over (being doserless) but it grinds well.  May be a future upgrade to commercial grade but does the job for now...I will have to experiment with the grinds once I have an espresso machine.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Jun 22, 2012, 9:38am
Subject: Re: Another damn newbie with the same damn question
 

I don't know anything about that grinder. But 1st line has the La Nuova CudraII on major discount at just over 1k since your looking in that range Click Here (www.1st-line.com) , I was consider that or the Breville Dual Boiler which a friend has had since last year and that machine is flat out awesome, love it and it's features. But I ended up getting a killer deal on a CC1 I couldn't pass up.
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fox2000
Senior Member
fox2000
Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 46
Location: WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Millenium I
Grinder: Mazzer S.J. Auto & MDX
Posted Fri Jun 22, 2012, 1:16pm
Subject: Re: Another damn newbie with the same damn question
 

Hi Brian

I went used with my grinder and machine I bought both off of Craigs List locally and so far both have been fairly good to me. CG has a buy sell trade forum I would keep an eye on that as you would have a better chance of getting full disclosure on the machine. I have an Isomac Millenium I it is very similar to the Tea and I love it the cooling flush is really not a big deal on the HX machines and not hard to learn but I would strongly recommend the group thermometer. I would say for value buying used is the way to go especially if you can find a well loved machine. That said it depends on how willing you are to do repairs yourself? In the first week with my Millenium I had to rewire a couple things it was a cheap and easy fix but not something everyone wants to do. If this is not something you want to do maybe buying a new machine with a warranty is the way to go. There is also the option of buying a refurbished machine or a buyer remorse machine from an online dealer that is reputable. I have only ever bought from Seattle coffee gear and I love them. However I have read many good things about Chris coffee, 1st line and Whole Latte Love they all have discounted machines of some kind. The large price jump from $1000 to $2000 seems to usually be based on HX vs Dual Boiler and vibration pump vs rotary pump. I think most people would agree that for how much you use your machine a HX machine would be just fine. The dual boiler and rotary pump machines are more in line with commercial equipment and would be great to have but may not be worth the extra money for people who use it lightly.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,054
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Jun 22, 2012, 1:25pm
Subject: Re: Another damn newbie with the same damn question
 

In regards to spilling coffee grounds all over from a doserless grinder...you might want to consider getting a dosing funnel.  I believe Orphan Espresso sells some commercially made ones.  I have a custom made one that I ordered with my custom knob and portafilter set.  The entire set is in my profile pic on the left, if you have that feature turned on.

I own the Duetto II.  I've had it for nearly 8 months and am sure it will last me 20 years plus.  However, you ought to try to decide what kind of machine you want before looking at brands and models.  From the sounds of things, you probably should be looking at HX, DB and lever models.

I agree, the CG BST forum is probably a great place to start if you're looking for used gear, but again, I think you should figure out what used gear you'd be interested in first.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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mrbjvb
Senior Member


Joined: 1 May 2009
Posts: 156
Location: Culpeper Va.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Quickmill Anita, Rancilio...
Grinder: Compak K3 Touch, Rocky...
Vac Pot: Yama 8 cup
Drip: Behmor BraZen, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Jun 22, 2012, 1:55pm
Subject: Re: Another damn newbie with the same damn question
 

That grinder should work, at some point you may want to upgrade. As far as a machine goes, there is no  "perfect" one. It is easy for us to recommend what we own. I own a Quickmill and am partial to them.
   All of the machines you have mentioned are fine machines, you would be happy with any.
   If you do go with a new machine, many of the venders offer a discount on a grinder if purchased with machine.
     Good luck with what ever way you go!!
                                                   John
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