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What is best single group head machine for a non-pro user please?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > What is best...  
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trickydicky
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Australia
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jul 18, 2012, 11:54pm
Subject: What is best single group head machine for a non-pro user please?
 

G'day folks

I've just discovered this excellent website and would really appreciate some advice and opinions on selection of an espresso machine

I am looking for a single group head machine and have identified 3 candidates so far:

Rocket Giotto Evoluzione
VBM Domobar Super 2B Dual Boiler
Breville Twin Boiler

The BTB seems to be getting good comments for a relatively low-priced specialist machine. Is it too good to be true, or would this be a smart buy and allow me to spend (even) more on a good grinder? I already have a Breville BES-860 and need a step up from this

I am not too bothered about bragging value and brand names. I just want the best bang for buck, and a machine that is relatively easy to get consistent quality out of for a non-professional user. I am totally willing to invest the time to learn how to drive a new machine, but realistically I am not going to be spending all day at the wheel and sadly do not have the patience for something too quirky

Usage will be shots and flat whites

Any comments on above machines and alternatives would be gratefully received

Cheers!
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,051
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Thu Jul 19, 2012, 12:09am
Subject: Re: What is best single group head machine for a non-pro user please?
 

Welcome to CoffeeGeek!

In order to give you good advise, we need some answers first:
  • What kind of coffee drinks do you prefer (espresso, latte, cappuccino)?
  • How many cups per day and per session are we talking about?
  • What's your budget?
  • Does that include a grinder?
  • What do you expect from an up-grade?

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Jul 19, 2012, 5:48am
Subject: Re: What is best single group head machine for a non-pro user please?
 

The view of the BDB (you call it BTB) changes depending on who you talk to. My PERSONAL view of the machine is that it is too early to say one way or the other as Brevelle has a VERY BAD rep for quality as a company. The long term outlook for that machine is unknown, again my personal view is that in order to keep the very low price point with so many features, you have to cut corners and there are several design choices that they made which I think were poor.
There is a group of people here who have the machines and for the vast majority of them, they like them. I agree that on paper they check all the WOW boxes but like I said, the long term outlook of the machine is unknown.

Now that I have that out of the way, like Knobby said, what are your expected habits going to be, it is easier to match a machine when you give a price point and expected use. Don't forget that you will need a good quality espresso grinder with any quality machine and the better your machine is the more the quality of the grinder will make a difference. See our how to buy an espresso machine FAQ to get a better background info. Things move quickly in this world and anything 6 months old can be quite out of date but the foundation information is rock solid. Before buying anything ask the board for what we currently recommend. http://coffeegeek.com/guides/howtobuyanespressomachine

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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trickydicky
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Australia
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jul 19, 2012, 7:18am
Subject: Re: What is best single group head machine for a non-pro user please?
 

NobbyR Said:

Welcome to CoffeeGeek!

In order to give you good advise, we need some answers first:
What kind of coffee drinks do you prefer (espresso, latte, cappuccino)?
How many cups per day and per session are we talking about?
What's your budget?
Does that include a grinder?
What do you expect from an up-grade?

Posted July 19, 2012 link

Thanks for reply. In answer to your questions:
Two main drinks are espresso and flat white, which is an Aussie term for an espresso or double ristretto topped with microfoamed milk (no froth) in a small coffee cup (not a starbucket!). I guess you could call it a strong latte.
Per day - usually only 4-8, but could be up to 40. Per session, usually 2, but sometimes up to 20.
Budget is flexible but shooting for $3000 max inc a decent grinder eg Mazzer.
I expect a machine that will reward any and all efforts I make to improve my skills and knowledge, be capable of expressing the true character of coffees I will try, be consistent and predictable, make great espresso and velvety microfoam, not break down if well cared for

Looking forward to hearing more from you. Cheers
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trickydicky
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Australia
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jul 19, 2012, 7:36am
Subject: Re: What is best single group head machine for a non-pro user please?
 

Hi calblacksmith, thanks for the views on the breville

I will likely go with a more well proven machine as my budget allows this

My experience of the current breville 860 is that it's been a reliable coffee machine limited most by the built in grinder. I noticed the grind getting more and more coarse and recently opened it up to adjust the grinder. This worked a treat but revealed quite a lot of plastic parts

While the dual boiler model plus grinder would be double the price of my current model I can't help feeling the safer and probably more satisfying option will be to bite the bullet and go with a specialist brand with a true commercial grade construction

Please let me know any personal recommendations you may have

Thanks!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Jul 19, 2012, 1:21pm
Subject: Re: What is best single group head machine for a non-pro user please?
 

While I would not dream of turning you away and your presence here is highly valued, you might have a little better luck at http://coffeesnobs.com.au/ as they are located close to you and will be much more dialed in to what is available to you where you live. I hope you continue to visit us and become a long term member of the community.

OH, BTW, either of your two mentioned machines will work great for you, my personal preference is for ECM or Rocket (sister companies, sort of) but you would not go wrong with either the Rocket Giotto Evoluzione or the VBM Domobar Super 2B Dual Boiler.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Thu Jul 19, 2012, 1:25pm
Subject: Re: What is best single group head machine for a non-pro user please?
 

Building on the above, a great deal is on their for sale board. I don't know how local it is to you but it has got to be closer than the U.S. LOL!
Click Here (coffeesnobs.com.au)
$1500 A

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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gbastiani1952
Senior Member
gbastiani1952
Joined: 18 Dec 2008
Posts: 279
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: QM Andreja Premium
Grinder: Cimbali Junior
Drip: Crusinart
Posted Thu Jul 19, 2012, 7:00pm
Subject: Re: What is best single group head machine for a non-pro user please?
 

I started out with a Gaggia Baby and Cimbali Junior Grinder and spent 500.00 USD for the Gaggia and 550.00 USD for the Cimbali and had this setup for three years, then in January I picked up a QuickMill Andreja for 1650.00 USD so I'm done with the upgrading...........for now.

+1 for the coffeesobs site.

 
Gery Bastiani
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,051
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Fri Jul 20, 2012, 3:08am
Subject: Re: What is best single group head machine for a non-pro user please?
 

trickydicky Said:

... Two main drinks are espresso and flat white, which is an Aussie term for an espresso or double ristretto topped with microfoamed milk (no froth) in a small coffee cup (not a starbucket!). I guess you could call it a strong latte.
Per day - usually only 4-8, but could be up to 40. Per session, usually 2, but sometimes up to 20.
Budget is flexible but shooting for $3000 max inc a decent grinder eg Mazzer.
I expect a machine that will reward any and all efforts I make to improve my skills and knowledge, be capable of expressing the true character of coffees I will try, be consistent and predictable, make great espresso and velvety microfoam, not break down if well cared for ...

Posted July 19, 2012 link

Well, your needs certainly put you in a league for a HX or DB machine. 20 shots at a time quite a lot, worth of a commercial espresso machine!

Out of the machines you mentioned, I'd prefer the Rocket Espresso Giotto, having the best manufacturing quality. They also offer a new DB machine, the R58. That one will probably exceed your budget, but you might still want to take a look at it. However, with the Giotto Evolutione you'd get a great prosumer machine capable of consistently producing great shots.

Taking a Mazzer grinder sounds like a good idea.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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trickydicky
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Jul 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Australia
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Jul 20, 2012, 6:50am
Subject: Re: What is best single group head machine for a non-pro user please?
 

Thanks NobbyR and gbastiani for your comments

I'm getting pretty excited now thinking about the upgrade... I can almost taste it but don't want to rush it

There seems to be a lot of love for the Giotto machines on this forum. I will find a local dealer to do some demos and ask around fellow Aussies on coffeesnobs.com.au

When I've got my rig I will post some follow up here

Cheers
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