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Espresso: Espresso Machines
Suggestions on what machine to buy?
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jttran28
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Jul 2012
Posts: 38
Location: San Jose, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Compak k3
Posted Mon Jul 30, 2012, 10:59pm
Subject: Suggestions on what machine to buy?
 

Hi All,  I'm new to coffee geek and I'm glad to be here.  I was about to purchase a Breville Barista Express but after reading about it on this forum I decided not to.  So I love coffee and wany to buy a good machine that will give me good shots and last.  My budget is under $1000.  I know there are lots of coffee fanatics so thats why I'm here asking for your opinions.

With my budget, what machines do you all recommend?  Should I be getting a seperate grinder?  I'd like this to be a simple as possible.  Thanks in advance.
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FrankyD
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Jul 2012
Posts: 58
Location: Davis, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks Barista
Grinder: Baratza Preciso/Kyocera...
Drip: Bodum French Press
Roaster: WB Poppery I
Posted Mon Jul 30, 2012, 11:48pm
Subject: Re: Suggestions on what machine to buy?
 

If I were in your shoes (I'll get there sooner or later), I'd probably do a Rancilio Silvia with PID or a Le'Lit PL041QE PID espresso machine from 1st-line.

As far as grinders, the Baratza Vario W seems like a really good steal for quality. You should get a separate grinder, imo. The bundled ones, especially in the Breville Barista Express (Breville 860XL for example) I've seen either, don't work as well, or often breaks.

If you're privy to using hand grinders, the OE Pharos seems like a good option as well.

The Rancilio+Baratza or the LeLit+Baratza would probably be around or less than 1k.
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,023
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 Tue Jul 31, 2012, 4:25am
Subject: Re: Suggestions on what machine to buy?
 

Welcome to CoffeeGeek!

jttran28 Said:

...  I was about to purchase a Breville Barista Express but after reading about it on this forum I decided not to ...

Posted July 30, 2012 link

So I guess you've also read this article on How to Buy an Espresso Machine, because it'll give you some good advise.

jttran28 Said:

...  So I love coffee and wany to buy a good machine that will give me good shots and last ... With my budget, what machines do you all recommend?  Should I be getting a seperate grinder?  I'd like this to be a simple as possible.  ...

Posted July 30, 2012 link

As indicated in this guide, you should invest about 30% of your budget on a capable grinder (after all the grinder is more important than the machine), which would leave you with $700 for the machine. Therefore a SBDU is the best choice. You could take a look at the Rancilio Silvia, Ascaso Steel Uno Professional PID or the Crossland CC1, for example.

However, before you buy a machine you ought to consider what you need it for. How many cups per day and per session will you be brewing? What kind of drinks do you prefer? Depending on the answers to those questions it might be advisable to increase your budget.

 
***
"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: 7,672
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 Tue Jul 31, 2012, 5:40am
Subject: Re: Suggestions on what machine to buy?
 

While the Sylvia is a well made machine, my personal feeling is that it is over priced for what you get. I own several machines including the Sylvia and it is my use of the machine which forms my opinion. I have equipped mine with a PID and while this improves the machine a LOT it brings the cost of the machine when new, dangerously close to the next level up which is a HUGE increase in quality and ease of use, the starter class HX machine.

There are several quality SBDU machines to choose from, in the money for value ratings, the Sylvia would not rank high on MY list, others have different opinions and they are just as valid. Only you can decide this question for yourself.

 
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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jttran28
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Jul 2012
Posts: 38
Location: San Jose, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Compak k3
Posted Tue Jul 31, 2012, 8:20am
Subject: Re: Suggestions on what machine to buy?
 

Would you all recommend starting with a rancilio silvia then adding the PID and grinder at a later time? I dont want to purchase everything before I feel more comfortable with pulling shots.
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,023
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 Tue Jul 31, 2012, 8:36am
Subject: Re: Suggestions on what machine to buy?
 

Even though the Silvia has been on my shortlist, I would disregard it in favour of a SBDU that comes with a PID ex factory, i.e. the CC and the Ascaso Steel Uno Pro. I only mentioned it, because it's still a very popular machine that has quite some followers. Pulling good shots is easier with a machine that is PIDed, simply because you have better temperature control and a smaller dead band.

 
***
"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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jttran28
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Jul 2012
Posts: 38
Location: San Jose, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Compak k3
Posted Tue Jul 31, 2012, 9:30am
Subject: Re: Suggestions on what machine to buy?
 

Great, I'll look into machines that have a PID from factory.  Its a toss up between The Ascaso Steel Uno Professional - PID and Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL.

What about the fully automatic machines?  Anyone recommend those?
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,356
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Jul 31, 2012, 11:09am
Subject: Re: Suggestions on what machine to buy?
 

jttran28 Said:

Great, I'll look into machines that have a PID from factory.  Its a toss up between The Ascaso Steel Uno Professional - PID and Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL.

What about the fully automatic machines?  Anyone recommend those?

Posted July 31, 2012 link

Two really completely different machines, the Breville cost way more at avg price of around 1200 vs the other mentioned machines which are 700 and below, and it's a dual boiler machine vs single boiler (or single boiler and thermoblock). The BDB is a sweet machine though, lot's of nifty tricks and settings, and also the group head itself is heated by another pid so you have consistent temps all around. If I hadn't of gotten such a killer deal on my CC1 I would have gone to the BDB which a friend has too, uses it heavily since last year and no problems.

Acaso Steel Uno Pro PID, Le'Lit PID, Crossland CC1 are the main players in the single boiler dual use price range of 600-700 with PID control. The problem with the Silvia is if bought new and you add the PID it encroaches into entry level H/X territory where for about the same money or little more you get a much better machine than it, and if you buy it new w/ no PID you have to learn temp surfing on it which I've done on a Silva and thought it was a complete pain and annoying lol and it's lacking features of others. Crossland CC1 is hard to beat for the price and features and Bills service, checked into the Acaso PID but found quite a few owners not happy with it, I did think the LE'Lit PL41 PID was a cool little machine too and owners seem to be happy with it but when I kept checking on it, it was always out of stock so either they sell very fast or have small production numbers. I love my CC1 though, very fast warm up and re-heating and stability after pulling shot after shot etc, and fast thermoblock steaming and recovery.

Fully Automatic, not my thing, fine for an office setting maybe where most could careless and just want a fast decent cup of coffee, but I never cared for the Autos, friend has a Jura C5 he picked up cheap off Craigslist for like 200 bucks b/c the owner thought it was broken when all it needed was a cleaning and I think a tube replaced lol.

Your going to need a good grinder though with any of the machines mentioned period, if the Vario is too pricey for you, look into the Preciso, it's pretty much right there with the Vario for grind consistency and adjusting, with the main difference being conical burrs (nice set though) vs ceramic flat burrs. If you check Baratza's site they list refurbs for their grinders every Thurs.
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,023
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 Tue Jul 31, 2012, 10:41pm
Subject: Re: Suggestions on what machine to buy?
 

jttran28 Said:

... What about the fully automatic machines?  Anyone recommend those?

Posted July 31, 2012 link

Fully automatic as in automatic portafilter machine (in contrast to a traditional semi-automatic machine)? Or do you mean super automatic?

 
***
"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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jttran28
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Jul 2012
Posts: 38
Location: San Jose, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Compak k3
Posted Tue Jul 31, 2012, 11:10pm
Subject: Re: Suggestions on what machine to buy?
 

NobbyR Said:

Fully automatic as in automatic portafilter machine (in contrast to a traditional semi-automatic machine)? Or do you mean super automatic?

Posted July 31, 2012 link

Not sure what the difference is but I was looking at the Jura ones from Sur La Table.  They demonstrated it for me and I was able to sample as well.  Oh boy was it good.  After seeing it in action, I really like the one push of a button.  My wife would really appreciate it and would actually use it (she would never touch the semi-automatic ones)

I know this is a big jump but do you recommend any of the following:
Jura ENA 9
Jura Impressa C5
Jura Impressa C9

I'm almost certain I'll buy one of those unless someone here tells me otherwise. I love how I have a budget then blow it by going double over it.
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