Posted Thu Sep 27, 2012, 8:27am Subject: Re: need advice on a new machine
As much as i would say go for an Oscar or other HX based machines, let's look at what your needs are. You mostly brew just enough for yourself, and you also currently have a spare portafilter (Rancillio) that would work with any E-61 group. Personally, I found it nice to have a spare portafilter always setup with a backflush disk. But you can have a different basket size setup, or maybe chop the bottom of your old portafilter to turn it a bottomless one. If that sounds tempting, that should rule out the Oscar since NS portafilters are incompatable with E-61 Rancilio designed. Ok, How about i also cut to the chase; what about the Silvano? Internally it's extremely simple designed mechanically (kinda like a Silvia), and features an innovative thermoblock solution for steaming. Personally, I love having the PID easily adjustable and found the brew temps recover quite quickly. I also haven't found any drawbacks to steam power while steaming since i own the newest version. Chris from Chris Coffee talked me out of a HX E-61 since my needs are only for a few drinks and since i only want to pour over this machine, have extremely limited space, and the lack of long 3-4oz cooling flushes needed on many E-61 HX machines make this more convient too if you just want a pourover machine. Also the drip tray is much, much larger than that of your silvia too.
robca Senior Member Joined: 7 Nov 2010 Posts: 36 Location: Kirkland, WA Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: La Pavoni Professional.... Grinder: Zassenhaus; Baratza Vario;... Roaster: iRoast
Posted Thu Sep 27, 2012, 9:21am Subject: Re: need advice on a new machine
I'd have a long, hard look at the Breville dual boiler BES900. From what I read, a very, very capable machine for a very reasonable price. Might not have all the history of other machines listed here, but seem a very capable contender (disclaimer: I do not own one, just was surprised not to see it mentioned here)
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 8,264 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 Sep 27, 2012, 9:53am Subject: Re: need advice on a new machine
Steve offers another choice.
} feel that. You would be better served with the oscar as I did own one and I have not used his machine. I know what and how Oscar can do and the qualith that goes into those machines first hand. The flush isn't a big deal and you should flush the gh before brewing on nearly any machine to stabilise and clean it anyway.
Look at all your choices because there are many of them out there and you are spending a lot of money, you need the best fit for you and our opinions are just that and they can not take the pplace of your oun shopping and reasearch.
However, take a very long and hard lookv before glancing in the direction of the BDB. It is still fairly new to market and the journey has not been all milk and honey with that machine then couple that with the fact that. Brevile has a rep for throw away home appliances and they have made some design choices that in my opinion are questionable at best.....
There is a loyal following here of several members but for my money they have a ways to go before I can advise buying one of those machines YMMV
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!
jwoodyu Senior Member Joined: 31 Dec 2010 Posts: 857 Location: Michigan Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Allex Duetto II Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Thu Sep 27, 2012, 10:05am Subject: Re: need advice on a new machine
Chris has a Rocket Cellini Premium Plus in the buyers remorse bin for $1300. It would hands down be my choice over the disposable appliance program. If I were going the throw away path it would just be another Jura, IMO
Yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
Coffeenoobie Senior Member Joined: 11 Dec 2011 Posts: 3,083 Location: PNW Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: N S Oscar Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Sep 27, 2012, 10:35am Subject: Re: need advice on a new machine
I did not have your budget and I was not sure how much I was gonna like making espresso. So I went with a used Oscar because of the price point of used and the robustness of a low volume commercial machine. I am happy but it is not shiny and doesn't have gauges and that is part of why it doesn't have the high resale price of some other machines. With your budget there are quite a few machines that are in your range. Can you get somewhere that will let you see, touch and use the different machines?
Until you test drive it will be hard for you to be 100% sure which one you will like best. And you do need a grinder. It makes a huge difference.
Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.
Posted Thu Sep 27, 2012, 12:40pm Subject: Re: need advice on a new machine
I agree that an Oscar might be a good choice. May I also suggest an Expobar as those can be found pretty cheap but work really well. Your PF also works on the as a spare. I have never used a Vibiemme Jr but if you can afford it I would say take a serious look at it. That was my upgrade path and I am always surprised at how well built my Vibiemme Super is.
russel Senior Member Joined: 12 Mar 2010 Posts: 480 Location: Los Angeles Expertise: Professional
Espresso: Conti Princess 2grp, GS/3... Grinder: Super Caimanos x2, Forte BG,... Drip: V60, Kalita Wave, Clever,...
Posted Thu Sep 27, 2012, 4:10pm Subject: Re: need advice on a new machine
I would also consider a Pasquini Livia 90 if you can pick one up in excellent condition for $800 or less, OK condition for $600 or less . I preferred it to the Expobar Office Pulser that came a couple of machines before it. I have a real soft spot for Bezzeras (actual manufacturer of the Livia 90). The ones that I have used have been well made with a eye towards small details that improver the overal experience (the opposite of cutting corners to cut costs). The $1700 price new was acceptable 10 years ago but these days it's ridiculous. However, they are relatively common used and often at very good prices.
As far as buying a new prosumer goes, I would recommend not obsessing over getting an actual Faema E-61 group. I've had a variety of HX machines (7, give or take some duplicate Liviettas), some with and some without a group thermosiphon. I respect the E-61 and the thermosiphon HX group, but it does not guarantee better results, and it is not necessary for great espresso. I would put my money into the coffee and the grinder, and my time into palate and skill development.
kray Senior Member Joined: 26 Sep 2012 Posts: 20 Location: St. Paul, MN Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Vibiemme Junior HX Grinder: Macap MX
Posted Thu Sep 27, 2012, 5:25pm Subject: Re: need advice on a new machine
This is all great stuff! THank you everyone for your thoughtful responses. I have a lot of machines to look at (which is fun because I love reading specs). I will probably also call Chris Coffee and get the low down on the Silvano and the Rocket Cellini Premium Plus (what's the difference with the V2 btw?). The Cellini will definately push my budget and counter space to the upper limit, but we'll see. I'll also check out the used scene...
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