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Assistance in picking out an Espresso machine for a reasonable price.
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Assistance in...  
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andrewm
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Dec 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Vancouver, B.C
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Dec 4, 2012, 11:49pm
Subject: Re: Assistance in picking out an Espresso machine for a reasonable price.
 

Coffeenoobie, thanks for your help mate, I contacted some of those craigslist posters, but I think they have already been sold.
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 665
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:01am
Subject: Re: Assistance in picking out an Espresso machine for a reasonable price.
 

Check out Espressotec. (I'm not endorsing them, I just noticed that they're a fairly large vendor there.) They're in Richmond, BC.

See if you go can go to their showroom and look at your various options up front and in person.

They have a LOT of machines within your price range and some which are slightly outside of your price range too.

Perhaps once you get a demonstration of the different machines, it'll change your mind on what to buy.

They don't sell Isomac, but they do sell Gaggia and Rancilio. They also sell Ascaso as well.

Here's what I recommend.. Buy a new SBDU machine for the time being and get used to pulling shots on it. See if you like it.
While you are pulling shots on the SBDU, save your pennies for a decent new HX or DB machine. (Or a used one from this forum.)

A lot of people on this forum have started out with a SBDU and used it for a while before switching over to an HX or DB later.

One word of advice, buying a used machine can be a crapshoot, like buying a used car. The people on this forum look after their
machines and maintain them, so the machines most likely are in better shape. However, YMMV.

It is better to at least get some kind of warranty with your purchase so you can at least get service or advice if you need it, rather
than saving money up front and having to spend it later anyway for a repair. Again, IMHO.

I just thought I'd mention.. If appearance and longevity is fairly important to you, definitely consider the Rancilio Silvia. It's a really well built machine.
I had one. They're designed to last under light use and they tend to have a great resale value for when you decide to move onto an HX or DB machine.

Let us know what you find!

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,051
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012, 12:45am
Subject: Re: Assistance in picking out an Espresso machine for a reasonable price.
 

Qualin and I don't agree on this.  I would rather spend less for a nicer used HX and take my chances on repairs and skip over the single boilers.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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NSElliIterator
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Jul 2010
Posts: 28
Location: Surrey, BC
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Isomac Millennium, NS...
Grinder: NS MDX
Drip: press pots
Roaster: custom fluid bed
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012, 1:20am
Subject: Re: Assistance in picking out an Espresso machine for a reasonable price.
 

If you could stretch your budget then Vancouver Craigslist "espresso machine" / "all for sale" has listed several high end 120V, single group HX machines for under $1K.  I'm always looking.  Saw a working NS Oscar listed there for less than one third of that a few weeks back.  How about a "la Cimballi M21" or a "WEGA Mininova"?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,947
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 Wed Dec 5, 2012, 5:36am
Subject: Re: Assistance in picking out an Espresso machine for a reasonable price.
 

I'm with Helen on this, you have a good grinder, skip the SBDU machines and even if you need to wait and save a little more, pick up a nice shape HX used machine or even if you can eat rice and beans for a few weeks, buy a new Click Here (www.1st-line.com)
it is SS, shiny and at $1K, a great deal for a new machine.

If the budget is really at the limit for you then, take your time and just keep watching the adds on our BST forum and Craigs list, sooner or later the deals WILL happen but you will need to be patent and wait.

There is no "ranking" of machines, DB are NOT better than HX or even SBDU but what fits your needs IS different and there is a right machine for you, If all you do is make ONE double shot in the morning and no milk or other people enter into it, a SBDU MAY be the best machine for you. DB and HX both make great espresso and milk drinks the difference is in how they operate and which method of operation is closer to the way you work. For me, I am perfectly happy with my HX and have NO desire to buy a DB while a SBDU will not meet my needs for daily use. 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!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,947
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 Wed Dec 5, 2012, 5:51am
Subject: Re: Assistance in picking out an Espresso machine for a reasonable price.
 

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/members/buysell/602851
GREAT DEAL and in your price range! They are asking $700 and will split shipping, this is a $2,200 machine new. 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!
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,226
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012, 6:22am
Subject: Re: Assistance in picking out an Espresso machine for a reasonable price.
 

I also agree with the recommendation to skip the SBDU.  you seem to be seriously into getting into this hobby of making your own espresso based drinks, so why waste the money if you know you're going to upgrade?

I didn't look at all the links Helen provided, so I don't know what machines she was "recommending".  She is very much a proponent of buying used and fixing any problems that may be present or arise.  I don't think it's a bad approach at all, but everyone is different.  Me, I preferred to buy new, but have already gotten inside my nice shiny DB machine and fully intend to do all repairs as needed over the future.  It's good for me.  You have to figure out what's good for you.  If your wife likes shiny metal, you're best off going that route (IMO), if only so she doesn't give you crap about how the machine looks (especially before you get really good at this craft)...always remember..."happy wife = happy husband"...lol

As Wayne said, HX v DB is personal preference of how one likes to operate.  Unfortunately, having never done this before, you don't really know which one you are.  Try to read as much as you can about the differences and then you can make an educated guess.  Of course, HX is easier on the wallet.

IMO, SBDU machines are for people who either 1) make espresso only (or almost only), and 2) recluses who have a great deal of patience.  I think everyone else who goes SBDU is either testing the water or hasn't realized how big of a difference there is between those and HX/DB (and that the value of HX/DB is totally worth the additional cost).

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,051
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012, 9:44am
Subject: Re: Assistance in picking out an Espresso machine for a reasonable price.
 

If you have the budget, I have nothing against buying new or shiny.  If you are like me and have a champagne taste on a beer budget then used it is.  

I also hate the idea of telling anyone to get X machine that he will probably want to replace in a 6 months or a year.  That seems to be a waste of money for someone that has already bought the grinder first.  He is already in it whole hog.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,051
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012, 9:50am
Subject: Re: Assistance in picking out an Espresso machine for a reasonable price.
 

My husband likes new and shiny and Oscar was a stretch for him as Oscar is not either.  The price tag for used Oscar was convinced him.  However, he understood HX and was fully on board with that over a single boiler just from an engineering stand point.

The new one that Cal linked is a very nice one.  I have not seen it in person but the specs are good and I think it looks really cool.  Nice wife factor.  Show her the Oscar and that and see if she lets you spend the extra for the shiny one.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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andrewm
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Dec 2012
Posts: 11
Location: Vancouver, B.C
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Dec 5, 2012, 11:43am
Subject: Re: Assistance in picking out an Espresso machine for a reasonable price.
 

Hey guys,

Thanks again for the excellent posts.

I've contacted those craigslist sellers, the ones that have replied told me their machines have already sold. So I'll keep trying.

I don't want to spend over 800 Canadian under any circumstance. I have to pay for my wife's tuition, and this is really the only luxury item I can afford.

I'm really aiming for used, as I like my money to go far. For example, most I'd pay for a Rancilio Silvia with a PID is 400, and 200 for a Gaggia Classic. I'm really aiming for an HX machine. I prefer local rather than shipped, as I like to see the machine and interact with the owner, even if it costs a bit more money.

Does anyone have experience with the Crossland CC1? It's not pretty, but looks functional. Problem is it's not available used.
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