I went and looked at bit closer at the specs on the CC1, and it has both a 17oz SS boiler and a dedicated thermoblock for steaming. From what I can tell, the thermoblock is fed hot water from the boiler, decreasing time until steam ready, as well as almost negating cool down time for brewing.@
@Markarian I know what you mean about the SG, I really, really wanted it to be a viable option. It would look so much better on my counter than the other options! And for $200.....sigh.
I keep awaiting a more long term review of the CC1, becuase really I think it might be my best best....
MochaJoe, I also don't have real world experience with the Infuser (maybe someone at coffeesnobs does, it's an Aussie site); but my impression is that it's a good machine. Steaming looked slow, but transition to steam is fast. The thermocoil looks reliable and seems to perform well.
Still, the technology is relatively new and Breville's previous thermoblock leaked and didn't get up to temperature. So the Infuser is more risky than other options. And at $500 it's a bit expensive.
I agree with others that the Smart Grinder is weak, and if you can remove the Smart Grinder from the package the Infuser might be a good choice.
The CC1 is much more likely to give great coffee, and its steaming is almost certainly faster. You're more likely to be taken care of by Crossland as well, in case anything breaks, and Bill knows what he's doing when it comes to espresso machines.
I have a Silvia V3 (and added a PID two months ago). I saw the Breville Infuser in a department store and had a look at it out of curiosity, I couldn't get over how flimsy and cheap it felt compared to the Silvia. It felt like a cheap, Chinese made toy espresso machine in comparison, that would not last very long or hold out well. It really made me appreciate the hefty quality and Italian made craftsmanship of the Silvia and that counts for something eventhough it's fallen out of favour in these forums recently. I almost recommended the Infuser to a friend based on specs, now having looked at one in person I won't recommend it. My brother has a Breville Roma and that conked out after two years. He was able to solder in some electrical bits to bring it back to life, there was some interesting electrical arcing going on inside, yikes. I haven't used the Breville Infuser but would much prefer a Silvia without PID just because of the quality feel and commercial quality components, I'm so tired of junky products that are everywhere these days. When I installed the PID on the Silvia I could see how sturdy and well made this thing is inside and the quality of the espresso I can get out of it really does make me happy. I didn't need the PID to get great espresso from it but having the PID is lots of fun (and it is much more tweakable than what the Breville Infuser PID offers). I wouldn't go for the Breville grinder either judging by the SCG review, it seems like it wouldn't grind fine enough for many machines, you need some head way on the fine end. A Preciso can grind fine enough for espresso (if they calibrated it properly at the factory...I tried one that was incapable until shimmed). How about a re-furb Vario? They look nice too. -Matt
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