Markarian Senior Member Joined: 27 Jun 2012 Posts: 656 Location: Seattle Area Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: ECM Technika IV Profi WT-WC Grinder: Baratza Forte AP, HG One Vac Pot: Bunn Trifecta MB Drip: Moka, Aeropress, Hario V60 Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Mar 11, 2013, 12:19pm Subject: Re: First Espresso Machine ~ $700 Budget
I love my Oscar, but I need to be brutally honest in saying that almost every single used Oscar I have ever seen requires some work. That involves opening the machine, making sure you have a set of metric wrenches, and have a good understanding of how the machine works. That being said, Coffeenoobie and I have been there and done that and when we got our Oscars modified by Plindy, we took an hour and twenty minute video for future Oscar owners to watch so they can learn from what we've gone through. But if you want something that works properly from the moment you get it home, either save your pennies or go with the CC1.
Coffeenoobie Senior Member Joined: 11 Dec 2011 Posts: 3,015 Location: PNW Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: N S Oscar Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Mon Mar 11, 2013, 12:35pm Subject: Re: First Espresso Machine ~ $700 Budget
Mine worked when I got it all it needed at first was a gasket and a clean. I replaced the pump because it was not pumping like new but it did work. Later I had that valve issue and cleaning the 3 way. But really mine was in good shape. It totally depends on what the owners did with the machine and is true for any used equipment just like cars.
Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.
jcorde Senior Member Joined: 8 Jan 2013 Posts: 34 Location: Puerto Rico Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Gaggia Classic Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Hario mini
Posted Mon Mar 11, 2013, 3:14pm Subject: Re: First Espresso Machine ~ $700 Budget
The CC1 looks pretty good, but my only concern is that I have been unable to find an online retailer that offers replacement parts... And I think thats a strong point to consider when buying the machine.
Posted Mon Mar 11, 2013, 3:43pm Subject: Re: First Espresso Machine ~ $700 Budget
I think people who've ended up needing parts have gotten them directly from Bill (Crossland). It would be worth inquiring with him directly as it looks like a really good machine for the money. It's on my list for a travel machine (since I gave my old Silvia to my brother-in-law).
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
ShadySkins Senior Member Joined: 11 Mar 2013 Posts: 11 Location: Philadelphia Burbs Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Mon Mar 11, 2013, 7:24pm Subject: Re: First Espresso Machine ~ $700 Budget
I would think it would be hard to find used espresso in FL and most of the small towns of the south. It is better farther north and near a big city where the OP is. I had to drive two hours to get to the big city to get mine.
Posted Mon Mar 11, 2013, 9:36pm Subject: Re: First Espresso Machine ~ $700 Budget
You will find fans of many machines. Of course consider Gaggia Classic, but in the end it is about your use and money, and you. Prone to buyers remorse or need the best and that takes you in one direction. Want bang for the buck and willing to do some work to restore or mod and perhaps another direction. Most of us can recommend what we are using. Look at what you want to do, numbers of drinks at a time and amount of steaming and figure what will do that, and then how wany bells and whistles you want. And, have fun, what ever you get will be better than now. :)
Wayne just showed you: Our BST Forum! Right HERE. In most cases, it's upgrade-itus why folks sell their machines around here. They are usually sold by good folks who took care of their machines. Perhaps seek those sales from members who have been here a while if you're worried. The NS Oscar is a workhorse from all I've read., and there are lots of serious Oscar users here. Chris Coffee Service is among those that sell it new.
EDIT: didn't want to infer the CC1 would be a fine choice. I was just thinking used for you.
Jmanespresso Senior Member Joined: 18 Jan 2009 Posts: 2,109 Location: Westchester NY Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Alex Duetto II Grinder: Compak K10 - Vario Vac Pot: Yama-SY5/SY8/TCA5 Drip: V60, Beehouse, CCD Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Tue Mar 12, 2013, 5:44am Subject: Re: First Espresso Machine ~ $700 Budget
Since you have a grinder, $700 is pure machine budget.
$700 is unique area of the market.
Brand New- Still firmly in entry level territory, except that the CC1 exists now, which is a cut above the Silvia and Gaggia. If you must purchase new, grab that CC1, its a very capable machine, and its got plenty of room to grow. -Keep in mind, you will almost certainly upgrade to a HX/DB machine within a year or three. You'll also upgrade your grinder, sooner rather than later. Luckily, both the Precisio and the CC1 are quality products, easy to sell.
Used- $700 can do a lot of damage in the used market. You should no doubt be able to fetch a couple years old E61 Heat Exchanger, and possibly even a commercial single group HX. Truly, you may buy a machine like this and own it for ten years and never upgrade. You'll still upgrade your grinder.
-BEST place to look, is this forum. The Buy/sell/Trade forum is a wonderful place to find some killer deals. Ive sold three machines through the BST forums, and to my current knowledge, the owners are all still happy with their machines. In the past two weeks I have seen machines listed for incredibly low prices, as well as some really unique machines.. but their price ranges.
The good thing about buying from this forum, is the person you are buying from is probably an enthusiast, who babied their machine. Even though we people use our machines daily, multiple times a day, our machines are in better condition than most commercial machines out there, BECAUSE we use them everyday. They're always clean, they always have fresh gaskets and any small issues that may pop up are fixed immediately, because A)we do the work ourselves, and B)we love our machines!
Ebay and Craigslist house some killer deals as well, so check there too. Dont search for specific machines, search simply for "Espresso Machine", and sort by price to weed out the brand new commercial machines selling for $20K. then just scroll and browse. There is a plethora of brands too choose from, and there is almost always someone who owns the machine you're looking at. You can reference the "Consumer Reviews" link up on the top of the page and browse a huge archive of many different models and brands. AND, you can ask here if yo don't know about a particular machine.
Follow Your Bliss
Coffee makes your constantly overcome your prejudices and re-evaluate your own "received wisdoms" when it comes to judging cup flavors. -Tom Owen, SweetMarias
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