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Economical super-automatic machine recommendations?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Economical...  
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hazelnut_spread
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 1
Location: New York
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Mar 20, 2013, 3:42pm
Subject: Economical super-automatic machine recommendations?
 

Hello -- my office is investing in an espresso machine and I was wondering if anyone can offer recommendations. We are not interested in getting a Nespresso, or any other pod/capsule machines.

My co-workers would prefer to have a grinder over a steam wand -- but from what I understand, most semi-automatic machines are integrated with just a steam wand and not a grinder. I know we can supplement a semi-automatic machine with an an external grinder, but I don't think it's practical given our budget.

I think it would make the most sense for us to get an economical super-automatic machine. At least I'll be using the steam wand. Obviously price is a factor, but I haven't been able to get a specific number from our CEO/COO. But I think our management will consider any reliable, "no-frills" machine under $400.

I know it's a tight budget -- so please let me know if you can suggest any specific products or alternative solutions.

Thanks in advance!
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,786
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 Mar 20, 2013, 4:07pm
Subject: Re: Economical super-automatic machine recommendations?
 

Hi.
For the most part we do not have anything to do with SA machines
Esp in that price range as they are VERY UNRELIABLE, PRONE TO BREAK DOWN AND EXPENSIVE TO REPAIR.

Machines with built in grinders compramise on the grinder, but the grinder is more important than the machine, the grinder makes the espresso and the machine only heats and pushes the water through the perfectly ground coffee.

It is possible to get a machine and grinder in that price range that can make good espresso but it will take a manual powered grinder and a very no frills machine

A machine with a pressurized porta filter can use a lesser grinder and those are the most common in that price.

Steam is a byproduct of heating the water in an espresso machine so including a wand is standard, finding a machine without a wand will be very hard.

Please read our FAQ on buying an espresso machine. "Guides & How Tos"
There is also a thread in this forum that is helpful also .

"Please read before you post New Machine buying question."

 
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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inopethflames
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Mar 2013
Posts: 25
Location: illinois
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Mar 20, 2013, 5:46pm
Subject: Re: Economical super-automatic machine recommendations?
 

It sounds like the only machine in your price range is the Saeco Vienna plus which is $395 online.  That's what I have and I think it's pretty good, especially as the cheapest super automatic.  It doesn't sound realistic to at work have a grinder plus an espresso machine.  People aren't going to be spending all day making espressos at work.  The Saeco has grinder and steam wand included.  

Your probably best off going with that unless you can get a budget around 1k or something.  Depending how big the company is or how many people will use it everyday, but if you check user and professional reviews, that Saeco is very well reviewed.  If it wasn't I wouldn't have gotten it.  


calblacksmith Said:

Hi.
For the most part we do not have anything to do with SA machines
Esp in that price range as they are VERY UNRELIABLE, PRONE TO BREAK DOWN AND EXPENSIVE TO REPAIR.

Machines with built in grinders compramise on the grinder, but the grinder is more important than the machine, the grinder makes the espresso and the machine only heats and pushes the water through the perfectly ground coffee.

It is possible to get a machine and grinder in that price range that can make good espresso but it will take a manual powered grinder and a very no frills machine

A machine with a pressurized porta filter can use a lesser grinder and those are the most common in that price.

Steam is a byproduct of heating the water in an espresso machine so including a wand is standard, finding a machine without a wand will be very hard.

Please read our FAQ on buying an espresso machine. "Guides & How Tos"
There is also a thread in this forum that is helpful also .

"Please read before you post New Machine buying question."

Posted March 20, 2013 link

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SStones
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SStones
Joined: 24 Nov 2012
Posts: 477
Location: Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Giga 5, ECM Giotto, Rocket...
Grinder: Anfim Milano-Best
Vac Pot: No  :(
Drip: Some $30 thing from Walmart
Roaster: I buy pre-roasted.
Posted Thu Mar 21, 2013, 5:01am
Subject: Re: Economical super-automatic machine recommendations?
 

It seems like I'm just throwing more of the same advice that the last three answers have already provided, but any little "Home Use" superautomatic is going to be destroyed in no time at all in a "Work Environment" where no individual is going to be responsible for keeping it clean. Make sure to check with your salesperson about where you can get it serviced, what the warranty covers, how long the warranty lasts in years and how long the warranty lasts in total cycles...  An office of 15 people might average 20 coffees a day. A hundred coffees a week exceeds 2000 cycles in 20 weeks. Keep these numbers in mind when talking to a salesguy who tells you that a $400 machine is what you want.
Check the websites of the guys that advertise here. Look at the real prices of superautomatics that are designed for business use. It is my belief that you don't actually want a machine, if you aren't willing to spend a couple thousand dollars to get something worthwhile. You will be miserable trying to...    If your company needed a one tonne pickup-truck to haul a trailer of scrap metal to a forge twice daily, would you buy an old Honda Civic that was being sold for $500 and hope it would be good enough?
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takeshi
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takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 979
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Thu Mar 21, 2013, 10:11am
Subject: Re: Economical super-automatic machine recommendations?
 

hazelnut_spread Said:

I think it would make the most sense for us to get an economical super-automatic machine. At least I'll be using the steam wand. Obviously price is a factor, but I haven't been able to get a specific number from our CEO/COO. But I think our management will consider any reliable, "no-frills" machine under $400.

Posted March 20, 2013 link

As stated above, superautos aren't really a CoffeeGeek thing.  However, I wouldn't suggest any $400 superauto for an office setting.  I wouldn't even buy one for less demanding home use (if I was considering a superauto, that is).  Even our Keurigs at my office are the heavy duty commericial Keurigs.  It just seems like you're asking for disappointment and frustration with a $400 superauto.  I'd strongly suggest a single serve machine if that's your budget for an office machine.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,031
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Mar 21, 2013, 10:19am
Subject: Re: Economical super-automatic machine recommendations?
 

A super auto at work needs to be a contract and not owned.  There is too much down time and they are expensive to work on.  You would want them to replace it when it was broken and let them fix it with no down time to you.  Read this about someone's machine with much more budget than you.  I gave him the same advice.

"Requesting advice on a new Microbar-type product"

If I had a small office I would probably get a Pod Oscar for it.  It would be like a capsule machine because you would not need a grinder but with more power, better steam and I would think better taste.  But I have not priced the pods or tasted them.  My Oscar uses grinds.

 
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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