newcoffeenoob Senior Member Joined: 30 Mar 2013 Posts: 1 Location: Sweden Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Sat Mar 30, 2013, 2:21am Subject: Semi-automatic HX-machine on a relatively tight budget?
1) What kind of drinks do you like/want to make? I love my cappuccino but I would also be able to make great espressos and lattes etc. I have done some research and would like to have a semi-automatic HX machine.
2) How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself needing to make at any one time? I drink one cup of coffee every morning and would therefore not be needing to make more than one on average.
3) How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself making in any given week? Since I drink about one coffee a day it would be about 7 cups a week excluding the extra cup now and then and visitors, so around 10-12 cups/week.
4) Can you plumb a machine directly into the water supply, or do you want/need a pour over machine with its own reservoir? I cannot plumb it into the water supply. I am not interested in a pour over machine.
5) Do you have a 20-amp circuit available, or only a (standard) 15-amp circuit? I am not sure what I have since I live in Europe (Sweden). We have 220V-outlets if that helps?
6) What is your budget for a new machine? Does that also include a grinder? If not, what is your budget for a grinder? I am sorry to say that my budget is around $700-1100. I do have a grinder, not the best one (a De'Longhi KG79). If I am to find a new grinder that will have to be within the budget.
If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Thanks!
qualin Senior Member Joined: 30 Jun 2012 Posts: 669 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 Sat Mar 30, 2013, 2:07pm Subject: Re: Semi-automatic HX-machine on a relatively tight budget?
I drink one cup of coffee every morning and would therefore not be needing to make more than one on average. I am sorry to say that my budget is around $700-1100. I do have a grinder, not the best one (a De'Longhi KG79). If I am to find a new grinder that will have to be within the budget.
First of all, I just thought I should say that your KG79 is not going to cut it for espresso. Your budget does not allow you for the luxury of a HX machine, unless you are open to buying used.
A semi-automatic HX machine may be overkill for what you are doing anyway. Your budget is suitable for a decent Single Boiler Dual Use (SBDU) machine and a decent espresso grinder.
SBDU machines are ideal for when you want to make 1-2 drinks per day, with the downside that you have to wait for the machine to warm up to steam. However, it isn't that long to wait. With my Rancilio Silvia, from start to finish, it took me 10 minutes to make a Latte or a Cappuccino. That included temperature surfing and cleaning.
Where SBDU machines encounter issues is when you plan on making a lot of drinks for your company all at one time. In which case, if you are making drinks for four people, by the time you finish making the forth drink, the first person would have already finished theirs.
I cannot plumb it into the water supply. I am not interested in a pour over machine.
A "Pour Over" machine is one that has a reservoir, I think you meant plumbed in.
Now, I'm not honestly sure what vendors you have available to you in Sweden, but I would highly advise that you do some research and tell us what brands of espresso machines are in your area so we can make some proper recommendations. Now, I mentioned the Rancilio Silvia because I used to have one and it seems like everyone sells them.
Your budget breakdown should be something like this:
Roughly $300-$400 USD (You can translate that into Krona) for the grinder. Roughly $600-$700 USD (You can also translate that into Krona) for the SBDU Espresso machine. Roughly $100-$150 USD for accessories, including steaming pitchers, steaming pitcher thermometers, a precision scale capable of weighing 0.1 g resolution up to 1 kg, cleaning brush, Cafiza and Grindz, terry towels, cups, saucers, shot glasses and anything else you wish.
Of course, please also keep in mind that I am in Canada, so please take my budgetary figures above with a grain of salt.
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
Posted Thu Apr 4, 2013, 1:02pm Subject: Re: Semi-automatic HX-machine on a relatively tight budget?
In addition to what was said above, in Europe, I'd be looking at the Gaggia Classic as the SBDU option, as they are available for less than half the price of the Rancilio Silvia (in the UK you can/could get a Classic for under £200, while Silvias are much rarer and over £400). Both are capable and proven SBDU machines, particularly with the addition of a Silvia steam wand to the Classic, and can be further improved by adding a PID temperature controller in the future. The Baratza Vario grinder is available at reasonable prices (at least in the UK), and number of espresso specific grinders can be found as well.
The 20-amp circuit question is very US specific - US domestic wiring is awfully underpowered compared to European wiring, with only 1600W (110V, 15A) available from a standard socket, vs. 3000W (230V, 13A) in the UK and Europe. I've only just got used to my lights dimming when I turn my coffee machine on, and what my PID'd Classic did to my kitchen lights was unbelievable. I've never seen the lights dim in a European house due to turning the kettle or coffee machine on...
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