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$450 to spend, and this is what I came up with
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > $450 to spend,...  
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MJW
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Sep 8, 2013, 1:08pm
Subject: Re: $450 to spend, and this is what I came up with
 

krwhite Said:

I budgeted $450, and I was able to find a:
Gaggia Color (Used) $95
Rancilio Rocky Doserless (New) $345

Posted May 22, 2013 link

I think your plan to net a little cash on the Color is fine.

For the grinder, since you are willing to buy used, I don't think a new Rocky is worth $345.  I bought a Mini for that amount.

Super Jollys are very popular on CL, but might cost about $400.  The Macaps that many are suggesting are fine, but seem a little close to Mazzer territory in price.  If you could do with a hand grinder, the OE Pharos is an excellent option at <$300.

What else?  A refurb Baratza Vario?

With any one of these grinders, and either one of the Saeco (depressurized) or Color, you'll be making first rate espresso.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,026
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sun Sep 8, 2013, 2:10pm
Subject: Re: $450 to spend, and this is what I came up with
 

I am happy with a Gaggia Classic, but the Color is more like the Saeco than the Gaggia Classic.  Stainless boiler with internal heater if I see it correctly.  The main difference is probably the PF.  I would get the grinder, refurb Vario, possibly Preciso, from Baratza.com, or one of the used grinders already mentioned.  SBDUs function better with PID and you can PID the Saeco as easily as the Gaggia.  DIY PID for about $50 - $75 with a k thermocouple instead of the RTD sensor.

DShaver just did that and hopefully will start a thread soon.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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gstcyrf
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Aug 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Lelit PL041TEM
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Tue Sep 10, 2013, 8:19am
Subject: Re: $450 to spend, and this is what I came up with
 

My 2 cents:

Like other said, Don't change your Saeco for a color..lateral move.

I would forget about the rocky..steps are too wide for unpressurized espresso, same for the baratza virtuoso. Vario is a little expensive for your needs right now, but if you find a refurb under 400, I'd go for that. If not, go for the Baratza Preciso, it has 440 grind settings which I think is more than enough for an unpressurized via. I think you cant get the Preciso for around 319, shipping included.

good luck
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onthego
Senior Member
onthego
Joined: 3 Jul 2005
Posts: 231
Location: Anchorage, AK
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore One Black, Silvia...
Grinder: Macap M4 Stepless, Rocky DL,...
Drip: Krups
Posted Tue Sep 10, 2013, 11:24am
Subject: Re: $450 to spend, and this is what I came up with
 

I would forget about the rocky..steps are too wide for unpressurized espresso,  

This is not an accurate statement.  I used a virtuoso class grinder with a Silvia for about a year and was able to get drinkable extractions.  I upgraded to a Rocky which was a big improvement in terms of grind consistency and drink quality .  I used the Rocky with an Anita for a year or two with good results but eventually upgraded to a Macap which I am still using and am completely happy with. The Macap is a better grinder than the Rocky although I still use the Rocky occasionally to pull an espresso.  

You will find a lot of people trashing the Rocky on the coffee blogs who have likely never actually used one but instead are parroting what they have read others post.   The Rocky might not be able to compete with a Vario in terms of grind quality.  In terms of build quality it will hold its own, against just about anything out there.  It is built like a commercial machine.   You should be able to  find a used Rocky for around $200.  That will leave you $250 to spend on the espresso machine.  I have seen used Silvias and Gaggia Classics for sale in that price range.  

Ed
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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 Tue Sep 10, 2013, 11:45am
Subject: Re: $450 to spend, and this is what I came up with
 

onthego Said:

This is not an accurate statement.  I used a virtuoso class grinder with a Silvia for about a year and was able to get drinkable extractions.  I upgraded to a Rocky which was a big improvement in terms of grind consistency and drink quality .  I used the Rocky with an Anita for a year or two with good results but eventually upgraded to a Macap which I am still using and am completely happy with. The Macap is a better grinder than the Rocky although I still use the Rocky occasionally to pull an espresso.  

You will find a lot of people trashing the Rocky on the coffee blogs who have likely never actually used one but instead are parroting what they have read others post.   The Rocky might not be able to compete with a Vario in terms of grind quality.  In terms of build quality it will hold its own, against just about anything out there.  It is built like a commercial machine.   You should be able to  find a used Rocky for around $200.  That will leave you $250 to spend on the espresso machine.  I have seen used Silvias and Gaggia Classics for sale in that price range.  

Ed

Posted September 10, 2013 link

I disagree. I used a crappy Solis Maestro and then upgraded to a Rocky, which I used for several years.  Eventually, I upgraded to the Macap M4. Sound familiar?  In my opinion, Rocky saw it's last good day when there became comparably priced stepless or nearly stepless grinders available.  Yeah, you can make good espresso with one, but you have limited control - because of the steps. You have to compensate for that by adjusting your dose.  It takes away your ability to modify a bean/blend extraction for optimizing flavor.  So, by all means, if you want to struggle and scratch your head, go ahead and get one.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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onthego
Senior Member
onthego
Joined: 3 Jul 2005
Posts: 231
Location: Anchorage, AK
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore One Black, Silvia...
Grinder: Macap M4 Stepless, Rocky DL,...
Drip: Krups
Posted Tue Sep 10, 2013, 4:01pm
Subject: Re: $450 to spend, and this is what I came up with
 

emradguy Said:

I disagree. I used a crappy Solis Maestro and then upgraded to a Rocky, which I used for several years.  Eventually, I upgraded to the Macap M4. Sound familiar?  In my opinion, Rocky saw it's last good day when there became comparably priced stepless or nearly stepless grinders available.  Yeah, you can make good espresso with one, but you have limited control - because of the steps. You have to compensate for that by adjusting your dose.  It takes away your ability to modify a bean/blend extraction for optimizing flavor.  So, by all means, if you want to struggle and scratch your head, go ahead and get one.

Posted September 10, 2013 link

Disagree with what?  The op made the following statement regarding the Rocky grinder: ".steps are too wide for unpressurized espresso,  " i.e. the Rocky cannot be used to make espresso.  That is simply not the case.  In fact I have used the Rocky with the Silvia and 2 different  HX machines, none of which use pressurized porta filters.  While it is not the equal of the Mini or M4 or K3, it is still a capable espresso grinder.  I  use ours when making pour over Hario drip coffee as well as the occasional espresso.  An inexpensive burr replacement a year ago brought it back to like new performance.  The first shot of espresso I made using the Rocky with new burrs and my HX  was very good.  I think you will have a hard time finding a better used grinder  for $200 -$225.  which is what I have seen them go for.
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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 Tue Sep 10, 2013, 5:52pm
Subject: Re: $450 to spend, and this is what I came up with
 

I disagree the notion that the Rocky trashing is just parroting.  Disagree that it's a grinder worth recommending. Sorry for not being more specific. For $239 you can get a refurbed Preciso. Baratza's customer service is impeccable...and in my opinion that makes up for the high volume of plastic in it. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, and I think it's good you are voicing it. Good for OP to hear opinions on both sides of the fence too.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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onthego
Senior Member
onthego
Joined: 3 Jul 2005
Posts: 231
Location: Anchorage, AK
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore One Black, Silvia...
Grinder: Macap M4 Stepless, Rocky DL,...
Drip: Krups
Posted Tue Sep 10, 2013, 10:53pm
Subject: Re: $450 to spend, and this is what I came up with
 

emradguy Said:

  Disagree that it's a grinder worth recommending. Sorry for not being more specific. For $239 you can get a refurbed Preciso. Baratza's customer service is impeccable...and in my opinion that makes up for the high volume of plastic in it. .

Posted September 10, 2013 link

It was not my intention to knock any of the Baratza products.  In fact the support I received from Kyle and Kyra for my first Maestro and the two Virtuosos I purchased as Christmas gifts for family was outstanding.  Fast response to emails and just great help  in general.  Having said that the Preciso is not a grinder I could recommend over the Rocky based on the user reviews in this blog alone not to mention  problems reported in other blogs.  But I have to admit I have never used one.   The Rocky is not perfect by any means but it beats most at its price point and is a great backup/second grinder when one decides to move up to something more exotic.
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gstcyrf
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Aug 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Lelit PL041TEM
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Wed Sep 11, 2013, 4:37am
Subject: Re: $450 to spend, and this is what I came up with
 

I believe that a refurb Preciso is a much better deal than a used rocky for the same price or lower...440 steps vs 55 for the rocky (minimizing the step problem)...comparable grind consistency + you will get a much better after sale service from Baratza than from the seller of your used Rancilio.
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
Joined: 27 Jun 2012
Posts: 658
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 Wed Sep 11, 2013, 10:37pm
Subject: Re: $450 to spend, and this is what I came up with
 

The Rocky sucks. It's a poor value and an aging design and if Rancilio stopped making consumer equipment, it would stop turning people off from home espresso at that crucial intermediate step.

Get a Baratza or a used Mazzer. There's some nice basic grinders from Ascaso, I think, the ones that come in all the crazy colors? Someone help me out.

Also, Helen, my new kitchen is the size of a phone booth and still somehow I managed to show off my vintage SJ! I haven't been by your place but surely there are room for the most important appliances ;)
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