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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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krwhite
Senior Member


Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 2
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed May 22, 2013, 4:04am
Subject: $450 to spend, and this is what I came up with
 

Hey all.  First post!  I hope latte drinking crazed app developers are welcome :-)

I'm going to upgrade my Saeco Via Venezia & Capresso 551 Burr setup.
I've used the machine and grinder for 4 years now.  I'm pretty much done with pressurized setups, as I'm starting to get into drinking straight espresso.   Depressurizing the venezia's portafilter revealed how inconsistent the grind is from the capresso.  1 out of about 10 tries got me a really good shot, although if I continue this trend I'm going to wasting a lot of beans, or drinking quite a lot of terrible shots.

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

I would appreciate anyones alternative recommendations, or comments on what I may go with above.
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NightFlight
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Apr 2013
Posts: 19
Location: Great Lakes Bay Region
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: BDB920BSXL
Grinder: Ceado E37s
Vac Pot: Cona
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Wed May 22, 2013, 5:21am
Subject: Re: $450 to spend, and this is what I came up with
 

Hello Kyle and Welcome.

The question I have for you is; how serious are you about good espresso? The reason I ask is because you have pointed out the reason for your inconsistent shots. "Depressurizing the venezia's portafilter revealed how inconsistent the grind is from the capresso." If there is one thing that you will learn first, and is the most important part of any machine; it is the grinder, grinder, grinder. I would suggest that you use the 450.00 to invest in a good grinder, a vario comes to mind. I have an old Saeco Aroma that I occasionally use and get very decent shots from it paired with a good grinder. Good Luck.

 
Coffee is a language in itself.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,745
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 May 22, 2013, 5:48am
Subject: Re: $450 to spend, and this is what I came up with
 

While the Rocky is a long time performer, he is showing his age with the large steps on the adjustment ring. There are other grinders that do better for the same or less money. Espresso is all about the grinder. Your machine is pretty much a side step with that swap, you really would not see much difference in the coffee now that you have removed the pressure device. Spend all the money on a good grinder such as the Vario for the best return on your investment. You can sometimes get them referb at the mfg website.

There are often used grinders on our for sale forum that are great deals also so do not forget about going there for a deal.

 
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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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,076
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Wed May 22, 2013, 5:54am
Subject: Re: $450 to spend, and this is what I came up with
 

There is a macap m4 stepless for $350 in the buy sell forum here.  That is a pretty good grinder for a good deal.
Click
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Fred1
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Sep 2004
Posts: 564
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: LaSpaziale S1 Mini Vivaldi...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini/NS MCF
Vac Pot: None
Drip: Chemex
Roaster: Hottop, FR+8
Posted Wed May 22, 2013, 7:12am
Subject: Re: $450 to spend, and this is what I came up with
 

My advice is hang on to the Via Venizia for now and get a better grinder.  Baratza sells refurbished grinders on their web site.  They post the new inven tory every thursday AM.  just got a refurb Vario for $360.00 plus shipping

The Rocky has 40 widely spaced grind settings, the Vario has 230 possible grind settings, and, they are almost the same price.

The Gaggia Color really is a lateral move from your Saeco.  If you feel you must get the Color in addition to a grinder, you could do a lot worse than the Color.  I still have my old Gaggia Espresso which still works great.

Good luck,

Fred
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krwhite
Senior Member


Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 2
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed May 22, 2013, 7:21am
Subject: Re: $450 to spend, and this is what I came up with
 

Thanks for the replies!

I definitely get the 'side stepping' going from the Saeco to the Gaggia color.  Although, one thing that's rationalizing the move for me is the fact that the Saecos are going for 170 used on amazon, with the used gaggia at 95.   So, I'm netting a bit towards the grinder there.   There seems to be less mdf material on the gaggia portafilter, and isn't going to require unscrewing to clean properly as I've had to do with my saeco a bit.  Once you unpressurize the saeco you'll notice a bit more of a mess from the flow of coffee coming out too, such as running around where the pivot screw holes are.

With the grinder I guess I'll see if there are more gadgets I have laying around that I can sell.. I didn't even know these existed.  I'm a fan of the doserless design and generally minimal cleanup.  I'll check out some reviews on the vario and macap.

Thanks again for the quick replies.  I'm sure I'll be enjoying this forum.  :-)
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,068
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed May 22, 2013, 7:54am
Subject: Re: $450 to spend, and this is what I came up with
 

krwhite Said:

Hey all.  First post!

Posted May 22, 2013 link

Welcome!

krwhite Said:

I hope latte drinking crazed app developers are welcome :-)

Posted May 22, 2013 link

d@mn straight!

The Macap on the BST forum is actually going for $325.  I own two of them.  From all I've gathered they're on par with the Mazzer Mini (which I've never used) in terms of grind quality...and perhaps better in terms of grind retention and ease of adjustment.  I got my first one when I had a SBDU machine and it has survived an upgrade to a prosumer DB machine.  In addition, I was happy enough with it that I bought a second one (which is reserved for decaf beans - frequently consumed in my home, as we have 4 habitual drinkers and often partake in pm hours). I do want (not need) to upgrade my grinder, but plan to surpass the SJ class and go for commercial conical titan class (probably get a HG one). The Vario is said to be on par with the Mazzer SJ, in terms of grind quality, but it is largely plastic and, therefore, not nearly on par with either Mazzer or Macap models in terms of build quality/durability (if that's important to you).

Regarding doser/doserless.  It is said by some that dosers are actualy cleaner than doserless grinders.  I thin a lot of the clenaliness issues are primarily related to "barista" methodology.  Dosers can be very clean, especially if one removes either the pf handle spouts or the holder (allowing the user to slide the pf towards the left - where the doser tends to throw the grinds).  whether to get a doser or not should be determined by one's M.O., not perceived cleanliness.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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steamer
Senior Member
steamer
Joined: 11 Feb 2005
Posts: 900
Location: socal
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus IV R
Grinder: Mazzer Mini-B Baratza...
Vac Pot: Krubs Moka Brew, vacPot
Drip: TechV, and many more
Roaster: Hottop
Posted Wed May 22, 2013, 8:30am
Subject: Re: $450 to spend, and this is what I came up with
 

I also have a Gaggia Espresso, I also have a Baratza Virtroso grinder. Together they work great. To the point I can tell when my beans have had it as far as freshness goes. I got my grinder for $175. The Gaggia new for $200 and can be found for about $100.  I want to upgrade my machine, but I will make a big jump so I am just saving the cash for now. I have a good working system and I cant complain. Get a better grinder, then sort out you shots and get them consistent. That's the key I found.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,023
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu May 23, 2013, 6:05am
Subject: Re: $450 to spend, and this is what I came up with
 

I agree, spend your money on a grinder and then save up for a step up in machine rather than a sideways move.  I love my vario W.  I know it is not as robust as the Super Jolly but I could not fit a super jolly in the kitchen I have now. Short of grinding outside I needed a smaller grinder.  A year of flawless service so far.  I also want an HG 1 but I want it to hook up to my kitchen aid....

 
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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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,745
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 Sun Sep 8, 2013, 11:08am
Subject: Re: $450 to spend, and this is what I came up with
 

How can I add to what has been said in regards to the machine side step, it would just be wasted money. GRINDER, GRINDER GRINDER it can not be said enough.

In regards to a Doser, this is a personal choice, one is NOT better than the other. If avoiding a mess is a priority then do take a look at a dosered grinder, on the whole, they make less mess than a doserless.

If you have the room, used commercial grinders are in your price range, they are not for everyone so you do need to look at your space but the quality is there in spades both in construction and grind.

 
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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