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New member - Going semi auto - need advice
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themilroy
Senior Member
themilroy
Joined: 23 Oct 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Oakville, ON, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Oct 24, 2013, 7:39pm
Subject: New member - Going semi auto - need advice
 

Hi Everyone, I love the forum/website,

I'm looking to make espresso and only espresso (no milk drinks).  I want to spend under $1000 for everything: grinder, machine, tamper, and knockbox.  Ya, i know the grinder is the key.  Basically a starter kit.  I want to make about 4 shots a day or so.  I have found a local shop that seems really good and the sales guy is an obvious coffee lover (he talked me out of a quick mill super auto, going for only 699, to good to be true right?  Handy man's special no doubt).  I was going to go super auto, but all of the horror stories about problems and after watching how quick semi autos can be, I flipped.

In my price range he has a Rancillio Silvia, Ascaso dream up, and a Crossland CC1.  For a grinder he says the Baratza Preciso is the minimum I should go with these machines.  He likes the vario but says its not required and the high revving motor could pose issues down the road, he called it a Honda engine.  Obviously the mazer mini is the next step up and would blow my budget.  He says the rocky hasn't kept up with Jones', whatever that means?!?

I'm leaning towards the Silvia but it sounds finicky and is the Preciso good enough for it?  I really know nothing about the Ascaso, and I'm not drawn to it (sales guy wasn't a fan).  The Crossland was described to me as a geeks dream.  Lots of settings avaiable to adjust.  The water holder sounds like a nightmare but will it produce a more consistent shot?  i.e. less finicky than the Silva?

He didnt have the Gaggia Classic in, sold out.  How does it live up to the others, am I just comparing apples here?

I know there are lots of newbie posts, but I couldn't find quite what I was looking for.  Hope to hear from you, thanks.

James
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,014
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Oct 24, 2013, 7:55pm
Subject: Re: New member - Going semi auto - need advice
 

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

 
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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friendlyfoe
Senior Member


Joined: 14 May 2013
Posts: 122
Location: toronto
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Thu Oct 24, 2013, 8:06pm
Subject: Re: New member - Going semi auto - need advice
 

Your guy seems to know what he's talking about

The CC1 seems to get the most praise and personally i would probably lean that way. I'm still looking for my first machine and may very well end up with one of those.

It's worth while to read the tech specs on each machine and understand what each component does. The CC1 has a proper boiler but uses a thermoblock for steam (which you say you will barely use, but what about that pretty girl who wants you to make her the perfect latte?). The gaggia uses a super small externally heated aluminum boiler, vs most machines which have a larger, internally heated boiler. Like i said it's worth your time to read the spec sheets and do a little research to understand the difference in components.

As for grinders between the precisio and a mazzer is also the k3 touch, just one more to consider.

Good luck.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Thu Oct 24, 2013, 10:16pm
Subject: Re: New member - Going semi auto - need advice
 

The Gaggia Classic will easily do espresso.  Steam is fine one at a time.  The difficulty of SBDU like Gaggia and Silvia is from steam back to brew.  Most SBDUs work best/easiest with a PID controller.  That means you add to Silvia and Gaggia.

Espresso is fine and the small boiler can be used to an advantage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sluei1-IkTw

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Markarian
Senior Member
Markarian
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 Fri Oct 25, 2013, 1:09am
Subject: Re: New member - Going semi auto - need advice
 

CC1 + Preciso = Good to Go

The thermoblock should be okay for the occasional latte or cap, but for straight espresso it really comes down to your beans, your grinder, and your technique.
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jonr
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jun 2013
Posts: 290
Location: Americas
Expertise: I like coffee
Posted Fri Oct 25, 2013, 6:01am
Subject: Re: New member - Going semi auto - need advice
 

Unless you are going to do modifications, I'd get the CC1.
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,351
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Fri Oct 25, 2013, 6:10am
Subject: Re: New member - Going semi auto - need advice
 

The salesman sounds like a CG or HB member. His advice pretty much mirrors advice often given here. The only exception from your description would be to check the Gaggia machines as some models sell for less and you may be able to step up to a better grinder. Beyond that, maybe he has a "demo" pair of the machines you desire that you could "rent' or test drive for a day or two (or at least try out in the shop).

 
Visit My Website
www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
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themilroy
Senior Member
themilroy
Joined: 23 Oct 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Oakville, ON, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Oct 25, 2013, 10:59am
Subject: Re: New member - Going semi auto - need advice
 

Thanks Geeks!

I'm now scouring my contacts to see who knows a guy who knows a guy that can get me a wholesale deal!  CC1 and preciso is what I'm after.  I'm looking for new combo, a used CC1 sounds like it would have high likelyhood of being digitally problematic. Thanks again...

James

p.s. the only negative side effect of me purchasing this machine is my wine bill will go up.  I'll be so excited to leap out of bed to use my new toy, I won't be scared to crack another bottle the night before.  It's all about balance and forward thinking.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
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 Fri Oct 25, 2013, 1:08pm
Subject: Re: New member - Going semi auto - need advice
 

Wine two? check out this thread.
http://coffeegeek.com/forums/coffee/general/647310

 
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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