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Need advice on which model to select.  And are refurbs worth the $?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Need advice on...  
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terrabytte
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Apr 2014
Posts: 3
Location: napa ca
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Apr 1, 2014, 12:20pm
Subject: Need advice on which model to select.  And are refurbs worth the $?
 

I am shopping for an espresso machine on a modest budget.. I have my selection narrowed down to 6 machines from Wholelattelove under 260, two of which are refurbs.. (is that a bad idea?)  

here are my selections:
http://www.wholelattelove.com/Gaggia/espresso_pure.cfm
http://www.wholelattelove.com/Gaggia/gaggia_evo_black.cfm
http://www.wholelattelove.com/Gaggia/evolution.cfm
http://www.wholelattelove.com/Gaggia/new_baby.cfm
Click Here (www.wholelattelove.com) Refurbished Gaggia Coffee Gray

Click Here (www.wholelattelove.com) Refurbished Gaggia Espresso de Luxe Espresso Machine

I would love some advice on which to choose.  I realize that I could get a much better machine with more cash, but that would require me to have said cash to spend....

and cheapest quality grinder in your opinion? any options for under 100?

Thank you :>
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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 Tue Apr 1, 2014, 12:47pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on which model to select.  And are refurbs worth the $?
 

Please read the stickey at the top of the forum page, this will help to get you aimed in the right direction, there are a lot of things to think about and most of them I am sure you have not thought of yet.

Referb from a quality vendor like WLL are good units, they take care to make sure they are working properly and stand behind them.

Which one, Others will have opinions, me, myself, I don't see much difference in any of them but then my gear is a little better.

Grinder buy the grinder FIRST, NEW an espresso grinder with a motor will take your entire machine AND grinder budget for a basic starter espresso grinder. For under $100, hand powered is the only possible way to go, I don't use hand grinders and not all are up to the job, others will advise better than me.

Welcome to the board!

 
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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takeshi
Senior Member
takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 968
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Tue Apr 1, 2014, 12:51pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on which model to select.  And are refurbs worth the $?
 

terrabytte Said:

and cheapest quality grinder in your opinion? any options for under 100?

Posted April 1, 2014 link

As always, the grinder matters more.  Budget more and focus more on the grinder.  As indicated under $100 puts you in hand crank grinder territory.
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skydragondave
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Feb 2013
Posts: 167
Location: Ontario, Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Commercial Only
Grinder: Commercial Only
Roaster: Has Garanti HG5
Posted Tue Apr 1, 2014, 3:42pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on which model to select.  And are refurbs worth the $?
 

Most if not close to all refurbished consumer-level/prosumer machines are warranty return units that have had the original complaint repaired and have been cleaned and sanitized. The vast majority of same are new enough to be within their warranty period and will only have as much wear on the panels as the original owner put on them. If you don't mind a few blemishes, there's nothing wrong with a refurb home/prosumer unit.
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ljguitar
Senior Member
ljguitar
Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 2,805
Location: Cheyenne
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Pulsar
Grinder: Mazzer SuperJolly • Baratza
Drip: Bunn • AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor•Variacs
Posted Tue Apr 1, 2014, 4:40pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on which model to select.  And are refurbs worth the $?
 

HI terrabytte...

The best thing I ever did was buy a 30+ pound Mazer grinder on ebay for $160 (shipped) from a restaurant which went out of business. New burrs for $50 and it was as good as new. Now 10 years later, I understand what a step up that was in the quality of my espresso.

The refurbs from a company like Whole Latte Love make a whole-latte-sense…

Budget machines are more likely to get you closer to great shots than budget grinders. It's because of the uniformity of grind needed to produce great espresso shots.


°

 
L  a  r  r  Y          J

<°)))><
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terrabytte
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Joined: 1 Apr 2014
Posts: 3
Location: napa ca
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Apr 1, 2014, 9:06pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on which model to select.  And are refurbs worth the $?
 

calblacksmith you said: "Please read the stickey at the top of the forum page, this will help to get you aimed in the right direction, there are a lot of things to think about and most of them I am sure you have not thought of yet.?"


I didnt see a "stickey".. what am i missing?
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terrabytte
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Apr 2014
Posts: 3
Location: napa ca
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Apr 1, 2014, 9:15pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on which model to select.  And are refurbs worth the $?
 

So, grinder.. can anyone recommend a decent grinder for espresso for say 150?

how about the Capresso Infinity? the Maestro Plus? the Starbucks Barista? I checked out the reviews but opinions are all over the place.. "its amazing for espresso", "you're an idiot if you buy this grinder"... I feel like i am getting retail whiplash.

help?
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,394
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 Tue Apr 1, 2014, 9:57pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on which model to select.  And are refurbs worth the $?
 

Unless you find a deal on a really nice grinder used, any grinder in that price range will be a compromise. There are some hand grinders in that rnage, but that is a decision you have to make. It's not for me. As as you will read over and over, espresso is all about the grinder first. If someone told me that are getting a $700 grinder to go with a $350 espresso machine, I wouldn't even blink.

 
Visit My Website
www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
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TheRealScubaSteve
Senior Member
TheRealScubaSteve
Joined: 22 Feb 2014
Posts: 97
Location: Massachusetts
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Delonghi EC155
Grinder: Baratza Encore
Posted Tue Apr 1, 2014, 10:46pm
Subject: Re: Need advice on which model to select.  And are refurbs worth the $?
 

As others have said, with your price range hand grinders are the only good option, unless you find a nice deal for a used/refurb. I have a Hario Slim, but I use it for traveling with an aeropress. That takes long enough, I couldn't imagine grinding fine enough for espresso. I looked at the Capresso Infinity trying to cheap out on the grinder - if you look up some videos on YouTube, you'll see it is pretty inconsistent which makes for poor espresso. It also does not grind espresso fine at all. I opted for the Baratza Encore $120 range since it seemed like the best option for a low budget. I have had pretty good results with it, but that is compared to the whirly-blade grinder I previously had. I believe the Maestro Plus was discontinued and became the (upgraded maybe?) Encore - the bottom tier grinder.

Many will tell you that it is totally inept for espresso, but I disagree. In the end it boils down to spending cheap money now knowing that it won't give you great espresso or scrimping (perhaps buy a manual grinder for less than $60) to buy something you won't have to upgrade later. I'm happy with the Encore for now and can re-purpose it as a drip grinder when I eventually upgrade.

 
"But it is not a perfect world and none of us are god-shots.  As for me, I am a little over extracted and therefore slightly bitter and my crema is thin..." -Buckley
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dana_leighton
Moderator
dana_leighton
Joined: 11 Jan 2002
Posts: 1,940
Location: Little Rock, AR
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Relax; Caferina...
Grinder: Macap MXK; Baratza Vario-W;...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: Technivorm; CCD; Melitta
Roaster: Poppery I w/PID controller
Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 5:42am
Subject: Re: Need advice on which model to select.  And are refurbs worth the $?
 

calblacksmith you said: "

calblacksmith Said:

Please read the stickey at the top of the forum page, this will help to get you aimed in the right direction, there are a lot of things to think about and most of them I am sure you have not thought of yet.?"


I didnt see a "stickey".. what am i missing?

Posted April 1, 2014 link

You're not missing anything. It seems to have gotten unstuck. :) Here's a link: "Please read before you post New Machine buying question."

 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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