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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > $1300 max budget...  
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BKSinAZ
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Nov 2012
Posts: 19
Location: Tucson Arizona
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Starbucks Barista.... for...
Grinder: Soon to get Vario
Posted Mon Apr 14, 2014, 6:33pm
Subject: $1300 max budget for espresso
 

I have a set budget of $1300 for an espresso machine. I already have a seperate $400 set aside for a grinder like a Baratza or Rocky.

I have (don't laugh) been using my Starbucks Barista (saeco) machine since 1998. It still runs, but I need to get a better shot and I hate the soupy puck it leaves behind.

My drinking habits: one 4 shot latte every morning of the week. On the weekends I might do two lattes, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. Every now and then I drink plain espresso shots. I might drink more shots if I had a better machine. I don't entertain much so I do not make numerous lattes at one time. My wife who always hated anything coffee just started to aquire the taste of lattes, so I might be making her some single shot lattes in the future

Now I don't understand much about the thermoblocks, the heat exchanger vs. boiler stuff. I did try and read, but frankly.... there needs to be a damn college course on this stuff. hahaha

So after all my fustrating research, I come to you all asking advice.

I won't start a fight here asking which is the 'best' for $1300, but I will ask..... Given my drinking habit and budget, which is a darn good machine for my $1300? New only please.
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DeanOK
Senior Member
DeanOK
Joined: 24 Sep 2012
Posts: 715
Location: OK
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Vario W
Posted Mon Apr 14, 2014, 7:52pm
Subject: Re: $1300 max budget for espresso
 

There is quite a few good machines in that price range. The Quick Mill  Alexia is one. I wouldn't say it is the best, mostly because I have not researched machines in this price range but QM has a good reputation. I am sure you will get lots of other models offered up as well, but Alexia surely should be on your short list.
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dwRK
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Sep 2013
Posts: 92
Location: Houston
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 4:52am
Subject: Re: $1300 max budget for espresso
 

Am very curious how big is your 4-shot latte... :)

Going new...Bezzera BZ07 or nodded Oscar...or Breville DB...personally at this budget I'd go used HX or DB between $600-1000 and spend the remaining $700-1100 on a big flat or conical...you've been at this since 1998...so for the long term spend on the grinder and be done with grinder upgrade and reap the benefits now...IMHO spreading it your way means you may need to upgrades both in the future. I'd work on the grinder first...
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toyman
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Oct 2012
Posts: 50
Location: PA
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Expobar Office Lever Plus,...
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Cuisinart
Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 5:30am
Subject: Re: $1300 max budget for espresso
 

I did a month or so worth of research when upgrading my Gaggia Classic and ended up going with the Expobar Office Lever Plus.  For me, it had the most features for the money (<$1,200 with bottomless portafilter and bag of beans from WLL).  E-61, Large boiler, brew and steam pressure gauges, plumbable for drain & water, huge drip tray and pretty good looks IMHO.  Whatever you decide on, you're going to have a learning curve to get used to the machine and the beans you'll be using.  Good Luck!
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,390
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 6:23am
Subject: Re: $1300 max budget for espresso
 

H-B doesn't like cross posting.  I don't care myself, but be prepared for Dan to shut your thread there down.  

In the meantime... I'm sticking with what I already wrote on H-B.  If it needs repeating, the advice boils down to BDB 920XL plus the best grinder you can possibly afford (Baratza Vario at a minimum).    

Unless you're buying a machine to pass down to subsequent generations, at $1300, the BDB is something of a no-brainer for its feature set and user friendliness.  I'm an HX guy myself, have been for decades, will be forever, and still think the BDB is the obvious choice at that price.  

Good luck in your search, and just say NO to Rocky.

GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER

Rich
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BKSinAZ
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Nov 2012
Posts: 19
Location: Tucson Arizona
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Starbucks Barista.... for...
Grinder: Soon to get Vario
Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 9:32am
Subject: Re: $1300 max budget for espresso
 

dwRK Said:

Am very curious how big is your 4-shot latte... :)

Going new...Bezzera BZ07 or nodded Oscar...or Breville DB...personally at this budget I'd go used HX or DB between $600-1000 and spend the remaining $700-1100 on a big flat or conical...you've been at this since 1998...so for the long term spend on the grinder and be done with grinder upgrade and reap the benefits now...IMHO spreading it your way means you may need to upgrades both in the future. I'd work on the grinder first...

Posted April 15, 2014 link

It's size is between a medium and a large latte at starbucks. 7oz steamed milk with 4 shots.
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dana_leighton
Moderator
dana_leighton
Joined: 11 Jan 2002
Posts: 1,998
Location: Fayetteville, 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 Tue Apr 15, 2014, 9:38am
Subject: Re: $1300 max budget for espresso
 

boar_d_laze Said:

CG and H-B don't like cross posting.  I don't care myself, but be prepared for one site or the other to shut a thread down.

Posted April 15, 2014 link

Just FYI - CG does not have a rule against this. We do have a rule against cross-posting within CG.

 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 624
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 9:58am
Subject: Re: $1300 max budget for espresso
 

IMO
cut your machine budget, raise your grinder budget... a baratza or rocky are okay grinders, but as I found when I upgraded to a dual boiler, small consumer-grade grinders don't keep up with a larger machine so well.

I would consider a mazzer, compak, or even a quamar like mine for the grinder. At the very least, a vario but even with that, it seem like you're paying more for unnecessary digital control, where a larger model stepless would probably suit you better for just espresso. I like my quamar M80e, I would have a hard time justifying the extra $100 for a mazzer.

I would then say...
A CC1 would make an interesting machine with its over the top feature set and would be kind to your counter space.
I might even suggest the breville dual boiler, but that may be outside the price range a bit.
There is also the ascaso duo-steel, another hybrid machine.
The Vibiemme is well liked
I don't know much about the bezerra, but they seem to be solid machines.
there are some cheaper expobar HX machines as well.

These machines undershoot your budget so you should easily be able to push more onto the grinder. With a great grinder and a hybrid/HX machine, you shouldnt have a need to upgrade for quite some time.

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling: Whatever Sweet Maria's sends me :D
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,465
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Tue Apr 15, 2014, 4:26pm
Subject: Re: $1300 max budget for espresso
 

acasabia Said:

IMO
cut your machine budget, raise your grinder budget...

Posted April 15, 2014 link

Agreed.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,223
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 Apr 15, 2014, 5:03pm
Subject: Re: $1300 max budget for espresso
 

boar_d_laze Said:

Good luck in your search, and just say NO to Rocky.

Posted April 15, 2014 link

amen to that!

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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