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Seeking advice on a new machine and grinder.
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Seeking advice...  
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1by1
Junior Member


Joined: 25 May 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun May 25, 2014, 3:25pm
Subject: Seeking advice on a new machine and grinder.
 

I am seeking advice on a new machine and grinder.  My old Starbucks barista has died after about 8 years of service. I will also be upgrading my Bodum bistro grinder after reading through this forum. The new machine and grinder should have the smallest footprint possible and would be used only for pulling espresso shot’s (we only drink Americano’s). I get fresh beans every week from local roasters and pretty much stick to espresso varieties.  I drink about four cups a day and my wife has one on weekends.  I would also like to plum the machine for convenience. My budget is about $3000 or less for the machine and grinder. Any and all help is appreciated.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,368
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 Sun May 25, 2014, 4:39pm
Subject: Re: Seeking advice on a new machine and grinder.
 

Since you "only drink Americano's," you need hot water, but no steam.  Thus, you don't really need a machine that can steam milk, but you do need a machine with a hot water tap. Nonetheless, given your stated budget I would strongly suggest you look at an HX (or DB) machine, as you never know when you might a) change your mind and make yourself a macchiato, or b) have a guest over who might want a cappuccino . . .

Machines:
Bezzera BZ07, $1399.
Faema Carisma, $1499.
Fiorenzato Bricoletta, $1525.  (Direct connect only)
Quick Mill Anita, $1595.

Grinders:
Anfim Caimano, $950
Casadio Enea, $1050.
Fiorenzato Doge, $1099.
Mahlkönig K30 Vario, $1625.
Mazzer Major-E, $1398.
Mazzer Mini-E, Type A, $875.

Among many others, of course.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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Angman
Senior Member
Angman
Joined: 8 Apr 2012
Posts: 231
Location: Vancouver BC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Strega, MCal, Cimbali M20L
Grinder: K10 Fresh, HG One 83mm,...
Vac Pot: Nope
Drip: Technivorm, Hario Woodneck,...
Roaster: Hottop 8828P
Posted Sun May 25, 2014, 10:21pm
Subject: Re: Seeking advice on a new machine and grinder.
 

Wow upgrading from a Starbucks barista and Bodum grinder to a $3000 setup is a huge upgrade. At $3k you have lots of choices and all the ones above are great reccomendations. Are you strictly looking for new beacuse as a hobby and lifestyle most of us we tend to have upgraditis syndrome and many of us have lots of excess equipment that we offload in the buy and sell frequently.  Often times you can get a great machine in great shape for considerably less than new.  

Outside of size does aesthetics matter?  

If you want a very good quality espresso grinder in a small foot print at the best possible price you cant beat the Baratza Vario or Vario-W.  Can you get a better grinder?  Yes, but one with the same features, more robust build quality and noticeably better grind will cost you 3-4 times the price. The Baratza Forte is also a great choice but you're just paying for more metal. The other small footprint quality grinder would be a Mazzer Mini-E type A or B.  I'm only recommending this because you say size matters and also the fact that you're upgrading from a Bodum Bistro grinder and not something that's of any significant quality to begin with.  

With your budget I also agree that any machine you look at purchasing might as well have steaming features.  I can't even think of any serious modern machine that won't be able to steam.

As for my recommendations I would say the vibiemme super domobar, la spaziale Vivaldi II and the Bezzera Strega Top model.  All three machines can be plumbed in.  Outside of the Vivaldi the other two can also be tank filled as well.  All three I have personally used and can make excellent shots but all three are aesthetically and mechanically different as well.  Can't go wrong with any one.  

Good luck
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1by1
Junior Member


Joined: 25 May 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon May 26, 2014, 3:20pm
Subject: Re: Seeking advice on a new machine and grinder.
 

Thanks for the advice so far. I had pitched the Bezzera BZ10 to my wife before but she thought it was too big as we have limited counter space.  Esthetics can be either traditional or modern; my only concern is pulling better shot’s. My budget is $3000 but I would love to spend less.  If I were to take the plum option of the table what would be your recommendations for a machine?
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,368
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 Mon May 26, 2014, 4:26pm
Subject: Re: Seeking advice on a new machine and grinder.
 

Buy the best grinder you can afford.  Then spend what's left on the machine . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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SJM
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Nov 2004
Posts: 1,706
Location: CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: SAMA, Gaggia Classic
Grinder: K-10PB, Rancilio MD-50
Vac Pot: no like
Drip: no like
Roaster: HotTop
Posted Mon May 26, 2014, 5:00pm
Subject: Re: Seeking advice on a new machine and grinder.
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

Buy the best grinder you can afford.  Then spend what's left on the machine . . .

Posted May 26, 2014 link

That's it in a nutshell :-))))
Best slogan ever !!!!
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benpiff
Senior Member
benpiff
Joined: 5 Feb 2010
Posts: 317
Location: Portland, OR
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: RocketR58,GrimacMini,Vetrano
Grinder: LSM FK Conical,Major
Vac Pot: Vario,Pharos
Drip: Livia 90, NS Elli
Roaster: Sonofresco ADR
Posted Mon May 26, 2014, 7:03pm
Subject: Re: Seeking advice on a new machine and grinder.
 

You should be able to find a Baratza Vario or other Super Jolly caliber commercial grinder with an excellent condition used dual boiler plumbed machine like a Spaziale Vivaldi or Izzo Duetto 2 for under $2000. Those are what I'd recommend, and I totally trust their build quality to buy used. Save the $1000 and you'll have maintenance covered for 5-10 years :)

 
www.oldparkedcars.com
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1by1
Junior Member


Joined: 25 May 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon May 26, 2014, 10:32pm
Subject: Re: Seeking advice on a new machine and grinder.
 

Thanks everyone for your insightful inputs. I have decided on the Baratza vario. After reading about 20 plus grinders, I fully understand that the grinder is the most important part of the equation, however I am just stating to grow my skills. Esthetically, the Spaziale vivaldi with the wood sides looks fantastic. That and all the previous ones recommended seem like great machines. Next step is narrowing down my short list.
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