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Wanting to buy an espresso setup for the home...
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Wanting to buy...  
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dyland417
Junior Member


Joined: 12 Jun 2014
Posts: 6
Location: Arkansas, U.S.
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Jun 12, 2014, 7:34pm
Subject: Wanting to buy an espresso setup for the home...
 

Hi i have been interested in brewing my own espresso for about a year now and have not made the plunge just yet. As being a beginner in espresso, i have done research over all the popular SDBU. I am a college student and have saved up around $1300-$1500 to put toward the machine, and grinder. I have already bought the accessories needed for owning an espresso machines (tamper, knock-box, frothing pitcher, etc.) I would like to make 2-3 espresso shots throughout the day and maybe 1-2 cappuccinos at night (for that late night studying).
While researching i have read reviews on the Gaggia Classic, Rancilio Silvia, and Crossland CC1. All have their own reputations, pros and cons. What i would like to know is are these the only machines i need to be looking at or considering buying and maybe the pros and cons of new machines mentioned by other posts.
Next would be the most important piece, the grinder. This has been a tough choice for me. for my preference, i would like a doserless grinder for the fact that i do not want to dose out my grounds since some can stay in the doser if i do not use it all and become stale. I would like a grinder that is reliable would be able to last a few years and to produce good grounds because maybe in the future i might upgrade to a HX espresso machine. With that being said i have looked at the Compak k-3 Touch, Baratza Vario/Vario-W, Mazzer Mini Type A, and the Baratza Forte AP.
Since there are so many choices out there i would like some input on what other home baristas setups are and their preferences towards what i have mentioned here. I appreciate all comments and additional knowledge, since i am a beginner.
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,023
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Fri Jun 13, 2014, 2:18am
Subject: Re: Wanting to buy an espresso setup for the home...
 

Welcome to CoffeeGeek!

Out of the three machines you mentioned, the Crossland CC1 certainly has the most advanced features like PID temperature control, programmable pre-infusion, shot timer and thermoblock enhanced steaming, which make the Rancilio Silvia or the Gaggia Classic seem a little outdated. As an alternative, you might want to take a look at the QuickMill Silvano, which offers two excellent thermoblocks and two pumps for simultaneous brewing and steaming as well as a PID.

All grinders on your list are suitable for espresso. Personally, I like the Compak K-3 touch and the Baratza Forté AP best.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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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 Fri Jun 13, 2014, 7:00am
Subject: Re: Wanting to buy an espresso setup for the home...
 

Welcome to CG, Dylan.  Having a budget and being willing to spend it are, in a sense, two different things.  Whatever you do, pass on the Rancilio Silvia -- the biggest difference between that and the Gaggia Classic is the price.  That said, the Silvia is superior in terms of build quality, but if you are like most of us, you'll want to upgrade if and when it comes time to buy a new machine . . . ;^)

With that said, I agree with Nobby . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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EspressoAlien
Junior Member


Joined: 11 Jun 2014
Posts: 11
Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Fri Jun 13, 2014, 11:14am
Subject: Re: Wanting to buy an espresso setup for the home...
 

Hi, I happened to have the same situation as you last month, and I decided to go with the gaggia classic. Since our have a bit more budget after you purchase the classic (assuming you do), may I recommend you to get a PID for the gaggia classic? This mod is quite commonly seen and it's for a reason. For grinder, I would suggest a Compak K3 touch for both the quality and the look. It's an awesome pair with the classic.

+1 cross out the Silvia, had done some research, and it's kind of over priced for its quality.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,356
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Jun 13, 2014, 12:58pm
Subject: Re: Wanting to buy an espresso setup for the home...
 

1k bucks can get you in a CC1 and Vario, kickass setup for the $. CC1 has way too many advantages over the others, huge boiler for this class (about 17oz, a Gaggia Classic is only 3.5oz and a Silvia is 12oz), built in PID with full control of everything from temps to pre-infusion and dwell etc, and if far faster making milk drinks with the separate thermoblock for steaming which allows much quicker switching back to brew etc (instead of waiting for the boiler to cool down). Its only 40 bucks more then a Silvia, of which the Silvia and Gaggia you'd have to learn to temp surf which isn't accurate but only way to sorta get temps into range for espresso otherwise you'll be pulling way to hot and scorching the beans. Gaggia is priced well for what it is, Silvia forget about, they just keep raising the price which used to be in range of the Classic... current price is a rip off for something so outdated.
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dyland417
Junior Member


Joined: 12 Jun 2014
Posts: 6
Location: Arkansas, U.S.
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Jun 13, 2014, 1:58pm
Subject: Re: Wanting to buy an espresso setup for the home...
 

i know that the CC1 would probably be the best route since it has the most bang for buck and i could pair it with a vario or compak k3 since they are around the same price range. With all of your help i am able to cross off the Silvia from my list of choices because the only thing it has going for it is the nice look. The QuickMill Silvano price is a little too much but if I am going to spend >$1000 then i would set my eyes on the Bezzera BZ10. And my budget and what i am willing to spend is the same thing $1300-$1500

Hmmm so many choices the CC1+Vario/Compak or the Gaggia Classic+Compak.....
CC1 is a newer machine but has so many bells and whistles. But then you have the Gaggia "Classic" *Hint* on the name for being a Classic has numerous followers and it has been around for a long time.

Does anyone has personal experience with the CC1: how long have they had it, reliability, any problems, etc.

I also appreciate everyones input that they have posted on here for me to contemplate over. If anyone else has any suggestions feel free to post!!
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,356
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Fri Jun 13, 2014, 3:03pm
Subject: Re: Wanting to buy an espresso setup for the home...
 

dyland417 Said:

i know that the CC1 would probably be the best route since it has the most bang for buck and i could pair it with a vario or compak k3 since they are around the same price range. With all of your help i am able to cross off the Silvia from my list of choices because the only thing it has going for it is the nice look. The QuickMill Silvano price is a little too much but if I am going to spend >$1000 then i would set my eyes on the Bezzera BZ10. And my budget and what i am willing to spend is the same thing $1300-$1500

Hmmm so many choices the CC1+Vario/Compak or the Gaggia Classic+Compak.....
CC1 is a newer machine but has so many bells and whistles. But then you have the Gaggia "Classic" *Hint* on the name for being a Classic has numerous followers and it has been around for a long time.

Does anyone has personal experience with the CC1: how long have they had it, reliability, any problems, etc.

I also appreciate everyones input that they have posted on here for me to contemplate over. If anyone else has any suggestions feel free to post!!

Posted June 13, 2014 link

I've owned one for over 2 years, been great, mines an early build so had a few hiccups but Bill offers great service and sent me updated parts that was added later on that my machine didn't come with. I personally know another CC1 owner as well had his about as long as mine and loves it. Some owners on here and Bill Crossland post periodically. Someone made this thread other day that he modded his adding a pressure gauge CC1 Pressure Gauge . These are nice machines, and unbeatable for the $. Regular single boiler machines are just too much of a pain in the ass if your making multiple shots or milk drinks, and with out the PID control that the CC1 has your left to figuring out temp surfing or all your coffee will be burnt tasting.  For what it's worth I know 3 Classic owners and they've had trouble but 1 fixed himself as parts are easy to source and there's a nice yahoo group for supporting them, the other my buddy, horrible luck and I was the one that told him to look into a Classic as his first machine LOL....1st Classic arrived DOA and promptly was exchanged and 2nd would never work right and leaked so the seller credited and he bought a different machine from them (Breville Dual Boiler, and it's been great since) but still has his Vario. Classics are solid little machines and easy to work on, buddy I guess just had a stroke of bad luck lol. But there's just too many advantages with the CC1 in that class, I can pre-program 3 different settings with completely different temps and pre-infusion and dwell times, 17oz boiler way bigger then anything in it's class/price range (Classic is 3.5) so temp stability is great, and much much fasters making milk drinks vs dealing with a sbdu machine, it's not a powerful steamer like an H/X but it makes damn smooth and velvety micro foam that's so easy to modulate/work too.

SCG has the CC1/Vario combo for just less then a grand I believe, they do another 10% off if you sign up on their website. Vario outperforms the Mini/K3 class, yeh it's plastic that it's only negative fault, but it's a hell of a grinder for the money. You'd have to go over the Super Jolley or K6 class to get something better as far as taste in cup and grind quality. Plus the Baratzas are so good for single dosing. If you must have that heavy tank metal build I'd take the K3 over a Mazzer Mini easily.
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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 Fri Jun 13, 2014, 5:05pm
Subject: Re: Wanting to buy an espresso setup for the home...
 

I use a Gaggia Classic with PID.  Look for a sale or refurb at WLL and save enough for the PID. I have not needed repair though it is easy and inexpensive.  I used the Preciso grinder for over 2 years and now the Forte-AP.  Classic works well for espresso and small milk drinks.  If you always steam, or steam large amounts of milk, you may not want SBDU.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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nwin
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Oct 2012
Posts: 20
Location: Bedford, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Jun 13, 2014, 6:57pm
Subject: Re: Wanting to buy an espresso setup for the home...
 

D4F Said:

I use a Gaggia Classic with PID.  Look for a sale or refurb at WLL and save enough for the PID. I have not needed repair though it is easy and inexpensive.  I used the Preciso grinder for over 2 years and now the Forte-AP.  Classic works well for espresso and small milk drinks.  If you always steam, or steam large amounts of milk, you may not want SBDU.

Posted June 13, 2014 link

What's a fair price to pay for a Gaggia classic on sale?  What about a refurb?  Just trying to get a gauge of the prices as I'm currently trying to either buy a Gaggia or if I can get the CC1 for a good price go for that.  Seems I'm in the same boat as the OP...I like the CC1 and could possibly spring for it, but the Classic has a decent reputation and over a decade of build quality behind it. Meanwhile the CC1 is on sale at 1st line for $600 plus a $75 father's day coupon right now...ugh...

WLL has a new Classic for 350 plus $25 father's day coupon or the refurbished for 300 with no coupon.
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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 Fri Jun 13, 2014, 7:12pm
Subject: Re: Wanting to buy an espresso setup for the home...
 

Those WLL prices are good and hard to beaat unless used.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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