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Semi Automatic Machine
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rootsandradicals
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Feb 2013
Posts: 1
Location: San Diego
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Feb 21, 2013, 12:18pm
Subject: Semi Automatic Machine
 

I was going to buy a Breville BES860XL yesterday at a steal of a deal at $449 at a department store based on reviews from amazon(which gave the model 4.5 stars on over 200 reviews), but they did not have anymore in stock I have to wait a day.  Then I start reading all these negative reviews of this machine from a few years back on this forum. It is a cluster in here but mainly I want to know if your if the overall opinion is still that this machine is garbage?

I have lived with a Starbucks Barista machine for the past 6 years that I bought for only $99 when they were getting rid of all the machines. I have only good things to say about this machine, I had to replace a few bolts and the port-filter a couple years back but other than that it has been a tank until recently the machine has become less than reliable, so I thought I would upgrade while I have a little extra cash.  

Any other thoughts for machines in the lower $500 range and grinder that will give good results without breaking the bank.

A little insight on usage.  My wife and I typically make 3 double espressos each a day with frothed milk so we get pretty good use out of our machine.

Thanks for any help

Josh
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,030
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Feb 21, 2013, 1:17pm
Subject: Re: Semi Automatic Machine
 

I don't like the idea of the beans sitting above the hot boiler... Also the grinder affects the flavor more than the machine and combo machine rarely have a top quality grinder.

You can get a better shot out of your starbucks machine with a top notch grinder than you can with a 3k machine and bad grinder.  It is hard to believe but it is true.

So, I suggest start with a grinder for your 500 now and then later get a good machine.  I like my Vario w because it weights the grinds for me. Refurbished day is Thursday at Baratza. It is on par with super jollys that can often be found used for about $350 but are too large for many people's kitchen.  Also plan on replacing burrs on any used commercial grinder. (add $50 to the price in your mind)

You got a bargain for a new starbucks for 99$.  You got your money's worth out it.  You are not going to give up making espresso after 6 years so I think you should save more and get a great machine that will last you a long time.  Don't get a machine that you will want to upgrade right away or will not last.  Put a tip jar out and tip yourself with pocket change to pay for the machine.  3 shots x $2 X 365 days =$2190 toward a machine

I suggest that my NS Oscar used is good bang for the buck because he is not all shiny.  They can be often found used for 500 or less and they are easy to work on and steam dragons.  Some are sold with pod kits so add another 70 on to get the grinds kit if you find one of those.  There is also a plumbed in version.  There is also a way to hack a pour over for plumbed in but I have not found a good walk through yet.

 
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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CoffeeRoastersClub
Senior Member
CoffeeRoastersClub
Joined: 6 Jul 2005
Posts: 4,485
Location: Connecticut
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vintage La Pavoni Lever...
Grinder: Breville Smartgrind,...
Vac Pot: Vintage Silex, Nicro...
Drip: Technivorm Moccamaster...
Roaster: javaPRO-CRC AIR Fluid Bed...
Posted Thu Feb 21, 2013, 2:03pm
Subject: Re: Semi Automatic Machine
 

rootsandradicals Said:

I was going to buy a Breville BES860XL yesterday at a steal of a deal at $449 at a department store based on reviews from amazon(which gave the model 4.5 stars on over 200 reviews), but they did not have anymore in stock I have to wait a day.  Then I start reading all these negative reviews of this machine from a few years back on this forum. It is a cluster in here but mainly I want to know if your if the overall opinion is still that this machine is garbage?

I have lived with a Starbucks Barista machine for the past 6 years that I bought for only $99 when they were getting rid of all the machines. I have only good things to say about this machine, I had to replace a few bolts and the port-filter a couple years back but other than that it has been a tank until recently the machine has become less than reliable, so I thought I would upgrade while I have a little extra cash.  

Any other thoughts for machines in the lower $500 range and grinder that will give good results without breaking the bank.

A little insight on usage.  My wife and I typically make 3 double espressos each a day with frothed milk so we get pretty good use out of our machine.

Thanks for any help

Josh

Posted February 21, 2013 link

I saw one in person at Williams Sonoma.  The grinder didn't turn me off so much as the plastic portafilter locking in thing (don't know the formal name for it).  That was crap.  I'd stay away from it just because of that.

Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

Bitcoin Merchant www.CoffeeRoastersClub.com     www.javaPRO-CRC.com
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