Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
Yet another what to buy thread.
Commercial Equipment
Nuova Simonelli, La Marzocco, Rancilio. Nationwide installation. Instant financing options.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Yet another what...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Author Messages
EndTwo
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Mar 2013
Posts: 89
Location: Denmark
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Apscaso uno steel prof
Grinder: Mazzer Major DR + Mahlkönig...
Drip: french press, ceramic v60...
Roaster: skillet
Posted Mon Mar 18, 2013, 9:25am
Subject: Yet another what to buy thread.
 

Im trying to do it right, to be able to make a decent espresso and hold off the so called upgradeitis for as long as possible. So Ive read a bunch of reviews on CG, Ive read the buy an espressomachine guide to, Ive looked into some machines but Im not sure what specs will fullfill my needs. Did I have the budget, then I would go DB or HX, however on a limited budget (I am studying for a living, so is my wife and we've got two small children...) it seems ive got to go SBDU.
Living in Denmark I cant seem to get a cc1, which elseway seems to be the ideal choice. Anyways, the standards:

1)  What kind of drinks do you like/want to make?  (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's capabilities.)
Espresso, machiato, cappucino and latte
2)  How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself needing to make at any one time? (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's ability to work continuously.)
average two, maybe two doubleshots. However Im mostly to espresso and machiato, the misses is the cappucino/latte one... I do drink an occasional cappucino, but this lowers the milkfrothcapicity (is that a word?!). Anyways when entertaining I could go french press, as I am still fond of it, but would like to be able to do 4-5 cappucinos, those can however easely be singleshots (if that isnt calling for a whole different price range).
3)  How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself making in any given week?  (This will tell us what you need in terms of a machine's durability.)
Average week... dunno 7 or 14 doubleshots depends on well... if I can live on a singleshot or not...
4)  Can you plumb a machine directly into the water supply, or do you want/need a pour over machine with its own reservoir?
Due to water, I would probably prefer watertank
5)  Do you have a 20-amp circuit available, or only a (standard) 15-amp circuit?
Dunno. Have 220 volts however. European standards, baby!
6)  What is your budget for a new machine?  Does that also include a grinder?  If not, what is your budget for a grinder?"
I have a complete budget of roughly 1000 $, and have to buy a Vario grinder and some acceories (knockbox and alike). However Ive come to terms with stretching the budget a little / negotiating with the vendor. The machines I list as possibleties below is more or less within my budget.

- The ultimate keeping-the-budget-buy would be Gaggia Classic, seems to be a good machine, few cons like the gaggia design isnt really up my alley and it seems to have one of those easy-froth thingies... Would like to learn how to do it proberly the first time.
- For about the same budget (as I wouldnt need to buy a tamper) Ascaso uno steel, I like the design better love the design of the steel line... and I seem to go free from easy froth thingies...
- Go a little more serious and go Uno steel Prof, more capacity, better machine. Dont know if its overkill to my needs... Anyone? Seems to be much like the silvia, just a little easier to use. Con seems to be lack of useable manual for the entire steel line...
- For same price as the uno pro I can get miss silvia, after reading reviews it seems like the uno steel pro, only Ive heard about rust problems, boilers going broke and that it should be harder to get a decent shot out of it.
- At last I could stretch my budget a bit more an get the uno steel pro pid which gives me... well a PID.

Thing is: I dont dare to buy used, as Ive no idea of how to look for something proberly maintained... Ive bought a used car that I really like, but I paid a mechanic to go through it before making a decision. I cant really do the same with an espresso machine... So what to do?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Mar 19, 2013, 10:45am
Subject: Re: Yet another what to buy thread.
 

I have never used the machines you are talking about but none of them sound like over kill.

I personally don't think there is over kill on espresso machines except price. (i.e. I don't believe you should spend 6k  if you are new and not sure you will stick with it)  You will learn to use the features any machine has and price up to a point will just make it easier to use and get good shots.  I wish there was a starter price machine that would be easy to use but cheaper generally means smaller/less metal and features and that makes it harder to get constantly good shots.

 
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
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
dspear99ca
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Jan 2013
Posts: 93
Location: BC, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Coffee
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Tue Mar 19, 2013, 3:11pm
Subject: Re: Yet another what to buy thread.
 

If you must buy a new Vario grinder within your $1,000 budget, you will only have half left for a machine.  The Gaggia Classic can be had brand new for $350-400, plus shipping.

It is my opinion that the law of diminishing returns applies especially to espresso machines.  A more expensive machine may make more reliable (not to be confused with BETTER) or higher throughput espresso shots than a $200 machine, but I think you and about 99% of the espresso drinking public would be hard pressed to tell the difference between a shot from a Classic and, let's say, a NS Oscar although the Oscar is 2.5x the price of the Classic.

I've got a Gaggia Coffee (bought used for $100) that I upgraded with an adjustable OPV so it's the same as a Classic minus a 3-way solenoid.  I've had it for about 5 years and it gets a lot of use.  My repairs have consisted of replacement of both water and steam thermostats ($8 each) and a gasket set ($23) when I first bought it to get rid of any and all small leaks.  It makes good (sometimes amazingly excellent) espresso, it's dead simple to operate and maintain, and it's got a 58mm commercial-grade group and portafilter.  It is not a continuous use machine, but the 100ml aluminum boiler is small enough that recovery time is remarkably fast, like 1 or 2  minutes  once the machine is up to temp (about 15 minutes for all the metal to be warmed up).  I also replaced the "turbo frother" wand with a Silvia wand as soon as I got the machine.  Plenty of steam, and the water reservoir is large and easily accessible.  Another nice thing about the Gaggia is that parts are very easy to get and reasonably priced, both of which are unusual traits for espresso machines.

The one thing that's making me consider getting rid of this machine is the noise.  The vibrating pump is nasty loud (any machine with a vibrating or reciprocating pump will be loud) and there is zero insulation inside the machine.  I leave for work very early in the mornings and can't use the Gaggia without waking people up.  I may try shoving some pink insulation into it at some point and see if that helps.

I've thought of adding a PID to this machine, but from my perspective it doesn't need one as I like what it produces as-is and I have trouble justifying a $200 upgrade to a $200 machine.  I've measured the water temp and it exits the head at just over 96C,  it's in the range that makes good espresso.

A Classic can reliably produce the drinks you want within your budget... I'd say it's built better and performs better than anything else at that price point and I think you'll find a lot of similar advice.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
EndTwo
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Mar 2013
Posts: 89
Location: Denmark
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Apscaso uno steel prof
Grinder: Mazzer Major DR + Mahlkönig...
Drip: french press, ceramic v60...
Roaster: skillet
Posted Wed Mar 20, 2013, 4:38am
Subject: Re: Yet another what to buy thread.
 

A funny detail is that the uno steel pro seems to be better than miss silvia when reading CG reviews, while in the forum threads its the other way around...
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Mar 21, 2013, 10:09am
Subject: Re: Yet another what to buy thread.
 

Getting a better machine (up to a point, there is a point where you will not notice much but that is at the very high end in my opinion) is about getting the good shots easier and more often.  The easier it is to get good shots the happier you will be so you are paying for the convenience of that. I have not used either because I wanted to be higher on the "easy shot path" so I started with an HX and skipped single boilers.  But I have never seen a single boiler that I thought was over kill.  I have seen some over priced...

 
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
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Yet another what...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Cafe Espresso Machines
Video reviews, nationwide installation, leasing options... Nuova Simonelli, Rancilio, La Marzocco.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.345549106598)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+