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Best Machine for semi-professional daily operation under $600?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Best Machine for...  
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,023
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Apr 6, 2013, 10:50am
Subject: Re: Best Machine for semi-professional daily operation under $600?
 

I don't believe a super auto costing 3 times his budget will take the load he is putting on it. I would not own one.  I might lease one for a company but I would not own it, they break down too much and that would cost him business.  I would want an up time guarantee from the lease service.  So, they replace it right away when it breaks.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
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Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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adamstivala
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adamstivala
Joined: 5 Apr 2013
Posts: 11
Location: miami, fl
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Apr 6, 2013, 11:01am
Subject: Re: Best Machine for semi-professional daily operation under $600?
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

All the flavor is in the grinder.  You need a grinder or do pods.  Oscar makes a pod kit for the machine or sometimes you find them used already set up for pods.  I would not pay for a pod or capsule drink but other people do.

Posted April 6, 2013 link

I agree, I am a traditionlist and although I like the conveince of pods, I do think the flavor is lacking and always has a bit of "cardboard finish."

Thank you all for your input it is super helpful!

I was going on just Amazon reviews before this :)
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,023
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Apr 6, 2013, 11:39am
Subject: Re: Best Machine for semi-professional daily operation under $600?
 

You are giving up taste BOTH without a grinder or using pods.   If it were me I would do good quality pods over the $75 home grinder.  For one thing it will not keep up and the other is it will probably not last.  And if the business takes off you can add a grinder and grinds kit later.   That is the only way I see you doing this unless you get a crazy used equipment deal.  As it is you really need plumped in to keep up with that volume.

 
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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CharityV
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CharityV
Joined: 8 Jul 2005
Posts: 176
Location: Oregon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Le'lit PL041
Grinder: Rocky DL
Roaster: SC/TO
Posted Sat Apr 6, 2013, 1:25pm
Subject: Re: Best Machine for semi-professional daily operation under $600?
 

I agree with everything the others are saying. You're trying to do a commercial job, and for that you need at least a semi-commercial machine, ie, the used Oscar is the ONLY thing that may fit your budget.

I will add this - making drinks for multiple people on my $400 Le'Lit used to take me, oh, 30 minutes to make 4 lattes? I know that seems unbelievable, but when you cannot steam and brew and at the same time, it really slows things down. As does needing to refill the water tank, and letting the boiler come back up to temp once you've depleted it. An HX machine like the Oscar sidesteps many of these slowing down issues, in addition to being built to a much higher standard, ie being able to stand the test of time and that much use. Not to mention, my old machine used to take nearly 2 minutes to steam milk for one drink, my new HX takes 40 seconds. That is an enormous difference.

I will add my voice to: you really REALLY need a good quality grinder. If you can't get one right now, you are better off using pods than an inadequate grinder. Neither will offer you great flavor, but the time it will save you on grinding and clean up may be valuable in your situation.

I worked as a pro barista for a few years, and I would not attempt what you're talking about without a commercial grinder and machine, but if your budget is what it is and you don't have a choice, start checking craigslist for a used Oscar.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,745
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Sat Apr 6, 2013, 8:21pm
Subject: Re: Best Machine for semi-professional daily operation under $600?
 

I agree, if you can't afford a good grinder an Oscar with pods is your best option. There ARAgood quality pods available, via retailer of them advertises here and I really think that for milk drinks, you can get acceptable results.

 
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Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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adamstivala
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adamstivala
Joined: 5 Apr 2013
Posts: 11
Location: miami, fl
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Apr 6, 2013, 11:38pm
Subject: Re: Best Machine for semi-professional daily operation under $600?
 

Thank you for all the feedback :)

We had a demo tonight, and I was able to bang out about 8 lattes and maybe 10 long run shots on the lowest end Imusa and DeLongi machines I have. Yes, there were a lot of steam explosions as i was refilling the units  but 1. nobody got hurt (badly) and 2. everybody loved the drinks.

Maybe I should describe my market more: the best coffee these people have at the moment is the free instant crap in the cafeteria. So using organic milk and fresh ground beans is like night and day comparisons to them. I will look into the Oscar in the next couple days.

I was always thinking about buying 3-4 tiny Imusa espresso machines and running them in concert :)
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adamstivala
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adamstivala
Joined: 5 Apr 2013
Posts: 11
Location: miami, fl
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Apr 6, 2013, 11:40pm
Subject: Re: Best Machine for semi-professional daily operation under $600?
 

Is this along the lines of what the thread is pointing to?

Click Here (www.seattlecoffeegear.com)


Thank you all again!
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CharityV
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CharityV
Joined: 8 Jul 2005
Posts: 176
Location: Oregon
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Le'lit PL041
Grinder: Rocky DL
Roaster: SC/TO
Posted Sun Apr 7, 2013, 5:57am
Subject: Re: Best Machine for semi-professional daily operation under $600?
 

Yep, that is indeed the Oscar we are all talking about. :) It's an absolutely solid HX machine. You will see SUCH a difference using a machine like this. They can usually be found used in the $600-800 price range, if I am not mistaken. You could try checking craigslist and ebay semi-regularly for it, and/or post a "want to buy" thread on the buy/sell/trade forum on these very forums.

If I can ask, will people be paying anything for these drinks? I'm just wondering about your cost for supplies and such, and the possibility of being able invest in a good grinder at some future point if this is successful?
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,068
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sun Apr 7, 2013, 6:05am
Subject: Re: Best Machine for semi-professional daily operation under $600?
 

Sorry to come late to the discussion.

Yeah, that's an Oscar...the one they've suggested.

Given the latest info you added about the "competition" you could easily make these ppl happy by getting a decent grinder (for a lot less than a used SJ) and make them good drip coffee, using fresh beans. Why does it have to be espresso based drinks?

I think your budget precludes you doing what you want...and compromising in coffee quality (by using preground) is only shooting yourself in the foot.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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adamstivala
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adamstivala
Joined: 5 Apr 2013
Posts: 11
Location: miami, fl
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Apr 7, 2013, 9:11am
Subject: Re: Best Machine for semi-professional daily operation under $600?
 

There is another student group which sells coffee in the morning - right now, I'm able to get away with making espresso and lattes because they don't sell either of them, and there is no direct competition. Nontheless, people will still be pissed at me because my product is clearly better than instant Maxwell house (gasp!)

But we are testing the market right now to see how the demand, student flow, and sustainability goes. I really like that Oscar with the HX however.

For the cuban coffee, I'm using preground Pilon, Bustelo, or Llave and for the espressos/lattes I'm using a Starbucks French roast bean (because that's really the only espresso roast bean I like that we get on the island)

this is the Grinder I'm using now; does this not grind consistently or fine enough? It seems to make decent shots?

Click Here (www.amazon.com)


thanks!!!
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