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Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Need help!...  
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,157
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed May 15, 2013, 2:35pm
Subject: Re: Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
 

Well, from how you anticipate using it, and given this new parameter of "money is no object" (though I dounderstand it is)...you will definitely be able to put the "high end" machine on a timer, so your morning drinks will probably happen regularly too.

Your new parameters put you into light commerical and prosumer territory, and so, many of us now read the question as...what is your dream machine.  For me, I'd probably consider a KvdW Speedster or a LM GS/3...but that won't help you, because you probably won't end up with a budget anywhere in the ballpark for either of those...so let's keep it realistic, as that answer is not too helpful.  To be more helpful, I must call upon you again to make even more decisions.

There are a couple of paths you can choose from where to decide.  For instance, semi-auto vs full auto (not talking about super-auto).  You could also decide between HX, DB and lever.  These decisions would be largely made by how you anticipate wanting to operate.  In a way, you've kind of just opened Pandora's box by asking this, but try not to get overwhelmed.  There are some good tools to help you decide.  Have you, perhaps, yet read the guide on CG called "How to Buy an Espresso Machine"?  It's a good start.

Once you kind of sort out what type of machine you want, then you start looking at features, characteristics, etc and see what's important to you. Believe it or not, but going through these two exercises actually narrows down the machine options to a small handful...most of the time.

sorry, need to go back to work asap...to be continued?...we'll see how the thread progresses from here...

.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Stephany
Senior Member


Joined: 9 May 2013
Posts: 25
Location: New england
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed May 15, 2013, 7:16pm
Subject: Re: Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
 

Okay, you've give me homework. I can handle that.

Of course a dream machine would be nice, but you are right money is always an object. My purpose here is to look at a wide range--what would be the most machine I would need for what I do now? I have already seen the low end. I hope within that range I can find a sweet spot that will make me feel happy--I won't have to upgrade in two years but I also won't break the bank.

This is how I shop for houses, too. It drives my husband crazy--"why are we looking at it if we can't afford it?"  For me, it's hard to know the value of something if you don't look at the whole range. Of course, that's why I'm in a forum called CoffeeGeek, huh?

Cheers,
Stephany
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fredk01
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Feb 2012
Posts: 136
Location: Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Saeco Aroma
Grinder: OE Pharos
Posted Wed May 15, 2013, 9:54pm
Subject: Re: Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
 

Given your anticipated usage, the CC1 would do nicely.  It is also a small machine.  From there, its up to you how much extra you want to pay for 'wants'.
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strawberrykoi
Senior Member
strawberrykoi
Joined: 11 Oct 2012
Posts: 43
Location: USA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3,...
Grinder: baratza vario, Hario...
Drip: chemex
Roaster: whirly pop
Posted Wed May 15, 2013, 10:56pm
Subject: Re: Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
 

I

Stephany Said:

    So my next question is, given my stats, if money were no object, what machine would be best for me?

Posted May 15, 2013 link

Well, that's the thing... If money was truly no object, we could recommend machines in the upwards of 15K without batting an eye. It's not so much about money, as it is where you are in the game of coffee-geekdom (it's a word, I just made it up). To you, an $6,000 espresso machine might sound insane (and it usually does at first) but that's the normal range for a machine near the top of people's wish lists here. I recently purchased a $3000 machine, full-well knowing I'll be upgrading to a more expensive machine AND grinder in a year or two... So what I'm saying is, you have to pick out a budget and decide if that budget is strict and we'll help narrow down your decisions... Even though there are actually better options.

I also think you should look into the mypressi. It's cheap and it makes great espresso... The only downside is the fact that it uses cartridges and there is no steaming ability, but for the price... It's a great deal.

If you upgrade your budget quite a bit, the quickmill 67 is a beautiful machine and the best at its price point. I doubt you would feel the need to upgrade, and you'd be able to entertain guests. You would never again feel the need to buy your coffee from coffee houses again.
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Stephany
Senior Member


Joined: 9 May 2013
Posts: 25
Location: New england
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu May 16, 2013, 8:27am
Subject: Re: Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
 

@fredk
    Thanks for the rec
@strawberrykoi
    I'm definitely not geeky Enough for a machine that costs more than a small, used car. I have kids to put through college. ; ) I'm trolling for used machines as well, so knowing which higher ends are out there and have good reps can help me decide if something is worth nabbing if I see it.
    I haven't forgotten your mypressi suggestion. I would like a regular machine for my house. I, too, am not thrilled with the cartridge idea (it's one of the reasons I steered away from a nespresso and got caught up in this whole mess--the other day I was talking to my sister about this and she said, "why don't you just get a nespresso?" I let out a it sigh.). However, I'm thinking that it, in the future, the mypressi would be handy to have at work for those coffee emergencies!
    If you'd like to know a price I would never go beyond I'm not sure I can say that.  a few weeks ago my total budget was $600, and now, with the grinder purchase, it has just been upped to around $700-900. I just don't want more machine than I need.
    (Btw, that quickmill is a beautiful machine!)
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Buckley
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Jan 2011
Posts: 423
Location: Internet
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu May 16, 2013, 11:18am
Subject: Re: Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
 

Dear Stephany,

Just to be clear - the cartridges s-koi mentioned are nitrous oxide gas cartridges used to supply the 9 bars of atmospheric pressure required to infuse decent ground and tamped espresso.  They are not coffee pod cartridges containing a 'CSO' (coffee-shaped object).

The mypressi comes stock with alternate basket and showerhead to allow you to use a pod with your Mypressi but most owners who post use the standard basket with a quality espresso roast.

The cost of cartridges per shot is 0.10 to 0.25, depending upon where you buy them.  They are widely available online, through restaurant supply stores and on auction sites.  Compensating for the cost of cartridges, one does not have to pay to descale a boiler or replace an OPV, or the like.  I just bought 300 for $75 on ebay.  One gets four or five uses (shots) from each cartridge most of the time.

Mypressi bears no remote relationship to the Nespresso.

B
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Stephany
Senior Member


Joined: 9 May 2013
Posts: 25
Location: New england
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu May 16, 2013, 12:53pm
Subject: Re: Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
 

Yes, I understand the cartridge.  Thanks for the info, though. You got a great deal.
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gophishin
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Mar 2013
Posts: 65
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ecm technika iv profi
Grinder: baratza vario
Drip: bonavita immersion dripper
Posted Thu May 16, 2013, 4:11pm
Subject: Re: Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
 

So it sounds like you fired on the baratza preciso.  If you got that refurb'd through baratza it was $240.  You can get a refurbished Gaggia Classic from WLL for $300 (free shipping, no sales tax).  Add frothing pitcher for ~$20, they have a rosewood 58mm stainless steel tamper that isn't listed on their site that they will sell for $25, and you are technically set for $585.  

While you are ordering, I would probably suggest to add on cleaning solution, a blind basket for backflushing, and any other accessories you want to take advantage of the free shipping, but you are still right around the $600 mark for a setup that although is not dream state ideal, is pretty nice and plenty capable for all intensive purposes.  I over research and analyze just about everything and that is a similar route I took and have been very happy.  If you switch the machine on first thing when you wake up, by the time you are done with your morning routine it will most likely be warm enough to start pulling shots.  

I would also suggest picking up a digital scale capable of .1g, which can be had for around $6-8 off amazon.  When you have the time it's a great learning tool to be able to control variables and improve the quality of your shots.  Also, if you find you are making a lot of milk drinks and tired of the panarello wand on the classic, the switch to the silvia steam wand is only $25 or $30 from espressoparts and takes about 10 minutes.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,021
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Thu May 16, 2013, 4:26pm
Subject: Re: Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
 

gophishin Said:

So it sounds like you fired on the baratza preciso.  If you got that refurb'd through baratza it was $240.  You can get a refurbished Gaggia Classic from WLL for $300 (free shipping, no sales tax).  Add frothing pitcher for ~$20, they have a rosewood 58mm stainless steel tamper that isn't listed on their site that they will sell for $25, and you are technically set for $585.  

While you are ordering, I would probably suggest to add on cleaning solution, a blind basket for backflushing, and any other accessories you want to take advantage of the free shipping, but you are still right around the $600 mark for a setup that although is not dream state ideal, is pretty nice and plenty capable for all intensive purposes.  I over research and analyze just about everything and that is a similar route I took and have been very happy.  If you switch the machine on first thing when you wake up, by the time you are done with your morning routine it will most likely be warm enough to start pulling shots.  

I would also suggest picking up a digital scale capable of .1g, which can be had for around $6-8 off amazon.  When you have the time it's a great learning tool to be able to control variables and improve the quality of your shots.  Also, if you find you are making a lot of milk drinks and tired of the panarello wand on the classic, the switch to the silvia steam wand is only $25 or $30 from espressoparts and takes about 10 minutes.

Posted May 16, 2013 link

I wonder why I like that advice :)

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,153
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Thu May 16, 2013, 5:55pm
Subject: Re: Need help! (Buying advice, please!)
 

Stephany Said:

    If you'd like to know a price I would never go beyond I'm not sure I can say that.  a few weeks ago my total budget was $600, and now, with the grinder purchase, it has just been upped to around $700-900. I just don't want more machine than I need.
    (Btw, that quickmill is a beautiful machine!)

Posted May 16, 2013 link

I don't personally think SBDU machines are a good choice for anyone that truly has a passion for espresso and is going to keep and use a machine for years to come. Sure they will make espresso with a knowledgable operator just as good as the most expensive machine but the dance to do that hardly seems worth it in this day and age. The addition of thermo blocks and  PIDs to SBDU machines has been a huge improvement and will work great for personal use to maybe 4 people before it gets to slow. The QM Silverano that is built to last longer then its compediators IMHO but also falls into the price range of intro HX machines which can handle making drinks as fast as you can create them.

Here is my point, if you have a passion for espresso then it makes sense to buy quality so it will last and be repairable for a long time and this is always more expensive then the less expensive machine in its class. If the coffee passion is strong in many cases we like to share that with anyone that will drink with us which leads to a machine that can handle the volume without slowing us down, of coarse this cost more money. Then there is getting to the point where the passion has taken over, the knowledge is there so making excellent coffee consistently is easy even if brewing drip through a dirty soak is all you have, this is when spending $2k++++ becomes easy. My advice is to anyone with passion enough to stick to it and learn is to get something you can grow into, this keeps upgraditious at bay much longer. Upgrading often will cost more in the long run then buying quality with a little room to grow into as you advance.
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