Coffeenoobie Senior Member Joined: 11 Dec 2011 Posts: 2,972 Location: PNW Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: N S Oscar Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri Jan 4, 2013, 9:37am Subject: Re: The Age Old Question, If It Were...
The vario is a good grinder and is often compared "taste in cup" with much larger/expensive grinders. I have the W model. I like my used Oscar for under 500 dollars. He is a work horse and I will not out grown him any time soon.
Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.
fredk01 Senior Member Joined: 20 Feb 2012 Posts: 136 Location: Canada Expertise: Just starting
Espresso: Saeco Aroma Grinder: OE Pharos
Posted Fri Jan 4, 2013, 6:12pm Subject: Re: The Age Old Question, If It Were...
Thank you! If the lelit is a better choice, I might be able to make that happen. It's coming up as only about $200 more than I mentioned. I would be happy to search secondhand, but mainly I need a particular machine to search for as a goal in mind :)
howietawny Senior Member Joined: 11 Jun 2006 Posts: 9 Location: Los Angeles
Espresso: ECM Giotto Grinder: Rossi RR45 Roaster: Patrick @ New Frontier
Posted Fri Jan 4, 2013, 7:38pm Subject: Re: The Age Old Question, If It Were...
my 2¢ •buy used you can find a great machine for a great discount- especially if you have a good mechanic in your city town these machines break down, and will need maintenance, even when used sparingly
Any step up is going to be a terrific change for you!
strawberrykoi Senior Member Joined: 11 Oct 2012 Posts: 42 Location: USA Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3,... Grinder: baratza vario, Hario... Drip: chemex Roaster: whirly pop
Posted Fri Jan 4, 2013, 7:41pm Subject: Re: The Age Old Question, If It Were...
fredk01, I could DEFINITELY do that. My budget is $600 because that's what I have - but I can save up longer, if that means a wiser investment. I will look at the machine you suggested... I'll take all of the guidance I can get! :)
howietawny, I will keep my eye out for used machines... I just needed an idea of what to look for. Sadly, I live in a small town so Craigslist has little to offer... but ebay is always an option!
D4F Senior Member Joined: 15 Mar 2012 Posts: 1,870 Location: USA Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID Grinder: Preciso
Posted Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:38am Subject: Re: The Age Old Question, If It Were...
Why recommend the Classic. Probably because I am biased, I use one :). Interesting that you asked specifically about the Classic and not the other Gaggia SBDU machines. The Classic is the only one that I see routinely recommended. You may have already known that from your list.
I am not sure that the 14101 was recognized as the Classic by all. The Classic is usually recommended as a starting point especially if price is a concern. I am still happy with mine, though I added the Rancilio wand and PID. If you like DIY the PID can be done for about $75 - $100 for brew and steam after you learn and enjoy the machine. PID kit for brew and steam about $200 and you still have to install, but that is easy.
Classic has a proven record and many on CG have used for years. The small boiler is noted as a disadvantage or advantage depending on your view point. Small volume, but heats rapidly. I use a PID alarm function to add heat during the brew to keep the intrashot temperature from falling and have the machine ready more quickly for the next brew. That may be more complex than you want now, but it turns the small boiler "disadvantage" into an advantage.
Forget and leave it on and you can cook an internal element if the boiler goes dry. Gaggia has external elements.
There are many threads about which machine to buy starting out, you can search many fairly current thread that are similar.
Posted Sat Jan 5, 2013, 4:42pm Subject: Re: The Age Old Question, If It Were...
Just an interlude into what not to get; I've used an Ec155 and a Silvia V3 for quite some time, and I'd steer you away from both. The Ec155 is only good if you're budget is ~$100, otherwise it's really not a good machine.
The Silvia has a tested reputation and makes great shots, but for the price (new or used) you can probably do better.
Otherwise, +1 to what everyone else has said, and good luck!
There's a big difference between drinking coffee to wake up and waking up to drink coffee.
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