Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
Machine advice
Rocket R58 Double Boiler
Rocket Espresso R58 Double Boiler -  Everything you need for the perfect shot!
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 > Machine advice  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
Author Messages
hmitchell6
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Jul 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Texas
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: ECM Giotto, Breville Infuser
Grinder: Mazzer/Rio, Hario Skerton...
Posted Wed Aug 28, 2013, 8:50pm
Subject: Machine advice
 

This maybe just as much a "in your opinion what is the best bang for the buck" as it is help with buying advice post. I hope I answer all the prerequisite question in the following.

I make 2 dbl's in the morning @ 5:45. One is for a latte/cap for my bride, the other is for my Americana. If I could get a shot that tasted like they do at my favorite coffee shop I would drink a dbl espresso before I leave for work. The same in the evening unless we go to the coffee shop to get coffee then I will get espresso.

Most of the time it is 2 dbl's for my bride and I, but on occasion I will have guests and I could make as many as 6 dbl's as quickly as possible.

If we don't go to the coffee shop on average I will make 30-35 dbl's a week. Which could increase when I get a machine that is giving me better shots.

Plumbing in is possible. I am going this week to check my water. Any suggestions/post to read on water?

I have 20 amp service throughout the house.

$400-1200 is the budget I have set aside for the machine.  I currently have a Mazzer Major/Rio badged grinder.  From what I've read that should be adequate to do espresso, correct?

I think preowned is what I prefer. I feel I can get a higher quality used machine than a new machine with this budget. I'm pretty handy and can do repairs.

Also buying preowned some of the accessories could possibly come with the machine. If not I will purchase the proper accessories that I will need.  I have a scale accurate to .1 grams.

Now a little about me if you want to keep reading. I started with the Mr. C at Xmas my bride bought and wore it out drinking obviously sub sub par coffee. I talked her into letting me purchase a "Infuser", please don't stop reading. Sometimes people make mistakes when they don't know what is up. Now we are just drinking sub par coffee is what I found out in another post on this forum.

This has become my new obsession. I read, watch videos and research every machine that I find I like the looks of. But I'm coming here for the "IMO" factor.

I like the looks of the "E-61" brew head machines. I know I want a 58mm professional p/f even if its not on the "E-61" machine. I would need something that I can put on a timer so it comes on and begins to heat in the am. I like having the hot water on the machine for the Americana.  I suppose those are my only must.

Thanks for reading.

Cheers
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,842
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 Thu Aug 29, 2013, 5:43am
Subject: Re: Machine advice
 

Welcome to the board.
When you are willing to go used (that is a good thing in my book if you accept the risks that go along with it, like buying anything used)  but the choice of equipment will be limited to what comes onto the market so any specific advice about which machine is the best bang for the $ is moot.
A quality prosumer level machine will make you very happy.

Your grinder is more than able to keep up with any machine in this class and like anything, the more you are willing to spend, the better your options are. You will quickly be frustrated with a SBDU so take those off the table, this will automatically tilt the price range to the top end.

Our BST forum very often has quality equipment available from members moving up so keep an eye on it.

 
In real life, my name is
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!
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,842
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 Thu Aug 29, 2013, 5:56am
Subject: Re: Machine advice
 

A quick trip to the
bst forum and I came up with http://coffeegeek.com/forums/members/buysell/629619
The linked first look review here on CG is 11 years old now but as the machine uses a whole lot of "off the shelf" parts, I would not be too worried about service in the future.

The price is reasonable it is a plumb in unit so no tank to fill but you will require a good plumb in water filter system. I can not endorse the seller or the machine, I am simply pointing you to it. My personal inclination were I to be in need of a machine would be to give it a serious look. YMMV!

 
In real life, my name is
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!
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
jwoodyu
Senior Member
jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 857
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Thu Aug 29, 2013, 6:56am
Subject: Re: Machine advice
 

+1 if you can tinker a little bit there likely won't be much on that machine you can't fix yourself.  The only reason I could see for a grinder upgrade would be connivence feature or a conical due to flavor preference. As taste profiles go it will be tough to do better than that major among flat burr grinders. If your buying used consider it likely comes with an Oklahoma guaranty "If it breaks in half, you get both ends". :)

 
Yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
hmitchell6
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Jul 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Texas
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: ECM Giotto, Breville Infuser
Grinder: Mazzer/Rio, Hario Skerton...
Posted Thu Aug 29, 2013, 7:32am
Subject: Re: Machine advice
 

Cal...
I have actually looked at that euro2000 a dozen times at least. It looks like the steam wand has been changed from the oem. It's longer in the posted pics.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,842
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 Thu Aug 29, 2013, 9:00am
Subject: Re: Machine advice
 

Most machines get modded one way or another, not a big deal. If it really bugs you, then keep looking for a machine or change it back.

jwoodyu that is the first time I have heard of an Oklahoma guaranty "If it breaks in half, you get both ends", I love it :D

 
In real life, my name is
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!
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
hmitchell6
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Jul 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Texas
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: ECM Giotto, Breville Infuser
Grinder: Mazzer/Rio, Hario Skerton...
Posted Thu Aug 29, 2013, 9:26am
Subject: Re: Machine advice
 

Sorry, that wasn't a negative remark. The oem wand looked very short and I read of some complaints it was difficult to steam with it being short. Are these valves able to interchange with other like the lever control, do you know?  Can this machine be put on pid to control/alter the temps?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Aug 29, 2013, 9:29am
Subject: Re: Machine advice
 

Bang for buck used I would have to vote Oscar.  It is not as shiny so I got mine for under 500 in good shape but I still had to replace the pump. (they last about 5 years anyway) It has a really large boiler but to be perfect it needs a few tweaks so I only recommend it used so you have money left over for the mods.

I picked a machine/mileage/price I wanted and shopped till I found something that fit all 3, but I had a lot less money to work with.   With your budget there will be a lot of used machines that were 2k+ new with in your reach so Calbacksmith is correct about looking around.  I would probably make a short list of machines that you like that are 1500-3k new so you will recognize the names when you see them. Then watch the craigslist and buy sell trade here for those names.

As an option your budget will get you a new:
Click Here (www.1st-line.com)

La Nuova Era Cuadra Espresso Machine at 1st Line Equipment

Specifications:

Measurements: 15" H x 14.5" W x 17" D (38.1cm H x 36.83cm W x 43.18cm D)
Accessories: One dual spout portafilter, single dose filter basket, double dose filter basket, rubber insert for backflushing, coffee measuring scoop, grouphead cleaning brush, removable electrical cord for 110 volt outlet, and water tank refill spout
Weight: 31 pounds (14 kilograms)
Power: 1200 Watts, 110 Volts
Boiler capacity: 0.48 gallons (1.8 liters)
Water tank capacity: 0.79 gallons (3 liters)
Color: Polished stainless steel
Warranty: 1 year parts and 90 days labor limited to manufacturer's defect
ETL Listed - not even some of the more expensive machines have this rating from a product safety testing agency
Made in Italy

 
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
calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,842
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 Fri Aug 30, 2013, 6:00am
Subject: Re: Machine advice
 

hmitchell6 Said:

Sorry, that wasn't a negative remark. The oem wand looked very short and I read of some complaints it was difficult to steam with it being short. Are these valves able to interchange with other like the lever control, do you know?  Can this machine be put on pid to control/alter the temps?

Posted August 29, 2013 link

I didn't take it as negative, no need to say your sorry.

You need to contact the seller for any mods.

From memory, that is a HX machine. Altering temps are as simple as altering the cooling flush, a simple on the fly process.

On a HX machine, the only possible benefit of a PID is to watch the numbers (eye candy) and to replace the Pstat which some find a soft click to be annoying and there is debate about a longer life in the PID vs the Pstat. The PID is electronic and the Pstat is mechanical. There is no meaningful difference with temp though as the brew system is indirectly heated through the steam boiler on a HX  machine, it is not maintained by the Pstat or a PID if one were to be fitted.

 
In real life, my name is
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!
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,154
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 Fri Aug 30, 2013, 11:02am
Subject: Re: Machine advice
 

most decent to good to excellent espresso machines can be refitted with at least one other maker's wand without too much tinkering.  Usually, it's a simple matter of removing the old wand or the old wand/valve assembly and putting the new one in it's place.  You just have to do a little research first to see which one(s) fit your machine, because what you don't want to do is assume that you can just buy any old one you like and expect it to work out.

If buying used, my recommendation would be to first look at all the features available on the various machines on the market.  Then decide which ones are must haves, wants, don't wants and will not accepts.  Then take a look at which machines meet your criteria.  Lastly, look out on places where used gear is offered (like the BST forum here) and wait for something you want to pop up.  Keep in mind that older versions may have or not have features of newer versions, so you may have to research them thoroughly or ask the seller pointed questions to make sure you get what you want.  You also have to take into consideration all the other standard things related to buying used.

One thought on your americano is that the water coming out of the hot water wand is much too hot to drink.  Many of us, rather flush the group well then use water from it instead.  I've found the greatest use of my hot water wand is in prewarming cups in a pinch.  However, if you choose something with a mammoth boiler (like an Elektra T1 Sixties), you can pull hot water from it for cooking (so I'm told).

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Machine advice  
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.
Find the Right Machine...
Package deals on the best machines from Izzo, Quick Mill, Rocket, La Marzocco & more.
www.clivecoffee.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. (0.384299993515)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+