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About to buy an Espresso setup, is the best setup for my budget ?
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lipworth
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Sep 2013
Posts: 19
Location: Washington DC
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Sep 7, 2013, 5:23pm
Subject: About to buy an Espresso setup, is the best setup for my budget ?
 

I am not new to the coffee world I have the typical budget setup of V60, aeropress, french press with a skerton and that does me fine for my college coffee fix.  I already have a machine I was given from a family friend ( Gaggia coffee) , it does the job but I really want to get into the nuisances of a good shot

Currently I am looking at the Seattle Coffee Gear Crossland CC1.5 and Vario combo for $999

I am pretty set on the grinder the Vario seems like the clear cut winner in my price range but I am quite unsure on the machine. I considered the Silva but I quite like the PID function of the CC1.5 and can't be doing with the temp surfing on the silva or installing a PID myself.

In an ideal world I would like to spend under $1000 ( this is money saved up from a summer job ) but I could probably be persuaded to spend a little more if it meant getting a better machine, I am also very open to purchasing second hand if that makes things better.

I appreciate any suggestions, thank you in advance

p.s also this is my first post so sorry if I am doing anything wrong
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DanoM
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 310
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega, '84 La...
Grinder: Compak K10, Kludge grinder,...
Posted Sat Sep 7, 2013, 6:32pm
Subject: Re: About to buy an Espresso setup, is the best setup for my budget ?
 

The Vario is a good grinder, at least I enjoy mine.  Low grind retention, and easy to use.  I got my Vario, non W, on ebay brand new for $360 delivered.

I don't know the Crossland CC1.5 personally, so I can't comment on it.  I think the Sylvia, even a PID'd one, would be a lesser machine.  I like the small machines for their counter space, but often they are more difficult to use than a commercial entry-level machine.

For my money I'd look for used machines on Craigslist.  Something that is working well, and is local with 1/2 the price absorbed by someone else.  The Nuova Simonelli Oscar is a nice machine, not very pretty, no PID, but it does great espresso very easily.  A bit larger than the Crossland CC, but it will be temp stable and make back to back espresso shots without any trouble.  Great steam production too.  Prices around $500 for a working, used model are often seen.  (Mine was $460.)

If you can let us know what kind of drinks, how many shots/steams a day, and the like you'll get better feedback.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,014
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Sep 7, 2013, 8:06pm
Subject: Re: About to buy an Espresso setup, is the best setup for my budget ?
 

Yes, the standard questions in the read this before you post sticky are helpful if you want tailored advice.

 
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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MJW
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Joined: 25 Jul 2012
Posts: 179
Location: Silicon Valley
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Sep 7, 2013, 8:46pm
Subject: Re: About to buy an Espresso setup, is the best setup for my budget ?
 

I agree the used Oscar is a great value and they come up all the time on Craigslist.  You won't need a PID on Oscar and it's significantly easier than Silvia.

I would say take a look at the Breville 840XL.  It's not as good a machine as Oscar, overall but it is easy to use and performs well.

The Vario is great, I suggest considering Pharos as a low cost option.

Also used Super Jollys come up all the time, and you can get one of those for $400 or maybe less.

There are used Pasquini Livias that I've seen, inexpensive and handsome, but they do not pull shots as good as Oscar from what I've heard.
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lipworth
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Sep 2013
Posts: 19
Location: Washington DC
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Sep 8, 2013, 6:32am
Subject: Re: About to buy an Espresso setup, is the best setup for my budget ?
 

I did consider the Pharos but I hear it can only do 20g of coffee at a time and it is quite finicky too, so I thought that getting a vario might be easier as I could also use for pour/drip/aeropress fairly easily.

As for number of drinks I would probably have 2-3 doubles a day at least one of those with milk.

So from the advice it seems surfing craigslist and ebay regularly for a grinder and machine is my best and to try and to aim for an Oscar ?

Does anybody have any experience with either the silvano or anita by quickmill ?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,675
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 Sun Sep 8, 2013, 10:23am
Subject: Re: About to buy an Espresso setup, is the best setup for my budget ?
 

For best advice, please start at the start with the questions on the stickey post.
For new there are better cost choices than Sylvia but i t is a solid machine, no question, I have one for vacation use but not daily service though if only straight shots are your choice of espresso, it can produce great shots.

For a SBDU a PID is a must. The CC1 is a solid performer, no doubt.

Do avoid home duty machines such as Krups, Brevelle, etc. quality espresso machines can not be bought in supermarkets, big box stores, department stores or other mass market outlets. These stores do not specialize in espresso and serous machines are not sold there, they LOOK cool and are long on features but for the most part, short on quality regardless of the price. You may also see these machines for sale at online coffee equipment sellers, this is a nod to the consumer market and the mass market namer recognition, not a nod to quality. They sell to all segments of the market and what a buyer is looking for even if it is lower quality consumer equipment.

Also avoid designer machines like Francsis Francsis. They look great and are solidly built but the boilers are very small , thus making it difficult but not impossible to get good espresso from them, yes I have had a wide range of home quality and designer machines over the years. They can make espresso but they require much more effort to pull properly or the durability is not there, there are better choices for your money.

Used is a bit of hit and miss, you are limited to what equipment is for sale. Some fantastic deals are out there but a good deal of work may be needed to find them. This goes for grinders too, high quality grinders, used, in your price range are out there and are possibly better value for the money than your choice. The down side is that they are larger than home designed units.

If you would, please go through the stickey post and answer the questions, it is much easier to get you aimed in the best direction for you rather than a long thread of I like my XXXXXX  machine and it will be good for you too.

We have answered your question hundreds of times over the years. There is no RIGHT answer that is a blanket best choice for everyone, however there is a BETTER choice for you .

 
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!
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