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Is this a good deal for me?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Is this a good...  
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evandena
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Sep 2013
Posts: 2
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Sep 10, 2013, 6:29am
Subject: Is this a good deal for me?
 

Hi guys, long time lurker, first time poster.

I'm new to the espresso game, and have been scouring Craigslist for my first machine.  I've recently started roasting my own beans with a Behmor 1600, and have been enjoying the results with my Aeropress or vac pot.  I've really been digging espresso and americano recently, so time for an espresso machine.

I'm looking for something rather durable, easy to use, and will last me for a few years.  I tend to upgrade all my hobby toys too frequently, so hopefully I'll be happy enough with my initial purchase to last me a while.

I've found a Pasquini Livia 90 semi auto on CL, also coming with a Rancilio Rocky Doserless.  Both have recently had a $200 tune up at the local espresso repair service place.  From what I've been told, light use over a few years.

We've negotiated to $450 for the pair.  I think this is a good price for the two, as I live in a medium sized city (500k) without a lot of opportunities on CL. Maybe a few quality machines show up a month, but their prices are much closer to retail.
Would you say this is a good deal in general, as well as a good deal for someone in my position?

Thanks! I'm looking forward to be more involved in the community and enjoying daily espressos!
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,752
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue Sep 10, 2013, 6:58am
Subject: Re: Is this a good deal for me?
 

It sounds like a good deal for that gear.  The Livia is an ok machine, I used to think it was really good, but now I've gotten a lot of experience under my belt.  The Rocky is marginal for espresso.  It's stepped adjustment mechanism limits your control over the shot.  You have to compensate by modifying dose.  However, we don't know what your budget is or what your needs are...how many drinks you'll make in a day or a week, if you have plumbing available for your machine, if you have other limitations, etc.  In my opinion, it's best to figure out what machine(s) meet your wants and needs and then go look for one.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,278
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Tue Sep 10, 2013, 7:01am
Subject: Re: Is this a good deal for me?
 

Without "test-driving" the machine-and-grinder for myself, I can't say if it's a good deal or not.  Certainly the price -- $450 for the pair -- is a deal.  What have you got to lose?

The first thing you need to do is:  don't stop saving up for equipment.  You're going to want to replace the grinder sooner, rather than later.  It will work, but it's not a great choice, so in a year or two . . . .  

When you do get around to replacing the grinder -- that's the priority, not an upgrade to the espresso machine itself -- make sure you "over-buy."  That is, get a grinder capable of handling a machine that is better than the Livia.  

In the meantime, practice, practice, practice . . . and ENJOY!

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,499
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 Tue Sep 10, 2013, 7:02am
Subject: Re: Is this a good deal for me?
 

As with all used equipment, condition is everything. In addition, Rocky is a bit dated but that is the price of a pretty basic machine alone so if it is working properly it will get you going though you will want to upgrade from Rocky as soon as finances allow. Congrats on jumping out of the shadows!

 
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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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,499
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 Tue Sep 10, 2013, 7:05am
Subject: Re: Is this a good deal for me?
 

All 3 of us typing at the same time and basically saying the same thing!

 
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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evandena
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Sep 2013
Posts: 2
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Sep 10, 2013, 8:52am
Subject: Re: Is this a good deal for me?
 

Thanks for the input, guys.

My budget kind of puts me in a limited space.  I'm really only looking for good deals, so the "perfect" machine may be out of reach for me.  Ideally I'd like to dedicate $500 to the initial purchase of an espresso machine.  I'd then be stuck using my friends (oft hated, probably rightfully so) Virtuoso grinder until another rare deal popped up locally.

My options at $500 include a Quickmill Silvano (that might be more than $500) or Miss Silvia, but either of those would leave me grinder-less.  
I'm a man of many compromises, so the Livia and Rocky seem like a good starter option.

Oh, and I'm looking at most making 1 shot a day.
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fozzybear
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Aug 2013
Posts: 15
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Manufacture Technika IV
Grinder: Mazzer mini
Posted Tue Sep 10, 2013, 9:22am
Subject: Re: Is this a good deal for me?
 

This is a very reasonable price for the combo.  Believe me the limiting factor here will *not* be your equipment (coffee beans, barista, and then equipment).   I have a neighbor with the Pasquini Livia, and it does pretty well for them.  It would definitely be a rig you could grow into, and probably recover every penny of your investment on resale.  

I agree with other posts that this isn't necessarily a 'forever' setup, but it will give you a lot of bang for your buck before you upgrade (starting with the Rocky).
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 2,973
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue Sep 10, 2013, 10:50am
Subject: Re: Is this a good deal for me?
 

If it works, no rust and leaks I think it would be a good starter set.  I agree you will want a better grinder sooner rather than later.  However we all have to start somewhere.

 
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
Senior Member


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

Posted Tue Sep 10, 2013, 3:52pm
Subject: Re: Is this a good deal for me?
 

evandena Said:

My budget kind of puts me in a limited space.  I'm really only looking for good deals, so the "perfect" machine may be out of reach for me.  Ideally I'd like to dedicate $500 to the initial purchase of an espresso machine.  I'd then be stuck using my friends (oft hated, probably rightfully so) Virtuoso grinder until another rare deal popped up locally.

Posted September 10, 2013 link

Well, I think the Livia combo you found is a steal.  The ones I've seen have asking prices of $700 alone and didn't seem like they were in excellent condition.  If the Livia needs repairs, your total cost will go up fast as you probably know.

If at some point you want to squeeze a little more out of the Rocky there is a kludgy stepless modification for it.
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