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Looking for sturdy machine
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Looking for...  
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,396
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Mon Oct 7, 2013, 8:35am
Subject: Re: Looking for sturdy machine
 

I strongly recommend against the Silvia.  No matter how good your technique, the machine's inherent inconsistency will make you inconsistent as well.  Best thing you can say about it is that ten years ago, it used to be a good value.  Espresso machine technology has advanced so far in the interim that is no longer true.  Now the best you can say for it is that it's cranky, inconsistent, slow and not suitable for making back to back straight-shots -- let alone lattes.  

There aren't a lot of espresso machines which hugely out perform their price range, but the Breville BDB is one of them.  Be aware that Breville plans to introduce a new version sometime within the next couple of months which addresses most of the machine's minor issues.  The BDB appears to be very reliable, Breville's commitment and support for it has been outstanding.  Unless you have a deeply held prejudice against Breville (based on their previous history of admittedly shoddy espresso products), or reject plasticky looking appliances -- if you can afford ~$1200 for a machine, the BDB borders on no-brainer.   I'd wait for the holidays when old ones are still in stock but new ones are moving on to store shevles to see if you'd prefer the NEW and IMPROVED version or pick up on the inevitable savings.

As always:
GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER

BDL
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LJSquishy
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Oct 2013
Posts: 27
Location: Spokane, WA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Mon Oct 7, 2013, 9:11am
Subject: Re: Looking for sturdy machine
 

I've narrowed it down to the BDB and the CC1. The Breville is definitely at the top of my budget but it's doable I think -- I can buy it for around $900 new online using a coupon/ebates and no tax. The CC1 will be around $250 less (have to pay tax on the CC1 but not the BDB) I think. So, I have to decide if the BDB is worth $250 more. :)

I'm sure I'd love the newer BDB model once it's out, but I probably wouldn't be able to justify any price increase so it would still be out of reach for me. While I used to always want the newest model of anything I purchased, I'm not that way anymore...I just need a model that suits my needs. There is always something bigger, better, newer coming out.

If anyone has opinions on whether the BDB or the CC1 would be a better choice I would appreciate it. Just for reiteration, the machine will be used to make up to 2 16oz lattes at a time and about 90% of drinks will be milk based. We make anywhere from 4-8 drinks per week on average so very light use. I'm leaning more toward the BDB at this point but I still can't decide.
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,052
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Mon Oct 7, 2013, 9:34am
Subject: Re: Looking for sturdy machine
 

Grinder, grinder, grinder, feature wise breville, but I wouldn't call it sturdy. I think you will get better taste from adding $350 to your grinder .

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

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LJSquishy
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Oct 2013
Posts: 27
Location: Spokane, WA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Mon Oct 7, 2013, 9:54am
Subject: Re: Looking for sturdy machine
 

Coffeenoobie Said:

Grinder, grinder, grinder, feature wise breville, but I wouldn't call it sturdy. I think you will get better taste from adding $350 to your grinder .

Posted October 7, 2013 link

I'm still working out the grinder budget. I'll likely end up with a refurbished Vario or used Mazzer Mini.
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takeshi
Senior Member
takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 1,006
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Tue Oct 8, 2013, 12:48pm
Subject: Re: Looking for sturdy machine
 

LJSquishy Said:

I would really like it to have the ability to make 2 16oz lattes in a reasonable amount of time.

Posted October 4, 2013 link

I can understand that but your budget precludes going with an HX or DB so you'll have to compromise on that point.  Or increase your budget.

LJSquishy Said:

The CC1 looks great but I worry about longevity, and it's also not available to purchase at many websites so I wonder if there is a reason for that (ie: maybe not a great machine).

Posted October 4, 2013 link

Availability has nothing to do with the quality or performance of the product.  The CC1 is a niche product.  To use another example, my Alex Duetto isn't available all over the place and it's a great machine.  Ubiquitous products aren't necessarily better either.  Availability is nothing but availability.

LJSquishy Said:

I think a grinder like the Baratza Virtuoso Preciso or something along that line should give a consistent enough grind.

Posted October 4, 2013 link

Is this based on experience on just on the price tag?  Keep in mind that the grinder matters more.  Definitely put some additional consideration into this.  If your budget is limited then downsize on the machine.

LJSquishy Said:

We will probably never get really into espresso. All we want to be able to do is make a few lattes a week that are at least as good as Starbucks (which I wouldn't really call very good but just using for comparison).

Posted October 6, 2013 link

Luckily that's an easy bar to jump.  Even with a Vario and Classic (and fresh beans properly ground & dosed and some experience) you can do significantly better and probably get a better appreciation for unflavored espresso drinks.
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LJSquishy
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Oct 2013
Posts: 27
Location: Spokane, WA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Tue Oct 8, 2013, 2:21pm
Subject: Re: Looking for sturdy machine
 

Thanks for everyone's help & suggestions.

I'm 90% sure we'll be going with a Breville Dual Boiler and Baratza Vario grinder. While I do worry slightly about the build quality of the Breville, we're talking about buying a 3yr Squaretrade warranty ($115 after a discount) to ease our minds. It sounds like Breville has been amazing as far as customer service goes, too.
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 665
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Tue Oct 8, 2013, 4:11pm
Subject: Re: Looking for sturdy machine
 

LJSquishy Said:

I'm 90% sure we'll be going with a Breville Dual Boiler and Baratza Vario grinder.

Posted October 8, 2013 link

That is an excellent combo. Those two go very well together.  The extra warranty doesn't hurt either. I would consider the BDB to be
An excellent "starter" machine. I wish I had considered buying a BDB before I bought my Silvia, but it wasn't out yet.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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LJSquishy
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Oct 2013
Posts: 27
Location: Spokane, WA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Tue Oct 8, 2013, 6:06pm
Subject: Re: Looking for sturdy machine
 

qualin Said:

That is an excellent combo. Those two go very well together.  The extra warranty doesn't hurt either. I would consider the BDB to be
An excellent "starter" machine. I wish I had considered buying a BDB before I bought my Silvia, but it wasn't out yet.

Posted October 8, 2013 link

Thanks! I ordered the pair a few hours ago. $1328 total after discounts (not including extended warranty) so I think I did pretty well! Not to mention the $68 in rewards credit on top of that. :) I'm super excited to play with the BDB.
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