Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
Buy cheaper now or wait
Learn @seattlecoffeegear
Learn all about coffee, watch videos, read how-to articles.
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 > Buy cheaper now...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Author Messages
MorneDJ
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2013
Posts: 7
Location: South Africa. Pretoria
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed Dec 18, 2013, 12:22am
Subject: Buy cheaper now or wait
 

Hi. First post though I have been reading this site now for a while.

I love coffee, drinking a few cups a day, mainly drip brewed (being an office). I generally buy the beans every few weeks (trying to adhere to the 15 day rule) and freshly ground the coffee just before brewing (I generally heat/boil the water beforehand - boil at about 95 Degrees Celsius here). I drink it with milk although I have been trying to appreciate the coffee black, no sweetener in the last week. I however love milky drinks like flat whites and cappuccino's, especially when prepared by an barista that can make the drink appear pretty (good looking drink also taste better I believe). My wife mainly drink Cappuccino's, but can drink a few of these a day.

I have a number of coffee makers, including a commercial drip brewer (for office), Jura bean-to-cup machine (F50 I think), press pots, a vacuum pot, etc. I have been toying with the idea of getting a proper espresso machine that I can use for both espressos as well as milky drinks as I would love to learn Latte Art. I have to admit that the thought of experimenting with extracting beans at different temperatures is quite alluring (the chemist in me I guess). The Jura cannot make a proper foam for Cappuccino's (or I cannot, even after 3 years of daily use), no matter what I try (0%, 2%, full cream milk being icy, cold, luke-warm milk, etc; using the frothing attachment/frother etc). My previous cheap no-name espresso machine made better micro-foam.

I have the opportunity to buy a Rancilio Silvia for about $450, but reading the feedback it appears to be fine for making espressos, there is waiting involved before being able to steam milk and again back to pulling a shot. One in addition cannot set the brew temperature. I believe that the machine is brilliant at making a good quality micro-foam, but, considering everything it might not be ideal for my use. The benefit is that I can get it now.

Alternatively I can wait and save a bit more and get something like the Expobar Brewtus or similar. Being in South Africa my options are slightly more limited as I would like to stick to what I can buy here (with full support if something goes wrong). I do not care about whether it is new or second-hand, and aesthetics is the least of my worries, neither the potential learning curve (my wife may have an issue).

Any suggestions or recommendations. I will find out from the local companies here whether they sell / support the equipment suggested.

Summary:

1)  What kind of drinks do you like/want to make? - Espresso, flat white and cappuccino
2)  How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself needing to make at any one time? Normally 2 singles with at least one microfoam, frequently 4 - 6 shots with steamed milk (micro-foam)
3)  How many drinks, on average, do you see yourself making in any given week?   About 4 single shots per day
4)  Can you plumb a machine directly into the water supply, or do you want/need a pour over machine with its own reservoir? - Either, not important
5)  Do you have a 20-amp circuit available, or only a (standard) 15-amp circuit? - Dedicated 20-amp, single phase circuit possible will call in electrician if needed)
6)  What is your budget for a new machine?  Does that also include a grinder?  If not, what is your budget for a grinder? - about $2,000 including the grinder. I however intend on buying a used small commercial grinder this month from a catering goods company
7)  Are you willing to buy used or do you need new equipment? Do you or family member have the skills to repair used equipment? New or used - must be supported in South Africa (dealer/distributer with backup to fix major issues)
8)  Do you have the essential accessories (decent tamper, knockbox, the works), otherwise budget about $100 for these - Not relevant. I will buy/order/borrow what I need. Not included in budget above
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
bardogg
Senior Member


Joined: 19 May 2003
Posts: 2
Location: johannesburg
Expertise: Intermediate

Posted Wed Dec 18, 2013, 6:23pm
Subject: Re: Buy cheaper now or wait
 

You should seriously consider the Breville Dual Boiler paired with a good espresso grinder.  As I'm sure you've read--don't skimp on the grinder; it will make your vac and press pot coffees better as well.  A refurbed BDB and refurbed Preciso here run about $1300 total.

I am a long-time espresso wannabe but real newbie in terms of actually playing around with machines.  I have owned a super automatic and several years ago an Expobar Office Pulser.  Super automatics are a waste of time and money.  With the Expobar I made the mistake of skimping on the grinder and ultimately sold it because I couldn't make a decent shot consistently.  I now own the Baratza Preciso.  I bought it before the BDB, and it immediately improved my vac pot coffee (Yama with a glass cory rod)--eliminating all stalls and giving me a much more consistent time on the drop down.  After seeing for myself what a good grinder can do, I was regretting selling my Expobar, but decided I would try the BDB (refurbs go for around $800 US here).  Once I started using the BDB, all regrets vanished.  It's a lot easier to use than the Expobar  The shot timer and pressure gauge really help for dialing in.  I'm still playing around with different settings but can keep track of how different dosages, grind settings and tamps change the timing and pressure.  Also, the built in PID gives you complete control over that variable as well.  Steaming milk is a breeze with the second boiler.  I had a hard time with my superautomatic and only a slightly easier time with the Expobar, but the BDB makes me look like a pro.

A google search turned up at least one vendor in SA (although more expensive than over here).  With Breville based in Australia, I would think warranty service is available.  Another possibility (that I'm seriously considering), is waiting for the Oracle's release.  It does almost everything a superautomatic but with the ability to use a separate grinder and steam yourself if you'd rather.  My wife is completely uninterested in learning to use even a machine as easy as the BDB but would like to make milk drinks herself when I'm not around.

Where are you in SA?  I was in Stellenbosch for 7 months through August and really impressed with the booming coffee culture.  We were regulars at Hazz and Die Oude Bank Bakkerij.  Hazz made a better espresso but the food and everything else is much better at the bakery.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Thu Dec 19, 2013, 6:41am
Subject: Re: Buy cheaper now or wait
 

I would stay away from the Silvia if your thinking about putting it in an office.  I'm sure the Breville Dual Boiler will get things done but I would honestly look more into the Expobar's.  Depending on use say if at times it might get used more frequently I'd want something a bit more commercially built not to mention be able to get serviced easily if you need to.  If your dealing with hard water regular descaling will need to be done to keep the machine running.

What  semi-commercial were you looking at?  If your grinder isn't a good one your shots aren't going to be good regardless of machine.
back to top
 View Profile Contact via MSN Messenger Link to this post
calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,880
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 Dec 19, 2013, 6:50am
Subject: Re: Buy cheaper now or wait
 

Hello,
I am also not a fan of the BDB, it has proven to have spotty quality issues. On paper it looks great but in my heart I can not advise anyone to buy one. Perhaps the second version due out soon if the rumor mill has it correct, will be better but even then, I would take a wait and see stance.

At your budget, you are solidly into the HX camp of proven designs. They allow you to steam and pull shots at the same time and they also allow you to adjust your brew temp up or down a few deg F from shot to shot if you desire to do so or they can be very consistent too, it is up to the users skill and practice on a particular machine to operate it correctly. This means that there is a little longer learning curve for a HX machine but like most things in life there are trade offs to everything.

Which particular machine you might have available to you in your location is up to you to find out. Do some looking and we can advise which we feel is better suited but in reality, most prosumer and above machines are made from pretty much the same off the shelf parts so the case is a large part of what you see as differences, well that and things like boiler size.

 
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
Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,040
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu Dec 19, 2013, 8:01am
Subject: Re: Buy cheaper now or wait
 

bardogg, you should start a thread telling your coffee story or do a review.  I think it would inspire scared people.  Steaming is easier on the BDB however it is slow when you get used to a commercial machine.  (part of the ease is the slowness)

 
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
JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,431
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 Thu Dec 19, 2013, 8:34am
Subject: Re: Buy cheaper now or wait
 

MorneDJ Said:

Hi. First post though I have been reading this site now for a while.

Posted December 18, 2013 link

Welcome.

MorneDJ Said:

I love coffee, drinking a few cups a day, mainly drip brewed (being an office). I generally buy the beans every few weeks (trying to adhere to the 15 day rule) and freshly ground the coffee just before brewing (I generally heat/boil the water beforehand - boil at about 95 Degrees Celsius here). I drink it with milk although I have been trying to appreciate the coffee black, no sweetener in the last week. I however love milky drinks like flat whites and cappuccino's, especially when prepared by an barista that can make the drink appear pretty (good looking drink also taste better I believe). My wife mainly drink Cappuccino's, but can drink a few of these a day.

Posted December 18, 2013 link

Bear with me here, but please drink coffee the way you like, be that with milk, cream, vanilla, or black.  The key is to ENJOY, period.

MorneDJ Said:

The Jura cannot make a proper foam for Cappuccino's (or I cannot, even after 3 years of daily use), no matter what I try (0%, 2%, full cream milk being icy, cold, luke-warm milk, etc; using the frothing attachment/frother etc).

Posted December 18, 2013 link

No.  No mater what you do, it is incapable of that.

MorneDJ Said:

I have the opportunity to buy a Rancilio Silvia for about $450, but reading the feedback it appears to be fine for making espressos, there is waiting involved before being able to steam milk and again back to pulling a shot. One in addition cannot set the brew temperature. I believe that the machine is brilliant at making a good quality micro-foam, but, considering everything it might not be ideal for my use. The benefit is that I can get it now.

Alternatively I can wait and save a bit more and get something like the Expobar Brewtus or similar. Being in South Africa my options are slightly more limited as I would like to stick to what I can buy here (with full support if something goes wrong). I do not care about whether it is new or second-hand, and aesthetics is the least of my worries, neither the potential learning curve (my wife may have an issue).

Posted December 18, 2013 link

There is an unwritten rule about espresso equipment:  there will always be a better option down the road.  It's just a fact of life.  It is also a fact of life that you don't know what you've been missing until you try it -- meaning that dozens of people here, for example, have jumped up and down raving about how great their Rancilio Silvia or Rocky is, how amazing their Saeco or DeLonghi is, or what an excellent job their Breville does -- how their espresso and micro-foam is on par with the best professional baristas, etc., etc., etc. . . . and then they upgrade their equipment and are shocked, shocked to find -- even with the same machine -- what a difference getting a better grinder made; or upgrading to an HX or DB made over their trusty old SBDU or super-auto Jura or built-in Miele or . . . or . . . or . . .

I would advise patience if possible, BUT . . .  True, the Silvia will make better espresso and milk drinks than your Jura, period.  True, there is a bit of a lag time when switching in between brewing temp and steaming temp with an SBDU machine (I know; I used one for 25 years),
but if you've never experienced the joys of "instant" steaming with an HX or DB, then you won't know what you're missing, right?

But if you can be patient, get a rock-solid HX or DB machine and a commercial grinder, and you won't look back!  Ever.

As far as what to get, it depends upon what's available in ZA, and I fear I don't have the foggiest what's there . . .

And when you buy that used commercial grinder, don't forget to buy a new set of burrs!

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
MorneDJ
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Dec 2013
Posts: 7
Location: South Africa. Pretoria
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun Dec 22, 2013, 2:10am
Subject: Re: Buy cheaper now or wait
 

Thanks for all the replies. Just a correction. This will be ised at my house alone. No office.

So I maxed my credit and got the Expobar Office Leva 2 (called the Brewtus iv) in some other countries. Photos will follow. But new I need the grinder and managed to find:
- Mahlkonig Vario at about $600 new
- La Cimbali Junior at about $350 used
- Mazzer Mine at about $400 used.

Any opinions. I am leaning towards the La Cimbali from all I have read.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Buy cheaper now...  
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.
Rancilio Silvia - How to
Step by step guide for easy brewing and steaming with the Rancilio Silvia
www.seattlecoffeegear.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. (0.417739152908)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+