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Help on choosing my first home machine
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Help on choosing...  
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daltongreene
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Sep 2013
Posts: 33
Location: Ireland
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Quickmill Anita
Grinder: K30-es,La minerva c11, Hario...
Drip: v60, Aeropress
Posted Fri Jan 3, 2014, 3:33pm
Subject: Help on choosing my first home machine
 

Hi all,

I have being researching for quite a while now on what home machine to get and it's quite tough. I have cut my list down to four machines which was no easy task.

I am an espresso drinker mainly and producing the best quality espresso is my main pursuit within my budget.
I need to be able to texture milk for guests and certain days for myself to practice.
I plan on making a minimum of 35 shots a week some weeks more some less (plan on experimenting and perfecting techniques)
I own a Mahlkonig k30 ES for home use already so that's my grinder good to go.
Options I would like are PID but if not possible I can do without.
My budget is a MAX 1,500 and a 100 of that for Tamper, knockbox etc etc.

The machines I have selected may seem odd and varied here they are:

Zaffiro sbdu 885
Quickmill Anita HX 1179
Isomac Millenium iii HX 1245
Expobar Leva DB 1350

Any input will be greatly appreciated, I plan on placing my order monday as I'm itching to get going.
Thanks all,
Dalton
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MikeReilly
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 304
Location: Vancouver Island
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Cimbali Junior Gaggia...
Grinder: Pharos CC45 Mazzer Mini
Drip: Cuisinart
Roaster: Behmor, I-Roast 2, Popper
Posted Fri Jan 3, 2014, 4:09pm
Subject: Re: Help on choosing my first home machine
 

Anything but the SBDU if you intend to do very many milk drinks (more than one per session).  The choice between the last three come mostly down to HX vx DB, which depends on how often you change coffees imho.  The HX can be dialed in on the fly to a particular temperature (but it takes some practice and note taking to get the hang of), the DB is easy to set and forget at one specific temperature, but takes some time to stabilize at a new temperature.  You could treat the DB as an HX by setting the PID at a higher temp and then use cooling flushes to bring it down, much like you would with an HX, but that sort of defeats the purpose.  Honestly, I think you will be happy with any of the three, but of course there are more to consider out there in a similar price range like the Domobar Super, Vivaldi S1, etc...
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mennamorato
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Nov 2013
Posts: 35
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rocket Cellini Premium Plus...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:42pm
Subject: Re: Help on choosing my first home machine
 

Get a Rocket. Many people do not like them very much, but I have had great espresso with mine. My local cafe uses a Robur and KvdW spirit, and the coffee from my setup is superior.
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daltongreene
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Sep 2013
Posts: 33
Location: Ireland
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Quickmill Anita
Grinder: K30-es,La minerva c11, Hario...
Drip: v60, Aeropress
Posted Sat Jan 4, 2014, 6:28am
Subject: Re: Help on choosing my first home machine
 

MikeReilly Said:

Anything but the SBDU if you intend to do very many milk drinks (more than one per session).  The choice between the last three come mostly down to HX vx DB, which depends on how often you change coffees imho.  The HX can be dialed in on the fly to a particular temperature (but it takes some practice and note taking to get the hang of), the DB is easy to set and forget at one specific temperature, but takes some time to stabilize at a new temperature.  You could treat the DB as an HX by setting the PID at a higher temp and then use cooling flushes to bring it down, much like you would with an HX, but that sort of defeats the purpose.  Honestly, I think you will be happy with any of the three, but of course there are more to consider out there in a similar price range like the Domobar Super, Vivaldi S1, etc...

Posted January 3, 2014 link

I'm familiar with hx commercial machines and can flush quite capably. I imagine a DB is what I would want to go for but in the choices I've put up I'm uncertain how capable the DB is seeing as it's in the lower price range of the DB. How long, if you know, more or less would it take to stabilize temperature on a DB because if it is quite some time maybe it would be just as easy to go with a HX and know when I'm good to pull a shot.

I live in Ireland and there are very few companies that sell decent prosumer machines so I have limited my search to one Irish site and one english site so that's why my list is so restricted as they do not stock a huge range of machines.
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daltongreene
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Sep 2013
Posts: 33
Location: Ireland
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Quickmill Anita
Grinder: K30-es,La minerva c11, Hario...
Drip: v60, Aeropress
Posted Sat Jan 4, 2014, 6:32am
Subject: Re: Help on choosing my first home machine
 

mennamorato Said:

Get a Rocket. Many people do not like them very much, but I have had great espresso with mine. My local cafe uses a Robur and KvdW spirit, and the coffee from my setup is superior.

Posted January 3, 2014 link


I have been looking at a particular Rocket I could get it's the ROCKET ESPRESSO CELLINI PLUS V2 COFFEE MACHINE it seems quite good but its just within my budget but I was thinking of getting something else as in the future if I was to upgrade to a rocket I would prefer to hold out for the Rocket R58 DB
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Fred1
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Sep 2004
Posts: 564
Location: Seattle
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: LaSpaziale S1 Mini Vivaldi...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini/NS MCF
Vac Pot: None
Drip: Chemex
Roaster: Hottop, FR+8
Posted Sat Jan 4, 2014, 9:33am
Subject: Re: Help on choosing my first home machine
 

Dalton,

I agree with the statement "anything but the sbdu".  Of the other machines, I would choose the Anita just because it has the lowest price of the three.  Since you are familiar with HX machines, that should cause you no concern.  

Once you change temp on a DB machine, give it 30 minutes to stabilize at the new temp.  I don't make temp changes on my DB machine very often.  

Good luck,

Fred
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,258
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 Sat Jan 4, 2014, 9:49am
Subject: Re: Help on choosing my first home machine
 

Within any given price range most E-61 HX machines are much of a muchness.  Don't worry too much about Rocket or not Rocket.  If you're buying an E-61 HX, just make sure it has the feature set you want and doesn't have a horrible reputation.  

Personally I prefer HXs to DBs, and if good recommendations  were a "you should buy what makes me happy" thing I'd steer you in that direction.  More quality for less money, can do three or four different temps to dial in as fast as you can pull them, customizable temp "hump,"etc.; even though it doesn't require much attention on a daily basis, doesn't provide the security of a digital readout, etc.  In other words, the things I value and not the things I don't.

However, we're not talking about me.  If what you really want is a DB, I think it's a good idea to get one rather than an HX.  And, if the machine you really want is a Rocket R58, it's worth delaying gratification for a couple of months until you can afford one, rather than sacrificing to buy something you really don't want and living with it for several years.  

BDL
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,030
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Jan 4, 2014, 10:18am
Subject: Re: Help on choosing my first home machine
 

I agree, take your time and get the machine that will make you happy a long time.  Most people rush in and buy the first one they can afford then regret it.  Both DB and HX make great coffee when you learn them.  Both have a learning curve.  I am very techie and I though I would need gauges and read outs to learn coffee (as I never drank it before and don't drink it straight)  but I managed quite quickly to figure things out without them. It probably helps that I am a cook and am used to judging the food and adjusting my cooking from that.  Which is really the best way to adjust your espresso, no matter what the timers, gauges, and pids say, your taste buds are in the driver's seat.  I also can tell by color of the espresso crema if the shot is over / under extracted.  There is a good picture guide to that on Sweet marias site.  I don't have any gauges but a timer that I got at the dollar store that I use to time shots. But I am not a slave to that, if I watch and adjust the pull to what I see and hear.  You can hear/see a shot start to get watery at the end, so you have to learn to cut the pull off right before that point.  That comes from practice and knowing your machine and there is no gauge for that.

I also agree that if you change grinds a lot an HX might have a slight edge and I use an HX but that choice was budget driven and I wanted a lot of steam power so I skipped single boilers and started with a used HX. If you have the budget and are a set and forget guy that will do the same beans for 5lbs or so then then a DB might be the one for you.  

My dream machine is a lever machine made in England but it is more than your budget.

 
Coffeenoobie

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

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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,775
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 Jan 5, 2014, 12:43am
Subject: Re: Help on choosing my first home machine
 

Take your time, avoid a SBDU, you will only learn to hate it, .... very quickly.

HX, DB, two takes on the same theme. Either makes great coffee, even more than switching coffees or staying with the same, as a casual observer, tend to see the tech/digital readout/stopwatch in hand/must have all the tech toys person favor DB while people that just want good coffee and really don't find a big deal in the above, go with a HX, they get more machine for their money and it makes them happy.

That is what  I have for years, and I have no desire to "upgrade" to a DB.

That is not a shot at those who like them, by all means, get what you want, you are not right or wrong, just going with what makes you happy.

Grinder, grinder grinder grinder grinder grinder grinder

oh if I happened to miss it, grinder grinder grinder grinder....... I think you get the picture.

 
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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daltongreene
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Sep 2013
Posts: 33
Location: Ireland
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Quickmill Anita
Grinder: K30-es,La minerva c11, Hario...
Drip: v60, Aeropress
Posted Sun Jan 5, 2014, 7:44am
Subject: Re: Help on choosing my first home machine
 

calblacksmith Said:

Take your time, avoid a SBDU, you will only learn to hate it, .... very quickly.

HX, DB, two takes on the same theme. Either makes great coffee,  the tech/digital readout/stopwatch in hand/must have all the tech toys person favor DB while people that just want good coffee and really don't find a big deal in the above, go with a HX, they get more machine for their money and it makes them happy.


Grinder, grinder grinder grinder grinder grinder grinder

oh if I happened to miss it, grinder grinder grinder grinder....... I think you get the picture.

Posted January 5, 2014 link

Thanks for the reply.

I was only considering the SBDU because of Marks excellent review on the Zaffiro and how the shot quality was so good so my thinking was for the price I'd have a machine I could work my shots on but I imagine the other machines in my list can produce great shots and I'll have the flexibility of making milk drinks.

I think I'm leaning more towards the Quickmill Anita HX now. It seems like a great machine capable of a lot, and gives me a bit more hands on approach than DB  would allow.
I plan on buying Eric Svendens digital thermometer and adapter for exposed E61 groupheads, so I can play around with that if I like and not worry about PID'S and on the Anita there is easy access to the expansion valve to play with pressure profiles if I please so I'm happy.

As for the grinder, I have a mahlkonig K30-ES waiting patiently on my counter for a machine to come and play with.
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