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Buying a machine for the first time (noob alert)
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Buying a machine...  
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Marbos
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Feb 2014
Posts: 21
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Feb 2, 2014, 7:55pm
Subject: Buying a machine for the first time (noob alert)
 

Hello everyone!

I've been drinking mokapot coffee at home for about 15 years with Starbucks lattes being my go to drink when I'm out and about.That being said I've had good espresso from my brother inlaw who's served me from a commercial machine a few times and had loved "crema" espresso and so I've decided to take the first step and get a machine to make it on my own and enjoy the "hobby" aspect of it at the same time.

So I've been reading a lot on this forum for the past month and have so many questions! I want to make a milk based coffee plus 1-2 espresso's a day at least, would like to have enough steam on demand without waiting and would like a decent quality machine. I was hoping to get all that with a budget between 1200-1700$ I have been eyeballing the Bezzera Magica and bz07-10 even looked at some Quick Mills but being new to it all just not sure so I thought I would ask what others input would be (any would be greatly appreciated).

I don't have a grinder of my own as of yet and I know its a must but I have easy access to one next door (commercial Ranchilio) so that will have to wait until I can get resources to take that step as I really wanted to spend on the espresso machine first.

Again any help would be appreciated
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fnacer
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Feb 2007
Posts: 465
Location: Denver
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Salvatore E61, Vivaldi Mini...
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Gaggia MDF,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Feb 2, 2014, 11:19pm
Subject: Re: Buying a machine for the first time (noob alert)
 

Marbos Said:

I have easy access to one next door (commercial Ranchilio)

Posted February 2, 2014 link

It takes me two or three shots to adjust my grinder when I start a new batch of coffee. And I adjust it further as the coffee gets older. Sometimes, I'll even adjust it between shots pulled the same day. And I am no fanatic. I can't imagine doing that with a grinder that's in another room, let alone "next door". And even that would only work if no one messed with the grinder in between my adjustments.

I hadn't thought about it before, but I guess I am pretty possessive of my grinder.

I'm curious. What sort of machine is next door?
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Marbos
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Feb 2014
Posts: 21
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Feb 3, 2014, 3:39am
Subject: Re: Buying a machine for the first time (noob alert)
 

fnacer Said:

I'm curious. What sort of machine is next door?

Posted February 2, 2014 link

It's a commercial ranchilio as well, not sure the model.

I really do understand how difficult it will be having to go and grind coffee next door specially when trying to adjust for the perfect shot (given all variables with age of the beans etc) but it's not going to be a long term thing and I be learning anyways.  As I said I want to spend on the machine and not want regret anything down the road. I also figure what ever I can get out of the machine under these circumstances is still going to be better then my mokapot and Starbucks.

When it comes time to buying a grinder ill be very picky in that quest as I am with buying my first espresso machine! I'm already looking at either the Vario - W or a used mazzer mini.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,362
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Feb 3, 2014, 7:13am
Subject: Re: Buying a machine for the first time (noob alert)
 

Grinder is more important than the machine, and you wouldn't just be able to grind next door as each bean/blend has to be dialed and grinds start going stale in about 15min. Rancillio Commercial grinders aren't good either, I only see them in shops that generally don't know what their doing, far far better espresso grinders for same price range that you'll see other shops using. You'll end up with bad coffee on an expensive purchase.

Why not a Vario/CC1 combo for a grand? A $300 Gaggia Classic with a Vario with outperform a $10k commercial machine paired with a poor grinder or "ground elsewhere" and brought back. Can tell you too friend got rid of his Mazzer Mini for a Vario, Mazzer is built like a tank but Vario wins easily everywhere else.
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Marbos
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Feb 2014
Posts: 21
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Feb 3, 2014, 8:06am
Subject: Re: Buying a machine for the first time (noob alert)
 

I totally get the grinder being a huge deal, knowing my habits I tend to want to upgrade things fairly quickly and in doing so I try my hardest now not to make a purchase  that I will regret. I figure I'll get to figure out the machine a bit in the mean time and when the grinder arrives I'll be that much more happier.

So I really would like to know what you guys think as far as my budget will let me and why. I'm really leaning towards either the bz10 which would allow me to grab a vario a bit sooner but at the same time would I be missing out on any important differences with a musica or any other brands in the same price range?
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,054
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Feb 3, 2014, 9:14am
Subject: Re: Buying a machine for the first time (noob alert)
 

Marbos Said:

I totally get the grinder being a huge deal, knowing my habits I tend to want to upgrade things fairly quickly and in doing so I try my hardest now not to make a purchase  that I will regret. I figure I'll get to figure out the machine a bit in the mean time and when the grinder arrives I'll be that much more happier.

So I really would like to know what you guys think as far as my budget will let me and why. I'm really leaning towards either the bz10 which would allow me to grab a vario a bit sooner but at the same time would I be missing out on any important differences with a musica or any other brands in the same price range?

Posted February 3, 2014 link

I think just not having to walk next door, in and of itself, is going to make you a lot happier...though I understand your reasons for waiting.  And while I understand your reasons for waiting on a grinder, you have to understand you are severely crippling yourself in the process.  I know, I know...you say you understand how important the grinder is...but going next door to use their grinder is the same thing as using preground coffee.  It's adjusted for thier dose and machine, not yours, so you're about as likely to dial it in as if you scooped it out of a can...so good luck with that.  

With a budget of $1200-$1700, stay towards the low end (perhaps by going with a used machine) and then buy yourself a grinder (perhaps a refurbished Vario off of Baratza's website).  Here's a link...I literally just got, just now - Vario $360, Vario-W $440 (they update on Thursdays) https://www.baratza.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?search=action&category=RFRB

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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TheSunInsideYou
Senior Member
TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Laranzato HC-600, OE LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3
Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Mon Feb 3, 2014, 9:41am
Subject: Re: Buying a machine for the first time (noob alert)
 

I'm in the camp of thinking that if price is the concern, go a little lighter on the machine and higher on the grinder, but ALWAYS think grinder first. Vario over Mini for sure. I've used both of them in a commercial setting and can tell you that the Mini has the benefit of being stepless, but the Vario is easier to use, more consistent, gives a better grind, gives you more control, is cheaper, and looks better on your counter (IMO). Though it seems like a tough decision between using a grinder you have access to that costs you nothing or buying a grinder that will cost you hundreds of dollars, I can promise you that, a month down the road, you will realize what an easy decision it should have been.

-Dave-
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,054
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon Feb 3, 2014, 10:10am
Subject: Re: Buying a machine for the first time (noob alert)
 

here's a seemingly still available machine in the BST forum...

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/members/buysell/657354

of course, it depends what features you want your machine to have.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Marbos
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Feb 2014
Posts: 21
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Feb 3, 2014, 10:21am
Subject: Re: Buying a machine for the first time (noob alert)
 

emradguy Said:

(perhaps by going with a used machine) and then buy yourself a grinder (perhaps a refurbished Vario off of Baratza's website).  Here's a link...I literally just got, just now - Vario $360, Vario-W $440 (they update on Thursdays) https://www.baratza.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?search=action&category=RFRB

Posted February 3, 2014 link

Thanks for that link! I'll put that in consideration when ready to pull the trigger!!

As for buying a used machine I have been looking but haven't really come across anything of interest. Besides with a company that gives free shipping I would be ahead by buying from them with the savings!
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Marbos
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Feb 2014
Posts: 21
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Mon Feb 3, 2014, 10:24am
Subject: Re: Buying a machine for the first time (noob alert)
 

emradguy Said:

here's a seemingly still available machine in the BST forum...

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/members/buysell/657354

of course, it depends what features you want your machine to have.

Posted February 3, 2014 link

That looks like a nice machine, just not sure what I'd be getting into with one that's been upgraded etc?
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