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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
Junior Member


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

Posted Mon Feb 3, 2014, 2:15pm
Subject: Re: Buying a machine for the first time (noob alert)
 

calblacksmith Said:

Have you considered the BZ 07? It is a very similar machine to the 10 inside the case, same heater, same boiler etc. It costs a little less as you can buy the volumetric dosed version for $1599
Click Here (www.1st-line.com)
and the semi auto version for $1199
Click Here (www.1st-line.com)
thus giving you money to get a grinder too.
I don't need to say YET AGAIN how important the grinder is, do I? It is pretty much impossible to "do" espresso without a grinder of your own that is espresso worthy.

As others have said, machines come up in the BST forum all the time, well hit or miss I suppose but your money will go a LOT further when you can get a reliable used machine.

Posted February 3, 2014 link

I have considered a bz07p but with pid I haven't, at $1599 would it not be better to get the Magica instead? Not sure again about shipping costs when I wouldn't pay anything from idrinkcoffee.com
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canuckcoffeeguy
Senior Member
canuckcoffeeguy
Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 103
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mypressi Twist v2
Grinder: Vario / Hario Slim
Vac Pot: I have a Dyson vacuum, but,...
Drip: Bialetti Brikka/Bodum...
Posted Mon Feb 3, 2014, 3:58pm
Subject: Re: Buying a machine for the first time (noob alert)
 

Marbos Said:

I agree with everyone's comments for getting the grinder at the same time. Just as I said I have an itch to get the machine first and was gonna go without a grinder (using my neighbors temporarily) for at most 2 months. The main purpose of my thread was to figure out in my budget what machine would be the best as I can buy it first and get to know it etc where if I bought a grinder first (full well knowing it's important)I can't sit there and toy with it until I get the machine :)

Posted February 3, 2014 link

As a fellow Canuck, I urge you to listen to the unanimous feedback you're getting about the importance of a grinder. We want to help you avoid an exercise in frustration and not regret your decision. Espresso is a rewarding hobby if you learn to tame the beast. But it's also capable of becoming a Greek tragedy if you fly too close to the sun.

I was recently in your shoes. I wanted a new dream machine and had the itch, bad! I wanted to be pulling shots, NOW, like Matt Perger at the WBC. But I gathered my thoughts, took a deep breath, and adopted the long view. So I bought a new Vario to pair with a mypressi twist v2, which I bought used for $100.00 . So my grinder costs 4.5 times the cost of my espresso machine, if you will. I'm saving up to buy something like a Bezzera HX. Moral of the story: I prioritized the grinder over the machine and I'm enjoying very good espresso at home. And eventually I'll have my chrome monster.

In your case, can I make an alternative suggestion? Until you save up to purchase a machine and grinder TOGETHER -- how about just using your brother in law's machine and grinder to pull your espresso, and then bring it over to your house? While not ideal, it seems better than grinding over there and then running back to your place to pull a shot. And then, invariably, over and over again as you struggle to dial in a bean.

This will take care of your espresso fix until you get a grinder and machine, and it also gives you valuable practice as you take the journey into home barista-hood. Slow and steady wins the race, so to speak.

You're also in Ottawa. It's winter and it's cold and windy. I can't imagine running back and forth with freshly ground espresso in hand. It will be fraught with all kinds of difficulties.

All of the respondents in this thread have many years of espresso expertise under their belts. They're emphasizing the grinder's role for a very good reason.

Good luck!
CCG
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Marbos
Junior Member


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

Posted Mon Feb 3, 2014, 4:32pm
Subject: Re: Buying a machine for the first time (noob alert)
 

Thanks CCG! You broke me lol

It's gonna be tough but ill wait it out and pull the trigger on both!

That being said I'm still not sure which machine would best meet my budget and paired with a Vario?
As mentioned I will stay at the same range between $12-1900 (tax included). As mentioned I've been really eyeballing Bezzera's and not sure which model is best bang for buck and if others have experience with any machines in that same price range with good outcomes please let me know.
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DanoM
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Mar 2013
Posts: 215
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: NS Oscar, '84 La Pavoni Pro,...
Grinder: Baratza Vario, La Pavoni PGC
Posted Mon Feb 3, 2014, 5:24pm
Subject: Re: Buying a machine for the first time (noob alert)
 

Glad to see you give in on the grinder.  I tried, as have many, to get by without a decent grinder and my espresso experience and pleasure were greatly diminished because of it.  Once I got my Baratza Vario I've been much happier!  It's not a perfect grinder, but it's very good and easy to use.

I currently have a La Pavoni Professional lever and a Nuova Simonelli Oscar.  I love them both.  If the right offer came along I'd dump them both in an instant to get a Bezzera Strega lever.  I know that's out of your budget this time around, so I won't push that any further.  It's out of my budget at the moment too!

If you are interested in a good starter machine, have alot of patience and are willing to work take a look at the manual lever machines.  Most are inexpensive on the used market compared to new, and most are very easy to service and maintain.  La Pavoni is the basic level lever machine and it makes great espresso.  Step up from there and you have several lever machines that increase slightly in cost and usability.  Cremina machines are likely out of your budget range, but they are considered some of the best manual levers.

A step up from there you can get some really nice spring lever machines.  The SAMA Lusso & Export models, now Ponte Vecchio Lusso & Export, are nice machines as reported by many.  You can even get a brand new Ponte Vecchio Lusso through eBay international for a around US$820.
Click Here (www.ebay.com)
If you can find one used you'll get a better bargain.

Semi-automatic machines?  I like my Oscar, and it's a good buy for used at around $500, new I wouldn't even consider it anymore at $1000.  It's worth it probably, but doesn't look that great.  Right now I have a shoulder injury (actually from moving the Oscar down from a shelf!) and have retired the La Pavoni for a couple months - so I'm happy to have the Oscar to do the pumping for me.  A good pump machine can be easier to learn on than the manual levers.  The semi-pro machines will generally be easier to use and more forgiving than a machine built for the home user.

Used?  If you are handy watch ebay, craigslist, kijiji or whatever resell system you have in Ottawa for someone's used espresso equipment.  Sometimes you have to watch for weeks to find anything of interest, but eventually someone will likely post a deal you can't pass up.  Waiting to get the grinder until later may also avail you to purchasing someone's failed espresso experiment, out of business cafe, or caterer setup.  Sometimes at a steep discount.

With the home espresso setup sometimes you pick it and sometimes it seems to pick you!
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Marbos
Junior Member


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

Posted Mon Feb 3, 2014, 5:59pm
Subject: Re: Buying a machine for the first time (noob alert)
 

Hey DanoM  thanks for your input!

I've only ever just glanced at lever machines because they look intimidating! The big obstacle too would be my wife seeing how the kitchen is her domain so I'll have to plant something appealing to her as well ;) I can just imagine what she would say if I popped a Lever machine on her precious counter space, don't want to walk down that path lol!

I have been lightly looking at used machines but nothing from this era pops up or it's either too expensive and or big (commercial units) there have been 2 oscars that have popped up but both around $900 (one being new) the other that grabbed my attention was an Elektra T1 but that means running lines again through my wife's kitchen lol...

I guess I'll keep looking for a used machine for the time that I need to have enough for both grinder and machine (new) and if something decent pops up ill go for it.

I really appreciate everyone's input/thoughts it does help greatly! If anyone else has anything to add please do so!!
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canuckcoffeeguy
Senior Member
canuckcoffeeguy
Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 103
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Mypressi Twist v2
Grinder: Vario / Hario Slim
Vac Pot: I have a Dyson vacuum, but,...
Drip: Bialetti Brikka/Bodum...
Posted Mon Feb 3, 2014, 6:53pm
Subject: Re: Buying a machine for the first time (noob alert)
 

Marbos Said:

Thanks CCG! You broke me lol

It's gonna be tough but ill wait it out and pull the trigger on both!

Posted February 3, 2014 link

Excellent! I think you'll be happier in the long run. The other option is a manual grinder. People here love the OE Pharos. But I have no experience with it. Titan quality grind at a relatively inexpensive price. If you're open to hand grinding.
Click Here (www.orphanespresso.com)
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Marbos
Junior Member


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

Posted Mon Feb 3, 2014, 7:33pm
Subject: Re: Buying a machine for the first time (noob alert)
 

Not sure I could get into manually grinding coffee specially early in the morning, plus I got two young kids to deal with so the less work the better :)
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Marbos
Junior Member


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

Posted Tue Feb 4, 2014, 4:44am
Subject: Re: Buying a machine for the first time (noob alert)
 

Does anyone know if a Rocket Cellini Premium Plus V2 is much better then the Bezzera Musica? There's an open box unit on sale for $1600 that was used for a month. Not sure if that's a great buy?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,468
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 Feb 4, 2014, 6:35am
Subject: Re: Buying a machine for the first time (noob alert)
 

Marbos Said:

Hey DanoM  thanks for your input!

the other that grabbed my attention was an Elektra T1 but that means running lines again through my wife's kitchen lol...

Posted February 3, 2014 link

If it is in your budget, do it and never look back, that is one heck of a nice machine, well worth running on water bottles and pumps if you can not run water and drain lines to it!!!

It is twice the machine that the Rocket Cellini Premium Plus V2 is.

 
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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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 726
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 Tue Feb 4, 2014, 8:46am
Subject: Re: Buying a machine for the first time (noob alert)
 

Marbos Said:

Does anyone know if a Rocket Cellini Premium Plus V2 is much better then the Bezzera Musica? There's an open box unit on sale for $1600 that was used for a month. Not sure if that's a great buy?

Posted February 4, 2014 link

There is no Bezzera Musica.  There's a Magica and a Mitica, and I have no idea which machine you mean.  Nuova Simonelli makes a Musica, which is well made, attractive, and comes in several versions -- all overpriced.  

The Rocket is a well-made, mid-range, prosumer E-61 HX which is pretty much in the middle for machines 6in that class when it comes to build-quality and feature set, but tending towards the high-end in price.  Rocket is one of the favorite brands on the coffee forums -- perhaps a bit more of a favorite than it's combination of quality and price should make it.  But so goes brand loyalty.  

Considering the way you're trying to squeeze a Loonie, you probably meant the Mitica.  The Bezzera Mitica, compared to the Rocket is alla time same same.  It's got all the same things as the Rocket but costs about a hundred less, new, street. It's typical of Bezerra to aggressively pursue value.  

The Bezzera Magica is a high-end, prosumer E-61, which -- unlike the Cellini and Mitica -- is convertible and has a rotary pump.  It may be the least expensive machine on the market for its quality and feature-set -- not sure.  It's several hundred less than an ECM Professional, which is, pretty-much, the same thing.  

It can be tough to compare and contrast prosumer E-61 HXs because they're so similar and little things which don't show up in retailer spec sheets or a few hours acquaintance which can make a big difference in the long term relationship between man and machine; a hard-to-fill reservoir, a hidden sharp-edge, a too small drain-box, or lack of a vac-breaker valve, by way of a few examples.  I haven't heard any horror stories about the Bezerras or Rocket which make me think there's anything to worry about, though.  
 
When it comes to "in the cup" performance all three machines will perform about the same.  A rotary pump doesn't make much difference in the greater scheme of things UNLESS you're plumbing your water supply; then it's a necessity.  

Plumbing-in (line and drain) is actually a deal (can't overemphasize that) and will make a substantial difference in the cup -- but in a roundabout way.  There's a direct ratio between how much water you feel free to "waste," and your barista skills.  

Parenthetically, the same is true with coffee beans when it comes to the grinder.  Parsimony means poor coffee.

On the subject of grinders, if I were buying any of the machines discussed in this post, I'd want a better grinder than a Vario.  But I'm not you.  

BDL
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