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Looking for a machine with a regular steam wand and adjustable steam
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Discussions > Espresso > Q and A > Looking for a...  
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shkra11
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Dec 2012
Posts: 10
Location: ny
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Dec 12, 2012, 3:43pm
Subject: Looking for a machine with a regular steam wand and adjustable steam
 

Background: I worked at a coffee shop as a barista a while back, so I am very comfortable with (and prefer) commercial level machines.  I am very far from a connoisseur and I do not have rancilio silvia money (although I enjoyed using that machine for a year at a different job).  

What I'm looking for (if it exists):
- a new machine
- that works with a non-pressurized portafilter/basket (even if it doesn't come with one)
- with a regular steam wand (or one where the froth enhancer/panarello can be easily taken off of the wand)
- with an adjustable steam lever/knob (not just a button/switch that turns steam on or off with no ability to vary the amount of steam)

Does this exist under $600?  I really appreciate your help- it is pretty difficult to figure out specs regarding steam mechanisms online.  It seems that my requirements eliminate most Gaggias, but I'm not sure if there might be some Breville or Saeco models that might fit the bill.

Thanks
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,045
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Thu Dec 13, 2012, 1:15am
Subject: Re: Looking for a machine with a regular steam wand and adjustable steam
 

Welcome to CoffeeGeek!

Before we can really give you good advise, we need a little more information. The standard questions are:
  • What kind of coffee drinks do you prefer?
  • How many drinks, on average, will you probably be making at one time, per day and  in any given week?
  • Can you plumb a machine directly into the water supply, or do you want a machine with a water tank?
  • Do you have a 20-amp circuit available, or only a (standard) 15-amp circuit?
  • Does your budget of (under) $600 also include the grinder?  If not, what is your budget for a grinder?

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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shkra11
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Dec 2012
Posts: 10
Location: ny
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Dec 13, 2012, 6:19am
Subject: Re: Looking for a machine with a regular steam wand and adjustable steam
 

Thanks

- my budget for a machine (excluding grinder) is $300-500. (I don't have questions on the grinder for now.)
- I'll almost always use it for 1 latte only, adding flavored syrup or lots of sweetener after, approximately once a day
- not trying to give anyone indigestion, but I used illy pre-ground in a rancilio silvia a few times a week and loved it
- I want a machine with a water tank
- I'll be using a normal circuit
- If it meets my needs, I  prefer a machine with a smaller footprint (the silvia is a bit large/bulky for my space)
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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 Thu Dec 13, 2012, 8:22am
Subject: Re: Looking for a machine with a regular steam wand and adjustable steam
 

Small size and quality are kind of at odds with each other. The smaller the machine, the less thermal mass there is to maintain a stable temp and the smaller the boiler will be to maintain a constant temp water in brewing. There are several machines for less money than Sylvia that work just as well.

Preground, Illy, uh, OK but that isn't going to even approach anything like quality espresso, ....... on ANY machine but with a lot of additional flavors and sugar syrups, well it may be drinkable.

The coffee needs to be fresh GROUND and no more than two weeks from THE DAY IT WAS ROASTED to be fresh and fresh blows away stale every time.

I will take a few minutes to look at our advertisers (you could do this to) and will post some choices soon.

 
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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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 Thu Dec 13, 2012, 8:37am
Subject: Re: Looking for a machine with a regular steam wand and adjustable steam
 

This is the BEST bang for your buck at the moment, the grinder isn't to the level of a Vario but it will do an acceptable job and it is LIGHT YEARS better than pre ground Illy in a can. The combo is less than the list price of Sylvia non pid alone.

Machine and grinder combo, $600 $429 machine only (advise the combo for the money)
http://www.1st-line.com/machines/home_mod/lelit/index.htm

Other machines only to look at but consider above, seriously.

$699 on sale from $1199
Click Here (www.1st-line.com)

Open box, nice machine $600
Click Here (www.seattlecoffeegear.com)

 
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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shkra11
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Dec 2012
Posts: 10
Location: ny
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Dec 13, 2012, 8:55am
Subject: Re: Looking for a machine with a regular steam wand and adjustable steam
 

I don't want to panic anybody- I will in time reform my grinding habits after I get a machine and can experiment with grinders, etc.  My main problem now is that I have no machine and want to get one and I'd appreciate some information on steam wands and controls.  I have looked (and will keep looking) at the resources on this website and at other threads, but my main question here is something that isn't answered that I've seen.  

I'm looking for something like this steam wand and control, but in a cheaper machine (around $300-500 range) - does that exist?  


Specifically, I'm trying to find out if there are machines with:

(1) a regular steam wand (or one where the froth enhancer/panarello can be easily taken off of the wand) and

(2) that have an adjustable steam lever/knob (not just a button/switch that turns steam on or off with no ability to vary the amount of steam)?
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shkra11
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Dec 2012
Posts: 10
Location: ny
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Dec 13, 2012, 8:59am
Subject: Re: Looking for a machine with a regular steam wand and adjustable steam
 

Thanks for your response.  I'll check out the Le'lit PL041 and, if I start thinking I might need to increase my budget to get what I'm looking for, I'll check out the ascaso and the CC1.  I've seen some good reviews of both of those machines on here.

I see the ascaso has a frothing aid- does anyone know if that's easily removable from the wand?
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,122
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 Thu Dec 13, 2012, 10:12am
Subject: Re: Looking for a machine with a regular steam wand and adjustable steam
 

some people get the Gaggia classic and replace the stock wand with a Silvia v1 wand.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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shkra11
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Dec 2012
Posts: 10
Location: ny
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Dec 13, 2012, 10:41am
Subject: Re: Looking for a machine with a regular steam wand and adjustable steam
 

hmm- I wonder if any vendors would do that before shipping the classic out?  I'm reading up on switching out the wands, but I don't really want to do any modifications myself.
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,015
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Thu Dec 13, 2012, 11:22am
Subject: Re: Looking for a machine with a regular steam wand and adjustable steam
 

Gaggia Classic from WLL $349 free shipping

Bolt on Rancilio wand  

http://www.espressoparts.com/R_1054?&search_id=1965849

with partsshipfree for $23

Auber PID and RTD sensor for DIY and about $75-100 depending on what you want and can do, or PID Kit for about $200.

Before you buy, ask yourself if you want a SBDU, single boiler, machine or if you will want to soon upgrade.  You may want to look at used Oscar which I see frequently recommended.  I am still at the Gaggia Classic stage and happy with it.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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