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Thread: Home espresso machines

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by khashy View Post
    The GS3/K10 combo is beast of a duet to have but we are into the thousands of dollars territory there.

    Might be that Nemo is happy to drop the $$ on a bad ass setup like yours.

    I couldn't go that far personally even though I would have loved to get my hands on a GS3.

    I would echo what has been said about considering the secondary market. There are some fantastic machines and grinders to be had pre-loved in brilliant conditions.

    My setup is a Gaggia classic (pre-2015, i.e. The good ones) and a Mazzer Superjolly:





    Both of these were purchased pre-loved in as new condition.

    The Mazzer is a beast, it truely is. I would say that 70% of the coffee shops I frequent in London use this as their primary grinder. I bagged mine for £250 (about 310USD with today's rates) three years ago.

    The Gaggia is a capable machine out of the box. I paid £130 (about 160USD) for it three years ago, again as new.

    Now the pro coffee gurus would be able to extract a fantastic cup with the Gaggia as is. I however have heavily modified the Gaggia and can now produce shots that I believe can stand up to any you get from a coffee shop, if not better.

    The mods are many and some of them a little pricy and time consuming, so if you are happy to get your hands dirty, go the Gaggia route.

    The Sylivia is a much better version of the Gaggia. Very capable with more 'industrial grade' parts (much more brass than the Gaggia) but still has it's limitations - lack of a PID being the main. However because the Sylvia's boiler is significantly larger than the Gaggia, the lack of a PID is much less of an issue and you can create really good shots with it as is.

    These two are the most entry level I would consider. If the budget is high enough, a whole new world opens up with HX machines and double boilers etc.

    I would however not neglect the grinder. I cannot stress this enough. The world's best coffee machine will have it's hands tied with a crappy grinder. Spend at the very least the same amount of $$ on the grinder as tye coffee machine itself.

    I spend 2x on the grinder and I am glad I did every time I pull a shot.

    get as good a grinder as you can.

    Separately, depending on how much of a coffee geek you are/want to be, have you considered lever coffee machines?

    I think I'll stop here...
    There are alot of options . I kinda want to mess around with a lever machine.

    Nemo if you are wanting a short list for research a budget would be helpful. However, there are any number of machines that will do a great job. If you could also include drinks you like to make, which will also influence choices. I'd also echo grinder selection, spend the money there for best results.

    Jared


  2. #12
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    Stored away in the basement there is a Dalla Corte Mini and a K30 - in the kitchen there is a cheap ass grinder and a couple of french press pots.
    The thing I miss is geeking out making espresso - I really do enjoy black coffee the most.
    Maybe someday I will haul the heavy machinery out of storage and play around again.

    On topic - agree that a used Super jolly is hard to beat. Also think that the grinder is more important than the espresso machine. As is good water.
    If I were to do it again I think I would go for the best used grinder I could find and buy something like a Silvia and install a PID.

    Good luck and have fun,

    Lars


  3. #13
    Senior Member khashy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rahimlee54 View Post
    There are alot of options . I kinda want to mess around with a lever machine.

    Nemo if you are wanting a short list for research a budget would be helpful. However, there are any number of machines that will do a great job. If you could also include drinks you like to make, which will also influence choices. I'd also echo grinder selection, spend the money there for best results.

    Jared
    I installed a digital dimmer and hooked it up to the (upgraded) pump on the Gaggia. Next step is to hook up a set of digital scales to an Arduino board and control the dimmer from there.

    My theory is that this would allow me to mimick the pressure profile of a lever machine. I have everything I need delivered now - I just have to hook it all up and write some code. All this knife-business is getting in the way though

    Levers are tough to live with but imho nothing compares to the taste that a lever can extract when used properly.

    Ofcourse a Londonium would be a dream come true

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by khashy View Post
    I installed a digital dimmer and hooked it up to the (upgraded) pump on the Gaggia. Next step is to hook up a set of digital scales to an Arduino board and control the dimmer from there.

    My theory is that this would allow me to mimick the pressure profile of a lever machine. I have everything I need delivered now - I just have to hook it all up and write some code. All this knife-business is getting in the way though

    Levers are tough to live with but imho nothing compares to the taste that a lever can extract when used properly.

    Ofcourse a Londonium would be a dream come true
    Thanks for your perspective Khashy. Wow, I've got a lot to learn about coffee.

    And thanks for the tip on grinders.
    You may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful knife
    You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rahimlee54 View Post
    There are alot of options . I kinda want to mess around with a lever machine.

    Nemo if you are wanting a short list for research a budget would be helpful. However, there are any number of machines that will do a great job. If you could also include drinks you like to make, which will also influence choices. I'd also echo grinder selection, spend the money there for best results.

    Jared
    I was thinking somewhere around 2-3 K US. I mainly make espresso and cafe latte/ flat white.
    You may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful knife
    You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lars View Post
    Stored away in the basement there is a Dalla Corte Mini and a K30 - in the kitchen there is a cheap ass grinder and a couple of french press pots.
    The thing I miss is geeking out making espresso - I really do enjoy black coffee the most.
    Maybe someday I will haul the heavy machinery out of storage and play around again.

    On topic - agree that a used Super jolly is hard to beat. Also think that the grinder is more important than the espresso machine. As is good water.
    If I were to do it again I think I would go for the best used grinder I could find and buy something like a Silvia and install a PID.

    Good luck and have fun,

    Lars
    Thanks Lars.

    What do you mean by good water?

    I filter all water going into the machine (sediment filter then 0.5 micron carbon). For about half of the year we use rainwater (hence the 0.5 micron filter), the other half town water.
    You may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful knife
    You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?

  7. #17
    Senior Member Mute-on's Avatar
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  8. #18
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    Thanks Mute-on
    You may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful knife
    You may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?

  9. #19
    Senior Member khashy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nemo View Post
    I was thinking somewhere around 2-3 K US. I mainly make espresso and cafe latte/ flat white.
    Right, that will get you a very decent setup. To be honest because I never intended to spend as much on Setup, I have never researched this bracket properly and wouldn't want to give feedback on something I'm not super familiar with.

    If you are really serious about this, join a forum (obviously the guys here will also steer you in the right direction but in the coffee forums, the audience for the question is that much wider).

    From personal experience (and also because I'm in the UK), the members of http://www.coffeeforums.co.uk are - almost- as nice and knowledgeable as the guys here on KKF.

    Off the top of my head, (the GS3 aside as it's above budget), the Rocket machines come to mind, chief among which the R58.

    In terms of grinder, the other factor that I would need to know would be how much physical space you have to house them. Some of the better grinders are beasts - I mean HUGE. I would love to get my hands on an EK43 but I would have nowhere to put it on:



    It's 30"'tall and weighs 53 lbs.

    Anyway, in that price bracket, the choices are vast and I really would encourage you to raise it with the experts (I don't know the Aus forums well enough but home barista is also brilliant )

  10. #20
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    www.home-barista.com is a great info source as well. Lots of reviews by working pros and a very active forum.

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    David (WildBoar's Kitchen)

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