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Thread: Home espresso machines

  1. #71
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    If I was going to recommend a solid machine that wasn't in the GS3 price range it would definitely be the Rocket R58. My father has ran one for the better part of the last decade and it hasn't missed a beat. It's a pretty machine with a more classic look and it performs just fine with dual boilers. I've used it often, whenever I visit and I do enjoy the feedback of running levers and knobs.

    You surely get the point by now, but a quality grinder will do more for your cup than a machine. You need to spend on something that not only gives you the ability to dial a bean in, but also has tight enough tolerances to give you repeatability in the cup.

    I wouldn't hesitate to spend 50-75% on a grinder of the amount that I did on a espresso machine.

  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evilsports View Post
    You surely get the point by now, but a quality grinder will do more for your cup than a machine. You need to spend on something that not only gives you the ability to dial a bean in, but also has tight enough tolerances to give you repeatability in the cup.

    I wouldn't hesitate to spend 50-75% on a grinder of the amount that I did on a espresso machine.
    Yes, I am beginning to appreciate that bit. :-)
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  3. #73

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    The Breville 920 is a fantastic machine. Friends and family have bought them on my recommendation. In the cup it's just as good as our Vetrano 2B (not very popular in Oz but similar to R58 and Alex Duetto). I saw the Breville 920 at Harvey Norman and Good Guys in December for AUD$800 (minus Smart Grinder).That is a lot of performance per dollar!

    The Smart Grinder is ok. I had one, sold it, and bought another for the in-laws. They're easy to use and don't make a lot of mess but not particularly impressive grind quality. Still pretty good for the money.

    The Baratza Sette looks interesting and should be available in Oz soon.

  4. #74
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    Mmmm.... I dont know what to think now.

    I hope I don't need to put any popcorn on :-)
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  5. #75
    Senior Member khashy's Avatar
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    Right, I'll chime in one last time and hopefully there is no need for any popcorn.

    We have the breville line here in sale under the 'Heston Blumenthal - Sage' name. So a celebrity endorsment.

    Now I have not tasted this machine in the cup, however I can tell you that at least in the UK, it is sold by mainstream outlets. I have seen them in the flesh and I was not a fan. The other coffee machines that have been spoken about are available through spciality outlets.

    I swear by my Gaggia, but - and it's a massive but - it took me 1.5 years and quite a bit of mods to get it to a place that the taste in the cup blew my socks off. I am not sure you would want to wait and practice that long.

    I remember your original budget was very decent. If you can afford a Rocket R58 (as I mentioned previously and also mentioned in other posts), do not hesitate. It will be everything you need x 10 and you do not have to worry about selling it on whenever gou decide to.

    No need to reiterate the whole grinder thing. Again if you can afford it, get a Mazzer. Same story about functionality and resell.

    What's the secondary market like in Oz? You guys love your coffee so I imagine it would be pretty active.

  6. #76
    Senior Member Marek07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nemo View Post
    Mmmm.... I dont know what to think now.

    I hope I don't need to put any popcorn on :-)
    Funny you should mention popcorn...

    I was first attracted to home coffee roasting using a cheap popcorn maker when I read this post: http://coffeegeek.com/guides/popperroasting
    I didn't do it myself though a friend did with good results despite some inherent problems. He set up his roasting in a carport due to the smoke generated and thought the quality of his coffee sky-rocketed. He had a humble espresso but his freshly brewed & ground coffee was pretty damn good IMO. The smoke factor kept me from trying it myself - no suitable outdoor area.

  7. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by khashy View Post
    Now I have not tasted this machine in the cup, however I can tell you that at least in the UK, it is sold by mainstream outlets. I have seen them in the flesh and I was not a fan. The other coffee machines that have been spoken about are available through spciality outlets.
    Yeah the looks aren't for some people. But hey you can probably get a toaster to match!

    Having an appliance brand name on the front is kinda off-putting. But in the cup they are brilliant. Performance and features rival some very expensive machines. When they were first released down here there was a lot of excitement and hype from the specialty retailers. They stocked them for a while but stopped because big appliance stores were able to sell for less than the specialty outlet's wholesale cost.

    I roasted coffee for a few years at home. Never in a popper though. Used a behmor and a bread maker/heat gun. Worked really well but when we were packed up and moving I bought some beans from a decent roaster. Soooo much better! Been about two years and still haven't unpacked my roasting stuff.

    Been meaning to try popcorn grits

  8. #78
    Senior Member DDPslice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildBoar View Post
    I dunno, I read a lot of recommendations for Silvias, Mazzer grinders, etc., as well as multiple recommendations for visiting home-barista.com. And also learned there are quite a few GS3s around on KKF.

    well yes, but their isn't a whole lot of variety here, not to say the machines recommended aren't good but the OP was asking about switching to a semi or manual. Now there is a head scratcher. As far as I read and yes I have been drinking, but so far nobody has mentioned manuals, which has the hardest learning curve. +You will be dumping LOTS of beans, and backflushing and lots and lots of patients but getting a feel of the pull is like sex. (Bigger the..eehmhem, i mean better over time) And the shots will taste amaaazing but, it comes with practice and pulling on a manual at 6am is annoying, and time consuming unless you're good.

    So I would say if you get a manual hold on to your automatic. Automatics are the lazy man espresso. You push button, it does thing. IF you want a manual-like espresso taste that can pull like you've taken the time to: time out and cross examine the weight and tds. Then get the latest Mazz and fork over 16k, sure, whynot? Semi auto's, you wait till it's at pressure (if it has a gauge) and temp (if it has a thermostat..is it pid?..do you like blue lights? Does it have a water reservoir, are you going to connect it to a mainline? do you need duel boilers? Do you? Do you have access to drain into a sink? Can you be loud? Frothing milk is loud.)

    Automatics are the most expensive for the least amount of quality, until you get into the "built into the kitchen" range. And even still, it's meh (*insert Mazz exclusion clause). Semi automatics require maintenance but if you subscribe to seattlecoffeegear.com Gale and team sends you emails reminding you of proper maintenance times, 4 times a year. Never really an issue of longevity with any of the machines as long as you take care of them (and know fully how to do that). And if your interested in manuals...well your not, if you were you wouldn't ask. It's more of a mindset then a question. Nobody sane wakes up at 530 instead of 6 to pull espresso. NObody SANE. But if you somehow became interested in actually pulling a shot worth drinking then learn a manual and you'll never question what I'm saying.

    To me the original question is like the question people ask what knife should I get. There are a whole list of questions to be asked. And really like knives it's about what your budget vs time. As a hobby getting better espresso shots involves more then just getting a good machine. And yea mazzer's are great but that Mahlkonig I saw in the beginning is what i'd go for. But really my girl is the HG One, she so purrrty. But back to the point, I'd say get a semi automatic, a number o'places sell great machines, you best time to buy was well..1-2 months ago but you may still find some good deals and or at least fair prices at seattlecoffeegear.com or wholelattelove.com but if the Expobar is good for you support your area and pick it up at the coffee shop near you and be apart of your local coffee community.




    holy cow now we're talking about roasters, who's driving this train??

  9. #79
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    I don't know, but somehow we are not understanding what each is saying. Silvias are inexpensive, and are not automatics. Nor are the double boiler. As far as grinders go, I would (and did) look for a used super Jolly or variant. Swap in a new set of burrs (if needed) and your total grinder outlay will be only $400.

    Inexpensive levers like La Pavonis are another great way or starting. There are loads of them out there used, and you can often land one in decent shape for under $150. (and under $250 if you want the larger size)
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  10. #80
    Senior Member DDPslice's Avatar
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    I think you got confused in my rambling, which i am sorry. Maybe allocating the reference to Mazz = La Marzerocco (sorry i meant to type "Marz", referencing their fully automatic machine), maybe also referencing seattlecoffeegear that sells a range of machines, but I'm not trying to advocate for a machine but bring points about what should be looked in each machine is more then price. But rather what you want out of it. Apologies for the confusion here are some bullet points:

    you aren't going to pull a great shot out of a Silvia.

    skip over the beginner machines and save yourself some time in the long run.

    If you can find a LP for 150 you better know the place to get parts from because you are going to need to replace almost everything. (orphanespresso, man i just think i go the meaning of that name, lol)

    Automatic's are easy to use. But are not good.

    Semi-automatics rely more on the quality and consistency of your grinder.

    Manual machines are a lot of effort. But are best.

    It takes tools, time and experience to make good espresso.

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