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Thread: Home espresso machines

  1. #61
    Senior Member DDPslice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nemo View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I want to canvass opinions about high quality home espresso machines. I currently have a 10 yr old Saeco Incanto fully automatic which is ok for a fully automatic machine but I wonder how long it has left. I'm thinking that a manual or a semi automatic macine might be the go next time, but I want to be able to make great espresso with it.

    Thanks for your experience & opinons.
    check out homebaristaforum.com and you should be able to find all the extra info you need. Manuals take a while to get adjusted/comfortable with but will give you more control as well as quicker feedback. You'll probably have to get a new tamper or at least a new sized head, obviously, you can forgo getting a bottemless portafilter by sawing the end of one with a pvc saw btw. Great espresso is made with great beans and an even greater grinder so hopefully you have those covered before you decide to spend 3grand. Though I would recommend the Linea Mini if you can, I mean why not. Really I wouldn't worry about the machine so much, spending like 1000 (manual) 1500(maybe E61, but semi-automatic with duel boiler should be do-able) should put you in the ballpark of something good but whatever machine you get will require getting used to. At least in that range you know it's not the machine. A word of caution the search for the god shot can lead to coffee addiction, also if you've never used a semi-automatic do some youtube searches for baristas showing you what to look for as you pull your shots and adjust accordingly, and manuals will be a b**** of a learning curve.

  2. #62
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    Thanks DDP.
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  3. #63
    Senior Member s0real's Avatar
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    In my opinion, the best coffee machine with a great price to performance ratio is a Breville BES870. It is a manual and it gives you great crema. a great grinder is equally or not more important in my opinion than the machine. with great grinder and fresh coffee beans even a Bialetti Brikka can give you great espresso.

  4. #64
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    Thaks s0real. I have read some very good reviews of their performance. A few of the reviews (mainly from USA from memory) commented on poor reliability and after sales service. Nonetheless, given the orice point, it's tempting to take the chance.

    A couple of our local coffee houses sell Expobar machines which I have read some quite good reviews on. Not cheap though. Any opinions?
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  5. #65
    Senior Member s0real's Avatar
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    No problem Nemo, i am not sure about the performance of Expobar but if you want a non mainstream coffee machine, get an Italian made like Rincilio or Gaggia. However those machines take practice and tuning but definitely worth the money. My sister who is a coffee shop owner swears by them or if you have money to throw get a la marzocco mini.

  6. #66
    Senior Member Marek07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0real View Post
    In my opinion, the best coffee machine with a great price to performance ratio is a Breville BES870. It is a manual and it gives you great crema. a great grinder is equally or not more important in my opinion than the machine. with great grinder and fresh coffee beans even a Bialetti Brikka can give you great espresso.

    Not that it's a brand that screams quality like a Rancilio or a Gaggia (had the latter previously) but bang-per-buck in the sub $1k category, it's hard to beat. A couple of friends have them as well - no complaints over three years. Super easy to use and that's a great thing in the morning. Service centre in Coburg.

    Edit: Should say it is important to use filtered water if possible and to de-scale once a week.

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marek07 View Post

    Not that it's a brand that screams quality like a Rancilio or a Gaggia (had the latter previously) but bang-per-buck in the sub $1k category, it's hard to beat. A couple of friends have them as well - no complaints over three years. Super easy to use and that's a great thing in the morning. Service centre in Coburg.

    Edit: Should say it is important to use filtered water if possible and to de-scale once a week.
    Yeah, it's pretty high in the bang for your buck stakes.

    Descale weekly? Wow. Melbourne water isn't that hard is it? My current machine only tells me to descale about once a year (although we are on rainwater much of the time).
    "My greatest fear is that when I die, my wife will sell my knives for what I told her they are worth"

  8. #68
    Senior Member Marek07's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nemo View Post
    ... Descale weekly? Wow. Melbourne water isn't that hard is it? ...
    Yep! Although Breville call it decalcifying. I mentioned water quality being critical earlier in the thread, just like all the other components - beans, roast, grind, dosing, tamping. We have a dual-filter providing drinking water plus I use a filter in the espresso's water tank. The machine makes >40 shots a week and I regard it as part of normal maintenance & cleaning - no harder than caring for a carbon knife. ;-)
    Only takes around 20min, most of it unattended.

  9. #69
    Senior Member DDPslice's Avatar
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    YIKES! I don't want to poo on anyone's parade but I would not consider breville to be able to produce a quality espresso without being so proficient that you can compensate for all it's mediocrity. Sure it's good and if you don't buy beans you are roasting yourself or come from a roaster who varies the roast/bean variety then sure get a breville generic in color of beige.

    Expobar is not some unheard of name, so if you think that: it's equivalent of calling a Wustof at costco the same as a Misono. Both of those brands can be carried over to a Breville : Expobar comparison.

    Again please do not think I hate anyone or are attacking your preferences. But really the lack of input of quality is bothersome. Again go to http://www.home-barista.com/forums/ and get yourself situated ie. read the site and ask your questions there, they will nerd out on you and you may be getting a somewhat biased to a particular machine, but overall they have had experiences with different machines that can give a more complete input.

    Once again no offense to the people on the thread or the site but gee gosh golly the things I'm reading are making me cry.

  10. #70
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    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.
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