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  Reply # 673634 17-Aug-2012 10:54 Send private message

I love a good tea as well, but it's not a patch on a good coffee :)

You might need to start a tea lovers thread, so I can go crash that thread with posts about coffee winning ;p




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  Reply # 673739 17-Aug-2012 15:54 Send private message

Just been chatting to a mate and he has recently been through this whole process himself. He came to the conclusion these were the best 'entry-level' options for a machine + grinder. Anyone got any thoughts on these as compared to the Breville Dual Boiler + Smart Grinder?

I am liking the 'industrial' look and supposed feel of this Ascaso gear - just wondering what any of your experiences are like with them for actually making a good coffee - for a novice which I most definitely am!

http://www.showmeshop.co.nz/ascaso-steel-uno-pro-espresso-machine.html
http://www.showmeshop.co.nz/ascaso-isteel-i2-grinder.html

The upside is these will work out a lot cheaper than the Brevilles, but you don't get a dual boiler...

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  Reply # 673740 17-Aug-2012 15:56 Send private message

I'd probably choose a $1k SBDU machine, gagging, ranchilo over a breville/sunbeam.




Previously known as psycik

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  Reply # 673750 17-Aug-2012 16:33 Send private message

Cheers David - any view on the Ascaso machines? My mate basically narrowed his selection down to the Ranchilo Silva and the Ascaso Uno Pro. He decided to go with Ascaso based on it being a bit more modern and a little cheaper I think.

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  Reply # 673752 17-Aug-2012 16:39 Send private message

I heard of them. But you tend so see review of the others more. Have a look on coffeegeek.com.

Im be been looking t te rocket, cuadra and vibemme super domobar. And for me what it came down to was, which one is likely to have the most parts, most service agents, and most users. This being the rocket.

I believe similar investigation on The single boiler machines will probably point to the ranchilo (ive guess this but I'd figure it's correct). For me this weights my decision somewhat.




Previously known as psycik

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  Reply # 673754 17-Aug-2012 16:48 Send private message

Yeah very good points and I think you are probably quite correct about the Ranchilo. It is certainly tried and tested, and has a very good reputation.

I will do some digging for prices on that...any suggestions for a suitable grinder to match the Silva?

BTW - many thanks for your replies on this matter. This is a new area for me but I can see I am going to be hooked in very deep, very quickly!

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  Reply # 673756 17-Aug-2012 16:57 Send private message

SumnerBoy: Yeah very good points and I think you are probably quite correct about the Ranchilo. It is certainly tried and tested, and has a very good reputation.

I will do some digging for prices on that...any suggestions for a suitable grinder to match the Silva?

BTW - many thanks for your replies on this matter. This is a new area for me but I can see I am going to be hooked in very deep, very quickly!


No problem.  I'm about to get my 4th machine, and Im still learning...




Previously known as psycik

NextPVR Based HTPC:

2 x HVR3000 - DVB-S - Freeview, HVR3000 - DVB-T Freeview|HD, Nova-T 500 - Dual Freeview|HD, Digital Coax --> Yamaha RX-v540, 8600GT --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI
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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 673816 17-Aug-2012 18:55 Send private message

I have had a dual boiler since they came out and do not regret it.  Easy to great coffee out of.  Just make sure you use fresh beans.  I get mine from C4.

I got the smart grinder with it.  It does the job, although I had to get the shim kit to adjust it (free from Breville).

Noel Leeming currently have the dual boiler + smart grinder for $1599.  Think you can get 30 months interest free as well if you want.

As for a bottomless portafilter you have to buy the Breville one.  The Breville is not a standard design.

Check out coffeesnobs.com.au, theres a big thread on the machine.

Forgot to say - if you are making milk drinks the dual boiler is defiantly the way to go.  You can extract and steam at the same time.  And if you are making more than one coffee at a time it will keep up with you.



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  Reply # 675057 21-Aug-2012 12:21 Send private message

In relation to the Silvia - it's a good machine, but you need to add a few hundred dollars to the cost to get a thermal PID installed as well before it really shines (without it the thermal stability isn't really there, one of the things that impressed me about the Dual Boiler is the thermal exchanger system in use - its the same as several much more expensive machines and reviews all mentioned that it has good thermal stability).

I would take the Dual Boiler over the Silvia I think, similar money with a better feature set. The deal mentioned with the Smart Grinder for like $1600 sounds very good really. You'll likely want to upgrade the grinder at some point, but it'll do as a starting point and means you won't destroy your budget too badly. I think for grinders you either get a Mazza or equivalent from the get go, or just get something serviceable thats within your budget initially and take the step up into a very good grinder later on.

Good thing about the Breville will be good local warranty support and I would think parts/repairs when out of the warranty period later would be straightforward too.

Finally, have you seen the espro coffee tamp? I have one, brilliant piece of gear (though not cheap). Removes a variable from the process, which is helpful, particularly if you anticipate that others will use the machine often as it ensures everyone has the same tamp pressure. In relation to making dosing/levelling similar across multiple users the "Chicago Chop" might be a useful place to start, being fairly replicable between shots and users.




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  Reply # 675060 21-Aug-2012 12:27 Send private message

Thanks for the insight mate - I ended up going for the Ascaso Uno Professional. The Dual Boiler certainly ticks all the boxes on paper but I just wonder about the longevity of the parts etc. For what I will be using it for (i.e. 2-3 cups a day) it would probably be fine, but I am a big believer in buying once and buying right!

I am hopeful the higher quality Ascaso will last for many many years and I will learn to brew great coffee over time. It should provide much better resale value for when I decide to move on to a better machine...

Really appreciate everyones input and I will be back to ask more questions once my new unit arrives (6-8 week wait while more are shipped from Spain)...

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  Reply # 675136 21-Aug-2012 15:12 Send private message

The coffee journey is a wonderful if not frustrating experience.

I started out with a Melitta cappucino machine and some whirley blade grinder, thinking I could get "cafe quality" cappucinos etc, oh how naieve I was.

I wasnt until years later, stubling on something about coffee that I discovered the "30ml in 30 secs" thing, I was more getting 100ml in about 10 secs with my set up, no wonder it was "never quite the same".

First indulgence in "real" coffee was a Sunbeam EM6910 and Sunbeam EM0480. This was a great starting set, double thermoblock machine allowing simultaneous extraction and milk texturing. The grinder was ok, if not a little messy until I made some sort of plastic wrap for it to contain the splatter of grinds. I was fortunate not to suffer from "worn collar" issues on the 6910 like you see so many threads about on coffeesnobs, but sold it off before it became an issue.

Picked up a Compak K6 grinder (64mm flat burr) and Expobar Office Control machine off of trademe. About $750 all up for both which I was happy with, especially as the expobar has a quasi E61 head (looks like one but apparantly isnt, not sure on this one) and is a heat exchanger machine, also allowing extraction and steaming simultaneously. The dosage buttons don't work anymore, only the manual option, but I'm not that fussed about it.

Last stage in the journey was the Corretto (aka Breadmaker and Heatgun) for home roasted coffee. Its surprisingly easy to do, if not quite messy, and as a bonus, is quite a bit cheaper than commercial beans.  have tried some fantastic varieties, Columbian being a favourite along with Brazillian and Costa-rica but have also roasted Kenyan, Sumatran, Ethiopian and several others. Results can be mixed sometimes (mix of darker and lighter beans), but the results in the cup are fantastic.

If I was going to drop $1500-2k on a machine, I would not get the Breville. Possibly a little snobish / unfounded, but for me, it is still firmly in the "appliance" category rather than the coffee machine category. Its painfully close to some of the cheaper HX machines - Domobar Junior, Isomac, Nouva Simonelli Oscar and La Scala butterfly and I would put almost anything on it, that any of those machines would outlast the breville (there is already threads / posts on coffeesnobs with problems).

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  Reply # 675137 21-Aug-2012 15:13 Send private message

Sumnerboy - did you get a decent grinder too?

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  Reply # 675138 21-Aug-2012 15:27 Send private message

Nice one Sensor - yeah I have ordered the Ascaso iSteel i2 grinder - it is the one that pairs (looks wise) quite nicely with the Ascaso Uno Prof. From all accounts it is a very decent 'entry-level' grinder. A mate has also just purchased the same pair and he is much more of an expert than me (roasts his own beans like you) and he said it will quite happily grind right down to espresso level (and beyond) so there is a bit of room to play with.

I am really excited about getting my new toys now - can't wait to start brewing decent coffee in my own home!! Shame I have to wait 6-8 weeks :(.

PS - I basically came to exactly the same conclusion as you re. the Breville. I am sure it will do a great job initially but I am not convinced it would stand the test of time. Plus I really like the industrial look of the Ascaso.


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  Reply # 675288 21-Aug-2012 22:55 Send private message

I went through this myself a few months back when I decided it was time to upgrade. I did a fair bit of research on sites like coffeesnobs and also watched a lot of the seatlecoffeegear.com video reviews (they seem pretty genuine reviews).

Despite being a little hesitant at buying a Breville, I did end up going that way mostly because It looked to me like it was probably the best value dual boiler on the market at the time (and with a $3000+ super auto sitting here along with 2 other Espresso machines I couldn't justify some of my other choices like a Rocket Giotto or Cellini).

So far I have been very happy with the decision and no problems so far with the machine, I was watching a seatlecoffeegear video the other day and they mentioned that they had also seen very few brevilles come in for repair so far, hopefully that's a good sign.

I also roast my own beans, was using a popcorn maker but after burning out the last one I'm now using a Behmor 1600 which I'm also happy with so far.

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  Reply # 675310 22-Aug-2012 07:03 Send private message

Interesting to see people looking at the breville because of its price. I haven't got or, but has anyone seen the cuadra sold by revive coffee here In lower hutt (you can see them brand new, sold by revive starting at about $2000).

It's marketed as a e61 group head. Something worth thinking about if you're think of the breville price range.





Previously known as psycik

NextPVR Based HTPC:

2 x HVR3000 - DVB-S - Freeview, HVR3000 - DVB-T Freeview|HD, Nova-T 500 - Dual Freeview|HD, Digital Coax --> Yamaha RX-v540, 8600GT --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI
Clients:
Popcorn Hour A-100, 1xATV2, 1xATV3, Roku3
Windows 7 Ultimate Host
3x2TB, 1x3TB + 1x1.5TB using DriveBender, VMWare Workstation 10 with 1xW7, 2xW2k3 1xUbuntu 11.10 Desktop, 1xWHS2011, Plex

UnblockUS - Unblock your freedom

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