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743 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1956539 13-Feb-2018 19:31
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Ha

 

I have been using a Breville Cafe Roma for over 10 years from memory cost about $150 and rated better at the time by Consumer than machines 10 fold that cost and highly regarded by many coffee machine review sites

 

I'm fussy on coffee and happy with what I can make with it but of course requires right coffee, grind, extraction etc etc

 

Anyone for blind fold testing wink

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1956576 13-Feb-2018 20:08
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Hi, I too am a keen Espresso machine owner/operater, my trusty Rancilo is amazing. Key things to good coffee is freshly roasted beans, ground with a berr grinder and a correctly dosed porta filter, get it all right and your in heaven.

 

BUT! when you dont have a continuous stream of consistent roasted beans ready to grind it can be a mission to get it all right.

 

My youngest son is a barrista in he Welly district (hopefully soon off to study more serious subjects soon), and won a few competitions. Being an Engineers son :) he takes his job seriously and tells me how coffee making is a science and that its his signature to create consistently great coffee by actively managing the process, something he says most "Baristas" dont understand or give a damn about.

 

So I have had great training, and often get told off for being lax in my "processes".

 

But for all the mess my kit can create, the coffee is for me the best.

 

I only ever drink Long Blacks with a drop of cold milk, cannot stand frothy stuff.

 

 

Cyril


 
 
 
 


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Wannabe Geek
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  Reply # 1956596 13-Feb-2018 20:51
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I'd thoroughly recommend the Silvia - we've had the same one for *ahem* nearly 15 years. As it is a V1, I've upgraded the steam wand to a V3, it's got a commercial dual spout handle and an additional 'naked' portafilter, plus several competition baskets of various sizes...

 

 

It get cleaned (puracaf / cafeto) weekly and has been serviced every couple of years (it makes 20+ coffees/week), and touch wood it's been reliable as.

 

 

Re grinder - question is what's your budget? If you're going to invest in a reasonable espresso machine, then you should invest in a reasonable grinder. My next purchase will likely be a Eureka Atom, once the financial controller approves it ;-)

 

 


50 posts

Geek
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  Reply # 1956886 14-Feb-2018 11:00
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Just have to say,

 

 

 

I've had a terrible experience with Segafredo Zanetti Auckland recently. Possibly the worst retail experience ever. They actually de-valued my property by destroying external parts, paperwork, and box including receipt. Breaching their own reasonable terms and conditions as I was in constant contact with them while waiting for a replacement part to arrive from overseas.

 

I'm still going through the saga which started with a machine servicing in October 2017.

 

 

 

I'm particularly upset about this experience because I wish more retailers in NZ would realise they have advantages the Internet will never have. The personal, personable face to face experience.

 

I'm looking forward to more realising this and make a point of letting the ones that do know.

 

Unfortunately I'm unable to recommend them to any contacts. When the machine was purchased the company was Eden Coffee and they were great.

 

Tread carefully with items that will require aftersales support.

 

 

 

best of luck to all.

 

 




29 posts

Geek
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  Reply # 1958129 14-Feb-2018 16:29
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zxboy: I'd thoroughly recommend the Silvia - we've had the same one for *ahem* nearly 15 years. As it is a V1, I've upgraded the steam wand to a V3, it's got a commercial dual spout handle and an additional 'naked' portafilter, plus several competition baskets of various sizes... It get cleaned (puracaf / cafeto) weekly and has been serviced every couple of years (it makes 20+ coffees/week), and touch wood it's been reliable as. Re grinder - question is what's your budget? If you're going to invest in a reasonable espresso machine, then you should invest in a reasonable grinder. My next purchase will likely be a Eureka Atom, once the financial controller approves it ;-)

 

My overall budget was to be about a grand. I'm now debating whether that's a cheaper machine (maybe some kind of consumer model which i'm not keen on) with a reasonable grinder (say $700+300 or 600/400?) or whether to go with the better machine (silvia or even try to find a used HX type, not even sure which types are HX) and a basic grinder - which most people seem to think isn't a good idea.

 

Last time round I just bought a used Pavoni on TM and it was very simple and worked well for a few years....unfort there don't seem to be any similar type of machines available used anymore at a reasonable price.


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Wannabe Geek
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  Reply # 1958261 14-Feb-2018 19:10
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I'd go for a better grinder and average espresso machine... some machines are quite fussy about grind quality. I reckon a good quality second hand machine would be fine to start with....


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  Reply # 1958266 14-Feb-2018 19:14
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I tried grinding my own with a grinder that looked like a blender, and made the worst coffee I have ever had with it. So dont get that type at all.





Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 1958316 14-Feb-2018 20:48
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As with richms, stay away from the whirly blade type grinders - they might be cheap, but they certainly don't do a very good job. You're really after a good burr grinder, with the aim of getting consistent particle size, which gives you a better chance at even extractions if your aim is making espresso. Consistent grind size should be the aim for other coffee preparation methods as well, like filter, plunger and aeropress etc, but they are more forgiving than espresso which is rather harsh if grind is uneven (water takes the path of least resistance, especially in a pressured environment).

 

 

But I would suggest getting a decent burr grinder. I think baseline would be something like a Breville Dose Control or similar which can be had for under $100 on sale, but I think a Breville Smart Grinder Pro will give a bit more control in terms of consistency and degree of grind for espresso. Those can be had for a little over $100 second hand on Trademe, though just be aware there are two models (older and newer), with the newer variant being a little more refined. But from there you could also look for a second hand unit, like the classic Mazzer Mini or a Compak grinder, but you'll be looking at around $400+ depending on what kind of deal you stumble across.

 

 

I would say looking for a decent grinder is more important than the machine, as a good grinder will pair well with any machine, but even if you were using a La Marzocco, Slayer or Synesso with a crap grinder or pre-ground - you'll get crap coffee.

 

 

But spending $100-$500 on a decent burr grinder is a good investment in getting good coffee I think. A grinder tends to outlive the machine I think, until you reach a certain point. But sometimes it is good to get a cheaper coffee machine, and then once you use it, realise what the limitations are, and what features you might need/want in a higher end unit. A good grinder will stand you in good stead whatever machine you have, and likely the single biggest improvement is found with the grind (perhaps apart from the beans, but they kind of go hand in hand).

 

 

HX units are like the majority of Rocket machines (some a dual boiler now I think), and generally allow you to steam milk whilst extracting your shots of coffee. Whereas a single boiler non-HX machine will only let you do one at a time - then you will need to flip a switch to wait for it to either heat or cool before doing the next phase (i.e. extract shot > flick switch > wait for boiler to heat up for steaming > steam > cool > extract shot > heat > etc etc). HX machines let you do both at the same time, though at times have issues with temperature stability of the water for extraction or steaming. A dual boiler machine has a boiler for the extraction water, and one for the steam, and generally better thermal stability given they are independent.

 

 

HX stuff tends to be more expensive, and I think you're looking at around $1k for a second hand one, with that price heading upwards depending on the make and model.

 

 

Yann :)

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1958344 14-Feb-2018 22:07
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An advantage of many HX machines is that the commonly seen types use the "E61" patent (expired) from Faema, regardless of brand.  Many service parts are generic, and other parts the same as used in commercial machines. There's plenty of DIY guides on the net, some FUD of course as well, but they're essentially very simple and reliable devices. Quality of build is important though - they will need regular servicing over a potential life of several decades if looked after, so the quality of fittings, pipes, boilers, and how easy it is to get at everything inside etc is to some degree is related to price.

 

I'd still suggest some caution though if looking at used machines.  If the boiler and group head is really scaled up, if all the seals etc also need replacing, if some other parts need replacing, then cost to have this done by a service technician will start to add up, as it can be quite time-consuming to strip down and clean the machines.


Guv

84 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1958480 15-Feb-2018 10:35
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This is a burr grinder which could be a good starting point.  

 

http://espressoroad.co.nz/product/isomac-macinino-prof-burr/

 

Guv

 

 


8 posts

Wannabe Geek
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  Reply # 1961515 21-Feb-2018 13:30
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Add another vote for the Rancilio Silvia and Rocky. I've had two Silvias and two Rockys (Rockies?) over the last 15 years or so. Silvia takes some effort to learn to get the best from her, but when you do, there's nothing that can beat her in the price range IMHO. As with all espresso machines, maintenance is important (cleaning weekly or so). Reliability has been good, with only the portafilter seal needing replacement. Twice in 15 years! A couple of years ago, I gave 8-year-old Silvia an overhaul and treated her to a new chassis (some rust starting to appear), a new steam assembly (not really necessary, but a nice improvement in usability), and most importantly meCoffee PID control. I've not looked back since - it's a rare event that any cafe serves me a coffee better than I can make at home. I've never had an issue steaming milk with the single boiler configuration, even having used double boiler machines extensively. You just need a little more patience :) Have had excellent service from Altura Coffee as the agents here in Auckland too.

 

A good grinder and freshly roasted beans are essential. Double wall baskets are simply attempting to mask poor coffee. Throw them away. 

 

Lastly, I'd strongly try to dissuade anyone from buying any Nespresso machine. Cost and miserable (IME) coffee quality notwithstanding, the environmental cost is the thing that really annoys me. Every. Single. Coffee. you make results in a little bit more plastic in a landfill. Wrapped around some nice compost. What price convenience? 

 

David


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