Coffee Machine - $500 max

Discussion in 'Geek Food' started by Benno1988, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,702
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Yeah, I got no idea.

    I like good coffee. I don't buy beans from supermarket. Have tried a mates pod machine, it was balls. And don't like the waste aspect of the pod system, even though the convenience aspect is appealing. I know you can recycle them though, but no waste trumps recycling.

    What do I look at?

    Requirments would be smallish footprint, at least 2 shots at a time, can warm and froth milk, and as Auto as possible (maybe one that grinds the beans and spits out the shots auto), easy to clean.

    $500 max ideally. And I can easily source good beans, whole or already ground.
     
  2. caspian

    caspian Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2002
    Messages:
    9,554
    Location:
    Melbourne
    $500 is not going to get you into a full auto (bean-to-cup) that isn't more of a liability than it is a benefit, unfortunately. $1000 would get you to the bottom of the Jura range, but below that all you would get is a Delonghi and we don't do that.

    what $500 will buy you is a quite respectable semiautomatic like this. https://www.harveynorman.com.au/sunbeam-barista-max-espresso-machine.html
     
  3. doug81

    doug81 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2005
    Messages:
    4,528
    Location:
    South Yarra, VIC
    2nd hand off the coffee snobs forum will be your best bet for something good, but $500 is a stretch for machine + grinder...
     
  4. waltermitty

    waltermitty Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2016
    Messages:
    777
    Location:
    BRISBANE
    yep second hand rancilio silvia/rocky combo or get an aeropress or a pourover setup if you like that style and you're not set on espresso.

    https://alternativebrewing.com.au has heaps
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,702
    Location:
    Brisbane
    See that Sunbeam seems ok?

    I've read Full Auto models under $2-3k are shit. So I'll scratch that.

    Looks like I'm after a two shot + grinder + wand in one like that Sunbeam. Not too much you have to do or clean.

    Coffee Snobs forum being an actual forum called that? Will take a look.

    Are there ones that accept pods too? Should we be short a bean and desperate?
     
  6. asho444

    asho444 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    693
    Location:
    Sunny Coast
    I got cash for my birthday and was able to get a cheap one:
    https://www.jbhifi.com.au/home-appl...-em4300-mini-barista-espresso-machine/474105/
    I love it. All the reviews online put it miles ahead of anything in its price range or higher, I believe the auto grind one is about $650.

    I just had Christmas here which meant 12+ cups a day and it didn't even flinch. Great Crema, great frother. Super happy for $200 and you can put the extra to a high quality grinder!

    Grinder one built in for $600 not sure why it's triple the price tho!
    https://www.jbhifi.com.au/home-appliances/sunbeam/sunbeam-barista-max-espresso-machine/647566/
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
  7. josh1990

    josh1990 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2014
    Messages:
    1,236
    Location:
    Albury, NSW
    We have the Breville BES870 barista express. We got for $520ish on eBay sale. Very happy with its performance. If I had more money I would've went to the dual boiler and standalone smart grinder but budgets are budgets.
     
  8. broccoli

    broccoli Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Messages:
    18,869
    Location:
    Perth
    The Sunbeam EM7100 can also do pods as well as ground coffee. This is the latest (?) version of the EM6910 which I had (have) and which had/has (?) good reviews. New price is above your budget, you might be able to get one secondhand within your price range.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,702
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Thanks guys.

    Think I'm on the right track now.
     
  10. frnak

    frnak Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2017
    Messages:
    156
    I've used most of the coffee machines listed here. Coffee snobs is a great source of information.
    Skip the automatic machines. They all taste like a 7/11 coffee.
    Most cheap coffee machines (<$400) have terrible steam performance and are unable to texture milk properly.
    If you're planning on frothing milk regularly then I'd recommend a model with twin thermoblock or twin boiler (outside of your budget).

    The $1000 Rancilio Silvia is a popular Italian single boiler coffee machine. However it is slow to heat, slow to switch to steam, very fickle to use and produces very inconsistent coffee, especially if you swap between coffee and steam. We gave ours away to family. Performance can be improved with the fitment of a PID controller.

    For your budget I'd go the sunbeam EM7000 with twin thermoblock. Quick to heat, consistent performance, plenty of parts available online (ebay etc). Otherwise I'd recommend stepping up to a twin boiler model. But you'd need to double your budget (at least).
     
  11. caspian

    caspian Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2002
    Messages:
    9,554
    Location:
    Melbourne
    budget, guys... an EM7000 is $650 and then a couple of hundred more for a grinder, plus footprint size.
     
  12. frnak

    frnak Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2017
    Messages:
    156
    Comes on sale <$500 fairly regularly, I've seen it as low as $400 in the past. But yeah, when you pair a grinder it adds up.

    If anyone is interested, choice has done a (subjective) comparison of coffee machines and the coffee they produce.
    https://ibb.co/fxAg8p
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,702
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I can buy it pre-ground too.

    Wife has requested a small footprint. So that will limit my options heavily. There is a $500 slim Breville thing.
     
  14. caspian

    caspian Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2002
    Messages:
    9,554
    Location:
    Melbourne
  15. OP
    OP
    Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,702
    Location:
    Brisbane
  16. shredder

    shredder Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2001
    Messages:
    10,602
    Location:
    Dec 27, 1991
    Dunno about more expensive machines, but on our cheap (equivalent to the above Sunbeam) unit, we used the wand for about the first few months only, and since then (over five years) we don't bother, because it doubles the time/effort it takes to make your coffee (quite the concern, first thing in the morning!), and.. doesn't make the coffee twice as good, by any means.
     
  17. elcarter1

    elcarter1 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Messages:
    415
    Location:
    Adelaide
    I've had the single boiler + Heat exchange style Expobar office (manual) for 3.5 years now.
    I wouldn't settle for anything less and unfortunately they come at a price.

    It's well above the budget not to mention you'll need a grinder too. It's just as important and a good ones not cheap.

    It's easy to say but you will regret not saving a little more and doing it right rather than having to re-buy or give up after another purchase at $500

    Coffee snob forum and second hand will certainly help.

    Edit; forgot to add you'll make horrid coffee and not sleep for the first month maybe less if your not as shit as I was but when you crack it, oh my is it good. Only 2 shops I've been to in Adelaide do it better (to my taste) and they both roast their own and I use store brought beans!

    https://caffemondo.com.au/collections/beans/products/caffe-mondo-1kg-crema-beans-10-per-carton

    These are the perfect balance between quality and cost per KG.


    In regards to that machine there's one at my work and it never gets touched. I have not used it so can't comment on the comparison but I'd guess the boiler pressure would be far less.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2019
  18. th3_hawk

    th3_hawk Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,714
    Location:
    [VIC] Eastern Suburbs
    I have a full auto Philips Saeco machine that I got seven or eight years ago which is still going strong. It was over $2k but I wanted full auto and for that it delivers. This one can do milk but also has a wand if you want to do it manually, which works better but takes time and isn't better enough to make it worth the hassle most of the time. The inbuilt thing does a reasonable job although I find the cleaning and maintenance of the milk container to be a pain... so much so I just pour in a little cold milk to make a flat white when it's only for myself. Usually I make a long black and often add in an espresso ontop for extra volume and coffee goodness. It's easy enough to maintain and it makes a good consistent cup of coffee.

    BUT, and to my point.

    At work I have a hand grinder and an aeropress. While I haven't tested them side by side, I think it's just as good (if not better) than the expensive full auto setup. That said, when people visit they always seem to like to coffee the machine makes, so it's all good. If the Saeco broke tomorrow I'd probably just buy another aeropress and hand grinder for home.


    edit: I should have added, coffee snobs is a great source for your beans. I've been getting mine there for a while now and have signed up a few work colleagues too :D
     
    firey4059 likes this.
  19. broccoli

    broccoli Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Messages:
    18,869
    Location:
    Perth
    Consider where it's going, and where you fill up the water. With the water at the back, you need access. If it's under a cupboard, you'll be needing to pull it out to get to the water. If it's out in the open, no worries.
     
  20. OP
    OP
    Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,702
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I think it's in a bread cupboard thing. Will confirm.

    That Sunbeam fill up on the side?
     

Share This Page