Coffee Machine - $500 max

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

  1. broccoli

    broccoli Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Messages:
    18,869
    Location:
    Perth
    The EM6910 doesn't, it's at the back. It's just something to think about. Not sure of the weight of the slim Breville you're looking at, but the machines I've had can be quite heavy. The Sunbeam has wheels so you can wheel it out, but it's just something to consider. If the water container is small, and you have to lift it out to get access, it could be a bit of a pain.
     
  2. caspian

    caspian Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2002
    Messages:
    9,554
    Location:
    Melbourne
    same. I started out with dreams of a PID controlled Rancilio Silvia and a good grinder, but the reality is that the wife won't use the thing as it's too much hassle. she will use a superautomatic, and after a couple of years I've even got her drinking the same espresso beans I do, and not flavoured pre-ground via bypass. it gets cleaned once a week and fed water and beans when it complains, and while a semiautomatic would no doubt be better, once tuned it makes a pretty good americano on a weekend morning for the poke of a button.
     
  3. sTeeLzor

    sTeeLzor Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    1,867
    The aeropress is reasonable but time consuming.
     
  4. ex4n

    ex4n Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    Messages:
    2,100
    Location:
    Perth
    Might not be what you want to hear, but don't compromise, coffee is important! If you can, stretch your budget, a good machine will last a long time, well worth the extra outlay.

    Something like this might be good, and not that much above budget, although this is probably the cheapest machine they make, it looks very similar to one I've used before which was fine, although I've only tried the ones which do automatic milk too, this still requires manual milk frothing it seems, and that's a pain to clean up especially if you are trying to leave for work.
    https://www.thegoodguys.com.au/delonghi-magnifica-s-fully-automatic-coffee-machine-ecam22110sb

    I have one that's more like this, but an older/different model.
    https://www.thegoodguys.com.au/delonghi-compact-fully-automatic-coffee-machine-ecam23460s

    I got it 5 or 6 years ago and according to the stats it's done over 6k+ coffee's, can't remember when I checked last so it's probably even higher now, a double shot counts and if someone presses the wrong button it still counts etc, but it's done a shitload, never had any issues and it makes the morning routine super easy, you can just put the milk jug back in the fridge when you're done and there is basically no cleanup required except for regular cleaning/maintenance but it's infrequent. There is no manual grinding, packing, frothing etc. involved, which might sound fun at first, and maybe on the weekends if you enjoy the routine it could be enjoyable, or if you're a morning person who gets up at the crack of dawn, but for daily use, these automatic machines are really hard to beat for convenience, and the coffee is actually decent too. I get whole beans from a place near me every week, quality beans make all the difference in a machine like this. I don't agree with the others that the coffee from these machines is bad, it's perfectly acceptable if you just want convenient coffee in the morning, I usually have 2-3 double shot's before I can even function most mornings.

    If you don't have one, also factor in a water filter, either hard plumbed or at minimum a bench standing unit, as you don't want your new machine to get filled with crud from the taps, even regular descaling doesn't really fix it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
    firey4059 likes this.
  5. OP
    OP
    Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,702
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Fully automatic ease of use is appealing. But the consensus is they just can't compare until you go very expensive. $2-3k +.

    Main decision now is if I can convince my wife to make room for the wider model with built in grinder.
     
  6. caspian

    caspian Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2002
    Messages:
    9,554
    Location:
    Melbourne
    you definitely don't need to spend that much to get a perfectly adequate superauto. $1500 will get you into a small footprint Jura or Gaggia. coffee machines are one of those things where you can spend as much money as you're willing to.

    I'm sure that a better coffee can be made with a semiauto and grinder, but it all depends on what you want - how much space, how much work, how much mess. personally I'm very happy with my Saeco. if it packs it in I'll be buying a Jura to replace it.
     
  7. broccoli

    broccoli Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Messages:
    18,869
    Location:
    Perth
    The thing with coffee machines is that they are constantly bringing out "new" models. The "old" models go out on sale. Mine is sort of the same as a really expensive current model, but I got it much cheaper just because it's the "previous generation". If you start comparing models, sometimes the thing that's costing you a $1000 is wireless networking or shit like that (ie nothing important).
    Also, Delonghi has an "outlet" where they flog off machines at a discount.
    Just one thing: these machines can be humungous. You can't really tell how big they are from the photos, you need to go to a shop and look at them.
    If you're going with the group handle type, you also need room for your knock box.
     
    firey4059 likes this.
  8. OP
    OP
    Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,702
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Yeah. At the moment I think I've snagged a good amount of room and can fit the wider machine with grinder.

    There is two Sunbeam models and a Breville model in the $699 price bracket (wait for sale).

    Sunbeam Barista Max
    Sunbeam Cafe Series (no grinder...)
    Breville The Barista Express
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  9. broccoli

    broccoli Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Messages:
    18,869
    Location:
    Perth
    Do some research on how you clean the integrated grinders. You need brush all the grounds out of the burrs. It's easy with a separate one that you can tip up to undo the burrs and brush out the gunk. It could be "fiddly" with the grinder integrated. I don't know, but if one is less fiddly, pick that one.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,702
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Mm, true.

    Only slim model I like is the Bambino. Say I get that on special for $400, doesn't leave much $$ to buy a grinder...
     
  11. broccoli

    broccoli Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Messages:
    18,869
    Location:
    Perth
    Breville Smart Grinder Pro listed at $259 at HN and on sale at Myer 239 (with extra 10% online ending tonight).

    What about the Delonghi Dedica? Have you looked at that one? 279 and 199 for the grinder. compact, and on your original budget
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,702
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Not as comprehensively well reviewed I guess.

    Slim though, and looks nice.

    Kitchenaid and SMEG also do ones in the same form.
     
  13. caspian

    caspian Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2002
    Messages:
    9,554
    Location:
    Melbourne
    of those my pick is the Breville. better grinder and dose control, the thermoblock has a slightly higher wattage, and the tamper is quite good - the Sunbeam one is cheap. both come with single and double single wall baskets, the Breville has dual wall but that can be thrown in the drawer. the Sunbeam does have a larger tank and portafilter, but that wouldn't change my choice.
     
  14. frnak

    frnak Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2017
    Messages:
    156
    The Sunbeam models are pretty crap until you get to the 'Cafe Series' dual thermoblock EM6910 (PU6910) and EM7000 level. The PU6910 includes a grinder but needs to be shimmed to produce finely ground coffee. These machines are powerful (2400w) and a little bulky but can produce very good coffee. Large commercial group-head provides a solid thermal mass.

    The Breville BES870 'Barista Express' is a single thermoblock machine. A bit smaller and not quite as powerful as the EM6910 or EM7000 but has an included grinder. Quite a few reliability issues reported on coffee snobs. I prefer separate grinders as they can be replaced separately and easy to shake upside-down to clean. Personally I'd skip this model and step up to the dual boiler BES920 which is the current value pick for made-in-china coffee machines.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  15. OP
    OP
    Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,702
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Looks like been paired back to the slimmer options. Which is basically the Bambino. So I'll be buying ground coffee, storing it in a airtight coffee container in cupboard.

    Better than no espresso machine!
     
  16. frnak

    frnak Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2017
    Messages:
    156
    Can't comment on performance but a quick google reveals that this is a 1600w single thermoblock machine that only uses pressurized baskets. Pressurized baskets don't exactly produce cafe quality but tend to be more forgiving of pre-ground coffee. Seems pretty pricey for what you get but it sounds like you have to work with the space you've got.
     
  17. OP
    OP
    Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,702
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Basically. They are $480 at the moment. Not much else in the slim space, the DeLongi one is cheaper but crappy.

    And I think you may be able to use the non pressurised baskets too. Not 100% yet.
     
  18. OP
    OP
    Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,702
    Location:
    Brisbane
    I was mistaken. I have the ability to go the larger machine.

    So Breville Barista Express or Bambino!

    Barista Express

    + Ability or produce better coffee
    + Own grinder
    - More trial and error to get it right
    - Grinder is built in
    - Frother is full manual

    Bambino

    + Compact
    + Set n forget frother
    + More idiot proof
    - Have to buy and store ground coffee
    - Won't be able to make quite as good coffee
     
  19. broccoli

    broccoli Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Messages:
    18,869
    Location:
    Perth
    Either way, you still have to stand there waiting for the milk to heat. If you learn the right angle and how to jiggle to do-dad, this won't be a long-term issue.

    If you're restricted to ground coffee, you might want to reconsider a capsule machine. The point with those is that the coffee is kept fresh whereas every time you use ground coffee from a canister, air and moisture get introduced.
    If you've got room for the barista express, how come you don't have room for a grinder to go with the bambino?

    Bottom line, why do you want a machine? If it's to get decent coffee, then I'd think that one with "worse" coffee would be the one to exclude.
     
  20. OP
    OP
    Benno1988

    Benno1988 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,702
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Seperate grinder Aesthetic is the reason behind Bambino + Grinder. Is what it is! Plus a grinder is $200-250, so just adds up.

    I don't know how good a Pod machine can get. If I buy a really good machine, and really good pods. Is it good? Is it still pretty average?

    I mostly drink Ice Latte type ones. Espresso shots, dash of sugar, then into some icey cold milk. QLD weather always permits. But my wife has Latte/Cappacinos, and most guests have hot coffee.
     
    clonex likes this.

Share This Page