Coffee Machines and Value for $$$

Discussion in 'Geek Food' started by jsp1511, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. jsp1511

    jsp1511 Member

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    Hey guys

    Finally made my first jump into property, so as a house warming present to myself I want to buy myself a coffee machine.

    First thought was buy a decent grinder + plunger instead of a cheap coffee machine (budget was also coming into play here).

    But then I started look at the cheaper end of the sunbeam/breville machine and wonder if they are actually any good? Gonna check out the Breville factory outlet in Smith St as well to see if I can snare a bargin when the time comes.

    For exampe - http://www.breville.com.au/products_detail.asp?prod=467 or http://www.sunbeam.com.au/Pages/Browse/ProductDetail.aspx?pid=1129#s=ids|8079,8000 were the two I'd found so far.

    Keep in mind I don't care about frothing the milk (not a capachino person) - I'm happy to warm the milk in the microwave (which is what I do at the moment).

    So please - which was should I go????
     
  2. Anthoclocker

    Anthoclocker Member

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    have a look at what people are saying at the coffeesnobs website. Those who have a budget (ie dont have $1K lying around) will tell you the pros and cons about cheaper machinese such as these.

    Just checked out ebay and noticed this factory outlet sale which may be worth a look.
     
  3. dink

    dink Member

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    Coffee from a $40 drip filter is perfectly acceptable. The better the beans the better the result.
     
  4. Deanodriver

    Deanodriver Member

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    I bought one of those Sunbeam machines a couple of months ago, it does alright, and I can make a decent coffee with it. Bought a grinder the other weekend too, and even with cheap Coles beans (don't want to use my Five Senses order until I've got the grind right), the coffee is rather nice. I do tend to use the milk steamer though.

    Next purchase for me is a single-floor basket, hopefully I can still get a decent crema without the dual-floor 'crema enhancing' basket :)

    Funnily enough though, it barely sees any use during the week, and I only have one or two a day on weekends.
     
  5. mareke

    mareke Member

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    I don't drink coffee but I've bought and sold several coffee machines for profit. I can buy an ex-lease Jura model that retails for up to $7,000 and has done as little as 1,000 cups for anywhere between $300 to $750 at Pickles Auction. I was buying them really cheap (around $300) until while inspecting one at Pickles I casually mentioned to a guy that they were like a license to print money because I was getting them so cheap and selling them easily on eBay for a nice profit and word got around pretty quickly and now lots of people bid on them! They still sell relatively cheap (usually no more than around $750). Finance companies typically sell them after 3 or 4 years of being leased out and they regularly come up for auction at Pickles.
     
  6. Da Madness

    Da Madness Member

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    A few years back I bought a sun beam coffee machine a few years back for $350. It was loud and slow to use.

    the other day I went to good guys to buy some stuff and got this for $50. It's silent and really easy to use and clean. I really didn't expect it to be as great as it is for $50.
     
  7. seb

    seb Member

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    CHOICE reported good results with the following cheapies:

    Sunbeam Cafe Latte EM5600
    Sunbeam Cafe Espresso EM3800

    but haven't actually tried them myself ( I have a Rancilio Silvia).

    For grinders, burr grinders are by far the way to go:

    DeLonghi KG100 $179
    KitchenAid Artisan Burr Grinder 5KCG100 $379
    Breville BarAroma Coffee & Spice Grinder BCG450 $200
    Sunbeam Café Series EM0480 $219
    Isomac Professionale $280
    Krups GVX2A2 $160
    LaPavoni Jolly Lusso V.230 $495
    Rancilio Rocky Doser (A) $599
     
  8. OP
    OP
    jsp1511

    jsp1511 Member

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    Ok so the sunbeams look like the go for a coffee machine.

    Now do I take it if I buy a either of them i still need to buy myself a grinder? Or does the machine do the grinding? (and yes I realise I could just get the beans ground when I buy them :) )

    Edit - and looking the pictures I've answered my own questions :)
     
  9. zaneus

    zaneus Member

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    Depends on what your budget actually is, but you can pick up a leilit combi for around $600 used and in perfect condition ($900 new). Great grinder and espresso machine in one unit. If that's still above your budget then try and find a used breville Ikon. They were the 'top' of the supermarket coffee machines and quite cheap, but they are discontinued now.
    The problem with cheap espresso machines is that if you're into your coffee then you will almost always be disappointed with your result. You need the consistency of a semi-decent machine. That doesn't mean you can't get great coffee from the cheap units, but it is a lot harder.

    However just paying a few hundred for a nice grinder and having fresh beans (less than a month from being roasted) in conjunction with a french press works really well. Also you can look into manual espresso machines such as the Presso. I have never heard a bad thing about it. In fact many people claim the presso with a decent grinder is the single best "cheap" espresso setup there is.

    One thing you need to remember out of all of this is that your grinder is more important than your espresso machine. Pay good money for a grinder and you wont be disappointed with your coffee, regardless of how its made (drip, french press, espresso).

    edit: Pre ground coffee is never a good idea. you often need to fine tune the ground consistency to get a decent pour from any espresso machine, plus ground coffee goes stale within minutes and tastes pretty bad.
     
  10. OP
    OP
    jsp1511

    jsp1511 Member

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  11. zaneus

    zaneus Member

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    Not bad, but the sunbeam EM0450/EM0480 grinder beats the breville easily and is the same price. If you can find a combo that includes that grinder you'll be better off.

    For around that price mark you can get a presso and an EM0480 which would produce much better shots of espresso. However you wont get any milk steaming functionality. If you sign up to the coffee snobs website and buy from presso directly you get 25% off the price as they're a site sponsor. http://shop.presso.com.au/products/presso-espresso-maker
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
  12. orbitor

    orbitor Member

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    just a thought, but I just have a nespresso capsule machine and it really does make good coffee and oh so easy. Have lots of coffee snob mates who always comment (with surprise) about how good the coffee is when they come round :)
     
  13. shmity

    shmity Member

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  14. OP
    OP
    jsp1511

    jsp1511 Member

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    Actually going to get myself a good grinder (either of these I think - Sunbeam EM0450/EM0480)

    Turns out a friend of mine has a coffee machine that was given to her, but she is not a coffee drinker :)
     
  15. Sandez

    Sandez Member

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    On the same note as this thread, would even the cheapest coffee machine give better results than a peculator? Or is it dependent upon the beans?
     
  16. Grom Hellscream

    Grom Hellscream Member

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    Give a cheap all in one machine a go I reckon. Make sure to buy from somewhere with a money back guarantee.

    I bought a Lumina Automatic machine from Aldi for $298. 15bar, adjustable conical burr grinder, twin boilers, lots of settings, LCD display, milk wand, 2 year warranty etc.

    It took a bit to get the settings right, but it makes a bloody good spot of coffee. I bought it with the intention of returning it under the money back guarantee but decided to keep it. The only downside I have is that the machine is 90% plastic - but it seems fine so far and given how cheap it was I'll be happy to buy parts when it's out of warranty. I've pulled about 300 cups of coffee from it so far and it's been great.
     
  17. phrosty-boi

    phrosty-boi Member

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    I started with a cafe crema 5 or 6 years ago, made a decent cup for what I paid for it (200 bucks)

    Fresh ground beans are pretty much mandatory for espresso or any coffee for that matter

    If you're getting a machine for free or practically free, shell out some bucks for a good grinder if you plan on upgrading

    I think my dad has an em480 grinder and it does a pretty good job

    Then go to coffeesnobs and join the learning curve :p
     
  18. Caffeine Dealer

    Caffeine Dealer Member

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    Ok... where to start?

    I'm a professional barista that has competed in a few competitions in the past, i have been a Rep for a high profile espresso brand, dealt with all types of machines from $15 - $15,000. I'm a coffee grower and roaster and i think i can honestly say i know a fair bit about the subject.

    My number one recommendation to people when buying there first coffee machine is this.....buy the FRESHEST coffee you can find!!!
    Never EVER buy coffee from a supermarket. Coffee is comprised of more than 800 different particles and volatile oils. These oils start to go stale within 10 days and are completely rancid by around the 30 day mark with the exception of a few rare coffee's. It is these oils you need to extract from the ground beans via way of properly tempered water. I would also suggest not buying ground coffee unless it is ultra fresh when purchased and can be used up within 48 hours.

    Second of all.... a quality grinder is way more important than a quality machine. If you plan on spending $15 on a machine then budget for a $30 grinder... if you spend $200 on a machine then $400 for a grinder and so on. You do not want to have to keep upgrading your grinder everytime you get a better machine and it makes the single biggest difference to brewing coffee. Add to this the resale value of a quality grinder is better than a quality espresso machine and you wont loos much if you decide that the coffee thing is not for you.

    If you are a coffee snob so to speak and you think you might be the type to want something bigger and better in the future...and most people do when they taste how good fresh espresso is.... then spend your entire budget on a grinder and dig out that plunger you have had sitting in the cupboard for all these years untill you can afford a good machine to go with it. You would be surprised how good plunger coffee can be when it is ground to the right particle size so as not to leave that murky mud in the bottom of your cup.

    Another cheap but very effective coffee brewing contraption is the Aeropress. I own one of these and i could not live without it. When i used to travel a lot due to my wholesale & Rep work i took it everywhere along with a Hario hand grinder to ensure i was never without a good coffee.

    Pour overs are another good coffee brewing item to have and cost around $15-20 + extra filters.

    Now for my opinion on which machine?.... you cant go past a Sunbeam EM6910. It has all the tools included ie jug, tamper, dual floor and proper coffee basket and is somewhat adjustable. The good thing about these is...it seems every couple to get married in the past 5 years has been given one as a present so there is always second hand and sometimes unused examples around. I owned one of these about 5 years ago and it was a good machine.

    I then moved onto a Gaggia and then a Vario grinder followed by a Mazzer Jolly Grinder, a Rancillio Silvia then finally i bit the bullet while i had the contacts and imported a Dalla Corte Mini from Milan.
    I then went on to move into the roasting side of the industry and now i do barista training. It is more of a hobby now and i dont take it so seriously but my home will never be without fresh coffee. In fact, i have enough green coffee to last me 3 years.

    Anyway.... if you need some more facts and figures or even some tips then just let me know. I love bringing people into the home espresso world :)
     
  19. zaneus

    zaneus Member

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    Id agree with above, however the EM6910 is around the price of the silvia, right? depends how cheap you can get it second hand, but a silvia can be had for $600 used and in good condition. That does seems to be a fair bit above the OP's budget though. I understand that they brew roughly the same quality of espresso, but the silvia is proven to be a sturdy machine with a huge after market following.

    Caffeine dealer, Have you tried both the aeropress and the presso? I'd love to know how they stack up against each other.

    edit: $380 for a silvia on ebay seems like a steal!
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2011
  20. salmon

    salmon Member

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    Here is where i started
    http://www.breville.com.au/products_detail.asp?prod=97
    and just a small spice/coffee grinder.
    Next i upgraded my grinder to
    http://www.rancilio.it/rancilio/prod_model.jsp?id_model=47&id_language=3&id_category=26
    then i got my silvia
    http://www.rancilio.it/rancilio/prod_model.jsp?id_model=49&id_language=3&id_category=26
    So basically i rewarded my self as i got better at pulling decent coffees.
    I did a lot of research and found these machines great stepping stones i still use my breville machine at my holiday house and it can make great coffees with a good grind hope this helps mate.
     

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