Best espresso machine for light roasts?

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
beanEFIL

#1: Post by beanEFIL »

Which "starter espresso machine"... is "best"... for someone who ONLY drinks light roasts??

I buy mostly geishas/geshas... some other SO varietals (Elida catuai, El Injerto Pac, some Colombian Caturra etc) you get the idea...
I've spent YEARS "trying to master" the art of pulling these light roasts...
I like the challenge:)
On my "cheap" machine, however... I've gone as far as I can go.
It's now driving me nuts... not to have more control! hahahaha

I'm ready for an upgrade:)
Something under a grand.
I figure... I'll "improve" with this next machine... before "really" upgrading.
I want to be worthy... of a "top tier" machine. I'm not there yet.

That said... maybe your recommendations... have little to nothing to do with the type(s) of roasts...
Either way... I'll take any/all feedback...
I RESPECT EVERYONE HERE AND THE PASSION YOU HAVE so I know I'll get better advice here than searching random online reviews.

Thanks-in-advance!

baldheadracing
Supporter ♡

#2: Post by baldheadracing »

Not sure what your current grinder is, but that is often what 'needs' changing to get the most out of light roasts.
★ Helpful

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Jeff
Team HB

#3: Post by Jeff »

If you put out a budget, then people can help you make a balanced decision.

If you're still using a Virtuoso for a grinder, that definitely needs to be retired from espresso duty.

"Starter" is relative. To throw some numbers out there, you're probably looking at $1,500 and up for a machine and $600 and up for a grinder that will get you consistently good results across a range of high-quality, medium-light and light roasts. "And up"

luvmy40

#4: Post by luvmy40 »

Look for a pre owned DF64 grinder and a pre owned Breville Dual Boiler. I doubt you'll be able to find that combo for under $1000.00 USD but it will be the cheapest combo that will give you the versatility you want for light roast SOs.

Brand new, you'll be at $2100.00-$2300.00, which is still low cost for the capability.

BTW, make sure the BDB is the 920 and not the 900 model, unless it's stupid cheap.

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cafeIKE
Supporter ★

#5: Post by cafeIKE »

+1 on the grinder replacement & do it now!
Don't scrimp. It's at least twice as important as the machine, which is just a fancy kettle.

Then see if you need a new machine.

-1 on BDB. It's a stop gap.

IMO, don't do it in steps. Get the grinder, get better, save & get the machine you want.

Perhaps I don't pull espresso to the nth degree, but according to the peanut gallery, PDG from e61's for more than 15 years.

beanEFIL (original poster)

#6: Post by beanEFIL (original poster) »

Thank you!!!!!

Ok... forget the $1K limit then!

I hear you loud and clear...
New grinder.... yesterday!

I only mentioned price... thinking "I'm not worthy yet" of a "high quality" machine...
I don't want to "disrespect" the hard work put into the manufacturing... when I'm still learning...

I guess it's one of those things where I didn't even realize what I was working with... was that subpar! hahaha
From how my shots taste... I'm going to look at the "bright side"... like... if I've done that well with this gear.............
I'M SALIVATING THINKING OF HOW GOOD THESE SHOTS ARE GOING TO BE WITH BETTER!!!

Ok... so... FORGET PRICE...
Let's start over...
Grinder... machine... light roasts in mind... "high quality... but for a relative rookie" (a few yrs in... was pour-over prior)....

Thanks-in-advance (again)!!

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lancealot

#7: Post by lancealot »

If you are handy, and want to get in the game for the least amount of coin, BDB. After you get acquainted with it, do the slayer mod.
If you are nostalgic, Lelit Bianca.
If you are nerdy, Decent.
If you are smart, you'll run away!!!

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TomC
Team HB

#8: Post by TomC »

Anything that accepts small baskets and allows for tiny amounts of pre-infusion flow.
Join us and support Artisan Roasting Software=https://artisan-scope.org/donate/

luvmy40

#9: Post by luvmy40 »

beanEFIL wrote:Thank you!!!!!

Ok... forget the $1K limit then!

...

Ok... so... FORGET PRICE...
Let's start over...
Grinder... machine... light roasts in mind... "high quality... but for a relative rookie" (a few yrs in... was pour-over prior)....

Thanks-in-advance (again)!!
Any one, or two of the high quality, low retention grinders paired with the Decent Espresso DE1(chose your suffix) would be a rig you will only want, not need to "upgrade".

My grail rig would be the DE1 XXL, Monolith Max Flat, and Monolith Titan conical. Never gonna' happen, but...

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cafeIKE
Supporter ★

#10: Post by cafeIKE »

beanEFIL wrote: I don't want to "disrespect" the hard work put into the manufacturing... when I'm still learning...
The better the gear, the easier the task of making espresso. Precision counts as making great espresso requires repeatability and eventually becomes 'routine'. The adjustment between a great shot and not is 0.25g coffee and ten microns on the grinder.

More times than I can remember, people have asked about getting an espresso setup, I've detailed what it takes. In the end they follow my recommendation and buy a Nespresso. [2x Roma pulled short is pretty good]

I'm going to say it again: -1 on the BDB. I have two pals who had them, both had to return for service in short order, both started leaking like sieves after a relatively few years. Both now own e61 DBs of different makes, one with pressure profile and one not, w the same grinders and both said, "Why didn't we follow your advice in the first place?"

I admit to being an espresso conservative and am not interested in a machine I need my phone to operate. Were I 30 years younger I'd be all over a Decent or the new Vibiemme Domobar Super Electronic or Elektra Verve or +++$$$. If I wanted to futz with every coffee type and parameter, I might look askance at e61s.