Best high-end espresso machine money can buy (For home or small café)

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

#1: Post by klosor5 »

Assuming you have a perfect grinder already. What is the best espresso machine out there? I'm comparing machines right now but I'm not sure which deserves the number one spot. I have excluded the more commercial machines such as the Strada for obvious reasons.

The GS3 MP is ideal for experimentation, looks amazing, workflow is amazing and there are technicians all over the world to serve the machine if it were to break. You can also customize the machine to great extents. The conical valve wastes a ton of water and it's hard to produce consistent shots with the GS3 unless you're using the AV version which doesn't allow you to produce as intricate pressure profiles as the MP does.

The Slayer also looks amazing, has fantastic workflow with its needle valve and can produce a unique Slayer shot that the GS3 can't. However the Slayer espresso can't produce any other shots other than a flat 9 bar and the slayer shot.

The Decent can produce any kind of shot (Including Slayer shot) but has pretty poor workflow: the pump machine makes a lot of funny noises, you're pressing on a touch screen, it doesn't look amazing and is prone to break more easily compared to machines that are more based on PCB's rather than software.

Arduino Eagle One Prima looks great and is the first espresso machine to think about the environment by only heating up water that is needed, recycled material for the machine, automated purge. It also does customized shots using the phone so in a way this machine is in between the GS3 and Decent in terms of looks, functionality and workflow. However there has been a ton of issues in terms of the machine breaking so it's very hard to recommend this to anyone really at this point.

What other machines deserve to be on this list? The four Criterium:

- Quality of the shots
- Workflow: How nice it is to use
- Looks
- Servicing availability

Speed is a bonus but not a criterium

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#2: Post by mrgnomer »

Modbar Espresso EP. I've seen it at a local artisan coffee roaster cafe who are serious about dialing in their roasts.
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#3: Post by TomC »

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#4: Post by NelisB »

I would say a KvdW Speedster. I only had great espresso's from that machine. Especially with Idromatic. There is not a lot of profiling going on, but the result in the cup is amazing.

If you want good flow options and a professional build machine, check out Dalla Corte Mina.


#5: Post by flyingtoaster »

But is it better than the Micra?


#6: Post by poison »

Speedster, or Nurri Leva.

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#7: Post by ira »

It seems like the LM Leva 1 group belongs in here, but it's expensive enough the number of owners here might still fit on one hand.

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#8: Post by ira »

And conceptually the Duval would be in that class if it becomes available and lives up to its promise.


#9: Post by luckydragon »

"The best" is such a subjective term; although you list a whole bunch of criteria, there isn't such a thing as a single-best machine, as it depends on your use case and what criteria you prioritize.

I've heard there are reliability issues with Slayer and even moreso Modbar machines. If you get a Speedster you have really limited options for servicing, in that there's probably only going to be one distributor in the city/region you live. La Marzocco and Nuova Simonelli are a lot more ubiquitous in the cafe scene and thus you'll likely have an easier time to find parts and/or get it serviced (i.e., you could probably shop around for options).

I'd say the Speedster has the most unique design worthy of being a centrepiece, but it lacks any kind of profiling capabilities so you're paying a premium just for the looks.

As you pointed out the Decent is the most versatile machine on the market, and for me personally, probably the only upgrade option I'd consider from my Synchronika. I was initially intrigued by the Synesso ES1, but it's taken them so long to bring it to market and seems more feature-limited than the Decent, whilst likely going to cost twice as much.


#10: Post by Amberale »

Addressing the OPs second part of their question.

I think the auto finish function on the Vostok would suit a small cafe environment.
Once you have your dose/grind/finish pressure dialed in you can just lock and load the shot and move on to grinding another, steaming milk or putting that muffin in the microwave.

I'm looking forward to that functionality and I only have to push out two shots per morning most days.