Desperate for some espresso machine advice, budget £1000 - Page 3

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
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#21: Post by baldheadracing »

Kinukcafe wrote:I think I want a hobby of making and drinking coffee and occasionally show off my skill and coffee to family members :). I also think some espresso machines are very nice furniture. I don't mind maintain it if it is not challenging and parts are available. I do all the handy work for my home and I maintain my own fixie bike. I am also in watches. But unlike my friends, I am not good at precision work and tiny parts. I guess espresso machine should be okay for me.
Espresso machines at this level will require basic DIY skills. A home handyman with a comprehension of electricity should be comfortable.
Kinukcafe wrote:Thanks for the link. David seems to be a very reputable member. It is always good to buy from someone trusted.

If we look at the machines alone, do you think the 2019/2011 Strega or L1 will offer better workflow/ consistency/ less maintenance for both espresso and milk drink? I naturally want to save cost but not sure I have a reasonable expectation on the reliability of a 10year device. I am okay to do maintenance from time to time, but too often May jet up the cost and depleting the interest. Sorry for the number of question. I really like the look and what I read about Strega/ L1 (plus MaraX). So, really want to make a educated decision before I make my first investment. Appreciate that!
It's impossible to tell used machine condition without a borescope and seeing the machine in continuous operation for a few hours.

With a used machine that you will most likely do your own maintenance on, support is important. As you're in the UK, Londinium machines (which were made by Fracino in Birmingham) are relatively common, parts are readily available, and there are many folks knowledgeable and passionate about Londinium in the UK coffee forum that I linked to above. Thus, I would go for Londinium over Strega for those reasons - and I would not get a Strega for those same reasons.

One possible positive/negative is that Reiss Gunson, Mr. Londinium, is very passionate about his machines, as is rightly so. History tells me that getting on the wrong side of him is not what I would recommend.
- Espresso: Swirled, not stirred. Pourover: Stirred, not swirled.


#22: Post by VoidedTea »

Kinukcafe wrote:Thanks a lot. Sound advice.

Re the Flair/ robot, I do appreciate the small footprint and simplicity. I know it is wrong, but I think if I could spend such money on a hand tool like device, I may as well pay more for a proper machine in a box. Again, this is pure layman consumer perception as I only heaed about good words on flair58 and robot.

It is not just small footprint and simplicity that manual levers provide IMO. They also give you flow control that only top of the line, most expensive "machines in the box" can offer. Flexible flow control dramatically increases your success rate, which is why machines like Robot are known for their forgiveness. And lack of forgiveness may literally drive you crazy. Usually, the less you pay for a machine, the least forgiving it becomes. Manual levers also give you reliability which, with "proper machines", can be achieved only at a much higher price tag. Otherwise be prepared to pay for a new machine every few years, while manual lever will still be perfectly working. I am not trying to convince you to buy a lever, it is a matter of personal preference. Just wanted to share some information which I think is important to understand why some machines cost as low as manual levers and why many people end up paying much more or sacrifice some automation to get to the level of experience of making espresso at home and the quality in the cup that they are truly happy with.