Dual boiler espresso machine under $2000 budget

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
Snow27118

#1: Post by Snow27118 »

I'm currently looking at dual boilers under 2k and the options that I've come up with so far are: Caffeum Perfectus Minima, Profitec 300, Lelit Elizabeth, and Luca a53.

I'll be making at least two 8oz lattes a day and would like to get more into espressos. My goal is to find a machine that is reliable and will serve me well for years to come. Ideally, the machine that I choose isn't obsolete in 5 years.

Here are the pros and cons that I've come up with for each machine in my limited research so far. Please correct me and add any thoughts that you have. Also if you feel that I've missed a machine other than the BDB please bring that into the equation. Ideally, though the goal is to rule out options.

minima:
Pros: Big boilers for the price, compact size, ability to upgrade to flow control, compact size, price
Cons: Not the most attractive out there, fit and finish isn't stellar, no pre-infusion from factory

Profitec 300:
Pros: build quality and brand recognition, compact size, price
Cons: small steam boiler, no pre-infusion

Lelit Elizabeth: nice design, compact size, simple and nice PID, adjustable pre-infusion based on steam boiler temp
Cons: is this the fiat of the bunch with questionable build quality and parts? I've seen people complaining about the machines buttons disconnecting etc.

A53: pre-infusion, volumetric dosing, strong steam, build quality seems really strong
Cons: bigger machine and the most expensive of the four


Thanks in advance for your help!

pizzaman383
Supporter ♡

#2: Post by pizzaman383 »

Breville Double Boiler

In the coming months maybe the Silvia Pro
Curtis
LMWDP #551

LObin

#3: Post by LObin »

Have you seen this review of the new Lelit MaraX?
https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpres ... -progress/

It's a modern take of a heat exchanger machine.
Sounds very promising!

You will likely get, with good reasons, many recommendations for the BDB.
This is why: Breville Dual Boiler Mods and Maintenance

*edit: I just realised you have already have a BDB and looking to change. My bad. Maybe include this info in your introduction post since 3 members have already suggested the BDB...

Out of the ones you have previously listed, the Perfectus Minima and La Spaziale A53 stand out to me. Just better buillt quality and reliable designs imo.

Cheers!
LMWDP #592

etout00

#4: Post by etout00 »

Are you restricted to only buy a brand new machine? You can get some great deals on the buy/sell forum...that could open up the level of machine for your budget

pcrussell50

#5: Post by pcrussell50 »

As a simple data point, this has been my experience to date with Breville Dual Boiler, which I bought when it first came out in Fall 2011. It is intended neither to persuade or dissuade:

In quotes, because I posted this yesterday in another thread in this forum:
I can provide a data point here...I was one of the launch customers of the BDB in the USA back in Fall 2011.

-I got it from Williams Sonoma during a "30% off of anything over $1000" Fall Sale

-Just over two years later, the vacuum breaker stuck.. something that is not uncommon on other machines but seems rare on this one. It's an easy fix, (just remove and clean), but I told Breville and they sent me a brand new machine for free anyway (about a month or two off warranty)

-That machine went about six years with only routine maintenance: replace steam boiler o-rings, replace drippy steam ball valve (turns out they are DIY rebuildable but I didn't know that at the time). At about six years, the pre infusion began not working, and controllable pre infusion is one of the MAJOR brilliant things about this machine, beside Scace-killer temperature stability.* It was obviously long off warranty by that point. So I paid Breville's fixed $350 repair fee, which includes shipping both ways and a box to ship it in. They ended up sending me a brand new machine again.

-This summer it will be two years so far problem free on that machine. This one I have modified with a rotary pump and plumbing, and I am now using the water tap needle valve for full blown, beginning to end flow profiling. It's a simple, reversible, plug and play thing. No fabrication required.This is even better still than the already excellent, programmable pre infusion. Just as an experiment, I am running an old (formerly) leaky steam ball valve that I rebuilt, just to see if the rebuild is effective. That was a year ago and still going strong and leak free. I still have the original steam valve for it lying unused in a shoe box.

-That's pretty much it for nearly nine years

-I should say in case you didn't know already that the BDB has stainless steel boilers and a solid (not plated) stainless steel portafilter. As opposed to copper and brass in a lot of other machines. Disclosure, copper and brass would not bother me, but apparently it worries some people, so there it is

Other than this, I have no scale or corrosion damage because I use water with no Ca or Mg in it (the components of scale). This is huge and you should seek out this behavior no matter which machine you end up choosing.

*OT: This is one of the reasons the LMLM is off the table for me. You can modify a GS/3 the same way you can modify the BDB for flow profiling, and if I had to, that's the route I would take.

HTH

-Peter
Help a beginner choose between 3 espresso machines

-Peter
LMWDP #553

Snow27118

#6: Post by Snow27118 »

Wow 9 years is a much better result that I would have ever imagined for a BDB. I have ruled it out however as my experience with the machine is quite the opposite.

I purchased a BDB and within a month the collar insert for the group collar (sp0009141) was warped. At the time, this part was nowhere to be found and isn't something you can get some Breville. I wasn't impressed with the hard plastic design in the group already failing. Breville ended up sending me a new replacement but by this time I was jaded and sold it online without opening the box.

This is just my personal experience and I'm glad that yours has lasted as long as it has. I understand that some machines will have defects but I didn't trust this specific design. I would like to purchase something that I can change parts on if needed.

pcrussell50

#7: Post by pcrussell50 »

Snow27118 wrote:Wow 9 years is a much better result that I would have ever imagined for a BDB. I have ruled it out however as my experience with the machine is quite the opposite.

I purchased a BDB and within a month the collar insert for the group collar (sp0009141) was warped. At the time, this part was nowhere to be found and isn't something you can get some Breville. I wasn't impressed with the hard plastic design in the group already failing. Breville ended up sending me a new replacement but by this time I was jaded and sold it online without opening the box.


Perhaps it's time to break out a little engineering design mojo: Since the Breville portafilter is solid stainless steel (not plated brass like a lot of other machines), it would eventually take it's toll on softer group metals like aluminum or brass. So Breville designed the group to use plastic inserts that would take the wear instead, and later be replaced as needed. They expected a few years life out of those and to replace them when the machine was sent back for other service. Subsequently, they changed the design to make it super easy to change DIY. The old parts become no longer available. The new parts are available all day long, are cheap to buy, ($2.99 before shipping), and dead simple to replace. Five minutes tops.
Snow27118 wrote: I would like to purchase something that I can change parts on if needed.
Pretty much everything you would ever need to change is available and DIY doable. Even the entire group assembly. Breville doesn't sell many parts itself. Mostly accessories and such. Like your fridge or stove or lawn mower, the wearable/consumable parts you need are available all day long from outside part suppliers. Like Amazon and ereplacementparts.com The BDB was designed with a whole slew of NON-proprietary, standard off the shelf sealing parts that are available anywhere. For example: Pumps are standard Ulka you can get anywhere. Solenoids are standard Lucifer base that you can get anywhere. And if something seriously flukey and off the charts went bad like one of the stainless steel boilers (which never happens, but just for the sake of argument), you are way better off paying your $350 which includes shipping both ways and let Breville handle it, than trying to take on a job like that yourself.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

Snow27118

#8: Post by Snow27118 »

Thanks Peter. I might have to keep an eye out for a unit that goes on sale...

Any other thoughts on machines in this category?

pcrussell50

#9: Post by pcrussell50 »

Snow27118 wrote:Thanks Peter. I might have to keep an eye out for a unit that goes on sale...
As I said, I'm not trying to talk anyone in or out of the BDB. A lot depends on what irks you. For example the steam ball valve will develop a slow drip in a year to three. It varies. But it will happen. Period. You can disassemble and re-seal for free. Or you can buy a new one for $45 before shipping (though they are often on backorder). If either of those things or the fact that a steam drip will happen does not suit your personality, you should definitely look elsewhere. HTH.

-Peter
LMWDP #553

Snow27118

#10: Post by Snow27118 »

LObin wrote:Have you seen this review of the new Lelit MaraX?
https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpres ... -progress/

It's a modern take of a heat exchanger machine.
Sounds very promising!

You will likely get, with good reasons, many recommendations for the BDB.
This is why: Breville Dual Boiler Mods and Maintenance

*edit: I just realised you have already have a BDB and looking to change. My bad. Maybe include this info in your introduction post since 3 members have already suggested the BDB...

Out of the ones you have previously listed, the Perfectus Minima and La Spaziale A53 stand out to me. Just better buillt quality and reliable designs imo.

Cheers!
The review on the Mara looks very promising! I'm curious though, their Elizabeth is basically the same price. Seems like a toss up as far as things that could go wrong. One relied heavily on computer which can fail and other has another boiler which means more parts that can fail. Why go for the HX that is trying to do what a dual boiler does when you can just go with the dual boiler?