Espresso Machine Advice-Budget $4K

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

#1: Post by EspressoNewbie23 »

Hello Everyone,

Newbie here, coffee enthusiast married to another. Building a house and want to buy first machine. Would love some advice.

Perceived wants.
1. Double boiler. Want to make milk drinks in succession occasionally.
2. Plumbed and built in drain. Any suggestions on this would be welcomed. Would like this to work seamlessly, especially the drain.
3. Volumetric control. For efficient workflow on workdays and so my wife might be able to use it.
4. Easy to clean. Again, a workflow thing. Also, would prefer non-plastic parts to clean.
5. Ability to be turned on via a schedule or app.
6. Rock solid reliability.
7. Enough features so that I won't need to change it out in 5 years.

Thanks in advance!!



#2: Post by viy »

Is this your first prosumer espresso machine or your first espresso machine of any kind? If you're a complete newbie I think you'd benefit from getting a cheaper machine first and upgrading later. For two reasons: You'll get a much clearer idea of what you like and dislike in a machine. For example, my first and current machine has volumetrics but I ended up not using them. Secondly, you might decide home espresso isn't for you - in which case spending $4k is a horrendous waste of money.

Have you considered heat exchange machines? You can make milk drinks in succession with those, rather than a dual boiler.

Does your budget include a grinder? You'll need a good grinder.

Do you mainly drink milk drinks?

How many drinks per day will you make?


#3: Post by DaveC »

As someone else has already said, it's important to say a little more about one or two requirements. Without this any machine recommendations made to you are completely meaningless.

1a. Level of experience
2a. Space requirements

3. Volumetric control (by weight or volume, volume is notoriously inaccurate). Why does your wife need it, is there an inability to stop the shot at the right volume or weight for some reason

3. The issues around plumbing in and adding drainage (water treatment, cleaning, type of countertop etc.. etc..)

4. Prosumer stuff at 4K doesn't come with plastic really

5. Scheduler or app...some machines have this baked in and others can use a smart plug (the exception is some "soft" on systems which come after a mains interruption).

6. Rock Solid reliability - doesn't exist. Most faults are due to bad water though

7. What features?

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#4: Post by mrgnomer »

Bezzera Duo DE
LMWDP #116
professionals do it for the pay, amateurs do it for the love

Team HB

#5: Post by JRising »

Have a look at the La Spaziale Vivaldi II and Dream. They're not my cup of tea, but your specifications point toward that possibility.


#6: Post by Graymatters »

When I was looking at upgrading from an e61 HX, I had roughly the same criteria and researched the machines that ticked all of the boxes.

... I ended up with a spring lever. :?

While the direction that I chose doesn't meet all of the hardware specifications that I thought I wanted, it does address the underlying desires/needs behind those features (performance, ease of use, maintenance, etc). A year later, I'm incredibly happy with my decision.

I'm not necessarily advocating that you do the same, but I am saying that there's more than one way to skin a cat; don't feel that your list of wants/needs is pigeon-holing you in to one of a handful of machines.
LMWDP #726

EspressoNewbie23 (original poster)

#7: Post by EspressoNewbie23 (original poster) »

Thanks for the input!!

Could get a cheaper device, but I am planning for it to plumbed with the home build out so it would make more sense to get one that I might really like.

My wife would prefer to use a fully automatic machine, given a choice. Ironically, she is picky about her coffee, otherwise. I figure if the semiautomatic process is streamlined, where possible, she might enjoy using it.

2 cups each for her and me daily. More with family and friends on weekends and sometimes weekdays.

The spring lever is an idea I did not consider. The simplicity and lack of moving parts are appealing.

EspressoNewbie23 (original poster)

#8: Post by EspressoNewbie23 (original poster) »

Also, I worked as a barista years ago as a college student. So, I'm a newbie to home machines but familiar with the process of making espresso.


#9: Post by Plinyyounger »

I'm close by if you'd like to try/see my current setup.
Family, coffee and fun.
★ Helpful

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BaristaBoy E61

#10: Post by BaristaBoy E61 replying to Plinyyounger »

That's a very generous offer! :D
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"