Espresso machine decision paralysis

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
jhadsell1883

#1: Post by jhadsell1883 »

Hello again, hope everyone is doing well. I'm having a hard time deciding on a new espresso machine as there are so many options available. I'll start with some history my coffee adventure.

About 10 years ago my Keurig died and I decided to stop drinking subpar coffee. I didn't have much of a budget so started with a used Gaggia and MDF grinder. Within a year I upgraded to a used Oscar HX and refurb Vario. I struggled with consistency even though I finally started buying fresh roasted coffee. I now only have the Vario and am soon adding a DF64P so will need something to use with it.

I typically made small milk drinks (cappuccino, flat white) since my espresso shots didn't taste great. I will still need capabilities for milk drinks due to other family members but I am hoping to enjoy straight espresso much more.

Currently I'm buying a medium roast espresso blend from a local roaster. I don't care as much for dark roast but would be interested in light roast espresso if the grinder can handle it.

I had an budget of $1500 ($2k at max with tax/accessories) and some of the machines I'm considering are Profitec Pro 400/Lelit Mara X or Profitec Pro 300/Lelit Elizabeth.

I hope you can help me out as I don't think my wife (who doesn't drink coffee) can take much more of me discussing pros/cons of espresso machines.Thanks for listening and for your input!

luvmy40

#2: Post by luvmy40 »

IMHO,
The best bang for your buck would be a Breville Dual Boiler and the DF64. That combo will probably be just a little over your $2K budget but the only accessory you will need to add to make great espresso will be a cheap digital scale.

A more budget friendly, yet capable combo would be the DF64 wi9th a Breville Bambino or Bambino +. You will still need a scale but you will also want to get a bottomless portafilter. I think the bambinos are coming with both pressurized and standard baskets now. If not, you will also want to get the standard baskets.

jhadsell1883 (original poster)

#3: Post by jhadsell1883 (original poster) »

The visual build quality isn't there compared to the other SS options I mentioned. I'm more concerned about the quality of internals if something happened after the warranty is up. It also seems to be a bit more difficult to work on though the hobbyist community is strong. I'd prefer to not be looking for a new machine in a few years.