Espresso machine help $1000 to $1500 budget

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

#1: Post by Ethanwatson »

Hello!

I recently dived into the home espresso game about 6 months ago. I bought a used La Pavoni Europiccola. I've been enjoying the journey and challenge with this machine. I'm at a point where I'm producing some pretty decent results. Consistency is the hardest factor with this machine.

I'm looking to possibly upgrade in the next year and want to explore what options I have in my limited budget. I would love to get a Linea Mini but it's just not in my budget. I'm looking at around 1K-1.5K, but I would like to start closer to the 1K mark. What machines would you guys recommend? The Appartamento by rocket is on my list.

I use a lido 3 and fresh roasted beans.

jgood

#2: Post by jgood »

I've had a Quick Mill for a few years and it's been excellent and trouble free. They have various machines in SB, HX and DB depending on your preference and budget. Mine has the TEA coated copper boiler, but some models have SS boilers, if that's something that's important to you.

chipman

#3: Post by chipman »

I would think the Breville dual boiler should be at the very top of your list.

symbology

#4: Post by symbology »

The Brevile BES920Xl would be a good option. With some simple mods you can have more flexibility than any other machine in that price range. For the the reliability is a little bit of a question mark, though the more I look into the machine the less of an issue that becomes. Size is also a factor for me. Another machine that could be a good option is the Lelit Elizabeth. It has programmable preinfusion which can be manipulated (slightly) with the steam valve.

Right now I am considering the following.

Brevelle BDB
Lelit Elizabeth
Lelit Mara, or other smaller HX (will add profiling valve)

Will you be able to plumb a unit in? That might open up some other options.

cccpu

#5: Post by cccpu »

Ethanwatson wrote:Hello!

I recently dived into the home espresso game about 6 months ago. I bought a used La Pavoni Europiccola. I've been enjoying the journey and challenge with this machine. I'm at a point where I'm producing some pretty decent results. Consistency is the hardest factor with this machine.

I'm looking to possibly upgrade in the next year and want to explore what options I have in my limited budget. I would love to get a Linea Mini but it's just not in my budget. I'm looking at around 1K-1.5K, but I would like to start closer to the 1K mark. What machines would you guys recommend? The Appartamento by rocket is on my list.

I use a lido 3 and fresh roasted beans.
I have used a Rocket Appartamento for 2 years, a Linea Mini for just under a year, and just bought a used Brevile BES920XL on EBay last week for $675 including shipping and modded it using Peter's "Slayer Mod".

Breville Dual Boiler "Slayer shots"?

Out of all of these machines, I love the Breville the most out of the three... It is simply just a very easy and convenient machine to make delicious coffee with... the built in digital temperature controls and shot timer feel like luxuries coming from the other two machines, and having access to pressure profiling so easily (optionally, and completely non-destructively while also easily reversible!) make it worth considering no matter your experience level.

You can find Brand New machines for ~$900 quite easily on EBay, or used for a couple hundred less- that way you can use the last $500-700 on upgrading your grinder to a very decent electric grinder like a "Fort-ario" or Sette or Niche Zero?

Best of luck to you, I hope you find what you are looking for!
LMWDP #583

pcrussell50

#6: Post by pcrussell50 »

symbology wrote:The Brevile BES920Xl would be a good option. With some simple mods you can have more flexibility than any other machine in that price range. For the the reliability is a little bit of a question mark, though the more I look into the machine the less of an issue that becomes. Size is also a factor for me. Another machine that could be a good option is the Lelit Elizabeth. It has programmable preinfusion which can be manipulated (slightly) with the steam valve.

Right now I am considering the following.

Brevelle BDB
Lelit Elizabeth
Lelit Mara, or other smaller HX (will add profiling valve)

Will you be able to plumb a unit in? That might open up some other options.
I plumbed in my BDB. And converted to rotary pump. It was super easy.

It's quiet like the commercial shop machines because I have the rotary pump under the kitchen sink plumbed from the water softening filter which is also under the sink. In this video I also demonstrate some flow profiling: you can see that halfway through the flow speeds up considerably, then at the end it slows down considerably. These things would never happen on their own. That's me controlling the flow directly with the needle valve. Anyway:
-Peter
LMWDP #553