The Espresso Machine MOST of You Should Buy

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

#1: Post by JayBeck »

UPDATE 7/10/21 to the OP: Given the time between the upcoming posts and the original post, I want to put a disclaimer and add more context to the title which seems to have stoked fanboy flame wars. The good news between the gap is that I'm this many more months/shots experienced with Bianca and the Flair Pro 2 for a lever comparison. This has cemented my thoughts and even refined them. The best machine for making espresso is a manual lever. It's the only machine that gives the barista the tactile feedback necessary to ensure amazing espresso every time - in other words, the tactile feedback lets the barista know the optimal flow rate for the puck to ensure an evenly pulled and balanced shot. There is absolutely no way to deny this and it should be indisputable. But I know that many people for various reasons want a pump machine. Thus the following comments from me are framed in the context of someone looking at the various pump machines in the market and not knowing which to get. I was very, VERY close to changing this post to the Breville Dual Boiler w/ Slayer Mod. It is the best value no doubt but after more time with the Bianca I have honed in my skills and believe the extra $1500 for Bianca is worth it if you can afford it. With this said, I will continue to dial in why I am set on Bianca with the understanding that any of the fantastic manual levels will make equally good espresso at a fraction of the cost. Hence, the reason for this updated disclaimer and Segway into my final posts. In the first post I have added additional clarity indicated by the obvious "UPDATE" label. Thank you!
Original Post:
I have been pretty quiet on these forums lately. There's a reason for that: 1) dad life. 2) I've found a deep happiness with my machine I'm using. I've been meaning to write this article for some time now. I suspect over time, I will refine it but if I don't start at least a draft of my thoughts, it may never get done and people will continue to make mistakes purchasing their equipment.

One of the most common questions I see on these forums ultimately boils down to 'which machine is best?' This question takes various forms, for example: "should I upgrade to xyz?' or 'machine a vs machine b?' What the user is really trying to find out is if they can get better espresso and/or seeking justification to satifsy the itch of 'upgraditis.'

I suspect this post is going to bring out fanboys and perhaps some trolls. Unfortunately, I don't know that there is much of a way around that. What I care about is helping honest people who are genuinely confused about what to do. I hope this thread ultimately is informative and gets good conversation going about what it is that is important in espresso making and what isn't as important.

My claims:

1. The Lelit Bianca is the best overall OUT OF THE BOX value in espresso equipment as of March 2021. If you want to have the most consistent, best tasting espresso of your life, this is what most of you should be buying.

2. If you have the extra $1k+, don't mind importing parts, have the room for it, etc then the Londinium R (and its variants) is the easiest to use, best possible way to ensure amazing espresso every time. I believe Bianca can get you similar levels of consistency, but I appreciate the Londinium and I would have one today if my kitchen were set up to allow for the vertical room necessary. UPDATE: I know I already said I was excluding levers for this post but the LR24 isn't your ordinary lever. Spring levers do not provide tactile feedback and the LR24 has a pump that can simulate line pressure preinfusion up to 6 bar. The spring dynamically sets the rate of flow / pressure based upon the puck. This is why people with the LR machines love them so much. It's easy mode espresso and it's beautiful to look at. Thank you Reiss for making such an amazing machine.

3. The budget option if you can't do #1 or #2 is twofold. 1) If you are comfortable modding your machine then buy a Breville Dual Boiler and do the needle valve mod; 2) If you want a budget machine that works perfectly out of the box for what you need with preinfusion, then buy the Lelit Elizabeth v3. I suppose you could add a manual lever like the Robot, Flair, or even a Pavoni here. But I want to keep this discussion to pump machines and the unique Spring Lever design of Londinium.

4. The DE1 ultimately does not live up to many of its marketing claims and as such, do not get fixated on it being some 'future proof' platform that is going to leave all traditional boiler machines in the dust. What I learned in 2 years of ownership is that the rabbit holes it opens up are a waste of time and do not make great espresso easier nor does it unlock unique flavors you can't get on other machines. I stand FIRMLY by this claim. UPDATE: I think for many this bullet point came out of know where and looked as if I was targeting the DE1. What I failed to do is explain what led me to this. Basically, everyone seems to be jumping in the DE1 bandwagon over the past year and I anticipated many opening this post would expect I was going to recommend the DE1. Based on the money I've spent and time to get the best espresso, I felt it necessary to ward people away from the DE1. I think it's a terrible machine - IMO the best thing it has is the ceramic water pan and drip tray. This is not a jab or a hit piece but rather my advice based upon extensive usage with it and other machines. Without a doubt I had more sink shots with the DE1 than all my other machines combined. I don't recall a single sink shot in over 6 months of Bianca which is by far the most forgiving machine I've used outside of the Flair. From 15 seconds to 2 minutes I can make something taste good on Bianca. I am not alone in experiencing a lot of bad espresso on the DE1. I have many, many private conversations with former DE1 users who had the same experience. We could never pinpoint why there was so much variability. The most common consensus is terrible water distribution - indeed it's the worst I've ever experienced. Do not buy the marketing hype. It's bad. I also don't trust the temperature since it's moving all over the place to try and keep what it thinks is the puck temperature. I also don't trust the flow because it's not real - it's simulated and defies the laws of physics unlike other espresso machines. To add insult to injury, without a gicleur you cannot have a natural decay of pressure and steady flow - the DE1 does what it can to either maintain a flow under pressure or it will do an absolutely ARBITARY pressure decline (if in pressure priority mode). I've having PTSD thinking about it. I'm sure I've just made some of you angry and you think I don't know what I'm doing or I had a bad machine. I'm not going to disclose my private conversations but I will tell you this: Everyone I know who had DE1 issues ended up with a Londinium R and instantly improved their espresso. Look, I'm not hiding from anything. I have posts on HB and Diaspora that are ODEs to the DE1 because I thought it was new and could do everything better than the competition. Once that fanboy glow wore off, I realized thanks to a good friend who owns an LR24 that I needed to get a different machine. I'm glad I listened.

My Resume:

1. I have extensively used the following machines in this order: 1) Breville Infuser; 2) Profitec Pro 500; 3) Profitec Pro 700; 4) DE1 v1.0; 5) Breville Dual Boiler; 6) Lelit Bianca

2. Of those machines, I have pulled many more shots on the DE1 -- possibly as many on it as all the others combined which is saying a lot. As a v1.0 early adopter, I went through the good, the bad, and the ugly of the DE1 to where it is today. I have horror stories and a lot of opinions of that journey (which BTW, I knew was part of the package of a v1.0 machine). I've pulled some great espresso on the DE1. I've pulled way more shots that were blah or sink shots and by comparison to the other machines, the ratio of good to sink shots on the DE1 is not in the DE1's favor.

3. My claims for the Lelit Bianca have less to do with the Lelit as a brand nor the E61 as a platform. In fact, my bias against both is why it took me so long to trust the Bianca. What I'm really saying is the following claim:

I believe that a semi-competent barista using a needle valve pump machine with adequate temperature stability OR the Londinium cousin (they are a surprisingly similar concept if you didn't know) will pull better, more consistent espresso than the DE1 could ever muster.

4. My grinders I've used these machines with include: Niche Zero, Baratza Sette, Baratza Forte (Alicorned, both Steels and Ceramics), Monolith Flat (Mythos & SSP), Monolith Max (SSP LU).

5. These thoughts were not developed in a vacuum. All ideas I will post have been 'peer reviewed' so to speak by a group of friends who have a myraid of machine, grinders, and experience including a Slayer, DE1, Londinium R24, Slayer mod BDBs, Jake Mod GS3s, and various manual levers (Streitman, Robot, Flair, Pavoni). Grinders likewise include very Monolith variant, EG1, HG1, the Baratza line up, K30, and others.

I have not used the v1.3 and above of the DE1 with the Group Head Controller ("GHC"). The GHC should have been there day one, but I understand why they had to finally ship a machine. My discussions with people who have the GHC are that it's not nearly as great as I had hope at allowing the Barista, who is smarter than a computer, to pull a shot.

In subsequent posts, I will elaborate on the claims. This opening is essentially an outline. I stand by this claim. As a former DE1 zealot, I understand many will come to the rescue telling me how wrong I am, how I must not understand the machine, or perhaps that I'm a bad barista. I've done it, and I understand why people are excited about the DE1. What I am here to say is that the DE1 isn't some special machine that can do things no other machine can while at the same time accurately emulated the other machines -- a true jack of all trades type device! (that's ultimately the sales pitch, isn't it?). The DE1 is a fabulous training tool and I give it credit for helping me understand what preinfusion is, what it isn't, and how puck erosion and channeling plays a role in both PRESSURE and FLOW. My losses on that machine were worth the information I learned so credit does need to go where it is due.

All of my comments are my comments, and all equipment has been paid 100% out of my pocket with no strings attached.
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JayBeck (original poster)

#2: Post by JayBeck (original poster) »

This is the first post that I want to use to elaborate on some reasons for the OP, as well as have some general discussion of what it is the espresso machine does, as well as some definitions to technical terms so that we can have a discussion using terms with a common definition.

Firstly, what exactly is an espresso machine? Simply put, an espresso machine is a hot water pump. It is a platform that allows a barista to pump or push hot water through a puck of finely ground coffee. The way each machine achieves this is different but let's not pretend that there is some magic going on inside of the group. So when we ask the question, 'what is the BEST espresso machine' what we're really asking is which hot water pump will get me the best tasting espresso? When you break it down like this, the blind spots we have to brand name, aesthetics, and marketing jargon slowly go out the door and we end up in a more objective place to have a discussion.

Secondly, what exactly is 'preinfusion' and why is it important? This still seems to be a mystery in 2021 on these forums. I joined HB about 4 years ago and for the longest time I thought 'preinfusion' was some magic going on in the group that only an elusive set of machines could do (GS3MP, a plumbed ECM/Profitec, a manual lever, or gear pump machine like the Vesuvius). To this day, I still see a lot is misnomer going on discussing this term. Simply put, 'pre-infusion' is what happens when the hot water pump first graces your coffee puck with hot water and it ends when the espresso start flowing through the puck. I have a LOT more to say about preinfusion because I think this is one of the most critical aspects to 'get right' with espresso making. When done correctly, preinfusin will increase the forgiveness and consistency of espresso making by orders of magnitude I could not begin to write about. Bold claim, yes -- and the proof of this claim is validated when you analyze why so many people move from a pump machine to a lever machine and talk about making the best espresso of their life and never wanting a pump machine. The problem is their pump machine didn't have proper control over preinfusion whereas their lever machine does.

Preinfusion should do at least 3 things for the barista: 1) allow you to grind finer, thus increasing your extraction; 2) allow you to heal channels that develop naturally regardless of how good your puck prep is; 3) adjust for not having the proper dose or grind size to pull a shot without gushing, or choking. I cannot stress how improtant it is that your machine be able to have total control over preinfusion so you can take advantage of points 2 and 3. Doing so is 'game changing' and will totally revolutionize your ability to pull the best espresso of your life and increase the joy via making espresso less frustrating and/or stressful.

This leads me to my third point, which is a series of 3 definitions: What is a 'traditional' pump shot; what is a 'Slayer' shot; what is a 'Londinium shot.'

1. A traditional pump shot is this: your hot water pump turns on. The flow of water has a fixed water debit (i.e. the flow of water without any resistance; this can easily be measured on any machine by putting a cup on a scale, turning the machine on, and measuring the total weight of water into the cup after 10+ seconds. I use 10 seconds because you can easily divide by 10 to get the debit. E.g. if 60g of water is in your cup after 10 seconds, your water debit is 6ml/s). Traditional pump machines have a fixed water debit. Vibration pump machines usually have a water debit of 8ml/s and rotary pump machines usually have a water debit of 12ml/s. This of course, varies by manufacturer based upon the size of the flow restrictor, or 'gicleur' as you hear it called, which sits between the pump and the grouphead to regulate the max flow of water. What happens during a shot is the water starts at full force until resistance from the coffee puck is met. At that point, pressure will begin to rise as the pump continues to push hot water. Pressure will stop when the pump's pressure limit (say, 9 bar) is reached. The machine doesn't care if espresso is flowing through your puck -- it's a dumb machine, only programmed to pump hot water with the parameters of peddle to the metal until I hit my limit. You could have a gusher, a choked shot, or a perfectly controlled pour. The machine doesn't care, which means the barista has to go through a painful process of 'dialing in the grind' whereby you adjust the grind such that you get drips into the cup around 7-10 seconds and you get your desired yield in 25-30 seconds.

2. A Slayer shot is the logical evolution of the traditional pump shot. Slayer developed a 2-step approach whereby the machine has 2 gicleurs instead of 1 toggled via the grouphead paddle which has 3 positions: Off, pre-brew, brew. The first gicleur is connected to what is commonly referred to as 'pre-brew' position on the paddle whereby a low water debit of ~2ml's (this gicleur is user adjustable via a needle valve) gently wets the puck to soften it prior to moving to 'brew' which is a gicleur set to around 6ml/s flow. The pre-brew position is connected to the pump such that if the grind is fine enough, you can brew up to 9 bar (or whatever you have the limit set to) completely via pre-brew. This allows pressure to begin building during a shot which is important. If the pump cannot keep pushing water once the flow hits resistance, things will effectively stop and only the top of the puck gets hit with water making the effectiveness very limited at best. The brew position of the paddle operates like a traditional pump shot. Thus, the owner of a Slayer can pull a traditional shot by going straight to the brew position and skipping pre-brew; or, the owner can use pre-brew to doing some slow, but effective preinfusion to soften the puck. This allows the barista to grind finer, extract more, and have a higher forgiveness factor from the shots pulled.

3. A Londinum shot is of course named after the famous machine. The reality is, this type of shot can be done of any machine that has complete control over preinfusion. By complete control, I mean control over water debit, pressure, and time such that the pressure does not rise above 4-6 bar prior to the espresso beading evenly on the bottom of the basket so that a perfect, even cone can form for minimal channeling. A Londinum shot is a shot that has a high flow of water to rapidly fill the headspace of the portafilter and begin building pressure. Once pressure hits 1-6 bar (user defined and we can discuss more about this later), the pressure no longer rises and it just sits there. Once the bottom of the basket is beading and the puck is softened and water looks evenly distributed in the puck, the user increases pressure to 7-9 bar so that the shot pours and you end up with a well extracted shot. The user has total control over when to end preinfusion based upon what's actually happening at the puck which provides unparalleled forgiveness for grind size and distribution.

A brief history lesson: When I was doing my deep dive into the DE1 I noticed that all of the stock profiles were not great and in fact, were all nearly identical despite being over a dozen of them with exciting names. One thing they all had in common is they were trying to be like options 1 and 2 above. None of them allowed for preinfusion to heal channels or make grind size more forgiving. From watching many YouTube videos online, I realized the issue was that the DE1 profiles did not hit 3-5 bar of pressure and sit there until the bottom of the basket was beading. This is important because once pressure gets above about 5 bar, channels can become unhealable and you'll have permanent dead spots on your basket which lead to poorly extracted shots. Thus I began working on an advanced profile to do this on the machine. Another user who I won't name here was a longtime Londinium user and 'lever head' who was on the same journey. He and I began chatting and developed the first version of what is now called on the DE1 the "Londinum shot.' This profile was adopted by another user, Damien, who refined it which is why the profile is officially named 'Londinum R by Damien' or some variant thereof. It is very important that you understand why this version of a shot is superior to any other shot. The famed and so called 'blooming espresso' is literally nothing more than a really long bloomed Londinium shot.
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JayBeck (original poster)

#3: Post by JayBeck (original poster) »

UPDATED: 7/10/21

In the prior post I went into some basic ways to think about what you want from your pump espresso machine and why it matters. I then established some basic definitions for the 3 basic pump machine shots (traditional, slayer, Londinium). On this second post I wanted to explain things specific to Bianca and how it helps me do these types of shots. I also want to talk about how I approach espresso making and why I chose Bianca over other needle valve options.

At the end of the day, what I want from my pump espresso machine is the ability to mimic what I could do on a manual lever. I own a Flair Pro 2 which I use for work and travel. All manual levers work the same. The Barista has complete ability over the flow of water through the puck with the added benefit of FEELING the puck. This is a game changing thing to experience. If all you've ever done is pressed a button, watched a pump say it's at 9 bars, then wait 25-30 seconds and hope you got a double shot out then you are really, really missing out on what exactly is happening at the puck. If you want to at least get the forgiveness factor and rely on watching pressure and the bottomless basket for feedback then make sure you have an adjustable needle valve espresso machine. It's the only substitute for a lever and you are much smarter than a computer at adjusting the flow of water to get a well-balanced shot. Trust me.

As I already established, every shot has preinfusion. What pressure is preinfusion can be debated but I believe anything between 1-6 bar is acceptable. Once you go over 6 bar you are really in the realm of making a thick, classic espresso shot. Shots that flow below 6 bar begin to taste less like espresso and more like concentrated coffee. What you want is for there to be no flow in the 1-6 bar range - as flow begins, you want to see even beading across the bottom of the basket. If you don't have this, you have a lot of channeling. These beads should come together at relatively the same time and form a uniform center cone with no dead spots. If you don't have this consistently you have bad channeling resulting from either very poor puck prep, bad water distribution from your espresso machine, and/or an ineffective preinfusion.

Really short preinfusions (2-7 seconds) are what most pump machine are fixed to based upon their water debit. A 12ml/s flow machine with a pressure max of 9 bars will hit 6 bars of pressure in about 2-3 seconds whereas a 6 ml/s flow machine will hit that same place in about 7-8 seconds. The longer you wait to get the 6+ bar shot the more forgiving the puck will be to channeling. Put too much water too fast and less dense areas will be like a riverbed in a storm - the channel will widen, and more water will go there leaving parts of the puck under extracted and other parts over extracted. Sour and bitter coffee at the same time. Not only does the resulting shot look ugly on a bottomless and make a mess, it tastes terrible. Extending this time to 10-20 seconds in my experience is the sweet spot for a nice evenly extract shot. The resulting pour should take 25-30 seconds for a total shot time of 35-50 seconds. This is the basic zone you need to shoot for in making espresso. That's not to say there's not great espresso to be found with different parameters but that this is where you need to start.
So how do I go about doing this?

My go-to Bianca method is the Londinium shot. I do this because it is the most forgiving way to dial in coffee. Assuming your Bianca paddle is properly set (far left closed, far right around 6ml/s), start the shot at full open on the paddle. In 3-5 seconds you'll see pressure go over 1 bar. Begin to close the paddle so that the pressure sits between 3-5 bar. Hold it here. What is happening is water will begin to force its way through the puck because there is pressure (this is why boiler pressure preinfusion is worthless - there isn't enough pressure at ~1 bar to push water through the puck so it sits on top and takes forever to work its way down). Once you have a nice even beading leading into drips (1-2g in the cup usually) then gently open the paddle until you hit your peak. I usually stop just over 8 bar for a gentle pressure landing. Then I look at the bottomless and see what it's doing. If it's flowing too fast then close the paddle until the flow is controlled. You may drop down to 3 bar - that's ok. Better to have an evenly extracted 'coffee shot' than to have a sink shot! Grind finer next time or preinfuse less. Generally pressure will decay on its on. If the shot is flowly steadily then don't adjust the paddle! The gicleur will do all the work through the beauty of physics. Pressure will decay as the puck becomes less dense and since the needle is limiting flow, the speed of water won't rise beyond what is acceptable. Depending on your coffee bean, I've seen pressure hold flat for 30 seconds and I've seen it drop by itself to 6 bar or less without me doing anything. This is the beauty of the needle - it is working very similarly to a spring lever in that it is dynamically adapting the pressure based upon the resistance relative to the opening of the gicleur. Feel free to play with needle positions during this phase. Once you've nailed preinfusion and are getting even shots, you have a lot of ability to experiment with different pressures (don't touch it and it's an automatic transmission or adjust it and you're in full manual mode). Generally, lower pressures are milder and not as punchy.

I do Londinium first because when dialing in, if I'm too coarse this method will get me the best possible shot. Example. You grind and do this type of shot. As pressure begins to rise and close the paddle around 3 bar you realize the flow of espresso never beaded and is already approaching a cone. Let it ride. You are pivoting into the traditional shot. If you fail to hit the pressure limit of your pump (i.e. 9 bar) then you aren't fine enough - adjust the needle to whatever the highest pressure you can get with a stable flow. Had you been on a programmed long preinfusion then you likely would have had a sink shot as the already not resistant enough puck would have been softened beyond hope.
If my Londinum shot was good but preinfusion took 20+ seconds then often times I don't adjust my grind I just adjust my technique and pivot into a Slayer shot. The lower flow rate fill of a Slayer Shot compared to the max flow rate fill of the Londinium shot softens the puck more. So What I'll do is put the paddle around 8-9PM and do preinfusion until I see beads. Again, depending on how dense you either hold pressure until it looks like it will flow evenly, or you go ahead and open the paddle and hit your pressure peak. Unless I'm just insanely too fine, pivoting to the Slayer style shot from the Londinium shot allows me to SEAMLESSLY adjust on the fly without fiddling with the stupid grinder. This makes the espresso making experience so much more pleasant and reduces sink shots. If you do a Slayer style shot first, you are much more likely to have sink shots because you don't have that instant feedback of the Londinum shot to know how well matched your grind is to provide the proper resistance to the water. Thus, the best sequence of shots I've found is Londinum. If it works: great, if not you pivot into a modified traditional shot and then you can either do Slayer next time (if too slightly too fine) or adjust the grind as appropriate. This level of forgiveness is game changing and leads to well extracted espresso almost every time with the barista making the few tweaks needed.

Another fun thing is sometimes the Londinum shot tastes good but you want more acidity. Rather than coarsening the grind, sometimes I'll just do a Slayer shot next and sometimes hold preinfusion longer than normal. The longer you hold preinfusion the faster the resulting shot will pour so you have tons of flexibility to dial in without changing your grind. This is what leverheads love about their machines and it's what the needle valve opens up for pump users.

I want to now share a very cool E61 hack that IMO sets it apart from other needle valve machines. Because of the design of the cam, you can reduce pressure in a choked shot. The only other machine I know of that can do this is a manual lever (I do it on my Flair all the time). Let's say for whatever reason you are at 9 bar and there is no flow. Usually this is bad and means that you've got an incoming sink shot. A manual lever user can simply let off the lever and so long as the piston has covered the bore hole then pressure will drop to zero. On a needle valve or DE1 machine, closing the needle or stopping the pump isn't going to bleed any pressure when choked. It will definitely help to quit apply new force and while the puck slowly softens. And if this happens on a spring lever (Londinum) then you have to step away sometimes for over an hour while you wait for the spring to retract. But on an E61 you can simply go back to the pidpoint and very slowly pull down. It doesn't take much and you can open the cam enough to bleed pressure. On Bianca what I do is close the needle, bleed pressure down to 3 bar, then cut the machine back on (needle closed) and then start over. It's basically a reset button and while something you hopefully don't need often, is one of the coolest features IMO and exclusive to E61 profilers.
In my final post I'll explain why I chose Bianca over the other E61 options. I made add more to this section but this is the basics of what I do and this technique is FOOLPROOF and makes exceptional espresso basically every time. Again - I can't remember the last time I actually had a sink shot. I know this method works outside of my little world because the private chat I'm a member of with Slayers, GS3s, BDB, LR24s all slayed where applicable do the exact same techniques.
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JayBeck (original poster)

#4: Post by JayBeck (original poster) »

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#5: Post by mdreuben »

I'm confused by how the title of your post gets washed away by an obvious bias against Decent for some reason.

As a DE1 owner, I'm likely somewhat prejudiced, but the vast majority of your post ISN'T about why someone should purchase a particular machine, but rather why they shouldn't purchase a Decent.

If you provided more details about the value or shortcomings of each of the machines you've owned and then drew a conclusion, I could respect that. But in this post, you name your favorite machine, list a few others without going into any real detail, and then spend an inordinate amount of time bashing one particular brand.

In short, your post is titled like so much of the clickbait we're all subjected to on the internet and reads like an advertisment, along with some brand bashing thrown in. If you want to produce an essay that actually educates people, please do so. This post purports to be an educational piece, but does almost nothing to help your fellow enthusiasts.
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#6: Post by MNate »

Robot is the right answer to the title - why limit to pump machines?

Whether as an introductory learning machine, a travel machine, or just as a fun way to try a lever or experiment, the Robot is far and away the best value. Plus it gets away from all the troublesome upkeep issues of most espresso machines.

Once you get beyond that I don't think you can say what most should do. The Lelit's are legit, for sure though and should definitely be considered against whatever factors the buyer values most.

Still, some nice thoughts and I'm glad for some it being a great machine for you and others.

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#7: Post by »

mdreuben wrote:I'm confused by how the title of your post gets washed away by an obvious bias against Decent for some reason.

As a DE1 owner, I'm likely somewhat prejudiced, but the vast majority of your post ISN'T about why someone should purchase a particular machine, but rather why they shouldn't purchase a Decent.

If you provided more details about the value or shortcomings of each of the machines you've owned and then drew a conclusion, I could respect that. But in this post, you name your favorite machine, list a few others without going into any real detail, and then spend an inordinate amount of time bashing one particular brand.

In short, your post is titled like so much of the clickbait we're all subjected to on the internet and reads like an advertisement, along with some brand bashing thrown in. If you want to produce an essay that actually educates people, please do so. This post purports to be an educational piece, but does almost nothing to help your fellow enthusiasts.
This is a very fair point. It is a personal post so Jay can effectively do with it as he pleases (within the rules), but if it is going to be something more than "just a post" it does make sense to refine the language to read more like a comparison to a DE1 instead of a knock on the DE1. I mean, you could completely remove any reference to the DE1...

Still very interested to hear about your experience, Jay.
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#8: Post by redbone »

If volume as in number of shots is of concern then a pump machine could be justified. Considering I just pulled 3 phenomenal shots with a Bruni Brunella this morning with a custom 115v retrofitted element my opinion differs. Added water and pulled 3 shots starting from a room temp machine in 15 minutes. If steam is required I'd use the LPE or Faemina all come to temp well under 10 minutes. My answer for home use low volume would be a pro-sumer heated lever machine. I've previously owned an HX pump machine for reference. Individual machine experience and comfort come into play here regarding the answer to your title or statement.
Between order and chaos there is espresso.
Semper discens.

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#9: Post by cgibsong002 »

Why is the Bianca so popular? At $3k, there are a lot of cheaper options with nearly identical features, and i haven't heard exactly glowing reviews of the internal design and engineering. Is it just the flow control?

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#10: Post by PeetsFan »

This is pretty cool; there aren't many people with so much experience with so many expensive machines, unless they're resellers. And you can't 100% trust a reseller, especially since Decent sells directly.

I'm curious to learn whether the flow control feature of the Binaca makes a difference to Jay. To be honest, I'm hoping it doesn't, because that's a level of effort I don't want to take in the quest for the perfect morning coffee.