Espresso machine under 1500 USD budget

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

#1: Post by somnium »

Hey,

A good friend of mine recently asked me for advice on buying an espresso machine with a budget of 1500 USD. Now this is a price range i am not very familiar with and hence would love some advice. A few caveats: the person is not into experimenting with espresso. What they are looking for is an easy to use, reasonable configurable and solid espresso machine that will out of the box deliver a good experience.

A few things I've considered so far:
  • Lelit Mara X
  • Profitec Pro 500 (or Pro 600?)
  • ECM Mechanika V
  • Rancilio Silvia Pro X
  • Rocket Appartamento
I am curious if people have some good advice. I tend to go for the Lelit Mara X, as it feels the most straight forward, easy to use, little configuration, and very good performance (temp stability ,etc). What are your opinions and am i missing a model?

gobucks

#2: Post by gobucks »

Is the $1500 budget pretty flexible, or are you planning to buy used? Otherwise all of these machines are going to be over budget.

I tend to agree that the Mara X is the best bet among HX, it's hard to recommend a unit without PID for a beginner. Profitec 500 has PID but IIRC it is entirely based on steam temp, whereas mara x has dedicated brew priority mode with 3 different 2 degree temp bands.

Otherwise you're looking at an entry double boiler, like the silvia pro x. you might also consider the profitec pro 300, breville double boiler, or lelit elizabeth (my personal pick). It has good temp stability, programmable preinfusion, and programmable auto shot timer cutoff, which make it really easy for someone with limited experience.

somnium (original poster)

#3: Post by somnium (original poster) »

Regarding the 1500 USD. I should have been more clear. This is actually 1500 EUR and has a bit of wiggle room.
gobucks wrote:I tend to agree that the Mara X is the best bet among HX, it's hard to recommend a unit without PID for a beginner.
After looking more into it, i think this will be my recommendation. Glad to hear it from you too! My other recommendation would be the Silvia Pro X atm. Thoughts?
gobucks wrote:Profitec 500 has PID
My main worry here is that I saw a lot of reviews and forum posts regarding the need for calibration, which for me wouldn't be a problem, but for my friend it would be.

User avatar
Jeff
Team HB

#4: Post by Jeff »

A PID on a conventional HX machine is little more than marketing. There are multiple stories of ongoing problems with those with strangled thermosiphon loops. I wouldn't purchase any conventional HX new at this time, especially for someone learning the craft of espresso. That eliminates the 500, Mechanika and Appartmento.

1500 EUR makes more sense! Even with the relative exchange rates, pricing is different in the two markets. From what I understand, Lelit is more attractively priced, compared to ECM/Profitec, in the EU.

Although I have not tried one, the feature set of the Lelit Elizabeth is very attractive to me. A close-coupled boiler suggests good temperature stability, its options for "preinfusion" seem to open up extraction options over the Silvia Pro X. Reading the Silvia Pro X description of "soft infusion" didn't suggest to me that it had much flexibility.

The Mara X seems to be a great choice for someone that wants either the E61 look, or the possibility of installing an E61 flow kit.

The Profitec Pro 600 is a dual boiler. I'm not sure why it is not more popular in the US. Maybe it is that it is expensive enough here that people just "spend a little more" and get the "top of the line" Pro 700?

gobucks

#5: Post by gobucks »

The Silvia Pro X seems like a nice machine, and very similar to the Lelit Elizabeth. The Pro X has a bigger steam boiler, dual pumps (maybe this would help with reliability? IDK) and a generally more robust build. It has preinfusion, although only passive (no added pressure to push water into the puck). The Elizabeth's preinfusion is better, since it adds pressure from the steam boiler, and has a programmable auto-timer cutoff. The steam boiler is smaller, but the max temp goes all the way to 145C, so steam pressure is not an issue. I preferred the Elizabeth (especially since in the US it's a few hundred cheaper), but both are excellent machines.

If your friend can afford the Profitec 600 (or Quick Mill QM67, which is similar), that would be an excellent option, but at around $2400 in the US, it's hard to imagine it'd be under 1500 euro.

SergiuBogdan

#6: Post by SergiuBogdan »

Hi, at 1500 eur you can find Bellezza Bellona, a nice dual boiler machine, friendly to use for an espresso beginner.

SutterMill

#7: Post by SutterMill »

The Profitec 600 and Silvia X Pro appear to be quite a bit cheaper on EspressoCoffeeShop.com which I believe is based out of Italy. I'm unaware of other EU based websites for espresso but I'm sure pricing is along the same lines.

https://www.espressocoffeeshop.com/en/d ... chine.html


https://www.espressocoffeeshop.com/en/d ... chine.html

I havent owned one but you might also check out the LA SPAZIALE Dream-T. Those appear to be solid machines.

https://www.espressocoffeeshop.com/en/d ... chine.html