Espresso machine upgrade advice, budget $2500

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

#1: Post by adw1215 »

Hey friends! I'm looking to upgrade my ECM Classika to a new machine (dual boiler most likely) and I'm looking for advice.

My most frequent use case is 2 milk drinks (usually cappuccinos) back to back in the morning and in the afternoon. I'm looking for a speedier, silky, steaming experience along with an equal or better shot compared to what I'm getting from the Classika.

Budget is up to $2500. I've been reading through the threads and spoke to the team at Chris' Coffee and Clive Coffee. For my budget the respective teams seem to strongly recommend the QM67 (Chris'), the new version of the Lucca a53 (Clive) and the Profitec 600 (both).

I'd love any outside input, experiences, or advice as I've been feeling sorta stuck/lost.

Thanks for your help!


#2: Post by chipman »

You're in the Bay area? Take a drive down to Great Infusions in Santa Cruz. They're an agent for Chris Coffee and have multiple machines on display. I've been a customer of them for 20 years and purchased two machines from them. I've always been really happy with their service.

My current machine, purchased from G.I. is a Duetto 4, that will be a little over your budget, but it may be one to look at.

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BaristaBoy E61

#3: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

I would suggest reading this thread:

Choosing an Espresso Machine Rationally

For an E61 DB machine my choice would again be an Izzo Alex Duetto (IV). Just slightly beyond your budget but I'm sure Chris' would make you an inviting offer.

We were very happy with the Duetto III and Chris' Coffee before moving on to our present machine.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

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Team HB

#4: Post by Jeff »

What do you want to get from a new machine?

In my opinion, you aren't going to see a significant difference in the cup from one well-regarded E61 machine to another, without using some kind of during-shot flow control. Even with flow control, you're going from one E61 machine with good temperature management to another.

If I were getting about the same thing in the cup, it would be hard for me to justify a new machine based on steaming convenience alone. I might get better in-cup results upgrading a grinder or just buying better coffee with the funds.

I've used an older QuickMill QM67 for a while (before my kids took it home) and found it comfortable to work with.
Among the various E61-style dual boilers, the decision mainly comes down to which you think is going to be the most comfortable to use. Things like where the controls are and if you prefer on/off or steaming that you can "feather". I think usability makes more of a difference than internals (that are about the same on most E61 boxes in the same class).

For me, the La Spaziale is limiting in that there is no "flow kit" that I know of that can be added.

Along with the Profitec 600, you might also consider the Lelit Mara X, which has very reasonable temperature in a low-fuss way at a more modest price.

Chris' Coffee has treated me well over the years, living in or near San Francisco the entire time. Their parts and service department probably saved me a couple hundred dollars over the 10+ years I was using an Anita.

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#5: Post by Paris92 »

You could get additional mileage out of the Classika if you add a Flow Control kit. According to the WLL website (where I purchased) that is an option on your machine. Might be an inexpensive way to start.

I did not know about Great Infusions prior to buying my ECM Sync. Thanks for posting that here.

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#6: Post by mrgnomer »

I think better from one e61 to another would be parameter controls. Temperature, preinfusion, flow control. Bezzera Aria machine with PID and flow control that looks like a good machine.

My upgrade from E61 HX was a Bezzera Strega Top. Thermostat heat exchange vibe pump hybrid lever. Very hands on, single boiler, no PID, no brew pressure gauge. It does have a fixed temp thermostat heated group and vibe pump brew boost.

Much better tasting extractions compared to my former base e61 HX. For me the lever makes a difference. More extraction parameter controls in a simple manual controlled declining pressure commercial grade spring lever from preinfusion to brew pressure with or without the vibe pump boost. The HX line can be ballpark temp surfed as well with flushing.
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