First espresso machine: Ascaso Steel Uno w/PID or Lelit PL62T Mara? - Page 3

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
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#21: Post by canuckcoffeeguy »

MntnMan62 wrote:Thanks Keith. Everything you say makes sense. I wonder if the Mazzer Mini would be as quickly adjustable as the Vario. I see one new for $500.
The consensus is that the Vario is a better grinder, in terms of shot quality, than a Mazzer Mini. The Mini has commercial build quality. But by most accounts the burrs are holding it back.

You might want to wait to see what Baratza is cooking up. Looks like they're about to shake up the market again.
New Baratza grinder the Sette Series


#22: Post by Gig103 »

Definitely splurge for the HX or DB. Milk drinks aren't always common in my house but when I make them I'm so glad I upgraded from an SBDU. And it sounds like they will be common at your house.

Although for the price of the Lelit you may want to look at a Quick Mill HX too... I love mine, and buying from Chris Coffee means no sales tax either a 7% savings in NJ.


#23: Post by BenKeith »

As for the make grinder or machine to get, I don't have any suggestions. For 15 years, the only machine I've made an espresso extraction on has been a Livia 90, a really good quality machine and makes OK espresso. When I was referring to double boiler, it was the smaller, single group commercial machines that were running about $2,300 back then. There weren't many of the beer can machines around then like there are now, and a lot of these cheaper things I see now look like they are just that. For grinders, I think most of the commercial quality grinders with burrs at least 60+mm or larger would give a pretty good grind. I have heard some say they need to be larger than 83mm to make a high quality grind. Mine is the 83mm but my taste buds are kinda dumb when it comes to tasting the difference a 63mm burr and a 83mm burr. I think the big thing is the larger burr machines turn a lot slower, giving a better grind, mine only turns about 900 rpm. I think for those, you just need to figure out which ones have the features you like, dosser or dosserless and if you plan to do single shots, which are the best for that. Mainly the grounds retention, some retain a lot of coffee and having to throw away a shot every time it's sits for a while is a complaint I read a lot about with them. Before I did all my mods to my Doge grinder, it retained a huge amount of grounds, probably most of a shot, now it's almost none.
I would just suggest do what you are doing, you first pick got shot down and I have to admit, to me, those a coffee grinders, that will do an espresso. I prefer an espresso grinder that can do a coffee it you choose. look at the Jolly's or others, pick one with the features you want, get on here and find out the Pro's and Con's of it and then weigh each.

I'm sure there are plenty on here that can help you narrow down the espresso grinder that will give you the most bang for the buck, along with the Pro's and Con's of it, especially if you are willing to add a couple of bucks. After all, the HG1 is supposed to be a great espresso grinder, but I'm lazy, I like to just push a button.


#24: Post by Cyproo »

MntnMan62 wrote: And ben, your suggesting that I spend $1,400 on a grinder and then go out and buy a machine for less than that goes against everything I have read on lots of websites and from what I have heard from people who know how to make a good espresso.
You have been reading the WRONG websites, take this from a person who has found a good deal on an E61 machine to replace his depressurized Saeco Poemia and now is grinding at the level between Espresso and Turkish (never had to do that with the litle old Saeco :o )
Simple physics and geometry:
- the bigger the burrs, the more number of blades on it, so grinding will result in much more even and uniform size.
And YES!!!, I'm so looking right now for a good deal for a grinder.

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#25: Post by canuckcoffeeguy »

MntnMan62 wrote:And Keith, you are correct on the HX and DB. Which is why I'm really focused on the Lelit Mara. A nice HX machine. I considered the Profitec Pro 300 but was told the boiler is too small and the boiler is made of such thin metal that a very light press of the finger would cause it to dent. I think given my budget, a HX machine makes most sense.
Any updates? Have you pulled the trigger on anything yet?

MntnMan62 (original poster)

#26: Post by MntnMan62 (original poster) »

Ryan, I haven't pulled the trigger yet. I was about to at the end of last week and then my wife and I sat down yesterday and discussed what our son's bar mitzvah is costing us. When I add the amount our basement renovation is going to cost as well as the driveway and retaining wall repairs coupled with the need to replace the parking lot at an investment property, all of a sudden I started to feel really really poor. Now I'm having trouble justifying the $2,000 or so I would be spending. I may stick with the french press for a while until I feel a little more flush with cash. Or until one of those lottery tickets pays off. Believe me. I was really looking forward to making the move. Who knows. Maybe I'll just spring for it anyway and say f*** it.

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#27: Post by canuckcoffeeguy » replying to MntnMan62 »

I hear you. I have kids and the expenses keep pouring in.

French press + good beans + a good grinder can make excellent coffee. I use an Espro press at work, and also my Aeropress. With the right technique you can make great coffee. Espresso is a much pricier game and requires a lot more maintenance and control of myriad variables. So it does require another level of financial commitment and personal dedication.

Good luck!

MntnMan62 (original poster)

#28: Post by MntnMan62 (original poster) »

Thanks Ryan and everyone else who replied. I appreciate all comments as they did help me solidify my choice, even though I have not followed through. I do hope to jump on the espresso bandwagon in the future.

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#29: Post by bluesman »

MntnMan62 wrote:I sat down yesterday and discussed what our son's bar mitzvah is costing us.
I suggested that our sons ask their grandparents for espresso machines, given the fall from grace of the fountain pen - but no one else thought that was a good idea except me. Of course, I also suggested that we didn't really need china and silver service when we got married (I lobbied unsuccessfully for stereo equipment).

On the flip side, when they were little, my kids gave me a hand-crafted certificate one Fathers' Day that said it was good for "unlimited 'spresso". It's in my display case next to the Craftsman hammer they gave me another year that has a plaque on it saying "World's Best Father". So enjoy what you have and keep the faith - these are worthwhile trade-offs. Our young one's in his mid 30s now, and it looks like he'll be off the dole before I need to replace my current machine.

PS: What goes around comes around - you'll end up with some of the better bar mitzvah gifts just as soon as your son is done with them. Image

MntnMan62 (original poster)

#30: Post by MntnMan62 (original poster) »

Thanks Bluesman. I am very happy to have a wonderful wife and great son. My most treasured experience is watching as he grows and matures into a capable young man. The ride thus far has been more rewarding than I could have imagined and only look forward to the rest of that journey. But, just because I'm not going to spend $2,000 on coffee gear, doesn't mean I can't elevate my home coffee experience just a little bit. I'm thinking that to tide me over I would buy a Baratza Virtuoso for french press and drip. And I'll buy either a Secura, Breville Cafe or Nespresso electric milk frother to make au lait drinks. Total expenditure: $275 if I go with the Secura. Then when the bar mitzvah and basement and driveway are out of the way, I'll spring for the espresso set up, complete with separate grinder for espresso and a good compact HX machine. Does this make sense?