First Espresso Machine: Breville Dual Boiler or Rocket Cellini Evoluzione?

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

#1: Post by coopachris »

Hello all,

I am contemplating purchasing my first espresso set up after a long time of brewing specialty coffee. I am budgeting ~$2000 for the machine and grinder. After much research on here I thought to pair a Niche Zero with a Breville Dual Boiler or even save some money and get a Breville "The Infuser" but, since both are out of stock I have not purchased yet.

Today I saw a listing for a used Rocket Cellini Evoluzione v1 and Rocky. And now I am seriously deciding if I just purchase that machine and upgrade the grinder when the Niche Zero becomes available again. However, heat exchanger machines intimidate me for whatever reason. Is it really as tedious as it seems to flush before every pull? I'd like to use a PID for consistency (Blame the scientist in me to control variables) but, that seems pointless in a heat exchanger.

Any insights, advice, or words of encouragements would be appreciated!

ytm

#2: Post by ytm »

Regarding the grinder, as a temporary solution, I'd seriously consider a manual grinder, most mid-ranged priced ones provide much better grind quality than any of the cheaper electric grinders, such as the Rocky, and give you a low-to-none retention (probably lower), as you would get with the Niche.

I should mention that grinding for espresso with a manual grinder does require a bit of effort (but it gets easier), and can take 30-60 seconds (Depending on the grinder and grind size).

TallDan

#3: Post by TallDan »

I think the BDB and niche are great choices and that you should wait and get what you want. Neither of those should be long waits.

Jeff
Team HB

#4: Post by Jeff »

With over a decade on an HX with one of the early EricS group-head thermometers, I build up a rhythm that worked for me. I also had mornings where I missed it on rebound as I was distracted as I waited for the temperature to come back up and that cup was delayed by 3-5 minutes as a result. It certainly is possible to do for medium-dark or dark espresso roasts "by eye". In my experience, anything lighter than that or SOs need tighter temperature control than you can get without a group-head thermometer (~$110). Having switched to a non-HX machine at home, the only things I miss about an E61 HX are the heat from the group head to warm my hands and not needing the sink to rinse baskets (I used the flush water).

I also enjoy a machine that I one of us can say, "I want an espresso" and be ready in just a few minutes, not the 40 or more that an E61 takes to warm up.

The difference between a Rocky and even a 2005/2008 era Mazzer Mini or Vario on medium and medium-dark roasts was striking when I had all of them back then. There was a noticeable difference between either the Mini or the Vario and the Compak K10 I bought in 2011. I consider the Niche Zero to be comparable, but different than the K10 with the coffees of today and my tastes.

I don't know your patience level or the combo price, but this is something you'll have for years. For me, I'd get what I wanted even if it took a while. That's the path I took on the Niche Zero and am taking on another major purchase.

Keep your eyes open on Buy/Sell here as occasionally Niche Zeros pop up, as well as other "entry-level, high-end" grinders as their owners move up to grinders in the $2,000-3,000 range. There have been a couple BDBs as well. I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be buying a BDB off your local classifieds site or national auction site without knowing "care and feeding" (routine maintenance and water) of the unit, but others have had good luck.

BaristaBob

#5: Post by BaristaBob »

Chris,

Try to wait...you will be rewarded in the end. I agree with the others, the waiting period should not be too long. With that $2,000 budget, you did your homework. The BDB and Niche will be great first time buddies for you that will allow you to grow in expertise to master almost of roast levels, and coffee drinks, from espresso to lattes.

Let us know how it goes!
Bob "hello darkness my old friend..I've come to drink you once again"

Bluenoser

#6: Post by Bluenoser »

Yes.. get the BDB and Niche.. read up on simple water recipe to use for the BDB and NEVER plan to descale it.. So get some good RO water and add some minerals..or test your local water.. lots of info on Water here on HB. Water can kill machines depending on the minerals present. (no matter how well you maintain). Having been through the HX experience.. I seriously would not recommend it for the consistency you can get with the Breville. It looks big and shiny.. but .. will not give you the brew water consistency of the Breville. (nor the preinfusion capability, nor the modding capability)

Don't get a cheaper grinder, you will regret it.. The only other option is to get a good hand grinder that you will have forever.. such as a Kinu Phoenix, Comandante C40 or similar..

coopachris (original poster)

#7: Post by coopachris (original poster) »

Jeff wrote: I also enjoy a machine that I one of us can say, "I want an espresso" and be ready in just a few minutes, not the 40 or more that an E61 takes to warm up.
This is something that totally slipped my mind. I am neither patient enough or forward thinking to turn on the machine for an afternoon espresso. Thank you for pointing that out!

coopachris (original poster)

#8: Post by coopachris (original poster) »

Bluenoser wrote:Yes.. get the BDB and Niche.. read up on simple water recipe to use for the BDB and NEVER plan to descale it.. So get some good RO water and add some minerals..or test your local water.. lots of info on Water here on HB. Water can kill machines depending on the minerals present. (no matter how well you maintain). Having been through the HX experience.. I seriously would not recommend it for the consistency you can get with the Breville. It looks big and shiny.. but .. will not give you the brew water consistency of the Breville. (nor the preinfusion capability, nor the modding capability)

Don't get a cheaper grinder, you will regret it.. The only other option is to get a good hand grinder that you will have forever.. such as a Kinu Phoenix, Comandante C40 or similar..
Can you expand on why I would not want to descale? Does it eat through the plastic lines?

coopachris (original poster)

#9: Post by coopachris (original poster) »

Thank you all for the information. I will be patient and wait to get a Niche and BDB once they are in stock. I surely will have more questions once they arrive!

luvmy40

#10: Post by luvmy40 »

coopachris wrote:Can you expand on why I would not want to descale? Does it eat through the plastic lines?
The one bad thing about the BDB is the descale function. It has a history of blowing the steam boiler fusible link and that is one repair that, while doable and the part is cheap is huge PITA to accomplish.

Breville may have fixed this isue in the firmware, but I'll never find out. I will never use the descale program again!