First high end espresso machine. Any advice?

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

#1: Post by AgileMJOLNIR »

Hi all, new to the forum but planning on being around a LONG time.......so 2yrs ago I absolutely hated coffee until I took a trip to St. Petersburg Russia and had a lifechanging experience in the form of a Latte. Within 2 months of returning I was the owner of a Breville Barista Express. Long story short I have taken this in as a serious hobby and have quickly outgrown my Breville.

So in similar price ranges I believe I have it narrowed down to 3 machines in no particular order.
1) ECM Synchronika
2) Linea Mini
3) Vesuvius

I understand that the Vesuvius is in a league of it's own with it's pressure profiling capabilities which is something I wasn't originally looking at, however it's now on par with the LM in terms of price so it's become a major contender. I'm sorry if this has been asked here before but I was trying to gauge actual user experience with these units. All will make great espresso so i'm curious mainly about reliability and steam power.

I haven't had a chance to experience these hands on, I know the LM is a steam powerhouse. I'm still up in the air about pressure profiling though it might be fun. I'd be using these in a home setting probably pulling 2-3 double shots a day roughly. Would anyone have any advice on these units? Thanks in advance!

maxbmello

#2: Post by maxbmello »

What kind of coffees do you plan on using? If you are doing light roasted single origin, the pressure profiling in the Vesuvius may be worthwhile. However, if you are just doing medium to dark blends and "comfort" flavors, it really may not benefit you too much.

More importantly- what grinder do you plan on pairing with one of these machines? That will likely make more of a difference in the quality of coffee than the actual machine since all 3 are very capable.

Let us know a little more about your preferences and grinder situation, and I'm sure others with hands on experience with these machines can chime in.

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redbone
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#3: Post by redbone »

I'd stay away from the Vesuvius in North America. Some issues with the electrical conversion and higher N.A. amperage vs European electrical amperage and voltage. I'm aware of a retailer here who will no longer carry them due to mentioned issues.
Between order and chaos there is espresso.
Semper discens.


Rob
LMWDP #549

mivanitsky
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#4: Post by mivanitsky »

I would recommend skipping those and getting a Londinium R. Had there been such a thing at the time, and if I had experienced it, in all honesty I probably would not have or need a Slayer now. Get the 220V version if possible in your home. Spend the extra money on a good grinder and beans.

okmed

#5: Post by okmed »

redbone wrote:I'd stay away from the Vesuvius in North America. Some issues with the electrical conversion and higher N.A. amperage vs European electrical amperage and voltage. I'm aware of a retailer here who will no longer carry them due to mentioned issues.
I think that's the Ventus model, the one that looks like a catamaran sailboat and is a lever, not the E61 group.

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nickw

#6: Post by nickw »

No experience with the Vesuvius, so I can't comment there.

Between the Linea mini and the ECM (or other high end e61 machines), I'd probably choose the Linea mini for the integrated brew group. But both are solid choices.

And don't forget the grinder. In my experience the grinder makes a bigger difference.

AgileMJOLNIR

#7: Post by AgileMJOLNIR »

Thanks all for the great advice!

I haven't decided on a grinder yet but i know not to skimp because it more important than the espresso machine itself in most cases. I've allocated around1k to spend on a decent grinder.

As for beans I mix things up from single origin lights to darkers. I'm still identifying flavors that work better with certain drinks and overall produce better results. I find myself changing up my bean selection quite often but do have my favorites to fall back on. But like I said it's getting increasingly harder to do with my Breville, it definitely has it's limits but served it's purpose for a great entry level machine not to mention I think the pump is going out after 2yrs and my coffee is starting to taste a little watered down:)

If there are no known issues with the Vesuvius aside from those that were present upon launch which seem to have been corrected then i'll keep it in my list of considerations. It's been a hard decision for trying to choose which will be the better machine for me even knowing exactly what I want to do with it. I love the ECM for its user friendly maintenance, I love the LM for it's steam power and reputation and I love the Vesuvius which seems to give the best of all those things plus profiling capabilities and programability.

Thanks so far for all the advice everyone.

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redbone
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#8: Post by redbone »

okmed wrote:I think that's the Ventus model, the one that looks like a catamaran sailboat and is a lever, not the E61 group.
All the above as he has had issues with all Ambient products. I really like their styling but that would quickly become outweighed by reliability and function issues here in N.A..
Between order and chaos there is espresso.
Semper discens.


Rob
LMWDP #549

ben8jam

#9: Post by ben8jam »

I chose the Profitec 700 over the ECM because personally I find the aesthetics of the ECM line too showy. The Profitec is more industrial while still maintaining some elegance. I much prefer the knobs over the flippy nipple joysticks. Other than that they are pretty much identical but the Profitec is cheaper.

There is a never ending debate over the LMLM, and I've gone in circles over if it's worth 2x the price. One thing to take into account is the e61 is still a bit of a trust issue when it comes to the temp at the group. You'll still need Eric' thermometer. From what I've read of the LMLM, it's rock solid on temp even if you are doing it blind.

If i were you, I'd up your grinder budget to 2-3k as I think that's really what is going to do it. $1k seems to be bottom end entry for a good grinder especially if you're single dosing.

mivanitsky
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#10: Post by mivanitsky »

$1000 is enough for a grinder if you get an HG1 and align it well. If you want easy single dosing and a motor, you are looking at a Monolith Conical for $1950. Pharos 2 or Kinu M47 are even cheaper excellent manual grinder choices. The highly aligned grinders with good burrs available now provide lots of choices at various price points.

If you aren't particularly fussy about single dosing, there are many good grinders in the sub $2k range, particularly if you are willing to buy used. You still need to weigh your coffee in the PF for consistency, but this is not difficult.