First Time Buyer Espresso Machine

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
EstoCuppo

Postby EstoCuppo » Jun 06, 2018, 6:47 pm

Hi everyone.

I've been a coffee lover for years and happy with my setup of Aeropress + Hario Grinder. I also use a Bialetti Moka Brikka at times. I also went to roasting my own beans using a popcorn machine to get different flavor profiles. But ever since I tasted great espresso from Blue Bottle and the likes, I now dreamed of having my own espressso machine and get to making that delicious cup at home.

I've been lurking here and other forums for awhile trying to figure out what machine and grinder to buy but still confused since there's a lot of factors which I think make it difficult. (for ex, Vibratory vs Rotary Pump, Temperature Stability, E61 vs , Servicability, etc)

The flavor profile I'm trying to get is more Blue Bottle type, full bodied, more chocalatey/syrupy.

My background, I'm willing to spend as much as $6000 and master my technique to achieve the same results everyday. I drink 1-2 cup(s) latte per day.

Even if I'm spending that much money, I would rather get the cheapest setup to achieve those results.

What would that setup be? I can go as low as a Silvia + Rocky or as high as a Linea Mini + Mazzer Lux D or any combination.

bradenl123

Postby bradenl123 » Jun 06, 2018, 7:26 pm

Billy,

As everyone will always say...Grinder matters most. If you can get your hands on a Monolith Flat or Conical you are set. There is one in the Buy/Sell currently. If you cannot get a Monolith Conical or Flat then an EG-1 whenever they are made available or just go into the Grinders forum and peruse. As far as machines an LMLM would be fantastic. Another option is a lever in which you could get a Londinium, Cremina, or Strietman CT1. These recommendations are end game when paired with a high end grinder. Ultimately you as the barista need to be able to learn your machine and get out of it what it can give. There are far cheaper options for good espresso but if you went that route would you be satisfied? That depends on your personality. Everything I own I got used from HB and I am very happy with the coffee I can roast and the shots I can pull. If I were to upgrade it would have to come in the form of a grinder. So spend your money on a grinder.

Braden

User avatar
Eastsideloco

Postby Eastsideloco » Jun 06, 2018, 7:41 pm

I'd get a Linea Mini and stretch your budget to get the Monolith Conical on the Buy/Sell forum. (Don't snooze; it won't last long.) Great gear. Gentle learning curve. You'll be stoked.

EstoCuppo

Postby EstoCuppo » Jun 06, 2018, 7:44 pm

bradenl123 wrote:Billy,

As everyone will always say...Grinder matters most. If you can get your hands on a Monolith Flat or Conical you are set. There is one in the Buy/Sell currently. If you cannot get a Monolith Conical or Flat then an EG-1 whenever they are made available or just go into the Grinders forum and peruse. As far as machines an LMLM would be fantastic. Another option is a lever in which you could get a Londinium, Cremina, or Strietman CT1. These recommendations are end game when paired with a high end grinder. Ultimately you as the barista need to be able to learn your machine and get out of it what it can give. There are far cheaper options for good espresso but if you went that route would you be satisfied? That depends on your personality. Everything I own I got used from HB and I am very happy with the coffee I can roast and the shots I can pull. If I were to upgrade it would have to come in the form of a grinder. So spend your money on a grinder.

Braden


Thanks Braden. Since you mentioned the EG-1, I assume the HG-1 is as good and works as well? It would save me ~$2000 rather than getting the EG-1. But of course is in exchange for time and convenience.

bradenl123

Postby bradenl123 » Jun 06, 2018, 7:50 pm

Billy,

HG-1 is phenomenal. I want one. I have a Mahlgut MG-1 which is a great hand grinder as well. A Pharos is another great hand grinder. Usually people are 50-50. You either love the hand grinding experience or you hate it. I am 25 (tomorrow is birthday!) so grinding is no issue but it takes some learning and for light beans take a bit of oomph. You have a pretty large budget so I am sure others will chime in on what to get but most will recommend Monoliths, EG-1. If you are set on manual grinding the HG-1 is your ticket.

User avatar
Eastsideloco

Postby Eastsideloco » Jun 06, 2018, 7:51 pm

The HG-One is a conical. The EG-1 is a flat. In that sense, you could say the HG-One is more of a budget-friendly version of the Monolith Conical. I love my HG-One, but I'm also confident that the design tolerances are tighter on the Monolith Conical, in terms burr alignment and motor speed consistency.

What you're going to hear over and over here—and what most first-time buyers don't want to believe—is that the grinder is the bottleneck, the limiting factor for great espresso at home. My used Cremina basically cost as much as my use HG-One and they complement one another well. But if I had the budget for Mini or similar, I'd definitely want to pair it with a KafaTek grinder.

EstoCuppo

Postby EstoCuppo » replying to Eastsideloco » Jun 06, 2018, 8:16 pm

Yes. I definitely hear it all the time. Once I get my espresso machine setup, I'd be curious to see how wide of a flavor difference my Hario grinder has to a HG-1 or similar.

Kryptonicspb

Postby Kryptonicspb » Jun 06, 2018, 8:20 pm

So, with a $6000 budget you're gonna have a whole bunch of options. I think it would be wise to factor in all the accessories that accompany the grinder and machine too. Tamper/scale/baskets/water filtration/cups/etc.

That's gonna run you $500-1000 depending upon what you pick out.

It's super easy to spend other people's money

EstoCuppo

Postby EstoCuppo » replying to Kryptonicspb » Jun 06, 2018, 8:32 pm

The budget is definitely on the high side but I'd rather get a decent setup that cost the least to save some money. So I'm trying to figure out where that middle ground lies so I don't spend close to $6000.

Honestly, I just want a good latte I can drink everyday with the occasional dialing in of new beans when I try some. So consistency is important with regards to that, I want to make sure this setup is as consistent as it can get.

I came up with the $6000 budget since that's what La Marzocco has for a Linea Mini + Grinder combo and figured that it would be the upper limit.

User avatar
Eastsideloco

Postby Eastsideloco » Jun 06, 2018, 9:21 pm

If you're drinking lattes you don't need to spend $6k to be happy.

Check out the Profitec machines. Any double-boiler e61 group head machine will probably get the job done for you.

The used Monolith Conical is still a pretty sweet grinder because you get a commercial quality machine in a home-friendly footprint