Help me upgrade from a Barista Express

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
Aamz23

#1: Post by Aamz23 »

I have owned a BE for almost 2 years now and I feel like it's time for an upgrade. I have recently purchased a Niche Zero and now need a coffee machine to go with it.

My criteria's/needs

1) Good warm up time - I usually don't have much time in the morning and would like a machine that heats up fairly quickly. I will be open to a smart plug to set a timer

2) Make 2 flat whites per day, sometimes 3/4 and on odd occasion 4/5 when I have guests. So i need something which will cope with this. I drink all sorts of types of roasts, favouring the more fruity lighter notes and beans. Usually use one type of bean 250g bags and then moving on to another once finished.

3) Looks - has to look good on my coffee bar and to match with my Niche Zero

4) Price range - up to £1500 maybe more if its worth it. You know how these things escalate.

5) Want to keep for at least another 10 years and ideally don't want to upgrade again soon after.

6) Easy to clean and maintain - ideally no cooling flushes so might rule out a few HX machines. I dont have the time to flush and clean a lot. Usually make a coffee quickly in morning before work. But when i have time would like to play around with features, tasting notes etc.

Few machines I have considered - Mara X, Profitec 300 or 500 or 600, Bianca.

Help!!

Nunas
Supporter ♡

#2: Post by Nunas »

All the machines you mention would be better than the BE IMHO (based on having had three of them).
None will heat as quickly, because your BE is a thermoblock machine (no boiler to bring up to temperature).
If you don't want to flush, then as you suspect, don't get an HX (again, based on experience).
"Looks" is highly personal; no comment. But, nothing matches a Niche except a well-used bar of soap <ha,ha,ha> (couldn't resist).
The bottom line, get a DB machine. If it were me, from your list, I'd get the Bianca. But, don't overlook the Sage/Breville Dual Boiler. I'm not a Breville fan-boy, but by all reports here on H-B it's probably an exception. BTW, it apparently heats up quickly, as does the Bianca.

dreadnatty08

#3: Post by dreadnatty08 »

It might be a hair above your budget, but I'd take a look at the Lelit Elizabeth. No cooling flushes, dual boiler, quick warm up time, good pre-infusion and temp stability. Looks are up to you. Here's a solid review from a member:
https://sway.office.com/YUuIpMmQlYAFkxIO?ref=Link

Aamz23

#4: Post by Aamz23 »

Nunas wrote:All the machines you mention would be better than the BE IMHO (based on having had three of them).
None will heat as quickly, because your BE is a thermoblock machine (no boiler to bring up to temperature).
If you don't want to flush, then as you suspect, don't get an HX (again, based on experience).
"Looks" is highly personal; no comment. But, nothing matches a Niche except a well-used bar of soap <ha,ha,ha> (couldn't resist).
The bottom line, get a DB machine. If it were me, from your list, I'd get the Bianca. But, don't overlook the Sage/Breville Dual Boiler. I'm not a Breville fan-boy, but by all reports here on H-B it's probably an exception. BTW, it apparently heats up quickly, as does the Bianca.
I fancy a change from breville/sage products purely because I want something a bit different. The Bianca seems to be really good on paper, however the price is significantly more. Which 3 did you have and which was the best for you?

Aamz23

#5: Post by Aamz23 »

dreadnatty08 wrote:It might be a hair above your budget, but I'd take a look at the Lelit Elizabeth. No cooling flushes, dual boiler, quick warm up time, good pre-infusion and temp stability. Looks are up to you. Here's a solid review from a member:
https://sway.office.com/YUuIpMmQlYAFkxIO?ref=Link
The Elizabeth is also a contender, however what puts me off is the looks. I prefer the look of the mara x in the lelit range. The Elizabeth isnt out my price range at all.

Anybody had any experiences with the Profitec pro 300, seems like a good price for a DB. My question is how would the lack of pre infusion be a downside for me? Is preinfusion better for lighter roasts?

Jeff

#6: Post by Jeff »

Adjustable preinfusion is new to a lot of home users. In my experience, it can be between valuable and essential for lighter roasts. With roasts continuing to tend lighter for "espresso roasts" coffees, variable PI and/or "flow control" are valuable features for a ten-year investment, in my mind.

Aamz23

#7: Post by Aamz23 » replying to Jeff »

Is flow control or profiling truly a tested method of extracting better coffee? Or is it just another variable to control to make people think they are getting better coffee as its another factor to tweak?

Jeff

#8: Post by Jeff »

Proven by the true barista of the lever era. Then by the lucky accident that paddle groups of the 1970s leaked a bit when you didn't move them the whole way. Commercial pressure-profiling machines of the 2000s. Now backed up by measurements of extraction parameters on shot types that weren't possible on conventional machines.

Aamz23

#9: Post by Aamz23 » replying to Jeff »

So proven then haha. I do really want to go for a Bianca or something similar but very expensive. Anybody have any experience with the profitec 300 or 500, will it do?!

User avatar
ManuelPalmaCoffee

#10: Post by ManuelPalmaCoffee »

very helpful post, I've had a Breville Express for 3.5+ years and I'm still happy with it.

That Lelit Bianca is fire though :!: