Help select new espresso machine! Budget $4500

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.

Postby withoutink » Dec 28, 2016, 7:49 am

Hi All,

I am currently in the midst of having a new home built, and as a treat to myself I'm looking to get a higher end espresso machine. It took a lot of convincing the wife, but I somehow also got her to agree to it as well having the water source plumbed...

Currently, I use a 1970's La Pavoni Europiccola which I absolutely love and adore. I've had her for a number of years and she suits my needs for a one and done type of morning. However, we are moving in the same neighborhood as about 7-8 other family members, who will be over often. This is part of the need for an upgrade — at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it :-)

Here are some requirements:

- Budget $4,500 max
- Excellent shot quality
- Steams well
- Includes a hot water dispenser
- Fits under counter cabinets
- High quality, commercial or very close to commercial quality.
- Low & easy maintenance
- Long life - I am not planning on buying anything else after this.

I'm at a crossroads as to how much I want to fiddle with the shots in this new machine... part of me wants to geek out, part of me wants something easier.

I've looked a bit at some machines and have been eyeing these thus far, I would love your thoughts and suggestions on these and others in my budget that are worth considering:

1. La Marzocco Linea Mini
2. Londinium (not sure it will fit though)
3. La Pavoni - Giotto Dual Boiler Pid GEV2BPID (pressure profile gauge)
4. Rocket r58
5. Rocket r60v

Thanks in advance.


Postby thecoffeefield » Dec 28, 2016, 8:41 am

Can you tell us a little more about the grinder? Do you have one? Does your budget also include a grinder?


Postby withoutink » Dec 28, 2016, 8:51 am

I have a vintage cast iron Beatrice (similar to a Spong) which works amazingly well for espresso. I've used it for the past few years without issue, it's massive burrs work quick and produces a consistent grind. I also just bought a Sette 270 a couple of weeks ago, and am enjoying that as well.


Postby chrisbodnarphoto » Dec 28, 2016, 8:54 am

thecoffeefield wrote:Can you tell us a little more about the grinder? Do you have one? Does your budget also include a grinder?

This. A commercial-class machine might as well be a Nespresso if you don't have a high quality grinder paired with it.

If you have a grinder :: Linea Mini
If you don't have a grinder :: R58 + K30 Vario

You likely will want to stay away from a single dosing grinder (Monolith's for example) because of a hectic work flow for back-to-back shots and the potential to serve 10 in a row, so something with a hopper is your best bet, and the K30 is universally loved.

The LMLM will keep up with the demand and have Steam power for days. The R58 will have a decent amount of power, too, but will need some recovery after a few shots. The Londinium looks wonderful but you'll defn find a learning curve and it's a slower process compared to a pump machine.


Postby withoutink » replying to chrisbodnarphoto » Dec 28, 2016, 9:06 am

Very familiar with levers, so I think the Londoninum would be fine in that regard, I think the concern there is space more than anything.

While I have a lot of family here, realistically I think the most I would do is five back to back since not all of them are coffee drinkers.

My initial thought was the LMLM as well, but the geek in me sorta thinks pressure profiling etc would be fun.... although, I can always do that on my lever machine.


Postby maxbmello » Dec 28, 2016, 9:38 am

The LMLM meets all of your needs in a machine, and maxes out your budget. With that level of machine though, you could definitely benefit from the best grinder possible. I hand grind every day, so I respect that choice, but think for that level of machine you should probably do better than the vintage cast iron or sette. A Pharos maybe? A K30 would pair very nicely with it, but blow up your budget.

Good luck in your choice, and let us know what you decide!


Postby shanec » Dec 28, 2016, 9:56 am

Have you considered the Vesuvius? I have no experience with it, but it would also be on my short list if I were looking with that budget.


Postby thecoffeefield » Dec 28, 2016, 10:02 am

Personally I would go with the Rocket R60, it has a PID option and you can play with it and really have a great time dialing in your espresso. The Mini, while I don't have experience using one, except once in the NY coffee festival, is a great machine but no PID (you can adjust the temperature with a rotating side dial!). Definitely not my cup of tea.


Postby ds » Dec 28, 2016, 12:45 pm

I would say Londinium and Monolith Flat would be perfect. You already love lever machines and I think you will only love good lever even more. Paired with one of the best grinders around and you are set for life.

Nick Name

Postby Nick Name » Dec 28, 2016, 1:45 pm

without ink wrote:..snipped..

I think you're too far an experienced espresso person that we could say what you need or want.

You've got good choices so you should just pick the the one that you like most (I'd pick LMLM or the 60V with that budget, but I've already got a kickass grinder).

I also would say that do take the afore mentioned Vesuvius into consideration. And also the upcoming Decent Espresso machines.... There are discussions of them around HB.

But first, like it has been said, get a really really good grinder. With such a budget you have to realize that the grinder is the key to perfect espresso - not the machine.

The espresso machine helps your life, but only the grinder makes it better.

Only worth my 2 cents obviously.

EDIT: you seem to have a Sette, so live with it as long as it lasts... It should be very good.