High quality espresso machine wanted, budget not over $3000. Which one?

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

#1: Post by Diamond »

Hey Home-Baristas,
Been going down the rabbit hole that is pro-sumer espresso machines. After having gone from a mokapot for 3 years and until this passed B lack Friday, a DeLonghi La Specialista. Not realizing how vast the home brewing scene is (and how poorly the La Specialista is constructed), I have gone fairly deep down the rabbit hill for about a week straight. I'll be returning the DeLonghi and in the meantime I've been looking at different machines and reading/watching tons of YT review sites and techniques. I'm in search of a truly well made machine that produces a delicious shot of espresso. This is the toughest purchase I've ever made. There are just so many choices!

Before I dive in, I'll say that I have ordered the Niche Zero. I intend to make espresso and pour over coffee and the Niche seems fantastic for pulling double duty.

My main concern is quality, among other things of course, but I want stainless steel as much as possible, especially in the boiler(s). To be quite honest, SS would not produce any harmful heavy metals like the other materials of boilers would produce and I'm trying to keep that to a minimum as much as possible in my life. I would also like the machine to last at least a decade and have parts that are readily available. I'm a clean freak so upkeep won't be a problem for me. An Italian made machine sounds like the way to go. There sure are many of those!

I make 2x-4x milk drinks (oat really, I don't drink dairy) per day and I'd say if my machine would produce incredible tasting espresso I"d be enjoying a double espresso more often, like 3x-4x a week. My wife and I do love an oat milk latte. But honestly, if it were just me, I'd brave getting a lever machine like a Flair 58 or wait for the Londinium Compact (Vectis) but if I'm not around, my wife sure as hell isn't going to want to use a lever machine and steam milk on a Bellman. She wants simple but I sure as hell am not getting a Nespresso pod machine. I wanna enjoy the espresso making experience and she'll be cool with learning too once I figure the process out lol.

I'll give some specs of machines I'm looking at but I'm open to suggestions if you'd like to steer me away from something. What I'm looking for:

SS Dual boiler - so i don't have to flush or wait to steam after pulling a shot and would like consistent temperatures. Not entirely opposed to a single boiler if the times between pulling a shot and steaming aren't bad. Not sure what machine is recommended in that area TBH but it's gotta be SS.

PID - for consistent temps

E61 - Not totally set on this but I do enjoy the way they look and I'd like to keep the option open for flow control. I'm not hating most builds I've seen on non E61s. Knobs, joysticks etc. I don't have the experience to have an answer but I'd guess joystick?

Pump - I honestly don't mind the idea of either vibration pump or rotary pump. I don't see a vibrating pump bothering me but I understand there's a debate of rotary lasting longer.

Reservoir - I have a water machine (Aqua Tru) I use to filter tap water already. Adding another reservoir to fill won't bother me. Even when I do own my own house, I don't foresee wanting to connect to a water line.


Machines I'm leaning towards:
QM67 Evo w PID
QM Vetrano 2B
Profitec Pro 600 - Sounds like many peeps on here aren't a fan when compared to other machines

Out of my desired price range but damn are they nice. Would like to get an OB or used:
Izzo Alex Duetto IV (looks great but I don't want to go that high of price)
LUCCA M58 (same, don't wanna go that high but it sure is purdy)
Bezzera Duo MN

If you think I should make some sacrifices in things like, say a dual boiler and go with something like a Profitec Pro 500 that has 1x stainless steel boiler to bring down the costs, I'd love to hear it.

I started out wanting a sub $1k espresso machine and here I am in the mid to high 2k range. So it goes eh? I'd like to keep it less than $2500. Do I have to stay in that range? No, but I'd like to! I'm even patient enough to wait until a used unit comes around honestly. The thought of a $3k+ machine is a pill I'd like to not swallow, especially after already dropping $750 on a Niche. This is something I intend to enjoy everyday and if my specs call for a machine costs more than I'd like, so be it. That Decent machine sure is freaking cool but I think that is info overload for me. I'm not that into data and a million features. I returned a droid phone because it was info overload and I imagine the Decent is something like that. I'd like to learn the craft, just not too intensely.

Appreciate ANY help in advance. Cheers

-Diamond

coffeechan

#2: Post by coffeechan »

For Dual Boilers I would consider the Lelit Elizabeth or the Rancilio Silvia Pro X. Both can do preinfusion. You can consider the Breville Dual Boiler if you don't mind possibly replacing at 450$ USD after warranty is out or wiling to do some elbow grease to replace parts. If you want to stretch your budget, the Lelit Bianca is a beauty and will allow pressure profiling (useful for light roasts) and has a PID to control boiler temperatures.

For the heat exchangers, the Lelit MaraX is popular because it allows a certain degree of temperature control for an HX. A heat exchanger you will want to see if you are okay with doing the flushing routine for temperature control.

Plinyyounger

#3: Post by Plinyyounger »

Plenty of info on the machines you mentioned and plenty more. If I were you I'd look at dependability and construction. Lots of opinions about machines, lots of fan boys/girls about wanting others to buy what they bought. So I'd look at actual probs and fixes of the machines you're considering, and which machine has the ascetics you want to look at everyday. I did a ton of research before making my espresso habit purchases, sift through the opinions and you will make a great decision.
Bought a Max, used a Max, then sold the Max. We are splitting hairs.

Diamond (original poster)

#4: Post by Diamond (original poster) »

I'd like to stay away from brass boilers and have only stainless steel. I believe the only machine from your list that has stainless steel is the Bianca and that's a bit too high in price for me. BDB I don't see holding up as long as an Italian made machine. Really looking for a quality made machine with essentially zero plastic.

coffeechan wrote:For Dual Boilers I would consider the Lelit Elizabeth or the Rancilio Silvia Pro X. Both can do preinfusion. You can consider the Breville Dual Boiler if you don't mind possibly replacing at 450$ USD after warranty is out or wiling to do some elbow grease to replace parts. If you want to stretch your budget, the Lelit Bianca is a beauty and will allow pressure profiling (useful for light roasts) and has a PID to control boiler temperatures.

For the heat exchangers, the Lelit MaraX is popular because it allows a certain degree of temperature control for an HX. A heat exchanger you will want to see if you are okay with doing the flushing routine for temperature control.

Diamond (original poster)

#5: Post by Diamond (original poster) »

Plinyyounger wrote:Plenty of info on the machines you mentioned and plenty more. If I were you I'd look at dependability and construction. Lots of opinions about machines, lots of fan boys/girls about wanting others to buy what they bought. So I'd look at actual probs and fixes of the machines you're considering, and which machine has the ascetics you want to look at everyday. I did a ton of research before making my espresso habit purchases, sift through the opinions and you will make a great decision.
For sure. Been driving myself mad with the non stop researching lol. Will continue to do so. Like you said, you and I'm sure many others put a lot of time into their decision. I'll surely be continuing my search and doing the same. Appreciate the positive words.

PIXIllate
Supporter ♡

#6: Post by PIXIllate »

If you aren't going to plumb it in the Profitec 600 is functionally identical to the Profitec 700 and ECM Synchronika. With a flow control kit it is easily one of if not THE best values in high performance home espresso machines. Not sure where you got the idea people weren't impressed with this machine.

User avatar
BaristaBoy E61

#7: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

If you haven't already, I'd suggest reading this well analyzed thread:

Choosing an Espresso Machine Rationally
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

Nunas
Supporter ♡

#8: Post by Nunas »

Profitec Pro 600 - Sounds like many peeps on here aren't a fan when compared to other machines
I'm a big fan of the Synchronika. The Profitec 700, is a Synchronika with a somewhat lighter frame, rotary controls vs joysticks, and low-mounted gauges. The 600 is a 700 without plumb-in, as has already been pointed out. Any of these three machines are excellent, as the internal components are identical; I've even seen the inside of a P700 with a rotary pump branded ECM, same as the Synk.

Diamond (original poster)

#9: Post by Diamond (original poster) »

I'm seeing an open box Vetrano 2B Evo for $2400 and a Pro600 w PID and Flow Control for $2500. Am I nuts to go with the Pro600?

- I like having flow control right off the bat on the Pro600 but I know I can add to the Vetrano at a later time if i do so choose.

- I do not mind the idea of either a vibe or rotary pump, tho a more inexpensive replacement with vibe does sound better to me once the time comes. The buzzing sound of a machine doesn't bother me and I hear the Pro600 is relatively quiet for a vibe pump.

- This will never be plumbed in, so the Pro600's reservoir only works just fine.

- They both have stainless steel dual boilers which is a big check mark for me.

TYIA for any insight you can share.

Diamond (original poster)

#10: Post by Diamond (original poster) »

BaristaBoy E61 wrote:If you haven't already, I'd suggest reading this well analyzed thread:

Choosing an Espresso Machine Rationally
This was a well-written and very interesting read. Thank you for sharing!