Home espresso set-up advice

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

#1: Post by alexandra.n »

Hello everyone, I'm currently using Breville Barista Express and looking to upgrade to a DB E61 coffee machine.

Currently eyeing Profitec 700/ ECM Synchronika, with flow control, tbh I prefer the knobs of Profitec 700 compared to the lever of ECM, but just out of curiosity is there really a big difference in terms of build quality to the naked eyes, or the overall toughness of the machine. Also in terms of usability is lever better than knob? I intend to order some wooden accessories and panel for the machine later on, probably from Brewspire, and I prefer the retro aesthetic of knobs.

For the grinders I'm considering either Lagom P64 or Eureka Mignon SD, both on preorder and expected to arrive next month. Both is 64mm flat burr, and the Lagom P64 is double the price and have variable speed control, choice of SSP burr. And I'm not sure if the Lagom P64 with SSP and RPM setting is worth the double price, and is it really superior compared to the Diamond Inside Eureka burr? Also I'm able to order the Levercraft Ultra from China directly from Zhang himself, but unfortunately he's stopped taking order for this year and the soonest I can get the machine is due Mid of next year, I don't think I could wait until then so that only leave me with the choices of Lagom/ Eureka.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post and hope the HB community would be able to solve my dilemma :)

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#2: Post by Ypuh »

Not sure if I can answer these questions due to my very limited experience (none with the machines you mention), but I went shopping in the same category and read a lot about how they compare using the same criteria (though HX instead of DB).

Overall I'd say there is no major difference between the quality and perfromance of the Profitec/ECM and also Rocket (R58) double boilers. I'm not sure if one of them has flow control on them by default, but that could make you decide one over the other. Personally went with the Rocket based on looks and a good 2nd hand deal in my area (new I also would've went with the Rocket though). In terms of percentages/operation and quality in the cup, my guess are they're all in the same 98% range with few minor differences.

On to the grinders; I've got a Mignon XL which is technically very similar to the new Mignon SD (they changed the hopper and tilted the machine). It's a great capable grinder, especially for the price and it will single-dose, but hasn't been designed for it from the ground up like the Lagom P64 is (that's the grinder I'm keen to purchase). If you are set on single dosing, I would recommend to go for the Niche Zero or P64 due to the better adjustability, whereas the Eureka has a very small stepless dial that isn't very accurate (a grind setting 5 today won't be the same as grind setting 5 after switching a couple times). The Mignon workflow and design seem slightly less suited to SD'ing due to the (albeit very little) retention it has, how the beans need to enter the grinding chamber, and it also appears to have a few minor gaps that allow grind to enter the machine (this might be resolved with the specifically designed top). For use with a hopper, the XL is boringly good and performance/quality wise it's fine.

The P64 on paper is the better machine, but not 2.5x as good as the price increases. When quantifying I'd probably say 20-30% improved, mostly related to better build quality, alignment, design and workflow.
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alexandra.n (original poster)

#3: Post by alexandra.n (original poster) »

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question, I think from your perspective regards of the built quality of the machine I'd go for the Profitec since I really prefer the knob with wooden add-ons later on.

And for the grinder I've decided on getting whichever that arrives here in my country, since I can't really make a decision, I understand that the Lagom would be better for SD and changing grinds, but I'm set to using the grinder solely for espresso and maybe some slight changes on the dial daily won't be a a big issue for me but of course I won't know in the long run, and from the aesthetic wise I much prefer the chrome version of eureka. Sooo finger crossed, will see which comes first :wink:

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#4: Post by JB90068 »

I have a Synchronika and am very happy with it. Profitec is owned by ECM and is a slightly lower price point line. You still get the ECM quality. If the aesthetics of the 700 are what you like, go with that.

I have a Mignon XL fitted as a SD. What Ypuh said - I totally agree with. I read that the new Mignon SD's chute sits slightly above the bottom burrs which means more retention of grounds. The XL's chute is positioned in line with the bottom burrs so it has very little retention. It's a nice grinder but likely won't be your forever grinder. In my case, I have a Weber EG-1 that will be arriving soon to replace the XL. My biggest reason is that it's not that accurate when switching back and between different beans - caffeinated in the morning to decaf in the afternoon. After using the XL for a month, I bit the bullet on the EG-1.
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