I would like to get recommendations on my first espresso machine that I could use for a long time

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

#1: Post by calebsuja »

Hello All,

As I was searching for my very first espresso machine, I was introduced to HB and have been looking in and around for the past couple of weeks. Thanks to all of you guys, I've been getting good idea about which models to be looking for. But also at the same time, maybe because we are all different with different expectations, I couldn't find a response that fully resolved my question on what I should get.

Going into my budgets, of course I want to get the best shot out of the best machine, but I do have a somewhat conservative budget at or below 2000. Thankfully though, I think my wife is cool with me having a separate budget on a grinder and I'm at a comfortable debate between Sette 270Wi and Mignon Specialita.

With my budget on hand, I think you guys helped me narrow down the options,
- A53 Mini (I live in an apartment and I don't think direct plumb would fit in my case)
- Profitec Pro 300
- Profitec Pro 500 PID
- Rocket Appartamento (for Pro 500 and Appartamento, I understand that HX would not offer the same temperature stability offered by DB, but I want to hear more opinions on how much DB's Pro/Con outweighs the HX's Pro/Con, and vice versa)

On top of this, I also want to consider the lifespan of these machines as I would like to buy one and won't have to worry about replacing it with another one for decades, if the machine allows. So when coming down to finding a machine that I would like to keep for a very long time, I also get into this thought of maybe go above my budget and choose Decent DE1 instead? Which I think is a very crazy idea when I'm trying to think logically, but at the same time, seems somewhat reasonable.

So these are my thoughts and questions that I gently ask for experts here to help navigate me through.

Thank you all in advance.

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walr00s

#2: Post by walr00s »

The Breville Dual Boiler is a darling around here because with mostly some cheap DIY work you can get it to do things that normally cost at least twice as much. I'm not a Breville advocate, but there's enough people around here with good experiences that it's hard to argue against.

Personally, if I could reasonably afford a DE1, I'd probably get one. It removes a lot of the guesswork from espresso making by giving you feedback and control over most of the relevant variables. I love my machine, but there are days where my shots don't taste the way I know they can and I have trouble figuring out wtf not. With a DE1, I'd imagine it to be a lot easier to narrow down what exactly is going on. There are days where that seems priceless to me.

Also, I would not purchase an E61 HX box for this reason: if you're into lighter roast coffees or might one day be, you're going to want a flow profiling mod to play with long pre-infusion recipes, which come with a manometer at the group head so you have feedback for your variable pressure (dependent on flow). With an HX machine, you're almost certainly going to need an Eric S. style thermometer at the group. Unfortunately there's no good way to have both (if you find one, please let me know). The one possible exception to this is the Lelit Mara X, which has a PID at the group to control that temperature, though from what I read while researching the machine there are some edge cases where the group can require a long cool down even in X mode. When you can have the ACS minima (Dual Boiler) at about the same price, it's hard to see what the HX E61 niche is exactly.

I do love my E61 box, and there's some very nice things about it like all of the levers and toggles that make coffee making feel fun. But there's no debate about the fact that it is an old technology.

baristainzmking
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#3: Post by baristainzmking »

Breville is a popular choice here for the price vs. performance. From the machines you have listed, I would go with Luca A53 mini, hands down. It's a double boiler and a steam monster. ;)
Julia

calebsuja (original poster)

#4: Post by calebsuja (original poster) »

Thank you Soren for sharing your thoughts.

So it seems to come down to the BDB that I've been seeing people write about post after post :D
Still got some time so won't be rushing, but the affordability part of DE1 is definitely taking itself out of my lists.

calebsuja (original poster)

#5: Post by calebsuja (original poster) »

Thank you Julia for your comment.

I guess I forgot to mention this then, what would your choice be between BDB and A53 Mini?

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MTN Gert

#6: Post by MTN Gert »

A53 would be my vote too. La Spaziale is a commercial espresso company and in my opinion will have significantly better parts and repair support vs a home machine.

Actually my vote would be a La Spaziale Vivaldi and use a remote reservoir plus flojet pump. That way you can fully plumb it in if your living situation allows in the future.
"Stop it....it's naughty and wrong" -James Hoffmann

pwhinson

#7: Post by pwhinson »

The A53 is really a great machine, beautifully made and designed and built to last. If all you want is good espresso or even great espresso with ease I think you can get that with that machine. I would ask you how much of a tinkerer you are though. You mentioned the Decent machine. These two machines are for people seeking two entirely different things. The A53 uses automated volumetric dosing for you, has tight and easily set and displayed temperature regulation and so for ease of use its hard to beat. If you like manual control over everything then you'd look to something like the previously mentioned Mara X which even though a HX machine has a few tricks up its sleeve temperature wise. Those are my thoughts.