Is spending $3000+ on an espresso machine overkill?!?

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

#1: Post by ginster6 »

I have been lurking in here for almost 2 months now. I have convinced Williams Sonoma to sell me the Elektra T1 for $3300. and have 90 day return policy. the question to be ask.
Should I get it? I am coming off a $200 Krup that crap on me.. I am going to get a new grinder also. Most likely the Baratza Vario.
I first was looking at machine that was in the $1400 - $1800 . Then I thought I made up my mind at the
La Spaziale VII. AT $2100. but now at over $3000 is it worth it. I know that everywhere else sell this T1 for over $4500. beside "jim Duke" Am I telling my self that I am getting it a at great price and if I need to move it I won't lose much money on it... since I see other selling used on for around $3000. or is it just a overkill for me.. and go back to getting a $2000 machine.
I know I am a sucker for the best stuff. like my car. I will spend over $100k for car and over $15k for watches. but a $3000 plus ESPRESSO machine I don't know. just a newbie in espresso. Will it justify me?

And here is the funniest part. I will only use this 6-8 times a week. unless I have dinner party at my place..

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#2: Post by »

The price you pay for your machine will depend on what you want and what you can afford.

If you can afford the machine - it's a beautiful and great machine that I'm sure several HB members can attest to and at the price your quoting new it seems like a steal when comparing it to other sites I've looked at.

There are people that have spent upwards of 5-7k on GS3's and similar machines just for home use. Affordability is dependent on you WANT to pay for the machine, but there are other more meaningful questions to ask. Reading that will help answer some questions. Espresso Machines 101

It's about what machine will cater to your needs/wants, not the price. That's the ideal way to go about buying an espresso machine... however, WANTING something even if it's overkill and way more than you need is more fun than just getting something you NEED.

You could opt to spend less on a machine and get a la spaz and look into higher quality grind options for grinders. Not to knock the Vario, but if you're willing to spend 15k on a watch, I'd say go with a Nino or a Robur....might as well pimp out your espresso rig.

The Elektra sure will look great!

Also, PS using the machine once a day isn't casual usage... and I'll bet that if you do get that machine or WHEN you get any of the machines you've been considering... your usage will increase on a non-linear scale very quickly!
LMWDP #670


#3: Post by zin1953 »

I spent approx. that much a year ago, before the latest price hike, and I haven't regretted it for a single moment!
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

ginster6 (original poster)

#4: Post by ginster6 (original poster) »

my other choice is going more $$ more on grinder is k30 WBC or versalab.


#5: Post by CoffeeOwl »

ginster6 wrote:Should I get it? I am coming off a $200 Krup that crap on me.. I am going to get a new grinder also. Most likely the Baratza Vario (I think I spell it right).
When I got Vivaldi (and it was first Vivaldi II in Europe :D ) I was saying good bye to a Saeco similar to your Krups. And it was a financial effort for me. And I could have thought of a better grinder and made it a bit bigger effort :lol: but I didn't. At least I have something else then coffee to live for (the moment I get the better grinder, that is :D LOL) wrote: go with a Nino or a Robur....might as well pimp out your espresso rig.(...)
using the machine once a day isn't casual usage (...)
your usage will increase on a non-linear scale very quickly!
+1 all three
'a a ha sha sa ma!

LMWDP #199


#6: Post by NickA »

I think this might be the wrong forum if you were hoping to find people to dissuade you from spending a disproportionate amount on a coffee machine ...

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#7: Post by HB »

ginster6 over $3000 is it worth it.
Many of the espresso machines reviewed on this site rest comfortably on the cost/value "knee". Above this price point (around $1400), the in-cup difference becomes smaller and smaller, and other considerations like better convenience, consistency, workmanship, and capacity come into play. To get a concrete appreciation of what I mean, read the conclusions for the Quickmill Vetrano and Elektra A3. I authored both reviews and I tried to capture the cost/benefit of each model as well as the "feel" of each.

To be clear, the differences between those at the cost/value knee and those well above it aren't manifested exclusively as raw performance. I've never driven a car costing over $100K or worn a watch costing more than $15K (you'd need to drop at least another zero for my price range), but I imagine the same observation holds true between mid-tier and upper-tier representatives in most consumer products.

For reference, in my rough guidelines for today's espresso equipment market, the entry to high-entry tier is around $200 to $600, the mid-tier covers machines up to the mid $2000s and the upper tier starts around the low $3000s. You can always spend more and guys like Kees van der Westen will be happy to oblige with custom kit like the Speedster. It's more than I'm willing to spend, but still, it's oddly comforting that the difference in price between a representative espresso machine at the cost/value knee and one of the most tricked out espresso machines on the planet is "only" an order of magnitude.
Dan Kehn

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#8: Post by gyro »

ginster6 wrote: but a $3000 plus ESPRESSO machine I don't know
Hmmm... I've spent somewhat more than that, probably around what you've spent on watches, and I don't regret it for a minute. Mind you, I don't own a car, or a house. You only have to justify it to yourself (and perhaps whom else you share a chequebook with). I can in no logical way justify my purchases, other than I wanted them and continue to thoroughly enjoy them.

I had a friend that scoffed at buying a 3k machine which his wife wanted (ex barista wife). He finally caved in when he knew I had spent a similar seemingly extravagant amount. Now I know for a fact he would struggle without it! Come to think of it, now pretty much all of my friends have machines in that class, and I have to roast for them all...

If you like the Elektra T1 (which I think is very beautiful machine, but have never had the pleasure of using) then you should buy it. I would recommend matching it with the Elektra Nino, which I own and can fully recommend.

Cheers, Chris


#9: Post by GewoW »

Do it. If you plumb it, you will not regret it. The boiler is also insane.


I had a Hamilton beach POS. Then I got a SuperAuto and I decided to return it. Then I was thinking small - Rancilio Silvia, then I thought more into the HX Expobars and Rockets and Quickmills. Then I said the hell with it, I want something plumbed that has a lot of steam power and got the A3. Paid around your price and I'm a friggin student...

Do I regret it, no.

Make sure you get a proper grinder first though ---

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#10: Post by shadowfax »

I will second a lot of what's been said in this thread, particularly Dan's (HB's) comments. I'd also say that if you appreciate hundred-thousand-dollar cars and fifteen-thousand-dollar watches, I think you will easily appreciate the quality of the Elektra over the $1500-2000 machines you typically see out there. It's something else. I'd say that an Elektra Nino will afford you a similar experience over the Baratza Vario, amplified by a factor of about 50. :wink: I don't think you'll get much better results with any other grinder 'better' than the Vario, but titan grinders have a presence and quality about them that really stands out-literally, they all but preclude overhead cabinets. The Nino can be a bit of a loud thing (if you want quiet, the Mahlkönig K30 Vario is the unquestioned ruler of that roost in my experience), but it's the closest thing to a real looker that I've seen among all the grinders (IMO). It really, really fits with the Elektra T1:

Don't forget fresh coffee if you're coming from Krups land. I have a friend who went from a Nespresso to a Synesso, and easily the thing that makes the journey work is fresh, artisan-roasted coffees that are sourced with care. This site is a superb place to find such coffees-you should be able to get exemplars of what I mean from any of our coffee sponsors. If you're getting Starbucks, or the "fresh roasted" French roast grinder-clogger special from the high end grocery store in your neighborhood, it's kinda like getting a Ferrari and driving it around without leaving first gear: you'll be making coffee with a 'sexy' coffee setup, but in the end you just look like a big idiot and it's your palate that pays the price.
Nicholas Lundgaard