Londinium R24 out of budget... what should I get?

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

#1: Post by conrad_vanl »

After 7+ years I'm finally upgrading from my Breville Dual Boiler. I'm tired of keeping this thing going (replaced the brew pump, solenoid x2, countless O-rings, pressure profile "slayer" mod...and more)...now the steam boiler seems to be going (I think it's the heating element).

Several years ago I decided my next machine would be a Londinium R. Fast forward post-covid and the R24 has increased enough in price that I can't quite stomach $4k+ (after taxes/shipping/customs). Here's what I'm currently considering:

ECM Synchronika w/ flow control
Bezzera Strega
Bezzera Matrix MN w/ flow control
Profitec Pro 800
Londinium Compressa
...wait for the new smaller Londinium

Priorities:
Well made, last "forever" and easy-ish to repair / long-term cost of ownership
Lever is intriguing as I feel like it's the shot profile I've been trying to recreate on my BDB for years
As much as I don't mind pulling a machine apart and tinkering, when it comes to making espresso daily I just want it to be easy and not fussy to get a good quality cup

I've kept a BDB going for 7+ years...I hope my next machine lasts me 15-20.

Usually drink medium roasts, occasional light roast. Love me some single origin pulp naturals especially from Ethiopia, Burundi, Brazil...

Prefer to buy from a US-based retailer/distributor with warranty service, etc

At present, I'm leaning towards the ECM as it seems to be a proven favorite, or the Strega as it seems to be an intriguing lever option and is cheaper. I've heard some folks complain about temp stability on the Profitec 800, which makes me wonder if it's worth it over the ECM.

The Compressa...I'm undecided on. Is it really worth it? $500 for shipping, customs and lead time is painful. I have an open water line with easy access, so I could plumb it in. No clue on line pressure... it's an unused 1/4" water line like what you'd use for an ice maker. But I'd have to figure out a new filter situation. I currently use a RO+Mineralization system to fill tank on my BDB, I feel like I'd be going down hill with some sort of in-line filter that kept high enough pressure to run the Compressa for decent pre-infusion.

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Jeff
Team HB

#2: Post by Jeff »

Check out the Argos and the baby Londinium once people get past the honeymoon period.

conrad_vanl (original poster)

#3: Post by conrad_vanl (original poster) »

Yeah, I think I'm really leaning towards the Profitec 800 or L Compressa.

I love the ultimate simplicity of the Pro 800 and that I can get it more easily in the US. My only hesitation is whether it's the right machine for the type of coffee I like. I buy some stuff on the lighter end of medium, but that's about as light as I go. Majority is probably closer to a full city. I don't do dark roast.

With the Compressa I feel more comfortable with flexibility due to its tighter temp control, but I don't know if that will ever actually be a concern for me - Im just used to very precise temp control now with the BDB (which I hardly adjust). The plumb in requirement won't be too hard for me, but an extra cost and makes my existing water filtration system kind of redundant.

Also, while the least factor of all of this, but part of my bias is the 0% interest through WLL's finance partner on the Pro 800. Makes convincing the wife a lot easier.

conrad_vanl (original poster)

#4: Post by conrad_vanl (original poster) »

Walked through the options with my wife. I think we're liking the Pro 800 better on paper, unless someone on here tells me we're not going to like it for the coffees we drink. Mediums mainly city to full city (or just under full city) roasts. Maybe the occasional (once a year or so) roast that was stopped around the first crack.

Reasons:

- Easier to get in US, longer warranty
- Simpler design, less mineral build up in steam boiler
- Options to plumb or tank
- I don't think I'm going to be that picky with temp control

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retireddude

#5: Post by retireddude »

The Compressa is awesome. Great temp stability (walk up and pull shots all day long), very little to go wrong, easy to work on, silent operation, superb espresso.

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retireddude

#6: Post by retireddude »

I seriously considered the Pro 800 too, for many of the same reasons you mentioned.

conrad_vanl (original poster)

#7: Post by conrad_vanl (original poster) »

@retireddude how loud is the pstat these days? The machine will stay in a home office. Not sure if keeping it on all day will be annoying.

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spiffdude

#8: Post by spiffdude »

I'm a new Pro 800 owner and drink moslty medium-light and medium roasts. Coming off an E-61 HX machine.
More on the fruit and caramel than on the chocolate in terms of flavours I seek out.

Am I extracting everything that I could possibly get from certain roasts I use? Probably not. But I'm not the kind of person who would spend hours futsing about with temperature and pressure profites. Not sure I'd have the palate fitness to detect everything either!

I like the simplicity and the feel if using a spring lever. Plus the dipper design is simple, easy to maintain and fix. Pretty happy with the results, and adding a Monolith flat to the mix in a few days.
Damn this forum, I've had too m..muh...mah..mmmm..much caffeine!