Looking for input if my decision making process on espresso machine choice is sound - Page 2

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
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Jeff
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#11: Post by Jeff »

If you're pulling traditional Italian blends or roasts, your grinder and machine choices are likely to be very different than someone pulling lights and ultralights. The Decent isn't known for providing the kind of high-body shots that levers often can. The "emulates them all" is marketing crap.

ffiorentino (original poster)
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#12: Post by ffiorentino (original poster) »

If you don't mind, can you provide some machine suggestions? My goal is to get as good or better shots than the bars I frequent.

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Jeff
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#13: Post by Jeff »

A restored classic lever or one of the traditional or modern levers would be what I'd look at for traditional Italian blends and roasts.

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LBIespresso
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#14: Post by LBIespresso »

Look at the Decent, then look at a lever like the CT2 or any one of many older machines that you can find second hand. Which appeals to you. They are different obsessions. If you read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance it would be like comparing a BMW to a Harley.

I don't think you can make a bad choice either way. And Welcome to HB!
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HH
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#15: Post by HH »

I agree with Jeff.
If you drink anything medium or lighter, the DE1 is likely to be an excellent choice. It offers the ability to tailor the shot to the roast level you are using. It doesn't however offer the ability to slam a puck with a high enough flow rate to get really thick syrupy shots. One way around this is to get a more waisted basket which can increase mouthfeel by increasing puck depth and reducing headspace, but no pump machine is going to come close to a lever for old-school, dark-roasted Italian espresso.

As Luca advised, I would try to work out the sorts of espresso you enjoy drinking, and target your machine to that variable. If you like thick syrupy dark shots and like simplicity, go for a traditional lever machine. If you like medium or lighter roasts and enjoy experimenting, a DE1 is really fun as are some of the newer lever machines such as the Nurri or Evo Leva, if you don't fall heavily in either camp get whatever you fancy!

ffiorentino (original poster)
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#16: Post by ffiorentino (original poster) »

I do not prefer thick syrupy shots but I do like them. My everyday at home preference is something a bit lighter.

This is coming full circle back to the Decent. I want a machine that is above my ability now but allows me to grow into it.

Longevity with whatever I buy is important to me as well as ability to grow and on some days just press a button.

ggcadc
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#17: Post by ggcadc »

Not doing anything right now is probably a good call. Over time youll likely develop a better sense of direction and that can guide your choice

ffiorentino (original poster)
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#18: Post by ffiorentino (original poster) »

Yes. It's been a long and busy year and I wanted to reward myself. Maybe I will just buy a Force Tamper and keep practicing my puck prep.

As far as a grinder, I would prefer a single dose grinder but in all honesty, I have been happy with my Kinu Simplicity and have not given much thought to a replacement.

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baldheadracing
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#19: Post by baldheadracing »

If you're happy with the coffee that you are buying, then the biggest improvement you can make equipment-wise is your grinder. The Kinu's 47mm classic conical burrs made by Italmill are good, but the 68mm+ conical are just plain better. If you want to stay with hand grinders, there is the Helor 106 or the Craig Lyn HG-1 Prime or the Orphan Espresso Pharos (but bench-mount the Pharos).

For your Oracle - the espresso side is a Breville/Sage Dual Boiler on the inside, which is a known-good setup. On the grinder side, in recent Oracle models Breville has changed to Baratza burrs that are made by Etzinger - and you can buy the upgraded burrs from Breville/Sage. This would give you grinder performance pretty much the same as your Kinu for dark roasts, but better performance as roast levels get lighter. However, a 68mm+ conical will, again, be just plain better.

I would say that there is no use upgrading the machine as I would say that the Kinu is the limiting factor in your equipment.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

ffiorentino (original poster)
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#20: Post by ffiorentino (original poster) »

Sounds like I should look at getting a better grinder and stick with my Sage for now.

I have not done a lot of research on grinders so I am not sure where to start. I am willing to spend up to €1200. I know that price does not mean best but I want to position myself to buy one grinder and be done. I prefer single dose and a grinder that does not have bad retention issues. I welcome any suggestions.

As a side note, I really appreciate the input received on this thread and I am happy to have found this community.