Looking for a new espresso machine in $1500 budget range

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

#1: Post by jeremyw »

Hello,

I am looking to upgrade to some better espresso equipment. My current setup is:

- Compak K8 Flat Burr Grinder (Old version) which I picked up for $300
- Breville BES870XL for pulling shots

I am looking for a new espresso machine in the 1.5k range with a built in milk steamer as well. With the Compak and Breville I have been able to pull some pretty consistent results, but I think it is time to upgrade my espresso machine.

Also, any recommendations of which shop to purchase from (online?) I am based in Canada.

Thanks!

User avatar
Jeff
Team HB

#2: Post by Jeff »

Welcome to H-B!

What do you want to improve in your coffee?

What do you like or dislike about your current gear?

Is $1,500 in USD or CAD?

Though I haven't used one myself, my gut feeling is that the K8 will be challenging to upgrade on a budget, especially if the burrs are reasonably sharp. Always hard to find burr-life info, but one number I found was 800 kg. It looks like new burrs, if you needed them, are around US$100.

I have had good interactions with iDrinkCoffee.ca and Cafune.ca, but not ordered from either of them. (Cafune looks like they may not carry machines much larger than the Cafelat Robot.) Several of the reputable retailers have open-box specials from time to time. I think those pages are worth following. I'm sure there are others in Canada that are excellent as well.

palica

#3: Post by palica »

Hello,

Difficult to help you or make suggestion without knowing what you want to improve. I have been (and still am) a user of Breville products and even if it lacks the exotic look of Italian or German espresso machines, they can give pretty decent results so at the end, you may spend 1500$ for very little - if any - improvement.
You can collect a lot of information from Idrinkcoffee and they have an interesting politic which enable you to return the machine if you do not like it, and of course, because of that, they have a lot of open box with great deals, but all major brands can also be found locally with - maybe - hands-on training.
1500 CAD is in between 2 product ranges. If you can increase your budget to 2000, you will have access to a lot of pro-summer espresso machines, or you can check Kijiji which does have some excellent deals from time to time.

Happy hunting!

jeremyw (original poster)

#4: Post by jeremyw (original poster) »

Hey Jeff, palica

Thanks for the information and response!

I am aiming for about 1.5K CAD, but my upper budget is 2k CAD

I am actually happy with K8 Grinder! My issue with the BES870XL was just the grinder steps were too big and I was never able to dial in, which is why I upgraded to the K8. But since upgrading my grinder, I wanted to look more at upgrading my espresso machine, but maybe the BES870XL is decent enough for pulling shots.

The only things I really want out of a new espresso machine vs the Breville is:
1. More powerful steamer
2. 58mm Portafilter. I am not a fan of the breville 54mm
3. Dual boiler would be nice so I could more quickly prepare my latte in the morning before work

With regards to performance of the BES870XL when it comes to pulling shots, I am actually pretty happy with it.

I have been looking at the BES920XL Dual Boiler which has these features. It seems really well priced given the features, I'm not sure if there are anything else in a comparable price range?

Thanks!

Glacier21

#5: Post by Glacier21 »

Hello, I was recently shopping and looked in this price range - the Rancilio Pro X is probably just above range, but idrinkcoffee has a Profitec 300 open box under $2k cad. I had a good experience shopping with them for a grinder - had a very minor problem and they made it right immediately.

jeremyw (original poster)

#6: Post by jeremyw (original poster) »

Hey All,

Thanks everyone for the input.

I ended up going with the Profitec 300. It generally came down to this one or the Breville Dual Boiler, and I decided would be better to get a machine that is maintainable & probably better build quality.

Thanks!

BaristaMcBob

#7: Post by BaristaMcBob »

Your grinder will be your limiting factor. A superior machine will reveal the flaws of your grinder.

My second observation is that machines, despite all the features and technology, are limited by the plastic ULKA vibe pump. Most people classify machines by boiler type. You have to consider pump type as well.

As far as vibe pump machines go, have a look at the Bezzera BZ10. Excellent value there. Solid machine. Small footprint. BUT - your grinder might be inadequate.