Looking for some guidance on espresso machine, budget around $1500 - Page 2

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
eastbaysteve (original poster)

#11: Post by eastbaysteve (original poster) »

Bluenoser wrote:No one can know what's right for you.. so you'll get lots of differing suggestions..

For me, if I were only steaming one-two drinks a month.. I would not get anything with a steam boiler.. You need to flush them quite often, worry about scale, etc. You know the basics of extraction; so I would suggest looking at a lever machine.

I'd recommend something like the Flair 58 lever. You can preinfuse and vary the pressure. Its electric so can keep your brew water hotter which is good for lighter roasts.. This might not be important to you. I have a $2.5k HX and a manual Robot. If I were only making espresso, I would not think twice and simply go with the Robot. The espresso is as good (I don't anything lighter than a 'medium' roast so can't attest to that end of the spectrum) and it saves tremendously on maintenance and water considerations. (And it will last, basically forever with a few gasket changes).

For the odd milk steaming you could get a Bellman steamer (with gauge) or simply microwave the milk and use something like the NanoFoamer.

If you want a pump machine.. a good single boiler is all you need.. you could get an E61 with the profiler mod.. likely about $1.5k .. but really.. the manual lever can rival the electric with the right user.

Thank you Dave, this is great information. I wasn't familiar with the Robot. I probably need something with a tank but I am not against a lever machine. A guy I work has an older Pavoni and swears by it. Thank you again!

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eastbaysteve (original poster)

#12: Post by eastbaysteve (original poster) »

SandraF wrote:How does a Carola Evo by Quick Mill look? E61 group head & reasonably priced.

https://www.chriscoffee.com/collections ... ill-carola

Thanks Sandra, Chris coached me through my Tea/Mazzer purchase in 2001. We spoke for an hour or two and he was genuine in every way.

Sorry I didn't mention, I need hot water for my wife's tea and Americano's.

eastbaysteve (original poster)

#13: Post by eastbaysteve (original poster) »

dreadnatty08 wrote:Welcome, Michael. It sounds like you roast your own coffee? Do you like to pull shots of more traditional roasted espresso blends or single origins, or a mix? I think if you had a list of wants/needs that would be a lot more helpful than a broad budget guideline and use case.
I can definitely recommend the Lelit MaraX which I have and have enjoyed for a couple months now. It's just within your budget.

Thanks Dan, I buy all my coffee and its a mix of different coffee's local from Trianon. The Lelit looks great with the only issue being a 2.5 liter tank.

Here would be the list of wants/needs

Dimensions 13h, 12w and 20d or less
Hot water
Big tank 3.5

Easy to use
$1500 budget

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#14: Post by Bluenoser »

eastbaysteve wrote: Thank you Dave, this is great information. I wasn't familiar with the Robot. I probably need something with a tank but I am not against a lever machine. A guy I work has an older Pavoni and swears by it. Thank you again!
The "tank" in a manual lever (look at the Cafelat Robot, or Flair's many offerings.. I like the Pro V2) is the kettle. You don't need a tank. Fill any kettle 1/2 full and heat and you'll have water for many shots. Once hot, the kettle will reheat quickly.. I can pull 4 shots quicker on my robot than on my Profitec Pro 500 HX. (not all HX designs are slow.. the Rocket HX would be faster)..

You can get something like the LaPavoni which has a tank, heating element and steamer .. but for just espresso, I don't find that necessary.. and LaPavoni are quite expensive (new) for what they are. Now, second hand.. they are likely a bargain.


#15: Post by SandraF »

I was going to recommend this, but looks like it might be too tall. Profitec Pro 300 Dual Boiler Espresso Machine. Tank isn't as big either & it costs more.


#16: Post by dreadnatty08 »

Can I ask why you need a reservoir so large? Glancing through several machines from $1500-$7000 on Clive Coffee, I don't see any larger than 3L.

eastbaysteve (original poster)

#17: Post by eastbaysteve (original poster) » replying to dreadnatty08 »

Thank you

I'm finding the same thing you are. It's what the Livia has and it going under cabinets, so it's a mild PIA to refill. It looks like 3L is about the largest I'm going to get. I like the Mini Vivaldi with its pull out reservoir and I like the Quick Mill units around the same price.

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#18: Post by Jeff »

I'd find a funnel or a funnel and a tube that can make refilling easier, rather than making your choice based on how big the tank is.

Lots of threads here on how people have worked through various challenges at H-B Search Results for 'fill under cabinet'

Another option (mentioned in some of those threads), depending on your counter space, is sliders for the machine.


#19: Post by dreadnatty08 »

Ah, I understand.
The Breville Dual Boiler 920XL has a handy front fill feature from the top that could work for you. There's loads of fans of the machine on the site here as well.

Edit: This machine is quite large, so probably won't fill the bill in that regard.

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#20: Post by drH »

How about a Bezzera BZ10? Fast heat-up, HX, 3l reservoir.