Need advice on a new espresso machine, budget around $2000

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
D_Prince

Postby D_Prince » May 09, 2019, 3:37 pm

So... I've gotten to the end of what I can do with my current machine. I have the equipment below. That being said, I can actually turn out consistent shots better than most of the independent coffee shops around me. The one I cannot beat wins Barista Championships every year. They do blends and single origin espresso blends and I do too. I'm a hobby roaster as well.

That being said, this machine has some design flaws that require more maintenance than most. Which is a pain because it wasn't designed to be maintenanced easily. So that said, if I'm going to update, I might as well push the limit. (within reason/budget)

I called Clive Coffee but I feel like they were comparing paper specs and not trying to clarify what I was trying to get to, which clarity on which is more on the depth of flavor in extractions. While I know I'm getting into dangerous opinionated ground here, I figured I'd ask anyways.

I'm a weird bird, as I enjoy about everything and it's probably more mood that drives what I drink. I love espresso but I also like cortado and lattes as well. Also, I like to have the flexibility to do different things while I entertain.

Clive suggested the LUCCA A53 (custom machine by La Spaziale) or Profitec 600. Thoughts on these or other machines in this price range? ($2000)

Current Equipment:
Kitchenaid Pro Espresso Machine (Double Boiler Gaggia)
Mods:
Rancilio Silvia V3 steam arm
IMS Precision Shower Screen
Brass Holder (greatly reduces temp surfing)
IMS Competition double Basket in a naked Portafilter

Baratza Sette 270
Coffee distributor
58.5mm JoeFrex Flat tamper

TheGriz

Postby TheGriz » May 09, 2019, 7:00 pm

Do you want a lever or pump? Single boiler or dual boiler? Easier to maintain and fix? Steamed milk?

There are a lot of machines at or around the price point that are absolutely fantastic. Just need to know some of the other parameters to fully recommend something.

D_Prince

Postby D_Prince » May 10, 2019, 9:33 am

I'll say pump, as I'd be starting at ground one on a lever and that makes me a bit nervous. Leaning toward dual boiler, since that is my current setup.

More focus on the easier to maintain than fixing. That being said I'm decently handy so modding the Kichenaid (Gaggia) may have taken me longer than others but I wasn't completely out of my element.

I do want to be able texturize/steam milk properly. Having as insulated wand sounds great, but that's not a have to have.

tracer bullet

Postby tracer bullet » May 10, 2019, 10:23 am

If you are doing milk, I like the dual boiler idea but of course an HX could work as well. Do you mind the flushing routine of an HX and / or plan to make a lot of drinks back to back? Or are you more of a set-it-and-forget-it type and making just one or two at a time?

Quick Mill QM67 was tops on my list a while back, but I did their Alexia Evo instead (single boiler otherwise similar). Dual boiler of course, E61 group with a threaded hole so you can add a thermometer or anything else if you like, gauges for both boilers, switches instead of levers (my personal preference), PID that also functions as a shot timer, etc.

For maintenance one thing will be scale of course, you might look into your water hardness and if you need to reduce it. If you pay attention to it you can calculate how often yoou would need to descale and really reduce your maintenance routine outside of some occasional backflushing and such.

D_Prince

Postby D_Prince » May 10, 2019, 11:09 am

Most of the time I'd just be serving myself twice a day. (Breakfast/lunch) Not familiar with the flushing routine of a HX unit, not saying it scares me away by any means. Ability to backflush properly is a flaw of my current machine. Not sure what you mean by set-it-and-forget-it type, but if you're talking about a superautomatic, that's definitely not me. Not willing to give up on a superior product just to make my life easier.

Not going to direct plumb, as my home would require a a bit of work and I am not pulling enough to make this a venture I want to take at the is point. So as long as I use properly filtered water I think maintenance could be predictable.

tracer bullet

Postby tracer bullet » May 10, 2019, 2:54 pm

By set and forget I meant that a single or double boiler non HX machine with PID works well. My Alexia has a PID, and the machine is on a timer to kick on before I even wake up. I let the machine warm up for 45 minutes, then grab my shot. I don't need to flush or do a single thing and I get the same stable water temperature every single morning without having to think about it.

I'm all for testing and experimenting and playing, but I didn't want to add a flushing routine and other related variations related to an HX on top of messing with the basket size, amount of coffee, grind settings, distribution, tamp pressure, and all the rest of the stuff. Super automatics are not for me either.

You'd learn how to use an HX of course, most people do. But if you don't care much about milk I'd suggest a single boiler. Or, if you do want milk often then either an HX or dual boiler. Between those, if you don't mind some effort, to brew at a particular temperature, an HX should be good. If you'd like to program in a certain temperature and know that you'll actually get that temperature, then the dual boiler might be the way to go.

Coastie44

Postby Coastie44 » May 10, 2019, 3:20 pm

I wouldn't overlook the Profitec Pro 300. I've had mine about a year now and love it. Dual boiler, fast heatup, PID, temp readout. Clive has them listed at $1650.

I use Crystal Geyser water bottled at Mt Shasta (seems to be the recommended water for those without appropriate water softener) and pull 3-5 doubles a day (one or two for wife, two to three for me)!

tracer bullet

Postby tracer bullet » May 10, 2019, 4:11 pm

Totally agreed, and the Lelit P92T / Elizabeth might be a consideration as well. And of course the Breville (920XL I believe) that a zillion people also have.

D_Prince

Postby D_Prince » May 10, 2019, 5:05 pm

Coastie44 wrote:I wouldn't overlook the Profitec Pro 300. I've had mine about a year now and love it. Dual boiler, fast heatup, PID, temp readout. Clive has them listed at $1650.

I use Crystal Geyser water bottled at Mt Shasta (seems to be the recommended water for those without appropriate water softener) and pull 3-5 doubles a day (one or two for wife, two to three for me)!


Was thinking about the ECM Classika but I was advised against it. (was advised against the Profitec Pro 300 for the same reason) They suggest small milk drinks, with those machines. While I do, my wife prefers a 8 oz of milk in her Latte, and I like the option for other people if I'm hosting.

Been playing around the idea of a ECM Synchronika, it might be overkill for my needs. That and I'd prob need to save up for another year. :lol:

speakerdesign

Postby speakerdesign » May 10, 2019, 6:36 pm

I also have had a Pro 300 for over a year, also have a ECM Casa V single boiler. I have no problem steaming 12-16 oz of milk at a time on either machine so I'm not sure why you're getting that advice. It heats up in 10 min which is important to me. Dual boilers are great when making milk drinks, and more temp stable than an HX.