Need help with espresso machine/grinder upgrade! Budget around $1500

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
CPNY

Postby CPNY » Feb 04, 2019, 11:37 pm

So let me begin. I am currently on a junk Francis Francis X1 2nd generation. I'm way over due for an upgrade obviously. I bought the machine at 22 back in 2003 and it's still running well. I drink 1-2 quad Lattes per day. The steaming is hell. Lately I've been drinking 2 double shots rather than make the latte for the sake of time. I've been enjoying it a lot more that I thought. I've began to grind my own beans as well. I enjoy the quick heat up time as I'm ready to pull shots within a few minutes. I'm looking for something that can handle steaming when I feel I want a latte. But a quick heat up time when I just want a few double shots. I'm leaning toward the Silvano simply because I won't be steaming large quantities of milk. When I will it will mostly be in the winter only as the spring summer and fall I will be drinking just espresso. I also feel that if I'm spending the money to upgrade should I just go with a Hx unit like the Mara? I got a price of 925 for the Silvano through a reputable website. Thoughts and advice would be helpful.

CPNY

Postby CPNY » Feb 10, 2019, 8:43 pm

Let me try again.

I'm new to espresso making at home. I'm currently on a 15 year old Francis Francis machine that went dormant for 8 years. It's working again and I went and bought myself a Breville grinder to see if this new fad of making espresso at home was viable. I'm up to 3-4 double shots per day. I'd make the latte but steaming on a single boiler is hell. In comes the want/need for a new machine. Heat up time is important and all that but I'm leaning toward the lelit Mara HX or the Quick Mill Silvano. Either way I know I need to upgrade the grinder as that is more important. I'm leaning toward the baratza sette 270Wi or the Quamar M80 manual. M80 is under 500 on whole latte love but I like the idea of the scale in the sette and feel it would take the guess work out of having the correct dose. Am I off here? Any other grinders I should be looking into? 1000 is my budget on a machine and 500 on a grinder.

HoldTheOnions

Postby HoldTheOnions » Feb 10, 2019, 9:54 pm

Never owned either, but if you're liking shots, then a single or double boiler with PID will generally have a shorter learning curve. Silvano will also heat up significantly faster than Mara. Mara will steam like a beast, but in my limited experience faster steaming isn't necessarily better, just faster. As far as grinders, weighed dosing will make it easier as it leaves only one variable, grind size. That said, Quamar will likely last forever, Sette likely not. Always trade offs, just have to figure what's best for you.

greggers89

Postby greggers89 » Feb 10, 2019, 10:17 pm

If you are not picky about your steam, then the Silvano could be perfect for you. Thermoblock steaming tends to be slower and wetter than having a dedicated steam boiler. (That was my experience with the CC1).

The warm up time has never been a consideration for me when purchasing a machine, because with most you can use a timer outlet to turn on, or the machine may have it's own auto on setting. Turning it on ~45 mins before I wake up alleviates any worry that it won't be hot and ready for me.

The Lelit Mara has pretty positive user experience threads which you can find on here. The Breville Dual Boiler is probably the only new dual boiler in your budget, which also has a large fan club here.

For the grinder, it seems like Baratza has done a good job of damage control with the Sette. Those that got lemons had them replaced for free, and current production doesn't seem to be having anywhere near as many incidents. It's up to you if the addition of the scale is worth the extra money (~$150 if I remember). It's not doing anything that you can't do by weighing out your beans with a $20 scale before putting them in the grinder. The Eureka Mignon grinders have been getting popular lately, with some people opting for those over the Sette due to noise. I went with a Niche Zero and am very happy with it for the noise, ergonomics, and stellar grind quality.

ghostchili

Postby ghostchili » Feb 10, 2019, 10:39 pm

I would go with a Breville Double Boiler and a Baratza Vario Burr Grinder with Metal PortaHolder. I have the BDB and it can't beat for the price.

nngnng

Postby nngnng » Feb 10, 2019, 11:12 pm

If it were me, I would check out WLL website and shop around for a refurbished prosumer machine. You can find something within your budget. For the grinder, I would go on eBay and see if you can find a half descent grinder.

If you're planning on keep the machine for 10+ year that's the way to go.

CPNY

Postby CPNY » Feb 11, 2019, 12:19 am

All great suggestions. I feel like I've seen a ton of video reviews and have been on WLL searching grinders. Been all over, starting to feel overwhelmed. Step one was to purchase a WiFi enabled outlet to connect to Alexa to roll over and tell her to turn the machine on..... next up grinder and machine. With that being said I'm leaning toward the Mara/refurbished quamar M80 combo.

CPNY

Postby CPNY » Feb 11, 2019, 12:20 am

ghostchili wrote:I would go with a Breville Double Boiler and a Baratza Vario Burr Grinder with Metal PortaHolder. I have the BDB and it can't beat for the price.


I live in an apartment in nyc with extremely limited counter space. BDB is too large, I have about enough room new bambino. I would be able to just fit a Mara or Silvano.

CPNY

Postby CPNY » Feb 11, 2019, 12:31 am

greggers89 wrote:If you are not picky about your steam, then the Silvano could be perfect for you. Thermoblock steaming tends to be slower and wetter than having a dedicated steam boiler. (That was my experience with the CC1).

The warm up time has never been a consideration for me when purchasing a machine, because with most you can use a timer outlet to turn on, or the machine may have it's own auto on setting. Turning it on ~45 mins before I wake up alleviates any worry that it won't be hot and ready for me.

The Lelit Mara has pretty positive user experience threads which you can find on here. The Breville Dual Boiler is probably the only new dual boiler in your budget, which also has a large fan club here.

For the grinder, it seems like Baratza has done a good job of damage control with the Sette. Those that got lemons had them replaced for free, and current production doesn't seem to be having anywhere near as many incidents. It's up to you if the addition of the scale is worth the extra money (~$150 if I remember). It's not doing anything that you can't do by weighing out your beans with a $20 scale before putting them in the grinder. The Eureka Mignon grinders have been getting popular lately, with some people opting for those over the Sette due to noise. I went with a Niche Zero and am very happy with it for the noise, ergonomics, and stellar grind quality.


I've been checking out the eureka. I like the fact that it doesn't weigh as much as the quamar. I have to move it around in the morning to get to the outlet. Again, small PITA NYC kitchen woes. The quamar coming in at 30 pounds will wake me up lugging it around before I even make the coffee!!

CPNY

Postby CPNY » Feb 11, 2019, 11:17 am

ghostchili wrote:I would go with a Breville Double Boiler and a Baratza Vario Burr Grinder with Metal PortaHolder. I have the BDB and it can't beat for the price.


I'm seeing the BDB at $1300. Same price as the new Lelit Elizabeth DB. 1st line has the Mara Hx at 999 with build in PID (fixed temp). I'm leaning that way since maintenance on HX is most likely easier?