Newbie: First higher end espresso machine advice - Page 2

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.

Postby drown » Apr 14, 2019, 9:35 pm

Check out the open box specials and refurbished deals from both Baratza and those online vendors and the used section on here. Good grinder deals to be had.
Geography is War


Postby lim.calvinb » Apr 15, 2019, 1:09 pm

I agree Breville machines are not worth it. Instead of the Gaggia though, have you considered the Crossland CC1? It's probably the best machine at its price point, and you can get used/refurbished units for $400-$500.

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Postby johnny4lsu » Apr 15, 2019, 11:29 pm

lim.calvinb wrote:I agree Breville machines are not worth it. have you considered the Crossland CC1?

As someone who owns a BDB and came from a CC1, this is simply not accurate imo. I got my BDB for around $300 more than what I paid for the CC1, and it's 10x the machine. Different stratosphere to be honest.


Postby HH » replying to johnny4lsu » Apr 16, 2019, 5:28 am

I absolutely agree with Johnny. I'm willing to bet the vast majority of people who say Breville are rubbish have likely never used a BDB.

With the BDB you get an incredibly temperature stable machine (it was found to be at least the equal of a GS3 on Scace testing) with the ability to pressure profile and use variable pre-infusion.

Yes it has plastic bits, but I have yet to see evidence that states BDBs have any more problems than other machines out there. They certainly have more units out there than say, a GS3, which may be why more problems are reported. As I said though, I don't know whether this is equates to a greater number of problems per unit. The difference is if your GS3 breaks you need to get a technician round to try to fix it. With a BDB the worst case scenario involves shipping it to Breville and they send you a new one.

Check out this thread if you want to have a proper read about the capabilities of the BDB.

Breville Dual Boiler "Slayer shots"?


Postby Chingachgook » Apr 16, 2019, 1:18 pm

I really appreciate everyone's advice thus far -- it's been very helpful. I'm still on the fence about what machine to purchase. The kicker is, I want to learn the craft, but I don't think I will be making shots every day either. I'm not a die-hard espresso guy. I will still alternate between pourover and espresso day to day. I'm someone who enjoys learning new things and I want to learn this craft. Perahps even throwing in a Moka pot, I enjoy that coffee, too.

I may still consider the Breville, but at 1kish, another $300 for a better machine seems like a better route. Anyone want to chime in on that? Remember, I'm a beginner, but I'm also cursed with the "do it right or don't do it at all." mentality . . . based on previous life experiences. :shock:


Postby HH » Apr 16, 2019, 4:20 pm

Hey Ben,
I don't want to labour the point, but I don't think you will be able to find a better machine than the Breville (in terms of raw ability and ease of use) for an extra $300. Or an extra $1000 for that matter. Yes, I do own one and that colours my review by its very nature, however I spent hours comparing, contrasting and reading up on it prior to purchase, and I'm very happy with it as you can probably tell!

The only other machine I would consider aside from the BDB is the Decent, but that is several thousand more.

Everyone will want to tell you how great their machine is as it validates their purchase decision. Having said that I wouldn't be harping in about the BDB if I didn't think it was fantastic. I would buy it again in an instant. If I was forced to chose another 'beginner' machine with a similar spec to the Breville I would recommend the Lelit Bianca, but that's 2-3 times the price.


Postby Chingachgook » replying to HH » Apr 16, 2019, 4:28 pm

Appreciate your advice! I have found a BDB on Craigslist, used for one year, supposedly well maintained for $600. Looks clean. Is it worth the risk? What should I be looking out for?

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Postby johnny4lsu » replying to Chingachgook » Apr 16, 2019, 4:35 pm

I'd pay $500. $600 is not bad, but you may be able to work the seller down some.

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Postby SiempreTuParceroMike » Apr 16, 2019, 4:46 pm

Agree strongly with....

    the grinder is more important than the machine (I learned this the hard way despite the advice being clearly given)
    buying new from a trusted vendor
    open box deals

Also, be sure to check out your water situation sooner than later (hardess, TDS, composition; about a thousand useful threads about it here!)

Best of luck!
eager and self-proclaimed newbie


Postby HH » Apr 16, 2019, 5:22 pm

Chingachgook wrote:Appreciate your advice! I have found a BDB on Craigslist, used for one year, supposedly well maintained for $600. Looks clean. Is it worth the risk? What should I be looking out for?

That sounds like a good price to me. I'd be looking at the seals and o-rings, as these are one of the first things on any machine that can start to go. Specifically I'd want to know if there was any dripping from the hot water tap or steam wand.

Even if there is a leak these can be replaced relatively easily, it may help you negotiate down on price though!

At a year old I would want to check whether it is still covered by Breville's warranty, and confirm that this is transferable to you.

Let me know if you have any other questions.