Newbie: First higher end espresso machine advice

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
Chingachgook

Postby Chingachgook » Apr 14, 2019, 1:27 pm

Hi friends - I'm excited to join this community! I recently got into pourover, but I find myself already itching to try my hand at espresso. I'm willing to spend the money for a quality setup that will last me for years. While aesthetics aren't what *really* matters, I would genuinely enjoy something that is nice looking since it will live in our kitchen / living room area. Part of the reason I enjoy making coffee is using aesthetically pleasing and well engineered tools to craft cups. It's relaxing for me and I enjoy the process.

I'm planning to buy a Baratza Sette 270Wi, or maybe a 30. I know the 270 is a better bet if I can swing it.

As for the machine, my wife would like the ability to make lattes and cappuccinos. We'll probably only be using it once or twice a day, but the ability to easily make more when guests come over is appealing. I've considered just getting an Aeropress, but we like what a machine offers. A lot of folks seem to recommend an older Gaggia Classic (with PID?) The Breville models I've heard are somewhat garbage (but affordable). I'm still VERY new to all these terms, so I'm trying to learn as much as I can.

I found a barely used Salvatore HX E61 single group machine for $1300 shipped on eBay. It comes with: 2 portafilters, (1 double spout, 1 bottomless), 2 double baskets, 1 blank , 1 pod basket. Machine has 3L water reservoir. The seller seems extremely knowledgeable and trustworthy. Would this be a good machine that would last us if taken care of properly? I've read Salvatore is a great handmade unit from the U.S.

TLDR; help this newbie out with making a wise purchase; one that will keep my wife & I happy for years to come, allow us to have fun, and grow our espresso making skillsets. :)

Thanks, friends!

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guijan12

Postby guijan12 » Apr 14, 2019, 1:54 pm

Welcome at the forum, Ben.
Goid luck with your choice and purchase to be. :lol:
Don't forget the grinder, eh. :P
Regards,

Guido

Jasper_8137

Postby Jasper_8137 » Apr 14, 2019, 2:10 pm

It's great you are interested in delving into espresso! A couple of tips that I have learned the hard way 1) the quality of your grinder cannot be overlooked. You can produce much better espresso with a very good grinder and so-so machine than the other way around and 2) be careful buying an espresso machine on eBay. It is difficult to ship correctly and you really don't have the ability to try it out / inspect first. I'm fine buying used, but maybe CL is a better option so you can actually lay your hands on it.

Chingachgook

Postby Chingachgook » Apr 14, 2019, 2:42 pm

guijan12 wrote:Welcome at the forum, Ben.
Goid luck with your choice and purchase to be. :lol:
Don't forget the grinder, eh. :P


Thank you! And yes -- I have my sights set on a Baratza 270Wi. :)

BTW - I've also alternatively considered just going super simplistic and getting a Moka. My uncle is from Spain and he makes amazing coffee in his. Perhaps not quite as fun, but the flavor is close enough to satisfy me and much less maintenance! But I enjoy learning new skillsets.

nuketopia

Postby nuketopia » Apr 14, 2019, 3:05 pm

That $1300 budget will buy any number of good quality e61 espresso machines. I have owned a Quickmill Anita for a decade and it still pulls great shots. (though to be fair, I've repaired it a few times and it has a couple of minor upgrades).

I like Chris' Coffee service and have dealt with them for years. They have a very knowledgeable staff and can likely help you figure out something. They often have deals on open-box equipment too.

mallen4248

Postby mallen4248 » Apr 14, 2019, 3:18 pm

I would be leery of buying a used machine on eBay. Go with a trusted vendor that has a return window so that if you are not happy you can return or exchange. Whole Latte Love, 1st-line, and Chris Coffee are some of the US dealers that have good equipment and customer support. Many dealers offer a discount when buying a grinder and espresso machine together. There are some excellent pieces of espresso equipment in your price range of $1300.
In vino veritas.... and caffeine helps the next morning....

Chingachgook

Postby Chingachgook » replying to mallen4248 » Apr 14, 2019, 4:27 pm

Thanks, I appreciate it. I'll pass on this and look at a few of those vendors for some options.

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BaristaBoy E61

Postby BaristaBoy E61 » Apr 14, 2019, 5:17 pm

nuketopia wrote:

I like Chris' Coffee service and have dealt with them for years. They have a very knowledgeable staff and can likely help you figure out something. They often have deals on open-box equipment too.


+1 That's my experience with Chris' Coffee too.

Welcome to HB Ben.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

mallen4248

Postby mallen4248 » Apr 14, 2019, 8:29 pm

I forgot to mention Aeropress, that is an inexpensive tool for great coffee that you should try. I'm a Moka Pot guy too. I learned to love coffee from a Moka Pot from several trips to Italy. Any rented apartment always has a a Moka pot along with Illy or Lavazza coffee.
In vino veritas.... and caffeine helps the next morning....

Stanford55

Postby Stanford55 » Apr 14, 2019, 8:40 pm

I would start with something simple (and new) that you can learn with and upgrade down the road once you can fully appreciate the upgrades (and potential issues) that are out there. This is just me, but I see coffee making in general, and espresso making in particular, a gradual process, a journey of innocent blunders and small but spectacular successes. I have no official stats to back this up, but generally I'd say most machines retain 60-70% of their original retail value. You can always sell once you're ready to upgrade.