Office espresso machine around $1000

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.

#1: Post by EdTW »

Hi guys,

I personally have a LMLM coming and a weber key on order. However, since I started drinking coffee this May (I know), I've noticed the type of coffee my colleagues drink.
People who love coffee do pour-overs, they even roast their own beans in the back patio.
For the rest, they use an old electrolux that they switch out with the same machine every time one is broken. It uses a pressurized portafilter and it's their best bang for the buck solution (I think it sells for NTD3000 which is around $100 USD)

the said machine

the grinder they use, goes for around $40 USD.

So I was going to just get an electric kettle, a niche, and a robot for myself when I crave making and drinking espresso at the office.
I'm now seriously considering upgrading for everyone (about 5 people use the espresso machine a day, maybe less) so people can drink good coffee.
But I don't want it to be rocket science for them (temp surfing, toggle between espresso and steaming, rigorous puck prep, ..etc.)
They are used to going in, eyeball the amount of their beans to grind, tamp with the plastic tamper and pull a big shot. then they add hot water or hot milk.

I've only owned one espresso machine and it's a single boiler, so I'm going to need the kind people's help here on HB

1. something that isn't a pain to switch between steaming and pulling a shot (my SB takes 3-5 mins to heat up to steaming temp, and still watery).
2. something that has the temp stability to pull back to back shots.
3. something that's forgiving for newbies (I suspect people at the office won't spend much time studying why they had channeling or why their coffee tastes inconsistent). Does having a smaller portafilter help with that?

I personally consider sparing an extra distributor, a cheap WDT tool, and a self leveling tamper for office use to increase consistency. If, however, people think the consistency using these tools on a 58mm basket still can't compete with something that uses a smaller basket, I'll gladly pick the more consistent one.
I'm pretty set on the niche as I'm going for single doses since everyone usually brings their own beans.

My budget is around $1000 USD for the machine only.

Thanks in advance!


#2: Post by PortentPorpoise »

Breville Dual Boiler. It's $1500, but maybe you can find it on sale for Black Friday.

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#3: Post by rhtrevino »

If the Niche is a done deal, then something like a Breville Bambino with non-pressurized baskets may be surprisingly adequate. The milk steaming is dead simple if that's a need as well.

EdTW (original poster)

#4: Post by EdTW (original poster) »

Thanks guys,

I'm now trying to decide between a couple of machines, and I'm wondering what the difference is between them and BDB which so many people seem to love on HB. Knowing the difference can also tell me why the BDB is or isn't worth the additional $500.

I'm now looking at:
Lelit Elizabeth, Quick Mill Silvano Evo, and Rancilio Silvia Pro.


#5: Post by giboja »

Elizabeth is winner there

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#6: Post by Jeff »

"Office" says to me generally low-skilled operators, occasional maintenance and poor cleanliness, and runs of relatively high volume.

The BDB is, I think, attractive for low-volume use, by those pursuing the hobby. The maintenance threads here suggest that it isn't suited for the office environment.

The Silvano is a solid home machine, but I think the steam boiler of the Elizabeth would be an advantage.

The Silvia Pro seems to have stalled in the market. As an enthusiast, there's little about it that entices me at its price point. It may be a solid machine worth considering for office use.

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#7: Post by MNate »

Robot + Niche! Easiest to maintain by far. And if they don't want to weigh their dose they just end up pushing harder or lighter - they'll figure it out. Add something for milk and you're great.


#8: Post by tiptongrange »

I'll second getting the Robot for ease of use and maintenance. Also, if your office mates are adding heated milk to their coffee, they'd probably appreciate a frother like this - which keeps the spirit of simple, easy to use, and easy maintenance.

EdTW (original poster)

#9: Post by EdTW (original poster) »

Like Jeff said, in an office environment, people (low skilled, high usage) probably just want to put their ground coffee in a machine and watch it go.
There is also a bigger learning curve with robot I assume. With a distributor, a leveled calibrated tamper, and a sign on my Niche that gives people a general idea on the grind size based on their roast level, I assume a machine is more forgiving.

Thanks guys, I'll most definitely be buying the robot for myself (and maybe my colleagues will get into it once they see me do it) and be looking more into the Elizabeth.

Is there any other machine I might have missed that fits the description?

EdTW (original poster)

#10: Post by EdTW (original poster) »

tiptongrange wrote:I'll second getting the Robot for ease of use and maintenance. Also, if your office mates are adding heated milk to their coffee, they'd probably appreciate a frother like this - which keeps the spirit of simple, easy to use, and easy maintenance.
Thanks Tipton, that's an interesting suggestion!

Have you used the frother before? Does it make the same type of silky milk with micro foam like you get from a steam wand?

I have definitely considered something that makes espresso only (Quick Mill Carola) and adding some type of option for milk, so far I haven't seen anything promising for frothing.