Upgrading from super to semi-automatic espresso machine and I have specific criteria

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

#1: Post by Zybane »

Hello, my Krups EA9000 Super Automatic finally died and trying to repair it has gotten me interested in a new machine for my retirement. I will have more time to create my Espresso's (Lattes) so I am interested in a Semi Automatic with milk frother/steamer.

I have one issue though; my retirement home is off-grid and utilizes solar panels and a battery system. I know all top Espresso machines are boiler based. But as I understand it, they are quite inefficient when it comes to overall power use and also warm-up time. I'm single and only make about 4-5 shots per day, so having a boiler on all the time during the day doesn't seem like a good plan off-grid.

That brings me to, Thermocoils (not thermoblocks). Does anyone know of some machines that fit this criteria:

1. Made in a Western country or Japan.
2. Stainless steel Thermocoil or small boiler(s) for heating the water quickly, not interested in brass/aluminum/copper due to long term use possible health implications.
3. Very durable/reliable.
4. Budget - $4,000 max.
5. PID.

If such a machine doesn't exist, what would come closest? Are there any types of machines or components I've not listed that you may thing would interest me?

prust
Supporter ♡

#2: Post by prust »

Decent meets your criteria except it is assembled in Hong Kong. Very efficient in terms of power usage and you can turn it on 5 minutes before your want to make espresso or use its timer to turn on just before you get up in the AM.

Zybane (original poster)

#3: Post by Zybane (original poster) » replying to prust »

Checking them out now!

mycatsnameisbernie

#4: Post by mycatsnameisbernie »

You might want to consider a small boiler machine such as Lelit Elizabeth. It has stainless steel boilers and is made in Italy. It only draws maximum wattage for a few minutes when heating up, and It's peak power consumption is 1200w which is less than your Krupps. Warm up time is about 10 minutes. Once the boilers are heated, it only draws power very intermittently to keep them warm. It does have a few copper parts, but it will be impossible to find a good quality espresso machine that doesn't.

Zybane (original poster)

#5: Post by Zybane (original poster) » replying to mycatsnameisbernie »

It looks like only the steam boiler is stainless on the Elizabeth, the coffee boiler is brass.

Their "Bianca" model has dual stainless boilers but they are also much larger.

JohanR

#6: Post by JohanR »

How about an Ascaso steel duo pid? Should fit the bill.
Johan

erik82

#7: Post by erik82 »

Or have a look at the Strietman CT2 and a sperate milk frother. It only uses 500W and is super easy, fast, efficient, stainless inners and makes superb espresso compared to most prosumer models.

You're ruling out 99.5% of all espresso machines not wanting brass or copper. Some may have stainless boilers but they nearly all have copper tubes where water runs through all the time so then you should also rule out copper tubes. Copper waterpiping and espresso machines have been around for a very long time and have shown to have no longterm effects (with a competent user as is with most products). So no need to reinvent the wheel but it's your choice.

Zybane (original poster)

#8: Post by Zybane (original poster) »

JohanR wrote:How about an Ascaso steel duo pid? Should fit the bill.
I just found this model last night and investigating. Looks to be the closest yet for my needs.

Zybane (original poster)

#9: Post by Zybane (original poster) »

erik82 wrote:Or have a look at the Strietman CT2 and a sperate milk frother. It only uses 500W and is super easy, fast, efficient, stainless inners and makes superb espresso compared to most prosumer models.

You're ruling out 99.5% of all espresso machines not wanting brass or copper. Some may have stainless boilers but they nearly all have copper tubes where water runs through all the time so then you should also rule out copper tubes. Copper waterpiping and espresso machines have been around for a very long time and have shown to have no longterm effects (with a competent user as is with most products). So no need to reinvent the wheel but it's your choice.
That Strietman is beautiful. And the current low Euro to Dollar conversion makes it even more appealing. Although as a milk based espresso drinker, I'm not sure if I want three machines (Espresso machine, frother and grinder) cluttering up the counter top. Plus on lever machines like the Strietman, not sure if there is enough room to put a latte cup under there?

erik82

#10: Post by erik82 »

I saw you chose to go with the Strietman. Nice choice and it's good to also order the funnel as you'll need it with the 49mm filterbaskets and every grinder being oriented towards 58mm. Now it's time to pair it was a good grinder.

And if it's your first real espresso machine and lever I advice you to go through the whole CT2 thread so that you understand what to keep into account compared to other espresso machines like not keeping it on for multiple hours without refilling or else it'll run dry. And to get an understanding about who the machine works in general.