Siliconslave's how to make espresso thread

Soldato
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I see xsitems_ltd are now selling new ones with 12 month guarantee for £440
There is a silver and black one, but I assume internally they are all the same (no different versions available - extra checking of model numbers)
It is till curious how they have so many of these and there are also people raving about Lakeland/Amazon deals on the double boiler version rrp1400 but currently around the £850's but like anything else you have to evaluate what the intrinsic value is to you.
I do not know where they are all made or what kind of margin there might be ?
 
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Soldato
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Chinese, well if its good enough for Apple and reactor designs .. styling was clearly not Italian.

breville_zpseor2sgrx.png~original
 
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Right guys, new kitchen is upon me and I feel it worthwhile to invest in a proper coffee machine. I love coffee (from shops etc) but don't know much about it, beans and blends and all, and I've only ever had a Nespresso at home.

So can someone spec me a good beginner machine and grinder etc if required? I believe most come with a milk steamer but that's a requirement.

Not sure on budget, not crazy, and looks like most shops have a lot of machines around the £150 mark which sounds about right, could stretch to £200 or £250 with loads of accessories or something super worthwhile.

Thanks in advance!
 
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For that budget, a good hand-grinder, a swan neck kettle, and a chemex or aeropress, or go second-hand for everything. :)

For anything less than £500+ you won't get shop quality espresso coffee I'm afraid. :)
 
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Ok that's fair. The De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM4200 is £266 and gets good reviews at www.beantocupcoffeemachines.net which was linked to here a few pages back. But, no good?

The Sage machines do look awesome but £££ :(.
Bean to cup machines are very convenient. They're quick and easy to use, they look stylish and are usually not too big. The downside is the components that make them up, which are usually cheap and not built to get the best of out the beans, but to meet a price.
A good quality grinder and espresso machine can make great coffee, but it costs ££. Dj_Jester's suggestion above would enable you to make lovely coffee but it will take more time to do than a bean to cup machine, and it isn't espresso based coffee which is what I'm guessing you drink from coffee shops.
If you're just after a decent coffee that's quick and easy to make and won't break the bank, there is nothing wrong with a bean to cup machine.
 
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Don't be discouraged from looking at the second hand market. Especially for the lower end of the market as there is a never ending supply of people upgrading and so selling A1 quality gear. You should be able to pickup an excellent quality Rancilio Silvia + good grinder for £300ish, or a Gaggia Classic + grinder for the same. Both are "industry standard" home espresso machines as far as coffee snobs go.
 
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Soldato
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Yeah I was looking at the Gaggia Classic but it seems their 2nd gen falls short of its predecessor. If buying second hand how would I make sure it's 1st gen?
 
Soldato
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Ok that's fair. The De'Longhi Magnifica ESAM4200 is £266 and gets good reviews at www.beantocupcoffeemachines.net which was linked to here a few pages back. But, no good?

The Sage machines do look awesome but £££ :(.

I had a De'Longhi 4200 for about 5 years, it's really convenient as others have said - and didn't produce a bad cup. The reason I upgraded is it lacked some control/fine tuning to get the best out of it - and also I wanted a better machine for latte art! :p

Other than that though, it was a great machine and seemingly bombproof considering I bought it 2nd hand, and sold it to a friend after 5 years and is still going strong.

Don't be discouraged from looking at the second hand market. Especially for the lower end of the market as there is a never ending supply of people upgrading and so selling A1 quality gear. You should be able to pickup an excellent quality Rancilio Silvia + good grinder for £300ish, or a Gaggia Classic + grinder for the same. Both are "industry standard" home espresso machines as far as coffee snobs go.

I managed to pick up a 2nd hand Silvia V3 for £180 delivered and have been really happy with it. It took a few bags of beans to 'learn' how to get the most out of it, but I was really happy with it for an upgrade.

I guess it comes down to if you want something 'plug n play' or want to fiddle a little bit to get a better cup.
 
Soldato
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Don't be discouraged from looking at the second hand market. Especially for the lower end of the market as there is a never ending supply of people upgrading and so selling A1 quality gear. You should be able to pickup an excellent quality Rancilio Silvia + good grinder for £300ish, or a Gaggia Classic + grinder for the same. Both are "industry standard" home espresso machines as far as coffee snobs go.
I might be after a grinder in the future, hand grinding with my Kyocera is becoming a bit of a chore!

Where do you recommend to keep and eye out for good quality used grinders?
 
Soldato
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I am not convinced turnover in the used grinder market is as extensive as the espresso machines themselves (which is populated by silivias/classics principally), I have been looking over past few months at usual suspects, and am not sure why
multi head espresso machines from cafes do not filter down into the private market, but some of the Mazzer SJ grinders do at the £300ish price mark (but they may need a rebuild).
I think with grinders simpler mechanical construction versus espresso machines (debatable ? are they precision engineering) they can more easily be produced in china at reduced costs, so buying a new one maybe the more efficient approach (eg. new Baratza 270), if someone has an old grinder whose value is less than £100 (and shipping will be £30) I think they may just hang on to them, new owner will typically need new burrs to at £20+ too
there are quite a few people flogging the Heston grinders they got (notionally for free with heston double boiler) to subsidise the purchase but I am not sure these warrant the £150 they are asking.
Personally have a ten year old Rocky, I am intrigued whether a stepless would help me dial in new coffee faster , but with the small quantity of coffee I grind (250g a week) it is often a battle trying to keep up with how to modify the grind as the coffee ages. I rhink I should invest is some scales though which would reduce process variation.
 
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https://www.gumtree.com/p/coffee-ma...der-plus-£130-worth-of-accessories/1172984952

Yes, grinders will be fewer in second hand market. They don't last as long, nor do people feel the need to upgrade them as much as the need to upgrade the espresso machine.

Most people that upgrade are looking to do so because they want a heat exchanger or even a twin boiler so they don't have to temp surf the single boiler gaggia or silvia.
 
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Soldato
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for 2nd hand should have look on other coffee specific forums to see people comments/analysis on credibiility of adds that are posted on gum/ebay.

I looked at above particular gumtree add and it is a good example : seller professes knowledge, but says grinder adjustment does not matter, he does not reveal what part of grinder is broken if he knows despite saying he has taken it apart, you would buy the part and install it !. No pictures of machine working either or into water tank or group head. Does not say he has box so not necessarily original owner.
He has had the sense to avoid advertising other products at the same time to reveal if he is a professional seller.
Before you buy a Silivia check out the different versions, I am not clear to what extent the latest V4 (?) version is derided versus predecessors.
Also unable to take focussed pictures, despite the high end price he is demanding . My opinion grinder £40, machine top £200 so £240
 
Soldato
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The V4 is mainly to comply with european regulation - i.e. it switches off after 2 hours. AFAIK there are no other major changes, if any.

The V3 got a new boiler/heating element I think, I think the V2 got a design tweak and new steaming wand over the V1. I don't think there's any massive difference between any of them.
 
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