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barry star
20-08-13, 04:02
Hello everyone, I've just signed up on here mainly to gather some info prior to purchase. I wouldn't say i'm a fan of all coffee as I only like it black, due to not being a fan of milk. I've decided though as my wife goes through about 250 a month at costa on cappuchinos etc (not a typo!!) I'm gonna buy a beginner setup to try and divert her crazy spending.

barry star
20-08-13, 04:04
Plus at home I must make her 10 instants a day so it will be a bit of man fun playing with a gadget whilst doing so :)

coffeebean
20-08-13, 04:32
Hi Barry,

welcome to the forum! What's your budget?

The Systemic Kid
20-08-13, 04:52
Hello everyone, I've just signed up on here mainly to gather some info prior to purchase. I wouldn't say i'm a fan of all coffee as I only like it black, due to not being a fan of milk. I've decided though as my wife goes through about 250 a month at costa on cappuchinos etc (not a typo!!) I'm gonna buy a beginner setup to try and divert her crazy spending.

Welcome to the forum Barry. If you could even halve your wife's Costa cappuccino habit, you'd have, over the course of a year, a sizeable budget for a decent set up. If you want to be able to make lots of milk based drinks, you really need a machine that can pull shots independently of foaming milk as waiting for the machine to heat up to be able to steam can be a pain. So you would want a heat exchanger of better still a dual boiler set up. You will also need to factor in a decent grinder too - essential for getting the best out of your beans. Buying second hand is a good way of saving money - 1k could see you pretty well set up and what's more, your lattes will taste better than anything Costa can offer.

barry star
20-08-13, 05:17
Hi Barry,

welcome to the forum! What's your budget?
I'm probably going to be aiming at the lower end of the scale, just in case things don't work out. Under 400 I expect.

Kyle548
20-08-13, 05:20
I'm probably going to be aiming at the lower end of the scale, just in case things don't work out. Under 400 I expect.

Stock answer; used Gaggia Classic and an expensive grinder.

Expect to work a little on it though.
It's a good machine but perhaps not as intuitive as a HX.

But the results can be fair.

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/08/21/a2eje3ah.jpg

Was supposed to be a heart, but I still don't have the foam down.

barry star
20-08-13, 05:24
Welcome to the forum Barry. If you could even halve your wife's Costa cappuccino habit, you'd have, over the course of a year, a sizeable budget for a decent set up. If you want to be able to make lots of milk based drinks, you really need a machine that can pull shots independently of foaming milk as waiting for the machine to heat up to be able to steam can be a pain. So you would want a heat exchanger of better still a dual boiler set up. You will also need to factor in a decent grinder too - essential for getting the best out of your beans. Buying second hand is a good way of saving money - 1k could see you pretty well set up and what's more, your lattes will taste better than anything Costa can offer.
Yeah second hand may well be the way forward. I have to be honest though "heat exchanger" "dual boiler" doesn't mean a lot to me. Could you give me some examples of what machines these would be? many thanks. I'd not even thought about a grinder, They're as expensive as the machines it would seem. What about bean to cup machines - or would that be swearing around these parts??

Kyle548
20-08-13, 05:33
Yeah second hand may well be the way forward. I have to be honest though "heat exchanger" "dual boiler" doesn't mean a lot to me. Could you give me some examples of what machines these would be? many thanks. I'd not even thought about a grinder, They're as expensive as the machines it would seem. What about bean to cup machines - or would that be swearing around these parts??

Heat exchanger uses a very big steam boiler and a thermoblock to heat water.
A thermoblock is usually an awful way to consistently heat water, but in a HX the block is submerged in the much hotter steam boiler, so the thermomass of the thermoblock is effectively the same as the boiler and the steam water. Thus, stability is much higher.

A dual boiler just uses two boilers, but these are more expensive.

Then there is the cheaper single boiler duel use, which heat the boiler to the required temperature depending on need.
These are usually smaller boilers, so not particularly temp stable over lots of use and it can't produce steam while producing brew water.

Finally, and cheapest, for "true" espresso machines, there are thermoblock machines, these are just a tiny boiler which flash boil water as it passes though. Usually these are SBDU too.

Some machines are variations on a theme, such as the Gaggia Baby Class Twin which uses a boiler and an additional thermoblock for steam. Then there are the levers and other machines which again are different, such as open boiler machines.


Generally, we won't recommend bean to cup, because we don't have control over any aspect and as a result the brew is usually not as good, but with proper care, these machines may well be better than costa. But you are looking at 500+ for a decent one.

barry star
20-08-13, 05:49
Everyone, thanks for taking the time to respond. Looks like i'll be doing some research now :)

coffeebean
20-08-13, 06:12
This may interest you - due to customer demand, we've extended the launch offer of 450 for the new Coffee Bean Avanti by Iberital. It's got an on demand grinder built in so you don't have to buy one separately! http://www.thecoffeebean-vanandroaster.co.uk/Avanti.html