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Doodlegame

Best machine for under £150 (£200 absolute max)

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Hey,

Looking to buy my first coffee machine, don't want to spend too much, £150 would be ideal most but if it's absolutely worth it about £200. Been looking at the DELONGHI Icona Micalite ECOM311 for £150 from Currys. Looks decent to me, what do you guys think??

Want to use ground coffee but while I'm posting, how good are the DeLonghi KG79 style grinders, the sort of one's under £50. I'm not a barista or anything, just want a nice coffee so ya know.

Thanks guys!

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Posted (edited)

I had both the ECOM311 (or something extremely similar) and the KG79. I don't recommend the KG79. It's very poor quality. I had two of them which each lasted about a month or two. I kept the machine and upgraded to the bodum burr grinder, which is currently decently priced on Amazon, and was a huge upgrade in terms of the quality of the machine and the quality of the coffee (although the KG79 was a huge upgrade from pre-ground coffee, the bodum was still a step above).

But unless you are die-hard set on espresso, it might be worth going a step above the bodum and looking for one of the cheaper baratzas, possibly second hand, from Amazon or the forums. You could then get the cheapest bare-bones delonghi (like the EC146 or something) which I'm pretty sure would make better coffee than the ECOM311 paired with the KG79. Or you could get a decent grinder and pair it with an aeropress (or something) until you can afford a decent espresso machine to pair with the grinder (like the guide the user above linked recommends).

(But if you want to peruse the ECOM311 route, I'd probably get the 685M instead, it looks higher quality and takes up less space, but I would think about going grinder first and then seeing whats-what)

Edited by ref

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If it helps at all, don't get hung up on buying new, for £200 aim for a second hand Gaggia Classic pre 2015 model - easy to fix if required and fairly bullet proof. If you get a Delonghi it will be landfill in 24 months. and it was a compromised machine designed to con the general public. Your taking the right first step in asking questions on here 👍 

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keep calm and grind flat

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, ref said:

I had both the ECOM311 (or something extremely similar) and the KG79. I don't recommend the KG79. It's very poor quality. I had two of them which each lasted about a month or two. I kept the machine and upgraded to the bodum burr grinder, which is currently decently priced on Amazon, and was a huge upgrade in terms of the quality of the machine and the quality of the coffee (although the KG79 was a huge upgrade from pre-ground coffee, the bodum was still a step above).

But unless you are die-hard set on espresso, it might be worth going a step above the bodum and looking for one of the cheaper baratzas, possibly second hand, from Amazon or the forums. You could then get the cheapest bare-bones delonghi (like the EC146 or something) which I'm pretty sure would make better coffee than the ECOM311 paired with the KG79. Or you could get a decent grinder and pair it with an aeropress (or something) until you can afford a decent espresso machine to pair with the grinder (like the guide the user above linked recommends).

(But if you want to peruse the ECOM311 route, I'd probably get the 685M instead, it looks higher quality and takes up less space, but I would think about going grinder first and then seeing whats-what)

OK, so saying I stick to just a machine for now, use decent ground coffee and just save up for a grinder, what machine would be best for the price? The Gaggia classic is still a bit expensive, I just searched and saw £399... hmm 😂

Thanks for the help, there is so much choice and it's rly confusing 😂

Edited by Doodlegame
Said I didn't like how it looked but I just looked at a bigger picture and it's cool

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, jimbojohn55 said:

If it helps at all, don't get hung up on buying new, for £200 aim for a second hand Gaggia Classic pre 2015 model - easy to fix if required and fairly bullet proof. If you get a Delonghi it will be landfill in 24 months. and it was a compromised machine designed to con the general public. Your taking the right first step in asking questions on here 👍 

I can't really find any Gaggia classics for around £200, only ones I can find are over £250 unless I've just completely missed something... How come DeLonghi are bad, I thought they seemed popular or is it just cos it's straightforward or something?

If it helps at all, as I replied above, probs stick to ground coffee while I save up for a grinder at some point but I like mainly espressos, lattes and cappuccinos. Don't know how much the machine comes into this but hey

Thanks for the help!

Edited by Doodlegame

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22 minutes ago, Doodlegame said:

OK, so saying I stick to just a machine for now, use decent ground coffee and just save up for a grinder, what machine would be best for the price? The Gaggia classic is still a bit expensive, I just searched and saw £399... hmm 😂

Thanks for the help, there is so much choice and it's rly confusing 😂

The problem is that if you get a cheap espresso machine, you will be bottlenecked (severely) by the lack of a grinder, and even if you get the KG79, you will still be bottlenecked. This comes from experience. I got a Delonghi and used pre-ground coffee, and I was satisfied for a day or two, but it doesn't last long once it's opened, as finely ground coffee very quickly goes stale (and you can even smell it). Adding the grinder improved things, until it broke on me twice. 

Although you won't get espresso (although some purists will call the "pressurised" baskets in the Delonghi not true espresso anyway...) from Aeropress or so, if you get a good grinder instead and Aeropress, I think you will be able to make a much better cup of coffee, and in the long run you will be able to get a very good machine to go with it (it's also possible to make a latte using an aeropress and a french press, which you can look up on youtube0

I can't see the Gaggia classic new for less than £400, but you might have more luck on the forums or ebay.

Another option would be to get a cheap Delonghi, and the bodum burr grinder, which would be in your budget. I think the bodum grinder can almost push the Delonghi to its limit and get the best out of it. As can a hand grinder, but that's a bit more effort.

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1 hour ago, Doodlegame said:

I can't really find any Gaggia classics for around £200, only ones I can find are over £250 unless I've just completely missed something... How come DeLonghi are bad, I thought they seemed popular or is it just cos it's straightforward or something?

Hang in there. You've checked ebay? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Gaggia-Classic-espresso-machine-older-model-with-OPV-and-solenoid-valve/202689321434?hash=item2f313999da:g:ZZQAAOSwMnZcqfDB

DeLonghi are popular because of marketing and ignorance. A DeLonghi ICO something or other was the first machine I owned and I was frustrated with it constantly even with pre-ground coffee. You might like espresso and lattes and cappuccinos but you probably won't like them from a DeLonghi, at least not for very long. Even if Starbucks is your gold standard you'll find what you produce doesn't come close, though you might improve it with unpressurised baskets and a good grinder, you probably still won't get good coffee regularly if at all. The machines you're looking at are a false economy; they'll provide sub standard espresso until they break in two years. If you spend wisely in the second hand market you can get much better equipment that you can sell on in two years for little or no loss.


Expobar DB Office Leva IV, La Pavoni Professional -- FOR SALE: MBK HEFT, Torr Goldfinger Titan Convex & 58.55 Flat -- Ceado E8, Lido E, Pharos VDD -- 2 and 5 cup Syphons; Vintage Nicro Metal Filter -- Gene Cafe CBR101 with Dimmer Mod and Bean Mass Probe

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Keep an eye out and something will come up I'm sure :)

I got my gaggia classic for about £100 on ebay a few years ago. Just needed a descale and a little tlc (nothing techie) and it was absolutely fine. Had I started on a delonghi I would have thrown it out by now, lost that money and probably just bought exactly the same machine I now own. 

100-150 on a classic would leave enough for something like an iberital mc2 on the side. Or if you want a free workout with every coffee you could go for a hand grinder to save some money. Personally I found a used eureka mignon for £150, so spent a total of £250 all in. 

Not convinced pre-ground coffee is a great idea for espresso based drinks (although have to admit I haven't tried it), because the grind size is a much bigger factor than in brewed methods. The person grinding the coffee for you will kind of be taking a bit of a punt based on your machine, so may get it totally wrong and you'll have a whole bag of unusable coffee! 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Rob1 said:

Hang in there. You've checked ebay? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Gaggia-Classic-espresso-machine-older-model-with-OPV-and-solenoid-valve/202689321434?hash=item2f313999da:g:ZZQAAOSwMnZcqfDB

DeLonghi are popular because of marketing and ignorance. A DeLonghi ICO something or other was the first machine I owned and I was frustrated with it constantly even with pre-ground coffee. You might like espresso and lattes and cappuccinos but you probably won't like them from a DeLonghi, at least not for very long. Even if Starbucks is your gold standard you'll find what you produce doesn't come close, though you might improve it with unpressurised baskets and a good grinder, you probably still won't get good coffee regularly if at all. The machines you're looking at are a false economy; they'll provide sub standard espresso until they break in two years. If you spend wisely in the second hand market you can get much better equipment that you can sell on in two years for little or no loss.

Thanks for the eBay link, didnt think of that!

So going off what you and @ref have said, it sounds like getting a bodum burr/Ibertial Mc2 grinder and a machine (preferably Gaggia classic) would be the best bet? Any alternatives to consider instead of the Gaggia or would you set a sight on that?

Thank you so much! 

Edited by Doodlegame

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25 minutes ago, jaffro said:

Keep an eye out and something will come up I'm sure :)

I got my gaggia classic for about £100 on ebay a few years ago. Just needed a descale and a little tlc (nothing techie) and it was absolutely fine. Had I started on a delonghi I would have thrown it out by now, lost that money and probably just bought exactly the same machine I now own. 

100-150 on a classic would leave enough for something like an iberital mc2 on the side. Or if you want a free workout with every coffee you could go for a hand grinder to save some money. Personally I found a used eureka mignon for £150, so spent a total of £250 all in. 

Not convinced pre-ground coffee is a great idea for espresso based drinks (although have to admit I haven't tried it), because the grind size is a much bigger factor than in brewed methods. The person grinding the coffee for you will kind of be taking a bit of a punt based on your machine, so may get it totally wrong and you'll have a whole bag of unusable coffee! 

Ok, thanks for the advice! Don't judge me, I'm only used to instant/cafatiere/plunger coffee... When you were talking about espresso based drinks, is that not a brew? What is a brew? Sorry, I know it's like the most noob question I could have but hey, all gotta start somewhere I guess 😂

Thanks again man, really appreciate it!

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Post a few more times to get access to the for sale page as there are a few gaggias there at this moment.

Have you thought of going down the brew road, v60, chemex, clever dripper, being just some examples. Much cheaper to get set up, suggest you find a local specialist coffee shop and ask them for a pour over just to check you like it before venturing down this road. Another benefit is you could use a hand grinder for this, further savings

[mention=2695]MWJB[/mention] is your man when it comes to brewing he can and possible will give better advise than I could.

 

 

Mr MaB

 

 

 

 

 

 


It doesn't matter how you get there it's only the end result that matters

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Ok, thanks for the advice! Don't judge me, I'm only used to instant/cafatiere/plunger coffee... When you were talking about espresso based drinks, is that not a brew? What is a brew? Sorry, I know it's like the most noob question I could have but hey, all gotta start somewhere I guess
Thanks again man, really appreciate it!


Although espresso has been technically brewed, we tend to refer as “brewed” methods which resemble filtered coffee (see post above) and tend to use gravity instead of pressure to extract it.

I’ll re-iterate one thing: don’t skimp on the grinder. See it as the machine as being the accessory to your grinder, and not the other way around.

Another option is that you may consider buying an used La Pavoni on eBay in need of love, if you are inclined to do so. Usually a maintenance set of seals sold for around £35, grease and willpower will do the job nicely. However, it’s a learning curve and a half at the beginning: don’t expect to press a button and have excellent coffee, the same can be said for the Gaggia Classic with regards to temperature stability and milk frothing.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I've bought classic s for 130 and 150 on the forum and eBay, cheapest I got was 65 on eBay and it worked fine, be prepared to travel and pick up as the price will always be cheaper.

There isn't a machine on the high street or Currys that deserves your cash , Delongi should be prosecuted for crimes against coffee, they are all arse gravy of the worst sort

Classic max spend 150
Iberital mc2 yes but pay an extra 50 and you will get an ex commercial grinder with 64mm burrs

I've bought an ex commercial for 99p recently, usually you will pay 80-120

Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk


keep calm and grind flat

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2 hours ago, jimbojohn55 said:

I've bought classic s for 130 and 150 on the forum and eBay, cheapest I got was 65 on eBay and it worked fine, be prepared to travel and pick up as the price will always be cheaper.

There isn't a machine on the high street or Currys that deserves your cash , Delongi should be prosecuted for crimes against coffee, they are all arse gravy of the worst sort emoji16.png

Classic max spend 150
Iberital mc2 yes but pay an extra 50 and you will get an ex commercial grinder with 64mm burrs

I've bought an ex commercial for 99p recently, usually you will pay 80-120

Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
 

OK, so on Amazon new you can get a Sage Smart Grinder for £159 so I'm guessing I could get that or keep an eye out for second hand. What would you look for in second hand? Just decent condition and clean it up when you get it, read up on here about how to fix/replace parts...? With that I could then use an Aeropress in the meantime until I could find a Gaggia classic for a decent price..?

@MediumRoastSteam I can't find any of these for a decent price at the minute but if one comes up, would you go for the Gaggia or the La Pavoni? Like I say, never made not brewed coffee so would it just be a case of learning how to use in with the temp stability issues and you'd get around it fine?

I'm 16 too so I can't really justify going out and spending £500 on a grinder and machine haha

@MinesAbeer I have a coffee shop like 20seconds down the road and they use a pressurised machine, i think I'd rather save up for a good machine, even if it takes a bit longer as I already have a French press and a Moka so I'd rather have a step up from those in the long run

Thanks for all the help guys!

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Hi

I had 3 Dehlongi's before buying a Gaggia Classic. I would rather NOT DRINK COFFEE than go back to a Dehlonghi.

Especially since the Gaggia was cheaper... with OPV mod and such.

For £200 I don't think you can get better...and it is leagues above anything a Dehlonghi can do.

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2 minutes ago, thesmileyone said:

Hi

I had 3 Dehlongi's before buying a Gaggia Classic. I would rather NOT DRINK COFFEE than go back to a Dehlonghi.

Especially since the Gaggia was cheaper... with OPV mod and such.

For £200 I don't think you can get better...and it is leagues above anything a Dehlonghi can do.

That's the general idea I'm getting from here yeah, glad I posted before I brought one!

I can't tell but does the OPV mod just put a pressure gauge on the portafilter? It's not usually there is it or am I just missing something?

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No the OPV mod increases the pressure to 9 bar.

Where these machines suck is temperature regulation. Ie they don't have any, so there's no consistency.

But I would rather have a shot that tastes good with some inconsistency than a consistency crap shot (delonghi)


 

 

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56 minutes ago, thesmileyone said:

No the OPV mod increases the pressure to 9 bar.

Where these machines suck is temperature regulation. Ie they don't have any, so there's no consistency.

But I would rather have a shot that tastes good with some inconsistency than a consistency crap shot (delonghi)

is there a machine that costs a bit more but is worth it in the long run then? One that's a bit more consistent..?

Cheers!

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32 minutes ago, Doodlegame said:

is there a machine that costs a bit more but is worth it in the long run then? One that's a bit more consistent..?

Cheers!

A classic with an aftermarket PID fitted.

Tempature surfing isn't too hard, it's just another step to go through to pull a decent shot. 


Laissez les bons temps rouler

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12 hours ago, Doodlegame said:

Thanks for the eBay link, didnt think of that!

So going off what you and @ref have said, it sounds like getting a bodum burr/Ibertial Mc2 grinder and a machine (preferably Gaggia classic) would be the best bet? Any alternatives to consider instead of the Gaggia or would you set a sight on that?

Thank you so much! 

I'd skip the MC2 and bodum. A super jolly or similar would be my recommendation for an electric starter grinder (second hand of course) or an OE Pharos (can be found used for less than £200). If you want new or space is a premium I'd say go for a Lido E or equivalent hand grinder. 

For your price point and there's no real alternative to the used gaggia. After the DeLonghi I had a La Pavoni and really enjoyed it so can recommend that route but there's a lot to learn and you need to use the same routine every time (e.g. fill machine to a certain point, turn on for a certain time and pull the shot).


Expobar DB Office Leva IV, La Pavoni Professional -- FOR SALE: MBK HEFT, Torr Goldfinger Titan Convex & 58.55 Flat -- Ceado E8, Lido E, Pharos VDD -- 2 and 5 cup Syphons; Vintage Nicro Metal Filter -- Gene Cafe CBR101 with Dimmer Mod and Bean Mass Probe

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5 minutes ago, Rob1 said:

I'd skip the MC2 and bodum. A super jolly or similar would be my recommendation for an electric starter grinder (second hand of course) or an OE Pharos (can be found used for less than £200). If you want new or space is a premium I'd say go for a Lido E or equivalent hand grinder. 

For your price point and there's no real alternative to the used gaggia. After the DeLonghi I had a La Pavoni and really enjoyed it so can recommend that route but there's a lot to learn and you need to use the same routine every time (e.g. fill machine to a certain point, turn on for a certain time and pull the shot).

With the La Pav, no need to worry too much about routine with certain time and certain fill level; just get some way of measuring the temperature of the grouphead (I use an infrared thermometer with a little square of masking tape on the back/side of the grouphead) and keep the temperature constant once you're dialed in. Some people also use temp strips.

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PIDed Gaggia Classic up to 2014


GaggiaEnthusiast

 

Buying expensive equipment won't make you barista!

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Doodlegame said:

OK, so on Amazon new you can get a Sage Smart Grinder for £159 so I'm guessing I could get that or keep an eye out for second hand. What would you look for in second hand? Just decent condition and clean it up when you get it, read up on here about how to fix/replace parts...? With that I could then use an Aeropress in the meantime until I could find a Gaggia classic for a decent price..?

@MediumRoastSteam I can't find any of these for a decent price at the minute but if one comes up, would you go for the Gaggia or the La Pavoni? Like I say, never made not brewed coffee so would it just be a case of learning how to use in with the temp stability issues and you'd get around it fine?

I'm 16 too so I can't really justify going out and spending £500 on a grinder and machine haha

@MinesAbeer I have a coffee shop like 20seconds down the road and they use a pressurised machine, i think I'd rather save up for a good machine, even if it takes a bit longer as I already have a French press and a Moka so I'd rather have a step up from those in the long run

Thanks for all the help guys!

I think the sage grinder is good, and it goes fine enough for the better machines, and it's fun and easy to use, however, I bought a brand new one recently and it has an issue where the LCD display makes a high pitched whining noise. I went through three replacements to see if I could get one without the problem, but they all had it, so it's a batch problem. Could always buy one off Amazon and return it if it has the issue.

You could search ebay for a second hand or refurbished one and hopefully it wont have this issue.

Also bear in mind, it's cheap-ish for a reason. It has a good 2 year warranty, but after that, there are no spare parts available. But a 2 year warranty is pretty good anyway.

Doesn't matter if you are 16. If you want to make an investment in something, and you have the money, always best to make sure it's something which will last. Other 16 year olds will be throwing their money at clothes/phones/alcohol etc.

Edited by ref

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https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mazzer-Luigi-Super-Jolly-Timer-Commercial-Coffee-Grinder/173908556746?hash=item287dc1fbca:g:DDEAAOSwH3Zc4pxg

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Macap-MC4-Coffee-Grinder/133058008102?hash=item1efae01426:g:CrEAAOSwNIpcxvRe

 

Make some strong offers (strong for you), allowing for probable new burrs required. The Mazzer might be knackered it might be fine, it's not at much money, unless your bidding against someone in the forum you may get it cheap. The Macap, simply make an offer of 60 quid or so and see what happens.

 

Worry about the machine later.

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ACS Vesuvius DBPP, Izzo Duetto DB, Minima DB, Lelit Bianca Prototype DB (paddle flow control) BTC Machines: Roasters: Amazon Dalian 1kg Drum Roaster, other failed roasters: Grinders: Ceado E92, Niche US and UK: 145kg assorted greens: My reviews at https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/

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