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Scwheeler

Picking a new machine at current prices

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Firstly sorry for long first post, I've been researching through this forum for a while now and have picked up lots of handy advice, however I wanted to check I've understood correctly and also gauge some opinions based on current pricing.
 
Originally I was looking to pick up BE from Amazon for £390 which seemed like a good place to start upgrading from a Nespresso machine. Well reviewed and seemed good value for money compared to the BP and Touch.
 
Now Costco is offering the BP for £449 which offers the Thermojet faster heating, a more powerful steam wand, more steps on the grinder, and subjectively a nicer overall package. Seems to be worth the current price difference and backed up by the recent thread on here comparing the BP to BE.
 
I've seen people recommend a separate grinder and espresso machine to make it potentially easier/cheaper to upgrade in the future, so I also had a quick look at the SGP paired with Bambino.  Through Curry's and Costco the total cost is £315 (£115 & £199).
 
While I personally think the BE & BP look better than the Bambino and STP combined, I'm now thinking this may be the better option. Apart from the cheaper cost and ability to upgrade the grinder in a few years, it seems the Bambino has:
 
  • The Thermojet heating from the BP.
  • Now offers a non-pressurised basket which seemed previously like a deal-breaker to me.
  • Has the steam wand with auto-milk texturizing from the Touch with the option to use manually if wanted.

In fact apart from the cheaper Portafilter (I'm not sure what it is now shipping with since adding the unpressured basket), and with people saying the grinders are all basically the same, I'm struggling to see a technical reason to pick the BE, BP or Touch over the Bambino plus SGP!?!?

 
What have I missed ?

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Welcome! What’s your budget and are you adamant you want new and want to stick with Sage?

For £400 there’s s lot more you can do, in my opinion...




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Thanks MediumRoastSteam! I’d say budget is really £400 but a small amount of flex. Not adamant on Sage and certainly have been watching the Used forum, however the big issue I have is the WAF ?

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I have the Bambino plus and the SGP and I was having the same thoughts as you. I'm very happy with the combination (I've not got unpressurized baskets yet though). 

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This is an interesting question. 

I would probably check with Sage and/or the retailer as to whether they are now shipping with single wall baskets across the board. 

I have come across a couple of reviews with regards to the low temperature of espresso in the cup on the bambino - https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/uk/product-reviews/electricals/a27344184/sage-the-bambino-plus-ses500-review/

Not sure if this is a concern for you, however I recently bought the pro and the temp in cup is decent if not very hot (65-67c). Although on the Pro you have the option to adjust the brew temp +- 2c, which is not available on the bambino to my knowledge. Which magazine reported a temp in the first cup of 61c on the bambino, although I don't know how they measured this.

As you mentioned the included portafilter is a lower quality although good to check (with Sage) if this has changed with the inclusion of the single wall baskets. 

I'm not sure how the steam wand compares (power wise) to the Pro, although it looks similar if not the same on appearance. Auto frothing is a plus if you appreciate the convenience. 

There is no dedicated hot water spout on the bambino or magnetic holder for the tamper - may or may not be an issue. The drip tray is also significantly smaller. 

I'm not sure how the internals of the machines otherwise compare - others may be more familiar. 

 

Edited by HVL87

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It's only possible to guess what goes on in the newer machines without buying one and finding out - :) not that unusual actually. Some provide easy to find parts lists a far few don't.

@joey24dirt has owned a Bambino so may be able to comment on where OPV water goes and other aspects. He has owned a DTP so may have noticed differences. They all seem to be volumetric but needn't be used that way. Best method of using them manually might not be as Sage suggest. The BE's isn't. Maybe the others are the same - just program a shot much larger than is likely to be needed and stop the shot with the shot button.

Hot water is probably cool compared with a kettle but it's possible to run as much and as many as people want. Boiler machines may have a limitation - I can do one 300ml americano on my DB for instance. Another needs time for things to reheat. Water out of an HX machine is likely to be too hot for coffee, more suitable for tea. ;) BE tea is terrible. I got round the colder americano by using mugs that take up less heat as I prefer a little too hot to drink initially but these days I always let it cool as taste is more apparent,

Brew temperatures can't be measured easily as the shot coming out is intended to be less. I found the BE needed a good preheat. Thermojet thingies could be the same but change heat more quickly. One solution on a BE is flush as usual to get rid of air and then run some steam off, wont need much then pull the shot when  the machine lets you. I have read that this works but haven't tried it. I just pulled a shot through an empty dual wall single which also heats the portafilter. Flushing is likely to cool the thermothingies of all type as the flow rate is too high. Can do on boiler machines too. The DB is fine with a short one. Not doing that might be an option. :) Actually having missed flushes on the DB not doing them might not have any effect at all - bubbly flows suggest that there is too much air internally.It can be in the puck too but no idea how people achieve that. I never have.  I always flush when the portafilter is removed - helps keep the shower screen clean.

John

-


In Use Sage DB+IMS Shower Screen, Niche. Others Sage BE, Mazer Mini A,. Projects Little Gem, Gaggia M7D

SageBanner_v01.jpg.a45786743a4eb401969788b45ae7f893.jpg

 

 

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Thanks for all the opinions and advice.

Its been a funny old day today. On a whim I popped into my local Kitchen store to have a look in the flesh.  They weren't aware of any changes to the Bambino package so called up Sage.  Sage said they 100% hadn’t changed the included baskets or portafilter, although said this could be different in other regions.  They clarified the single wall basket works fine in the Bambino and suggested buying one from their website. 

My local shop agreed to price match the lot and then agreed to do their display model for £150.  With the Curry’s deal ending today I decided it was worth a punt, so bought that and silver SGP for £265 and was looking forward to driving down to Horsham Rosters tomorrow to get some fresh beans.

However..... I got home and went to order the single walled basket and the Sage website shows no stock - WTF! I’ll call them tomorrow but feeling pretty annoyed.

Any tips for getting the most out of the pressurised basket in the interim? ?

 

 

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17 hours ago, Scwheeler said:

Thanks for all the opinions and advice.

Its been a funny old day today. On a whim I popped into my local Kitchen store to have a look in the flesh.  They weren't aware of any changes to the Bambino package so called up Sage.  Sage said they 100% hadn’t changed the included baskets or portafilter, although said this could be different in other regions.  They clarified the single wall basket works fine in the Bambino and suggested buying one from their website. 

My local shop agreed to price match the lot and then agreed to do their display model for £150.  With the Curry’s deal ending today I decided it was worth a punt, so bought that and silver SGP for £265 and was looking forward to driving down to Horsham Rosters tomorrow to get some fresh beans.

However..... I got home and went to order the single walled basket and the Sage website shows no stock - WTF! I’ll call them tomorrow but feeling pretty annoyed.

Any tips for getting the most out of the pressurised basket in the interim? ?

 

 

I enquired with sage around the single wall baskets and I was quoted 3-4 weeks around 5 days ago. 

As for using the double wall baskets, you're still able to adjust the shot to get the right volume/time but the grind will need to be courser than were you using the single wall. I'm current using grind 16 on the SGP and any finer starts to choke the machine. 

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Thanks for the  grind tip Bowie. I went to Horsham roasters today and now have some beans to play with tomorrow (only roasted yesterday so may not be optimal anyway!) 

If your looking for the basket, may be worth another call as I spoke with them today and happy to report they gave the single walled baskets in stock.

 

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