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RobDGio

espresso machine advice

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Hello all

only my second post on here so keen to get advice as fairly new to the coffee game.  Im currently thinking of branching out into the world of espresso and would really appreciate people's advice on what machine would be best for me.  I've been reading through a lot of the threads to try gain some insight, especially with regards to the type of questions I would need to ask/get answered in order to inform my decision and allow people to give good advice.....

I guess the main thing is budget - I'm looking at the £500-£1000 bracket but would prefer to keep on the lower end of that if at all possible

not exactly rushed for time in the morning but quite like the idea of dual boiler/HX that allow brewing and steaming together to streamline the process (however if this is an unnecessary luxury I am happy to consider single boilers) as well as being able to pull more shots back to back on the occasions when I have guests round 

I will be drinking espresso as well as fairly regularly drinking milk drinks too, so decent steam power would be nice.  I have no idea if i'd need to go into the dual boiler/HX types as i'd mainly only be doing 2 drinks at a time and maybe some in the morning  and throughout the day on weekends.  Sometimes more than that but as long as it wouldnt take 20 + mins to make several drinks, would single boiler suffice....? I dont really know

having read through information about PID this would be a big priority for me.  As I understand it wont magically make me pull great shots, but assuming i manage to do that, the PID would help with consistency so keen to have a machine with this.

not keen on Sage machines, as they seem a bit too "programme and go" and id prefer a bit more manual input in the process.  happy to be corrected if this is wrong.

also not a big fan of the E61 group style machine, visually not all that attractive to me but I would definitely reconsider this if I am ruling out some really good machines for the functions I want 

so far the  machines I have come across are:

1. lelit anna pl41TEM - single boiler and 57mm portafilter.  only reservation is the 57mm grouphead.  I may be looking to get a niche zero grinder which has a 58mm dosing cup.  not a big issue but just creates more faff

2. lelit Genda pl41PLUST - bassically looks like a 58mm version of the anna and seems to be a pretty decent price (although cant find it in stock anywhere).  again only issue would maybe  

3. quick mill silvano - looks like it ticks all the boxes just seems like a fair jump up from the lelit models.  I do like the side access for the water tank and it seems that the thermoblock allows steaming and brewing at the same time.  

4 Facino piccino PID - double boiler and PID so everything I could possibly want/need, but expensive so wonder if its overkill.

 

is there anything else people would suggest over any of these? would one of the above suit my needs better than others eg not having to spend the max £1000 and still tick all the boxes?

 

one final question..... I've read that some people use smart plugs to time when there machines turn on, ready for them waking up/getting home.  is this safe? and also, i think looking at all the machines i've listed I like the Quick mill the best.  only problem I see using that with a smart plug is it works with a switch to fill the boiler, then flipping that same switch the other way to turn the boiler on (apparently a safety measure to ensure the boiler cant overheat in case water hasnt entered).  could the switch be used the night before to fill the boiler, use the smart plug to turn off the machine, flip the switch to heat mode and have everything just warm up in the morning when the smart plug activates (hope that all makes sense)

apologies for the million and one questions, hope people can help guide me

thanks in advance

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I'm actually in the same situation as yourself. Just joined yesterday, my post is below here somewhere. 

 

Similar use daily, similar thoughts on equipment. Hopefully some of the experts around here, will help clarify the thoughts.

 

I previously used a Gaggia Classic with a cheap grinder, so would certainly be looking at the Niche or maybe the Eureka Mignon. I've read that the both have their own unique properties. 

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I'm in a similar situation to you, joined the forums not long ago. From what I have read here I am pretty set on a setup of the below:

- Eureka Zenith Grinder (already bought from the forums) 

- Osmio Zero Reverse Osmosis System (do not want to use bottled water, this seems to be the best alternative in terms of prevent scale in your machine, check out DaveCs review - also a group buy going on here, to get the units on offer)

 

- Lelit Mara X (Again check out DaveCs review on these, seem very highly praised and a lot of members seem to be purchasing these.)

 

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Just picking up on the smart plug question, I've had my machine plugged into one for years and its been absolutely safe. Also don't forget the cash for the grinder!

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1 hour ago, GengisKhan said:

Just picking up on the smart plug question, I've had my machine plugged into one for years and its been absolutely safe. Also don't forget the cash for the grinder!

Hi ghengiskhan, can I just check it’s the Silvano you have used a smart plug with? Any tips for best use regarding that 3 position switch for the boiler as in left to fill the boiler and right to heat (and how you combat that issue with using a smart plug). I’m thinking either Silvano or Mara X given all the positive reviews of that machine.

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What are people’s thoughts on the temperature control of the lelit Mara x? Is it programmable? I may be wrong but can you only select from a couple of pre set temperature zones “Low/medium/high” or is it possible to set these to a desired temp like a typical PID? 

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What are people’s thoughts on the temperature control of the lelit Mara x? Is it programmable? I may be wrong but can you only select from a couple of pre set temperature zones “Low/medium/high” or is it possible to set these to a desired temp like a typical PID? 

3 temp zones 92/94/96 but with a short (90ml IIRC) cooling flush or pulling a second shot quickly after the first you can get 91/93/95.

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28 minutes ago, RobDGio said:

Hi ghengiskhan, can I just check it’s the Silvano you have used a smart plug with? Any tips for best use regarding that 3 position switch for the boiler as in left to fill the boiler and right to heat (and how you combat that issue with using a smart plug). I’m thinking either Silvano or Mara X given all the positive reviews of that machine.

I'm using it on a rocket appartamento mate no idea about the Silvano. 

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