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Introduction plus question about MaraX vs ECM and grinder

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Have finally signed up after lurking for last few weeks/looking at Gaggia Mod guides etc.

Just started getting back into espresso after having a Gaggia Classic and Sage Smart Grinder a few years ago.

Current Setup:

I bought a new Gaggia Classic from Ebay as I gave my old one to a friend when I stopped espresso for a few years. I have modded it with Mr Shades PID (can recommend) and OPV and currently using it with Sage Smart Grinder which I think I really need to replace as its struggling. I have had a few good shots (I prefer chocolately tasting shots) but struggling.

I have a decent tamper/level but I think the grinder doesn't give me much flexibility.

What I am looking at:

I am looking to upgrade both with a budget of up to £1300ish.

I really like the look of the ECM Mechanika IV Profi (which I notice is in the for sale section atm). I could also plumb this in . I do worry it is HX though and have to worry about flushing/getting temperature correct. The Lelit MaraX is similar price and I understand is easier to use but something keeps pushing me towards the ECM..

Re grinder - I think I want a flat burr because I have read in some places that it leads itself more to the chocolaty tastes more and I can get one next day rather than waiting for a conical like the Niche Zero. I was thinking of the Eureka Specialita?


Used ECM Mechanika IV Profi vs new Lelit Marax ?

Eureka Specialita vs Niche Zero vs ????

Thanks for reading, grateful for any advice.



Edited by heratech
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Machines: ECM is a brand more associated quality components, tolerances, better layout, etc. 

personally, if you are worried about HX cooling flushes and wasting water, stay away from an HX machine. The MaraX does not require cooling flushes because it has s temp probe in the HX itself, as well as inside the boiler. However, do note the expansion valve of The MaraX diverts to the drip tray, with some complaining it wastes some water, specially if you are planning to use bottled water.

have you thought about the Elizabeth, also from Lelit? Great machine, and dual boiler.

as for grinder.... I have a Niche and owned an Eureka Mignon many years ago. I have to say, I also wonder about the flat x conical dilemma, however I don’t think you’ll get any amazing revelations win the small burrs of the Mignon. 

if you don’t want to waste your coffee, like the idea of single dose, the Niche is the way to go if you want to stay sub £500.

Lelit Elizabeth / Niche Zero / VST baskets / Distilled water + 100mg NaCO3/L

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Thanks for your advice!

I hadn't considered the Lelit Elizabeth - it looks very well priced for a dual boiler and has a PID also which is nice. Will take a closer look and keep thinking about the Niche.

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