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New at all this - going to buy a Sage Barista


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Hey guys

Sottish Coffee Lover here.

I'm a beginner at making great coffee at home.  Had a dreaded Nespresso machine and can't stand it anymore. 

Looking for any handy tips on Sage machines. Thinking either the Sage Barista Express or Sage Barista Pro? Thanks a lot

 

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Hi,

how many people will you be making coffee for? Reason I ask is the pro will have a stronger steam wand so can shave some time. Although there seems to be a built in timer so if you do too much (around 500 ml of milk which is still a lot)in a large jug then you will not have enough time, requiring start stop.

The pro has a step less grinder, but since the grinder isn’t top end it probably doesn’t benefit too much.

The express can be switched on beforehand to warm itself and the portafilter up. 

The pro is more aesthetically pleasing and built for user pleasure e.g. lcd screen and built in shot timer (which I do love), which is probably what you’re paying for, rather than any appreciable upgrades. Yes it powers on faster but as stated you lose the function of prewarming the portafilter and cups (someone please correct me if I’m wrong).

Both have their pros and cons but depends if the aesthetics and little things like having the hot water dispenser positioned so that you don’t need to move the cup (after pulling an espresso) matter to you and what your routine would look like I.e. do you have time to switch the express on or do you want something quicker (as the express is not slow).
 

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From my limited experience, I would say that Sage machines have reliability problems and worse than this - they are not fixable by the owner in large part. They seem to replace under warranty fairly readily but I have had a Bambino Plus which had a fault (kept saying it needed cleaning despite cleaning but machine was usable). This was replaced with another bambino plus which was dead on arrival - wouldn't work. Now I'm waiting for another replacement (this is over a month going on). Black box machines - I've invested elsewhere now. Wouldn't touch them again. Bambino was great machine when it worked tho :) Learned a good bit as a complete novice but I don't like the lack of spares, random issues they seem to have. 

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I echo SarahA's comments above. My Barista Express no long after warranty ended and Sage do not offer any worthwhile help regarding repair. Spare parts are non existent. Shame in some ways as Sage machines are quite reasonable (when they work!) if you want an auto or semi-auto set-up. The only good news was I got £170 for my non-working BE on Ebay...

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for my own 2 cents, I've had my barista express for 3 years, and it's never had any problems - There clearly are those out there with issues, but then, almost all machines have bad examples if you look for them. It's simple to use and get running, and with further time and effort, you can get a very decent shot of espresso out of it, for the money. I know that I will upgrade at some point, but it's been a brilliant introduction to coffee, and it would keep me going for a long time if i didn't suffer from upgrade-itis...

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Also had a good experience with my Barista Express - bought it in 2014 and used it multiple times a day until June 2019 (when I upgraded) with no problems whatsoever.

Still use it occasionally for holidays and really the only weak point is the grinder. But it was still more than good enough to keep me happy for 5 years!
 

A fantastic machine for the money in my opinion and I would still recommend it now.

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Another viewpoint after a year with the Barista Express - it's a great machine. Admittedly I got it for £375 but I've really enjoyed it, makes a great coffee. Don't think it's day one and off you go through, it took me about 2.5 months to get a consistent nice drink out of it.

Caveat would be outside of the warranty it's hard to get parts/repairs. There's basically one company in UK that does it and they are a third party, not Sage. They're no less reliable than any other machine (1% failure rate), but if it does fail, options are extremely limited. That might be a deal breaker for some and understandably so.

Edited by CocoLoco
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Hi @kypsolo new addition to the forums myself but wanted to add that the sage barista has been a solid performer in my book. It's a significant jump from nespresso to a proper machine in my mind and experience but well worth it.

2 things to consider in my mind.

 

  1. Budget
  2. Space

If you have the budget & the space my advice go with a rancilio silvia and a seperate grinder something like a wilfa or a niche.

If you havent the budget or space then a barista express is a great option, although not a dual boiler the express is a great entry jump off point.

 

Hope that helps

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@kypsolo You asked for feedback. Are you going to acknowledge those who took the time to respond? 

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GS3 MP, Ceado E92 and E37s, Feldgrind. Niche.

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