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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Tempe, AZ

    Question Advice for Buying One of 3 Espresso Machines

    I know there are a lot of posts about which espresso machine to get so I'll ask a more pointed question: Which of the 3 semi-automatic machines would you suggest?

    1. Rancilio Silvia V3 (w/ or w/o PID)
    2. Nuova Simonelli Oscar (for $1050 at Seattle Coffee Gear)
    3. Breville Dual Boiler BES900XL

    I have been roasting beans for about 5 months now and love it. When I go out to coffee shops, the main thing I get is an espresso or cappucino because I can make comporable (or better) coffee at home. Also, I have NEVER used an espresso machine before so I don't want to break the bank. I also don't want to buy something that, after playing around with it, will make me want something nicer in a year or two. I also know that the machine only has so much to do with the shot itself, water, grinds, beans, and even how it is tamped all vary the flavor. As far as how much I would use it, I would likely be making 3 - 4 shots a week sporadically (not all at once). Now for what I've heard about each one.

    The Silvia is supposed to be a good machine with the main problem being that the thermocoupler is on the outside of the boiler. The PID allows the user to increase the temperature and time that it releases the water. This seems to be a good intro machine.

    the Nuova Simonelli Oscar is on sale at Seattle Coffee Gear otherwise I wouldn't have put this one on here. It is a heat-exchanger model that allows you to steam and brew at the same time. All of the reviews seem to be positive.

    The Breville BES900XL I added because it was recommended by a barista at my local coffee shop (Cartel Coffee in Tempe, AZ). It is a dual-boiler machine and seems to warm-up faster than the other two machines by far (~6 minutes versus more than 20). Also, it has a pressure gauge and PID built in to it already which seems like a nice touch.

    Anyone with experience or additional pros/cons for these machines, please comment! It seems like all of them get good reviews which, honestly, doesn't tell me a lot about each one. Maybe that means it doesn't matte what I get. Thank you for your time!

    P.S. - Any advice on grinders would be appreciated as well!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Salt Lake City
    Grinder comes first. Buying a machine first is the wrong order.

    The grinder is the single most important piece of equipment in your brewing arsenal.
    I would recommend (at the least) a Baratza Vario. A Compak K3 Touch is ok, or a Mazzer Mini would be better.

    It depends what your total budget is as far as a machine goes. I'm not excited about any of those three.
    I'd personally go for a Crossland CC1 at the low end and for a hair more than the Oscar, I'd do the Quickmill Alexia, which is a far superior machine.
    John Piquet
    caffe d'bolla
    Salt Lake City, UT

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Tempe, AZ
    So, I will say that I understand about the order, let's assume that I will get a good grinder. My budget will account for that. I am more interested in machines.

    Also, could you expand on why you don't like any of the machines? It's good to know that you like the CC1, but why did you spit on the others? (I will get the CC1 over the Silvia, thanks for the suggestion).



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