Newb here. These are the machines I'm thinking about:
- Breville BCG820BKSXL The Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder ($179)
- DeLonghi America, Inc EC685R Dedica Deluxe 15-Bar Pump Espresso Machine ($244)
- Breville BDC455BSS Precision Brewer Coffee Maker w/pour over kit (SCA/SCAA certified) ($219)
The grinder I chose because it has lots of electronics and can weigh and measure proper amounts so I don't have to. Dial-in a dose and get it! However, it does have some bad reviews having to do with jamming. So I may continue looking.The espresso machine, DeLonghi Dedica Deluxe, was chosen because it is narrow and doesn't fill the whole counter. It had pretty good reviews and a little programmability. It's a manual but looked simple to operate.
The Breville BDC450 Precision Brewer Coffee Maker was chosen because it is SCA certified and at least I'll know it is doing exactly what it is supposed to do. I also liked that it has a stainless steel carafe which keeps coffee warm without reheating like a glass carafe with a hot plate. Seattle Coffee Gear seemed to like it also. (Edit: removed the Behmor Connect due to reviews)
What do you think of these choices? Is there better for the same price? What's your recommendation?
As far as grinders go... I would suggest taking a look at the Baratzas; the Encore is around $140 or Virtuoso is next step up around $200. If you want to do espresso - the Virtuoso is the least expensive option to go with.. and realistically it would be better to upgrade to Sette ~$250.. Now for espresso machines, anything worth buying is much more expensive. The lower end machines will be very disappointing if you expect to make 'cafe' drinks. They simply don't have strong enough pumps, etc to make decent espresso and frothing milk is worse. A Rancillio Sivlia is about the starting point for espresso machines around $700 (and again you will need a higher end grinder that grinds more consistently). The Behmor brewer is a good choice... never used it myself but I've heard its got a touch of a learning curve. I personally recommend the Bonavita 1600 w/ stainless craft.. usually about $150 and makes great coffee.
I bought a Cuisinart EM-200 programmable espresso machine for about $ 200. Try to look for the best espresso machine under 200 here https://pickadvisor.org/best-espresso-machines-under-200/