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Recomendations for an Espresso Setup

I don't have a hard budget
Give us some numbers to work with. My wife's an interior designer and clients say that all the time to her but everyone has a budget. Are you talking $1K? $2K? $5K? $10K?

Turtle, could you expand on why you think the Mini's burr are too small (and several other similar grinders like the Vario, Compak, Macap etc by extension)?
It's not simply a matter of burr size. Check around any espresso site and you'll be hard pressed to find anyone recommending a Mini these days. It simply does not provide acceptable performance -- i.e. taste in the cup. It was highly recommended 10 or more years ago (like the Silvia and Rocky) but the market has changed a lot since then and there are many more options out there. It won't take much bucks but you won't get much bang either.

Most would probably recommend a Vario or Super Jolly (considered by some to be equivalent in the cup) at the lower end. The Vario is an example of a grinder that performs above its price point and burr size.

Again, a budget or range would help a lot. We can then work on sorting out what you should be spending for the grinder versus the machine and figure out some room for accessories. Otherwise grinder and machines comes in a massive range of pricing. It does no good for us to recommend equipment that is well out of your budget/range, whatever it may be.

Are dosers actually useful or more of pain then they're worth?
Subjective just as worth is on any topic. Some like dosers. Some don't. You have to sort this out for yourself. I don't see much of an advantage to them in the home environment but for grinders that tend to clump they can help with breaking up the clumps. Not all dosers are identical either. Some sweep cleaner than others. Most can be modded to sweep cleaner.

I currently have a Super Jolly because I got a great deal on it. It has a doser and while it has never bothered me I don't intend my next grinder to have one.

Ideally a machine that didn't require to time it to get good result
You get out what you put in. Which is more important: quality or convenience? You can pick one. If you want quality you'll have to put in the time and effort. If you want convenience you can certainly get it with a single serve, superauto or similar but you're going to get mediocre results at best. Convenient and consistent but mediocre. That said, many are happy with the more convenient solutions.


Don't overlook espresso specific sites like Coffee Geek and Home Barista as well.

You would be hard pressed to find something simpler or less finicky than the Silvia (push the button and shazzam.... coffee)
Just about anyone that has upgraded from the Silvia to an HX or DB has found a much less finicky espresso machine. I certainly did when I got my Duetto 3. That said, a skilled operator can certainly tame the Silvia.
 
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I have no counter space without pantries on top and they are 17.75" inch from the counter.
That's a severe limitation. No space for a cart or any other sort of solution?

You may be able to run some grinders with a short hopper or hopper less but some of them won't work as well without the weight of the beans. The better electric grinders are generally going to be larger machines.

How much of a chore is it to grind a few time a day?
Also subjective. There are many people that happily use their manual grinders. Can't stand 'em myself. Can't tell you where your preference would lie on this topic either.

I'm looking for something durable as both of my previous machines died around the 5 year mark (and the tiny pcb board was obviously discontinued and unavailable) which made them rather bad investment despite the lowish initial price.
There are plenty of durable options out there though any machine will require regular maintenance. Once you get out of the single boilers most of the machines out there are solidly built though there are certainly solid single boilers as well.
 
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Just about anyone that has upgraded from the Silvia to an HX or DB has found a much less finicky espresso machine. I certainly did when I got my Duetto 3. That said, a skilled operator can certainly tame the Silvia.
Given a PID mod and some time learning how to flow surf, you can pull a decent shot from a Silvia.

I've never owned one but a friend spent a lot of time swearing at his until he modified it and slowed down a few gears....

I do know that there is probably more articles written on how to get a good pull from a Silvia than any other single machine out there
 
Given a PID mod and some time learning how to flow surf, you can pull a decent shot from a Silvia.

I've never owned one but a friend spent a lot of time swearing at his until he modified it and slowed down a few gears....

I do know that there is probably more articles written on how to get a good pull from a Silvia than any other single machine out there

...Right up there with LaPavoni or Elektra's... (for the pullers out there)
 
That's a severe limitation. No space for a cart or any other sort of solution?

You may be able to run some grinders with a short hopper or hopper less but some of them won't work as well without the weight of the beans. The better electric grinders are generally going to be larger machines.
As I mentioned, I could free around 2'x2' of counter space with 22" of clearance and access to an outlet.

Give us some numbers to work with. My wife's an interior designer and clients say that all the time to her but everyone has a budget. Are you talking $1K? $2K? $5K? $10K?
I guess I was considering something in the neighbourhood of max 4k$CAN for both. I don't mind shopping used either.
 
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...Right up there with LaPavoni or Elektra's... (for the pullers out there)
I've been jonsing for a Ponte Vecchio Export for ages now.

Everytime I find one it is ether toast or someone thinks it if filled with gold bullion instead of water
 
A slight bump.

After some reading on the web, I've been leaning toward a Quick Mill Alexia on the machine front. I'll see if I can check one out in person.
 
I've been leaning toward a Quick Mill Alexia on the machine front. I'll see if I can check one out in person.
Good choice. I was considering one until the Pasquini fell into my lap. It needed a full rebuild but for the price.... it was an "offer I could not refuse"
 
What other machines were you considering?
Almost had a single group Conti Club purchased from the person that sold me a San Franciscan roaster but at the last minute they decided to keep it.

I purchased an Expobar Office lever but the owner would not ship it to me (for some reason or another).

Rocket was on the short list then the Pasquini fell into my lap for a song. It needed a major descaling and I had to replace a dead 3 way valve to get it working again. While I had it in a million pieces I did a few tweaks to it.

Been very happy with the Pasquini for a number of years now.

 
Almost had a single group Conti Club purchased from the person that sold me a San Franciscan roaster but at the last minute they decided to keep it.

I purchased an Expobar Office lever but the owner would not ship it to me (for some reason or another).

Rocket was on the short list then the Pasquini fell into my lap for a song. It needed a major descaling and I had to replace a dead 3 way valve to get it working again. While I had it in a million pieces I did a few tweaks to it.

Been very happy with the Pasquini for a number of years now.

Thanks!
On the grinder front I've been looking at the Ceado E37s, OE Pharos, Mahlgut MG-1 and Kafatek Monolith (both not availlable right now as far as I can tell) as options that would fit under the cabinets. Are those worth the extra money over something like a Vario? How about something like a Mazzer Mini E or a Compak K3? Do they perform more like a normal Mini?
 
Thanks!
On the grinder front I've been looking at the Ceado E37s, OE Pharos, Mahlgut MG-1 and Kafatek Monolith (both not availlable right now as far as I can tell) as options that would fit under the cabinets. Are those worth the extra money over something like a Vario? How about something like a Mazzer Mini E or a Compak K3? Do they perform more like a normal Mini?
I can not compare and contrast those grinders, but I like my OE Pharos for Espresso. It grinds easily and I don't mind the internal funnel design to dump the grounds or that it is not a direct path to the portafilter basket. The main drawback is that it can be tricky to make fine adjustments, as mine is the older model with the dual lock nut adjustment system. I have the single split lock nut upgrade which should make small adjustments easier to execute, but I have not installed it yet since I like how mine is currently dialed in.

I don't know anything about the Mahlgut MG-1, but it looks a lot like the Pharos with some of the mods that industrious users have added.
 
On the grinder front I've been looking at the Ceado E37s, OE Pharos, Mahlgut MG-1 and Kafatek Monolith (both not availlable right now as far as I can tell) as options that would fit under the cabinets. Are those worth the extra money over something like a Vario? How about something like a Mazzer Mini E or a Compak K3? Do they perform more like a normal Mini?
Vario is an ok grinder but you would grow tired of it,even the -W (weight grind option one).

I used a Vario-W to grind espresso for a while. I found it more convenient to use than a Super Jolly with a doser can. Once I modified the SJ to single dose electronic, I no longer had a need or desire for the Vario-W so I "attempted" to convert it to a brew grinder by going to Ditting steel burrs. Utter failure on that change.

Any "E" (electronic) Mazzer should keep you satisfied for decades. You "can" modify the Mini-E (Electronic) to take the larger Super Jolly burrs so should you find it lacking after a few years of use, there is an internal "upgrade" you can make before mortgaging your home to purchase a Robur electronic. The manual Mini will NOT take the larger burrs without major modifications to the grinder (it is not a simple remove/replace upgrade)
 
Not yet but it's still on top of my list. I'm still undecided on the grinder and I've been too busy to shop seriously. Since I could possibly get a package deal if I get both at once I'm waiting.
 
Not yet but it's still on top of my list. I'm still undecided on the grinder and I've been too busy to shop seriously. Since I could possibly get a package deal if I get both at once I'm waiting.
If single dosing the Baratza Sette 270 Coffee Grinder is a good grinder for the money and the latest by Baratza.
 
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