Help Choosing Bean to Cup Machine

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Help Choosing Bean to Cup Machine

Postby JamesP » Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:31 am

Hi Guys,

I haven't been on here for a while, since I sold my L'anna :(

I just didn't have time to mess about with it so I switched to a Tassimo system, I am now pretty fed up with the coffee from that and after visiting a friend with a B2C machine the coffee was pretty good from it.

I don't know where to start I am looking in the £300 - £600 range, key requirements:

1.) As low maintenance as poss
2.) Good consistency and reliability
3.) I drink latte mostly so must be good at frothing
4.) Makes a great cup of coffee :)

I still have my iRoast 2 so I will probably roast the beans myself again.

I also still have my grinder so im not 100% sure I shouldn't go back to a semi HX machine.

I am just always shot of time and a B2C machine would seem perfect :)

Any ideas?
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RE: Help Choosing Bean to Cup Machine

Postby bruceb » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:35 am

Hello James,
Nice to see you here again. I do have quite a lot of (non-voluntary) experience with bean-to-cup machines and I can say without hesitation that not one of them is worth the money or the trouble.

The coffee is just not good, the price is high and unless you want to replace the machine on a yearly basis you must do quite a bit of maintenance, most of which is dirty and unpleasant. The manufacturer of the machine makes no difference. Most of the internals are shared by various companies.

Ignoring 3k GBP commercial automats, not one of the machines can grind properly. Temperature control is laughable and between pulling a shot and steaming milk and again pulling a shot there is always an unpleasant wait and temperature peaks. A kettle and pour-over filter will give you a much better cup of coffee.

It goes, hopefully, without saying that these are my experiences and subjective opinions. I would be surprised if anyone on this forum will be able to give you much advice on this matter, but let's wait and see.
Good luck and let us know how things turn out for you.
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Postby JamesP » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:11 pm

Ah ok thanks Bruce I thought that might be the case.

They just seem so much easier and quicker :)

I will have a look for a decent semi automatic I think.
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Postby CakeBoy » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:56 pm

Welcome back James :)

I agree entirely with Bruce, but would add that if you do decide to go down the B2C route for reasons of convenience do stick to something relatively inexpensive. As Bruce explained, the innards are pretty much all the same.

We used to have a Spidem Trevi which we got via eBay from a German vendor. It was around or just under £200 (a few years back now) and was basically a plastic bodied machine identical underneath to a Gaggia Titanium, and other similar machines, in its component parts. It lasted just over a year, so was not great value but worked out cheaper than the Gaggia Titanium and other almost identical models. The coffee was nothing like as good as a decent espresso machine.
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Postby Puck » Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:53 am

We have a Gaggia Platinum b2c machine in the office at work. I advocated getting it because we wanted decent coffee, but it was impractical to have a “proper” machine with separate grinder and all the other paraphernalia.

It makes around a dozen cups per day, and everyone has milk, so I soon found that its steaming facility was woefully inadequate. Fortunately I had a spare Silvia at home, which I took in just to use for steaming, for which it is brilliant.

Initially I found that it was impossible to get its grinder to grind fine enough, so after dismantling it, I discovered that I could reposition the grind adjustment nut on its splines and get a good grind setting. That was about 2 years ago and it’s still going strong.

I roast all the coffee at home in my Hottop ( in exchange for free coffee for myself :D ), so we get pretty awesome coffee every day. Of course I’m the mug who ends up making all the drinks, but then I suppose I’m the only one who cares enough to make sure the machine is adjusted just rigth for making the best possible coffee.

I rinse the group mechanism at the end of each day, and descale it when it tells me to, so it needs to be sited next to a sink.

Sorry JamesP, I haven’t really answered you question, I’m just rambling on..
Your budget would get you one off ebay, but I think you would not be happy with it for frothing.
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Postby sicinius » Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:55 pm

I had a Krups Orhestro and was reasonably happy with it for three years but then got bitten.

B2C machines are basically CKD Nespresso kit in that they fake everything the Nespresso machines fake, (crema, temperature, pressure, froth) so I doubt you's see any improvement apart from what you can introduce by supplying your own beans and roasting them to you taste. But although that might be a worthwhile improvement, there's little real advantage over a decent epsresso machine as, since they make all the same mess (just inside rather than outside the case) they are only slightly cleaner and slightly quicker to operate.
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Postby JamesP » Wed Dec 26, 2012 8:08 pm

Thanks for the info guys, im going to see what semi auto espresso machines I can find, possibly in the sales :)
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