Looking to Upgrade from Nespresso to a Coffee Machine

Currently using a Delonghi UMilk Nespresso machine and looking to get a proper machine for some better tasting coffee.

What would be the best bang for buck option? From my research, it seems alot of people get the Breville Bambino Plus + Smart Grinder Pro. Or would it be better to get something like the Breville Barista Express/Pro?


  • I believe the express is now discontinued (that’s what I saw on the breville site anyway) but you’d probably be able to find it easily.

    I recently bought the breville barista pro and I’m so happy with the purchase, fast heat up times, easy to use and good coffee. The reason why I opted for the pro over the express is because of the extra grind burrs and powerful steam wand.

    As for the bambino, I can’t speak on it but it seems to be a hit in the r/espresso subreddit. Unless you’re a coffee enthusiast, I don’t think you’ll notice too much difference but it does make upgrading parts a lot easier and gives you more flexibility

  • +3

    Better to get a quality Italian made, serviceable machine from a specialist coffee machine shop to be honest. I see you are in Sydney, so head to Di Bartoli or Jet Black Espresso they will find the right machine for you.

  • +6

    Rancilio Silvia is considered to be a great Italian coffee machine for a lowish price. We have one and my coffee snob partner says it's good.

    • +2

      Is it a bang for buck though? It's > $1000

      • I owned a Silvia V1 and Silvia V3 - best bang-for-buck entry level espresso machine money can buy IMHO.

    • I've got the rancilio Silva and before that a Gaggia, various grinders over the years. I've used a few of the brevilles. The rancilio is a solid bit of kit but it's temperamental, I can get decent coffee from it all the time but others in the house are hit and miss. The Breville range are cheaper and easier to get a good coffee out of. If the rancilio ever breaks it'll be replaced by the double boiler Breville.

  • +5

    Delonghi Dedica for $199 (or less) is your best bang for buck. A good step up from pods with the option to buy an unpressurised basket if you want to get more serious.

  • I've heard these are good bang for your buck with a grinder on top Sunbeam Barista Max Espresso EM5300S $479

  • -1

    To enrich the boring taste of Nespresso I make random visits to HN when I know they have coffee demo and sweettalk in free taste samples.
    Since HN refused warranty on small overpriced computer accessories I use them as a start reference on how much I can save elsewhere.
    Lucky their new toilet department is out of sight and I have inhouse knowledge when their demonstrators get replaced so the new ones take my BS.
    Taste is subjective but a new desire visit to real Italy just for a caffeine hit keeps growing!

  • +2

    I have a Bambino Plus with Smart Grinder and a Gaggia Classic. The Bambino is simple and is ready to make coffee in 2 seconds so its the one we use 100% of the time.

  • +1

    Whatever you decide, invest in some hands on barista training.

    Also spend money on a good grinder.

    Weigh your coffee input and output.

    Do these things and I can garuntee you’ll pull better coffees than most cafes.

  • +2

    Gaggia Classic Pro for me. It's so simple inside that you can completely break it down and rebuild it with the most basic of knowledge around tools. Spare parts are readily available and if you're into it - plenty of options to mod to give it features that a machine 3 or 4 times the price has.

    • Second this, it's simple enough and good for home use. There's a few mods you can do to improve it as well

  • +1

    check out this thread https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/664273

    Your choices are

    • I'm a coffee snob and anything under $3000 is wasting my time

    • I'm not a coffee snob but I am a snob, so I want something expensive because thats better, so over $1000 and it has to have an italian name

    • I'm a normal person with an ok budget but just want a good coffee easy (see above thread) (breville mostly)

    • I'm a person with an ok budget willing to spend time and effort to learn all the quirks (gaggia)

    • I have no money (honestly, try an aeropress or one of the other hand held pressure options)

    The other factor is bench space. And a grinder

    • I'm a normal person with an ok budget but just want a good coffee easy (see above thread) (breville mostly)

      …and I don't care how quickly it ends up in landfill.

      • I've got a 10yr old breville that was handed down to my parents. Still makes 4-5 coffees a day with no issues.

        • The current range of plastic-fantastics from Breville are not 10yo Brevilles.

    • I'm a normal person with an ok budget but just want a good coffee easy (see above thread) (breville mostly)

      Whats the best option for this one?

      • It's not going to be that easy to begin with, there will be a learning process. And even after you have a routine down, expect to spend 5+ minutes on each cup. It's never going to be as simple as putting in a pod and clicking a button. That said, it's definitely worth it if you are interested in better coffee at home and are willing to learn.

  • This

    Plus a grinder

  • If you have more space and really want a bang for buck purchase, get the Bambino + Smart Grinder. I personally got the Breville Barista Pro as i like to see the timer on screen during the shot so I know im roughly in line with recipe. I dont wanna use a separate watch or clock to do that.

  • It's always good to buy the Coffee machine and Grinder separately, that way if either stops working or you outgrow it, you can upgrade easily. I suggest you get the Bambino Plus and pair it with the Eureka Mignon Manuale https://www.espressocoffeeshop.com/en/espresso-grinders/28-0....

    Using the coupon 3337, you can get it for roughly $340 delivered. This is a much better stepless grinder than Smart Grinder Pro, which is great for espresso, and lets you fine tune the grinding settings.

  • There are a lot of good tips above. In my experience a good milk based espresso (one that approaches cafe quality) requires ALL THREE of the following: good quality fresh beans, a decent grinder, and a capable barista operating a reasonably good machine. Most people will do what I did and learn this the slow, expensive, frustrating way (by continually upgrading beans, equipment and skills after getting fed up with lousy inconsistent coffee). But if I could start over I would skip straight to a setup that makes it POSSIBLE to make a great coffee with practice, on equipment that will last, and buy a Breville Smart Grinder and a Gaggia Classic Pro at a minimum… and skip the supermarket beans, buy a scale, watch YouTube videos and experiment until I could pull a decent shot. In my experience there are no shortcuts that don't dramatically compromise taste.

  • Hi
    I purchased the Breville The Barista Express BES870 in Nov 2019 for $679. At the time I stumbled on an online Bing Lee eBay 20% off sale which wasn’t available in store. Also was lucky that Breville had a coffee beans giveaway promo.

    I love having a machine that makes Barista cafe quality coffee, but it’s not straight forward and can be messy. Actually make that… it IS messy, but I wouldn’t go back to pods. I enjoy the whole (up to 5 minutes) ritual of making the coffee & cleaning up. It is a must to clean up straight away.

    The Barista Express is not perfect and can do with some design adjustments in my opinion. One thing for sure, you can’t have a conversation when you’re making coffee. It is noisy. Which you 100% notice when you want to use but other people are still asleep.

    Mostly, I can make a great coffee, but still sometimes not so great. You can find lots of YouTube videos on how to perfect the crema and do without the bitterness, which also explains that you will need to adjust the grind for different coffee beans. You will waste quite a few beans getting there every time you change brands.

    YouTube is a must… some how-tos weren’t available in the manual or on Breville’s website.

    Although I’ve had the machine for 2 years. I can’t for the life of me heat and froth almond or soy milks like a professional. I know there are different reasons for the curdling (for lack of better word) when I add to the coffee. I would like to do a barista course. Some barista courses give you the option to bring your machine to class.

    It’s not all rosy having your own barista type coffee making machine, but it’s worthwhile.
    Good luck!

  • Since you come from the capsule machines I don't think you will appreciate the mess and trouble of grinding, tamping and stuffing around with coffee . Gone will be the days you just want a coffee get a coffee and I suggest you get a fully automatic machine that grinds beams and dispenses good coffee every time. I suggest you get a Jura automatic coffee machine from Harvey Norman or find a Saeco. Best is Jura. I personally get them second hand from Gumtree. As I drink a lot of coffee and live rural and far away from service centres I use them for 2+ years till they may need a service and then I sell them cheap on Facebook marketplace with the mention of it needing a service and buy another less used one again. Can't beat the Jura range.

  • Buy a Breville Barista Express (all in one, grinder coffee and milk frother) $599 @thegoodguys & 1kg bag fresh roasted beans from Aldi $12-14. Oh you need a milk temp gauge to froth the milk well.

    Watch youtube videos and one day buy some mods for it, like a RHS handle, bottomless handle and a better tamper one day. Its all you need in the box and a awesome investment

  • WOW… I've just done this.
    Years of instant coffee…. to now… my very own Breville Barista Pro - and loving it.
    Get on Tube and look into how to make espresso, froth milk, grinding, dosing, etc…. a whole different world.
    I still make an instant in the morning, however, and leave the good stuff till lunchtime and evening.

    A machine upon your kitchen bench speaks volumes in what sort of individual you are. Sophisticated, learned, talented, and must have some money.

    Do it

    • Ahh first world problems

  • Is there a good automatic in $500 price range?

  • What did you decide to buy? To get best possible advice, you need to state how many cup you make a day and if you make back to back cups, how you drink your coffee espresso (black) or with milk. Then bench space available, then budget to spend, otherwise you can get 100 different opinions, which might not suite your need!!

    • I ended up getting the Breville Bambino Plus + Breville Smart Grinder Pro.

      Still learning how to dial in the with the grinder - not sure how the grind time correlates with the weight. Tips anyone? Im using the Aldi Lazzio Medium beans.

      • In general you need to put about 18gm of coffee in the double basket (can also check with the provided Breville razor leveller) and get out 36-40gm liquid in around 30sec. So play with grinding fine/coarse till you achieve this formula.

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