I hope you can help me make a decision, as I keep going back and forth for over two weeks now.
In June 2020 I bought a second hand Sage Dual Boiler, which started developing faults (gurgling, overheating) in the end of 2020. As it was out of the manufacturer’s warranty, I sent approached independent service. Initially they sent a repairman to our house, who changed the o rings, but within half an hour after he left the same problems came back. Then they changed the pump, the problem persisted. We sent the machine to them, they did additional repairs, and sent it back. After a couple of months of light use, the same problems came back, we sent it to them again, and were told that both boilers need replacing for £250. The initial price of the machine plus all the repairs would add up to a new SDB, which we are quite bitter about, and decided not to fix it, but get a new machine under a warranty.
I know I have not used the SDV its full potential, as the issues started developing over the last year. I am a coffee enthusiast not a specialist, I worked as a barista for Costa during my uni years, but that required very limited set of skills in terms of getting a good espresso, still need to learn a lot.
I definitely do not have good knowledge about how a coffee machine works, and how to mod it etc, and I would be reluctant to do it as long as the machine is covered by a warranty.
I tend to make 2 flat whites/cappuccinos in the morning for me and my husband, then espresso later in the day. My husband likes long blacks, either americano, or a lungo. When we have guests around it’s up to 6 people total, I would like to be able to make drinks for everyone in one go without a massive delay. My husband does not really want to get into weighing and timing the shots - he just wants to make a coffee and drink it. ;)
I am reluctant to give a SDB another go, after my not so great experience.
I am considering the Lelit Elizabeth, but I am worried about the pressure issues which were described in the other posts (I am considering buying from BB, and the fact that they don’t acknowledge this issue is a bit concerning).
I am also wondering whether it would leave me craving for more, and wanting to switch to Bianca? Is it worht getting it for let’s say a year, to then resell it and upgrade to Bianca?
On the other hand, I am worried that if I got the Bianca it would be beyond my skill level, and I would pay almost double the price for nothing.
I briefly considered the MaraX, but the long heat up time made me reject it.